Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Brick Bucket 2015 recap

Hello! Somewhat amazingly, it's time for me to write the second post of this kind: a look back at The Brick Bucket's past year. 2016 will mark this humble blog's third year of operation, and I have plenty of changes planned going forward - but of course The Brick Bucket will remain fundamentally the same as it has been for the last two years: a blog dedicated to the LEGO hobby and the beautiful creations built by the hobbyists. 

Let's start off the 2015 recap with a look at the top 10 most popular posts, by pageview count, on the blog this year. 

Most popular posts
  1. Nexo Knights set images and analysis!
  2. Iron Maiden
  3. Summer 2015 set reveal masterpost
  4. This in-depth review of terrible LEGO clone brands is the funniest thing you'll read all week
  5. The Force Awakens set images and analysis
  6. Brick Bucket Review #6: 75099 Rey's Speeder
  7. A slick spacetruck
  8. The faceless mecha
  9. Bad things come in threes
  10. Come closer to the light...
The top posts were dominated by set previews, in which we examined freshly revealed sets to look at interesting new pieces and techniques. The Nexo Knights preview, analyzing LEGO's big and brand new theme (just barely out now!) was a no-contest for the most-viewed post: three times as popular as #2 and responsible for almost 4% of The Brick Bucket's total pageviews all-time!

Hype for The Force Awakens also featured strongly, with the top 10 containing both a preview of the sets and a review of 75099 Rey's Speeder by Dead Frog Inc. 

...which brings me to my next point, and one of the blog's most important developments in 2015: the addition of three new bloggers!

A new crew
In 2015, The Brick Bucket was transformed from a one-man operation to a four-man blog team. First, in June, we welcomed Dead Frog Inc., formerly of The Brick Tavern. (He's also responsible for our flashy new logo!) Then, not even a month later, Aaron Van Cleave, aka A Plastic Infinity, joined us, bringing zany commentary and plenty of emoticons. Finally, September saw the arrival of Thomas of Tortuga

Having a team - small as it is - has helped our output. You may notice that we have fewer posts in 2015 than in 2014, even though the blog wasn't even created until May 2014! I haven't been able to post as much due to all the normal teenager reasons - school, sports, etc., and I imagine the same is true for my co-bloggers. But we went for quality over quantity, and as any look through the year's posts will show you, the MOCing community had a hell of a year, making it a joy to blog all the amazing builds that were produced. 

Most popular MOCs and builders
In terms of pageviews, the most popular MOC we featured this year was the microscale ship "Iron Maiden" by Sean and Steph Mayo (Siercon and Coral), made for Iron Builder. View the post here

Sean and Steph were part of a three-way tie for our third-most blogged builder, along with vitroleum and Kosmas Santosa (KOS brick), all of whom had 4 posts each. Second place was another three-way tie, between 6kyubi6, Rancorbait, and Tyler Clites (Legohaulic), with 5 posts each. 

But our single most-blogged builder this year was the unstoppable nobu_tary, whose excellent and prolific work garnered him 6 Brick Bucket posts this year! Use the search bar in the sidebar over there ---> to see them all. 

Traffic sources and audiences
The top 10 most popular visiting countries were much the same as last year's:
  1. United States
  2. United Kingdom
  3. Germany
  4. France
  5. Canada
  6. Australia
  7. Russia
  8. the Netherlands
  9. Italy
  10. Poland
Canada moved up considerably in the rankings, while Portugal and Turkey dropped out entirely, replaced by the Netherlands and Italy. The top four countries remain unchanged from 2014. 

More info
- Average posts per month this year: 14
- Total posts this year: 167
- Pins on our Pinterest board this year: 201
- Most popular Pin: once again, Tuna the Phelfie Dog

(Don't forget to follow our aforementioned Pinterest board as well as our Twitter!)

Ads (and building contests?)
Another important development for us in 2015 was that we started running ads in the sidebar. They don't generate much revenue, since I designed them to be as unobtrusive as possible, but any money we make will go towards site maintenance or towards prizes for contests! Yes, the idea has been put forth many times in our group chat, and we would like to host at least one building contest here in 2016. But more on that as it develops...

In conclusion...
If you read this blog regularly, you've heard all this from me before, but here's a big thank you not just to my readers, but to all members of the LEGO community, who build such creative and amazing models and make browsing Flickr for MOCs to blog so enjoyable. All of us here at The Brick Bucket wish all of you the best of luck in your building. Happy New Year and Leg Godt

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Stocking stuffers

I've been saving some smaller MOCs in my "stuff to blog" folder for a while, looking for a good opportunity to make a compilation post. Since it's Christmas Eve, the concept of stocking stuffers - small but enjoyable gifts - popped into my head. So Happy Holidays from the Brick Bucket, and enjoy this grab bag of builds that prove size doesn't matter. 

"Yoshi" by Cecilie Fritzvold (cecilihf):
"Viro-blaster" by Karf Oohlu:
"Aang" and "Zuko" by John Moffatt:
"Prototype" by (my fellow blogger) Dead Frog Inc.:
And finally, "Run crab, run!" by Devid VII:

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars AND Bionicle? Oh my!

So, earlier this year LEGO released a series of big-build-Star Wars figures, which turned out rather disappointing in my eyes.

Now BZPower has started a contest to recreate Star Wars characters mostly using Bionicle elements. And boy, the results are outstanding.

First of all, Sparks brings us an amazing recreation of Ahsoka Tano from TCW, making some sweet use of the new pieces introduced in the official sets.
Ahsoka Tano
Then there is thisisnothingatall, who brings us not only a Battle Droid, but also a STAP for it to fly on. I especially like the really greebly limbs, and the upper part of the STAP.
Another iconic droid was build by Onuku, who brings us a small, but not less brilliant recreation of R2-D2. This MOC has NPU all around, I especially love the use of rubber bands.
BBCC 72 - R2D2 Entry
We even get to see a moc from the new Star Wars Episode VII. Tremah brings us a beautiful recreation of Kylo Ren. The shape of the helmet fits perfectly, and the overall shape looks fitting.
Kylo Ren | Main pic

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cocktail party

I really don't envy the judges of the current Iron Builder round. It's impossible to predict which of the expert competitors - Jimmy Fortel (6kyubi6) or David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy) - will win in this round of the musketeer sword seed part.

Many of the builds from the round have been featured here on The Brick Bucket; now, continuing our coverage, here's perhaps the most elegant build of the round - indeed, one of the most stylish MOCs I've ever seen - a cocktail glass and dish of olives, built by Jimmy:
Jimmy gets points not just for great use of the seed part (drink umbrella and pick for the olives), but for other nice part usages as well, most noticeably the giant clam shell piece used as the dish. All together with the jet-black background and impeccable photography, this is one well-presented MOC.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Simple architecture

I think I've mentioned my architectural style preferences in previous posts on here. In case you don't know, I'm very much of the modern/minimalist mindset, and maybe that's why I like this simple build from LEGO Will so much. There's not a whole lot going on - basic construction, blocks of color, not much detail - yet it's presented so nicely. I think this is a great example of "LEGO as art."

Riding in style

One of Legonardo Davidy's latest builds in his current musketeer sword-fueled Iron Builder battle with 6kyubi6 is this flashy red motorbike. The use of the slender sword pieces in the handlebars and kickstand gives this model an elegant appearance, and I think the decision to not use actual wheel elements was a smart one in this case. 
You can keep following this round of IB here

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sinister spider 'bot

And now back to the Iron Builder arena...

Between us and the other big LEGO blogs, I wouldn't be surprised if every single MOC out of the current IB round gets blogged by someone. I just featured 6kyubi6's flower and vase; now we head to the realm of the robotic to take a look at competitor Legonardo Davidy's mecha-spider.
I think this build has been overlooked by some of David's more impressively presented ones, but I for one really like the way the seed part (the musketeer sword) makes this thing look so spidery and mechanical. For some reason the first thing that came to my mind was Ray Bradbury's description of the Mechanical Hound in Fahrenheit 451 - a pretty respectable work to evoke in a LEGO model, I think. I'm really enjoying this IB round so far...

New vehicle unlocked!

We featured the V-Galactic Racing "video game" imagined by Markus Rollbuhler ('rolli) a few months ago, but now the builder has another space-racer available to be unlocked: the Midnight Bolt X. 
This one's got a really nice color scheme - gotta love those azure pieces - and the overall presentation is absolutely amazing. I hope this series continues!

Red scent

There's another round of Iron Builder raging... Iron Builder Jimmy Fortel (6kyubi6) vs. challlenger David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy). Both builders are among my favorites and this is becoming one of the most build-heavy rounds of IB I can remember - and also one of the best. Many of the builds have been covered on The Brothers Brick, BrickNerd, and other sites, but this one from Jimmy caught my eye the other day. There are so many nice part uses and although there aren't many pieces in total, they all come together and create a surprisingly complex, beautiful model. 
Can you tell what the seed part is? I'll give you a hint: it's sharp and pointy. Yeah, it's those musketeer swords. Check out the Flickr stream to see how they've been used in the other builds so far... there's some really neat stuff going on in this round. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Imperial dam

Those of us who don't usually build microscale often find ourselves staring in mind-boggled awe at the work of those who do. Microscale builders find ways to use the most obscure parts in the most unexpected ways, for MOCs that are often just as impressive as those six-foot star destroyers on the opposite end of the spectrum. Case in point: this microscale "imperial mill" by Dubbadgrim
As I pointed out on Flickr, my favorite details have to be the treasure-chest roof and that tiny little water wheel.

An invaluable helper for the military: the X63 Mech

Looking like something out of a video game (Titanfall, anyone?), this mecha by frequent bloggee Devid VII was a MOC I placed in the "blog first, ask questions later" category. Not only is this one of the best small-scale mecha I've seen, but the presentation of the scene makes it look like the main model is bursting into the foreground. The civilian setting helps add to the sci-fi realism. All in all a very well done build. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Octan Spider Tanker

It's always funny to see the new ways in which builders can use LEGO's imaginary "Octan" brand. With its white, red, and green color scheme, Octan benevolently delivered services to all the citizens of LEGO City... at least until The LEGO Movie revealed it as a corporation set on controlling the world. This Octan Spider Tanker built by BobDeQuatre seems more consistent with the latter, and it's a very creative design as well: 
I like the use of the big Friends hot-air balloon segment on the back of the vehicle. 

Oh, sweet nostalgia

As a little kid I always liked the Adventurers series. Now Joeri Ridder brings us this sweet revamp of the 5918 Scorpion Tracker. He replaced all of the old big pieces with brick-built pieces ad adds more functionality and detail that way. All in all a total success in revamping the old set.

Scorpion Tracker

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Bad things come in threes

Three legs, two guns, one eye.

Pretty poetic for something that's going to stalk you down relentlessly and trample/bullet-riddle/dismember you.

It's been quite some time since I've seen any Black Fantasy MOCs, let alone one done as well as this tripod strider by ...The Chosen One.... Integrated tubing and carefully sculpted shapes give it a thoroughly organic look while the imposing guns and solitary eye introduce a mechanical aspect. All in all a build truly possessing all the unsettling hallmarks of Black Fantasy.
However, my favorite part is the landscape, which is composed mostly of Bionicle elements. Comparing it to the more System-heavy strider creates an effective contrast, as does the innovative and cute flora (made with Clikits!) that it tramples through.

Friday, November 13, 2015


It's November and you know what that means... it's time to go for a month without shaving build Vic Vipers! If you don't know about the Vic Viper trend you can check out the Flickr pool here. In the meantime I thought I'd share my four favorites so far from this month (in no particular order).

"LinNes Viper" by Devid VII:
"Oldie's Viper" by piratecox:
"Phase Shifter" by Uspez:
"Saturn Patrol" by pasakaru76:

Back to the galaxy far, far away

The Brothers Brick is running a "Pimp Rey's Speeder" contest and some of the entries so far have been awesome. My favorite is probably this Back to the Future-ized version by David Hensel (Legonardo Davidy):
"It's a known fact that speeders go faster when you can time travel!"

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Not your average fairy tale

vitroleum recently put the final touches on an interesting series of MOCs. He's built three famous fairy tale girls in a decidedly... sexy (?) style, which must have been difficult to accomplish given the geometry of the typical LEGO brick. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Protectors' Ancestors

As you should know I am a huge fan of BIONICLE MOCs. Now, after the 2015 reboot of BIONICLE there have been dozens of G2 revamps.

Now Tymbal brings us revamps, or, as he calls them, ancestors of the six protectors. He managed to add a lot of character and even a backstory of each and every one of the Protectors, which makes them seem very fitting into the official Lore.
Nikar, Protector of Stone ~ Protectors of the Past
Iito, Protector of Ice ~ Protectors of the Past
Iishu, Protector of Fire ~ Protectors of the Past
Uniki, Protector of Earth ~ Protectors of the Past
Zoyomi, Protector of Jungle ~ Protectors of the Past
Avaat, Protector of Water ~ Protectors of the Past

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beige 'bot

Mecha are having a moment here on The Brick Bucket: this is our third consecutive post to feature a mecha MOC. This one's by nobu_tary, who upholds his title as this year's Brick Bucket Most Blogged Builder (So Far). 
There's a lot to look at on this chunky little 'bot. The beige-and-gray color scheme is accented by small highlights of lime, and several printed and stickered parts have been used to further enhance the character of the MOC (a printed "gorilla face" boat plate from Chima, an old Power Miners sticker, and a gray panel that I think might be from Star Wars). All these graphical and color choices aren't to say there aren't nice building techniques as well - take a look at the surprisingly complex SNOT and greebling on top. A tiny detail I  like a lot is the two dark-gray minifig hands positioned in that bar element - it's a really simple yet really cool greebly effect. 


So, usually I try to think of a good headline for my posts, but I found the name of this robot build by M_O_N_K_E_Y is just way too fitting. The robot just looks like it would Klunk along some corridors, klonk though some hangars and klank over some planet.

Besides the perfect name, this robot has just the right amount of greebles and color, and uses some pieces in interesting ways, for example the shoulder pads.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Maintenance pod

Some LEGO builders are really good at making mecha and other small robotic creations by combining a ton of small pieces in ways that can only be described as "amazing." In fact, the first Flickr comment on this Lightweight Maintenance Pod by Grantmasters is from my co-blogger Aaron, and it just says "You genius." I have not yet mastered this building style, but the tubes, clips, and other greebly parts' effect on the aesthetic of this model means it's a must-blog.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Elfire Interceptor

Granted, this is on the front page of pretty much every other LEGO blog at the moment, but... it's so. Darn. Cool. 

The latest addition to the amazing aerial arsenal of Nick Trotta (tardisblue) is the Elfire Interceptor. Nick's models are seriously some of the most incredible things you will ever see built out of LEGO - they fit together so well despite using insanely complicated building techniques. If you're interested in that sort of thing, hop on over to YouTube and check out the instructional video (with commentary) Nick made for this model. If not, just stare at the image below and maybe drool a little bit. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Small scenes from outer space

I found two small space-themed builds on Flickr today that I really liked. The first one, by IamKritch, reminded me a lot of my own building style in my recent abstract MOCs, using SNOT to create a smooth brick-built base. It depicts a pair of Classic Spacemen encountering, of all things, a dirty sock:
The second build is this deceptively simple scene from O0ger entitled "Maintenance":
There's some fairly complex greebling going on in the opened wall section, and it offsets really nicely with those big smooth panels. I also like the choice of colors for a very muted photograph. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

The plague

It's a normal day on the farm. You're out plowing the fields, when suddenly your ears detect a distant buzzing noise. A shadow falls over the crops. You look up, and a black cloud slowly comes into view, blocking out the sun and creating a hellish cacophony of noise. The plague is here - a plague of locusts. 

No, not the insects! It's a swarm of Locust Battleframe mecha built by the insidious engineer Rancorbait! Or at least... it could be.
Rancorbait's models never fail to disappoint in the greeble department, but this is maybe the best example yet. Just look at all those tiny parts and how well they've been fitted together. This MOC is a strong contender for my favorite mecha of the year so far. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Nexo Knights set images and analysis!

I've been holding my breath for the theme that has been chosen to replace Legends of Chima: the half-castle, half-sci-fi Nexo Knights, coming January 2016. Now, thanks to Eurobricks hackers' discovery of a stash of new images on's servers, we can finally stop guessing and see some of these exciting new sets for the first time. 

Oddly, I don't think Nexo Knights - a "big bang" IP in the same vein as Ninjago - has been getting the same hype as Chima was before that came out in 2013. Maybe it's that Nexo Knights has had less time to sit in everyone's brain: before a logo was discovered, the theme was mere speculation, and it was only a few days ago that LEGO released some teasers and showed off two of the sets at New York Comic Con. 

Regardless, I'm pretty excited about Nexo Knights. In my opinion it's looking better than Chima, but still not on par with my perennial favorite Ninjago. It seems like it'll have plenty of time to prove itself though. More than the storyline, I'm just excited about the new pieces and sets themselves, so without further ado, let's jump into the newfound stash of images!

UPDATE 10/23/15: While going through Brickset today I decided that I could match some of the known names listed there to some of the sets in this post, just based on intuition. I have edited the post accordingly. 

UPDATE 1/7/15: These sets have been out for some time now and I thought I'd point out that I accurately predicted the price for all but two. Merlok's Library was predicted at $30 and is really $25; the King's Mech was predicted at $35 and is really $30. So overall, these sets ended up being even cheaper than I'd thought! (Now I just need to decide which ones to get...)

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Burnt sienna

_Tiler uses the relatively new shade of dark orange to great effect in this Star Wars landspeeder model. It pairs quite well with the brown and old dark gray. But color isn't the only interesting thing - the curves and angles of this build flow seamlessly together despite their complexity. This is a very nicely made replica.
Wow, I've kind of been missing out on posting for a good bit of time now, and things been just as busy for Aaron, Frog, and Thomas as far as I can tell. We'll try to get some more posts up soon; a few really great MOCs have been uploaded to Flickr recently that deserve to be featured here, I just haven't had the time. I'd also like to take a look at the recently-revealed Doctor Who set, but we'll see what happens. Stick around :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday morning mecha

So you're back at the office, or maybe if you're the age of The Brick Bucket's staff, at school. Back to work. You're just hoping you can make it to next Friday. What could improve your dreary Monday morning? 

How about some delicious LEGO mecha to brighten your day?

First up is Deltassius's "Mowhawk" Fighter-Interceptor Frame:
Next, looking lovely in lavender, we have this LAVTRON Support Mech from Chris Perron (thebrickbin): 
Rounding out our trio is Devid VII's "FateHeart Rz-02a Astraea":