Tag Archives: Community


TRIBUTE NNENN - Starfighters Build Challenge 10 - JULY 2013

With the success of the R-Type Build Challenge we have continued with a new challenge for this month. But I am here to talk about what will be going down next month. The month of July is all going to be about nnenn, a builder whom is probably one of the most influential ever to have graced the interwebs. Sadly it has been just over 3 years since he passed away. But despite that fact, his work continues to inspire new builders to this day. So we thought it would be fitting to pay tribute with our 10th monthly build challenge

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to select any of nnenn’s countless starfighers and build a tribute fighter based on the design. Whether you want to build a copy with a fresh paint job or a redux with your own personal twist is entirely up to you.

Rules will be simple:
-Running July 2013
-Build a tribute fighter based on/inspired by one of nnenn’s models
-Post a link to the source fighter in your description
-Of course, cut, modified, and clone parts of all shapes and sizes are acceptable, if not encouraged
-Don’t be afraid to use colour…nnenn certainly never was!
-As always we will allow renders, but I strongly encourage you to build with actual bricks for this challenge

So for next couple of weeks I want you all to pour over nnenn’s photostream and get inspired, because we need to make this the greatest monthly build challenge yet! (Of course be sure to set aside enough time to build your Thunder Force fighters too…)

Group hugs are the best hugs!

I know you are all going to say, “Stick a Megablok in your pie hole Tromas!” But I simply must beat this dead horse: Our community is rather fantastic!!

Case in point Simon Liu’s (Si-MOCs) Operation Oscar: Phase 1. Simon built this large scene to honour a few of his favourite builders, those that inspired and influenced him. Simon left it up to us, the viewers, to recognize who those builders are, but it is rather obvious just who the guilty parties are…all of which are TBB regulars; Fedde (Karf), Peter Reid, and of course our own resident DJ, The Goldman (or as I like to affectionately refer to him, Gold Member).

Operation Oscar: Phase 1 - FrogPod assembly

Now it must be pointed out that Gold Member’s influence on Simon’s build is quite prominent, as the general layout of the launch base is straight out of his ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch’…a hit single that Keith debuted 2 weeks ago. Now if I have learned anything from my time spent kickin’ it with Gold-Member in the TBB club house, it is that despite his epic awesomeness, he is not one to toot his own horn. So I am more than happy to cut into his weekend air time and toot his horn in his stead. So here it, the world debut of ‘Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch’:

Gypsy Queens, you are clear to launch! [2/7]

Now, back to the brilliance of the community…not only is Simon’s creation inspired by his favourite builders, but Keith’s build was a direct result of a few more of our regulars, Stijn (Red Spacecat) & Mike Yoder. I’ll just let Keith explain the story in his own words:

Almost two years ago I was fortunate enough to receive the generous gift of a MATSF-5000E Superbanshee II SE from Stijn. To make things all the more strange, the package was sent through middleman Yoder. Although I was stoked to receive such a swooshable fighter, I was a little burned out of building dioramas for starfighters. Over the course of the last couple of years I’ve attempted 3 relatively large scale dioramas, including a cruder version of what you see here. The models failed for various reasons, but mostly because I was struggling with the scale. While I have tried microscale before, it was never on such a large scale and I found it very difficult to grind out the small details that make everything come to life without the trusty minifig to guide me.

The model also includes Stijn’s recent M28-Pig in the pen, as it were, in the lower left hand corner.

So cheers Stijn! I hope it was worth the wait.

So what is the moral of this story you ask?

Don’t think for a second that just because oceans and continents separate us, that we can’t still get together to play LEGO!

Also, please be sure to check out the full set of pictures for both of these brilliant creations, there are simply too many details to pass up:

Simon’s Operation Oscar

Gold Member’s Gypsy Queens

R-Types: Saving the best for last.

With nearly 70 entries in the R-Type & Beyond Build Challenge I think it is a safe bet that the month was a huge success. There was a brilliant diversity of designs and scales, yet all entries were totally reminiscent of the R-Type style. However, it appears that a few builders were saving some lovely surprises for the last day…

Curtis Collins builds, in my opinion, the most ‘classic’ looking model of the month, and his spray painted canopy and use of a toy ball commandeered from his son for the Force Pod are just the sort of creative twists we love to see in the Starfighters group.

R-99A Teardrop

Stefan Schindler is no stranger to starfighters with beautiful angles, but his R-Type Ampulex definitely wins this month for coolest colour scheme.

R-Type Ampulex

Simone also builds a classic looking R-Type with wonderful lines, but this time in midi-scale.


So thanks to all who participated, it was very great to see such great quality builds throughout the entire month. Keep an eye out at the flickr group for future monthly build challenges.

Whoa! Slow down there big rig...

Disclaimer – mildly sappy post to follow…

Remember this post I did a few months back? Well, I still feel the same about the online community, however, I now have some very serious concerns on where this community is headed…yes, and it is all due to the recent changes to Flickr.

I felt that these concerns were serious enough that it justified a separate post, as opposed to me simply commenting on Andrew’s again.

Really this is a personal plea to all those that feel it necessary to leave Flickr. I know many are very upset about the new format, have issues with the new pricing structure, and take offence to how Yahoo handled the system rollout. But at the end of the day is it worth the fragmentation of our community? Personally I don’t think it is. Honestly, I am not entirely happy with the new system, but I also don’t hate it to the extent that I want to see the history of what we have on Flickr lost.

At the end of the day there are no perfect solutions. I don’t think we can expect Yahoo! to go back to the old system, but I don’t think it is realistic to expect/hope for every contributing member of the current community to seamlessly move to an alternate site. Therefore I think that the only ‘solution’ is to wait it out and see what happens over the coming weeks.

This is about more than just Flickr and it’s individual users, this is about a thriving community of friends spread across the globe with years of history. The site may look vastly different, but as of right now the people are exactly the same. So before anyone rage quits, may I ask that you first stop, take a deep breath and think about our wonderful COMMUNITAY!

Most sincerely,


Big group hug!

R-Type & Beyond

Just a quick announcement.

For the first time in nearly 2 years, we at the Starfighters Group are having a monthly build challenge. This month’s theme was suggested by Shannon Sproule and is quite simple; just build a starfighter based on or inspired by the iconic video game series R-Type.

So if you are interested in partaking in the fun, just head on over to the discussion thread, we’d be happy to have you as part of our Space Corps!

R-Type Build Challenge

Let it shine!

Last year, I wrote about how collaborating with others can really help a LEGO model shine. As TR wrote yesterday, there’s a wonderful community of LEGO builders who help and support each other (even when we argue), and we’re all better for each other’s company.

This beautifully shaped and colorful microscale destroyer dubbed HMS Arizona by A. Yates Industrial is an excellent case in point. I’ll start with the first picture he posted, which had rather poor lighting and a background full of seams from the paper he used to cobble it together:

HMS Arizona by A Yates Industrial on Flickr

Next, he posted a new photo, with clean lighting on a single large sheet, from a slightly higher camera angle that shows off more of the ship’s detail along its length. The ship’s stand is also virtually invisible underneath:

HMS Arizona by A Yates Industrial on Flickr

In response, Pascal offered to put A. Yates’s latest version on a space background. Within a few minutes, Pascal had sent A. Yates the results:

HMS Arizona by A Yates Industrial on Flickr

Pascal writes, “This photo was really easy to work with because it’s well lit and on a contrasting background. I have a ton of public domain NASA images on my laptop, so I just needed to select a nice nebula and an earth photo to create the new background.”

It never ceases to amaze me just how wonderful the collaborative spirit is within the LEGO building community!

Community, Inspiration, Kids & Delivery Vans

Disclaimer – This post is more about why I love the online community than it is about the model itself…that being said I do think the model was cool enough to share :)

I think the online LEGO community influences and affects people differently. For me it means a great deal and is on par with sitting at a pub with a group of friends discussing general geekery. The interaction with people from all across the globe has a major influence on how and what I build. I am constantly being inspired by other’s work and by the discussions I take part in.

A perfect example of this, is the cyberpunk Nissan Transporter that I just built with my son Tate. It all started a few days ago while geeking out with Carter Baldwin (& others) about the vehicle design within Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. I was just finishing up the series, so as a result was/am in a huge cyberpunk kick. That night I was playing LEGO with my sons and Tate asked if we could build a police van. I told him we could, but asked if he would be ok to make it an undercover van with a deployable minigun…he said that would be fine as long as we also included flip up police lights. Have to say I am proud the little geek’s creativity! Two evenings of building with him resulted in this van.

E.Sect - Nissan Transporter

Some people say that the internet and technology takes parents away from their kids. I am happy to say that in my case it has introduced me to countless friends around the world, inspired me creatively, and gave me more excuses to play with my boys!

FriendsBricks wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day as well. [News]

We recently received a press release from the administrators of a new LEGO fan community dedicated to the popular new theme, LEGO Friends. The site is called FriendsBricks.

Happy Valentine's Day!

We are a worldwide community of Friends fans: Our members are AFOLs, TFOLs, Parents, Sisters and Brothers — some seasoned LEGO fans & builders, and some newly discovering the love of building through Friends bricks. Our core purpose is sharing creations, reviews & news. Since the January 1st, 2012 launch of LEGO Friends, Heartlake City life has been inspiring us. Stop by www.FriendsBricks.com and join in the Friendship!

If you are a fan of LEGO Friends you should go check it out!