a polite and unassuming lego blog

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Belated Appraisal

I will admit: It's been a full ten days since our favorite monosyllabic builder, Ry, finished his first foray into floating rock-building. Kevoh, in the interests of integrity, was unable to comment on this fine creation. So the only feeble defense I can offer you, gentle readers, is that I was "on vacation". Kevoh's excuse on my behalf was well-intentioned, but false: I never liked Interpol much.

As for the rock! The odd shape is appealing, and the surface is interestingly (if a bit perilously) sloped. I'm not sold on the bamboo shoot bricks on the lawn, but there's so few options for underbrush that I can hardly blame Ry for using them. I like the way they've grown up around the disused orrey, though. The secret space-y basement (spacement?) is a cute thumb-bite at the Castle contingent, but a bit ironic as the Floating Rock meme is more popular with people in the Space crowd. Oh, and the gyrocopter is gold.

The house is charmingly top-heavy. When Ry was building it, he was initially at a loss as to a roof for such odd-shaped walls. The mushroom-inspired roof is striking, distinctive, and sure to achieve notoriety. Perhaps it's better he didn't follow my suggestion of making it a Mansard roof. The door is nice for a brick-built, but looks like it would withstand a full-scale siege. Seems to me Ry doesn't buy many Castle-type sets. Somebody send him a Harry Potter door!

Floating Rocks have a long and storied history. Their humble beginnings reside in a MOC of mine from back in '02, complete with fly-through fast-victuals shack and a teleport pad. How quaint! But Brickfest '04 was when it became firmy lodged in the collective consciousness. I re-imagined the village for Brickfest '04, but it suffered from being rushed: I'd completed it the night before I left. I was in such a hurry, I didn't even have time to make villagers, but scooped up some Final Fantasy-ish mages I had lying around. Imagining I'd quickly build a better one, I never did take pictures of it, so the only evidence of its existence lies in others' Brickfest photo albums. Lenny brought his famous moonbase non-module to that same Fest and coined the term. And so the destiny of the genre-orphan Rocks was forged.

There've been a few uninhabited rocks built: Soren built one, Tim built two, and "Watkins" made one with a (nostalgic!) teleport pad. Our own Kevoh built a rock for BF05, with attendant floating house. Nathan Proudlove raised the stakes with his waterfall-endowed castle in the air, and the indefatigable Lenny made two more excellent rocks, home to those wizard-types I'm secretly ambivalent about.

I meant to bring a new village to BF05, and even filled out a MOC Card for it, but last summer was kinda dark-agey for me and it never had a chance of being finished in time. I've recently begun working on it again, and I'll share with you (as reward for suffering through my pompous and treacly prose) a secret in-progress pic.

The Nightmare Before...

That's right, Thanksgiving is over by just a few days, it must be time for Christmas already! Yippie Hooray!

BuilderQ has made this neat little creation from Tim Burton's "A Nightmare Before Christmas", featuring Jack Skellington in one of the most recognizable scenes.

I've been wanting to see the film again, all I can remember is a curious mix of Halloween and Christmas, done in signature Tim Burton style.

You might say the nightmare is the covert use of non-kosher elements, but I think the real nightmare is seeing Christmas displays before Halloween.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Beasts and Ketchup

Brickshelf user Micah Berger has recently created 3 fun creatures.

It's been quite a while since the last post here. Jonesy keeps promising to make a few posts, but as he's a secret agent for Interpol, he often gets tied up. Anyway, there have been many really nice creations in the past week.

Some new Voidfighters decloaked, 2 new Fantasy-Tech creations floated past, a car drove by, with amazing interior details, 2 huge spacefighters came flying through, causing a house to split in half, and a new comic series made its debut, with some sweet ships to tag along.

All the creations mentioned above deserve their own post, featuring ramblings about the wonders of each, but who has that kind of time? Not me, that's who!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Void where prohibited

FBTB has a really nifty contest going on, which has inspired both FBTBers and non-FBTBers to build.

Check out Adrian Drake's take on the craft. Nifty angles and engines there. I eagerly await being able to see the front section in person, to get a better idea on how it is put together.

Mark Stafford (previously seen on Golden Shpleem as "Nabii") made the same design twice, one cloaked, the other not. Very interesting to see two color variations, not something one sees often in a creation.

While you are at it, take a look at Chris Giddens's, Horvastne's, and Krush's versions.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Miss Fat Booty

Here's a striking specimen from the presumably-new-to-the-scene Brickshelfer modelgal. Would you look at the shleim on that thing! I hate to think how many tiles and jumper plates went into it. The only bit I'm not thrilled with is the head, but I know it's pretty damned hard to make a decent dragon head with Lego.

This dragon looks like it's been sitting on its hoard of gold watching "All My Hatchlings" a bit too long. That awkward-looking knight doesn't look like it'll be good for much exercise as much as another high-cal snack. It's high time our not-so-mini dragon friend changed the channel to one of those aerobics shows, and I don't mean Sit and Be Fit.

BimP my Ride?

Looks like Tom "Dr. Cranium" McDonald has been building again. My first impression was, "It's a hovership gussied up for a night on the town!" You know, because of the orange antenna bits.

The hip thing about it is, like all the cool RC racers, it can drive upside-down. The driver's seat flips over, too. It's super-toytastic, but I imagine I'd get a bit queasy driving the thing.

Construction-wise, I really like the wheels. The car is a tad too wide for my tastes. The addition of white to the colorscheme seems like a token gesture, like he wanted it to be all orange but didn't have the right parts. And I don't like the dragging antennae, unless they're designed to shower the car behind it in sparks. Which would be awesome.

If you're reading this on ILENN, by the way, drop by and leave us a note! Propriety demands it!

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Why build a new building when you can renovate? See, this may be news to us Americans, but over in Europe they have something called "architectural history". This means that they have old buildings. It can be hard to imagine for us in The Land of Opportunity and Big-Box Retail Stores, but some buildings in Europe are older than your moms! Some are even older than your grandma!

Reinhard "Ben" Beneke, a known European, has the benefit of all that "architectural history" they have across the pond, and makes MOCs of these ineffable old buildings. His new gas station is a renovation of an older building, invoking a double dose of nostalgia.

The building flaunts it: lots of gray tiles for the timbering look, light yellow walls on the second floor, a weirdly small 70's door, macaroni bricks, old-school printed bricks, garage door bits, shleimy doors in back, and checkerboard floors. And yet I feel like something's missing. Perhaps he's saving some things, like cars filling their gas tanks, for its train layout debut.

Oh yeah, and if you're not familiar with Ben's work, I command you to peruse his gallery. Even though he's a train guy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gasp! A Creative Train!

Megan Rothrock's first published creation is a doosy. I am not sure if "doosy" is spelled correctly.

Such a fun and whimsical creation. I'd love to see pictures of it riding the rails of a traditional, boring train layout.

Reminds me of the ThomasBot, another recent fun spin on the train theme.

Beating Jonesy to the Punch

Nabii has made a kick-ass zeppelin. Really creative gas-sac. The back, sides, and front are all prefectly constructed. Nice fins and string things.

The cabin has a cool shape, nice windows, but with such big views of the interior, I would have expected more from it. Cabin seems a bit too big for the sac, too.

I recommend checking out all of Nabii's gallery, as he has been uploading many sweet models, many of which I was planning on featuring here (Gargoyle, Golem, and Zanarchy among them)

Unrelated to this post, I was really looking forward to seeing LEGO pandas in Jonesy's post, but alas. I <3 pandas.

Gingerbread House... for Pandas

Here we have a modest bamboo cottage by Taiwanese Brickshelfer echao. The first bamboo building I've seen, and sure to be the definitive for quite some time. I wonder if a tan version of this would pass muster?

I like this MOC. It's chic, it's understated, but I would have put in a few more details. Something in the courtyard, perhaps, if I couldn't wheedle a bit of landscape. I like the tree, but the trunk needs to be its own color. And maybe a couple more figs; the Lenny analogue inside just isn't enough. But perhaps I'm too hard on him. Not everyone can have a wealth of parts, yes?

Furthermore, don't be shy about mucking around in the rest of his Shelf gallery. You never know when you'll stumble across some hidden gems.

On a site-related note, it looks like I'm falling behind in this posting thing. I would like to say Kevoh keeps beating me to the punch, but I fear I've been shirking my duties a bit. But do not fret, Gentle Readers, because you have my word that I will approach this blog with a renewed zeal. Or something.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

With Your Powers Combined, I Am Captain Planet

Eric Harshberger has expanded on the expertise of Bruce Lowell and Bram Lambrecht to create a huge SNOT version of the Earth.

Way, way impressive.

Having struggled to make small little patches look good on a much smaller sphere, I can barely imagine the amount of time, experimentation, and thought that Eric had to have put in to make such a flawless rendition of the continents over such a complex surface. Amazing!

3 New From The East

A fellow spacer linked to these three sweet creations in the CSF IRC channel. I think it was Chris Giddens, but I'm not sure...

This house has robot legs. Reminds me of that Simpson's episode where Professor Frink shows off his new robot house, to protect against cat burglars (who wear sneakers for sneaking). The house runs 3 or 4 steps before falling over and catching on fire. I think the little doll people fall out of a window on fire too.

This robot has fierce claws. I would be afraid of it. Seems almost "3vil", if you are familiar with such terms.

Finally, this mech-robot thing is nifty. Excellent proportions, use of new parts, and details.

If you liked these, check out these others:

Feline Robot (fierce!)

Big Guy (dark blue and black!)

Scarab Worker Craft (utilitarian!)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Free Cookies, Details Inside.

King Kong smash! Hulk no match!

Justin Ramsden has made a neato King Kong, who cannot be stopped.

Which brings me to RSS. It seems it cannot be stopped, like King Kong. But is it good and kind like the King, or is it terrible, like the Empire State Building? It brings content to people easier, but it seems to strip the unique character of each site away, in favor of a mundane feed of information.

I speak of course of ILENN, the new RSS feed gatherer site for all things LEGO that have RSS feeds. Golden Shpleem is on it, but it strips away all our witty banter and just shows the title and the thumbnail/link combo to the model we are discussing. What to do?

Clearly, the answer is outrageous titles.

Monday, November 07, 2005

CC's Micro Castle Contest produces great results

A contest sponsored by users at Classic-Castle.com has recently ended, and the entries are great. Great job to the organizers and all who entered.

Nelson Yrizarry won the contest, with his brilliant Drachenburg Castle. The castle itself is amazing, yet Nelson added a whole landscape and village to it. Some amazing details throughout. Don't miss the watermill, bridge, cart with horse, dragon, and the variety of foliage.

I took a browse throught the other entries, and found some other really neat detailwork. Take a look at Bruce N H's boat sails and seige weapons, and Cyin's unique trees.

For a "Mouse", it's quite large

CSF user BrentlyMills has continued his line of sleek, technic-fig scale spacefighters with the Flying Mouse.

As always, he brilliantly combines new style slopes, tiles, and crazy SNOTwork to create complex curves and angles.

And this time, it's in black, making it extra nifty! One pet peeve though: the engines, made using those lightgray ball joint sockets, aren't filled in. In my opinion, it looks a million times better with the dark gray half dome shoved inside there.

"Trigun" yet only one.

Brickshelf user TMBGrulz has made a replica gun from some anime show called "Trigun"

I vaguelly recall hearing of such a show long ago, with the main hero clothed in a red coat with striking blond hair. Anyway, his rendition of the gun is very nice. Excellent half-stud offsets and details throughout.

Complete with UCS-style information plaque. The writing makes me want to see the show, sounds interesting.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Duke Cargo Shuttle

Brickshelf user Stingray has taken the basic stereotypical shuttle design and done some interesting things with it.

Excellent use of basic slopes and wedges to create form. Nice engines too, they really look like they could produce big amounts of thrust.

And check out that cockpit! Brilliant control design there! The exclamation marks are because I just discovered them.

(The cockpit controls, not exclamation marks)

Fits in the palm of your hand.

At Brickfest 05 I had the pleasure and honour to speak with Paal Smith-Meyer, A LEGO designer. We got in a discussion about creations in general, what makes a good set, and so forth.

During our discusion, I pointed out Nick Kappatos's neat little creation, the "Dangermouse", as a perfect example of brilliant design on a very small scale, great for sets. So check it out!

As a corollary, be sure to take a look at NewBrickOrder.com, the new sister-site of sorts to Neutronbot.com, which remains the kickingest site ever.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Taking the term "chick" literally.

That crazy Moko.

I don't really know what to say about this little figure. It certainly is well crafted, but what the hell??

Do a Barrel Roll!

CSF member Stingray recently showed the community this snub fighter.

Dig the sharp shape, the gray underdetails, and the moving guns and cockpit.

Reminds me of an Arwing from StarFox, in a good way.

Ogre Smash!

Nelson Yrizarry has made this sweet ogre sculpture. I am always fascinated by figures at odd scales.

Great use of the new Viking teeth! Makes him very fierce looking.