There are 4 new LEGO Dimensions Packs now available at 50% off at Amazon!
Two weeks ago we featured one of the best LEGO BB-8 project that we have seen so far that was submitted to LEGO Ideas. In just less than a month, the rolling LEGO BB-8 designed by Mark Smiley has already gained the support of 8k LEGO Ideas members.
A few days ago, Mark and his team gave a long awaited update on the latest features and design elements that they added to this awesomely cute astromech. Watch their video below.
According to Mark, one noticeable update was the total number of pieces that they used. Originally at 180 pieces, the current total count is now at 244, with 111 pieces devoted for the BB-8 unit and 133 for the Desert Base Station. They also revamped BB-8’s internal parts, modifying some of the weight arrangement. If you noticed in the video, BB-8’s head seems to be more stable during movement with the tilt being lessened significantly.
Here’s the rest of Mark’s update on their rolling LEGO BB-8.
The new features and design elements are:
BB-8 (111 Pieces):
Desert Base Station (133 Pieces):
And to add to the fun, the desert creature that can be seen in the movie as BB-8 is fleeing in the first part of the movie now lives in the base with its eerie red eyes. The creature pops up from under the sand by turning a lever
Mark is still working on how to lower BB-8’s head so it sits closer to the body, a pair of antennas, and the possibility of giving him omni-directional movement.
We are sure excited to see how these planned modifications will work out. Check out Mark’s rolling BB-8 over at LEGO Ideas.
Let’s face it: perhaps the most daunting task of being a LEGO fan is when it all comes down to that point where you’re simply lost on how to give order among that chaos of bricks and pieces. There is nothing more troublesome than a disorganized collection that can easily dampen your motivation in pushing through with your next big MOC. So how do we go around in this organizing business?
Reality check: the internet is riddled with many good-intentioned advices on how to organize your rainbow-colored abyss of plastic bricks. But truth be told, there is no single, most effective way of sorting any LEGO collection. The possibilities are endless and when you think you struck gold in discovering what works for you, humbly bear in mind that it may not be the best for that next door neighbor who is now pulling his hair for stepping into that 2×4 brick for the nth time.
However, not having a gold standard of putting things in order doesn’t mean that we don’t have to start somewhere. Jennifer at TheBrothersBrick understands this very well. She gives five practical tips that will make life easier for you and for those around you who shares the house with a LEGO fanatic.
If these tips are not enough to roll up your sleeves and start that brick-picking work, sometimes the best way to push yourself is to be inspired by those who made it. Take a look at these 7 glorious examples of LEGO workspaces that will hopefully challenge you to do the same, without turning green out of envy.
Now, if I can just find the vacuum cleaner…
Hello and welcome back to MOC Spotlight!
This week, I caught up with Jonas A.K.A Legopard over at Eurobricks about another fantastic MOC. This week, we have the Monstrum Maris.
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsI thought that this MOC deserved this week’s Spotlight due to the very unusual but superb building techniques that make up the ship, including a variety of tiles, slopes and even fabric pieces. The trans-clear pieces used to make up the waves are all perfect, really creating the illusion of some sort of massive water disruption under the boat which in this case is a huge sea beast! The tentacles for this monster further show the great depth of detail put into this model.
So, now lets here what Jonas had to say!
1. What inspired you to make this MOC?
Currently I’m competing in an contest where the task is to use the silver Technic connector in my creations. The idea to use the part as a historical cannon alone was too boring, so I thought about a scene that could fit around it. The ship and the creature gave me even more opportunities to use the seed part.
4. Start small. Yes, there are people out there who easily fill several square meters with their buildings, but they all started small. Realizing you planned too big is frustrating and even on a 32×32 stud footprint is a lot of place for details and interesting techniques.
5. Get inspiration. Look at build you like (e. g. on Flickr) and try to figure out how it is built. When you find new techniques you should try them out on a small creation so you know how they work and maybe you will need them someday in the future.
6. Build what YOU want. Building something will always be a challenge and there are always points where you struggle and maybe don’t find a solution in the first try. If you aren’t really motivated to build this creation you will not be able to handle that situation. Sometimes it’s worth to think first about what you want to build, what parts could be difficult to build and if you have enough bricks for that.
7. What is your all-time favourite MOC made by someone else?
One of my favourite builders is Michael Jasper, who is a perfect example what you can do with a few bricks in a small scale:
8. What MOCs can we expect in the future?
The contest ran until 29th February, so there’s plenty more builds with the silver Technic connector.
Beside of that there are still a lot of other ideas on my list.
I will try to build at least one creation a week. So every Thursday a new creation!
9. Where can people find you? (Flickr, Twitter, eurobricks etc)
On Flickr. https://www.flickr.com/photos/legols/
I want to thank Legopard for his cooperation, and be sure to look out for more MOC Spotlights coming soon!
The Brick Show Shop is running a 15% Off Sale that will last through Tuesday. Enter coupon code TBSMAR2016 to save 15% at checkout. We have lots of fun Brick Forge packs, lighting accessories and our retro LEGO Arcade machines. Don’t forget we also carry the latest Blocks Magazines and official Brick Show T-shirts.
The LEGO Ideas Blog announced today the next two approved LEGO Ideas sets that will be coming to stores! They are the Adventure Time figures by aBetterMonkey and the Caterham Super Seven by Carl Greatrix. No official images or pricing yet available. The release dates were vague referencing late 2016 and early 2017.
We came to know Jason Allemann for his great MOCs over at JK Brickworks, and with the recent inclusion of his LEGO Maze (21305) in the roster of approved projects in LEGO Ideas, Jason’s creations will be enjoyed by more and more LEGO fans and enthusiasts.
However, the stream of success does not end with the announced release of the LEGO Maze sometime in April. It’s most likely that Jason may see one of his projects on the shelves of any LEGO store anytime soon. Now that his LEGO Particle Accelerator project has already achieved the 10k support mark, LEGO officially advanced it to the Review Phase. Here’s what LEGO has to say:
It appears that there are many minifig scientists who want to carry out their research at Brickville’s LBC. Although you have successfully accelerated to the 10,000 supporters mark, you will have to wait a little longer to see if you have discovered the elusive and much talked about (Mini)Figgs Boson. You’ve truly captured the essence of a particle accelerator through the novel and interactive play features and done so through a beautifully designed model.
Congratulations once again on this A-MAZE-ING achievement.
We now officially advance this project to the Review phase.
The Review Phase will begin on May where an expert panel of designers, product managers, and other key team members (aka LEGO Review Board) will examine Jason’s LEGO Particle Accelerator against factors such as playability, safety, and fit with the LEGO brand. Once the review is complete, which usually takes several months, and the LEGO Review Board finds merit in his project, giving it a ‘go signal’, then the proposed Particle Accelerator will advance to the Development phase where LEGO Model Designers refine the product and develop it for release. This also includes preparing the packaging, instructions, and marketing plans.
Indeed, Jason’s LEGO Particle Accelerator still has a lot of vigorous review to go through. We wish him all the best here in BrickshowTV! Take a look at these photos of his functional particle accelerator plus the antics of our intrepid scientists as they crack (pun intended) the mystery of the elusive (Mini)Figgs Boson in the video that follows.
The ‘ball particle’ is launched over this ring structure.
James Burrows, a certified AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego), was kind enough to share his steampunk themed MOC in an interview with Beyond the Brick during the 2016 BrickFair held in the Birmingham Convention Center in Alabama last January.
Inspired by Jason Allemann’s Steampunk Walking Ship as seen in his JK Brickworks YouTube channel, James’ robotic walking ship is a replica of one the mechanical supply ship seen in the 1999 movie ‘Wild, Wild, West’ starring Will Smith and Kevin Kline. Using LEGO Mindstorms, James’ MOC consists of a series of cams that goes around the robot that pulls the legs at certain pivot points. Operated remotely, the walking ship has very smooth balance and responsive set of controls as you can see from the video below:
Here is Jason Allemann’s Steampunk Walking Ship where James got his inspiration.
This is one MOC that James will definitely share again in the next BrickFair. The BrickFair LEGO Expo showcases some of the very best MOCs (My Own Creations) made by LEGO adult fans and several best buys for LEGO bargain hunters. Upcoming BrickFair shows will be at Marlborough, Massachusetts (May 21-22), Chantilly, Virginia (August 6-7), Somerset, New Jersey (October 29-30), and back in Alabama on January 14-15, 2017.
Perhaps the single, most important purpose of the LEGO brick is to continually challenge us with creations that push our creativity and design skills. This is particularly true with the most daunting (but definitely fun) builds that includes construction vehicles, fully functional robots, and mechanical toy guns. These builds in particular are excellent examples of learning tools that can help you master certain basic and advanced building techniques necessary for more complex builds later on. LEGO has a couple of building guides as well based on the Technic line, and the LEGO Mindstorms kit is one cool example of a learning tool that combines basic engineering techniques and computer programming.
However, when it comes to guns, LEGO has made it clear that the company is not into that sort of thing or builds. While in real life, guns are a very real and sensitive issue, it’s hard to deny the appeal that it has in terms of its mechanical complexity and design. Allow me to point two things before I proceed further: one, I don’t own a gun and most likely will not purchase one in the future; and two, this will not be a discussion on the merits (or the lack of it) of owning a gun. I simply admire the complexity and sophistication of its mechanism and how its parts work together similar to how a clock maker admires the inner workings of a timepiece.
With that out of the way, allow me to introduce a pretty neat book that I stumbled upon at TheBrickBlogger.com. “Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics” by industrial designer and freelance programmer Martin Hüdepohl showcases some of the most impressive and functional LEGO builds that I have ever seen. Martin also published two previous LEGO how-to books, namely “Badass LEGO Guns: Building Instructions for Five Working Guns” and “Weapons for LEGO Lovers”. He is quick to mention that even though his interests lie in making weapons out of LEGO, his creations do not pose a danger to anyone, nor they are life threatening. They’re virtually harmless, much like a NERF gun or even a water pistol.
Here’s the description of his book as seen in Amazon.com where it retails at $20.99 for the paperback variant, and $14.49 for the Kindle downloadable version:
The last LEGO brick weapon construction book and design guide you’ll ever need, Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics features building instructions for thirteen fully functional LEGO masterpieces, including the monstrous, 27-inch-long Dinosaur Superior, a fully automatic combat rifle that can puncture aluminium cans, and a highly detailed HK G3 brick replica. Also featuring a helmet, a baton, handcuffs, sunglasses, and a grappling hook gun, which allows you to retrieve distant objects without ever leaving your seat, Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics includes a chapter on how to find the LEGO pieces you need and a comic book story featuring a hero using the weapons in action. LEGO fans of all ages and skill levels will find a treasure trove of models, including:
• Hammerhead Jr., a single-shot crossbow and it’s big brother, the heavy-duty Hammerhead Sr.
• Panzer Pod combat helmet
• KlopSTOCK baton
• Melody, a rubber-firing machine pistol
• Nice-1, a pocket-sized pistol that packs a punch
• Chinahook harpoon gun
• Sunglasses, in two different models
• A functioning Heckler & Koch G3 replica in LEGO bricks
As mentioned in the description, the book comes with how-to guides to build 13 fully functional models. Each example features a set of instructions, inventory of parts, size, and the skill level required (labelled as novice to grand-master). Other than the mechanically impressive guns, the book also includes instructions on how to build a KlopSTOCK baton, a pair of Spector sunglasses, a knuckle buster replica dubbed the Hitman, the Panzer Pod combat helmet, and a pair of handcuffs ironically called as Lovelock. I appreciate the complexity of these builds, however, I have to say that I’m a little bit uncomfortable with the Hitman and KlopSTOCK as any child can get quickly absorbed in a role playing game using these.
Nevertheless, with 340 pages, there are plenty to look at and learn at the same time. There’s also a neat section on how the models were developed, with pictures that chronicles the evolution of these replicas before you see them in their final form. The way Martin presented his creations were also helpful, giving pieces of building tips and techniques along the way. He also offered a how-to section on making the most out of Bricklink – the world’s largest online marketplace to buy and sell LEGO parts, both new or used – considering that most parts used in his builds were ordered directly from the site.
Perhaps as a supplement for the book, Martin also runs a YouTube Channel (Xubor) where he showcases some of the builds mentioned in his book. Check out this promotional video for “Elite Weapons for LEGO Fanatics”.
If you’re an adult fan of LEGO and you’re reading this post, then I guess I will not be doing any much of an explanation. However, for our much younger readers out there, this excellent collection of ‘Masters of the Universe’ build entirely out of LEGO by expert Swedish builder LegoJalex, requires a brief introduction.
Masters of the Universe (MOTU), or sometimes referred to as He-Man, is an early 80s TV animated series that revolves around the story of Prince Adam – who transforms into the mighty He-Man by the help of his magically imbued sword – and his fight to defend the planet of Eternia against the evil Skeletor. Originally created by Mattel, MOTU spawned a variety of products including action figures, four animated TV spin-offs, several comic books, and a feature film.
MOTU was credited for the vast array of memorable characters that it created during the 1980s, and if you still remember that time when you drool over the latest action figures released by Mattell over these series, then you’ll probably get the idea. Here are some of LegoJalex’s renditions of MOTU’s lead characters, together with how they actually look like on screen.
I have to put on my wish list an Orko and Battle Cat (aka Cringer) build. It might be a little different and perhaps more complicated than the standard humanoid build, but it will be kind of cool to have one on display. Here’s the rest of his LEGO MOTU builds.
Be sure to check out the rest of LegoJalex’ creations on his flickr page like his retro classroom build and 1970s office. So, what you think about these LEGO MOTU mock ups? Hit the comments button and tell us what you think.