Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Area 51 (and 500th post by the Brick Bucket!)

It has been a while since I have posted here...  First off, big congratulations to the Brick Bucket team and especially to Tate for his constancy here on this wonderful blog.  This marks 500 posts of high-quality MOCs delivered by the Brick Bucket to you, in hopes of inspiring creativity and a love for LEGO.  Now, onto the featured build!


One of the things I admire most about LEGO is when a builder is able to exceed the sometimes seemingly impossible limitations of the LEGO building system and construct a simply magnificent model.  Such is the case with detail-oriented builder Brian Williams.  Posted several years ago, his rendition of the first scene from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is indeed mind-blowing.  Aside from the usual characteristics of his MOCs: good photography, excellent building, accurate minfigures, etc., Williams has included a mirror so as to create the illusion of a warehouse.  Ingeniously named crates can be seen throughout the diorama, in addition to some brilliantly lit ceiling assemblies.

Friday, June 9, 2017

"There were a lot of explosions for two people blending in"

Rogue One is the best Star Wars movie of all time,* and one of the best scenes in the film is the battle on the planet Jedha. A mythical city home to ancient secrets of the Jedi and the Force comes under assault from Imperials and rebel insurgents alike, and amidst all the new characters and vehicles, the tried-and-true AT-ST still finds a place in the fight. I'm a fan of the official Jedha AT-ST set, but this midi-scale version by the Rogue Bantha himself, Tim Goddard, is equally fantastic. The use of myriad small elements that comprise the guns, joints, and armor show Tim's renowned skill for sci-fi building. 
*You heard what I said.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”

Check out this microscale model of the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, an ancient Greek theater in Athens, built by George Panteleon (ZetoVince). I think Greek architecture is absolutely beautiful, and seeing a classic drama performed in this ancient theater (which has been renovated and is still used today) is something I'd like to experience. Despite its repetition and bland color scheme, this model pops because of the contrast of textures: the smooth SNOTed sections reflect the chiseled rows of seats in the amphitheater, opposing the rough rocks and crumbling ruins on the edges of the build. You can check out this construction shot to see how it's built (although I must confess I'm still not entirely sure!). 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Pink poison

The Brick Bucket's fearless reporting takes us once again into the Iron Builder arena, home now to a peculiarly pink battle between Grant Davis and Kosmas Santosa (kosbrick). The seed part at stake is the 4x4x13 curved panel, more commonly known as the "hot air balloon segment," in any and all of its three existing colors. 

The Brick Bucket's intrepid journalism has now discovered the source of the pink variety of these pieces: they must be harvested from the abdomens of a very rare and beautiful spider deep within the jungles of Iron Builder Land. But there's a risk to be taken for beauty, as this spider is not just pink; it's deadly poisonous. Watch your step...
Follow the Iron Builder action at this link!

The history of the world is at stake!

In 480 BC, King Xerxes of Persia sent a massive army to invade the Greek city-states. A tiny force of Greeks (the subject of the movie 300) stalled the Persian advance at the pass of Thermopylae, giving the Greek general Themistocles just enough time to launch a naval defeat of the Persians in the straits near the island of Salamis. This deterred the Persian invasion, led to the proliferation of ancient Greece, and ultimately shaped the history of the world. 

That's not what's going on in this scene by Micah Beideman (Hacim Bricks), but it could very well be something just as important. Maybe that trade ship is holding the future king of a country? In any event, there's a Greek trireme involved; that was enough to kickstart me into history mode. 
Note the nicely constructed mountainous background, and a pretty cool part use on the trireme: a flaming sticker from a Racers set holds a cheese slope on the front of the ship! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Arrival at Fornax K7

The good folks at the ABS Builder Challenge have wasted no time cleaning the arena floor from the Season 1 Finale and getting Season 2 all set up. Mark Erickson (Mark of Falworth) is one of the four contestants in Season 2's inaugural round, and he's setting a tough precedent: a lovely, whimsical alien-planet-landing scene that seems straight out of the Pikmin games. 
The minifigures have apparently landed in a human-scaled world, where flowers are tree-sized and pebbles are boulder-sized (but only to the little plastic dudes). The seed part is in fact the red bucket element, put to use very nicely in those flowers. And the whimsically positioned stems, leaves, and tufts of grass? It all looks terrific, as does the spaceship itself, with a Classic Space design and that nice bulbous moon-lander shape. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cheep cheep!

It's always nice to see new builders on Flickr, and it's even nicer when they're posting MOCs as good as this one. Josephine Monterosso (jigsawjo) just showed up this month, but she's already posted probably 20 different builds ranging from mosaics to mecha. I'm only highlighting one of her builds in this post, but I highly recommend you go give her a follow and check out some more of her work!

This bird's nest must use just about every flexible brown part that's been produced - flex-tubes, bullwhips (thanks Indy Jones), and vines, as well as a few rigid parts. It has a very nice natural aesthetic and looks just like a real bird nest, complete with a couple of eggs that hopefully will soon reveal a couple of baby birds, mouths agape to receive a fresh worm or two from mama bird. While actual egg pieces technically exist (from the Angry Birds sets), I like the use of the light-blue minifig heads here, presumably as robin eggs. 

Into the jungle

This jungle temple by Jonas Wide is chock full of creative building techniques and part uses. The structure has a really nice decaying feel that blends well with the mayhem of the jungle - vines growing everywhere, monkeys scurrying about, birds chirping loudly... it reminds me of a quote from the author Orson Scott Card: "The natural world is beautiful, and it is beautiful again when it reclaims the ruins of humans who are gone." 
Something that works really well here is the blend of different shades of green - there's the olive-green grass, dark green of the vines, and medium shades used for the trees. It offers a nice contrast and adds that natural touch to the build. Also noteworthy are the microfigure "statues" set a half-stud into the walls of the temple, and the incredible multi-layered, intricate construction of that tree nudged up against the ruins. (I'm also a fan of that spindlier tree on the other side of the build, but I don't know what the pieces used for the leaves are!)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Prisma and LEGO

Sometimes it's not just the construction of a MOC that catches my attention, but the presentation of it too. That's the case with this "Bug Smasher Mech" from Marco Marozzi. Marco built a pretty sweet mecha, but he took it to the next level by using the photo-editing program Prisma on one of the pictures. The result is this artsy-swirly-not-quite-right-but-still-recognizably-LEGO work of art: 
This is a really interesting (and creative) concept, and one I might like to apply to some of my future builds, given my own fascination with Prisma. 

For reference, here's the unedited photo:
The color scheme is flashy; I love yellow paired with a duller color or set of colors, and the black and light grey here work perfectly. There are also some fantastic greebles. I particularly love the construction of the legs. It's clear that Marco isn't just a good photographer - he's got building chops too!

Cute characters from a galaxy far, far away

A few Star Wars character builds have sprung up in my Flickr feed over the past few days, so I decided to compile them all in one post. 

The first is this Admiral Ackbar figure by Djokson, whose signature CCBS-pieces style lends itself to some fantastic part usage: 
The next two figures are both by Miro Dudas (Miro78), and both feature Princess Leia. First, here's Leia's disguise as the bounty hunter "Boushh" from Return of the Jedi: 
There's some excellent part use on this figure too, notably the "letter E" tiles on the mask, Technic pins to form the staff, and various ball joints, binoculars, and the like for greebles. The textured 1x2 bricks work great to provide texture to the pants. 

Also featuring this pants technique is Leia in her Hoth outfit from Empire Strikes Back
The rounded, smooth elements and lack of facial features give this figure a charming, inquisitive demeanor, almost non-LEGO. Character builds are always stunning when pulled off correctly, and these three are certainly well done. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A sight to sea

Several months ago I built a coral reef for the ABS Builder Challenge, and it's still my most-faved Flickr photo to this day. I was intrigued by the opportunities presented by the vast array of corals and other denizens of the reef environment; combined with the opportunity for some Nice Part Use, it seemed like a perfect build. Unfortunately I was never quite happy with the way I incorporated the seed part. 

Now Drazard has built his own reef model for an ABS competition, this time for the Season 1 Finale (which I also competed in). And I've gotta say I think I like it better than my own...
The seed part (dark red elbow brick) features quite nicely, used for both the dark red coral and the shiny treasure chest, but that's not nearly all. The array of different pieces and colors here is spectacular! There's not a coral I don't like - each one features smart part usage and impeccable color combinations. The rockwork and stacked seaweed is a great frame for the photo. Feel free to compare to my own reef model and report back in the comments - and be sure to check out the rest of the fantastic builds from the Season 1 Finale of ABS!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tasty burger

As the ABS Season 1 Finale races to a close, jsnyder002 is still churning out MOCs, compressing them into patties, and dousing them with ketchup. Everything about this meaty build is top-notch, right down to the excellent shaping of the melted cheese and splotches of ketchup. I especially love the window shutters used as lettuce: 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Back to the future

I've got a handful of Popular Science magazines from the 1950s, and it's both fascinating and hilarious to look back on what bygone generations predicted the future would be like. These hovercars by timhenderson73 look just like something out of those magazine pages, right between the sexist advertisements and Cold War hysteria:
Tim got some great shaping on these and I love the bubble cockpits and how they accent the sleek, studless surface. The use of a few textured grilles adds the perfect level of contrast.

The builder has a few more hovercars over on Flickr, so be a good fellow and take a look.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Café au lait

Confession: I'm much more of a tea person than a coffee person. Coffee tends to make me shaky, but there's not much more soothing that some chamomile tea or a chai latte. But hey, if Brother Steven wants to be a coffee drinker, that's up to him. I just don't know how I'd feel about my morning cuppa being made of plastic. 
This was built for the ABS Season 1 Finale (which I'm a proud part of!) using the dark red elbow brick as the seed part. 

A cool castle (plus some personal updates!)

I'm back!
The last few months have been super busy and I've barely even touched a LEGO brick, much less had the time to build anything serious or, as you've probably noticed, post anything here. But I'm still here, and so are the other Bucketeers, so never fear! Woo, rhymes!

A couple of asides before I jump into the main content of this post:

First, the Season 1 finale of the ABS Builder Challenge is underway, and as a Season 1 contestant, I'm included! 16 competitors are using the dark red "elbow brick" to create some dang cool MOCs, and I'll be blogging several of those in the next few days, as well as hopefully uploading a few of my own contributions to Flickr. 

Second, the other day I had an excellent conversation with my English teacher regarding the LEGO fan community. Turns out his 10-year-old son is a big fan and my teacher got suckered in, and they took a trip to LEGOLAND in Florida over February break. My teacher showed my a video he took of Miniland, and we discussed conventions and TFOLs; the next day I brought my copy of Beautiful LEGO for him and his son to borrow. I found it impressive that LEGO fan terminology and culture has now reached the level of popularity that I can discuss it with my English teacher as normally as if we were talking about Huckleberry Finn or The Catcher in the Rye

Anyways. I do actually have a MOC to show you today, and it's a good one. 

"Waelras Castle" comes from the build table of Sir Gillian and it's a case study in constructing a natural, tranquil Castle setting. Everything flows together nicely, from the greebled stone walls of the castle to the rocky, leafy cliffs to the smooth SNOTed water. 
Check out the Flickr album for several more shots, because there are a lot of creative details packed into this build. But I gotta point this one out: what are a Fabuland figure and a Rock Monster doing down here?
Explain yourself, sir. 

I'll be back later with some more quality content™!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Prehistoric speeders

The amalgamation of futuristic technology with prehistoric settings and creatures has always produced entertaining results - think Jurassic Park. Keith Goldman's latest brick-built scene is another beautiful example: a rather unfortunate speeder-bike pilot is ambushed by a Dilophosaurus while his comrade makes a high-speed getaway. 
While the repetition of pieces and techniques (such as all those green Exo-Force spikes!) gives a sense of the vast scale of the prehistoric forest, there are plenty of small details that stand out too. The weaving together of several yellow-orange tooth plates produces a fantastic prehistoric plant design; I love the ammonite printed plate on the front of the lead speeder, and as Christopher Hoffman pointed out on Flickr, the fit between the ski and the ingot element on the underside is "goddamn beautiful." I love this build. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Seasprite

Contrary to what you might have been expecting - perhaps some delicate aquatic creature, or a type of magical fairy - the Seasprite is actually a big hunk of metal. Drat. 
As usual, Ralph Savelsberg (Mad physicist) has knocked it out of the park with this build. According to Ralph, the UH-2A Seasprite was used by the US Navy as a utility helicopter and a plane-guard helicopter for aircraft carriers. I'm a big fan of the bright contrast in colors (that orange is one of my favorite colors!), as well as the techniques used to create tapering slopes and the greebles used in areas like the landing gear. 
It looks like Ralph also managed to include a sliding door and retracting landing gear, which adds a nice bit of functionality to this excellent display model. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Matchstick

One of our most blogged builders in 2016, Deltassius returns this year with another fantastic little mecha, this one called the F-T System "Matchstick." I love the chunky construction with a blend of round and sharp edges, and that trans-orange brilliantly offsets the black and gray armor. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Well-rounded

legoalbert takes us simultaneously forwards and backwards with this throwback to 2013, the year this futuristic sci-fi tanker truck was constructed - although it's only now been posted. Well, the shaping on this build is awesome. Part usage is minimal - pretty basic large pieces and a simple construction and color scheme - but it gets the job done beautifully, one of those MOCs that doesn't quite seem like LEGO. A few exposed studs and barely-visible ribbing under the tank add some lovely contrasting texture. 
One question though: what's that gunner doing? What kind of future war is this truck fueling? Only time will tell, although I'd love to see legoalbert revisit this concept in a later build.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Suit up

Happy 2017 everyone! For my first post of the year I've selected a glorious mech-suit MOC from recurring bloggee nobu_tary. Isn't she a beauty?
I love everything about this build, from the purposely exposed studs for greebling purposes, to the 1x2 grilles used to add texture to the thighs, to the vibrant yellow-on-gray color contrast, to that big-ass gun. Note the interesting part usages such as a droid torso and pistol in the hand, and the new Nexo Knights battle suit element in the cockpit. 

What's that? Cockpit? Oh yeah, this thing fits a minifig too:
Fantastic work! And for those of you who missed it at the end of 2016, check out nobu_tary's tribute to the new year with his excellent Year of the Rooster build

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Colossal castle

Each time InnovaLUG builder Mark of Falworth reveals a new MOC, I am simply blown away.  His latest work of art, (CCC14) Clarendon Castle, is one of his biggest projects, weighing in at an impressive 110 lbs (~50 kg).  It is as if Mark pulled this scene right out of a medieval fairy tale book. The details, the techniques, the color schemes all have been exhibited in former MOCs, but if there is something that sets Mark apart from other castle builders, it is that he knows how to make classic techniques innovative and incorporate tried and true methods of building that appear to be timeless.


2016 in the rearview: The Brick Bucket yearly recap, vol. 3

Another year has come and gone, and it's time for me to look back on The Brick Bucket and the LEGO community as a whole in 2016. 

This year - May 16, I believe - will mark the third anniversary of The Brick Bucket. That's a pretty cool achievement and I'm happy to still be here running this little blog with the help of some fantastic fellow contributors. We didn't put out as many posts this year, but we aimed for quality over quantity and I still think the Bucket is a good place to go to find some really awesome MOCs. 

I'd like to start off by discussing the addition of our newest writer, John Klapheke (BrickBuilder7622 on Flickr). John joined us in August 2016 after I blogged his microscale modern architecture build. Since then he's boosted our coverage of Castle-type MOCs (Aaron, Frog and I are more sci-fi-oriented). He's been a welcome presence on the Bucket and I've been happy to work with him. His builds are pretty sweet too, so be sure to check out his Flickr...

And now, allow me to introduce 2016's most popular posts on The Brick Bucket. 

Most popular posts (most pageviews)
  1. Please welcome new contributor John Klapheke!
  2. Desert Fortress
  3. All of these MOCs are sort of related...
  4. The good, the evil and the...nocturnal being?
  5. Lovely German office building
  6. Luggabeast
  7. Tokyo skyline
  8. "I'm late I'm late I'm late"
  9. Dragon warrior
  10. Cars and trucks and things that go*
Our top posts featured a variety of MOCs, from sci-fi to Castle to character builds and more. I think this illustrates the variety the Bucket is capable of, and how there's something here for every fan. 

Most-blogged builders
Jonas Kramm (Legopard) was by far our most-blogged builder, with 9 posts credited to him in 2016. Jonas is simply an incredible builder and well deserving of this small honor. I highly recommend you go scroll through his Flickr. 

Deltassius put up a strong second place finish with 5 MOCs of his being blogged. Deltassius is an under-the-radar mecha builder and his little 'bots are also worth a view or two on Flickr. 

In a tie for third place, Djokson, John Snyder (jsnyder002), nobu_tary, Robert Heim (Robiwan_Kenobi), and Tim Schwalfenberg (One More Brick) each had 3 of their MOCs blogged. 

Traffic sources and audience
Here are 2016's top visiting countries to the Bucket:
  1. United States
  2. Germany
  3. Russia
  4. United Kingdom
  5. France
  6. Canada
  7. Italy
  8. Slovakia
  9. Australia
  10. Netherlands
The U.S. still makes up the majority of our views, but Germany now accounts for quite a bit too (then again, Dead Frog is a German citizen!) The U.K. drops from 2nd to 4th, while Russia and Italy are up and Australia and the Netherlands are down. Slovakia is new in the top 10 and honestly? I can't account for that :P

Much of our traffic this year came from Google (a good sign - either people are Googling us, or our links/images are showing up higher in search results!), with a significant portion also from Twitter. BrickRSS and The Brothers Brick were also fairly large sources of traffic. 

More info
Average posts per month in 2016: 8.42
Total posts in 2016: 101

Social media
We maintain a presence on Twitter and I try to update our Pinterest board whenever possible. Give us a follow!

In conclusion...
Thanks again to everyone who reads and supports The Brick Bucket. I'm happy to lead such a talented team and to provide the LEGO community with another source of MOCs, reviews, and more brick-related goodness. In 2017 I'd like to post a little more, but of course we'll always be aiming for quality over quantity. If any of you have any comments or questions - or would be interested in joining our staff - feel free to use our contact page or talk to any of our writers on Flickr. Happy New Year and best of luck with your LEGO endeavors in 2017!