Last year I built a Christmas ornament Flat Santa inspired by the amazing platecraft ornaments designed by Chris McVeigh. This year I’m following that up with another platecraft ornament, Flat Rudolph:
So after building the Day 24 models from Advent and Christmas Build-Up I was disappointed that my sleigh only had one reindeer…. so I dug parts out of my collection and built eight more, and devised a way to hitch them all together, and put Santa Claus from the Advent City calendar in the sleigh along with the gifts from the Christmas Build-Up model.
Chris McVeigh has long been one of my favorite builders. His models of everyday objects writ small in LEGO bricks are cute and inspiring, using some very clever building techniques, and every year he posts Christmas/holiday themed models on his website, along with building instructions … and now he has a book! The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book is a collection of 15 of his best models with instructions for each one.
I designed and built this for my Christmas Tree. Instructions are included in case you want to build one too.
This year I built a set of Christmas ornaments that I gave to someone special as a gift. I haven’t posted a MOC (My Own Creation) in a while, so I thought I’d share them with you all too. (more…)
MonsieurCaron, of Québec, Canada, has made an awesome little Christmas LEGO video, partially using parts from the LEGO City advent calendar set.
He posted about it as a comment under yesterday’s Advent Calendar posting but this is so awesome I needed to share it even if you don’t read the comments…
My latest LEGO model, just in time for Christmas, is the Nutcracker, a classic Christmas icon. In fact, it was built on Christmas Eve!
Inspired by the ballet by Alexandre Dumas père (an adaptation of the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E. T. A. Hoffmann), set to music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and staged by Marius Petipa. My wife and I saw the San Francisco Ballet version of this last week, and I’ve been wanting to make a LEGO nutcracker ever since. I was going to make a big one, about two feet tall, but haven’t got around to it yet… in the meantime I really like the way this little guy came out.
The mechanism functions pretty well; by lifting his coattails his mouth opens, just like real wooden nutcrackers. Of course, being the size that he is, you can’t crack much of a nut with it, which is probably just as well since it would most likely fall apart in your hands if you tried – LEGO studs’ clutch power is no match for your average nut.
Like last year, LEGO came up with two advent calendars, only one of which was sold in the U.S. The 7687 City advent calendar was sold everywhere, but the 6299 Pirates calendar was only available in Europe. (If you’re not familiar with advent calendars, they basically consist of 24 different gifts, one to be opened on each day of Advent, the traditional Christian season that precedes Christmas, or in other words December 1-24. These days, it’s secularized – fine by me, since I’m not religious – but the name has stuck.)
Last year, LEGO accidentally shipped a few sets of that year’s specialty calendar, which had a Castle theme, to the U.S. Shop-At-Home warehouse, and since the fans were complaining so loudly about it not being available in this country they were convinced to make them available through a special mail-order setup. But we didn’t have any such luck this year with the Pirates calendar, so unless you had a friend in Europe willing to ship it to you, there was no way to get it.
Well, my friend Holger Matthes in Germany was willing to do this favor for me, and I was hoping to get it in time for December 1st so I could post each day’s set like I did last year (each of those words is a link to a different day’s calendar from last year; days 1-7 and 24 are shown, but I bet you can find the rest). But alas, the package took a long time getting here (not Holger’s fault; he shipped it as soon as I gave him the details – but DHL took its sweet time in delivering it. Next time I’ll pay extra for airmail/express, or just order sooner. Though hopefully LEGO will have learned its lesson and won’t require me to jump through such hoops…)
If you want to see more clever coverage of the Advent calendars than I can provide, check out Chris Doyle’s Reasonably Clever blog where he’s included each day’s calendar prizes into the BRiCK House web comic.
Anyway, I didn’t get the Pirates calendar until December 18th, so I put photos on Flickr of the first 19 days the next day and have updated it today with the rest. You can see the City and Pirates sets for each day in my 2009 Advent Calendars set (or view as a slideshow).
I was surprised to see that both calendars had the days in the same quasi-random order. It made it easy to build them side-by-side; once I found that day’s door in one calendar, the other calendar had the same number in the same position. It did seem to me that all the doors were printed upside-down; the flap of the box was in the way if you tried to open the doors with the printing facing right-side-up. Last year, the direction of the printing was opposite on the two boxes, if I recall correctly.
Every year LEGO comes out with an Advent calendar (or two) and most years they include some form of Santa Claus and his sleigh. But usually the sleigh is barely big enough to fit a minifig, much less a load of toys and goodies, and the “reindeer” is actually a single minifig-scale dog with no antlers or anything.
Now Vincent Pace saves the day. He’s come up with a great MOC of Santa, his sleigh, and a whole complement of reindeer – including Rudolph with a trans-red 1×1 round plate for a nose. He’s used white droid arms for antlers, and they’re all harnessed together to an excellent red and green sleigh complete with toys.
And best of all, it can be yours! He’s selling it on eBay with a starting price of about $60 (which is about what it costs to get the parts on Bricklink). There is a link to the auction on his site – use the above link or click the photo.