Studless, smooth, and sleek, this racer, known as “Scarlet Mayhem,” was the winner of the first annual Earth to Mars race, which tests a ship’s performance in atmosphere, interplanetary, and reentry situations. The two-man crew take turns flying the craft, similar to the Le Mans car race. Detailed photos are available on Flickr.
The scoops on the tops of the wings provide air for the engines when running inside the atmosphere in scramjet mode. It has a lot of SNOT details – the bottom of the fuselage is mounted studs-down, and covered in tiles and slopes so that no studs or undersides of bricks are showing. The wings are studs-out, made of bricks, and the only conventional part of the ship is the wingtips which do show their undersides. Because of the studs-down bottom, there are no studs inside on the floor for the minifigs to sit on (to add a studs-up floor would require the roof to be higher, ruining the lines, or removing too much interior space for the minifigs). As a result, the minifigs are sitting on 2×4 plate “sleds” which slide into the ship and sit loosely. The cockpit canopy is hinged on the sides.
This model was built mainly using parts from the Enzo Ferrari 1:17 set, borrowing parts from Prehistoric Power and Speedboat sets. Why such a limited source of parts? I’m on vacation in the east coast away from my LEGO collection, but I bought the above sets at the LEGO store during BrickFest 2006.
It’s a little strange to be building LEGO away from home, and with an unfamiliar and reduced palette. Still, I got a lot of great new parts which I look forward to combining with my collection at home when I return.
Update: I have also posted pictures of this model on Brickshelf.
Update: I also posted about this on Lugnet and Classic-Space.com.[tags]lego,space,snot[/tags]
My latest models were unveiled at BrickFest yesterday: vignettes illustrating poetry by Robert Frost and A. E. Housman.
These poetry vignettes are not just my work, however. For the first time I have collaborated with my wife Holly to create LEGO models. While I did almost all of the actual assembly, she had the basic idea, did most of the minifig work, and helped a lot with the design, especially with the “Yonder See the Morning Blink” model. I really enjoyed sharing my hobby with her and hope that we can do more projects like these together.
Click the photo or title to see a bigger picture of each vignette, and a link to the text of each poem:
Or, view all the photos in my photoset on flickr. New! Also available on Brickshelf.[tags]lego,poetry,vignette,vignettes,housman,frost,aehousman,robertfrost[/tags]
On June 18, the Space contingent of the Bay Area LEGO Users Group had its first Space-only meeting.
We met on a Sunday evening at the Round Table Pizza parlor in Mountain View. They have a nice back room that you can reserve for free if you call ahead, which we’ve used for various members-only events in the past. Besides bringing our latest Space models to show off, we also had a contest and a parts draft.
The contest was for “best greeble” and there were two categories: top greeble and bottom greeble. But what is a greeble? When they were building the models for use in the Star Wars movies, the modelers used the term “greeble” for the little bits of detail used to break up the otherwise smooth skin of the spacecraft. Read more about it on Wikipedia. Members brought examples of greebles on both the top and the bottom of their models (or looking another way, studs-up vs. studs-down). I won in the “top greeble” category!
The parts draft was an opportunity for us to leverage our buying power to get large numbers of interesting parts. A parts draft is where each person brings a particular LEGO set and then we sort the contents of the boxes into piles, and take turns drawing from the piles. We used Set 4881 “Robo Platoon” since it could be obtained for $5 at the local LEGO store (it sold out before the meeting was held though, so some members couldn’t get a copy), and had a lot of great parts. We limited it to 2 copies of the set per person, to keep things fair. We sorted the parts out into baggies and literally drew straws – Pizza Hut drinking straws cut to various lengths – to determine the order for selecting. Even though everyone got at least one unwanted bag (toward the end the choices were pretty limited), I think everyone was happy with what they got for their $5 (or $10 for those who brought two boxes).
The meeting date for our next Space meeting hasn’t been set yet, but it will probably be later in the summer. We did select a contest theme though – build a spaceship without using any grey (light grey or dark, old or new).[tags]lego,space,baylug,meeting,partsdraft,greeble,greebles,contest[/tags]
Along with the TransAmerica Pyramid , this was built for the display that my LEGO club, the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group, had at the LEGO store in Pleasanton, CA. In January 2006 we used “mini-scale San Francisco” as the theme for our display.
More pictures of the model can be found on Flickr and on Brickshelf (once moderated).[tags]lego,lombardstreet,sanfrancisco,mymodels,microscale[/tags]
These two fish were built as part of a display that my LEGO club, the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group, maintains at the Stoneridge Mall LEGO store in Pleasanton, CA. On February 20, 2006 we installed an “aquarium” theme there, which lasted for about a month. Read more about the installation and see more pics.
More pictures of the model can be found on Flickr.
The TransAmerica Pyramid is one of the most distinctive structures in the city of San Francisco. In January 2006 my LEGO club, the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group chose “mini-scale San Francisco” as the theme for our display at the LEGO store in Pleasanton, CA. I built this model, along with a scene of Lombard Street, for that display.
More pictures of the model can be found on Flickr and on Brickshelf (once moderated).[tags]lego,pyramid,sanfrancisco,mymodels,microscale,transamerica[/tags]
This old-fashioned fire truck was built in July, 2004 for the display that my LEGO club, Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group & Train Club put on at a museum in Pleasanton, CA. Since the 4th of July was during that exhibit, we added a parade to the layout, and what’s a parade without an old-fashioned fire truck? So I built one.
More pictures of the model can be found on Flickr and on Brickshelf.
Friday evening, March 10, I was at the Santa Clara Convention Center helping set up(*) the Bay Area LEGO Users’ Group & Train Club layout for the 2006 Cal-Stewart Spring Meet of the Train Collectors Association. It’s a combination conference and show, running all weekend. Saturday, March 11, it’s open only to conference attendees, but on Sunday it will be open to the public (for a small fee). Come on down and visit us! See the event information on the BayLUG site for details.
Pictures of the layout can be found on Flickr. Click the photo to see them.
(*) – not really. I was really late showing up and the other guys had already done the hard stuff. I just put a few buildings and cars down and took pictures….[tags]lego,baylug,bayltc,trainshow[/tags]
With other members of the Bay Area LEGO Users Group, I helped install a new [tag]aquarium[/tag]-themed display at the Stoneridge Mall [tag]LEGO[/tag] store in [tag]Pleasanton[/tag], CA on Feb 20, 2006. My contributions to this display were two fish and some seaweed.
The fish that appear to be floating in air, and the seaweed that I created (on the left side of the “tank,” made out of LEGO palm frond pieces) are suspended by threads, at the other end of which are magnets that cling to the shelf above the display. The large octopus is suspended by threads too, but it’s too heavy for magnets so the threads are wrapped around the shelf supports.
See photos on Flickr or on Brickshelf.
This is another model that I built 3 years ago but only recently posted the pictures online.
This, along with the recently posted Road Bridge, was built for the BayLTC train layout in 2003.
The cliff module was designed to come apart into several sections for ease of transportation and storage. Each section connected to the next one using Technic pegs. At one end, I built a peninsula with a space for Russell Clark’s lighthouse. It had an opening, recessed by one plate’s thickness, to accomodate a 16×32 stud baseplate.
The launch ramp road piece, like the road pieces on the bridge, came from LEGO’s 6600 Highway Construction set. It had stairs leading down to a small dock.
The lifeguard tower and beachgoers were contributed to the layout by club member Mark Benz.