Sunday, September 14, 2014

Some Interesting Ideas

Pick of the Week

Pictorial Map of Europe
by mmbace

A lot of projects on Ideas seek to recreate everyday objects in LEGO, not as a model, but as a full scale implementation.  I have to admit I don't care for most of these projects as they fail to really embrace the potential of LEGO while retaining the effortless function of whatever device they profess to operate as. 

The most common execution of this, on Ideas, is LEGO chess sets.  While I love the Minifig Chess sets that LEGO produces from time to time, the array of brick built chess sets on Ideas rarely take into account the grip strength of the bricks relative to the playing board, space constraints on the board, and the complications it adds to an otherwise elegant game, not to mention the relative cost of a standard chess set.  Some claim the LEGO snap function makes their chess boards more portable, but if you want portable chess, I recommend you download an app rather than take something assembled from 100s of tiny elements that pop apart outside of your house... 

Ok, lets bring this back to the specific project presented here.  I like this project a lot because not only is it educational, fun, and well executed, but is also does not fail to incorporate the awesome aspects of LEGO while recreating an otherwise mundane device.

This project takes those clever maps that have little cartoons of local points of interest and actualizes it in LEGO.  So you have have an execution of geography in LEGO which is somewhat interesting but then it is paired with clever micro-builds to elevate the concept to the sublime.

It may be large (not sure where I would put this in my house...could I hang it?) but the ideas is certainly novel, well executed, and stands out in the crowd.

It should also be added that Mmbace has several other builds, mostly micro or aircraft related that are worthy of your review. 

Honorable Mentions

Record Store

There was a bit of confusion recently when a project posted last week looked very similar to this one.  Many, myself included, assumed RyanHowerter had revamped this great diorama to align it with a real world record store.  When this was posted a few days later it was clear that despite the similarities, Ryan was not assossiated with the other build.

Well, yes, despite the similarities in the builds, one could argue that most record stores do, in fact, look alike and therefore any builds would look similar as well.  With this in mind I contacted the record store associated with the other project to discus the origin of their project.

I never got a response but the project was taken down a few hours later so, I guess that has resolved lets talk about this build...

My review for this project is, is in many ways similar to last week's record store review.

 I will add however that one thing I have always loved about this MOC is its use of context.  All the "records" in this build are official LEGO decorated tiles.  Now, there are like, only one or two official record sleeve tiles.  One came with the disco CMF, and I think there might have been another....But if you look at this image, all these tiles really seem to belong.  I mean, if you told me, "Here is a tile with a picture of mug, some bread, and some cheese. I am going to use it for a record!" I would think, no way dude.

Ryan here has expertly re-contextualized all these classic images, transformed them into something absolutely different.

Car - Ombra La Volpe(Shadow of Fox) & Showcase

An impressive build of a generic classic car.  The pin striping on the side is a very nice touch as is the angled grill at the front.  The showcase booth is a creative touch.

This project does include a minifig even though this car is way out of normal proportions for a minifig car.  I am not sure if it is intentional, but the photos do a good job of masking the inconstant proportions by never actually showing the figure with the outside of the car and only in close ups when in the car.

Hiccup and Toothless

I love How to Train Your Dragon, both 1 and 2 and this is an EPIC MOC for the Toothless (the dragon).

Sure, the severed arms that form Toothless's head could not be more illegal a technique but it is just so lovely!  Look at those eyes!  I mean look at that's a freaking masterpiece! So very tightly packed...

The Chima flame sword is prefect too.

Sure, Ionix weird collapsing brick things were what we got for construction toys in Dragon 2 but perhaps the license will be over by the time Dragon 3 comes out.  Won't be the first time a license has changed over between sequels.  Additionally, I can't really speak for the success of the Dragon's line (other than being personally disturbed by the strange visuals of the harsh, sharp geometries with smooth organic dragon heads snapped on) but Ionix's Tenkai Knights were on some pretty severe clearances at the local Targets here in Austin.

Vintage Bus

Bigboy99899 has 32 excellent projects on Ideas.  If you like this gorgeous vintage build make sure to check out their other amazing builds.  Even if you don't you should check them out because they very from microbuilds, to calm gardens, to epic arenas.  Bigboy99899 is easily one of Ideas best, most diverse, and unfortunately least supported, creators.  

by mc2k13

Nighthawks(link to Wikipedia) is one of the most recognized pieces of American art and a personal favorite of mine as well. 

Would love to see this in Modular with a light in it.


Coca Cola shop
This is the highest Coke References / Brick ratio I have ever seen in a build.
The Secret of Monkey Island - Stan of Stan's P
Most projects overlook including an image of the source material.  This one thankfully does not, so even if you are not familiar with the subject you can appreciate the accuracy of the work.
Tournaments - LEGO
Interesting!  I would love to see this at a con
Catbus from "My Neighbor Totoro"
Very cute
Blue Collar Bricks
I assume LEGO is working on this or not interested.  The CMS expands into all careers it appears, and vignetting them is basically what they have explored on some level with the Research Institute, of course that also included the gender approach.

Medieval Satellite Module
by JanYap
I am sure you guys are tired of hearing me mention these projects but I really like they way JanYap thinks. 
Old car
Great car.  I wish I had more Fabuland parts.
Spinning Display Stand
If it moves: make a video, post to youtube, link to video
The SCT Drone
Nicely posable
Capitan Harlok's Ship
I really like the micro-ship + minifig combo that has been popular since the Star Wars Planets line

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