Monthly Archives: November 2010

Ye Olde Forge by Luke Watkins

I can tell you where I’ll be going when I need the services of a forge. This creation is simply stunning. I’m partial to the look of 1×1 and 1×2 plates used to emulate stone; the chimney here is a gorgeous example.

All of the details here, really, are just wonderful. I see something new every time I look. What’s your favorite part about this forge?

Mr. Watkins, you have outdone yourself.

How to identify Series 3 Collectible Minifigures by dots on the bag

The LEGO Group’s evil plan to prevent LEGO fans from identifying the new Series 3 Collectible Minifigs has now been completely foiled. LEGO says that the barcodes were never intended to enable people to get past their cunning marketing ploy (ha!), so they eliminated the unique barcodes on the back of each Series 1 and Series 2 minifig bag.

Instead, the Series 3 manufacturing process seems to have put patterns of raised bumps on the flat part on the bottom of the package. FBTB Forums member that guy cracked the code yesterday, and I’ve confirmed that the dot method works with my own case of figs this evening.

Series 3 Minifigures Code 1

Rick Theroux pulled all the dot patterns together into a handy-dandy cheat sheet:

Collectible Figs Series 3 Dot-code

The consumer wins! Nice try, corporate goons.

The dot patterns can be a little tough to distinguish in a few cases, so it’s also a good idea to know what you’re looking for and identify your Series 3 minifigs through the bag by touch.

How to identify Series 3 Collectible Minifigs by touch through the bag

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest have been lucky enough to have the Series 3 Collectible Minifigures shipped to our little corner of the United States significantly earlier than the rest of the world. Hillel and Jeff aren’t the only ones out scouring our local Fred Meyer stores first thing in the morning.

Since Series 3 packaging doesn’t have a barcode unique to each minifig and the “dot method” can be a little tough, it’s good to have other ways to get past LEGO’s ridiculous marketing ploy.

SEALUG member J Junker posted a great guide to figuring out which minifig is in the bag by feeling for specific elements. Here’s J’s method in its entirety:

Gorilla – it’s best to find the banana. Be careful though, the Pilot has goggles that can feel like a banana.

Pilot – feel for the backpack/parachute (and the goggles there’s an indentation in the middle that the banana doesn’t have).

Racecar Driver – feel for all 3 of these, head, helmet & hair. He’s the only guy with all 3.  Finding the visor helps too.

Samurai – if you find the sword, that’s the best. He’s also got an ‘armor’ chest piece that’s unique.  It collapses inward when you squeeze it from front to back.

Rapper – feel for the mic, and his hat brim is curved. Careful not to mistake for the Hula Girl… She has 2 maracas that feel like the mic.

Hula Girl – finding both maracas is the best. The hair also feels different, since it’s designed to be in the front and back. Easy to confuse with the Rapper by feel and dots.

Indian Chief – the headdress is pretty easy to feel.  It’s very big.

Baseball Player – the bat is a dead giveaway. One of the easiest to feel.

The Mummy – the dots are very easy to spot on this one. Really the best way to feel this one is to find the scorpion.

Sumo Wrestler – another where the dots help quite a bit. I only felt the trophy one time, so I ended up feeling for the ball of hair on top of his head the most.

Alien – the head has the 2 distinct spheres. I almost always felt the beam from the gun as well. Dots are good for this one too.

Space Pirate (Cyborg) – easy to confuse with the race car driver. If you can find his robot hand, that’s the best. Remember that both the alien and this guy have a ray coming from their gun (the gun: which is also a good way to narrow it down to one of the 2).

Tennis Player – the racket is the tell tell here.

Elf (Legolas) – I felt the back if the shield on the first one, but found the bow & arrow easiest from then on out.

Snowboarder – the snow board is as easy as the surfboard and skateboard were to feel. Both ends curve up.

The Fisherman – the fish is easy to feel, plus the rope on the fishing pole is very different than anything else since it’s ‘soft’.

Thanks, J!

P-72A “Skyhammer” gunship by JonHall18

I can’t get enough of Jon Hall‘s dieselpulp fighter aircraft, and his latest is my favorite so far.

Skyhammer 01

The stickers are all custom-designed by Jon, with a pinup girl that’ll get the blood pumping in even the iciest flyboy’s veins. And that is some serious firepower sprouting from the fighter’s nose.

Awesome tip, Don!

New BrickArms direct-printed minifigs indistinguishable from official LEGO figs

Our friends over at BrickArms were kind enough to send along a couple of their new direct-printed custom minifigs a while back, and they’re quite possibly the single greatest leap forward in minifig customization technology since Brasso.

BrickArms 2010 Minifig - "Johann"

Will Chapman uses a solvent inkjet printer that bonds the inks with the minifig’s ABS plastic, resulting in printing that I can’t distinguish from minifigs printed in a LEGO factory. And unlike the waterslide decals intended for “gentle play” or “display,” these are likely to withstand much heavier abuse.

I honestly haven’t oohed and aahed over a new BrickArms product in a couple of years, and kind of thought their ability to surprise me was long past. But I have to admit — perhaps a bit grudgingly — that these new direct-printed minifigs may be the coolest thing ever.

LEGO 3D scanner used to generate 3D LDraw parts

Did you know you can make a 3D laser scanner out of LEGO bricks and a few custom parts? No? Nor did I until today. Did you know you can then use your LEGO model to scan LEGO parts and turn them into 3D CAD LDraw parts to make virtual LEGO models out of? Amazing hey?

Phillipe Hurbaine (philo) is well known for his clever software, hardware, LEGOware and general LEGO-mechanical skill but I have to say his latest work just takes the cake. And as if making a 3D scanner wasn’t enough he has actually used it to model some LDraw parts. I think this is probably the best working LEGO thing I have ever seen.