Archive for July, 2011

LEGO Perot Museum of Science and Nature

July 31, 2011

I’ve been hinting since May with teaser pics and building tips for two months. And now the final model can be revealed. :)

Museum and me 1

This is a replica of the Perot Museum of Science and Nature which is currently in construction in Dallas, Texas.

My LEGO version is now on display through August 28th at Dallas CityScape at the current Museum of Science and Nature, 3535 Grand Avenue and 1318 S. 2nd Avenue in Fair Park, Dallas, Texas.

This model is one of the largest I’ve built as a freelance builder. It stands 2 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft x 2 1/2 ft and took two months to build.

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When I first took on the job it was a deceptively simple project. I mean, it is basically a big cube after all. But what I didn’t anticipate when I first looked at the blueprints and rendered images that I found online was that because of the large glass windows on the one corner of the building I would have to build an entire interior facade with multiple floors and angled walkways.

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Now I have to admit, there was some cutting and “cheating” involved in creating these walkways. I was going for more accuracy than LEGO purism for this model. I also used a few minifigs as models so that they could “use” all the walkways.

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There was also the problem with a third of the second floor “floating” which I mentioned in Building Bracing 101. Both the walkways and the curved roof were engineering problems I had to solve to make the model work.

As with most of my architectural models I made LEGO “blueprints” for the entire building. This building had 5 floors, half floors with the stairways, a roof, I also had to the corner interiors for where the glass was, as well as the exterior walls for all 4 sides. The blueprints alone took 2 weeks to create!

This was one of the blueprints I used:

Building Tip: LEGO blueprints are an important step that I often employ when building a real building. It takes a lot less time to erase a few lines than build, un-build and then rebuild a model, especially one this big. I also create prototypes for trickier sections that can’t be planned as easily on paper.

Here’s a prototype of the glass roof:
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Here’s the final result:
P1270522And no, its not easy to add a pattern like the white lines to a double angled section. :D

For those who are wondering, there is plastic saran wrap on dividing the bottom section and the top section. The plastic wrap helps to keep glue from getting where I don’t want it to go. ;)

I had to make the model in two sections, three if you count the removable angled escalator, because this model had to be able to go through a standard door. At 30 inches wide (2 grey baseplates) the building could not fit unless it was in two sections that could be then turned sideways to get through a door. That is also the reason for the very visible seam on the model. All glued models slightly warp as the glue dries and it is very difficult to not have two separate parts warp at different rates on such a large model. It is a necessary evil when created a glued model.

You can see many, many more photos of my building in all stages of construction on my Flickr photostream set

It was an exhausting (literally) and challenging model to build. In fact, because of all the engineering it was the most difficult building I’ve ever built. I’m not complaining mind you, I love working on big models. Every time I make one it reminds me that I can do it. ;)

Comic Con 2011 Recap

July 29, 2011

I do apologize for the lack of posts, I’ve been in a post-Comic Con coma the last few days and I haven’t really had the motivation to do much of anything including writing my blog. It seems that going from working 2 months flat out and getting no sleep on a commission piece — and yes, I will be posting about it soon — and then going to Comic Con for 5 days and getting no sleep tends to totally exhaust me for some reason, who knew? :D

So, back to the matter at hand, Comic Con 2011. This year was one of the best I’ve had in a long time. I don’t know why, maybe it was the panels I got to see, or the movies I got to watch. I’ve been going for at least 19 years, so Comic Con is not the overwhelming monster it seems to be to first or even second time attendees.

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For me, as it has been for quite a number of years, Comic Con is very LEGO-centric. Mainly because I help out with the LEGO booth. Oh I go to the panels and watch the movies too, but Comic Con is part fun and part work for me, much like the LEGO Conventions. ;)

This year, as I’m sure all of you know introduced the new LEGO DC and Marvel licenses that will be out next year.
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I have to admit, I’m not to big a fan of the big Hero Factory like figures, but then I don’t really care that much for Bionicle or Hero Factory either. Now don’t get me wrong, I see uses for the pieces, and I know why little (and big) boys like the figs, its just not my thing.
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I also enjoyed finally seeing the Captain Jack Sparrow model in person. After seeing it online earlier this year it was nice to see the real thing.
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I was especially happy that they had fixed the hand holding the compass, as that was the only part of the model that bothered me when I saw the initial pictures.
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The play area this year consisted of a mountain of 2×4 yellow bricks. It was a fun and interesting thing to watch. Because there was only one type of brick, it was more of a challenge to create models, but it also kept little ones from fighting over the bricks. ;)
P1280300 And no, I didn’t make the Star Wars sign.

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I even had a bit of fun with the bricks. ;)

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You can see LEGO Events Coordinator Mark Fontanella literally shoveled up all the bricks at the end.

Now, I did not buy the LEGO exclusive this year, you can go check out FBTB’s review on that.
SDCC Exclusive 7958 LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar - Packaging
I couldn’t justify the extra cost (it was $50), just for special packaging and a poster when the set is coming out in October. Especially when I knew I’ll be opening my Advent Calendar to do my Annual Advent Callendar Review.

I did however manage to get my hands on the exclusive LEGO Batman and Greenlantern figs. And no, just because I was working the booth didn’t automatically mean that I got one. I had to stand in line like everyone else.
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In fact, I managed to get quite a lot of LEGO swag this year.
Comic Con LEGO Swag

Some of it, like the exclusive minifigs wasn’t all that easy to get. Warner Brothers had a special lanyard you had to get stamped at 3 different booths and then take it to their booth to get the swag bag. But it was worth it, the bag consisted of a LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7 Video Game shirt (the white one in the picture), a Voldemort Minifig, a Batman Arkham City Water Bottle (not LEGO), a magnet and a bandanna (also not LEGO).

The big LEGO Harry Potter bag I got when I picked up my attendee badge. The LEGO booth was giving away LEGO Star Wars minifig posters, Heroica comic books, and Ninjago bracelets. Hallmark booth was giving away a LEGO Darth Vader poster. DK was giving away a LEGO Star Wars pin, LEGO Harry Potter lanyards, and a LEGO Star Wars poster. And Cartoon Network came by the LEGO booth on Saturday and handed out Ninjago pins.

I also managed (it helps to have many friends at LEGO ;) ) to get into the special sneak preview of LEGO Star Wars: Padawan Menace that was shown in the Reading Theater of the Gaslamp District of San Diego. It was shown the day before it aired on Cartoon Network. All of us who attended got a LEGO Star Wars Padawan Menace poster, a small minifig (it’s the one that comes with the DVD when it comes out in September), and a LEGOLAND California luggage tag.

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I even got to meet the director David Scott, seen here with Minifig Darth Vader.

Outside of the convention they had a Conan O’Brien fan art museum. One of the pieces was a “Flaming C” created by Nathan Sawaya.

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I also went to the LEGO Star Wars panel on Friday. The biggest news that came out of that was that they are finally making a Queen Amidala minifigure in her red dress!
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They are also re-releasing the Tie Fighter with a new design and new minifigures. My favorite is the new R4 droid. I can see that head part coming in very handy if they decide to make it in other colors down the line.
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The tie fighter will be out in January 2012 and the Queen Amidala fig (no news on what set she’ll be in) in the summer 2012 line.

As for the cool non-LEGO Comic Con stuff I did. I got to see a preview of Captain America with actor Chris Evans introducing the movie.
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I watched the Torchwood Miracle Day episode 3 with the entire cast merely feet from me and I met and talked with Timothy Zahn, author of many books that I enjoy reading. :)

And I think that is about it. ;)

Check out my Flickr photostream for all my pictures.

LEGO Buy More on Chuck Video

July 29, 2011

My friend and fellow SandLUG member Kevin Smith is a big Chuck (the TV Show) fan. He is such a big fan that he created a LEGO version of the Buy More and brought it to Comic Con last year to show the creators of the show.

Not only did he get it signed, but he also created a second one that he later gave to the producers. Now this is where it gets really cool, the model he gave them can be seen in the Chuck Panel for Comic Con video!

You don’t have to watch very long if you are not a Chuck fan, but you can clearly see the model in the background and you can see one of the Nerd Herd cars on the desk.

Congrats Kevin! :)

Comic Con Preview Night

July 21, 2011

Well, even though its really late, or early depending on who you ask I thought I’d give you a quick post on the happenings of the San Diego Comic Con. ;)

The biggest news — not only is DC joining with LEGO, Marvel is too! :)

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I’ll just share the pictures with you for now, its too late to do a proper post but hey, in this case, pictures are really all you need. ;)

I do have more pictures and I’ll be adding them as I go along all weekend on my 2011 Comic Con Flickr set.

I have much more to post about such as the Green Lantern exclusive fig and the Warner Brother’s Swag Bag, but I’ll post the details later as it is really late and I need to get up pretty early for the official Day 1 of Comic Con 2011.

WB builds on Lego partnership

July 19, 2011

LEGO and Batman, back together again. That would be enough to get me excited, but this is soooooo, much better!

Warner Bros. has expanded its relationship with Lego, granting the toymaker access to DC Entertainment’s complete library of comicbook characters and stories to launch DC Universe “Super Heroes” as figures and playsets.
The multi-year licensing deal, made through Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will start rolling out the new line in January, starting with 13 characters, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and villains the Joker, Bane, Harley Quinn and Lex Luthor.

The first toys will be shown off at the Lego booth at Comic-Con Intl. in San Diego, where 3,000 exclusive Batman and Green Lantern minifigures will be distributed to launch a promo that runs August-December, enabling fans to create and submit videos, photos or illustrations of the characters to win trips to Legoland and Warner Bros. Studios.

WB and Lego had already been producing toys and videogames around the Batman franchise, and will launch a new set of playthings around next summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” through the Lego Batman collection. The “Lego Batman: The Videogame,” published by WB Bros. Interactive Entertainment, has sold more than 12 million units since 2008.”This partnership gives builders a chance to recreate the characters, vehicles and worlds of some of the most iconic super heroes, so they can relive the action and even customize it, a proven and winning formula in Lego construction,” said Jill Wilfert, VP, licensing and entertainment for the Lego Group.

Via: Variety

The dreams of many a DC fan will soon be satisfied with these official Justice League characters. I’d heard the faint rumors that something like this might happen, and we still have to wait until the beginning of next year, but even so, I’m very, very excited! :)

And as I will be at the San Diego Comic Con, I’ll definitely work on getting my hands on at least one of the coveted 3000 figures. I will naturally be covering Comic Con here so that those that can’t come will at least get a glimpse on the pop culture goodness.

Day at the Beach

July 18, 2011

Sorry for the long absence.  I just got finished with my large commission last week and I’m trying to recover from all the lost sleep I’ve had the last month or so. As soon as I can I will be posting about my model but for now I’ll post this instead. ;)

Although I haven’t been on vacation, LEGO Comic Artist and fellow LUGOLA member Paul Lee took his family to the beach recently, this little guy was the result. :D

What a great way to spend a day by the ocean. :)

3,000 Bricks, 46 seconds, One LEGO Face

July 8, 2011

Check out my friend Master Model Builder Ryan  Ziegelbauer as he builds the face of Sarah Chan winner of the  the Junior Master Model Builder Ultimate Build Off  in January at LEGOLAND California.

If you miss it the first time watch it again to see all the fun extra stuff that travels along Ryan’s desk as he builds. :D

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace Animated TV Special

July 7, 2011

After the runaway success of their wildly popular building sets, video game collaborations and animated shorts, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm will join forces once again for an all-new adventure — their first-ever original television special. Premiering on Cartoon Network on Friday, July 22 at 7:00 p.m. (ET, PT) in high-definition computer animation, the 30-minute original standalone special — LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace — will feature the charm, action and irreverent humor that have become the signature style of LEGO Star Wars animation collaborations.

“We’re certain that fans of LEGO play and the Star Wars universe will be as excited by this new original animated LEGO Star Wars episode as we are,” said Jill Wilfert, vice president of licensing and entertainment for The LEGO Group. “Developing original animated content leveraging the LEGO and Star Wars brands is incredibly rewarding for us because it not only engages and entertains fans in original stories and adventures that further their imaginative play, it authentically delivers on the inherent values and fun that LEGO play brings to the partnership.”

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace is scheduled to air multiple times on Cartoon Network during the weekend including: Friday, July 22 at 7 p.m. (ET/PT), Saturday, July 23 at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (ET/PT) and Sunday, July 24 at 4:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

A routine Jedi Academy field trip is turned into a rip-roaring comic adventure in LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace. Tour guide Master Yoda leads a group of rambunctious Jedi younglings through Senate chambers when he senses a disturbance in the Force.

Summoned to help save the Republic, he discovers that one of the younglings secretly boarded his ship…and has a taste for adventure! Meanwhile, C-3PO and R2-D2 are put in charge of the boisterous group and find themselves in over their heads. As the evil Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it’s up to Yoda and the droids to ensure that their young charges aren’t torn to bricks!

Sounds like fun! I know I’ll be watching. :)

Disco Robot

July 7, 2011

The name says it all for this MOC (My Own Creation) by cjedwards47.

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The DISCO Robot is the cool new way to groove on Mars.
Proprietary DANCEFLOOR technology in the torso allows the DISCO Robot to mimic your every motion, from busting a move to striking a pose. Can you dig it?

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I think my favorite part is the DANCEFLOOR technology. I can just see the little minifig as he’s grooving to the Bee Gees as he travels the rocky Mars terrain. :D

Apparently this was built in 2007, but shown only on MOCpages at the time so I missed it.

Winter Village Post Office

July 6, 2011

In the newly released second edition of the LEGO Collector Book there is a small picture of the new Winter Village building set to be released later this year. The picture isn’t the greatest, but it gives us a glimpse of what is to come ;)

There is also a pic of the new Volkswagon T1 Camper Van

And there is mention, but no picture — other than a picture of a minifig saying there is no picture — of the Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl.

Thanks to Astra of Eurobricks for posting the pictures. :)


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