The lazy days of summer

Often it’s the small things in life that are the sweetest. Sometimes that means the mundane activities of a peaceful life, and sometimes it means the small but brilliant work of a creative mind. Or best yet, combine them both, as in this lovely vignette by Grantmasters entitled “Weekend Chores.” The lawnmower made of rebreathers, a 1×1 round plate, and a twisted rubber band is ingenious, but my favorite detail is the tire swing made of a simple minifig wrench.

Weekend Chores

A Board Game of High Kings

I’ve never heard of the ancient board game Ard Ri (more commonly known as Tafl or Hnefatafl), but this beautiful LEGO version built by Dan Harris and his girlfriend Dot makes me want to learn how to play. One of the oldest games in the world, Ard Ri (which means “High King” in Gaelic) was a Scottish variant of tafl played on a 9×9 board. Dan built the board structure and the stunning figurines that look like they were hand carved from ivory and wood. Dot built the incredible cheese slope mosaic which serves as the game’s board. I love the ship silhouettes and the intricate scrollwork and dragon head surrounding the king’s seat.

Ard Ri

The rules of the game are pretty straightforward. Using 8 soldiers to protect his king, the defending player must move the King from its starting place at the center of the board to one of the four corners. If the King reaches a corner, he escapes and wins the game. The opposing player, of course, must use his 16 soldiers to stop the King from escaping. All game pieces move horizontally or vertically through any number of unoccupied squares (like a Rook piece in chess) and pieces are captured by “sandwiching” an opposing player’s piece between two of your own. (I like to imagine that each of the victorious soldiers on either side of a captured piece grabs one of the captured soldier’s elbows and politely, but firmly, escorts him off of the board in the fashion of two mall security guards escorting an obnoxious teenager out of a store.) To capture the king, you must surround him on all four sides (two security guards per elbow). The game ends when the King either escapes or his captured.

Ard Ri

The unholy craft from beyond

When Cthulhu and his legions come, will they be piloting spacecraft from another dimension? If so, perhaps they’ll look a bit like this tentacled ship by BobDeQuatre. The organic shape is perfectly attuned to warp your mind to insanity until you cry “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!” And once you’re fully assimilated, perhaps you’ll want to create your own using the LEGO Digital Designer file Bob freely provides on his website.

Devourer

How to make LEGO mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are awfully tasty, aren’t they? Or diced, fried potatoes. Or baked potatoes. Really, potatoes any way I could have them are awfully tasty. That doesn’t seem to be good news for our friend on the cutting board, does it?

TBB staple Barney Main gives us a delightful scene, preparing potatoes for their delicious end. Though I don’t think our appreciation is shared by the subject on the cutting board, if those large eyes and worried face are any indicator.

While you ponder the potato’s fate, check out the other details: the skin peeler, the book, the knife, and the gas stove top. The potato masher is particularly ingenious!

Regicide

Giant LEGO ISS and Space Shuttle Endeavor

It’s been a while since a Space Shuttle orbiter docked with the International Space Station; Atlantis launched July 8, 2011, over five years ago. Since then, all astronauts have caught a ride on the Soyuz out of Kazakhstan. In a few years, they’ll be flying out of Cape Canaveral, once again, thanks to the Commercial Crew program. Until then, let us all gaze upon the beauty of Lia Chan‘s absolutely stunning brick-built ISS and Space Shuttle orbiter Endeavor.

ISS-shuttle 02ISS- Shuttle 05ISS-Shuttle 03

For a look at the shuttle pre-launch, be sure to check out our post featuring the shuttle, launch pad, and NASA’s Next Giant Leap!

Fluffy and furious: When good pets go bad

God help us all if grandma’s spoiled brat of a poodle ever gets its paws on a miniature-canine sized mech. And we’re definitely doomed if Fluff the kitten gains control of a flame-throwing bipedal hardsuit. This scene of certain terror is brought to us by Galaktek, right before the mouse began using an rocket launcher.

When Pets Rebel

A true puppet monarchy — King Gustav LEGO marionette

Although an imaginative builder has surely created one, I don’t recall having seen a well-built LEGO marionette before. This puppet of King Gustav I by Nicolas Picot is brilliant, with great articulation and a solid reproduction of the king’s dapper uniform, in particular the upside-down curve-topped fences which serve excellent duty as epaulet embroidery. The king’s steely gaze is also particularly well done, and the mustache seems surprisingly accurate for made of only two pieces.

Gustav 1er 01

Gustav 1er 02

Killing. Machine. Ready. Sir.

Beep. Beep. Target. Acquired. Target. Eliminated.
You can’t outrun the red robot of retribution. This menacing tricycle of doom hails from the mind of BobDeQuatre, and is ready to strike (or shoot) fear into the hearts of anyone who approaches. The integration of huge Technic wheels in a moderately-sized mecha is quite fun, and the Transformers-looking face gives it a soul-piercing glare.

AG: Monkey Business

Taking the devilish dog out

I have no idea what the story is behind d’Qui Brick‘s Lone Druid creation. I don’t even know if that really is a dog, or some kind of sinister skeletal big-cat thing. But it doesn’t matter — this is a burly, beefy, terrifying beast of a model which makes excellent use of a mix of parts: Bionicle, Chima big-figs, and regular System bricks.

MOC - Lone Druid

The face of the figure is particularly striking and I like the little touches of the hanging chains and skulls. The various spiky bits add an obvious menace, and the whole thing carries an unsettling sense of sinister heft. The only thing that doesn’t work for me is in the photography rather than the building itself — that black background might make for a moody setting, but it makes it difficult to see the details of the model.

Past his prime

Let’s face it, sometimes we like to root for the bad guy. Or bad robot — as envisioned by Joe Perez in this scene featuring an amazingly accurate and fully posable LEGO version of transformer Nemesis Prime.

Amusingly, Joe recently bought a Nemesis Prime action figure and was surprised how similar his version ended up in terms of detail and scale. And of course like the toy, his version also transforms!