This is Cale Leiphart and he likes trains, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and enjoying his builds for many years now. His latest culmination of train-awesomeness is the Red Lion Station, and is a model of the Maryland & Pennsylvania RR train station and surrounding areas.
At over 3.5 x 17 feet (that’s 5 meters), this requires adjectives which I do not posses to describe the incredible feat. That’s not to say there haven’t been larger builds, but I have a hard time recalling a build of this size that has this much detail packed in. Not only does each of the buildings have a beautiful facade, but each building has a fully decked out interior. It’s so large it’s incredibly hard to even photograph, and is one of those builds that are best enjoyed in person at a display:
I really liked how Cale has gone against the grain and built buildings and streets at non-right angles, a non-trivial feat, to build off-axis roads and buildings:
Not only are the roads difficult to build at an angle, most people would have simply laid the train track on top of the road to avoid complicated brickwork, but Mr. Leiphart, true to form, built it inside the road with some really clever brick work.
As I mentioned before, I had seen earlier versions of this layout last year and it really caught my eye. By catch my eye, I mean I did a double take and went OH-MY-G-O-S-H. Again the size is impressive, but I’m a detail guy, and this nondescript grey building blew my mind. Take a closer look at the sides, it’s not just nicely stacked brick, it’s made up of panels, hundreds of panels attached in some seemingly magical way. Despite being very late on the first setup night, Cale – who was still setting up this magnificent display – noticed our fevered interest and stopped everything and came over to us and showed us the secret of the grey building. This became my number 1 cool must-see thing at BrickFair that year.
Check out the full photo collection here.
This creation by Bill Vollbrecht is a building from Balboa Park in San Diego called the El Prado Arcade. The ornate architecture of the model is stunning and is a real treat for the eyes.
Spring has only just started (on the Northern hemisphere), but the restaurant built by Snaillad already makes me long for summer.
This must be because it was inspired by the wonderful art deco buildings along Ocean Drive / South Beach in famously sunny Miami Beach. It looks very nice on the outside and also comes with a detailed interior. Normally I am partial to visible studs on a LEGO model, but I have to admit that this would not look nearly as good if it wouldn’t have such a clean and studless construction.
Some builds just put me at a loss for words, and this is one of them. The real MS Jutlandia was launched in 1934, and is an impressive 461 feet long. She started her life as a passenger vessel and served time during both WWII and the Korean War. She spent some time as a royal vessel, and was scrapped in 1965.
Arjan Oude Kotte (Konajra) has created this absolutely stunning minifig scale version of this lovely ship. This beautiful build ultimately took 11 months, with 5 months to design and 6 months to build. The ship itself is over 10 feet (3.25 meters) long, and stands nearly 5 feet (1.5 meters) high. He estimates 90,000-100,000 pieces total, bringing this ship to life.
I encourage you to pour over the details in the flickr gallery, which includes some WIP photos.
Polish Lego builder Michał Skorupka (Eric Trax) made a functional Claas Jaguar forage harvester featuring rotating cutting discs, lights, RC function with steering and more. Check out the YouTube video to see this amazingly realistic model in action.
This great seaplane by Сергей Антохин reminds me of the models I loved to build as a kid, except that this one is considerably better. This model has a distinct charm about it, almost looking like something LEGO could release as an official set. I mean, if this were an official set, I’d probably buy one.
If you find yourself in Sydney (Australia) at all during 2015, then head over to the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney and check out this amazing recreation of the Roman town of Pompeii, created by Lego Certified Professional Ryan McNaught.
The diorama represents Pompeii as it was at the time of its destruction in 79 AD, and even contains a little foreshadowing of the volcanic eruption that buried it.
Sometimes the best things are the simple pleasures. Swinging on a swing set is definitely one of those. You get to feel the wind in your hair, and work up the courage to leap off when the swing reaches the perfect height.
Alexander Safarik’s (Malydilnar) brick-built version is ready for anyone who’s willing to come and swing for a while!
Apart from a few manufacturers of exotic sports cars and an assembly plant for Minis, the Netherlands don’t have much of a car-building industry. Things are different when it comes to trucks, however, with the Eindhoven-based truck builder DAF being market leader in several European countries. Dutchman Nanko Klein Paste has built several DAFs in the last few years. His latest is a classic T 2400 DO, which represents an early attempt by DAF at building a truck for the international market.
Versions of this truck were in production until 1975 and when I was a child they were still a fairly common sight on Dutch roads. The characteristic sloped front of the cab is particularly well captured. This classic model is flanked by a modern XF105, in the livery of the heavy lifting company Mammoet (Mammoth), which makes for a particularly nice comparison between the two generations.
Imagine Rigney, and eight other members of CoWLUG, have built a commissioned layout of the University of Colorado’s campus. This building, called “Old Main”, is simply gorgeous. I especially love the detailing over the windows and around the front door. Check out this news article about the layout and see more pics at the CoWLUG site.