If you’re in the Rockland area, be sure to check out the I LUG NY LEGO creations currently on display at the West Nyack Library. Continue reading I LUG NY Display at the West Nyack Library
The third annual Billion Bricks exhibition at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is coming soon. The display will be open November 23, 2015 through February 7, 2016. The display will feature assorted LEGO Star Wars sets ranging from 1999 to today, over 600 different Star Wars minifigures, droids, and creatures, LEGO Star Wars artwork, and a large collaborative build by I LUG NY featuring city, space, deep sea, and other themed areas.
Select weekends will also have workshops. See below. Continue reading A Billion Bricks 3: Galactic Travels- Coming Soon
THEMES HAVE BEEN the lifeblood of the LEGO Company since the late 1970’s, when it first introduced both its Castle and Classic Space sets. And it wasn’t long before the themes themselves had sub-themes, with the Space line branching off into Spyrius, Blacktron, Mission To Mars and, of late, Galaxy Squad sets. While some sub-themes have become legendary in their own right–the black-and-yellow scheme of the Blacktron 1 sets and the blue and trans-red for the first Space Police line are particularly memorable–many other sub-themes have long passed into history, almost forgotten except by the most die-hard of fans.
And that’s where I LUG NY member Blake Foster comes in. Influenced heavily by the early 90’s M:Tron line, he’s created some out-of-this-world, megascale MOCs (Ed. note — “MOC” is an acronym for “My Own Creation” and is a widely-accepted term among builders), from leviathan-like starships to planetary bases. And he takes particular pride in taking the M:Tron line’s main color–red–to extremes. We asked this Brooklyn resident to share some of his passion–and a builder’s trick or two–for our inaugural BUILDER OF THE MONTH column.
I LUG NY: Why M:Tron? What spurs your love of this particular sub-theme?
Blake: It’s part nostalgia and part novelty. M:Tron was one of my favorite themes as a child, and yet it gets far too little attention from the AFOL community. There are many talented AFOLs building Blacktron and classic-space, to the point that it’s hard to make anything that stands out from the crowd. An epic M:Tron MOC feels more unique and more memorable to me.
I LUG NY: What’s the one M:Tron piece that stands out from the rest?
Blake: Magnets were M:Tron’s signature part. Some of their vehicles carried little magnet boxes, some had magnetic cranes, and one even used magnets to carry two small buggies.
I LUG NY: “Space” builders don’t generally use much red. Does that make it easier or harder for you to find pieces, or even to build some of your MOCs?
Blake: Building in red can be an advantage, because every Lego part is first prototyped in red. Even parts never to appear in red in an official set are available, although sometimes for a price. For the most part, though, I don’t use that many specialized “space” parts. I build a lot of greebles, but almost any part that is small and complicated will do the job. Creative use of the existing parts is more important than the palette of parts available.
I LUG NY: What’s the largest thing you ever built?
Blake: My largest completed creation is the Manticore, a 180-stud long spaceship centered around a superweapon called the Destructo Beam. It took 10 1/2 months to build and contains an estimated 15,000 pieces.
I LUG NY: What was your first LEGO set?
I think it was a toy from a McDonald’s Happy Meal. I was three years old at the time, and I don’t remember the experience. However, I’ve been told that once I started building, I never stopped.
I LUG NY: I’m told you have a legendary amount of tan LEGO bricks.
Blake: My love of tan stems from the boxes and instructions of the 80’s and 90’s, which always featured tan moonscapes behind the brave Lego astronauts. I try to uphold that tradition when I build scenery. Over the past six months, I’ve accumulated enough tan to fill a dresser, and I will use much of it to build the terrain around a large-scale M:Tron project.
I LUG NY: What’s your favorite building technique? Do you have a favorite piece/pieces?
I LUG NY: I hold many techniques close to my heart, so many that it would be hard to single one out. I do love hiding studs, though, so naturally many of my favorite techniques fall under the umbrella of SNOT (Studs Not On Top). My favorite part is probably the headlight brick. I can use hundreds, or even thousands of them in a large model.
I LUG NY: Do you have any advice for someone just starting out their LEGO hobby?
Blake: First, think critically about both your own models and models built by others. Great MOCs still have flaws, and mediocre MOCs have their merits. The more you understand what makes a great model great, the better your own models will become. Second, slow down. Sure, you can slap that spaceship together in an evening, but patience will always yield better results. Take a moment to think about each new detail. How does it relate to other details? How does it affect the overall composition of the model? Attention to detail is time-consuming, but the effort always shows in the end.
Just thought I’d update you all on a new film we’re developing here at Paganomation…
“Little Guys… In Space!” is a stop-motion parody of ‘80s space toy commercials, featuring large-scale LEGO sculptures as the main characters. It’s a sequel to my 2007 film “Little Guys!”, which was created in a similar style — all characters, sets, backgrounds, and effects built out of LEGO bricks and elements.
Brian, Rick and I just returned from the Roosevelt Field LEGO store where we installed our new Alien Outpost. Since the Alien Conquest theme is set to be discontinued, and we never got to see the Alien’s home base, we felt the need to give our unnamed Alien Overlords a comfy place to stage the enslavement of humankind. It has all the modern amenities that we might expect from a staging area to conquer earth, or have snacks and watch TV. We pushed the limit of the height of a store window – the top of the model is actually touching the top of the showcase!
Head on over to the Roosevelt Field LEGO store to check it out in person. It’s certainly worth the trip.
ILUGNY member James H. created this fantastic space scene, which can be found in the Palisades Center Mall LEGO Store. If you like mecha, giant space monsters, or lime green plant life, you should really check it out. If you can’t make it in person, you might as well check out his Flickr stream here.