Archive for October, 2008

Go Miniman Go Contest is almost over!

October 27, 2008

Hi all.Β  For those that are interested.Β  The Go Miniman Go Contest held by Brothers Brick is almost over!

The Past Is Now Behind Us

Here is my entry “The Past Is Now Behind Us.” Hope that inspires you to go and build your own model. πŸ˜‰

Witchy Brew

October 25, 2008

Although I actually built, and even posted this a few years ago on Brickshelf. I figured now was the perfect time to share it again.

Witchy Brew 3

This was actually the first LEGO vignette that I ever did. It was a lot of fun trying to get in all the elements that I wanted into such a small space. I really liked the way the 1×1 slopes worked for a roof and for the smaller pumpkin.

And if you check out the current issue of BrickJournal, I made the instructions for the smaller pumpkin and several other Halloweeny things for a new vignette.

Halloween Hearse

October 23, 2008

Well Halloween is almost here, and so I thought I’d share a model that I made a couple of years ago while I was still at LEGOLAND California.

Halloween Hearse 2

It was the last car that I built, and I have to admit, I made it just for fun. I wanted something new to decorate Miniland for Halloween with and this seemed like a cool thing to do. I decorated Miniland every Halloween and Christmas while I worked at LEGOLAND, it’s one of the things I miss about working at the Park, it was just so much fun to do. I also designed a lot of the fun Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations that can now be seen for the Holidays throughout Miniland every year.

So, if you get a chance to check out LEGOLAND before the end of the month you can see this model in person. Its on display in Miniland New Orleans. πŸ˜‰

LEGO Batman and Robin Sculptures

October 22, 2008

LEGO Batman

LEGO Robin

I really love these two LEGO models. The first time I saw them was at the San Diego Comic Con and then again at the LEGO Batman Video Game Launch Party in New York. I did not build them, but I am really impressed by them. Although it may not seem like it by just looking, these two models had to have been difficult to build. Its easy enough to design a LEGO Minifigure that is posed like real Minifigs can move, its pretty straight forward actually.

As you can see in the above picture from the new SeaLife, the LEGO Friends (that’s the official name by the way) are pretty much straight up building. Each “movable” section is actually individual models that are built onto a steel frame that can be posed.

I actually designed and built several of these LEGO Friends at my time in the Model Shop at LEGOLAND California. Most notably were several of the Driving School Minifig models including the “Fancy Lady” (Her official name) with the white hat and pet poodle and the Pilot that ran out of gas.

Fun Fact: There is a Minifig in Driving School that is holding the newspaper. The date on the paper is the one when they officially renamed it Volvo Driving School and the “writers” of the articles on the paper are the two Graphic Artists that worked there at the time and who made the newpaper.

Any how, back to where I was.

No, what makes the Batman and Robin Minifigs different is the fact that they are made to look like the LEGO figures in the Video Game. The game figures are able to move more like a normal person, so to be able to fully capture this “movement” is the really tricky thing. Its also really difficult to make any sort of pattern such as Robin’s belt when it is not on a flat surface. I had to make the Flute Playing Pirate in the Pirate Shores area with a checkered patch on the back of his pants, trust me, its hard.

Now I don’t doubt that they were partially designed using LEGO’s Brickbuilder program, its a computer program that helps design 3D sculptures by first creating them in a program like 3DSMax and then transferring them over. The program basically makes a virtual model as many bricks high as you tell it to. But its not straight out instructions on how to build a model. Its more like a rough sketch of what the model will turn out to look like, an outline if you will. There are still curves that have to be fixed virtually on the model and you still have to design the steel frame that will go inside as well as a lot of other details that I won’t go into at this time.

But even with the program, there still was a true Master Model Designer behind it and who ever that was, I commend their skills! πŸ˜‰

P.S. I’m going to do some checking and see if I can find out exactly who designed it. If I find out I’ll let you know (actually I have a pretty good idea who designed it already, but I don’t want to say until I know for sure).

Model Building Tips – Traveling LEGO Storage

October 19, 2008

Hi there. In my recent travels I found that I needed to find a way to travel with my LEGO. I found the best thing was these storage cases:

I found them at my local Harbor Freight Tools and these storage cases are perfect for LEGO! There are all these interchangeable bins, the case is heavy-duty, and when you snap it closed the LEGO stays in their individual bins! I really, really like them. And the more that I use them, the more that I like them. The cases come in three sizes, although I didn’t buy the smallest cases because they were too small for my needs.

Before this, I have been using the Advent Calendar bins. But the problem with them is that its 24 bins that are all attached to each other. The nice thing about these is that you can take the bins out.

I don’t normally endorse something that isn’t LEGO, but for these I have to make an exception. So if your traveling, or if you just want a way to sort and build easier. I highly recommend these. πŸ˜‰

Brick-or-Treat at LEGOLAND CA

October 17, 2008

Its that time again. LEGOLAND California is having its annual Brick-or-Treat celebration. The park is all dress up for Halloween and all the little ghouls and goblins are coming out to play. I checked it out last weekend and as you can see I came away with some collector bricks. LEGOLAND creates many collector bricks every year and I always like to try and get the latest ones.

As usual, for Brick-or-Treat, you have to go to the Brick-or-Treat trail and treat-or-treat your way through the different booths. What is different this year is that there are actually 2 bricks, one for the daytime and one for the “night” — 5-7pm, its for kids remember. The line was pretty long, but went quickly, and I was able to get my bricks along with some treats and coupons.

I also checked up at the Clubhouse and found that they had finally gotten the Star Wars Weekend bricks in (for some reason they hadn’t come on time for the actual event). So I was also able to get one of those too.

So if you have a yearning, check out LEGOLAND for Halloween.

Checking out SeaLife

October 13, 2008

Hi all! Well I finally checked out SeaLife at LEGOLAND California. It was pretty nice, if a little small. As I am a Master Model Builder, I paid more attention to the LEGO models than the actual sea life.

I really liked seeing the big Minifig LEGO models in the tank. Although I wonder how they clean them. πŸ˜‰

My favorite SeaLife Model

My favorite SeaLife Model

The crazy thing is that my favorite model isn’t even in the attraction part of SeaLife, it is on the playtables up in the Cafe area. I really like the coral model with all the LEGO fish, visually I think its the most stunning.

I did like seeing the fish too, and its worth a check if you are going to LEGOLAND. It’s designed to only take a couple of hours, so the best thing is to get the “park-hopper” pass so that you can go to both LEGOLAND and SeaLife on the same day.

The Masses Descend on BrickCon08

October 9, 2008

Well, I’ve finally gotten home from Seattle. Driving there seemed like a good idea, all the way until driving back, its a looooong way from Seattle to San Diego! We actually made the second half (over 600 miles) in one day. But the trip was definitely worth it.

Although this was my first year, BrickCon seems to grow bigger and better every year. There were over 7000 people that visited BrickCon08, almost twice as many as last year! I even heard that there was a 45 minute line for people to get in.

Look at all the people!

Look at all the people!

I was glad that I was a full attendee, able to bypass the lines and see all the MOCs without tons of people around. But at the same time, I was also glad that so many people came and checked out BrickCon. I look forward to BrickCon 09!

Model Gal meets BrickJornal

October 7, 2008

In the latest issue of BrickJournal the editor, and my good friend, Joe Meno asked me to write an article about LEGO’s presence at San Diego’s Comic Con. Since I have been attending for a number of years (you’ll have to read the article to learn how many) πŸ˜‰ I have watched the LEGO booth at the Comic Con become bigger and better.

I’ve loved BrickJournal from the very first issue, it is the foremost magazine for LEGO fans. So be sure to check out the latest issue!

Minifig Beauty Pageant

October 6, 2008

Hi all! I am just getting off my BrickCon high. It was a great weekend full of cool MOCs,
lots of people, and tons of fun! Although I will do a more in-depth BrickCon post later on, I wanted to share something from the first day of events.

You can see more images at Brothers Brick

You can see more images at Brothers Brick

As I am sure that most of you are aware, its been posted on many other blogs and forums all over the net, during the Opening Ceremonies of BrickCon 08 the LEGO Group representatives announced a brand new set — 10193 Medieval Village! Seeing this set in person, it was hard not to drool over all the cool elements including for the first time in about 20 years — the whole turkey!!!! Just that alone will make sales of this little jem of a model go through the roof. But the entire model with all its wonderful features makes this a definite buy when it becomes available in January.

I also wanted to share with you some of the images from the “Minifig Beauty Pageant” that was held by the LEGO Group during the ceremonies. Noting the fact that LEGO is generally geared towards boys, they asked 15 women to come up front and gave us each a female Minifig to “walk the cat-walk” and have every one judge which one they liked the best.

The first few were in already available sets, but most of them were for as yet released sets. One of the figures was even called the “Mystery figure from a Unreleased Mystery Theme” that was a girl in a sparkly top. The figure I was given to display (and yes, we did get to keep our figures) was Asoka from the new Star Wars Clone Troopers sets.

I wasn’t able to get pictures of all the figures, but I did manage to take pic of these three figures:

Pirate Girl and Peasent Girl 2 (Check out the new Fish element)

Pirate Girl and Peasent Girl 2 (Check out the new Fish element)

A "real" Mermaid!

I am really excited about all these new figures, especially the Mermaid! The “winner” of the Beauty Pageant was the new Troll Hag from Castle. Who knows what exciting sets these figures will be in. πŸ˜‰