Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Snowstrike 3000

January 14, 2016

Okay so I’ve not touched this blog in a looooooonnnnngggg time, but we’ll see if I can improve on that this year.

As most of us are fighting winter snows (okay in my case El Nino rains) I figured I’d share a creation I did as a building challenge last year.

If you’re in a LEGO LUG, many of us were offered the Winter Skating Scene sets in bulk to do pretty much whatever we wanted with them as long as we shared the pictures with LEGO.

The set was offered originally as a promo for Christmas and looks like this
Winter Skating 1

So at BrickFair Virginia last year Beyond the Brick had a building challenge. They gave us all 3 sets of the Winter Skating Scene and asked us to build something in an hour. Now most people built winter scenes, but I built the Snowstrike 3000 ๐Ÿ˜‰

2016-01-14 09.50.34//

This second pic isn’t the greatest, but you can see what it looks like from the side
2016-01-14 09.49.46//

This was a fun little challenge and I forced myself to build out of my comfort zone by putting wings at delicate angles. The whole build pretty much fell apart when I put it in my luggage to go home. It was a lot of fun and allowed me to stretch my building muscles.

Did your lug get a bunch of these? What did you end up doing with it?

Pac Man turns 34 today

May 22, 2014


I’ve posted this before,  but since it is Pac Man’s birthday, I felt it was a good time to post it again ๐Ÿ™‚

I made this a few years ago. If you look at the score and high score, you can see the date it was first introduced in Japan.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

Simpsons — LEGO Miniland Style

April 27, 2014

LEGO Simpsons

I’ve seen attempts of creating the Simpsons before, but with the 1×1 eye tiles, its a lot easier to be accurate and David Pickett’s versions are pretty darn good!

Well actually they aren’t exactly Miniland Scale, they are a tad too tall for that — at 10 bricks tall Bart is standard Minilander height. But even so, they are in that range.

LEGO Simpsons - Comparison

With the upcoming LEGO episode on the Simpsons TV show and the Simpsons Minifigs starting to show up in stores — which I still haven’t found by the way — I expect a lot of Simpsons models to start popping up. ๐Ÿ˜‰


April 1, 2014

Hi all, I know I’ve been off the blog for quite a while now, almost a month in fact. If you’ve been following me on Model Building Secrets Facebook page (and you really should ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) then you’ll know that I’ve been working on a huge project, 4 ft long huge to be exact. I am almost done with it, and should get back to more normal postings within a day or so.

Now I’m not into April Fool’s, so the only “prank” I’m going to play is that I won’t tell you what I’m working on. What I will tell you is that I will be at PAX East in Boston next weekend building my current project on site. So if you are going, come by and say hi.

Even though I don’t like April Fool’s Day, I did like this latest creation by Sean and Steph Mayo.


At first it took me a moment to realize it was in fact actually LEGO. from the thumbnail I saw it totally looked like a paintbrush that had fallen onto the floor. The end of the paintbrush was what threw me, I had to figure out what it was. And then I saw that it was a Duplo grass part!

Examples like this remind me to never discount any LEGO part. You never know when it just might be the right one you need. ๐Ÿ˜€

2013 in review

December 31, 2013

Happy New Year’s Eve to one and all! I know I haven’t been all that active on my blog this past year, a fact I plan to change in the next — I refuse to call it a resolution because they always seem to get broken.

Quick health update: I’m doing much, much better! I’m still not 100%, closer to 85%, but on the mend and looking towards a healthier future! One of the things I’ve started to help me get better is juicing and with all the veggies and fruits I’m juicing my energy is growing. ๐Ÿ˜€

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Some of the quick highlights:

My blog was viewed in 160 different countries — the US, UK, and Canada having the most readers.

There were 92 (this is 93) new posts this year. A number I plan on surpassing next year

And my most popular post was the Happy 1001 Posts, which also happened to be my first giveaway — something I will also be doing more of in the future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Click on the picture if you want to view the full report.

Click here to see the complete report.

LEGOLAND in Boston looking for a Master Builder

December 19, 2013

If you live in the New England area, and have always wanted to become a LEGO Master Model Builder then here’s your chance.

Via: Boston Magazine

On January 25 and 26, at the Boston Public Library, an โ€œintense competition,โ€ called Brick Factor, will be held to try and identify the perfect candidate to take on the job of building Lego projects for the Discovery Center Boston coming to Assembly Square in the new year.

Applicants will be asked to tackle several construction challenges over the course of two days, competing in multiple rounds to take the title. The lucky winner of the competition will be offered a full-time, salaried position from the Discovery Center, and will become responsible for constructing new features, exhibitions and models at the new attraction.

So what does it take to become the next โ€œMaster Model Builder,โ€ a title that only a handful of other people in the United States hold?

According to Lego representatives, the perfect candidate should have โ€œa natural love of Lego bricksโ€ฆbe creative,โ€ and show that they are a skilled model builder and passionate about working with and teaching kids.

โ€œThe Brick Factor Competition is a unique opportunity to turn one lucky individualโ€™s hobby into a dream job,โ€ said David Gilmore, General Manager for Legoland Discovery Center Boston. โ€œThe Master Model Builder will become an integral member of the team, bringing all the incredible Lego brick models within the attraction to life. We canโ€™t wait to put New Englandโ€™s building skills to the test.โ€

Here’s a look at what the “Brick Factor” was like in Toronto

Tips from a former Master (me ๐Ÿ˜€ ):

1) Practice before you go. Do timed building tests — both free style and theme to get and idea just how long (or short) half an hour or hour is when on a clock

2) Have a portfolio of your previous LEGO models — a booklet or tablet with pics of what you have done can give LEGOLAND an idea of what you can already do.

3) Don’t just show one style / theme of building — Master Builders can be required to build anything. So you have to be able to build a building one day, a mosaic the next and then make a sculpture and a microscale model. If you just specialize in one type — Castle, Space, Mecha, etc. — and don’t diversify your building style they might not be as interested in you. That’s not to say that you won’t get hired, but it helps to be versatile. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the flip side — Remember it is a real job. Its not just playing with LEGO all day. Whoever wins will have budgets and time frames. You can’t spend months on a foot long model getting it “just so.” Its also a corporate job, no matter how creative it may be. And sadly, they don’t pay all that well. Which is part of the reason I’m not at LEGOLAND any more. So if that’s not your cup of tea, you might not want to do it.

I don’t want to discourage anyone from trying out. I don’t regret the 5 years I spent working at LEGOLAND California. It was amazing, life-changing and I learned to be a much, much better builder because I was there. But there were days when I didn’t want to go into work. Its a job and you work hard. I want anyone trying out to go in with their eyes wide open and not have false expectations.

So for those that do plan on trying out in January, Good Luck! And if any of you readers do try out, I’d love to hear how you do.

I’m thankful to be Alive

November 30, 2013

Parents, please note that this following post may be a little too grown up for younger children.

So if you’ve been following me regularly, you’ve probably noticed that my blog posts have been rather sporadic throughout this whole year. Even when I’ve been home with enough time to post on my blog, I haven’t kept it up nearly as regularly as I used to, and I’ve seemed to get less and less enthused about blogging at all. Its not that I don’t love this blog, because I really and truly do. I love to share all the awesome sets, video games, and LEGO creations by friends and fans around the world. I love attending and covering all the LEGO Conventions that I go to each year. Building with LEGO and writing this blog all about LEGO isn’t just a job for me, its a passion.

But something has been off this year. It really started months ago, probably around March, when something in my personal life started interfering with my professional life. I didn’t really pay attention at first, it was affecting my health, but I didn’t know what it was and as I don’t have a “normal” job, I don’t have insurance either. So I didn’t think about going to the doctor. I’ve always been pretty healthy and even when I had insurance, I rarely went.

I thought that whatever was happening would get better on its own, I really did. I even joined a gym, because despite me being overweight, I actually do love to work out. So when I felt good, I would go and work out. I used to work out 2-3 times a week for eight years doing Capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) so even though I haven’t worked out in a few years, I know how to work out properly.

But as the months have passed, I’ve been getting worse, not better. It would go in cycles, I’d not feel like doing anything, then I’d get better, then I’d go back to not feeling well.

In mid-August I got pretty sick for a couple of weeks, but again I eventually got better, so I thought I was doing okay.

But then, about mid October, I started not feeling good again and this time it didn’t go away. I felt less and less like me. Less energy, less of everything, including interest in my work.

Well, I had finally had enough of being sick, so I finally made an appointment to see a doctor this last Tuesday. After a really (and I mean really, really) bad weekend of feeling totally lethargic I got to the clinic at 8 am sharp. From the moment I walked in they could see something was wrong. I was light headed and very short of breath. My heart was pounding in my ears with an intense roar that didn’t bode well.

The first thing they did was check my blood pressure, which I could have told them even without the test was high. Then they tested my hemoglobin — the amount of red blood cells in my body. It was low — lower than the RN checking me had ever seen in 20 years of practice.

She said “You are literally bleeding to death. You need a blood transfusion. Get to the Emergency Room right now.”

It shook me to my core. I knew I was sick, I knew that my blood levels were low — the loss of color in my face last weekend was a big clue. But I had no idea, none at all, that they were at life threatening levels.

The ER doctor told me that if I hadn’t have been so relatively healthy otherwise, I would have been in even worse shape than I was. I needed not one, but two pints of blood.

Luckily there was no one else in the ER that morning, and it was early when I started the day. Because I spent the entire day, all the way till about 4 or 5 pm at the hospital getting the blood I needed to start on my road to recovery.

So this Thanksgiving has very special meaning to me. I still don’t know fully what’s wrong, and I’m not anywhere near back to normal — that’s for other doctor visits and tests in the future — but I’m thankful, more than thankful, grateful to be alive to see this Thanksgiving.

Hopefully whatever it is can be found and cured. And I still have to take it easy. Even with the transfusion, I’m still at only 2/3rds the amount a person should have. So although I’m not at Death’s door, I still have a long way to go.

So even though I will keep up with this blog when I can, I have to let my health come first right now. Thank you all for reading my blog, following me on Twitter and Facebook, and for just being there. You make this all worthwhile. I feel bad when I don’t have a post for you to read, and I love hearing from you when I do. I’m not giving up, not after all the years I’ve put into this, but I’ve got to slow down till I get better.

Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

Help me win a Grant

November 5, 2013

*** Update — We’ve reached 250 votes!!!! — A Big Thanks to all who’ve voted! You can still vote if you like, extra votes are always appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚ ***

Hi all. I’m trying something I’ve never tried before — I’m applying for a small business grant. Yes, I do okay working as I do on my own. But there are certain things I would love to do to make my business that much better.

So, where do you come in? Well, to even be considered for the grant I need 250 votes by November 15th — from you!

Last week I posted on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page that I needed votes and a lot of you came through. I went from only 30 votes to now having 185!

That’s great! But I need just a little bit more — 65 more to be exact. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So how about it? Please vote for me and help me grow my business. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rainbow Lorikeet

November 5, 2013

Rainbow Lorikeet 1

Such a pretty birdie! This awesome Rainbow Lorikeet by Gabriel Thomson is so lifelike it looks as if it is about to fly away!

I can almost see it ruffling its feathers and chirping a little tune. ๐Ÿ˜€

Rainbow Lorikeet 5

And the Lorikeet’s perch isn’t to be discounted either. I’m new to Gabriel’s work, but I will certainly keep an eye on him from now on.

BrickCon Giveaway

October 5, 2013

Hi all! I’m having tons of fun a BrickCon. So much so that I haven’t had time to post anything. I haven’t even uploaded any pics yet except one rather fuzzy one on Facebook. I will be writing a post, all about my BrickCon experience later, but in the mean time, since I know how much everyone likes to get free stuff, I’m doing giveaway in honor of BrickCon. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m giving away one of my custom models. This is a glued model, but his arms and legs can bend and his head isn’t glued on so that you position it whichever way you like ๐Ÿ˜‰

As always there will be three ways to enter:
1)Comment on this post
2)Like my Facebook Page, and then Like, Share, and Comment on my link about this post
3)Follow me on Twitter @MariannAsanuma and reply to my tweet about this post with the #ConGiveaway

Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight October 12th (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will.

Have fun and good luck!