All Aboard!

I love a well-executed train scene. It’s likely from growing up at with my dad fairly active in the NMRR, and going to lots of train shows. Allan Corbeil’s “Going West” is an excellent diorama of a 4-6-0 steam engine chugging through the woods. The engine is well executed with a billowing cloud of coal smoke. The choice of using the old 9V powered track gives the rails a metallic shininess. I’d love to go on about the train but the vegetation is equally impressive! The simple cat’s tails in the pond are great, and add to the forest’s undergrowth well. There are 4 different style trees with a variety of greens for the foliage colors which adds to the realism in the build. This excellent build captures the Age of Steam well, I can hear the hiss of steam, the smell of coal smoke, and feel the earth rumble as the train chugs along.

Look What the Time Cruisers Have Returned With!

As much as I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I didn’t read many of the classics until I was an adult. Honestly there are still areas I haven’t delved as deep into as I would like. Short fiction is really where both genres shine (Horror too, but I’ve read far less of that). There’s so much that can be explored in a short story! Some of the most memorable SF/F works for me are short works as opposed to the multi-volume epics. Alan Mann was inspired by Frank R. Paul’s classic ‘Zine covers, for this lovely creation. The editing to get the look of a vintage cover is fantastic! The whimsy and creepiness of the alien are fantastic. Then there is the strangeness of the StarBeard in the background. (Check out Alan’s flickr for pics of the builds) The brick-punning of the names of the classic authors is fantastically done and not as forced as some combinations could be. (Likely why my favorite Ray Bradbury isn’t on there. That one would be a bit harder to pull off as well as Alan did.) I wonder what stories are in this issue. Maybe one of my favorites: “Brick Fall” by Asamoc, “The Nine Billion Bricks of God” by Arthur C. Clutch, “All You MiniFigs” by Robrick Heinlein “Do Minifigs Dream of Brick Sheep?” by Philip K. Brick, or “The Bricking of the Strange Orchid” by H. G. Playwells.

Happy FebRovery!

We are nearly three quarters of the way through the fine LEGO month of FebRovery. For those unaware the month of FebRovery was added to the LEGO calendar in 2012, and is a month long celebration of the humble space rover. Real life rovers helped us explore the Moon and Mars, I miss the long lived Opportunity Mars rover already. LEGO rovers have helped us explore the wide realms of imagination since the early days of Classic Space. Rovers built for the FebRovery event, fall roughly into three categories, homages to classic LEGO sets, hard sci-fi delights, and my favorite the wonderfully weird, wacky, and whimsical. Instead of a single focus like most BrickNerd post I’m going to share several of these unique build.

First up is Tim Henderson’s 0031TY.  This one is a bit of a tongue in cheek alt build from a rather famous light freighter. The tallness of the model makes me smile, likely because it reminds me of something that would be on the cover of a 50’s or 60’s era sci-fi short story collection

Next is David Roberts’ rather interesting take on a 4 wheeled vehicle. A unicycle with a revolving three wheeled stabilizing set up. Check out his flickr feed he’s taken FebRovery as a daily challenge. 

Space Sharks need a way to get around too. The Fishtron ATR the Watertower is a swank tripod style rover, that would definitely five some Wells’ style Martians a run for their money.  Built by Frost’s who is also attempting a daily rover build approach.

The final rover is massive, Benny's Monorail Manufacturing Modular Mobile Moonbase or Benny’s Mmmmm .  While not posted to the FebRovery group this build by Blair Archer definitely shares the weird and wacky rover feel I like.  It’s tall and gangly, with a great crane arm and bins for monorail parts.

So often we take our subjects too seriously and forget that sometimes a little whimsy can go a long way. Whimsy plus a well-executed build can bring a lot of joy to this world and one of the reasons I love our hobby.

Gargoyles!

I have many a fond memories of Gargoyles both in its original run in the mid-nineties and then catching reruns on the Disney Channel in college. The characters were fun, the voice acting was enjoyable and includes many Star Trek actors (TNG and Voyager), and had a great urban fantasy / Sci-Fi combo going. The third season did lose its way a bit, (that is covered in-depth elsewhere), but overall a very fun show. Daniel Jackson re-watched the series a few years back and built Goliath as he awakes in 2017 and is just now sharing it with us.  He’s captured the charter well, Goliath is instantly recognizable, and the 1x1 stone flecks are a nice touch. He also built Goliath’s once love interest and often foil Demona. The choice of skyscraper backdrop for these pictures really sells the picture. They are just cartoony enough and match the series aesthetic nicely.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas

Bert Van Raemdonck captures Saint Nicholas delivering hope at Christmas time. Saint Nicholas was a bishop in what is modern day Turkey he lived from 270-343 AD and much of what we know of him focuses on his generosity.  A brief bio of what we know can be found here. The miter (a bishops pointy hat) is excellent captured using the classic roof piece 3049 , as is the crozier (a bishops staff of office, which often resembles a highly stylized shepherds crook) using the gold plant piece. 

Resistance is Futile

Where Star Trek shines is in how Gene Roddenberry reflected humanity back through the other races: Vulcans and pure logic, the conflict driven Klingons, the military industrial complex of the Romulans, the greed of the Ferengi, the techno hive zombies that are the Borg.  So many good philosophical questions are explored with each race, but I especially enjoy the Borg. Some Borg themes I see are the meaning of individuality, the good of the many vs the few, the cost of war, and the need for hope. Martin Latta captures a Borg vs the Enterprise D encounter in a small vignette. The shape of Federation vessels is challenging to capture at any scale, but he nails the NCC-1701-D and the repetitive use of grille plates, jumpers, and single studs captures the super greebled Borg cube exterior without overdoing it at this scale. Well done, Mr. Latta, set course for Wolf 359 warp 9. Engage.