The Airship’s nearly complete, m’lord

Oi, yeh highness, I’m thinkin you’ll be pleased with me men’s progress. They’ve been workin day and night, yea, and she’ll be a fine vessel to match your glory!

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Lego vs Enlighten

My first jump into the Enlighten line!

I went with the airship largely due to its distinct “early 1990’s Blizzard WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness” vibe. One of my favorite games of all-time. Hah

I hope this lives up to my tempered expectations; I have many plans for this ship in The Black Brick. 😉

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Stormtrooper Transport – Build progress

The shuttle is coming together nicely. I feel like I’m making good progress at a decent clip, even considering all of the changes I’ve made or had to make. The following pictures aren’t totally current, but I think they still offer a few neat insights and snapshots of the build process.

First, I found my little Imperial emblem piece (I knew I had one somewhere!), so that totally had to replace the old wall component. I’m way happier about this than I should be. Haha

Second, you’ll notice hinges have been installed on the roof hatch and attached to the four side panels over the wings.

The hinges are going to be critical for this project. Without them, the shuttle can’t be opened, which limits my options for light control, camera angles, and character positioning. It’ll still be a tight squeeze, but I’m hoping the ceiling panel and four side hatches will provide enough room to do everything I want here.

You’ll also notice that the supports are now spaced out a bit more. Previously, they were staggered down the length of the ship, because the craft wasn’t wide enough to fully fit them. The width and stagger issues caused quite a few problems with walls, the ceiling, the side panels, and even the Stormtroopers’ seats/helmets. The ‘troopers had to lean forward, rather than sitting up straight; otherwise, the side panels wouldn’t fit.

So, I widened the entire crew area by a single peg on each side. Shifted the panels, shifted the supports, shifted the wings, and then everything fit more or less perfectly. With the added width, the supports could meet flush with each other, which allowed me to connect them with a smooth 4-peg piece, which then provided a perfect support base for the ceiling panel: no concerns about the ceiling clicking and connecting to anything it wasn’t supposed to.

Third, you can see some Nexo Knight vehicle components starting to work their way into the build. Those white elements around the cockpit hinge have meshed with the build way better than I would have ever expected. They’re very simple and straightforward, yet incredibly versatile. I’m very pleased.

More pics to come next time! We’re approaching the final finishing touches–including a bit of a retro Space Police inclusion–so I’ve got a good feeling about the next update.

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Stormtrooper Transport

It’s still very much a WiP, but I thought why not share the hilarity so far:

After building and modifying that Nexo Knights Tech Infection spider-mech-thing, I was sure that I wanted this monster to attack a squad of Stormtroopers, but I wasn’t totally certain how I was going to make that happen.

After mulling it over, I realized that a shuttle crash on a hostile alien world would be a TON of fun. Most of the scene is storyboarded, already. I also started piecing together a vision for the shuttle, itself. In order to get some of the shots I want, the shuttle would have to be modular in some capacity; I’d need to be able to open specific sides of the ship to get specific angles.

I’m fairly confident that the shuttle design will work well in that regard.

A few more images:

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Boss Battle! Roll to save!

The Grievous Tree lumbers (heh) up to your party, catching you totally unaware and unguarded! Its opening attack sweeps the party with a strong knockdown, forcing you prone until the end of the round. You gaze up in terror as this evil wooded horror moves in for the killing blow. Stomp, stomp, stomp. You knew that you would enter The Void sometime in your adventure, but it’s a cruel twist that you might be done in by a murderous plant. As you gird yourself for this untimely, grisly, leafy end, the Grievous Tree stops! It has spent all three of its movement points!

Your party regains its footing and regroups into battle formation. The Wookiee smashes the tree. Plink. No damage. The Trooper’s bomb bounces off the monster’s bark. No damage. The Treasure Hunter in the back tries to bind the tree’s limbs with his whip. The creature snaps the whip in two. The Princess throws her lightsaber. It isn’t very effective.

The Grievous Tree spins up its lightsabers and lashes at the whole party with a deadly bladestorm attack! Quick, roll to save!

Oh. You…rolled a 1.

Your party is dead. Do you wish to try again?

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Star Wars Snow Day!

“Actually, Artoo has been known to make mistakes… from time to time.”

This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite scenes and shots in The Empire Strikes Back. It’s heavy, poignant, and melancholic. It effortlessly conveys how emotionally connected these characters are; they’re mourning together, but in their own unique ways. Putting physical distance between them was a bold choice, but it works wonderfully to establish how each character is lost in themselves.

The original shot for reference:

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Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

A year ago this week, I posted this image to my Facebook page. Looking back, it almost certainly started the chain of events that led to beginning of Brick à Brac. Though it was nice to show off these creations to friends and family, I felt a need to share this on much more public platform (as opposed to a Facebook page heavily locked down with privacy settings.)

IMG_0405“Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” was relatively easy to assemble. Realizing full well that the Star Wars universe provides LEGO with strong, steady income and that LEGO doesn’t want to do anything that would upset one of its cash cows, the comparative dearth of sets for sci-fi’s other major franchises feels like a massive oversight. Yes, Kre-O and Mega Bloks both issued some nice Star Trek sets, and Character Building similarly created a quality LEGO-compatible Doctor Who series. However, no one currently possesses a license for either franchise, and the total number for both were relatively small.

The less that’s said about the Stargate SG-1 and Terminator sets sold by Best Lock, the better.

It’s a shame that LEGO didn’t do more when they had the Doctor Who license. Since its reboot, the show has contained plenty of memorable, iconic scenes that easily provide inspiration for sets in just about every size, as today’s photo shows. In fact, “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship” is flexible enough to be a bigger set, complete with any combination of robots, companions, dinosaurs and awesome looking set pieces. Alas, all we got were the Ideas set and a couple character packs for the Dimensions game.

Well, I was able to throw this one together, with a little assistance from those aforementioned Character Building and Mega Bloks sets. Maybe I’ll revisit to it and throw together a bigger version later this year.

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Brick from the Dead

Ooof that was quite the gap for me. Life. Got. Crazy. Upside is, I’ve had plenty of time to brainstorm, and there are quite a few ideas bubbling around in my head.

Some are totally new/original concepts and stories–including an epic poem…more on that later.

Others are rewrites of awful movies–looking at you, Justice League and The Last Jedi. Especially The Last Jedi.

And, of course, The Black Brick is still trucking right along. When we last left our heroes, they had just scaled a treacherous cliff to meet the mysterious, enigmatic, and a weeeee bit surly Gray Smithy. Let’s hope the Princess can talk her way into an alliance, because the Smithy’s guard dog looks ferocious…and it’s a long (but quick) way down to the ground below.

In the meantime, I recently picked up one of the new Nexo Knights Tech Infection sets, and I’m very impressed with the new villains:

Of course, I had to make some adjustments:

Methinks there might be a squad of unlucky Stormtroopers shortly crossing paths with this monstrous beastie…

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Immediately after IMG_2610creating Missy, I knew that Ace from the original run of Doctor Who would be the next subject of an original minifigure creation. I grew up watching the show and will not hesitate in admitting to a teenage crush on her character. Thankfully, because companions typically wear “normal” outfits, creating recognizable minifigures for most of them appears to be relatively easy.

However, as was the case with Missy, Ace isn’t nearly as close as I would like. In addition to not having an appropriate pinkish cream color head, she is wearing a plain black leather jacket — the best solution given that the character’s leather jacket contains a number of patches. Additionally, LEGO has never designed an “aluminum” baseball bat, nor has the company issued a black cloth skirt. Nonetheless, the final product still resembles Ace closely enough that my wife, who has watched very little of the original series, immediately recognized who she was meant to depict.

If you wish to create your own, here are the pieces you will need:

  • 970c00: Hips and legs, black
  • 973pb2828c01: Torso Female Leather Jacket with Silver Snaps and Zipper over White Striped Shirt Pattern, Black Arms, Yellow Hands
  • 73617: Dark Bluish Gray Skirt, Cloth
  • 17347: Dark Brown Hair, Female Ponytail, Long Straight with Holder
  • 3626bpb0271: Head Dual Sided Female Brown Eyebrows, Scared / Smile Pattern – Blocked Open Stud
  • 93221pb03: Radio Boom Box with Handle with Black Cassette Player, Switches and Rimmed Speakers Pattern
  • 93220pb01: Baseball Bat 4L with White Grip Handle Pattern

At the moment, I have no plans for the next Brick à Brac original minifigure. However, it’s likely that Alex might have something in mind.


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Merry Christmas, From Chiron Beta Prime

IMG_2543.jpgThis year has been a little crazy for the Andersons Appletons.
You may recall we had some trouble last year.
The robot council had us banished to an asteroid.
That hasn’t undermined our holiday cheer…

I actually had the idea for this build last Christmas but waited till this year to assemble it. Inspired by Shamelessly adapted from Jonathan Coulton’s “Chrion Beta Prime,” the build features the minifigures that my wife and I created a couple years ago at a nearby LEGO store last to represent our family, as well as a couple robots with glowing red eyes.

Although I’m pleased with the final product, it isn’t quite what was originally envisioned. Designing the Chiron Beta Prime scene to both fit on a bookshelf and include enough sufficient elements to do the song justice resulted in a layout that doesn’t entirely look like its taking place in a cave on an asteroid. However, the build, in my opinion, does the song justice. The only shame is that it couldn’t be part of the primary Christmas display. Having said that, I can certainly envision revisiting this idea at some point in the future, making it larger and more elaborate.

But, until that day comes, “Merry Christmas, from Chiron Beta Prime. Where we’re working in a mine…

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