The Brothers Brick gives you the best of LEGO news and reviews. This is our Weekly Brick Report for the first week of April 2017.
TBB NEWS & REVIEWS: This week we have news about two things to look forward to and one thing to get your calculator out for.
TBB INTERVIEWS & INSTRUCTIONS: You can build your own scientist or smash a MOC. It is your choice. Click a story below to choose your own adventure.
OTHER NEWS: There was a good amount of LEGO news from other places around the web this week. Here are a few items we noticed and thought you might enjoy.
Contrary to popular belief, LEGO bricks are not a better investment than gold, based on findings from a new study we’ve conducted. The study analyzed each substance without bias to test the popular notion that the world’s best-selling toy is a better investment plan than stocks, bonds or precious metals.
As promised last week, in celebration of the venerable LEGO Stephen Hawking’s 10th birthday here are complete instructions for constructing your very own miniature cosmologist. Click here for embiggened version. Black hole not included.
Residents of Birmingham, Alabama will surely recognize this creation by Wesley Higgins. It’s the McWane Science Center, a real-life building in Birmingham that’s been transformed into a place where minifig families can spend an afternoon learning about science.
The focal point of this LEGO creation is the Science Center’s iconic mosaic-like rotunda. But Wesley’s version includes the entire building including furnished interiors and even a parking garage. Wesley says it took 12 months to complete the LEGO McWane Science Center and he spent a lot of time working on it while simultaneously watching television with his family.
If you happen to be in the Birmingham area, you can see Wesley’s creation in real life! It’s currently on display at the McWane Science Center and there’s even a contest to guess the total number of bricks in the creation. Pretty neat, right?
Announced today, the Women of NASA project by Maia Weinstock is the next set in the Ideas line. This project was selected from a group of 11 other ideas that had gathered 10,000 supporters between the months of May and September 2016. Pricing and availability for the Women of NASA set are not yet available.
Read more about the latest LEGO Ideas review
Did you see the LEGO LC-130 Hercules we sent to Antartica at the end of last year? Did you want your own rocket-powered ski-plane? Over the last couple of months, TBB’s own Ralph Savelsberg worked with Dan Siskind and his team at Brickmania to turn Ralph’s model of this iconic aircraft into a custom LEGO kit you can buy.
Ralph is awesome, Brickmania is awesome, science is awesome, airplanes are awesome — we couldn’t be happier that one of our team’s designs is being turned into a Brickmania kit!
Learn more about this unique LEGO kit
Students at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, including LEGO builder Rinse, had an opportunity to present a prototype satellite design to the European Space Agency (ESA) at the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. With a LEGO builder among them, the student team used bricks as their design medium for constructing their 3D prototype. The LEGO model has a hexagonal shape, and the solar arrays don’t require any additional support to remain extended horizontally.
I once built an 11th century Romanesque castle from LEGO for a university humanities course. How have you used LEGO in your own higher education?
The volcanic eruption in 1883 that destroyed most of the island of Krakatoa was so violent that instruments recorded the blast wave traveling around and around the world several times. Scientists estimate that anybody within 10 miles would have been deafened immediately. Emil Lidé captures this catastrophic natural disaster in LEGO with a beautiful microscale diorama. A bright blue sea and tropical jungle encircle the doomed peak, while flames erupt from the top of the mountain.
Emil demonstrated his mastery of miniature LEGO landscaping with the LEGO tree instructions we featured a few months ago, and these even tinier trees look fantastic.
It is not an everyday occurrence for me to get an email from the South Pole. Several months ago, however, I was contacted by Ethan Rudnitsky, who was spending the winter at the US Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica, and who asked me for instructions to build a model of an LC-130 Hercules. This is the aircraft used to fly people to and from the station and Ethan wanted to put the model on display in the station. TBB used the opportunity to find out more about LEGO fans at the South Pole in an interview and agreed to supply the instructions, stickers, and the parts to build the Hercules.
Ethan and I had yet to work out how to get the model there. Enter Martin Rongen, a physicist and LEGO fan, like myself, who contacted me from Germany having seen my LC-130 prototype. He was due to travel to the Pole around Christmas (summer in Antarctica) and wondered whether I was willing to share instructions so that he could take the LEGO model with him. How about that? Problem solved! We could ship the whole lot to Germany.
Click here to read the full interview
I love a flashy futuristic spaceship as much as the next guy, but there’s something special about Ryan Howerter‘s modern weather satellite. Ryan has done a ridiculously accurate job of recreating the NASA / NOAA research satellite in LEGO, down to the last maneuvering thruster. I love the idea that every little detail on this model is some real piece of equipment measuring or transmitting up in space right now, and I’m especially impressed with the lens cover held open with a link of track.
The Stanford torus was a design concept for a permanent space habitat for 10,000 residents proposed at Stanford University during the summer of 1975. Though not the only idea for a ring-shaped space station that would provide gravity to inhabitants, it’s one of the designs that received significant research from NASA. MSP! has created a microscale LEGO version, complete with buildings and landscaping on the ring’s interior. Mounted on an unobtrusive stand, this would look fantastic on any astronaut’s desk.
We’re no strangers to science here at TBB, and love featuring these types of builds. Last year, we featured Jason Alleman’s lovely Particle Accelerator (which is part of the upcoming review round on LEGO Ideas). To compliment our collection of scientific stuff, I’d like to submit for consideration -Disty-‘s BERG-LNZ Particle Acceleration Library.
This fantastic build is a great glimpse into what the builder imagines the inside of a particle accelerator to be, and it’s pretty fantastic. The parts use for the two massive components on each end is just great, and it looks suitably industrial.