Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weekly Cuusoo

Clarifying Cuusoo's New Logo Rules

I have been seeing a lot of confusion in Cuusoo's comments based on the new Guidelines barring Logo projects from Cuusoo.  What is worse is that people are spreading very inaccurate interpretations of the ban, so please allow me to clarify.

The bar against Logo/Mascot projects is very simply stated:

"No submissions with only company or team logos or mascots. Ideas containing a logo or mascot must be in the context of a meaningful LEGO model."

Now, it is open for interpretation what a "meaningful LEGO model" technically is but if it has more than 100 support, and is still on Cuusoo, it is probably a "meaningful LEGO model." 

An example of this is the Number one project on Cuusoo right now: The Modular Apple Store.
Yes it has a giant Apple Logo on it, but it is certainly a high enough support level to be on Cuusoo's radar and Lego did not delete it on "M-day".   The logo is obviously an aspect of the set, not THE set.

A project that DID get deleted however was a build just depicting a giant "MARVEL" logo made with white and red bricks. 

In summary: Using a (non-Lego) Logo/Mascot is 100% ok,  but BEING a Logo/Mascot  is not.


 Wayne Manor Reaches the Top 10!

It has been a very busy week for Assault on Wayne Manor: Finalizing, and displaying the final character proposals (Ra, Red Hood, and Firefly), A surge of over 1000 support, and now entering the top 10 most supported projects on Cuusoo! 

Though I am very happy with the new character designs they are not responsible for the surge.  To that I can only say that Mark Waid's   (Yes THAT Mark Waid's) tweet and the project's subsequent pick up by The Comics Alliance were the source of the crowds.

Pick of the Week

Da Vinci Flying Machine

Cuusoo has these tiny little thumbnail images that give you a tiny little look at what a project might contain.  Much like books and covers, these thumbnails are often quite deceptive.  And that is certainly the case with this build.

When I saw the tag line "Da Vinci Flying Machine" I immediately though (from the thumbnail) a build this big for the flyer should really be much more accurate to the famous artwork.

Upon clicking through through I was quite pleasantly surprised, morose in fact, this is quite frankly one of my favorite Lego builds of all time and moments before I was expecting some hum drum project.

First off, do yourself a favor and watch this video.  This embodies what they mean by "poetry in motion."


Simply put, brilliant.  The motion is so effortless, smooth, and dynamic, with a multitude of dimensionality.

Even discounting the motion, the build itself is much more refined than the thumbnail give credit for.  The build of the person for instant is top notch and reminds me ever so slightly of Wallace (of Wallace and Grommet. I especially like how the goggles were implemented.

Even more fun, this project happens to be one of my favorite Cuusoo project creators.  This is only "Touthomme's" second entry, but their first is the Labyrinth Marble Maze which is currently Cuusoo's forth most supported project!

Honorable Mentions

Bricksauria | Stegosaurus

Last August, Senteosan uploaded an amazing Jurassic Park project to Cuusoo.  Since then, Jurassic Park was barred from Cuusoo (due to a licensing conflict) but Senteosan relaunched his T-rex as  a "generic" dinosaur project.

This Stegosaurus is a fine addition to the series of dinosaurs.

I know people are a bit on the fence on the head, especially with how dramatic the T-rex is, but I think it is a case of the best brick for the scale.  

This has caught on big time in Lego subReddit right now with 1200+ likes.

Wind-up Crab
by Lipko

This is another build where the video show a deeper story so, here you go:

If you like the dragon fly, make sure to support it here.   I have it on good authority that the catepillar/inch worm will be making an appearance on Cuusoo soon.  


ATLAS particle detector (medium size)
Well, this is certainly much more built out than the ATLAS that got to 10,000.

As far as Lego is concerned I imagine the original's rocket to 10k is a much bigger factor on their production decision than the quality of the design.    

Stained Glass Window Kit
Some really gorgeous effects but I am pretty sure the fundamental nature of this project is not in line with "legal" Lego construction given that it is all just being held together with friction rather than studs.

Who knows though, if this gets to 10k, maybe Lego will change their minds.  Part of Cuusoo is about asking Lego to consider new ideas.
OMG: TD! - tower defense with greek myth
by gilakai
Not familiar with the game bit it sounds fun.  
Griffin - Legendary Creature
by Chak
Personally very torn by this one.  I love the results, and support the project, but If I am honest with myself all Chak really did here was combine 70124: Eagle Legend Beast with 70123: Lion Legend Beast.
Batmobile - Batman The Animated series
As a lover of the Animated series I was quite happy when I saw this
Black Knight s Dragon
Lizardman has a wide collection of Dragons on Cuusoo.  It has been interesting to watch how they change up the elements for each new one.   Glad to see more snotting is getting used.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Weekly Cuusoo

Pick of the Week

miniature 6285 Black Sea Baraccuda
by bangoo

I love Pirates.  I love homages.  I love well orchestrated builds that showcase a smaller building scale. I love Lego sets that can double as desk art.   What is not to Love about this? Well, your opinions on Lego might vary from mine...but dude!  This is awesome.

Honorable Mentions

American Diner
by Nathan

This was very nearly my pick of the week, it certainly deserves it.  But, The miniature 6285 Black Sea Baraccuda just hit me up on too many of my personal Lego draws.

This looks pretty freaking fantastic on the outside, but where this diner truly excels (and distinguishes itself from the other diners on Cuusoo) is the internals.  Check it out:

The jukebox alone is a work of art: If I am not mistaken that is a space console in the jukebox.  The chrome and rainbow 1x1 round arrangement is phenomenal.   

Beyond ht you have the checker pattern floors and counter and full array of kitchen elements would would find in any true diner.  Even a vent hood!

I love the chairs but they do have a slight problem of being un-sittable to minifigs. 

Old West Gold Mine
by Nathan

Mines are pretty common in Lego but I always love seeing them.  There was the Lone Ranger mine, the City Mine,  and the Dwarf mine...interestingly enough I don't think there has been a mine in the actual mining theme. This one is a great representation of something a little more realistic.  I really like the use of the mops to hold up the run.

This project relies quite heavily on, hm, not sure what to call the method of construction were clip elements are holding onto other Lego elements at illegal angles.  I never really care for that type of build, but it is used to excellent effect in this presentation.

I do wonder if the publication of this project is a re-opening of Western Lego sets.  I am not sure if Cuusoo actually stopped allowing the publication of western themed projects but for a time they were being archived as if the "license" was locked down.  Obviously this was a special case based on Lone Ranger. 


Lumber Yard
by Nathan
Very attractive build with top notch craftsmanship.  I see a difficult trip to 10k though as it will likely be difficult to get a target audience.
Griswolds s Station Wagon
Ha!  Great work.  Don't know how far you can really get with a dead grandmother on the roof of your Lego set though.  That certainly won't stop Griswold fans from supporting it if you can get it in front of them. 
Compact Cassette (with deluxe spool winder)
Very accurate...but HUGE!  That pencil is a 2x2 round!  
WildCat four-legged real robot
Another very accurate build. 
by bangoo
Looks like someone else is trying to gets some birds onto Cuusoo.  Could be a lot of fun with some minifigs.
miniature Emelard Express - miniature train projec
by bangoo
Tiny trains are becoming more and more popular on Cuusoo.  
I really liked this project (and the following one) when they were all together.  Accelerando has taken the new "no series" rules to heart and has broken up their mini-mecha project into four projects.
See above.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lego Birds Reaches Final 100 Support

After 20 months the LEGO Bird Project is nearly complete.

Lego Birds will be the first project to reach 10,000 which is based on a natural phenomenon.

Not withstanding a massive surge of support for another project, this will also be the first project entering the May 2014 review.   If Lego keeps to their newly proposed schedule we will be learning the fate of Lego birds in about seven months.

Lego Birds also has a rare distinction of being one of the most commented projects on Cuusoo with nearly 7000 comments.  The "flock" at Lego Birds is certainly one of the most verbose groups on Cuusoo.  When comments shut down on this project I wonder if they will migrate to DeTomaso's other projects.    

Suzuki Leaves Cuusoo

Cuusoo's earliest, and one of its most expansive creator's has left Cuusoo.  We don't know why, but when a project is deleted by Cuusoo it indicates as such by saying "This project has been removed for not following the Guidelines."  As Suzuki's projects do not have this statement we can assume they self deleted.  At the time the projects were deleted, Suzuki had the third most supported project on Cuusoo, The Apollo Lunar Landing.  Other favorites included the most supported Wall-E project and very lifelike SLR Camera.  

A Gallery of Suzuki's work can be found here. 

Cuusoo Review

Pick of the Week

Antigravity Armored Raider
by Tiler

One of the fun things about Cuusoo is every now and then I learn a learn something about the vast "geek" culture that is out there.  This project is inspired by the series Maschinenkrieger ZbV 3000.  Turns out I have been a fan of Maschinenkrieger ZbV 3000 for a long time but I had not idea what it was.  I had scene the art before on the internet but I had not realized it was a cohesive storyline.

Independent of that, I really like this design.  It is a classic theme for Lego, some kind of single piloted sci-fi vehicle but this one takes some new approaches.  There are some sleek geometries inter-playing curves with sharp edges.  I really like the how the sleekness of the craft is counterpoised with the extreme greeble at the rear of the vehicle.   

Honorable Mentions

ITER Fusion Reactor Segment

Of the high-end science models, a relatively popular Cuusoo subject, this is probably my favorite to date.  Well, I should add "immobile" to that descriptor.  The Curiosity is of course a technical marvel, but I am really thinking of the "instalations" here.

I like this one so much because there is a lot of technique to appreciate.  Additionally, this is an interesting and compelling structure.

I also applaud AndrewClark2's creativity in presentation.  Every now and then you see some new trick on Cuusoo and Andrew certainly has a great one.  Many project creators have difficulty dealing with the image quality limitations on Cuusoo,  Andrew basically divided one "tall" image into three stacked images.  Looks great, works great!

The Dark Crystal - Journey of Jen

Wow, if you know Dark Crystal, this is a really impressive piece.  Well scaled, great content, impressive recreations of key characters...I immediately shared this with my puppet loving friends.  Unfortunately, Dark Crystal does not have the fan base or recognition of the Muppets.

Radagast’s Rhosgobel Rabbits
Certainly one of the more unique approaches to LotR.  This is even more unique in that there is an accompanying animation, quite fun with great production value.  

Personally I love the rabbits.  Reading the comments many however do not share my opinion.  Under the new restrictions preventing project creators from suggesting new elements, there is not much to be done about this, unless you want to go with the Friend's bunnies.


by arasca
Very popular last week on Cuusoo.  The design seems a be a bit dull to me.  On technical merit the design does not seem to sturdy either.  That being said, these factors should not overshadow a great concept.  Community is critical to getting support on Cuusoo and there appears to be a lot of people that like this LADEE. 
Great Explorers
A spectacular mini-scale ship.
For some reason the "Keaton" era Batmobile has had a surge of publications on Cuusoo.

This is certainly my favorite to date. 
Black Fenix - transport ship
This craft is a nice addition to the Galaxy Command series on Cuusoo.  This really looks like it could take a hit.

The HUNTER - Galaxy Command
The Gryphon used to be my favorite Galaxy Command vehicle but I think this "Hunter" is a more interesting design. It reminds me a bit of flying fish, in a good way.  I think the back tail could use some alteration. 
LEGO Sports, Bowling Edition
Very nice.
Hunger Games - Tracker Jacker Escape
by j.ortiz
Fundamentally I don't care much for Hunger Games.  Part of it might be generational but the biggest part is that I am a parent.  I really liked Battle Royale when it came out (before being a parent) but now, the idea of a story where kids run around killing kids has 0 appeal to me.  I understand it has value as a tale of people overcoming their oppressors and all that, I am saying that a basic element of the premise is something I choose not to consume at this point in my life. 

That being said, even if I loved Hunger Games I cannot see Lego making this set.  There are sets that emphasise a vehicle or creature.  There are sets that establish a undefined conflict.  There are some sets that evoke a specific but loosely bordered event.  The movie/book based sets however usually are intended to either present, or even role play a specific scene...Well, here is the scene this project concept is intending to recreate:

A child is in a tree and a group of other children, who have trained for years to kill other children,  have hunted her down with the explicit intent to kill her.  Unable to kill their victim outright the children set up camp at the base of the tree. Thankfully the hero finds a hive of lethal insects in the tree and, while her enemies are sleeping, she attacks her would be murderers with the killer wasps, killing two of the children out-right and causing the others to flee.  Unfortunately, our hero is stung as well and suffers from intense pain and hallucinations.  Yay!  What a fun scene to immortalize in Lego!  And don't forget, this is all a sport, for the amusement of the watching public!

There is nothing inherently wrong with the fiction of Hunger Games...this is a very old story in fact...Hero gets trapped and the Hero not only finds a way to escape but even turns the tables on their would be assailants.

I know I just explained I don't have an interest in Hunger Games but to make sure to put this into perspective, I love comic books, but I would be aghast to see on Cuusoo just projects as "The Wayne's Alley Detour", "The Flying Grayson's Final Flight", or "Uncle Ben's Last Lesson."  Sure, these events all have huge importance in well known comic book characters, but that does not mean there needs to be a Lego set in which you can re-enact the moment in which Bruce Wayne becomes an orphan.  

Literary value or not, I just can't imagine this scene becoming an official Lego set.

Ewok Micro Village
Tons of Ewok villages littered Cuusoo before the actual Lego Ewok village was announced.  When I saw this I thought WHAT?  another one?  But this is actually a very well done micro-build of the Ewok village.