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Archive for november 2014

The Lego 2015 shopping list

By : Tomsche69
Now with most of the new first half of the year sets `out there`, and we have a good idea of what our beloved company is going to be sending our way, it`s time for me to reflect on these and make up my `wish list` of sets for the coming year.

And I must say, since there is no more Lord of the Rings / The Hobbit (unless Minas Tirith passes the Lego Ideas review phase), there are no really big sets on the list that are drawing my attention.

1. The MUST have sets

First and foremost, there is this little Chima set that is going to come out, containing 3 minifigures and a few bits and pieces.  But they are POLAR BEARS and they are the regiment I talked about of building in my Mitgardian army post earlier.

They just look awesome, and to complete the regiment, I`m aiming at about 7 to 8 of these nice little boxed sets, who will be retailing around the 10 euro mark.

The second set high on my list, even though completely unrelated to my `niche`, is the small DC set coming out in 2015.  Finally, a Green Lantern minifig will be released to the general populace, making him no longer only available as a very expensive SDCC exclusive of a few years ago.  Now if they only brought out a generic black suited Spidey as well...

The third will be a single minifigure from the upcoming Simpsons series 2 around the summer months, as Comic Book Store Guy will be included.

2. The intresting, I might get them sets

These are the kind of sets I don`t tend to buy `per se`, until they start appearing at outlet stores, or during promotions.

Another set from Chima for regimental building like the Polar Bears, the Sabretooth set is also intresting, yet less highly on my priority list.  I might get one or two left or right though for a smaller unit in my force.

From the new Elves, there is this niftly little set.  It features a great part selection, and the squirrel is to cute not to use in some MoC`s.

The same goes for this set from the Disney Princesses range.  If I find it marked down, I might pick it up as it has a great part selection.

Talking cute, the newest wave of Friends `Pet polybags` has this one with a rabbit family.  Retailing usually around the 4 to 5 euro mark, one or two might be picked up left or right, probably to round out a mail order and validate for free shipping or such.

The final pieces of `I might` are from the newest Mixels wave, and especially the `night creatures` sets.  These come not only, like almost all mixels, with a heap of good uncommon elements for their cheap pricing, the particular sets also come with a bunch of glow-in-the-dark parts.



3. The Mainstay set

That one set you tend to buy multiples off because it is readily available.  Last year, this was the Vadry`s Ice Glider set, I bought a total of 5 during the year, just for the parts.  You also have that 15 to 20 euros set that is intresting if you look over all the ranges,  if only for the elements included in the box. 

I usually select one of the cheaper sets for this, as birthdays, christmas and what not`s tend to yield you a range of gift vouchers for various (toy) stores, and to have a clear mind of what they might be selling even in a basic store selection, saves a lot of headaches.

This year, that will definitly be the `green bird` Creator set, LOTS of basic green parts, and the Creator range is dead cheap compared to other ranges...


So as you can see for the first releases (still no idea on the Marvel and Jurrasic ones though, and who knows what Lego might come up with for the second half of 2015, or from Ideas), there aren`t any big must haves on my list, and I can be focussing exclusively on my MoCs and Tolkien collection for the first 5 - 6 months :-)

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There is no such thing as a crappy Magic card

By : Tomsche69
Or at least, not in value... In this short opinion piece, I`m taking a look back at how I manage to play `for free` during the year, AND how I can fund my Legodiction with them.

Now, as most know, being a very season bound player for Magic the Gathering, I don`t tend to invest in the next big thing or keep heavy trade binders.

I usually play during the summer months, when the weather is more pleasant to be waiting on the bus at night, but also because other obligations are then far lower in time intensity.  This means I play most of my events usually in the Limited formats, being either Draft or Sealed.

This of course results in shoe boxes of common and uncommon cards of the not to playable kind, something that tends to happen at drafts, and a collection of what is labelled `crap rares`.  Surely, Planeswalkers and usually the rare lands tend to go for a few euros, but no love is handed out to that poor Tromokratis and his 20 cents value or such.

WRONG

For almost every card, somewhere out there is a collector that looks to complete all the sets, and who is constantly looking around for those cards.  Now, usually people rarely bother hauling them along on trades, and in webstores they tend to go in the 1 euro category, which is not that cheap, considering you can usually get a full playset of those cards on sites like Magic Card Market for half the price.

I personally tend to use the cards I draft and pick and win with the complementary booster on Friday Night Magic`s to be listed right away.  And since my mediocre skills, I rarely get to pick `money rares`.

But on the other hand, since I don`t follow the hypes in Constructed, and just tend to go `boom boom boom` with red, I don`t have any big expenses on new cards every few weeks neither.

This allows me to channel the values I do get to go to other sources, in my case, bricks.  Considering that the value of a playset of common or uncommon `bulk cards` is only a measly 2 eurocents, that doesn`t sound like the effort to sort and list out everything.  But for 2 cents, you also get one single Lego basic brick over on Brick Link.

So that means:

 equals

But this also means:
 equals


If of course you have the luck to pull open some `money rares` on the moment when they are hot and before the set settles in and prices start dropping, the equation goes up far more.  A new and good Planeswalker can easily get you 20 euros on the first weeks, a steady 10 during the set, only to sink after rotation unless it is a classic deckstaple for the eternal formats.

But those are NOT the cards that intrest me actually.  I usually use the TradeCardsOnline website to exchange a heap of cards for Lego Collectible Minifigures.  Because Magic is a hobby that tends to `exist` alongside someones other hobbies, being not that place intensive (if you keep it within reason).

I`m that kind of person that gladly takes over the whole collection of crap commons and such that people tend to throw away because `it is not worth it`.  Friends quitting Magic or just keeping the rares for trade, but not caring about those boxes full of common and uncommon junk?  I`ve always gladly accepted all those cards, and put in the hours and hours of sorting, making playsets, and updating my `have` and `want` lists.  Packing cards up and bringing them to the mail office?  With pleasure, because that means one of the days a parcel of bricks will be falling in my postbox.

Of course, if you`re looking to become a filthy rich card trader, these words weren`t ment for you, but if you`re looking to get a place to save those crap boxes from going on the old paper, contact me and you might as well just give them to me, you`ll get the satisfactory feeling that at some Lego convention, some child is watching some build of which some bricks are there thanks to it ;-)


So yes, if I make the tally this year, my cards have not only gotten me a nice amount of Planeswalker Points, my first two event victories and some nice times, which are rather priceless, but also did they allow me to technically buy the whole year for free on cards, AND gotten me the complete latest wave of The Hobbit sets from Lego.

Not bad for someone with a skill set that is just only above `holding the cards in the right direction`...


The Plan episode 41

By : Tomsche69
Another week gone by, another heap of achievement points added to the tally in Minifigures Online, as I grinded most of the figures I collected already to a minimum of their fist 8 achievements.

This mainly includes getting both the Pocket Adventures, the Epic Dungeon and the 3 World Bosses they `need`, rounded out with getting them all on `4 stars` level as well to unlock their third skill and the `achieved five achievements` for each figure.

Now, even though that means I got my current stack of points raised to 21775 points (or roughly 40% of the points that can be gained), I also know that this will be falling silent more and more as as it currently stands, I got 6 figures left to go, namely the 4 of series 12 the Smurf hasn`t collected yet, together with the two I unlocked this week: Sad Clown and Scarecrow.


On the other hand, I got the Smashtastic global achievement this week, and I hope to get the 100k one one of these weeks as well.

Once I`m done with above 6 figures, I guess I`ll be spending most of my time grinding to the `bigger` achievements each figure has, like make a 1000 buildies and the likes.  I will be doing this by teaming them up in groups which will need to same requirements of build 20 speed pads etc etc, so I can snatch away a little bit of time on that, but also that should put me back in the possibility to grind a daily set of dungeons, chapter end instances, pocket adventures etc, while grabbing a lot of stars.

Because after that, the Lost Creations are waiting!  It`s about time I make some serious work of those, but I still need to up the characters a lot so I can get in with fully powered teams (for as far as it is upgrade wise possible currently).

But for now, time to go get those final 6 sorted out.  I think a realistic goal, considering the points gathering will drop exponentionally once those 6 are done, is aiming for 25.000 points next week.  I know 15k was a bit easily rated as a set goal for today, topping it with more then 6.000 points, but I estimate to score about 2.000 on the final minifigures, and got no idea how long it will take for those other 2.000 with the bigger grindings ahead.

Cheerios, and may you keep smashing happily!

Work-in-Progress: the Mitgardian Army part 1

By : Tomsche69
Another thing I picked up at the recent Brick Mania Antwerp colaboration I participated in, is to build an actual army to go alongside my small MoC`s.

I had heavily invested in Viking minifigs for the Chapter 3 of the Guilds of Historica book 2, but it turned out the horned warriors aren`t the central players of this episode, so I have a heap of them and other suited minifigures like the Barbarian and Highlanders.

But watching the battlefield over the weekend, I decided for the next time (which will be next year) to not only build bigger MoC`s (though that will be at first the Lord of the Rings set / moc hybrids you can read on my blog about, starting with Lake-Town), but also bring out the Mighty Army of Merak, the home town of my Sig-Fig Hagen.

The full force will be numbering about a 150 warriors, but I`m currently still digging through my boxes to find all my torsos and legs, and combine them into the units, as well as adding standard bearers and champions to most regiments.

Including a regiment a can only start building once they are actually released by Lego in 2015...

Between the picture shown here and the rummaging I did yesterday, some units have already been growing in numbers, but they will be shown once I break the 100 left to do mark.  I estimate I can run the number down to about 50 figs left before turning to Brick Link and spend the monthly building funds on additional parts, but in the meantime I can trade my double Collectible Minifigures around for more of the miniatures I actually need as well.

To quote on of my nephews: So you quit building armies for wargaming, and the next thing you know... you`re building armies for Lego

Work-in-Progress: Lake-Town part 2

By : Tomsche69
So a few parcels of bricks have fallen on the doorstep and I could proceed a bit further on the building of my 2015 goal build.

Today, the aim was to firstly finish the border of what the build will have, and then to start filling in the base for the fully bricked approach.

Now, the border, consisting of an unequal black and blue combination to show the `depth` of the waters, is completely finished.

The next step was then to build the fishgrate fundament to start attaching blue plates on and make it all a big enclosed space.

In order to do this, I decided to stick on the 2 brick high thickness of the base, the first level being completely bricked.

To top these, I went to place a slightly alternating skeleton of 2x4 bricks, to build a stable top layer afterwards consisting of blue plates of various sizes, but always able to connect at least in every corner in the case of a 4x4 plate for example.

That is about how far the build now stands, the next phase will be counting out and ordering enough blue additional plates to complement the ones I have from my own collection.

See you next time!

Minifigures Series 13 pictures

By : Tomsche69
And they have been shown, the full series of Series 13 Minifigures.

As you can see at the left bottom, they will also be playable in the Minifigures Online videogame, so that`s nice.

And what do I wnat / need from it?  Good question, as the series has a nice variation of fantasy suitable models, but not really for a Viking style of my Mitgardians.

On the to get list for me are definitly:

1 of the Snake Charmer
1 of the King
1 of the Evil Wizard
2 or 3 of the Female Cyclops
1 Unicorn Girl
1 or 2 of the female Samurai
5 or 6 of the Egyptian Soldier
about a dozen (or 2 dozen) of the Goblin Warrior!

So that makes 8 out of 16 models suitable for my `theme` of builds, a very intresting ratio for the series.  Putting aside a full series for the kid for his `trades` as well, this will be a nice purchase.

I`ll be popping by at my local retailer one of these days to, just as with series 12, pre-order a full box again for sure!

How an AFOL is born...

By : Tomsche69
Yesterday I was hanging on the phone with the Nemesis to set a date and go see Mockingjay part 1, and he had this nice little tid-bit of information: his oldest daughter`s holiday wish list was crammed full of Lego Friends.

I told him, that is how his convergence will start from the wargaming to the Lego hobby, and he laughed.

But will he keep on laughing?  I told him now what will be happening.

The kid will toss open the boxes on the floor...

The kid won`t be finding elements and you will be on his knees soon to help out...

You will be going to the toy store with the kid not buying for yourself...

You will see something theit you like, and grab a small set of said theme...

It will look nice on your wargames desk, and you`ll be getting a bigger set for display...

Before you realise it, you`re trying to complete said theme...

You will discover the online community as you`re looking for information of your theme of choice...

You will see great MoCs, and want to try your hand at building one yourself...

You will discover BrickLink and the PAB wall in the Lego store, and realise you just need one more piece for some idea you have...

Gradually, Lego builds will be relegating wargame figures to boxes as you need the space...

You go to a local convention `to show the kid nice builds`...

You will get hooked and join the local LUG...

A line will be drawn between your bricks and the child`s bricks...

... and before you know it, you will be standing there a whole weekend watching that little touchy touchy fingers don`t grab the creations!





So dear Nemesis, I look forward to exchange bricky build ideas with you within a year...


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Building the Kitty Shelter

By : Tomsche69
JuniorPress is a dutch company that also releases Lego magazines over here in the low lands.  Im their range are the Chima and Friends publications for one, and they come with small polybags that are either a minifigure or a small build.

Now personally, at 4 euros I think they are usually of a decent value, though I pick up the Chima magazine mostly when it has a minifigure, and rarely the Friends copy.

But this month, I took along the Friends issue.  While the Chima one had a bolt thrower you get in so many polybags already, the Friends issue came with a small kitty shelter.  The kitten itself can be used in other builds for sure, as it is a white version of the tiger kitten from their pet range.  But the shelter as well comes with some nice elements in intresting colours.

Now the instructions themselves are rather short, to be found in the middle of the magazine.  But nevert the less, I made the build (before breaking it down and sorting it out), as I will present to you all here.

The first piece is of course the kitten, like I said a white version which isn`t that common in the range.

The shelter starts by putting the lime green jumper on to the green 4x4 plate.

The back wall, in tan colours, is added to this.

To these we attach a small hook and plate, to which the branch is then added.


On top of this, you get a green leaf and a selection of small yellow flowers to liven it up.

Pink and pastel parts are then added as a roof for the kitten.


The last part is the feeding tray, again based on a lime jumper.

The completed build

As I said and you could see here, this is actually a good colour selection of parts for a medieval builder like myself.  You get some lime green jumpers, tan bricks, brown plates, a green leaf and plate, and some yellow flowers.

Not bad at all for a measly 4 euros...

Saint Seiya Next Dimension vol 8

By : Tomsche69
The latest instalment of the Myth of Hades has arrived on my doorstep last week, and it is a bit of a two-legged reading.

It isn`t thick on the action in this volume, but yet it lays on an additional layer on the various story lines that have been interwoven in this time travelling adventure so far.

First off, there is the confrontation between Virgo Shijima`s astral presence (as his physical body is still in the Labyrinth of the Gods, protecting the baby Athena) and Shun and Tenma.  They are saved by the appearance of the astral presence of Virgo Shaka, contained within Shun`s Andromeda cloth, and revealing to the 18th century incarnation that Shun will be the next Virgo saint.  Both bronzes are then teleported to the Twin Salas where they find and pick up Sukiyo`s silver cloth of the Cup.

Sukiyo in the meantime faces off and is defeated by Dohko.  In the preview for issue 9 it is revealed he has died, and that Griffon Vermeer will take his place, but considering the healing powers of his silver armour I don`t believe we have seen the last of him yet.

The mystery about the 13th gold cloth, Ophiuchus, gets intenser as it is hinted at that everyone in the 18th century knows who he actually is and that he is present among them, so it will either be the Grand Pope, or Sukiyo I guess.  Shaina however is possessed by it`s evil cosmo briefly in the current day and attacks Marin.

We also learn that Dohko has led Shiryu pass to go and help protect Athena, who is now evolved into an age of about 6 years old, and defeats Cardinale switfly with her immense cosmo.

The only oddity, is that there is no news about Hyoga, who has also travelled to the past, and that no Aquarius saint has been revealed yet... could it be?  Thinking of it, how cool might it actually be if he now is the gold Aquarius saint, they would meet up with the 18th century Cygnus saint (Camus perhaps?), Hyoga teaches Camus the Absolute Zero technique... now THAT would be an awesome storyline loop in the series.  This is also pure speculation on my part though, but who knows...

All in all, an intresting volume for the `back story`, but like some filler episodes in anime series, the progress of the overall story isn`t to much in this book.


Building the Lake-Town Guard

By : Tomsche69
Perhaps one of the hottest polybag promos of the recent years, the Lake-Town Guard from The Hobbit is one of only two sets containing the special conical helmet, the other one being the Lake-Town Chase set.

So if you wanted to build an army, you would have been forced to lay down around 8 euros a piece per polybag...

But since Brick mania Antwerp, I think the market has crashed within this part of Belgium.  The polybag came in the goodie bag the kids received at the entrance, as did the exposers.  This resulted in myself scoring two additional polybags as exposer, while I already bought one last year when it came out for my collection.

And yesterday, the Smurf kindly gave me his one from his goodie bag (he`s not into The Hobbit or Castle for that matter at all).

So I sat down and made this little build half an hour ago.

The bag contains of a guardsman, a weapons rack and a small catapult, and a small instruction sheet.  I gave this copy of my Guardsman just his spear, opting to hang his bow and quiver on the rack.

We start building the small catapult by laying down the wheel base, then adding the front teeth to it as well as the structure board


The catapult arm is then build on top a dark green wedge, and the handle bars to tow the catapult around is put in the back.

Adding wheels and ammo and the small lobber is finished, so now we can move on to the rack.

This is based on a small wooden plate with brown wood pattern brick.

Added to this are small handles and cones to attach the weapons to, and it is all rounded out by adding a lateral plate and dark green cheeseslopes.


And of course we have some extras left over, in this case a technic pin and an additional cheeseslope.

And so the small polybag stands completed, a great little gift and a nice army builder promobag.


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