Friday, October 29, 2010

No, we are not the Peace Corps!

No, we are not the Peace Corps!
Originally uploaded by kaitimar

This is the write-up that goes with this photo:
When I was a child, LEGO was a very special thing. It was not like other toys with their glittering guns and missiles, LEGO was about building, cooperation, positive values etc. When minifigs came, they all smiled and had jobs like firemen, (friendly) policemen, baker, bus driver, doctor, race car driver, construction worker… They lived in a world of peace and prosperity, a world without violence or crime, without war and without monsters of any kind.

Not anymore. Minifigs have nothing to smile about anymore. Their world got tough. Cops have prison cells now, and surveillance equipment and armored cars. Secret agents fight evil super criminals, while star fighters engage in epic battles in high orbit. And the brave explorers search high and low, desperately looking for the next energy source, the power crystals, or the treasure keys, annihilating anything and anyone that stands in their way.
It is all about money now, and violence sells.

It is only natural, I guess. We must prepare our children for the battle that lies ahead. The rest of the world might not put up with our plundering of their resources much longer, and and there will be buttons to be pushed, and triggers to be pulled.
And sides will have to be chosen.

Shit, LEGO, I am still hooked, but now every hit makes me sick!

Too profound? Right on the money? Sex and violence sells; even to seven year old boys?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The lonely caveman

Brickshelf user Etzel has made a nice little scene depicting a part of the daily life of a caveman. There is some really nice scenery to look at here: some bare rock that of course would be riddled with little caves for a caveman to dwell in....sigh, duh. Some of his trees are really nice, like the ones in the foreground that use the 1x3x3 arches new to this year. With those little arches he's able to achieve a nice vine-like tree with lots of variations in direction, something very hard to do with LEGO arches. This little caveman likes to fish and it would seem that he's a bit of an inventor; at least that's what that little wheel outside of his hidey-hole tells me. Oh yeah, don't drink the water. Good thing he's discovered fire so he can boil it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FTW, wtf? Epic win or lolfail?

Nerds the world over, not just LEGO nerds, are spewing phrases that used to be simple shorthand. Word are being replaced by colloquialisms that make no sense because they're being used out of context. Fine, if you really want to use FTW (For The Win) as a part of your comment, go ahead but remember that it should only be part of the comment. Maybe I'm just old and crotchety but seeing somebody drop one of those in a comment box somewhere drives me crazy. "WHAT is 'for the win'??" I don't mean "What does it MEAN?" I want you to use some descriptive words. Don't be shy. Don't be lazy. Say what you mean, it's not that hard and believe me, you aren't being 'cool' by using geek-speak.

One day you'll grow up and understand where I'm coming from. Heaven help the next generation....

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love monochromatic LEGO creations

Army Men
Originally uploaded by "Orion Pax"

While so many LEGO builders fall all over themselves to add details to their creations while uttering words like 'scale', 'realism' and 'scale' Orion Pax has decided to just play around with his green bricks. Everyone who wanted to buy a bunch of the green army men from the Toy Story line had thoughts that they would build a MOC of this type. Well, maybe not everyone. There is a section of LEGO fans that have been labeled as WWIItards because they browse Wikipedia and build machines and weapons from that era while cut and pasting encyclopedia pages. Do kids study WWII in school anymore or do they learn about the Gulf war now? I digress though.

Again, I'm blogging a MOC and I don't want to talk about technique or colour blocking or some of the various other things the artsy builders go on about. You decide what you like about it. Me? I just think it's just good old green army men fun with a capital L.

Make sure you check out the rest of the pictures too!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Republic Gunship

Republic Gunship
Originally uploaded by \/\//\R |_[]R[)

The Republic Gunship is easily one of my favorite ship/aircraft from the Star Wars saga. This MOC is easily one of my favorite renditions of the ship. Why do I like it? It's clean, it's a good scale, it's full of really nice angles that follow the source quite well but most of seems to follow right along with a couple of my own failed attempts to build my own. Eerily so. I never tried to do the green potion like this fellow or use those 1x4 studless slopes but quite a bit of it looks like something I tried to build but gave up on. The 1x3 wedges on the side of the fuselage was something that hung me up as did the curvature on the upper hull. My fault, as I see it now looking at this, was trying to uses so many of the older round bricks like the 2x2 'macaroni bricks' or the 1x4x1 1/3 curved top bricks or even the 1x2x6 arch bricks. Those all looked pretty good but I always felt like I would be settling by using any combination of them. Never mind trying to find a decent hinging point that would allow upper fuselage to sit on those snotted wedges properly with a decent structure. Yes, structure is extremely important to me. Well done Warrior, well done indeed.

Castle Belisaere

Castle Belisaere
Originally uploaded by \/\//\R |_[]R[)

This is very nice. It's deceptivly small, it seems much larger than it really is. The roof is made of wonderful angles. The large SNOTted tiles are different than we're used to. The arrow loops and rockery are nothing new but nonetheless are a nice touch but, those fish. Those fish are that touch that really bring a MOC to life.

Tank Battle - Overview

Tank Battle - Overview
Originally uploaded by BMW_Indy

Yeah yeah the fire and smoke are really neat (read: very awesome), but I won't go on about that. What really caught my eye was the base you put this on! Useless parts? I've had a few of those bumpers laying around for a few years now, knowing that there is a use for them outside of hovercraft but not knowing what that use is. Now I know. The base makes this diorama for me because it makes it looks so finished which is something a lot of MOCs are lacking in and we didn't know it until we see something like this.
Thanks Brian, now I'm going to go build a base like this and I figure out later what I'll put on top of it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This takes all the angry out of me

A use for the semi-circles...
Originally uploaded by eilonwy77

I hate when words fail me but I really love this. Every now and then a development comes along in the LEGO castle genre that become one of those accepted ways of building. A standard to reach for if you will. In the past, castle builders had to stack up trans-coloured brick or plate to achieve a stained glass effect but then along came the idea of a SNOT mosaic. The mosaic technique made it easier to create a recognisable design but it was never really that stable.

Cheese slope cubes are not a new idea and now thanks to a few builders, we get to peruse through a myriad of geometric designs that push the boundaries of what you should be able to do with little plastic blocks that supposedly connect to each other in millions of different ways.

I have asked eilonwy how stable this is. Sometimes a construction with so many friction connections can be prone to crumbling when you move it or constantly having certain pieces falling out. Frustrating. I think this idea is so worthy and is such a progressive idea for castle/stained glass that if it did indeed have such structural problems, I'd find a non-purist way to fix it.
Simply put.....clear packing tape on one side. I'm a bit of a cheater like that sometimes though.

Monday, August 16, 2010

'Netiquette, forum posting, feedback and you.

Hi, your friendly neighborhood 'Big Brother' here. Yesterday on Classic-castle, I went back in time to 1984.

I've never said (and actually meant) that all of my thoughts and ideas are good ones but there are times when an inane question needs to be asked. Communities stagnate without stimulation. Sometimes needs a threat to make it wake up. People hate change and sometimes you need to threaten the status-quo. Combine that with some form of the good old 'these n00bs gotta learn' hate comment and it can be like setting a match to kindling.

I feel as though I could go on and on and on about this topic but I fear that my thoughts will become disorganised very quickly because it's early in the morning and I should probably be getting ready for work.

Still, the underlying issue of that forum thread is this: What is proper communication on a LEGO community forum?
Do you understand the rules of your community?
Do you know the unwritten rules?
Do you really have a firm grasp of how you come off to others?
Do you say what you mean and mean what you say?
Do you understand that a 'winky' emoticon is not a get out of jail free card, meaning you don't get to say mean things in the name of humour or sarcasm?
Do you know when to stand and fight or when to back away?

Before I continue I'll let you ponder these questions. So will I, even though I'm pretty confident in who I am and what I usually say it's a good thing to take a step back now and then and quietly review oneself.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There's always one.

There's always one.
Originally uploaded by Trevor Van Aalst

When the collectible minifigs were announced I was extactic that there was a cheerleader in the assortment. She's easily the foxiest minifig ever made and the first one I opened was instantly named 'Debbie'. Now that I have enough to make myself an entire squad I was adding different head/hair combinations for variety. I spent about two seconds thinking back to the cheerleader team from my high school....where there were actually three or four.....

LEGO brand retail store in Calgary.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this tidbit. Last month LEGO opened their first retail store in Canada and it just happens to be about half an hour from my house. Apparently they chose Calgary because the city buys the most LEGO per ca pita of all the cites in Canada. It sounds like the company is pleasantly surprised by sales so we can only expect more stores to open around the country in the coming months and years.

Monday, August 2, 2010

To license or not to license. Part I

There really is no question. We have all heard the stories that The LEGO Group was so so far into the red by the end of the last century* that they were near to going into receivership**. Today I'm going to start a discussion about the pros and cons of LEGO getting into relationships with other properties which started just 10 years ago with LEGO Star Wars***.
Many FOL's disagree with the myriad licensed properties that LEGO have attached themselves to; some have valid reasons and some have reasons as silly as they didn't get what they wanted coughLord of thecoughRingscough.

Now I've taken 45 minutes getting my kids tucked away into bed and have totally lost my train of thought it must be a good time to end part one. Besides, it's late and I don't feel like doing any of the back and forth posting of links and such. I'll get to it soon enough.

* I like to use that phrase, it feels so nice and old school.
** Not a fact, purely a statement based on rumour.
*** Not really, many don't make a fuss over TLG's longtime relationship with companies like Shell Oil and Ferrari because it's not something that affects them on a personal level.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Originally uploaded by "Big Daddy" Nelson

ZOMG!! You had to be there.....

Pround: N. Joshism (US): To blog while in the nude; (CA) To blog while in the nude, whilst eating bacon.

7-29-10 pattern 7

7-29-10 pattern 7
Originally uploaded by eilonwy77

This really reminds me of a set of coasters we had when I was a kid. Maybe it was potholders....

Either way eilonwy77 (aka: nondisclosed) always makes me think when I see her newest patter work.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Warning: there may be some swearing in this post. Scratch that, I've fucking had enough and it's time to vent.

LEGO PotC Captain Jack
Originally uploaded by Yupa-sama

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean. OK. Yes. I absolutely loved the first movie and lord knows my wife loves Captain Jack so I'm all for this (probably) single year co-branding. You may ask, "What's all the anger and annoyance about?" I'll tell you:

Know it all idiots on the Internet who make forum posts before they rub two fucking brain cells together. There are LEGO fans out there who in their fervor to show everyone that they know from whence they speak are saying things like:
"How can LEGO do this? Megabloks has the license for Pirates of the Caribbean." or:
"This is obviously fake, just look at the quality of the piece. It's not a LEGO piece at all, just a really good custom." or:
"Why is he riding a camel?!"
Some are even saying all three of those at the same time. Experts. HA!

I'm not about to link to the myriad news posts about the LEGO/Disney license because I think it's good Internet exercise for you to just google the damn thing yourself. I even gave you all the best words to put into the search engine in my last sentence.
I'm not an expert in licensing agreements and what would be Disney Studios property but I can and have been following it since we first heard about it so just keep this in mind; even your grandmother knows that Disney is an evil conglomerate. They own 1/4 of the entire planet. The other 3/4 are pretty evenly distributed between Coca-cola, Pepsi-co and Hasbro. How's that for a League of Super Evil? Shit I'm getting off topic.....

Yes, Megabloks had the Disney license. They no longer do; it has expired and LEGO now has it. So far they have produced DUPLO Cars that will likely tie in with Cars 2, LEGO Prince of Persia sets based on the movie that came out this past summer and LEGO Toy Story sets. The Toy Story line gave us some sets from Toy Story 3 and some sets based on the two older movies. Megabloks also did Cars sets but AFOLs didn't freak out over that because it's DUPLO and they don't give a fuck. Same situation simpleton, pay attention and think before you type. That information is some pretty basic know-it-allism for anyone who has been in the hobby for longer than six months.

As for the conspiracy that this is a custom fig....I bang my head on my desk at this. /head-desk It's a prototype LEGO element. For the last few years we have seen many, many prototypes of pieces with the same type of look; this is because The LEGO Group has started using a 3-D printer to prototype parts and items produced this way have that strange sandy texture to them. Again....AFOL's not paying attention and go flying off the handle before taking a breath and having a good look. Never mind the fact that this minifig is very carefully placed into an official LEGO display at San Diego Comic-con. If it weren't supposed to be there you can be damn sure it would've disappeared quicker than you can say "Bob's yer uncle." This brings me to the question of why he's on a camel. I asked myself the same question, BUT, I applied just a bit of logic to answer the question. He's on a camel because LEGO put him in the Prince of Persia display as an 'Easter egg'. Captain Jack is "hiding" in there.
Another explanation could be that in PotC: On Stranger Tides, we see Cap'n Jack on a camel but seeing as filming of PotC4 has only recently begun that may be quite a stretch.

Monday, June 28, 2010

game night

game night
Originally uploaded by djFargo


Sunday, June 6, 2010

In between realities

I cant do it anymore. I can't read the Twee anymore. I'm sure those cats are probably pretty nice, meek fellows in real life but their blog makes me want to punch them in the monitor.

Anglo-Saxon Pit-House

Anglo-Saxon Pit-House
Originally uploaded by Kǻrrde

Boring? Whatever. I love this as it's right up my alley! LEGO Peasantry and medieval life that isn't so overbuilt that it borders on the hilarious. I like the fences a lot, I noticed that TLG used something pretty similar to that in The Ostrich Race and thought it would be a wonderful starting point to making something a fence/s like these. The colouring is so nice. I like how he did not do any mottling ie: the grass is green, the path is dark tan and the house has it's own colours making it pop right off the base. I also like the timbers on the side and how there is just a hint of stone foundation to be seen. One, very small thing that I don't like is the shape of the base. More specifically, how the lowest corner [in the picture above] is more squarish than the rest of it. See? Small thing.

Oh, and the black around the bottom edge is a really nice way to finish it!

Monday, May 31, 2010

I left my clothes on, what more do you want?

I left my clothes on, what more do you want?
Originally uploaded by Trevor Van Aalst

For those of you who are keeping track, my full case had these quantities in it:
Indian x3
Cheerleader x3
Caveman x4
Clown x3
Zombie x3
Skater x3
Robot x4
Crash test dummy x5
Magician x4
Luchador x3
Nurse x3
Ninja x5
Spaceman x4
Forestman x4
Diver x5
Cowboy x4

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Bricklink store

Hello and welcome.
Feel free to look around and ask if you don't see what you want. I may have it. Please keep in mind that this is a supplement to my own LEGO hobby so I'm not really the quickest shipper around but five days is a long time, even for me.

Thanks, and welcome to Okotoks Brickshop! I've decided to 'reopen' my Bricklink store with a new fervor. My hopes are to be able to have it at least support my LEGO hobby and I think for that to work, I need to not only offer the pieces "I don't need" but also some of the more exciting items that other Bricklinkers want too.
You many find many items in my store that are listed as used but that's because I've had them in my storage bins for so long and some have never been used or have probably come out of my personal collection or have never been used in something I've built but may have some scratching etc. from me rummaging through my parts bins.

Many of my parts are listed as USED but are really in quite new condition as they have. So they are gently used by and Parts listed as NEW are from a box I have opened myself.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Yosemite Sam

Yosemite Sam
Originally uploaded by Mrs Monster

What to say? Words fail me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shelby Cobra

Shelby Cobra
Originally uploaded by Biczzz

I've never been one for one word posts but...."Wow" really sums this up nicely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Safe Return Thumb

Safe Return Thumb
Originally uploaded by Rick Ricks

Is there anything more touching than seeing two lovers come together after being forced to spend time apart? (as long as it wasn't because one had to spend a month in solitary confinement, that is not the kind of "touching" I had in mind)

Who could have thought that such emotion could be portrayed by two little LEGO people?