Forest King (KingBrick) has finally unveiled his most massive build yet, the 4 foot long Kingfisher. Forest has employed many of his signature techniques to great effect here, with faded white bricks and chunky paneling all lending a sense of extreme durability and resilience. The mix of colors is particularly nice, with orange, red and yellow highlights accentuating the tan, white and grey color scheme and giving an industrial feel to the design.
After over 10 years in flight, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe today arrived at it’s target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. And builder Stefan Schindler decided to commemorate the event by recreating it in LEGO! Not only did he do a splendid job on the probe, he even managed to capture the bizarre shape of the comet as well.
Stefan has entered his creation in the ESA’s official #RosettaAreWeThereYet photo contest. So LEGO fans should head over there and VOTE FOR IT NOW! (Entries are piling up so you may have to search for it on the second or third page).
I remember getting a used M:Tron set as a kid and discovering how awesome magnetism is, and how I wanted to learn where magnets came from. Thanks to Blake Foster and his M:Tron Magnet Factory, I finally know the answer:
Not only has Blake created an inspired M:Tron base and stunning landscaped base, but he’s added a monorail and some really impressive movement which you can see in the following video:
I was able to see this incredible creation this past weekend at BrickFair Virginia, where it took the Best Space trophy (check out the time-lapse setup video). I sat down with Blake to get the details on his layout:
TBB: With all the classic LEGO space themes or even other pop culture references why did you choose M:Tron as a theme for your build?
BF: It’s part nostalgia and part obscurity. I loved M:Tron as a kid, and yet it doesn’t get all that much attention from the AFOL community. Compared to Neo-Blacktron or Neo-Classic-Space, M:Tron is a rarity. That obscurity can be a good thing, though, because there are more opportunities to do something original. I really wanted to make something unique, so M:Tron seemed like a good theme to do it in.
TBB: With something of this size, 4 x 6 baseplates (192 x 128 studs), how long did it take you to build?
BF: I started toying with ideas for this project 4-5 years ago. I was in grad school at the time, though, and didn’t have the budget to complete it. I started working in earnest two years ago. By my best guess, it took about 3,000 hours of building, 462 Bricklink orders and I would estimate 100,00 bricks. Here is an early work in progress image of the build:
Microscale and space colonies are a match made in the heavens. Karf Oohlu’s Colony Base Omega may be fighting for life on a foreign world, but it does so with panache. This slick modular sci-fi outpost looks fresh off the mothership and ready to get some terra formed.
Last Thursday night, LEGO.com was so overloaded that many of us weren’t able to get through to order the new LEGO Ideas Exo Suit. My own order got stuck, but the good people at LEGO unstuck it without my even having to call them. Nice!
The experience was memorable enough for Rob D. (agaethon29) that he commemorated it with this little scene.
And in case you missed it, we really are giving away a copy of the set, lightly customized by our own talented Simon (your choice of his custom model or the set’s disassembled parts). Head on over and leave a comment to enter the raffle.
Popular culture is filled with many iconic fictional spacecraft, but relatively few factual ones. But to anyone old enough to remember Carl Sagan’s TV series Cosmos, or young enough to have enjoyed its more recent incarnation, the image below will stir up many fond memories!
It is of course a NASA Voyager probe, faithfully recreated in LEGO by Ryan H (eldeem)…
Launched in the 1970’s, NASA’s Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft were actually the first to explore the outer solar system, and the first to carry a message for any aliens that might encounter them. But the later Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes gained much more notoriety, with their more ambitious missions and superior imaging capabilities. Even the “message from Earth” got an upgrade, from a simple plaque, to a recording containing images and sounds from Earth (which you can even see in Ryan’s model above).
Lasting more than a decade, the Voyager missions were much longer than anything the public were used to at that time. Every few years one of the spacecraft would reach its next target, and the world would be caught up in Voyager fever all over again, as amazing images of far-off worlds flooded our screens. Still transmitting to this day, the Voyager probes are among the most distant man-made objects in existence, and are now at the very edge of the solar system, headed for interstellar space.
Ryan’s Voyager is a commission for the University of Colorado, and will be on display at the CU Heritage Center from mid-September. Go check it out!
LEGO sent The Brothers Brick a copy of the new LEGO Ideas 21109 Exo Suit, which we’re going to give away to one of you out there reading this. Read the full review to find out how!
There have been a lot of great LEGO CUUSOO / LEGO Ideas sets that have come out, but before the Exo Suit they all had one thing in common: they were all based on someone else’s design (intellectual property or IP in licensing jargon). So it was a great to see Pete Reid‘s Exo Suit become the first original idea to be turned into a LEGO Ideas set.
The set comes in a typical small form LEGO Ideas box. I thought the designers did a great job on graphics and background art, which is very reminiscent of the classic space box art.
When you open up the set you’re presented with a fantastic instruction manual and 4 small bags of pieces, which include a total of 321 pieces. While it might not seem like a lot of pieces, the final build is surprisingly large.
The instruction booklet starts off with some info on Pete and Senior Set Designer Mark Stafford on how they collaborated on the set. It’s followed by a great background story that sets up the Exo Suit. I also liked how scattered throughout the instructions are little tid-bits of information about the Exo-Suit or the turtle, which just adds a bit of fun to the whole building.
Originally I had planned to go over the actual build process and point out interesting bits and details on the Exo Suit, but as I was actually building it, I decided not to ruin everyone’s fun — I would rather everyone experience it on their own. I will say that there are definitely some uncommon techniques that you would not find in your typical LEGO set. An example of which is placing a 1×1 round stud in the center of a 2×2 round plate (see picture).
The piece selection in this set is also a bit odd for a typical LEGO offering. There are a lot of ball-joint pieces that makes up the bulk of the frame, and a lot of tiny detailing elements that are attached to it, which makes up the rest of the set. But for a lot of builders this gives a great value: it is a small set with an incredible selection of specialized sci-fi “greeble” pieces.
But really, the stars of the set are the two Classic Space minifigures (with extra air tank) available in green for the first time:
The inclusion of these two figures, plus the low price point, and limited run will likely result in a very high demand set. Which is unfortunate as I would love to be able to buy a massive stockpile of these to get an army of Green Classic Space men, with enough left over pieces to build something really cool.
Or so John Moffatt (John Moffatt) and Ian MacDonald (ABS doohickies) say. I think they’re just channeling awesome in this collaborative build. There are so many great details on this ship. My favorites are the ring (electromagnet perhaps?) on the front, the radar dish, and the engine arrangement itself. This ship has utilitarian workhorse written all over it (in gray). Make sure you check out some of the detail shots to get a good feel for this lovely bit of monochromatic space.
Tomorrow is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I hope we see many moon-themed LEGO models over the next couple of days, but we’ll start with this fantastic microscale version of the lander by Ted Andes.
Ted has been building one vignette a week this year, and this is his 31st. Check out his photostream for the rest.