please excuse the mess – kids are making memories

please excuse the mess – kids are making memories

About Jonathan

LEGO was always Jonathan's favourite toy growing up in Middle Zealand, until around the age of 16 when he was told he was too old for toys. 16 years of Dark Ages later he decided you are never too old for toys and became hooked again with 7477 T-1 Typhoon vs. T-Rex and has since amassed over a hundred thousand bricks to facilitate his MOC building obsession. Jonathan runs a small IT business from home with his wife and three young boys under 5 (who are allowed to play with Daddy's LEGO when they can learn to stop putting it in their mouths!). When not working or spending time with family Jonathan is usually sorting LEGO.

Posts by Jonathan

Please excuse the mess – kids are making memories

Did you ever design your own “dream room” when your were a child? I did, and it looked something like this boy’s room by John Snyder. Built for the final round of the ABS builder challenge and largely inspired by César Soares‘ amazing kid’s room, John says of his latest creation “it was really enjoyable to build a modern interior for a change, something outside of minifigure scale”. The scene is stocked to the gills with toys including (but not limited to) LEGO, action figures, costumes, planes, trains and even a castle! The stand out features for me are the working bi-fold door, fish tank, and brilliant red telescope.

Boy's Room

He’s a man from outer space and we’re taking him to his spaceship.

E.T. was one of the first movies I ever saw as a kid. Steven Speilberg’s classic 1982 movie was an immediate blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for eleven years until Jurassic ParkJon & Catherine Stead have captured the animatronic Extra Terrestrial’s departure from our planet as Elliot, Michael, Gertie and Harvey (the family Labrador retriever) bid farewell at the doors of his spaceship.

The model is constructed on a 68 x 68 stud base. The nine-engine spaceship weighs about 1.45 kg, and stands 45 cm high with a diameter of 30 cm. The main spaceship structure was based on a 24-stud diameter SNOT sphere. The builders point out that the landing feet were a big challenge to build in a manner that would bear the large mass of the spaceship.

After pointing to his heart and saying “I’ll be right here,” E.T. leaves Elliott as the theater erupted into tears of sadness mixed with joy—a poignant depiction of one of the most famous scenes in movie history.

Moana’s pet rooster Hei Hei struts his stuff

If you haven’t seen Disney’s charming Moana, you may not recognize Hei Hei, the Pacific Island princess’s dim-witted and comical but seaworthy companion. I love how LEGO 7 has captured the quizzical head tilt of the foolhardy rooster. The colorful design staged against the pale blue looks exquisite. Take note of the minifig flippers for the plucky poultry’s wattle and the dark green round corner elements as tender chicken wings, although I am sure Maui would probably still say he needs fattening up.

Hei Hei the Rooster

This piece of junk made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs

Happy 40th anniversary, Star Wars! Sad Brick has created this wonderful microscale Millenium Falcon to help us celebrate. Despite being made out of only two or three bricks each, our much-loved heroes are instantly recognizable – and I just love the cupcake top for Chewie’s head! The scene is packed full of skillful little details, like the piping on the back wall, the sideways use of tan arch elements, and LEGO shooters used for the seam of the landing bay doors. The Corellian freighter itself is a fantastic representation of the most beloved ship in the galaxy. The guns, the dish, and the cockpit all look perfect and that subtle coil of LEGO string charging the Falcon is a masterstroke.

Millennium Falcon

Miniature Medieval Marvel

It never ceases to amaze me how builders like Simon NH invent ingenious uses for unique LEGO elements. Spy the new pyramid piece cresting a pair of Thor’s Hammers as the half-toothed Technic bush crowns the crenels of the tallest towers. Did you notice the minifig arms as the rocky foundation or how Simon has used a broom as the little wooden bridge? The two swords as the path and the rippling surface of the water both also look brilliant. My favorite part usage has to be the new ‘tooth’ piece as the stone entranceway to this inspired little build.

Rushwater Fortress

Like a dragonfly skimming the surface of the water, touch on something without going into it deeply

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with creepy crawlies, but dragonflies were always a favorite. I love how they’d appear to defy gravity as they hovered above the rippling water. Takamichi Irie has recreated this iconic insect with a ‘handful’ of minifig parts (note all the minifigure hands used as connectors on the wings), some flex tube and a sprinkling of blue and black elements. With some sharp photography and clever use of lighting, it even appears to be hovering; all that is missing is the water.

Dragonfly

An Ottoman dream in green and gold

The Brothers Brick’s own Patrick Massey has created this beautiful mosque after a short hiatus from LEGO master building. He shared some insider tricks he implemented to save time and bricks, and the most interesting is that he created the model purely for photographing. In other words, there is no back to this incredible build! Patrick has been reading a book about Ottoman history called Osman’s Dream, which contains a lot of descriptions of the various styles of Ottoman architecture. Petrea Central Mosque hasn’t been modeled on any particular mosque, but it is very reminiscent of the Imperial Ottoman style of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Petrea Central Mosque

And the monkey flips the switch

Normally, my obsessive nature would freak out about incorrectly attached LEGO bricks. Yet somehow, despite the way LEGO 7 has created the jaws of these sublime simian spacemen, my clutching disorder doesn’t seem to mind. These cheeky chimpanzee’s heads have been created using only a handful of bricks, yet convey a huge amount of character. One transparent dome helmet and stylistic articulated space suit later, and you’ve got yourself a moon monkey. Double that and add a hexapedal all-terrain moon buggy and you have a scene that could elicit a smile from anyone.

Space Apes Brother

3,000 piece custom minifigure-scale Guardians of the Galaxy Milano

Many of you have probably seen the official LEGO Milano 76081 from the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, or maybe even read our review of the microscale Milano which LEGO is currently giving away. Tyler Clites liked the ship so much, he made his own custom 3000 piece minifig-scale version with full interior! At 2 feet wide and a foot long, Tyler has recreated the unique shapes and curves of the craft with some very clever building techniques; the “beak” of the ship looks fantastic, and he has captured the swept back wings and feathered ailerons with style.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Milano

Tyler also teamed up with The Brick Show to show off all the details in his model:

DF-47 “Hawk” Starfighter

The DF-47 Hawk is a “polyvalent starfighter” designed by BobDeQuatre for the Mars Conglomerate. Built to patrol the borders and escort freighters, the fighter compensates for its lack of armor with excellent maneuverability. Another brilliant entry into the Real World +200 Starfighter Contest, this stud-less LEGO starfighter looks lighting-fast in white and red. Bob has done well to achieve the varied angles for the nose and wings. The light touch of blue in the radome, and the clever detailing with LEGO’s new curved and quarter circle tiles, all add to the allure of this awesome spacecraft.

DF-47 - Hawk

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

I love it when builders pay homage to classic space – there’s something about the gray and blue livery that immediately reminds me of my childhood. Tim Goddard has used the novel Nexo Knight “Nexogon” piece to create the wonderful triangular shaped engines of this small space shuttle.

Inexotrable

Nary a stud in sight, this sleek creation looks superb, especially the highly detailed greebling of the underbelly and engines. The rear hatch and cargo area look great, and I love the shaping of the nose with the clever use of the trans-yellow X-Wing canopy. For more details of the build and information on how Tim achieved those wonderful shapes check out his article over at New Elementary.

Stepping up from Kragle to drilling, cutting, and sanding – a chat with Randy Sluder [Interview]

Purists look away now, as we go inside the mind of self-proclaimed LEGO outlaw Randy Sluder and see some of the innovative building he is doing around the LEGO monorail system. Randy calls himself an outlaw because he’s not afraid to cut, drill, sand, and glue to create shapes LEGO never made. However, even he has lines he won’t cross — he only uses genuine LEGO bricks and the same glue LEGO themselves use on their large display models!

TBB: So Randy, tell us a little about yourself…

Randy: I’m a graphic artist by trade and have always liked the Art Deco style, so I gravitated to the Streamliner period of trains between 1935-1955. It was a time when “form follows function” wasn’t in vogue, the emphasis was on great design. And many people don’t know that Art Deco train design was as important to the movement as the architecture.

TBB: Where does your interest in monorail trains come from?

Randy: All my life I’ve been able to hear the sound of a train, at night, no matter where I’ve lived, and because I’m a wannabe “rail fan”, and a LEGO geek! What started as a fun project for the grandkids has blossomed into a cottage industry. In building a track for them I thought it would be nice to have a few more monorails. In researching LEGO monorail designs I found most were childish, block-type designs with the better ones made from current LEGO train bodies. Nobody was designing alternate vehicles for the LEGO monorail system. So after a lot of interesting research, I started creating trains for the monorail track.

Click to read the rest of the interview

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