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Archive for 2014

The Year 2014 part 5: Building Into 2015

By : Tomsche69
And so we have arrived at the very last day of the year, and the very last post for 2014 on this little corner of the internet.

In this final part, I`m going to be looking forward into 2015, and which goals I have set myself for the new year.

One thing I`ve learned, is to not be to ambitious in things to try and get done, as real life has the nasty habbit of messing all things up fast and spectacular, so I`ve aimed for a mix of long and short term goals. 
Another thing I found out is to focus mainly on one sort of hobby in those goals, or they are getting in the way of each other, so 2015 I`ve focussed my goals on the little bricks.

The main goal for the coming year is to get the whole Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit ranges completed, including exclusives like the SDCC micro build and the US released Bilbo from the DVD box.  The last one I have tracked down in the meantime and should be in the mail to me soonish, but for the rest it is still do-able in value if I can get the funds together to go after them before the half of the year.
I namely expect them to start rising seriously when the last vestiges of Jackson`s epic work start to dwindle down, and the SDCC I know is going to seriously cost me anyways.  I estimate around 500 euros remaining on the whole range, about which half is taken up by the two exclusives...

The second big goal this year is to try and get the Age of Mitgardia tag, for completing all the builds over all the categories.  I still need to do slightly over a dozen, meaning I`d need to churn out about 1 a month without distractions.  I know I`m more of a few at a time builder, but even though tight, the timetable is manageable and I already started work on one recently.

I`ve also planned a few display builds like the Lake-Town I`m doing at current.  While Lake-Town is the big one I want to finish, I`m also going to try to make two smaller ones this year, namely Rivendel build around the Council set, and Weathertop, build around the well, Weathertop set...

For Brick Mania 2015 in Antwerp, I want to be able to bring along something bigger.  A few weeks ago, the local television showed a rather nifty church building located in Trinidad, Cuba.  With some modifications (though I think I`ll be keeping the yellow and sand green colours) this can be transformed in a great fantasy tower...

And then there is that certain iconic spaceship I`m wanting to build soon...

Now, that is mostly the `on hands` goals for the coming year, but there are some video game related goals as well, even though I know it will be near impossible to complete those two.

The first one is to Platinum all the remaining Lego games on VITA and PS3, which are 9 at the moment and all are in a various state of played through.  For the VITA that`s the Ninjago and BatMan 3 games, while for the PS3 I`m talking both Batman 2 and 3, Marvel Superheroes, The Hobbit, Indiana Jones 2, Star Wars 3 and the Lego Movie...

I know the Vita games can go swiftly, but the 100% unlocks on the PS3 ones take some mighty grinding and will be taking a whole lot more of time, coming down to about a game a month and a half on average.

If I can actually reduce this list to about 4, not counting all that will probably be coming out this year in the franchise, I`d be happy, but seeing at least two games are said to be planned (on both game systems) with Jurassic World and the final The Hobbit, I think the counter will be at status quo at the end of 2015.  Oh well, as long as it doesn`t increase...

The final goal is to get all achievement points for Minifigures Online, which is as good as impossible to get.  I`m under half at the moment, though I already added in the points you can earn with the still officially to appear here Series 13.  This means a LONG grind is still in front of me considering all those figures that need to master the Lost Creations`s first 15 levels...

But well, I probably will have `some` free time the coming months, so it`s time to grind those wheels and get going on trying to cross off as much as possible from the list in 2015.


And to all, a happy New Year, best of wishes and hopefully see you all back here next year!

Which is basically tomorrow...
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My `The Best of 2014` look back

By : Tomsche69
On this penultimate day of the year, I`m looking back on the cool things I saw, heard, read and the likes during the past year.  

Now mind you, it doesn`t mean that they are actually things from 2014, just things that I discovered this year...

And as you will see, there are some very suprising results in there, that you might not have expected from me at all...

1. Best Anime of 2014: Aldnoah Zero

There was the second season of Saint Seiya Omega with a lot of old school, there was a heap of Gundam... but for me the best anime series I saw this year is a bit of an unloved gem.  I hadn`t ven heard of it before I started watching it, but ALDNOAH ZERO is probably one of the best ever made.  And it`s very unexpected ending for something in the Mecha genre makes it even more stronger and daring.

2. Best Movie of 2014: Jimmy`s Hall

You probably all expected something like the The Hobbit, the Lego Movie or some sci-fi flick here, but the best move I saw (it`s review is still in the backlog lined up) was the social drama Jimmy`s Hall.  yes, not very like me it might seem, but it is a very strong movie.

3. Best Series: The Flash

It`s a superhero series as it should be.  Nothing of the `deep and dark` tone most series tend to set these days (or try to, I can`t even remotely start liking Gotham), but light hearted and fast paced action, a red line storyline running through it, and well, just good entertainment.  It topped my list as such right above Game of Thrones and the new Doctor Who (I LOVE Capaldi), and it has that lighthearted feeling like the original two Spider-Man movies and such.

4. Best Book: Terry Pratchett The Colour of Magic

I finally got around to reading the first instalment ever written for the awesome Discworld universe, even though I`ve read many that became after it.  And the Luggage, Twoflowers and Rincewind remain a great adventure story fellowship.  The typical tongue-in-cheeck and wordplay humour of Pratchett remains classical in the genre.

5. Best Game: The Wolf Amongst Us

The Telltale adaption of the Fables comics is for me personally the best game experience I had the past year.  Even though Lego The Hobbit is fun and great, and the Walking Dead season 2, also by Telltale, is intense, I really could live into the dilemma`s of Bigsby Wolf and companions.

6. Best Music: the opening of Sidonia no Kishi



Performed by Angela, it`s tragic undertone and military marching pace exploding into the fatser parts make this a great song for myself.  Though it will never top of course the best song ever made, My Friend the Wind by Demis Roussos...

7. Best LEGO set: the ECTO-1

Here I wanted to put at first the newest, smallest set of the new The Hobbit wave, Witch King Battle, or the Black Pearl which makes a magnificent mantle piece drawing gazes of all those that visit here, but the ECTO-1 is just so much more.  It`s a classic, an icon of my youth (and it`s siren has been my ringtone for ages).

So these are it, my top selections of the past year.  Tomorrow, in the very final post of the year on this blog, I`ll be taking a look forward in the 5th and final part of 2014, by having a look at the geeky goals I`ve set for myself in the coming 12 months.

See you then!
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A bit of all kinds of things...

By : Tomsche69
Unfortunatly, 2014 is ending on a sour note.  Yesterday, the dreaded verdict came that my knee is a total loss, and my pitch days are now officially and permanently a thing of the past.

Of course, this came home a bit of a jack hammer blow, even though it was already something I suspected considering the issues I had with the old bloke for over a year now, but still, not the hapiest of news to hear.

So to distract the mind a bit, I tackled another stack of boxed sets and polybags I have lying around, and started building and photographing a heap of Lego sets.

Of course, needless to say I now have a serious backlog of build reports that will carry me a long way into 2015 already on material for a weekly posting ;-)

My mum and family went on the annual trip to Canterbury in the meantime while I was in the hospital, and even though the Debenham`s website had Benny`s Spaceship and the middle set of Guardians at -50%, they found neither there.  They did bring back however this nice little gadget :-)

Which means as the year closes, I can now update the Bricky Wish list with the `sets to get` for 2015, apart from those still missing from my Middle Earth collection.

Of course, this includes Benny`s Spaceship, I loved the whole sequence in the Movie when he gets the word go at last to build one.

Further to gets are the Guardians sets before they rotate out as the movie is getting older, including the Rocket Polybag.




From the DC line, there is still the Riddler Chase set I`m after.  I always loved the villain (especially even the Jim Carrey version!) and it has The Flash in it as well.  The other one is the one set of 2015 that I really am going to get, finally we get Green Lantern in widely available retail version.


And finally, there are some Star Wars sets I`ll be looking for still.  The small Darth Vader Transformation is at premium rates online, but you never know when I might find one in some small toy store.  The Snow Speeder and especially the TIE are high on the list for display, I always had a fond place for the iconic Empire vessel...



So yeah, it has been a busy 36 hours, but even as the year draws to a close, we will keep our chin high and make the best of it none the less...
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Lego Bouw Je Eigen Ruimterijk book review

By : Tomsche69
The latest addition to the Legobrary that I found under the christmas tree (thanks mum and dad), is `Bouw je eigen Ruimterijk`, not sure how it was released in english, but it roughly translates as `Build your own space empire`.

This hefty 400 page tome, published here by Atrium and written by Joachim Klang, Oliver Albrecht, Lutz Uhlmann and Tim Bischoff is propped full of building instructions, and while focussing mainly on Star Wars, it has some other franchises in it as well.

It namely contains some Star Trek, a build for Moonbase Alpha 1 (but not the Eagle though), a lot of Star Wars, a Mecha and some Battlestar Galactica (the original series).

The main sorts of builds are either `block figures` like the Captain Kirk seen here, or a lot of vehicles from Star Wars in scale with the microfigs you can find in the Lego games, like X-Wings, AT-ATs and the likes.

Every instruction is well drawn, and comes with a comprehensive parts listing for what you will be needing to build certain things.

But the beauty for me, and with whom I immediatly fell in love, is the instructions for the Colonial Viper in Minifig scale.  So much even, that I`ll be attempting to make my own copy as a goal for 2015!


It`s a good book and I`m glad to have it in the collection, even though it`s `outside` my regular niche, but hey, it`s Lego, the bricks stay the same no matter what you want to build...

But for now...


Lord of the Rings in Concert

By : Tomsche69
Yesterday night, the GF and I went out to watch this unique, and one performance only, spectacle: the Lord of the Rings in Concert.


The first edition of a yearly trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, was being screened while being supported by choirs and an orchestra.

This basically came down to it that the whole Howard Shore score of music and singing (like the elven lament in Lothlorien) was taken over by the performers, consisting off:



The National Orchestra of Belgium
The child choir of the Flemish Opera
The Fine Fleur choir from Night of the Proms

Though we had to leave right before Boromir would fall, due to snow and issues with public transportation and such, this was one might spectacle, and I think we will be back next year for The Two Towers ;-)




Blocks Magazine 3 - my first one

By : Tomsche69
I have heard a lot of good things about this recently newly appeared Lego magazine, and ordered issue 3 from their website to have a look at what all the talk is about.

Being an avid reader of the US based magazine Brick Journal, which i can pick up at my local Lego retail store, I was curious, and since this issue had a feature on The Hobbit, what better way to start no?

The magazine is a 100+ page glossy publication, and is done to a nice and high standard quality.  The The Hobbit feature is basically a run down of all the sets released in the range, and a listing of all the minifigs that came with it.  An intresting read, and one that shares my own opinion that the Bag`s End set is truly one of the best franchise sets released by Lego the past years.

Another very good read for me was a comparisson article between three similar priced Lego spaceships, being the Milano from Guardians of the Galaxy, the Ghost from Star Wars Rebels and the Police Drop Ship from The Lego Movie ranges.  I love these sorts of articles for the sake of not yelling everything is awesome for each single brick and piece Lego brings out, and the magazine does give bad criticism at certain points, always a welcomed tone for myself.

Another perhaps silly sounding, but intresting aspect of the magazine is that you get to see adverts of european based companies.  I`m not a purist and not `dirty` to use a minifig accessory left or right from third party companies, but for example while I ordered some BrickForge stuff a few days ago, I didn`t know that a UK based company, Firestar, distributed them as well.  This is good to know, as it would shave off a lot of time on shipping and avoid taxes on large orders that way, making the small surcharge worth it compared to the 33% import tax I get charged once an order goes over 22 euros if coming from the States.

And the Warwick Davis read was an entertaining one!  Always good to read about celebrities that share the hobbies of us commoners.

All in all, I really liked this magazine, and I`m going to go for a subscription as one of my other magazine subscriptions of abroad has ended (Non Sport Update, a magazine about trading cards but TO United States based for someone in backwater Belgium), and now to see if I can pick up the earlier copies somewhere soon at not to inflated prices to try and complete the collection.


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The Plan episode 45

By : Tomsche69
The final episode of The Plan for 2014, as New Year`s Eve is upon us, and I managed to do in some additions in my everlasting urge to master the game completely.

Which will still take some effort, as we haven`t hit the halfway mark just yet.

In the efforts to build up all the minifigures to their current maximum possible upgrades level, the first one of the figures has been completed, the Alien Avenger.  Not that this is for a specific reason, he just happens to be the first minifigure in the alphabetical list, and at a requirement of almost 20k+ stars to get a model from 0 to maximum, this requires `some` grinding.

I fear this is something going to be needed on my complete arsenal of available miniatures, because solo`ing the Lost Creations from levels 6 to 10 isn`t simple without a lot of healing potions, and if your figures aren`t to their maximum it seems rather impossible to even try the 11 to 15 levels.  I think I`m going to really have to get in there and team up with others if I ever want to master it for each and every model.

So my grinds are currently long run ones, as I try to get all the achievements of 10.000 kills, 5000 smashes and 1000 builds for respectively Strikers, Defenders and Builders, not the simplest of jobs to do in the game as it takes around a week for me to get a figure to that point.  Luckily, this usually means a figure pops due to that to Legend status and it is worth the effort in Achievement points.

This week, that resulted in the Forest Maiden, Bumblebee Girl, Heroic Knight and Barbarian achieving this status.



I also welcomed a new figure to the ranks, as the exchange for models with the Smurf left me with the Piggy Guy from the complete put aside set added, meaning I only need to use 3 more codes from Series 12 to unlock them all (Swashbuckler, Lifeguard and Prospector), but we have time with Series 13 almost upon us now.

For the coming week, I`m going to be rather immobilised due to the knee operation which has been moved back a week, it should have had taken place normally last week, so in between the holiday visits, it should be possible to put in a game or two ;-) so I aim to get at least two or three minifigures up to Legend status as well.  Considering it will be the last week for the extra stars due to the winter event, I will be staying clear from LC, to try and maximise the grinded points though...

Until next week, and have a happy New Year and best of wishes!

The Year 2014 part 4: Evolution of the Blog

By : Tomsche69
A blog is in certain ways an extension of one`s personality.  Through the written word, you love to share your feels, your intrests, your frustrations to the world, and even though you might not know those that read it, in a way it is a ventilation.

Now, of course blogs focus only on a certain aspect of a person, and for me this has always been a way to share my intrests in a certain hobby.

In 2015, the 28th of February to be precise, the blog will be celebrating it`s 5th anniversary, and it has been a journey in large detailing my transition from wargamer to Lego builder if I look back at it.  Sure, the inserts of other side intrests like my love for anime, geeky books and the likes are all included on these pages, but in general those have been the alpha and omega of this little corner of the internet so far.

Now, thanks to Facebook and Google+ mostly, this blog has now had a 218k+ visits, a substantial raise compared to last year.  That and the fact that Lego is a more widespread niche then wargaming was, also means the average readings of a post have more then doubled, from 37 last year on average to 108 on average this year.  And that is because the non-Lego related posts tend to pull down the average a bit.

Like this one prabably will ;-)

Now, this is also visible in the new top posts.  For 2 years running, this table in my toolset has been dominated by the Aftermath reports of Salute 2012 and Crisis 2012 respectively taking the 1 and 2 spot in the top 10, followed by those of the other years.

But the Lego insert has shaken up this table heavily.  The current and absolute number one is the preview post of last year, detailing which Lego sets where bound to come out in 2014`s first half, while the 2015 spoiler post is only a dozen views away now of knocking the Crisis report out of the top 3.

The Inspirational Star Wars you see in the top 10 is a bit of late action, this post seems to rocket as google engines hit it when people look for `Lego Star Wars 2015`, probably due to the announcement of the new movie next year, as the post started rising since then.

Brick Mania Limburg 2014 is the first Lego show convention report sneaking into the top 10, so on that part the wargame shows tend to attract more viewers, while the Lego posts seem to be more consistent over the general lines. 

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Another thing I will be trying to do in 2015 though, is a more consistent sequence of regular posts, instead of tossing them in left or right, resulting sometimes in `all or nothing` days.

For 2015, I plan to have a sort of a schedule, in which `The Plan`, which is about my adventures in some MMO, currently Minifigures Online, are weekly chronicled, will remain on it`s saturday slot.  I`m going to do the `Build xxx` post at a rate of one a week, probably on the thursday slot.  And finally, the Inspirational Lego will be getting a regular monday slot now on, and numbered to prevent dual titling issues.  But since I do my tour of most cool builds usually during the weekend, that would mean they are still fresh in the mind to talk about :-)

So that`s it for the oversight of this bloggy page for 2014.  Next wednesday, I`ll be back for the final part of the look back, as I`ll be actually looking forward in the new year and talk about the goals I`m setting for myself for 2015... on a geeky level!
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