About Patrick

Patrick (aka MassEditor) has called a few places home, but now settles amidst the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas. A fan of LEGO as a kid, Patrick left his dark ages behind in 2013 when his wife purchased him a Pirates set for Christmas. She's regretted the purchase ever since. Patrick builds mostly in the castle genre as a member of the Guilds of Historica on Eurobricks. He is an active member of ArkLUG. When he's not building a castle or swamp out of LEGO, Patrick enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two dogs. You can see his work on Flickr here.

Posts by Patrick

The only brew for the brave and true comes from the Green Dragon

“You can search far and wide, you can drink the whole town dry, but you’ll never find a beer so brown as that found in the Green Dragon.” So goes the tribute as sung by Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took in Lord of the Rings about the Green Dragon Inn in the Shire, adoringly built here in LEGO by Patrick Balbo.

The Green Dragon Inn

Based on the inn seen in Peter Jackson’s movies, the Green Dragon is a perfect example of Hobbit architecture with its rounded doors and long, low-slung design. The builder has incorporated all sorts of nice details, from the curved layout of the building to the tree made from stud shooters. The scene is lively and quite welcoming with all sorts of Shire folk mulling about outside. No doubt I would like to stop here and try this brown beer for myself!

New and improved Galaxy Explorer is a blast from the past

It’s always exciting to see a great builder branch off into new themes. ZCerberus, best known for his giant fantasy castles, is making a new and impressive name for himself in the expanding world of Neo-Classic Space (NCS) with a number of creations we blogged earlier this year including his NCS fighter, dropship and rover. This time he’s recreated the classic 1979 LEGO Gaxlaxy Explorer, but with a very new and updated look.

GalaxyExplorerComposite

This new and improved version stays faithful to the basic look of the original Galaxy Explorer, but packs in all kinds of fun details and design elements. The supersized engines and extra weaponry look great, while the blue/light-gray/trans-yellow color scheme is just as appealing as it was nearly 40 years ago. No doubt, this is a Galaxy Explorer for the 21st Century and beyond.

Ancient abbey rests atop a mountain of support

Usually when writing about my own creation, I would take the opportunity to share some insights into my building process and what it takes to build something as large as this mountaintop abbey. Instead, I feel this creation is an example of how color, texture and composition can be combined to maximize the aesthetics of a build, especially one of this size. Like almost all of my builds, there are no crazy new techniques, and no unusually nice parts usages (NPU) to highlight. Besides building the interior supports and the two round roofs, there was nothing exceptionally challenging about the construction of this creation. However, I think its straightforwardness enhances rather than detracts from its beauty. My inspiration came mostly from ancient Eastern European churches I visited while briefly living in Budapest.

Abbey of St. Delyn

But that’s not the main point I want to talk about here. Instead, I wish to dedicate this creation to all the non-AFOL significant others out there who support us in enjoying this crazy hobby. After what I’ve put my wife through the last month, it’s the least I can do. Continue reading

In this world there are two kinds of people: Those with loaded guns and those who dig

One can almost hear the sharp chords of Ennio Morriocone’s epic score from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly in this recreation of the movie’s final showdown by Andras Bolvary. In this scene, the movie’s three titular characters ready their wits and six-shooters to decide who walks away with the golden treasure. The builder’s decision to build a circular base is a nice choice given the layout of Sad Hill Cemetary. The whole creation is quite faithful to the final scene, with its textured middle ground, varied grave markers and lonely tree. You may even notice a certain stone with a not-so certain description of the gold’s location. Overall, a very enjoyable tribute to one of cinema’s finest films.

Sad Hill Showdown (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

Life’s too short to build boring cars

I’m in love with this orginally-designed supercar by Portugese builder Alexander Paschoaletto. The builder is certainly no stranger to building wicked sports cars – just look through his Flickr photostream to see a ton of awesome designs, some real, others completely original. Alexander blew it out of the water with his latest creation, which features opening Lambo doors, a lovely color scheme and the curves to drive anyone wild.

Prowler Giozza

No small amount of work went into bringing this lovely design to life and you’ll notice some clever parts usage to achieve this distinctive look. There are lots of details to appreciate, from those awesome looking headlights to the exquisite interior. Even sitting still, this supercar looks like it’s going 200kph.

Prowler Giozza

Sherwood Forest recreated in gigantic LEGO display

The world of everyone’s favorite thief is expertly brought to life in this breathtaking and expansive LEGO creation by Ben Pitchford. Robin Hood would be proud to call this land home, with its depiction of Nottingham Castle, Sherwood Forest, and everything in between.
LEGO Robin Hood

Built over the course of nine months and using more than 100,000 parts, this magnificent creation spares no details from the classic tales of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. You could easily get lost exploring Sherwood Forest with its towering trees and treetop hideouts…
LEGO Robin Hood

Click to see more photos of this brilliant scene

Pale Man is the stuff of nightmares

I’m not exactly sure what Anthony Wilson was going for with this undeniably expressive piece of LEGO art, but if his plan was to instill terror, I’d say he nailed it. Just look at those eyes. The self-removed heart, exhibited neatly in a glass case, doesn’t comfort me at all about this fellow’s intentions. He looks like he’s in a bad mood and wants to tell you all about it. No doubt Pale Man will fit in nicely with my other nightmares about giant spiders and man-eating bears.

Pale Man

The best way out is always through

The struggle of man and beast against nature is depicted movingly in this captivating scene by Australian builder aido k. The imagery here is sublime thanks to the exquisite posing: the man, desperately clutching his cloak to provide some relief from the biting wind, pulls his reluctant steed through the blizzard in hopes of reaching warmth and comfort before his dwindling supplies are finally exhausted. The scene is full of subtle details (such as the grass bending in the wind) which enhance its sense of realism, no doubt felt by all who look upon these two weary travellers.

A man and his horse

Dodge Challenger 440 big block built in real blocks

I can almost hear the ponies roaring inside this painstakingly detailed LEGO rendition of a 1970 Challenger R/T by Senator Chinchilla. Where to begin on this exquisitely detailed model? Well, for starters, the subtle shaping around the front wheel fenders and engine cowl are both clever and delightful. The back end is quite lovely too and uses a wide assortment of SNOT techniques to accurately recreate the Challenger’s lines.

Dodge Challenger

The use of an antenna part for the “Challenger” logo on the front grill is nothing short of genius:

Dodge Challenger

The doors and engine compartment also open to reveal lots of little details like A/C vents, a complete set of foot pedals, and even a working glovebox:

Dodge Challenger

If you liked this beautiful model, then make sure to check out another eye-catching LEGO Challenger we featured a short time ago.

Chrysalis emerges as a beautiful spaceship

It’s always great to see a first-timer in the online fan community introduce themselves with as sweet of a build as Michael Kanemoto has done with his Chrysalis spaceship.

Chrysalis Overview

The builder says he spent a few hundred hours over the past couple of months perfecting his design, and I’d say the effort was well worth it. This is a gorgeous and sleek spacecraft featuring all kinds of clever design details. The colors look great and the launch pad has a nice retro look to it. But the coolest touch may be that the builder has also replicated the ship in microscale.

Chrysalis: Micro build

The fun begins where the pavement ends

I’m certain there’s a bit of the off-road enthusiast in all of us. Who couldn’t possibly enjoy the chance to escape the trappings of urban life and explore the countryside in a rugged 4×4? If it’s something you’ve never thought of before, than you’re sure to develop an interest after seeing this awesome collection of classic 4×4 vehicles by Pixel Fox:

”LEGO

From the Mercedes Unimog and Land Cruiser J70 to the Land Rover Defender and Jeep Cherokee XJ, the builder’s collection has spanned some of the most well-known and capable trail rigs. According to the builder, it all started from inspiration sparked by the wheel fenders included in the LEGO Stunt Truck released earlier this year (you’ll see the part replicated to great effect throughout this series). The mix of LEGO elements and environmental photography combines for a fantastic presentation, though purists are sure to balk. Plus, some of the scenes are just downright awesome, like this one featuring a beautifully-designed Land Rover Defender:

Land Rover Defender

Or the Unimog tree-cutting scene:

Mercedes Benz Unimog 406

Make sure to check out the builder’s Flickr page for the full line up so far and stay tuned as even more are planned.

There is peace in the swamp, though the quiet is Death

I’ve spent a lot of time in the swamps and bayous of the southern United States fishing, hunting, photographing wildlife and generally avoiding venomous snakes and hungry alligators. The bottoms – as we affectionally call them down here – are also one of my favorite sources of inspiration for LEGO building. I recently completed this bayou-related build, my dream house set in the swamps:

Swamp Outpost

Perhaps the scene feels a little lifeless but I purposefully chose not to include minifigs in this creation as I thought they would detract from the overall aesthetics. Using a fog machine and some LED lights I was able to create a creepy though strangely alluring atmosphere in this shot:

Swamp Fog

A fog machine can be a lot of fun to create mood in a LEGO scene, as can well-placed lighting. For outdoor scenes like this, I find it helpful to shoot outside at dusk with a single artificial light angled above the build to mimic moonlight. A tripod, fresh memory card and a lot of patience are also musts!