Brickset: LEGO set guide
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Brickvention is Australia’s premier LEGO fan convention and public display. It is a three day event: there's an AFOL Convention Day on the 17th January, then public days over the weekend, 18-19th January. It's being held at The Royal Exhibition Building, Nicholson Street, Carlton, Victoria.
It will feature a huge collection of models including trains, castles, pirate ships, Star Wars, space ships, planes, buildings, sculptures and many more. There will also be competitions and LEGO sets and merchandise for sale.
LEGO fans of all ages are welcome on the Saturday and Sunday from 9:00am – 5:30pm. Tickets are only available via the link on the website there are NO tickets available at the door. This event will sell out so please ensure you purchase your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Find out more at the Brickventures website.
The following sets have just been discounted by at least 30%:
Price Saving Discount 70708 Space Hive Crawler $47.88 $22.11 32%
The following 2013 sets are discounted by at least 40%:
Price Saving Discount 70113 Legends Of Chima CHI Battles $10.71 $9.28 46% 70109 Legends Of Chima Whirling Vines $8.49 $6.50 43%
Our second mini model of this year's Advent Calendar is another Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones vehicle, Zam Wesell's Koro-2 Exodrive Airspeeder which has only appeared before in the 2002 set 7133 Bounty Hunter Pursuit, albeit it at Minifigure scale. This speeder appeared early in the film, during a chase sequence on Coruscant, and the LEGO model does not vary too far from its source, particularly given the flowing design of the ship which seems unsuited to a LEGO model.
The Airspeeder is certainly recognisable, although the shape of the curved prongs towards the front of the model has not quite been achieved in my opinion using the lime green 1x4 curved slopes that are included. As I can think of no better solution, this arrangement is satisfactory for me. The cockpit windscreen runs all the way from the roof to the floor, as it should, and I like the orange accents which add a bit more colour to this already garish design. Lastly, the tail finial is not bad, but there really ought to be only a single 4L bar used here as the current design looks to be a little too wide compared with its appearance in the film. This is forgivable however for the following reason.
Perhaps the most exciting thing about this model though comes with the tail, as a pair of green 4L bars are included. This element has appeared in only one set previously, 7189 Mill Village Raid, and even there, only one was featured. These will be very useful for MOCs no doubt, and hopefully the current price of these pieces online will be driven down by their inclusion here, even if you cannot pick up the entire Advent Calendar.
Overall - 4 - A swooshable little model, although the aesthetics are a little disappointing in my opinion.
Lily, in today's Friends window, is a new character in Heartlake City. She's wearing a very Christmassy jumper, isn't she!
I had wondered whether the hairpiece was new in black, but it appeared in last year's calendar (day 24) and it's also used for Nicole in 3184 Adventure Camper.
The City calendar has a snowman in it.
Our third gift from the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar this year is an FA-4 Pilot Droid minifigure, which up until now, has only appeared previously in set 75017 Duel on Geonosis. It goes nicely with the Solar Sailer from yesterday, although it is not particularly useful as a standalone minifigure, unlike perhaps a Battle Droid which one can never have too many of.
The minifigure is identical to its earlier appearance, and while it is not the most interesting of characters, the three dark brown 1x1 slopes which are included (taking the spare into account) are fairly rare, appearing in only two other sets, which might be appealing to some.
If you have not purchased 75017 Duel on Geonosis, this is a great minifigure and will be a welcome addition to your collection. On the other hand, if you do own the aforementioned set, perhaps the dark brown slopes might be useful to you more than the minifigure itself.
Overall - 3.5 - Not a bad minifigure at all, but not particularly useful if you already own 75017 other than for the parts.
As you'll have noticed, CapnRex101 will be reviewing the Star Wars Advent models from now on. He knows what he's talking about when it comes to Star Wars so you won't have to put up with any more misspelled names and glib comments from me :-)
Today, I've chosen to feature the City model, which is this cute doggy, sporting a Dalmatian's spots but an Alsatian's head and ears. There does appear to be similar cross breeds around so maybe he is realistic. He only appears in the calendar and this year's fire station, so I suspect not many of us have him already.
The Friends calendar features a street lamp which is similar to that in last year's.
The latest issue of Hispabrick magazine is out now. As usual it contains interesting articles on a wide range of topics, including 'Introduction to Headlight Brick Patterns', '2013: a year in parts' by our very own caperberry, and reviews of a number of 2014 sets.
It's a free download from the Hispabrick Magazine website.
There's also a new issue of The Brick Collectors' magazine out as well, so check that out too.
Huw has kindly allowed me (CapnRex101) to provide a brief overview of each Star Wars Advent Calendar gift, while he takes a look at his favourite of the City and Friends models. Photos are taken by Huw.
The first mini model of the Advent Calendar this year, following the R5-F7 minifigure yesterday, is Count Dooku's Solar Sailer. This is a somewhat obscure vehicle, only appearing during the Battle of Geonosis towards the end of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and later in the Clone Wars film and television show.
This is a nice little representation of the craft in my opinion, capturing all of the major features using only eleven pieces. The bubble cockpit is formed rather nicely using a trans-clear 1x1 round plate and I like the brown, dark bluish grey and dark tan colour scheme, which is accurate to the Solar Sailer as it appears in the film. Lastly, although it is almost certainly accidental, I also appreciate how the ship sits when 'landed' just as it does in the movie, with the rear of the vehicle tilted towards the surface, while the prongs at the front stick a little into the air.
Each day I am going to award the model or minifigure a score out of 5, and today I am going to award the model...
Overall - 4 - although this is a nice representation of the vehicle, it is perhaps a little too obscure to wholly appeal.
My pick for today is from the Friends calendar, a cool ice-scooter for Sunday's Stephanie. I don't buy Friends sets normally so I was intrigued to see that they'd modified the handlebar piece, adding an extension to the ends so that the Friends figures, whose hands of course don't rotate, can hold it. It's been in a few sets already, I see.
It's interesting how many pieces they've made specially to work around the deficiencies of the Friends figures design, such as the 1x2 'T' panel to hold their feet when they are seated because they don't have stud receptacles at the back of their legs. No doubt we'll have some in the calendar later on.
The Star Wars calendar features a nondescript brown space ship which I thought was a Geonosian vessel but it turns out that it's Count Dooku's solar sailer. I never would have guessed.
The City calendar has a fireplace.
The team over at Rebrickable is holding a competition in December with a prize of $100. All you have to do is pick one of five sets and make an alternate model using only parts from the set.
Using a limited palette of parts in this way forces creative thinking and is an excellent way of honing your building skills. So, if you have a few hours to spare, give it a go! Find out more at Rebrickable.com.