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zaterdag 23 juli 2016

Lapzwanzer's Finest Chocolates

Ever since professor Lapzwanzer discovered the secret of cacao in the Mysterious Cave, he has been totally enthralled by the substance, in that he even gave up his post as first contact specialist.

Instead, he decided to open a small store in Quinnsville, together with a native woman he fell in love with and immediatly married (though she has no idea what that means actually, she just came along to see the world), VanillaPecanut.

A small commerce for Quinnsville, this build is the continuation / conclusion of the small Professor Lapzwanzer story, which I did for the challenge back when Cocovia still needed to be officially discovered. 

I wanted, after the coffee shop I build, place a second commerce in the town as well, to show the second of the two natural richnesses the island held, being coffee and chocolate.

Hope you like it!

vrijdag 22 juli 2016


A small thing I`ve build today, numbering about 70 pieces, is a "pixel art" of that infamous italian plumber, Mario.

Of Nintendo fame, he is almost as old as I am, and I thought it cool to make a small build for him.

Now, this is based on a pixel art picture, and I discovered something better for making mosaics in the future then pictures and software, namely crochet patterns.  The downside on that is however that if you want to make it in 2D like this one, pieces don`t flow over into each other as they are sewn onto a lap normally.

This makes that in essence both brown legparts and his extending arm aren`t connected to the body, so I solved this by using transparent clear 1x2 bricks to go inbetween and connect the parts to the main body in that way.

And the collectible minifig stands are a great way to be able to display it :-)

Hope you like it!

donderdag 21 juli 2016

Give Mega Bloks some loving!

Okay, so my "Convention Buddy" is probably going to strangle me in a very slow and painfull manner for writing this Opinion piece, but bear with me...

First things first, I love LEGO, but I can also appreciate the sets from other construction toy companies, even though this often results in namecalling et all on forums and facebook groups.

But this piece is about companies that make their own IP ranges, not knock off companies like the dreaded Lepin for one.  Those make just flat copies, while companies like Kre-O (Transformers), Mega Bloks (Star Trek), Nano Blocks (Pokemon) etc have their own genuine ranges.

And really, the new Blockheads that LEGO launched this week at SDCC is basically the same as the older released Kubros line by Mega Bloks... but I doubt any die-hard LEGOista will see it that way...

But Mega Bloks.  Yes, I admit, they had inferiour quality years ago, but in my experience, they have gone up a LOT since around the time of their Warcraft series about 5 years ago.  heck, a lot of their properties are really cool, like HALO, Assassin`s Creed, Terminator etc...

Now, contrary to some other companies that had cool licenses (Best Lok`s Stargate comes to mind for one), Mega Bloks has a lot of unique pieces that you can`t copy easily with Lego.  With Best Lok, i just bought the instruction booklet for a euro of their Daedalus and then build it with genuine Lego parts, something not do-able with their ranges.

Of course, the figures are TOTALLY different from the (patented) minifigure, and this is already a good indication if you`re dealing with a company that makes their own construction toy toys, or if you have chinese knock-offs on your hand.  While their is a niche in the action figure market for knock-off figures (Masters of the Universe and Star Wars have whole collector fares dedicated to the mostly mexican, brazilian and polish figures of a few decades ago), with Lego this is a whole different matter.

The Mega Bloks figures are more like small action figures and their heads etc aren`t really interchangable, so you have unique figures and that is it.  Going into their Expert Collector lines, these figures have even more articulation points, so really there is no comparing them to regular minifigures.

The sets are getting better and better in look and design, and their flagship set, the massive USS Enterprise from TOS is easily comparable with a Lego UCS set from the Star Wars range... even in price range.

I must admit I like putting the occasional set together and display them, just because of the fact they have such radically different intellectual properties, and I feel a lot of Lego fans are, well, sort of "racist" on their look of the bricks from the other companies.  A bit like with custom parts for Lego, which also lacks a grey area and just have a black and a white opinion of fans.

Maybe it`s time to change all this and become more openminded towards other toys?  If the Transformer fans could do it with knock-offs and the Go-Bots range, then surely the AFOL must be able to open his experiences as well?

Just my two cents... but now I got to think further about founding BeMBUG, the Belgian Mega Bloks User Group!

woensdag 20 juli 2016

USS Kelvin NCC 0514

The vessel that has lend it`s name to the movies alternate timeline continuity, the USS Kelvin was an ill-fated Federation science vessel that first encountered the Romulan Narada of captain Nero.

Totally outmatched, Jim Kirk`s gather George was captain of this vessel for 12 minutes and saved 700 lives, as he allowed the crew to evacuate before ramming the ship into the Romulan monstrosity, disabling it and as such allowing the survivors to escape.

I really like the design of this ship, being like an "evolved" version of the old FASA Saladin class science vessel with the large nacelle underneath and the secondary hull added above. 

Her saucer section has a 24 studs diameter, and her total length comes to 42 studs, making her once again perfect in my "target" area for sizes, being about the length of a regular Lego Star Wars set.  You know, the infamous "balancing" of our convention team etc...

Her neck is a bit fragile though being only a stud wide, hence why I placed her "low by the ground" using just some minifigure stands as a base for placing her.

And here she stands, proudly alongside the reboot Constitution, and ready to go to convention season this fall.

But now, I have a real big project to think about to get ready for FACTS 2016 in october... and it won`t be Star Trek.

Titan A. E.

What do you do when it`s a sweltering heat outside and you`re hiding from it?  In my case, put on the fan, sort out Lego elements and watch movies and series in the meantime.

And yesterday, I watched Titan AE, whose dvd I picked up last week.


The movie resolves around the human race coming into conflict with an energy based alien species called the Drej.  This results in the Drej destroying Earth while a few humans survive.  Sam Tucker, a professor (voiced by Ron Perlman) gives his life to fly a ship called the Titan AE (After Earth) away, as his son Cale escapes on a refugee ship.

Jumping 15 years forward, Cale has become an asteroid worker is contacted by Corso, who tells him his father`s ring is actually a map holder.  Together with the rest of the crew, he must escape the Drej once again as they are after Cale as well, and flee into space.

Soon after however, Akimi and Cale learn Corso actually works for the Drej, as he has lost all hope of ever restoring humanity, and they go off and search for the Titan AE by themselves.  When they find it, they overcome the Drej with the aid of a Corso who has seen hope at last, and launch the ship, changing an ice field into a new habitable world, dubbed "planet Bob" by Cale.


This movie, made in the typical american style animation of the early 2000s, has been a bit under the radar in sci-fi midsts.  I confess, I had heard of it when it came out, it vaguely had his name lingering in the back of my mind all those years, but I never actually saw the movie.

And I thought it was rather good.  With strong voice acting, Matt damon, Drew Barrymore and Bill Pulman taking the lead roles, and nice effects, this was for me a better film then the more revered sci-horror flicks like Dead Space.

I guess it just "suffered" in the public and critics eye if you read up on it`s production due to the issues in actually getting it made, even including the demise of Fox Animation during the workings on it et all.

Rating: 6.5 / 10

maandag 18 juli 2016

Classic Lego Build: 6952 Solar Power Transporter

In today`s classic build, we are visiting a 1985 Space set, the Solar Power Transporter.

While I like the ships of that era, the ground vehicles... not so much.  They just didn`t do it for swooshing kid me 30 years ago.

And this large wheeled machine was no difference.

The set comes with 4 Lego spacemen, including one of the harder to find black ones.

And it also had a little robot companion, which is the first thing we are putting together.

We then start the basis of the vehicle, centered around a plate and large hinge pieces to have the compartments front and aft being able to swivle as the machine manoeuvres over rocky terrain.

This central part then gets build up and has the connectors for the auxiliary vehicles to be attached to it.

Side panels surround the computer center to manage the power operations.

Using trans red antenna pieces, the roof of this central part of the vehicle is then added.

And we put the large wheels in place...

The first of the additional vehicles is made, based around a grey plate.

Using a large cockpit underpiece, this is then shaped in it`s roughly triangular form.

Small wings and a canopy are then installed on this vehicle.

Adding the large wheels, it is connected on the main body of the Transporter.

We repeat this build to get to the vehicle on the other side as well next.

Next, we do another double build, as small rocket powered modules are put together and installed on the roof.

These can be disconnected and attached to the back of the wheeled vehicles for small support vehicles, but I forgot to take a picture of that, and the thingie has long been sorted out as there is over a year since I build it, and now am posting the build report

The vehicle completed:

Like I said, while it`s a rather impressive model sizewise, it just didn`t do much for me in my childhood years.  For me, space is spaceships, and you can`t decently swoosh a truck now can you ;-)