About Elspeth De Montes

Elspeth De Montes is Scottish but lives in North Yorkshire with her partner and twins. She is a LEGO Builder not a collector of sets, which in theory should make the hobby less expensive (ahem!) but monochrome collections can be pricey.   You can see more of Elspeth's work on her blog or website and Flickr.   Elspeth is also a bike lover; mountain bike, fixie, road bike, tri-bike (n+1=number of bikes I need).

Posts by Elspeth De Montes

The LEGO Ninjago Movie wave 2 set images revealed [News]

The release of The LEGO Ninjago Movie this weekend has raised Ninjago hysteria to new levels, so what better time to reveal a second wave of tie-in sets? A further four sets have been revealed with official set images, and are due to be released in December. No further details regarding parts count and US prices are available as yet. In addition, a further set, 70656 70656 garmadon Garmadon GARMADON, which had only been seen on display at SDCC earlier, is also due for December release.

70631 Garmadon’s Volcano


Mild SPOILERS ahead in the full set of LEGO Ninjago Movie wave 2 set images

Spaceship makes two-pronged attack

Intergalactic space is getting busy with SHIPtember traffic as the number of large LEGO spaceships begins to rocket. Here’s another fine looking vessel called the ZC Lapsadle. Built by TBB alumnus Simon Liu, it definitely meets the longer-than-100-studs criteria to be a SHIP. The flashes of Bright Light Orange are a standout feature along with the interesting two-prong shape of the bow. I love the central launch bays on either side — dark and deep enough to generate some intriguing shadows.

ZC Lapsadle

Do you think Simon actually built two of these ships or are we seeing some artistic jiggery-pokery at work?

HispaBrick Magazine 028 is out now [NEWS]

Lluís Gibert, Jetro de Château, and the rest of the team at HispaBrick Magazine have just released the English edition of Issue 028 as a free download.

This issue includes a report from the LEGO Fan Media Days in Billund, plus interviews with LEGO theme teams, and Robert “RobenAnne” Bontenbal — the fan designer of LEGO Ideas 21310 Old Fishing Store.

There is also a reconstruction of the conversation the team had with LEGO’s then-CEO, Bali Padda, by Richard Jones from The Rambling Brick, and Stuck in Plastic talk about their toy photographers’ collective. The rest of this issue is packed full of articles about education with Six Bricks, set reviews, robotics, MOCs, and all you need to know about LEGO Boost.

Hispabrick 028 is available as a free download in English, Spanish and Croation, thanks to a collaboration with Kockice.

Beasts from Bricks [Review]

Beasts from Bricks: Amazing LEGO Designs for Animals from Around the World is the latest LEGO instructional book from Quarry Books, authored by LEGO artist and designer Ekow Nimako. This is the second book in the series following Birds from Bricks. The 144-page book presents illustrated step-by-step instructions to build 15 animals from around the world: Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, Oceania, Central/South America, the Caribbean, and North America. Each set of instructions includes a couple of paragraphs of information about the animal’s characteristics and habitat. Also included is a bonus gallery of Ekow Nimako’s more complex, large-scale animal designs.

Read the full review after the jump

Oh ship, we’re in trouble now

What happens when an English frigate faces a French 64-gun battle ship? Well much as we all love to support the underdog, it seems that the English captain may be regretting his bold move against the larger vessel. Sebeus and Rick Bewier have built a LEGO scene full of action as the French guns fire upon the English frigate as it broadsides causing fire, destruction and death. The ships have been really well crafted with lots of attention to detail,  but I love the atmospheric smoke, giving a sense of action to the whole scene.

A matter of simple math

A close up look at the damage to the frigate shows some deck hands frantically fighting fires while one sailor appears to be jumping ship into the blue water far below.

A matter of simple math

Looks like the English are going for an early bath.

When you cross a dragonfly with The Matrix

What does September mean to you?  Perhaps it signals the end of summer, when the days are noticeable shorter and leaves start to change colour.  For a significant number of LEGO builders, September is SHIPtember when the aim is to build a large spaceship of at least 100 studs in length. Marcin Grabowski completed this huge dropship on 10 Sept after 29 days of building.  His DragonFLY class dropship is certainly eye-catching with its lime and yellow hull. I love those central wings with the ball of complex machinery, wiring and ducts at the connection point.

SHiPtember 2017 - DragonFLY class Dropship - Final. Finished at day 29

Sometimes is is hard to get a sense of scale with this type of large model.  I am happy to report that  Marcin did exactly what any self-respecting LEGO SHIP builder should do…he swooshed it!

Dragonfly class Dropship. Swoosh;)

A place to call home in Hong Kong

Walking amongst the old residential buildings in certain parts of Hong Kong, one looks up to see hanging laundry, treasured rooftop garden space, and air-conditioning units attached to dusty windows. Chiukeung Tsang has captured the scene perfectly in LEGO, with loads of character packed into one model. The curved corner is typical of the architectural style, as are the rows of windows, and the commercial nature of the ground floor with residential housing above. I particularly like the use of colour on the right, it lifts the entire build and adds visual interest without looking too garish.

2017_CK_old_building_MOCa27E

The view from the other side shows the typical ground floor shop, complete with awning, and the obligatory tourist posing for a selfie.

2017_CK_old_building_MOCa25E

Swashbuckling ship sails the seas

Rather than telling the tale of the “Curse of the Black Pearl,” we have a new swashbuckling adventure to share: the “Attack of the Dark Bluish Grey Pearl”. The titular ship has been beautifully sculpted in LEGO by Simon NH with some painstakingly intricate techniques for the hull. Simon used minifigure hands to hold 1×2 tiles together, which permits a great deal of shaping — check out that bow to see what can be achieved with this method. The sails are also fantastic, with plenty of movement and texture achieved with bricks.

Attack of the Dark Bluish Grey Pearl

Simon’s favourite part of the ship is its stern, so it is worthwhile taking a closer peek from the rear. There, sand green decorative fence and semi-circular windows fit in perfectly. I also love the use of the telephone handsets and Unikitty’s tail in dark bluish grey.

The Dark Bluish Grey Pearl (back)

LEGO Creator Expert 10257 Carousel review – with designer commentary [Review]

We announced the news that LEGO was revisiting the fair with the Creator Expert 10257 Carousel back in April this year. The set has been available since June 17th and is priced at US$199.99 / £159.99 / 179.99€ for 2670 parts and 7 minifigures. While the set is not motorized, it can be rotated via a hand crank, and there is the option to add LEGO Power Functions once your hand gets tired from cranking. The carousel is 38cm wide and 32cm tall so you will have to prepare some display space for this large model.

TBB_10257_Carousel_Complete

This isn’t the first carousel to be produced by LEGO — 10196 Grand Carousel was on sale for a short time between June 2009 and November 2010, with limited availability. As a result, its after-market value has increased to make it an expensive buy for fairground fans. 10196 Grand Carousel was priced at £179.99 / $249.99 back in 2009 for 3263 parts including Power Functions, a Green 48X48 Base Plate, and 9 minifigures (it now commands $1-2k on the secondary market)

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University building constructed with a degree of accuracy

Current students at the University of Colorado in Boulder will not need an introduction to the Koelbel Building as it’s part of the Leeds School of Business. Older graduates may not immediately recognise the building as it reopened with a new name in the autumn of 2007 after renovation and expansion financed by the Koelbel family.  Imagine Rigney’s LEGO version has accurately captured the contrasting brick building with  its central curved balcony atop tall columns and  the ribbed dome.

Koelbel Building CU Boulder, Colorado

If you fancy seeing this build in person, then it will soon be installed at Old Main for the Hit the Bricks exhibit on campus at the University of Colorado Boulder.

When the Spartans surrendered in bricks

Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Mpyromaxos has created a particular battle from this war, the Battle of Sphacteria, when a  small force from the Spartan army was isolated on the island of Sphacteria by the Athenians. The scene depicts the Athenian forces landing on the island after a surprise attack which included a risky move to attack the Spartans from the rear, thus forcing their surrender. The main focus of this build is on the land-based action so I rather like the way that only the front portion of the Athenian’s ship is included with some  sea spilling over the edge of the build.

Battle of Sphacteria 425 BC

On the left of the diorama, Mpyromaxos has included the Temple of Athena and statues of gods Dioscures, Kastor, and Polydeuces, who were all worshipped by the Spartans. The close-up view below shows some of the battle enfolding.  I love the little arrow stuck in the wall of the Spartan fortifications.

Battle of Sphacteria 425 BC

If you want to see more close-up views of the action, the builder has an album on Flickr, entitled Battle of Sphacteria.

French revolution of steam-powered gears

We have spoken about the LEGO steampunk genre many times before, but for the uninitiated it is a genre of science fiction that has a historical, normally Victorian, setting and features steam-powered machinery. Castor Troy‘s latest creation adds to his growing Paris Steampunk 1889 display with the world’s largest museum, the Louvre. The architecture has been brilliantly captured using a host of smaller parts to add decorative features, ranging from Technic gears and monochrome tan minifigures to studs, slopes and droid body parts.

Paris steampunk 1889 [WIP] Le Louvre

The larger glass pyramid has been replaced with an altogether different type of pyramid, worthy of a place in steampunk history.