Posts Tagged ‘Erik Varszegi’

A Vampire is Born (Built) in New Orleans

October 1, 2012

I posted earlier about the building event that happened this past weekend. Well, here’s some pictures for those of us who couldn’t make it down there.

Its looks pretty cool, but you don’t really get the true scale until you see Master Model Builder Erik Varszegi building it.

And here’s an awesome time lapse video of the whole thing being put together.

This particular building event held its own set of challenges —

1. It was outside at night, in the rain! Those lightening flashes aren’t special effects added to make the video more dramatic, it really was a dark and stormy night πŸ˜€

2. The fact that it was an all night event finishing at 6:15 am in the morning. I’ve done these types of events many times, but never over night.

Great work from Erik and LEGO for pulling off this impressive model!

Update:If you are able to go to LEGOLAND California this weekend October 6th and 7th you too can get a chance to build Lord Vampire with Master Model Builder Ryan Ziegelbauer.

New Orleans All-Night LEGO Vampire Build

September 27, 2012

If you are in the New Orleans area you just might want to check out this building event.

This spooky celebration is open to the entire family and features something for everyone, including performances from New Orleans Saintsations and community costume contest.

WHEN: Saturday, September 29th to Sunday, September 30th
12:00 PM-5:00 PM: Open brick building for Lord Vampyre model
5:00 PM: Lord Vampyre assembly begins
6:00 PM: Costume contest (for children up to age 14)
9:00 PM & 10:00 PM: Monster-inspired Saintsations dance performances
3:00-7:00 PM: LEGO Club Kids Activities
6:00 AM hour: Master Builder, Erik Varszegi, will place final brick
WHERE: Washington Artillery Park Amphitheater
750 Decatur St., between St. Peter and St. Ann Sts.
New Orleans, LA 70116

Based of Lord Vampire from the new Monster Fighters sets this model will be 10 feet tall when completed. I know I’d be there if I lived closer. This is the first time that I know of an all night build. If you get to go, I’d love to see pictures. πŸ˜‰

Organized Sorter

June 9, 2011

Here’s my more meticulous side. πŸ˜‰
Organized Sorter

Most of my builds, especially big ones like my current project, generally start like this. Neatly organized bins, the bricks just waiting to fulfill their Christmas Destiny” (as my sister always says, even when its not Christmas πŸ˜€ ) of being used in some awesome creation.

As you can see, the bricks are mostly white or trans-clear. I’m not going all minimalist or monochrome, it just happens that this particular model is all white. Even so, my model does have a bit of color hidden inside.

A Bit of Color

There is a very simple reason I add colored bricks on the inside, and no, its not just so I know that they are there. The real reason is that I want to save my white bricks and plates where they need to be seen, on the outside, so where ever I need to have bricks that can’t be seen, but have to be there I change them to a color I have a large supply of.

That’s not to say I haven’t hidden things in my models before.

Fun fact: The 8-foot Star Wars Republic Attack Cruiser LEGO model has a hidden section on the side where the Star Wars characters are watching Lord of the Rings.

How do I know this? Erik is a friend of mine and I was there when the model was being built at the American LEGO Headquarters in 2005. He showed me the secret room in the model. πŸ˜‰

Do you put “easter eggs” in your models?

Life-Sized LEGO Captain Jack Sparrow

February 2, 2011

We all knew it would happen, if they were going to have the Disney Pirates of the Caribbean license LEGO would naturally make Captain Jack. Here you can see actor Ian McShane, who will be Captain Black Beard in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides, as he is introduced to the LEGO Captain Jack and his creator Master Model Builder Erik Varszegi.

Disney and LEGO unveiled a six foot tall β€˜life-size’ statue of Captain Jack Sparrow, the first of its kind. The highly detailed statue, which includes a removable sword, consists of approximately 150,000 LEGO bricks and took more than 200 man hours to design and build. Approximately 70 of those hours alone were used in the creation of Jack’s head which was all done without the assistance of computers.


As with all of Erik’s creation it is yet another masterpiece. πŸ™‚

And truly lightyears ahead of Mega’s version when they held the license.
Captain Jack Sparrow made of Mega Bloks

You can see many more pictures on of the whole event.

New LEGO NY Store takes a bite out of the Big Apple

July 1, 2010

New York’s Rockefeller Center will never be the same now that a LEGO store has moved in. For the past three days there has been a Building Event extravaganza as 4 Master Model Builders have been constructing a massive LEGO apple to culminate the opening of the new LEGO store.

I couldn’t be there in person (as it is across the country from me) but my friend Scott Lyttle was kind enough to take lots of pictures and allow me to share them with all of you. πŸ™‚

Here you can see the giant apple as it is half way done. It was just completed this morning and is an awesome sight.

above photo taken by Master Model Builder Erik Varszegi

Unlike regular LEGO stores, the Rockefeller LEGO Flagship store is similar to the Downtown Disney Stores or the Mall of America store because it has theme specific models to the area.

One of the interesting is a smaller version of the LEGO logo made completely out of minifigs — there is a much larger version in Denmark

There is a massive pick-a-brick wall, although anything about adult height is just for show. πŸ˜‰

They even made a minifig scale Rockefeller Center so that all of the minifigs could shop too.

This mural is similar to the actual Rockefeller one.

If you want to see more, you’ll just have to go to New York. πŸ˜€

I just found out that the Big LEGO Apple will be on display until Tuesday of next week (I heard it from a very reliable source). So if you are in the area, check it and the store out for yourself.

Toy Story as Miniland Models

April 17, 2010

I realize I still haven’t finished my review on Bricks by the Bay and I apologize for that. I’m still processing the weekend. πŸ˜‰

As a tiny tidbit I’d like to focus on these models.

In an earlier post I talked about the John Lasseter bust that was made by Erik Varszegi. My favorite part of the model was the Miniland scale Buzz and Woody figures that Erik had made. I really wanted a better look at them.

As a nice bonus to going to Bricks by the Bay not only was Erik there, but he had brought Buzz, Woody and even more of the Toy Story gang to display.

I was especially happy that I could get a look at the back of Buzz.

And the LGM (little green man) Alien was super cute too. πŸ™‚

On a slightly related note I have to mention LEGOLAND California Master Model Builder Joel Baker’s claw machine model.

Even though I knew he was making this, it was still a wonderful model to see in person. He even had the lettering on the side.

More pictures and reviews from Bricks by the Bay to come. πŸ˜‰

LEGO City Fireman Model

April 15, 2010


Today I got quiet a surprise when I visited my local Toys “R” Us. There was a life size model of a Firefighter made out of LEGO bricks.

Being the picky Master Model Builder that I am, I couldn’t just look at and admire it, I had to study how it was built.


The first thing I noticed was that it was very round. Now as I know a little about LEGO building and how many of the models are done now I figured immediately that it was probably designed with Brickbuilder, the internal LEGO computer program that takes 3D computer images and turns them into LEGO models. There a subtle clues that the average non-Master Builder would never recognize.

Here’s a Model Building Tip for you. If you notice the gray stripe right under his belt in the front the way the brick layers curve tell me that this was originally designed by a computer. Why? Well if the model had been designed by hand the curve would have been smoother. A computer doesn’t have the “artist’s eye” so it doesn’t see the abrupt curves as a problem. When Brickbuilder was first used this problem showed up a lot. Over all the model looked impressive, but there were all these funky curves per layer that didn’t make any sense. My guess is that the model designer fixed most of the curves on this model but either didn’t notice the one I mentioned or didn’t see it as important enough to fix.

I encountered that problem myself when I was building my giant lady bug. Transferring the half-dome to make the shell only took a few minutes, but fixing all the funny curves took three days. I also added the black dots at the same time.

Erik Varszegi, Master Model Builder extraordinaire, truly is a master taking Brickbuilder to the next level. He uses it as it is meant to be used, as just one more tool in the Master Builder’s bag of tricks.

In fact there is a great article about designing with Brickbuilder that Erik wrote in Issue 9 of the BrickJournal Magazine

Just because many of the LEGO models start out with a computer designing them doesn’t mean that Master Model Builders will disappear. The Master Builders still have lots of steps to do before it can go from computer screen to actual 3D LEGO model. πŸ˜‰

So if you get a chance to see this at your local Toys “R” Us, take a moment to look and admire it.

LEGO John Lasseter

February 15, 2010

John Lasseter of Pixar was presented with a LEGO version of himself along with Miniland scale versions of Buzz Lightyear and Woody. The life-size bust was created by my friend Master Model Designer Erik Varszegi of the Enfield, Connecticut Model Shop.

In related new Angus MacLane of Pixar and Cubedude fame created a very special Cubedude Buzz Lightyear as a 2010 LEGO Toy Fair Premium. Only 150 were made and signed by Angus himself.

Hopefully by next year I will actually be at Toy Fair myself so that I can give you a first hand account.