The One Wheel

There is something about mono-wheels that I find irresistible. This is despite two engineering degrees and years of professional experience that screams, “Not Practical!”, “It would have a giant turning radius!”, “There are reasons why unicycles are only seen at circuses!”, among other things.  I think my appreciation is because the mono-wheel is the distillation of a vehicle down to the fewest components: a wheel, a seat, and an engine. Daniel Church has provided an excellent mono-wheel.  The wheel is constructed from the new roller-coaster track and detailed with light grey and black Nexo shield tiles. The boiler behind the driver is well constructed as is the piston assembly.  The best part by far is that Daniel motorized the whole thing, the mono-wheel in motion with the chain drive running and the piston pumping really sells the steampunk design.

Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is perhaps one of the most amazing scientific tools humans have ever built. I maybe strongly biased in that statement as I am a giant space geek, and have had connections to both the HST and ISS. What we’ve learned about our universe form Hubble over the last 29 years (launched on STS-31 on April 24, 1990) is mind blowing. We’ve better defined the Hubble constant (measure of the rate of the universes’ expansion), learned more about black holes, closer to home it watched the comment Shoemaker-Levy 9 crash into Jupiter, and looked father then we have before.  15,000+ peer reviewed scientific published scientific papers have been based on the HST’s over 150 terabytes of data. And this is a very high level pull from NASA.gov and Wikipedia . It was serviced five times by Space Shuttle crews, a very difficult task as Hubble orbits at the upper end of where the Space Shuttle could reach in orbit and it was not originally designed to be serviced! Luis Peña build a beautiful 1:42 scale model for ChileLUG’s upcoming display at the Planetarium of Santiago de Chile. The HST isn’t a very complex as far as scaled models go, couple stacked cylinders, add the solar arrays, antennas and the forward cover, and most people will recognize it. LEGO has included the HST in several sets even. However at this scale you really get to appreciate the size of the telescope and it is large enough to include some of the finer details, like the yellow trunnion supports that held it in to the shuttle’s payload bay, and some of the tubes and cables.  My one tiny nit pic as a space geek is the aft trunnion supports are missing.  Overall a fantastic model, and the use of one of Hubble’s amazing images as a back drop is a superb choice. 

Hurricane Aftermath in Bricks

Hurricanes and Cyclones are downright scary.  I lived in Florida when Tropical Storm Fay came through, that was pretty minor with lots of flooding.   I moved north to Philadelphia to escape the tropical storms (and for other reasons), and was in the area when Sandy 2012 and Irene 2011 roared through.  While where I was at saw little damage, a few downed trees, power outages and such both those systems did tremendous damage.  Despite being fairly low on the Category number.  Also the damage wrought by Florence and Michael recently is quite amazing.  Nathan C MOCS really brings the damage home in brick for with this amazing educational MOC depicting what Hurricane Maria did last year to the Island of Puerto Rico.  He experienced the storm first hand.  In this build he has a number of moving elements that illustrates the forces hitting a house in Puerto Rico, the video of is here.  I encourage you to spend some quiet time watching the video and examining all the notes that Nathan C MOCS has left on the image below in Flickr.  This is a MOC that will challenge you, maybe scare you, definitely not one that gives happy feelings.  The destruction is captured very well, it is a beautiful build in a devastating way.   

Hurricane Maria LEGO MOC (With Notes)

Check Mate

Ok so I've got to admit, I'm not a massive fan of the LEGO Friends sets (mainly I just don't like the figures) but SuzEaton has won me over with this chess set. Each piece is themed, including a skier, halloween witch, DJ and bakers. The queen piece is represented by a prom queen and the king features one of the Friends as a mechanic. I strongly suggest checking out the individual pieces via the album. This half of the board fits together with a LEGO Elves themed board built by Suz's husband.

LEGO Friends Chess Set (better pic coming soon)

There Is A House. Like No House On Earth....

....and it belongs to the Mad Hatter. This ridiculously insane creation is by Brick Blue Wren and is bursting with detail. From the chandelier to the Hatter's hats - there's even a collection of feathers, bows and hat boxes. The spiral staircase within the hat-shaped structure comes complete with a handrail built from LEGO levers and the knobs appear to be a pair of chocolate muffins! It gets curiouser and curiouser the more you look!

Hatters house interior

And I Know When That Hotline Bling....

This LEGO vignette by Nannan Zhang perfectly depicts some of the gameplay in Hotline Miami. The main minifig is 'Jacket' who wears a variety of masks as he takes on the local Russian Mafia, following instructions left on his answer machine. This scene sees Jacket bursting through the door and shooting one mob member whilst wealding a bat ready to take on the next. I really love the use of the red crystal in the back of the minifig that's been shot - it really creates a sense of impact! Also the dark red tiles under the dead minifig by the door as the blood spills over the floor.

Hotline Miami