An Interesting Idea: REVENGE - Frigate class shuttle (Galaxy Command)

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One reasons I have picked the Revenge from this week's new projects is its excellent presentation: fun to look at, great background, eye catching "post production" elements. These factors really help the project stand out from the other spaceships on Ideas and sets a great example for the production value you should shoot for.

The other reason I picked it is because I love what it represents. I know that this kind of thing does not qualitatively appeal to the FOL community as a whole but the Revenge is part of the Galaxy Command MOC series on Ideas. Galaxy Command (GC) is a concept that was born on Cuusoo and its development has been influenced by the community of FOLs that contribute to the site. It was fascinating to see how the idea of contributing to a project that could potential become a real LEGO set inspired individuals to participate.

Although the one year deadlines and inability to edit the main page of the project make it much harder for these grass-roots community projects to reach 10,000 support, I am glad to see them persevere in spite of it. The way these projects and their potential bring FOLs together have value even if they fall short of their ultimate goal.

I must also add that I am excited to see what other FOL community projects develop from Ideas in the future...

Other notable project from this week include Jurassic Park, "The Bus" from S.H.E.I.L.D., a gingerbread house, a creative implementation of a pirate ship, and a Bat-spaceship which cleverly utilizes a combination of the Batman and LEGO Space logos. These projects and more can be found here.

New site features

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Earlier this week you may have noticed the appearance of a new tab at the bottom of set detail pages: LDraw. Where it's present, you'll find links to LDraw .dat or .mpd files for the set. Here's a good example.

Legolijntje, who has been curating lists of LDraw versions of official models at Eurobricks, is populating the database and uploading the files to make them easier to find and more readily available. There's also an index of them all here.

The next stage is to use something like this to display the models in-browser, but I haven't figured out how to do so yet. If you know how, please get in touch.

I've also made some changes to the buying pages. For the US, Target listings have returned following a change to their affiliate programme which required new code to import the data. For the UK, I've removed Play.com and The Entertainer: the former because, well, there was never anything much available at a decent price and the latter because for some reason virtually all LEGO products disappeared from their feed a month or so ago.

Discounts at Amazon.com

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Latest 30% or more discountsPriceSavingDiscount
10559 Duplo A Fairy Tale$6.63$6.3649%

New No Starch Press books

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No Starch Press is publishing six new LEGO books in the run-up to Christmas, ranging from coffee-table books to Mindstorms EV3 programming manuals. I have four of them here and will take a look at two of them, Beautiful LEGO 2 and Steampunk LEGO, today, then two later in the week.

Beautiful LEGO 2: Dark by Mike Doyle is a follow up to the original Beautiful LEGO book published last October (read our review here). At 326 pages, it's thicker than the first one, and also now a hardback. Like the first, it's essentially a coffee-table book showcasing impressive MOCs beautifully photographed and presented one photo per page. There are one or two interviews with builders interspersed with the images but not as many as in the first.

The theme of the book is 'dark' which I guess sets the tone and provides some focus although it's very broad: there's everything from insects, dinosaurs, scenes from 'Saw', trains in dark liveries, futuristic urban landscapes to black skyscrapers and shipwrecks. So, don't expect to find anything like Cloud Cuckoo Palace in it. In fact, don't expect to find many minifigs in it either: Mike tends to steer clear of models that contain them and in any case, they are far too happy :)

It's not the sort of book you'll pick up and go through from cover to cover but it does make a great book to dip into from time to time, perhaps when seeking inspiration for your own models, or to show others what's possible with the LEGO medium.

The first one apparently sold some 50,000 copies, I think this one will be as well received. If you loved the first, you'll like this one too.

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A1zbJN8beLLSteampunk LEGO by Guy Himber is a 200-page hardback that showcases weird and wonderful Steampunk creations.

According to the book's preface, Steampunk is a creative genre that imagines an alternate history of 19th century technology. It's probably quite difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes a model Steampunk but when you see one you can tell straight away that it is.

The book is written as if it, too, is in the same alternate 19th century as the technology it showcases which makes it quite fun to read. Fictional explorer Sir Herbert Jobson and Lieutenant V.P. Penfold guide you through the book which is, apparently, a catalogue of Steampunk builds prepared for Queen Victoria.

It has 12 chapters each of which covers a different type of contraption, such as Robots and Automatons, Horseless Carriages and clockwork beasties. Accompanying the photos of the models is a paragraph or two, not about how it was built or the builder, but about the creation itself and how it fits into the alternate history: useful information for the Queen, I am sure. A lot of work has gone into the page layouts, both in terms of the look of them and the write-ups, many of which are written in old-style Victorian language.

Models from many well-known builders in the Steampunk genre are featured, including the author (under the pseudonym V&A Steamworks), Tyler Clites and Rod Gilles. Even Pete Reid's turtle is in it.

It's certainly very different from other LEGO books presented in a way like no other. It's an esoteric, niche, subject matter which won't interest everyone, but if you're a fan of it this is probably the book you've been waiting for.

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Both books are out in November and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. Also, don't forget our LEGO books page which, at the top, provides an overview of all AFOL-friendly LEGO books published this year.

Mixels competition winners

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After much deliberation, the seven judges have made their decision. The winners of the Mixels series three building competition are...

1st place: The LEGO House, BR minifig and Dareth polybag

Purple Parrot by theaface22. All of the judges had this model at either first or second place on their lists and it won by a very large margin.

  • DrDave: "Small and simple, but still beautiful and elegant. I love this one."
  • SirKevbags: "I could see this little chap sitting on my shoulder! Very clean design and perfectly proportioned."
  • Rocao: "Elegant and effective design produces a model that has the kind of beautiful lines and the abundance of personality you'd expect from Pixar movie character."
  • Huw: "Such a simple but effective model, and a perfect use for that feather piece."
  • LostInTranslation "Very simply done but immediately recognisable as a parrot, with a clear personality and the perch just finishes the model off perfectly."

2nd place: The LEGO House

Wiztastics Peacock by Krzysztof Pusz. This was my personal favourite, and it picked up points from many of the other judges, too.

  • Huw: "It's a model that looks to have used most of the available parts. I love the head and the tail feathers. It looks almost cuddly, like something out of a toddlers TV programme."
  • LostInTranslation "So much detail, I love how the plumage has been created. "

 

Joint 3rd place: BR minifig and Dareth polybag, plus other polys

Scruffy Lion Cub by Alan Hornberger.

  • DrDave says "My heart melted the moment I saw this one - so cute!
  • Rocao: "The facial characteristics and body proportions all contribute to the high cute factor. The entry I'd most like to pose and play with."

 

Joint 3rd place: BR minifig and Dareth polybag, plus other polys

ED 209 Camo by Donna Liem

  • Rocao: "Clever use of elements to achieve a faithful reproduction of one of sci-fi's all-time best robots."
  • DrDave: "Stood out in a sea of more 'organic' creations. Superb."
  • SirKevbags: "I'm usually drawn to character based models but I can't help but enjoy the power on display with Camo."

 

5th place: Brickset minifig

Owl by wizardofnoz1

  • LostInTranslation "Another great rendition of a feathered friend. The big eyes are just put to brilliant use here."
  • SirKevbags "The most inquisitive entry in my opinion with the colour scheme blending well."
  • DrDave "A small but perfectly-formed creation. This one was my son Ben's favourite!"

 

Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to everyone who took part. I'll contact the winners via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me with your address so I can get the prizes off to you.

Let's do it all again next year!

Own a rare Hobbit acrylic brick

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Fairy Bricks is auctioning off a rare TT Games acrylic The Hobbit brick:

This is a perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase this item. These acrylic bricks are only given to employees of TT Games if they have made a significant contribution to the production of one of their published LEGO titles.

Luckily for us, Carl Greatrix is a Senior Model Designer at TT and a good friend of Fairy Bricks. With full management approval he has managed to secure us this brick complete with Bard The Bowman inside. These bricks are highly coveted by those they are given to and to the best of our knowledge one has never been sold before.

This auction is open to bidders worldwide and 100% of the proceeds will be used to buy LEGO sets for children in hospital.

It's currently at just under £300/$475 but I'm sure, with your help, it can go higher than that!

Here are links to the item on eBay: eBay.co.uk | eBay.com.

Android Minifig Collector app updated, and a call for help

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Nic Jansma has just updated his Minifig Collector app for Android, which now includes series 12 figures.

The app lets you keep track of which minifigs you have in Series 1-12, Team GB, The LEGO Movie and The Simpsons and includes high-resolution photos of the minifigs. You can also import and export your minifigs to Brickset. It's a free app so if you have a suitable device, give it a go.

For the next version, he's looking for help with translating it to other languages. If you are fluent in French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Polish or Russian maybe you can help. Find out how here.

This week's top news articles

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These are the most read articles that we've posted over the last couple of weeks:

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