Monday, April 27, 2015

Blocko store

Fans of the Simpsons will recognize this model of the Blocko store, built by 6kyubi6 for his LUG's Simpsons layout. I was blown away by the construction of this thing: the bricks on the walls and roof really do look just like individual LEGO pieces, only they're constructed using multiple smaller LEGO pieces! In particular, the technique used to show the underside of bricks, as seen on the right-hand side of the model, is excellent. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Under the deep blue sea: pre-release analysis of the upcoming Deep Sea Explorers subtheme

Judging by the fact that my Summer 2015 Set Analysis post is now The Brick Bucket's third-most popular post all-time, readers seem to like when I analyze upcoming sets to look at interesting minifigures, pieces, and techniques and just offer some interesting commentary on the sets. Now that we're getting the official images of some of this year's summer sets, I want to look at the ones that I'm most excited about: the new City subtheme, Deep Sea Explorers. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Brick Bucket Review: 70412 Soldiers Fort


Appearance - 3/5
Construction - 2/5
Pieces - 3/5
Playability - 4/5 
Minifigs/accessories - 3/5
Value for money - 5/5

70412 Soldiers Fort is the second-largest set of the March 2015 Pirates reboot. Interestingly for the second-largest set in a wave, it costs only $29.99, with a relatively low part count of 234 pieces, for a CPP of 12.82 cents/piece.

Verdict: This set is better than its companion the Outpost and is only $10 more. If you only want one of them, get the Fort. They're okay when combined, but some flaws (which I mention in the review) detract considerably from the combined model. I mostly like the look of this structure, but in some places it seems unfinished or oversimplified. Overall, a pretty average set. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cracked crystal Kronos

This starfighter, "Kronos" by Chris Perron (thebrickbin), has got me thinking back to the theme Power Miners from a few years ago. The ship's color scheme reminds me of a boulder that's been cracked open to reveal some of those neon-yellow crystals. Maybe you'll agree:
Check out more images of this sleek design here

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seachant Castle

Since starting this blog, I've become much more of a Castle fan. Of course Space/sci-fi still has a special place in my heart, but I've been blogging and building more Castle things recently. This MOC by 'Sergeant Chipmunk' is a perfect example of what I love in a Castle build. 
The castle itself has an interesting design and color scheme (somewhat refreshingly, there's very little gray), but it's also not the only thing in this scene, which is this builder's largest MOC to date. 
Look at those curves in the front wall and tower!
This castle's on the coastline, and right out front we get a chunky little ship with a few soldiers on it, sailing off on a grand journey (or possibly just a swing around the harbor). 
There's a little island too, and on it is a smaller boat and its equally pint-sized captain, with his loyal dog. I like the construction of those trees - if only I could figure it out I might employ something like it in my own MOCs!
Finally, the last part of this packed build is a little village on the coast, beneath the castle. The houses are nothing groundbreaking but it's the little details that make this pop: the fantastically built rock wall and trickling stream; the knight statue in a pool in the village center; the detail in the landscaping and foliage. 

Overall, a great build and probably my favorite castle MOC so far this year. 

P.S. (I hope the builder does not mind me adding a personal note onto the end of this post...) As you may have noticed, The Brick Bucket is now running ads in the sidebar. I've tried to make them as unobtrusive as possible. Clicking on these ads, or even just viewing a page containing an ad, will help support The Brick Bucket and make it a better site for readers. If I get enough revenue I can start running contests and doing other cool things. Thanks for taking the time to support the blog; let me know if you have any queries or suggestions! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Harbor tug

One of my uncles used to work on a tugboat, and I have a lot of respect for these small but powerful little boats. Konajra's MOC gets the style exactly right and crams in some great details as well, all while using difficult SNOT and curve-building techniques to shape the hull. Great build, and instead of just linking to the Flickr album I might as well stuff this post with photos from every angle: 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brick Bucket Review: 70410 Soldiers Outpost


Appearance - 3/5
Construction - 1/5
Pieces - 4/5
Playability - 3/5 
Minifigs/accessories - 3/5
Value for money - 2/5 

70410 Soldiers Outpost is one of the sets from the March 2015 reboot of the Pirates line. It retails for $19.99 and has 164 pieces, for a cost-per-piece of 12.19 cents.

Verdict: I had high hopes for the Pirates reboot, but unfortunately this set is pretty underwhelming. There are some good parts included, especially for Pirates/historical MOCers, but the main model's small size and highly questionable design aspects make it a shadow of what it could be. I don't own the other 20-dollar set from this release, 70411 Treasure Island, but judging from other reviews I've read, that seems to be the better set. That said, it might be hard to pass up a cheap set from a classic theme that at the very least will add some more parts to your collection and provide a little "soldiers vs. pirates" playability. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Black as night

Rancorbait didn't give this vehicle a name, so I was forced to come up with a post title on my own. :) This truck and its occupants look prepared to infiltrate deep into enemy territory in the dead of night, so I went for something along those lines. But enough about me... check out the angles on this thing. The upper headlights and front grille look awesome. I also love the ladder element used as a protective screen, in the absence of a glass panel. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Signing a treaty

This build by gid617 appears simple at first, so I nearly overlooked it. But the more I looked, the more I liked. First I saw the scroll on the table, created from a pair of rods and map tiles. Then I noticed the decorative overhang at the top of the build, the SNOT in the candle-holder, and the subtle pattern in the textured bricks in the wall. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised. Very nice little build! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Nature, uh, finds a way.

I'm getting pretty excited for Jurassic World (and the accompanying LEGO sets!), so forgive me if I'm a little heavy-handed with the Ian Malcolm quotes in the weeks to come. Tonight's dinosaur mood was triggered by vir-a-cocha's latest MOC popping up in my Flickr feed. Titled "Sunset," it shows a pair of small raptors that have come across a big T-Rex track in the primeval mud. The landscaping here looks really nice and the little dinos have plenty of character despite lacking any facial features. 

Monday, April 6, 2015


First there was the Batmobile, then the Batcopter, and the Batboat, and eventually there'll probably be the Batunicycle or maybe the the Batsteamengine, but somewhere in there was the Batpod, which sounds weird and... well it also looks weird. I'm not going to sugarcoat it. Maybe it's the perfect ride for a guy who wears spandex suits. 

Anyway, this model of Batman's two-wheeled doohickey was built by Joe Perez (MortalSwordsman), and I quite like it. It's got a very black/gray color scheme that makes it look fit for, well, Batman. I'm also a fan of the greebles, compact building in the vehicle's center, and some of those connection angles. 
And if you're like me and have never heard of the Batpod, you can check out the "real thing" here

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Very small tractor

I know... imaginative post title. But this tractor and plow by Frantisek Hajdekr are really small. Really good, too, though - building's not easy when you limit yourself to such a small scale and so few pieces. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

How long can you hold a grudge?

Answer: doesn't matter. This mech will hold one for longer. Just when you're sure it can't possibly remember what you did, it will find you, and it will make you pay. Just look at that greebly armor... that down-to-earth military color scheme... that enormous machine gun... did I mention it fits a minifig too? 
This is just not a fair match, Rancorbait

“My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears..."

"...the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”
-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Behold this mighty sea dragon, an impressive sight over the open waters and - just as impressively - built by Cecilie Fritzvold (cecilihf) using only pieces from Mixels set 41534 Vampos
Alternate builds using only the parts from any set are difficult, but even more so for something as small as a Mixel - Vampos has only 59 pieces, and almost all of them have to have been used in this MOC. The large tooth plate used as the sail of a mythical Viking warship? Genius.