Sunday, May 31, 2015

Futuristic car picture show

I'm not sure I've ever used the word "swooshable" to describe a car, but I could definitely apply it to the ones in this post. Two builders have recently created sleek, fancy futuristic cars. 

First up - the Peugeot Lanius by F@bz: 
The inverted tires and plenty of large curved elements contribute to the streamlined shape. And it's not just the outside that's detailed: there's a full interior and engine to be seen in this Flickr album. Take a look! 

The second future car comes is a McLaren-inspired model from Peteris Sprogis
The color scheme is similar to F@bz's car, but this one has an icier feel with the spikes and trans-light-blue higlights. Plus it's a two-seater! 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gold rush

Stripped-down chopper motorcycles can convey a very specific aesthetic. Maybe it's a chrome-plated one sparkling in the sun at a mechanic show. Maybe it's an old beat-up one driving down a dusty road to an old diner. Or maybe it's one like the what Joe Perez (MortalSwordsman) has constructed here: something that just screams class. (And money.)
It couldn't have been easy to amass this collection of gold parts, and putting them together so expertly is yet another matter. I really like how this turned out. 

Angry dino

This adorably angry little dinosaur by nobu_tary makes great use of a Chima Speedorz part as the head, but there are other nice Technic/BIONICLE usages throughout, and despite not having many bricks, this build sure has character. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The building table

I felt compelled to blog this as soon as it popped up in my Flickr feed this morning. Ralph Savelsberg (Mad physicist) posted this image of his LEGO workspace as he builds one of his excellent vehicle models (in this case, the Interceptor from Mad Max). No, it's not a finished MOC, but simply a nice portrayal of the art of construction. The sketchbook, parts bins, scattered pieces, and in-progress build all capture the fun and skill of the LEGO hobby. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Anger management

This month's LUGNuts challenge is called "Anger Management," and the task is to build mean-looking or aggressively named vehicles, or vehicles from aggressive movies. The Mitsubishi Eclipse may not be a particularly "angry" car, but it did star in The Fast and the Furious, which builder Ralph Savelsberg (Mad physicist) points out is about the most aggressive movie ever. The lime green paint job helps too. 

The right bait catches the right fish

What's great about this Iron Builder entry from Kosmas Santosa (facing Gilcelio Chagas) is not just the building itself, but the presentation. Kosmas went as far as to create an entire fake webpage to "sell" his builds, and the effect is quite nice. 
This round of IB has been a good one for photography and presentation, especially on Kosmas's side. Take a look at his photostream or this round's thread to see more. 

Buff builders working on their ABS

The ABS building challenge was started just a couple months ago and is now in the second round. My favorite builds so far in this round come from jsnyder002, who's found ways to use the seed part (ice cream cone) in a coral reef, beaver dam, and Pinocchio: 
Follow the round here to find out who wins and to see some great MOCs from four up-and-coming builders. I myself have applied to the contest to see if I can enter a future round - guess I'd better go polish my MOCing skills... 

(So many abbreviations in these tags!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

One year of the Brick Bucket!

Today, The Brick Bucket turns one year old. This is an exciting day for any blog - proof that one cares enough about the topic and the community to continue updating the site day after day for 12 months. 

I will, of course, continue to update this site into its second year and beyond, and I hope for it to eventually reach the "higher ranks" of some of the web's more well-known LEGO blogs. In this post I'll talk a little bit about what I want to do in the future, as well as what the past year has been like for The Brick Bucket. 

So... one year.
This blog's first post was on May 17th, 2014. Back then it was known as Brickology. (As to why it's now The Brick Bucket, check out this post.) The rest of that month saw a further 25 posts, and since then I've averaged 24 posts per month - a pretty good track record. Real life has caught up to me a bit in the last few months but I've still put up at least 15 posts a month, on average one every two days. There's so many great MOCs out there to talk about and admire, and I want to post as many of my favorites as I can. (Even if they don't make it onto the blog, chances are they'll be on The Brick Bucket's Pinterest board.)

Sci-fi and fantasy MOCs seem to have taken a slight priority over town/city, Technic, sculpture, and other styles, though I try to feature a few of each every month for a good variety of posts. Since the beginning of 2015 I've started doing more set reviews and the like, but The Brick Bucket has remained (and will remain) primarily a MOC blog. After all, the heart of the LEGO community lies with fans' ability to create an infinite number of possibilities with a limited palette of elements - it's this creative spirit that drives the hobby and enables me to write this blog. 

What's next? 
In the next year, my focus will be on extending the reach of The Brick Bucket and hopefully attaining a larger readership. Subscriptions to the blog's feed (links at bottom of the site) and followers on Twitter and Pinterest are always appreciated. I also want to forge a stronger relationship with some of the other LEGO bloggers out there - there are some great people and blogs in this hobby and it's nice to know who I can depend on for advice. On a personal level, I also want to meet some builders, build more of my own MOCs, maybe make it to a convention sometime. My Flickr photostream is here and I would love comments - positive or negative - on my MOCs to help make me a better builder. 

The Brick Bucket started running ads in the sidebar recently and any income from these will go to one of three things: 1) site maintenance (non-Blogger-hosted domain?); 2) community contests and challenges (with prizes!); and 3) buying sets for reviews. As a TFOL I don't have the biggest LEGO budget but I'd like to try for a policy of one set review per month. 

There you have it - I'd prefer to not be too wordy and instead leave time and space for more MOC posts. Running this blog has been a pleasure so far. I hope reading it has been too. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nautical kitchen

Go give Heikki Mattila a helping hand - he's got only 20 Flickr followers at the time of this post, but he deserves more! This nautical-themed kitchen MOC is very well built. It's the little things (electrical outlets, cookbook shelf, decorative sea-themed elements) that make it stand out. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Sporty concept

I was initially drawn to Wave Noiz's Flickr photostream by his compact monster truck MOC, but while there I discovered an equally fantastic small vehicle build: this concept sports car. 
I'd never seen this builder's work before, but now I'm glad I did. His vehicle builds are typically no larger than those from official City sets, but they're built in a very unorthodox style that eschews typical chassis design. Check out his photostream to see lots more great vehicles - I'm sure plenty more of them will find their way onto this blog in due time. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Bonsai Buddy

The neat, whimsical builds of Chris McVeigh (powerpig) are well-known across the internet, and kits, instructions, and prints of Chris's beautifully built and photographed models are available at his online store

The latest additions to Powerpig's Builds 'n Things are these lovely bonsai tree kits. There are three varieties - juniper, cherry blossom, and red maple - and each is available for $24.50. Or you could build your own, if you're into that - I know I'm definitely going to try. 

Props to anyone who understood this post's title... 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Boba Fett

I've been on a Star Wars kick lately, but even without that, this Boba Fett figure by nobu_tary absolutely deserved a post. Look at how well it fits together! Every piece has a purpose and blends seamlessly into the MOC, giving it a very polished, almost non-LEGO appearance. I really can't stress enough how good this build is. 
I also thought the dark red fire-hats on the jetpack were a pretty nice part choice: 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Maine Robotics Track Meet 2015 report

Today I got to witness something really cool. 

My brother Ned is on his middle school's LEGO Mindstorms Robotics Team, and today that team travelled to the 2015 Maine Robotics Track Meet in South Portland, Maine. There are five other kids on the team, and they are all Mindstorms robotics whizzes. Some of the models they created were mind-blowing. The team calls itself "Hawkbotics."

Well, Hawkbotics asked me to live-tweet their participation in the meet, and I said I'd do that and also write about their achievements here on The Brick Bucket. Their Twitter handle is @hawkbotics, and you can go there to see my full collection of live-tweets. (You can also check out their webpage, I was going to do a write-up here on the blog, but I can't transfer my pictures and videos from Twitter to Blogger, and the post wouldn't be the same without images. But you absolutely need to head to the Hawkbotics Twitter and see some great LEGO robotics. 

The most amazing part: Hawkbotics set a new world record in the Ping Pong Shotput event. They actually held the previous record of 201 points from last year, but with some modifications to their rig, they smashed their old score and posted a new one of 279 points, a record that should stand for a while. I never would've thought that my local LEGO robotics team - six middle schoolers from a small town in Maine - would do something this significant, but Hawkbotics proved me wrong. 

Again, the Twitter account is @hawkbotics. Video of the record-breaking Ping Pong rig can be found here, and an image can be found here. Give the account a follow if you want to see more LEGO robotics stuff; I'll totally be live-tweeting again at next year's meet! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pirate hideaway

This pirate fort MOC by jsnyder002 hits all the right notes: great design, great building, and tons of action features. Check out the video here to see the trapdoor, collapsing bridge, exploding rock face, and more. 
See more images on Flickr as well.