If you follow The Brothers Brick on social media, you might have noticed we just updated our cover photo to Santa’s house, a cozy A-frame cabin built by Andrea Lattanzio. But don’t be fooled by his jolly demeanor, Santa’s a big celebrity. And he’s living a life with all the perks, which includes multiple houses. This asymmetrical cabin, also by Andrea, is a little more stylish than the A-frame. No doubt this house is for when Santa’s feeling a little posher. That four-wheel-drive vehicle might not be able to travel as far as magic reindeer, but I bet it’s more expensive. And the brickwork on the deck couldn’t have come cheap. After all, it’s actually made from dozens of Mjolners.
While this may not be Santa’s primary residence at the North Pole, we can pretend that this cute cabin by Andrea Lattanzio is Santa’s holiday home. Since Santa only works during the month of December, does he have the rest of the year off? Does he go on holidays? He must go vacationing all over the world since he has so much time. I’d think he has a cabin close by in the Canadian or Siberian wilderness somewhere to to escape his elf-infested home for a bit of peace and quiet. I sure hope he doesn’t need to get away from his wife, and that his marriage to Mrs. Claus is still doing well…
We’ve written about Andrea’s A-frame cabin before, but we forgot to mention who owns the property. Now I’m curious to see Santa’s beach house in a more tropical region of the world. Or maybe I’m just wrong and Santa doesn’t have the rest of the year off, maybe he rents an apartment in a big city and works a boring financial job…
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Here at The Brothers Brick we love smart building techniques. Our hearts start beating a little bit faster when we see a LEGO part used in a clever way. But clever and smart do not always mean complex. Andrea Lattanzio shows us that sometimes simple is the way to go with their 1×1 round plate sea.
While it’s not a new technique, using different colours to create waves is a real nice touch. Making the house in the same vibrant colour as the ocean is a nice way to draw attention away from the bright sea and towards the detailed little house. Plus the bright colour of the house highlights all the earth-toned details around the house. If the house was earth-toned too, those little details wouldn’t stand out as much as they do now. However, the simple studded sea is probably one of the only simple techniques used in this creation. Andrea also built a trabucco, which is an ancient fishing machine from the east coast of Italy. This build looks like it is defying gravity and I truly wonder how sturdy it is. It looks so fragile with those thin legs. I can’t help but wonder how many times the legs collapsed when Andra made alterations to the platform on top. Or maybe the legs were added as the final step to the build to prevent this from happening.
When driving through the countryside, it’s a common sight to see a dilapidated barn in the distance, where nature has taken over. But it is much less common to see nature intruding on a well cared for building. Take this lovely shed by Andrea Lattanzio, for example. While it is clear that the roof has seen better days, the landscape and the exterior of this garden shed clearly receive a lot of love and attention from Magda, the owner. Almost every landscape detail is noteworthy, but my favorite unique part is the Minifig base for Sandman from the Marvel Spider-man franchise, used as a base for the pot to the left of the shed doors.
In many parts of the world, if you’ve been following COVID safety protocols correctly, you may be itching to get out of the house right about now. Thankfully there is such a thing as contact-free check-in and this cottage may have the cure for what ails us. Is it called cabin fever when you want to leave the house to stay in a cabin? Whatever it’s called, Andrea Lattanzio’s stunning blue LEGO cottage is a sight for sore eyes. The round door and windows, the woodpile under the eave, and the weathered ramshackle texture make this a cottage I’d love to stay at for a weekend or even a month. The fall leaves, the skylights, the birdhouse, and even the mushrooms out front make for a picturesque vacation setting.
I can even forgive the skunk for paying a visit. They don’t spray when you treat them with respect and I’m willing to respect the skunk and all the other woodland creatures for a stay in this cottage. Andrea was The Brothers Brick Builder of the Year in 2019 for good reason. Check out our archives to see what else Andrea Lattanzio has been up to.
We featured Andrea Lattanzio’s cozy LEGO A-frame home a while ago. It seems however that the A-frame building went through a little bit of a makeover — the autumn theme has been changed to match the current winter season. It looks like the beautiful wooden tiles outside have gotten a fresh coat of red paint. Where the autumn edition of this creation featured minifigure hammers for a cobblestone base wall, the winter edition uses ingot bars for the brick-built wall. The use of the ingots look a bit better-maintained compared to the minifigure hammers, which matches the fresh paint job. One of the small details from the autumn build that I appreciated dearly was the use of mushroom radar dishes. I am glad those got featured in this creation too.
The bus remains familiar, but there have been some added details to give depth and texture to the snow. Additionally, trees that were once leaf-filled are now barren and covered with snow, the firs have been replaced with white branches, and the clever touch of icicles added to the bus windows complete the scene.
Be sure to visit Norton74’s flickr page for a bit of history on this bus that no longer resides in Alaska’s wilderness. It’s an interesting story that makes for a great scene.
We are mid-way through October, and autumn, as well as spooky season, is in full effect, Andrea Lattanzio’s cozy LEGO A-Frame home located amongst some beautiful fall-colored conifers is the perfect build to capture the moment we are in.
The key to the main architectural build here is definitely in the tiling – we’ve got plenty of tiling on the roof, tiling for the deck, and more tiling to cover the house’s base structure. Printed tiles also help render the lumber packed away in the left, maybe for firewood. I love Lattanzio’s use of tree limb elements arranged in such a way to create pointed evergreen trees – different colors are also utilized for that autumn color-changing aesthetic. Perhaps the most interesting example of parts used in this work would be the hammer minifigure utensil which is applied in multiples to compose the foundation of the home. Many small details in this build are eye-catching, including the broken stairs leading up to this shack-like a-frame dwelling. Even if some home-improvement is needed on this little getaway house, it still looks like a great place to escape to on an autumn weekend.
Some LEGO builders find a niche in the community and spend most of their time building there, churning out beautiful creations that all fit a similar genre. For some that’s castle, for others that’s space, for others it’s Bionicle, and for others it’s some licensed theme or other. For TBB 2019 Builder of the Year Andrea Lattanzio, that niche would be shacks and automobiles. Few builders out there can equal the clean lines and perfect textures of his buildings; just look at the uneven tiles for the siding, and the perfection of sideways masonry bricks for the adjacent shed. The build is nearly studless, which helps those clean lines, and the photography is pristine, which helps too.
But don’t let that expert photography fool you; this is not a simple build. You don’t get a studless look by accident, not without plenty of SNOT (studs not on top) techniques. Plus there are myriad clever parts usages. For example, there’s a hockey stick and a harpoon holding lamps; there are pirate hooks on the truck’s bumper; and those sideview mirrors are mighty cleaver, I mean, clever. And speaking of the truck, Andrea’s vehicle designs are as clean and elegant as his shacks; no studs, crisp color blocking, and perfect shaping and scaling.
This month’s cover photo, from Andrea Lattanzio, brings us this blast from the past with an incredibly detailed LEGO general store. The diorama is littered with items you might find at a remote general store, and luckily Andrea provides a close up look at the details (see below). Candy machines, phone booths, tools, and gas, this general store has you covered no matter your needs.
Here’s that closer look at some of the items you’ll see surrounding the general store. The water tower is a clear standout, but some of the other details like the power pole, the cable holding up the chimney pipe, and the cat going after that bird nest. This entire scene is a delight to take in.
Having enough space to head out for an adventure to the LEGO store (gasp!) has always been a dream of mine. I like to calculate precisely the number of UCS Millennium Falcons, I could fit into any given area, measuring the exact width, height and depth and doing the math and volunteer that in my conversation as much as possible even when it’s wasn’t asked for. I don’t know how many of them I could fit here, but thanks to Andrea Lattanzio aka Norton74, I could at least calculate the number of LEGO miniature Millennium Falcons versions that could fit back there. You can now go an build one if you like, while I do the arithmetic.
Two brightly-coloured wagons are home to a band of travelling folk in Andrea Lattanzio‘s latest LEGO model. Life on the road has never looked so inviting, with the bold colors of the mobile homes enhanced with bursts of flowers, and the scene stuffed with functional-looking details. I love the hanging tassels, the little chimney stacks, and the clutter of bags and lanterns and buckets. Don’t miss the use of minifigure hats as flower-pots, and the catapults used for the legs on the fortune teller’s table.