The Battlestar Pacifica arrives at the LEGO Store at Rockfeller Center

I LUG NY members Sid Dinsay and Jonathan Gryzwacz visited the LEGO Store at Rockfeller Center last Friday to swap out models.  Going was Jonathan’s architecturally exquisite Bricklyn Courthouse — which can be seen here as a LEGO CUUSOO submission — and arriving was Sid’s Battlestar Pacifica, a sister ship to the famed Galactica.

The swap was fun as usual, with Jonathan and Sid telling onlookers about I LUG NY and pointing folks to our website, sharing with them secrets (not all) about how we built our models, and even giving them tips on how to fill their Pick-A-Brick cups (hint: 1×1 round plates can fill up lots of space!).  Store manager Joe was exceedingly gracious and complimentary — despite the massive Friday afternoon crowds!

Brick Fair VA 2012 Retrospect

Brick Fair Virginia 2012

My how Brick Fair has grown! Now your Brick Fair badge has to broadcast WHICH of the three Brick Fairs you’ve attended (Alabama, New England and of course Virginia).

Speaking of attendance, I LUG NY was well represented this year with 10 members in attendance. Bill, Blake, Brian, Hope, Jon, Maggie, Mike, Rick, Vic, and Will all made the drive down to Chantilly, Virginia this year. This was our largest presence yet. Brett-you were missed!

Our larger group also resulted in more MOCs being displayed (47 to be exact) and more MOCs nominated for Brickee Awards. Mike scored three alone with his Trophy Room vignette, historical Japanese WWII ship and Swan sculptures. Blake was nominated in the space category for his Manticore SHIIP and his Octan refueling station. Jon’s Brick Cade machine was also nominated in the TV, Movies, Science Fiction category. Alas, no Brickees were awarded to us this year.

The LUG (Mike and Bill) built a tree during one of the Brick Fair workshops and then donated this tree to the Slade Child Foundation Charity Auction. The tree was rather large but maybe most importantly to bidders was the fact that the leaves were the autumn colored leaves made by a fan. Perhaps LEGO will get the hint and give us a wider selection of official leaf elements we can build with in the not too distant future.

Blake won a Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl set during Bingo Grande and then promptly traded this set with Rick who won a Star Wars Republic Frigate set as a door prize during the Grand Opening Ceremonies. Blake also won a Batwing over Gotham set as a closing door prize Sunday evening.

The Grand Opening ceremonies gave us a chance to interact with Kevin Hinkle, North American Community representative for LEGO. Some of us asked questions and eventually I caught on to the fact you had to wait for the mic before asking a question during the seminar! During this session, a female in attendance made everyone laugh by stating she was a fiancée of an “AWFOL” (awful) and thus poking fun at the acronym used to identify an Adult Fan of LEGO. What should have been a great “wow” moment was made less by the images leaking online for the next set in the Winter sets, the set # 10229, “Winter Village Cottage”. I tried avoiding the leaked images on the web but when you visit Brickset.com daily it is hard to do.

As usual, the Adult Swim hours hosted many events for AFOLs to enjoy. Mike won a Ninjago Ice Dragon set during Adult Swim’s poker game. Bill, Rick and Brian participated in the AFOL Parts Draft of Lord of the Rings set #9471 Uruk-hai Army and came away with many excellent parts.

BFVA12 parts draft 9471

Brick Fair VA 2012 AFOL Parts Draft

Will, Rick and I walked the floor selecting the MOCs we wanted to vote for in each Brickee category. We were disappointed to see that some of the individuals (at least 2) nominating the MOCs selected their own for a Brickee. We believe that shouldn’t be allowed and this bothered us enough to inquire why this is even allowed. We were told that the best builders from each category do the nominating so it “makes sense” that they nominate their own MOCs. One suggestion we came up with was that if you want to be a theme leader and be responsible for a category/theme then you would have to either nominate for a category you haven’t built for or not be allowed to nominate your own MOC.

Our ILUGNY printed torsos arrived Friday courtesy of Vic’s printer and my order of the torsos from LEGO. These went over really well with the LUG and other AFOLs who saw them, a couple even inquiring about purchasing them. Bill thought to give these torsos to the LEGO reps in attendance as a way of thanking them for their seminars so he and I searched for minifig parts from the vendors to customize an ILUGNY figure for the LEGO designers Astrid Graabaek and Fanella Blaize Holden and for ReBrick representative Peter Espersen (who gave Bill his business card which is a minifig with printed info on a torso!).

notenoughbricks sigfig

Our new business cards arrived as well and we were able to promote the LUG by placing these next to our MOCs on display.

Done!

Learning about the Friends design process was insightful and fun at the same time. I got the impression that LEGO couldn’t have selected a better designer than Fanella Blaize Holden to head this newest initiative to increase the amount of girls building with LEGO. Astrid Graabaek was also the lead designer of the exclusive Town Hall set and several fans brought this set up to her to have autographed!

Nearly all of us stayed at the Holiday Inn on site so we were able to spend more time together walking to and from the Dulles Expo Center. Most of the guys ate breakfast together at the hotel and then made their way over to the center. For those in the LUG planning on attending next year be sure to reserve your room early so we can stay on site again.

The Serenity model by Adrian Drake blew the public’s minds winning the Public’s Vote for Best in Show. This MOC impressed the Space Builders in our LUG as we were astonished to see such an accurate rendition of this ship from Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” series. The builder even gave a “Show and Tell” to show the amazing details and tell us how he brought these details to life which took an astonishing 21 months to build.

Serenity at Brickfair VA 2012

Brick Journal issue #19 came out the Monday before Brick Fair and for some of the LUG members in attendance Brick Fair was the first time they had the opportunity to see the article that featured ILUGNY’s layout at Lyndhurst Castle. Joe Meno, Brick Journal editor/founder was in attendance and I was able to compliment him on the print copy of the article.

The highlights for me each year are the people I get to meet that I have conversed with online or at previous Brick Fairs and that continued this year as I spent time with Matthew, Gaurav, and Mariann. I met a builder that I hope to see each year named Jaron. I met a builder from Maryland named Kevin who helped me resurrect my Space Truck MOC courtesy of the Brickset Jambalaya and had a fun time talking with him. My wife and I attended our 3rd Brick Fair in a row and my son attended his 2nd Brick Fair-quite impressive considering he isn’t even two years old yet!

I enjoyed this year’s Brick Fair more than the others because of the time the LUG spent together. Welcome aboard Will, Rick and Blake. Hope you guys can make the trip next year as well!

Any thoughts on what you remember? Please share!

Two Face Bank Heist at Queens LEGO Store

Installed on August 10th, 2012 and on display until early September.

Brian started building the bank on August 9th and completed it on the 10th around mid day. The Bikes N Boards is an older MOC that hasn’t been included in any LUG Showcase yet.

Will built the road and Bill built the Two Face truck, Batmobile, safe and supplied figs and an interior for the 1st floor of the bank.

For more shots of this model including the bad news for the Stormtrooper check out the shots at the I LUG NY flickr pool:
http://www.flickr.com/groups/1558529@N23/