Power Miners of the Eastern Bloc

Misterzumbi's Soviet/Power Miners hybrid

Adam Grabowski (Mister Zumbi) breaks out the bricks and dusts off his photoshop skills to show how AFOLs could do Power Miners if they gave it a go. He presents both the Ursus 1410 (pictured above) and the Belarus Beta (below) as some Soviet inspired (a minor fetish of mine) Power Miners. Aside from the excellent design on these models I have to wholeheartedly endorse his message of “if you don’t like the way it’s done, do it yourself better” (to paraphrase).

Misterzumbi's Soviet/Power Miners hybrid

Credit to Klocki for finding this one.

25 comments on “Power Miners of the Eastern Bloc

  1. yokomode01

    “if you don’t like the way it’s done, do it yourself better” ??
    i am actually quite pleased with the Power Miners line, but that has not deterred me from building PM vehicles of my own, as have several others.
    And of course Mr Zumbi’s models are ingenious as always.

  2. Gambort Post author

    Would “do it better yourself” be better? Not sure what the double question marks are for. Did you read his discussion page?

  3. EJ

    These are pretty great. The lime looks fantastic, and the MOCs are fun. My only question is what does he mean by “illegal building techniques?”

    Also, he needs to get on Flickr so I can add notes. Also, everybody needs to be on Flickr.

  4. Mister Zumbi

    Illegal building techniques basically means that for myself I don’t care wether the models built for my pleasure are stable enough to play with or not. Function follows form. If it doesn’t work. Who cares? Looks nice. There is also a small chance that this things would ever become an official set, because they are too complicated and have not enough functions that are fun to play with. And you’ve seen it now, so bye bye dreams, heheh…
    The digger isn’t even really nicley posaeable, not by children anyway. What kid would ever like to have such a sh**ty toy? Then it’s built in a way that makes it impossible to show the building steps in a printed instruction a way that a, let’s say, seven year old could follow.
    The whole thing is just to show AFOLs that IT IS POSSIBLE to build something nice around the theme, whether you like the official stuff or not. Seriously friends, I am so sick about the peole judging the stuff as if the themes were made for 40 year old people that don’t have anything better to do than sit for hours in the net and are looking at pictures of preliminary stuff in the worst resolution ever and think they’ll found a new brick on a fingernail sized image that they’ve beeing staring at for hours. Just relax.
    Normally I maybe wouldn’t care, I have some other things to do, but The Power Miners are one of my favourite Lines this year, and I’m proud to have worked on this things (together with Mark Stafford and others) and I’m especially proud how the monsters turned out. Everybody who calls himself AFOL is not strictly into City or Belville, and tells me that they are not adorable is lying.
    That’s just two of the reasons why I’m so annoyed by this blahblah without any serious background. Like I said. Some of the people around SERIOUSLY expect LEGO to do EXACTLY the stuff that’s sitting in their heads. Please remember that there are thousands of AFOLs around and everybody thinks different. We have to make millions of children happy in the first place, then the AFOLs. Of course it’s nice if the fans have positive responses to the things we do, as it’s the case with current City line for example, and we do what we can to please as many people as possible but unfortunalley it doesn’t always work out that way so children and AFOLs are equaly happy.
    What I try to say, and it’s maybe not really comming thru, IF you think that the sets ain’t good but you like the idea. Buld your own.
    IF you like what I showed you so much, then download the Pictures and copy it for yourself. Those things are maybe 10 bucks in bricks. That’s two packs of smokes here in europe. Bricks for Fans are supposed to be fun, not hard work, and certainly nothing you get annoyed by. I owe three or four (hard to say, depends if rust counts as a full car) vintage cars right now, if I was pissed everytime something breaks and go on the net and complain about it I would have a serious brain trauma within 3 months. Instaed I just enjoy the stuff. It’s my idea how to spend free time. Something breaks I fix it and I am satisfied. No complains on the net, no calls to Ford, no nothing. It’s like with the oldschool LEGO sets, just today I red that LEGO “will never exeed the glory of the old space sets”. Dammit. I almost wet my pants. If you think that the old stuff is so much better then get it. I drive an 28 yrs old Granda as a daily driver because I think that it is better and looks way nicer that what Ford currently does. They new “look” is crap and I don’t hope that they’ll eventually screw on some chrome bumpers, go back to carburetors just because I can fix ’em myself, and that all because I’d like it that way and would buy one new car then. It’s your choice. You like old? Buy old. If the new will look like the old it will be old again, so why have new stuff looking like the old? do I mae any sence right now? Or am I just writing for writings sake?

    Nuff said. If I write two more sentences I’ll thell things that I shouldn’t (probably did already), or I am not allowed to talk about… Anybody finds a mistake, can keep it.

    Now for the most important thing:

    I don’t need to be on Flickr. I hate Flickr. Flickr is annoying me. I can’t even spell it the right way. Flickr sucks. Flickr sucks so much that If BB is using deeplinks to things on Flickr I wait until the stuff showes up on BS or just let it be, no matter how cool the stuff is. I’ll be the last one without an Flickr account.

  5. Shmails

    Wow, that is a real mouthful. So you made this to shove it in our faces? To complain about people voicing their opinion on the net is to complain that the sky is too blue. What do you really think you can do about it. A tirade like this is only going to start a fight, but then again that seems to be your agenda.

    I agree that there is way too much premature judgment about new sets, but to some this is the fun of these blogs. Your way is not right, their way is not right, just different. The nice thing is that if you do not want to participate, you do not have to.

    Now maybe someone with three or four vintage cars does not think that 10-20 bucks is a lot, but to some it is. Maybe you should be sensitive to the different age and economic groups who use this wonderful blog.

    It is sad that this is the impression I get from you, because your work is wonderful, the design, execution, and photography is of the highest level. It is your attitude that need to be adjusted or put in check.

    p.s. You seemed to spell Flickr just fine!

  6. Andrew

    As a fan of the official theme as well as the recent batch of fan MOCs, these awesome vehicles by Mister Zumbi are just the icing on the cake.

    Thanks for posting these, Adam, and I really appreciate the response here in the comments as well. I couldn’t agree with you more about the unreasonable expectations too many AFOLs have about official set designs. They’re made for kids! I’m even more annoyed by all of the chatter that surrounds grainy catalog scans. How can we possibly have meaningful discussions about something that’s a) preliminary and b) impossible to make out any details?! Maybe I’m just being cranky, but I hope we can all work together in 2009 to raise the level of discourse in the LEGO fan community a little bit.

    As to Flickr, it was a great resource while the future of Brickshelf was uncertain, and I’m committed enough at this point that I’ll continue posting my photos there, but MOCpages is probably where I’ll primarily host my LEGO images in the future.

  7. EJ

    Well, I personally haven’t been too critical of upcoming Lego sets, except the Solar Sailor, and mostly for lack of the sail. I agree with you 100%. I’ve actually been very impressed with recent sets- the new City Construction sets especially caught my eye and I’m really just starting to get into Construction vehicles. The Power Miners sets do have a lot of potential, which I think you’ve shown dramatically. I’d also wager many AFOL’s welcome the new parts in Lime- I know I sure do.

    I try to share my MOC’s as well as those of others with as many non-Lego fans as possible, and they are mostly amazed that I don’t just build what’s on the box. As Mark said in his interview, “where’s the fun in copying someone else ideas? The whole point of LEGO bricks is to make your own creations!” And whenever I’m making something, there comes a time, usually, when I wish there was a certain Lego element in this or that color or an element that could do some neat trick to make the damn thing work. Everybody does that, for a few minutes, then they go find some way to build around it. Its the same for the new sets- AFOL’s like to see new parts that make the impossible possible. Of course they’ll be upset if it seems built for kids- it is! Of course they’ll be upset that you Designer guys find some simpler, cheaper solution to do something- that’s your job!

    I wouldn’t even worry about us AFOL’s- Ben Affleck said it best in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, the Internet is a place where people from around the world can go get together and bitch about things. You cant please everybody all of the time, and you are designing primarily for kids. They are the ones you’re trying to please, not us. It would be like the Caterpillar Co building Game Boys into the steering wheels of their bulldozers- kids may like it, but I’m guessing people who buy construction eqpt. wouldn’t be too keen on the guy driving a 6 ton bulldozer playing Tetris at the same time. I can certainly understand your frustration, but you keep doing your thing, and ignore the annoying tiny elephant in the room whispering suggestions in your ear, because what they think doesn’t matter for much in the end. I think Mark’s interview shows that pretty clearly.

    And as for Flickr, I suggest it for a few reasons- first, I found your Brickshelf page for the first time today, which is criminal. So much good stuff, so many good ideas, so little time to see it all. And second, because its the only one of the photo hosting sites that allows you to see the progression of the builder, what’s older, and what’s brand new! I’d love to see your new MOC’s created at home right away, see what new things you’ve done, come up with, etc. Flickr, while no doubt hard to spell, goes a long way in exposing thousands of people to new techniques and ideas. Technical builds can be queried and answered simply and quickly. You can become part of a group, or many, and expand your interests, as I have over and over again. You can jump on fads, or kill them! And quite honestly, I feel its the easiest site for everyone to use, especially younger fans. Flickr is not evil, its just different.

  8. Brad


    I think unjustified whining is somehow innate to both internet communication and fandom. In 20 years, someone will talk about the old LEGO playthemes that had real features and fun extras; the current LEGO sets will be ‘dumb’ or too ‘childish’. This kind of talk is repeated among many different fields, hobbies, and interests online. I think if one browses other hobbies, you’ll see the patterns begin to repeat. Something new is denigrated in favor of something previous that is considered classic.

    How many times have any of you heard the argument that LEGO used to be good back when it didn’t have so many weird pieces? I hear it all the time, and it is the exact same nostalgia-heavy non-argument.

    Please note: this is not to say we cannot criticize LEGO as toys or as models. We can and should. However, we should also be aware of our own stereotypes, predilections, and expectations. And, sometimes, what we think is so important (or what is so important to us) is very different from what LEGO (or any other company) is trying to do.

  9. Nathan

    Adam, these PM models are awesome. I’ve only begun to dabble in what is possible in the theme.
    Also, good on you and Mark for speaking out about the idiot fans. I reserved judgement on these sets until I had them in my grubby little hands and I gotta tell you that I haven’t kept official sets together for this long since my Star Wars collecting dim ages of 1999. They are incredibly cool sets.
    Cheers and I hope to see more of this kind of thing.

  10. Gambort Post author

    Shmails> When I posted this I could have chosen to leave off Adam’s description but I put it in because I agreed with it 100%. If anyone is picking a fight here it is me and I’m quite happy about it. Adam’s response is right. He didn’t like the sets as an AFOL so he built his own versions that he liked. That’s what everyone should do. So no, it’s not Adam that needs to adjust his attitude. It’s the whinging AFOLs who need to adjust theirs. Brad makes an excellent follow-up post too.

  11. LegozFreak

    Well, at first, I didn’t much care for Power Miners. But, y’know, I’ve really warmed up to them. The colour scheme was, at first, off-putting to me. But when It all comes down to it, the vehicles are nice and sturdy, the colors really pop, the figs are really cool, and the monsters are just so darn cute.

    Kudos to you, Adam.

  12. Dr. X

    I like most of the PM sets fine (8958 is especially awesome), although one or two of them are a bit too pricey for me. The new city and pirate sets are of course absolutely awesome. I might like the Clone Wars ones if I was into that sort of thing, but I don’t like the pitiful carton or the sets much, personally. And being a spacer, I can’t wait for the Space Police 3 line. I don’t really want to post a huge long-winded argument, so I’ll just say I’m content with what LEGO has to offer this year, even if I don’t personally like a few of the sets sets.

  13. Pingback: LEGO Power Miners designer interview videos on LEGO.com | The Brothers Brick | LEGO Blog

  14. Mister Zumbi

    Quote from EJ:

    “You cant please everybody all of the time, and you are designing primarily for kids”

    See, the point is, I’d like to please everybody around. That’s the way it should be I guess, but sometimes it just kicks your butt. I was 100% sure that lime green will be kickin’ in like hell. Ther isn’t much of it around, it’s a beautiful color and… The only one that liked it from the beginning seemed to be Gambort :D… Sometimes we would sit around with Mark and look at bricks we used and ask ourselves if we should maybe have this or that done in this or that way and if fans would apreciate it… So yes we are thinking about it alot, and then you read about it on the net and people are tearing the things apart. I mean it doesn’t hurt me but I’m asking myself why is it that way? What can we do better and so on…

    I don’t want to argue about what is right and what’s not, and I certainly don’t want to judge anybody. If i pissed people off, then it wasn’t my intention and I’m sorry. It’s just my way to deal with it, and I really don’t expect you to say “yup” to everything I say.

    And Shmails, dude, I have three cars. Yes. But I don’t have a family, I don’t have any other cash consuming hobbies (luckily:D), I don’t have a house, but I do have a great job and as long as I can remember I was working for what I’ve become. 5 days Univeristy, 2 days of work, and no spare time at all eventually paid off, so I’m enjoying it.

  15. Shmails

    Mister Zumbi – I understand your frustration with the negative reactions, but you have to look at it this way: They are reacting passionately, and this is a very good thing. What they say may sting, but it is a much better reaction than “so what, who cares!”

    People who care about their hobbies are going to react to the extremes, or at least those are the ones that get noticed. I went back and read all of the comments from the preview picture posts and there were some rude and mean comments. There were also some really positive ones. Some people were holding judgment for more information. What I am trying to say is try not to focus on the negative, or the positive either. I think that most of the reviews by people after seeing the final results have been overwhelmingly positive, and your creations show that as with any LEGO design, the limits are endless.

    It seems like you had some stuff to get off your chest, and I completely understand that. Your second post made things much clearer.

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