Tuesday 16 April 2019

Custom LEGO BrickHeadz - Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker

Finally we have Luke Skywalker as a Jedi Knight joining the custom Darth Vader redeemed I made previously. Special thanks to young Han Solo for the printed shirt brick. The rest of the build is pretty standard and boring black, but that's just how it was in the movie really. The Headz portion has been directly transplanted from the Luke & Yoda set. This is Luke in my absolute favorite form and needed to be in my collection!

"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
- Luke Skywalker, Star Wars

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Custom LEGO BrickHeadz - Darth Vader Redeemed

Sometimes seeing a single part can inspire an idea and create an opportunity for something custom. This build was inspired by the 4x2 white printed tile from the Captain Armando Salazar set. The main custom portion of this BrickHeadz is the... Headz portion. Using 2 of the previously mentioned tiles to make up the large scar tissue on Vader's bald head. Additionally I've used a wheel axle plate to represent the severed right hand since this takes place after the throne room climax.

"Just for once, let me look on you with my own eyes."
- Darth Vader, Return of the Jedi

Thursday 4 April 2019

Custom LEGO BrickHeadz - Original Trilogy Han Solo

A nice wave of Star Wars Original Trilogy BrickHeadz are being released later this year. But missing among them is an 'adult' Han Solo set. We already got the Young Han Solo model earlier in 2018, but I definitely needed one (or two) to go with the original cast. Having the head and hair already designed and readily available made the extras easy to design. The 1x2 white printed brick from the Jack Sparrow set made for an excellent, ready made, Han Solo shirt.

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."
- Han Solo, Star Wars

"I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big bright blur."
- Han Solo, Return of the Jedi

Tuesday 26 February 2019

Custom LEGO BrickHeadz - Hawkeye

With Thor done it is time to add Hawkeye to the Avengers team in BrickHeadz form. Not the most interesting addition in terms of building. I do like how the hair turned out though. The one thing that would have benefited the build the most would be printed bricks for the chest.

"Better clench up Legolas"
- Iron Man, The Avengers

Saturday 23 February 2019

Custom LEGO Modern Metroliner Passenger Train

One set I loved as a child was my 4558 Metroliner 9V set. I actually don't remember what happened to it, but today I'm showing off a modernized version of it that will service my City's middle loop.

My layout doesn't have any 9V compatible tracks so rather than buy the original again (at today's crazy prices) and butcher up such a classic set with Power Functions, I went with making a more modern looking version from scratch as more of a tribute. The major change aesthetically is the swap from old light grey to black and now the main locomotive no longer houses any passengers.

Primary locomotive, passenger car,
passenger luggage car, secondary control cab

I went with a passenger-less primary control locomotive. The idea being that the entire area is taken up by motors and electrical systems and other complicated technical train engine stuff.

The passenger car is structurally very similar to the one from the original set but mine has brick built doors that are not functional.

The club car... I mean the combined passenger and luggage car is obviously inspired by the original set 4547 Railroad Club Car, that was sold separately to the Metroliner. I never owned it myself and I still don't... BUT this is kinda close design wise. I really didn't think sleeping quarters would be required for my use as an inner city train.

The final part is the secondary control cab which can also house a smaller amount of passengers. Where I live nearly all our passenger trains share the control cab and passenger space.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Custom LEGO Modular Town Hall 10224

The first modular building I ever got around to building and then soon after expanding by one extra floor is set 10224 Town Hall. A fantastic looking set and a staple for any official modular city block.

Some of the additions I have made are tiling the ground floor auditorium in a black and white striped pattern, continuing the color theme from the main entrance. This includes the use of the newish 2x2 half tiles, also known as triangles. The first time I've ever used them in a set or custom build and they allowed me to not have to go through the trouble of raising the entire build to fit tiles underneath.

For the extra floor I dedicated this to council workers offices. I don't think the mayor can run the city alone and he definitely needed workers to audit forms and prepare permits that would otherwise slow down the progress of building the entire city. Giving them a place to eat and take a break was a good use of the spare space off to the side.

Only a single additional floor added to this modular.

Black and white tiled auditorium floor.
My first use of 2x2 half tiles (triangles).

Inside the new 2nd Floor you'll find
council worker offices and their lunch/break room.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Custom LEGO BrickHeadz - Thor

Tragically missing from the initial and further BrickHeadz Avengers lineups are Thor and Hawkeye, two valuable members of the team. So first up out of my LAB is a tripple take of different Thor variants

"I like it! Bring me another."
- Thor, Thor

"Are you Thor, God of hammers?"
- Odin, Thor Ragnarok

"Bring me THANOS!"
- Thor, Infinity War

Sunday 17 February 2019

Custom LEGO Midnight Sapphire Steam Train (Emerald Night)

Next up from the train yard is a custom skinned steam train which uses set 10194 Emerald Night as the base. I've also added various carriage styles and a caboose to keep things different, despite further learning that these are not present on British trains.

Like the Hogwarts Express I chose not to butcher the locomotive too much to fit in Power Functions. I still used the standard method of a large motor in the cab to drive the wheels, but instead of installing the IR Receiver in the boiler, breaking up the smooth lines, I swapped it into the tender where the battery box would usually go to look ugly, covering it with the coal the engine would use to go. The battery box is now in the first carriage which is a combination luggage and passenger car. The only negative is that there is a cable running between all the components. But I feel this is better than sacrificing the look of the brick built models.

Combines luggage and passenger car, perfect
for hiding a power functions battery box

Almost exact copy of the original passenger car.
Substituting in some cheaper window frames and glass.

A caboose that isn't meant to be!

Saturday 16 February 2019

Benny's LEGO City Update #5 - Suburban Train Station

City progress is good progress, especially when it involves anything in the trains department. One of my first completely custom built from scratch projects is this suburban train station, the first of 3 going into my city and the smallest.

This is modeled after a typical train station you would find in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. As a kid I used to love just hanging out at a station fence with my Grandpa and watch the trains arrive and the passengers head off to whatever adventure awaited. I was always jealous and wanted to go on a train just for the ride.

When I was older and before I had a car of my own I used to walk to the local station and wait for the train to take me to the football games. Many times after the game ended, with a rush of patrons to catch the first train, I had to stand in the rain because there was often minimal undercover areas and i usually didn't bring my umbrella. I have built this station reminisce of those times with almost no shelter from the elements.

Something I've noticed over the years is the growing popularity and use of of abstract architecture when building or renovating the real world stations. I've contributed my own azure and dark green design theme when it comes to this, and some of the abstract work is very obvious in the pillars of the foot bridge.

The station platforms are far enough apart (10 studs) to allow my widest trains to pass through, mainly sure to wheel cranks and piston rods on the steam trains.

A lot of the ballasting details still need to be finished but they are definitely on the way... any minute now... I swear!

A view across the platforms with the 
ever important vending machines.

Abstract bridge architecture. Hopefully it holds up.

Automated ticket machines, now accepting tap and go!

Please stand behind the yellow line until
the train has come to a complete stop.

While my train station system is 33.3% completed, with the next one being a bit bigger and then the main station planned to be an absolute behemoth I still have my work ahead of me.

Friday 15 February 2019

Chattin' About Stuff - LEGO Movie 2 BrickHeadz

BrickHeadz have without a doubt been one of my favorite new themes of the last couple years. They captured the same addictive completionist feel that the Pop Vinyls game me before. And it is just so easy to get into the MOC scene with this format. Last year I made a video showing one of my very first BrickHeadz MOCs which was Benny the 1980's something space guy from The LEGO Movie.

In that video I announced my plans to make Emmet and Wyldstyle as well, but that LEGO will probably read my mind and make them officially. Well I should have bought a lottery ticket instead because they've gone and released them all in the wave of LEGO Movie 2 sets (see pics below).

41634 Emmet

41635 Wyldstyle

41636 Benny... the 2nd version :P
41637 Sweet Mayhem

As always I'm looking forward to adding these to my collection and despite my previous plans being thwarted, my plan B is to customize these in different ways based on a few new looks from the new movie.

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Brickvention Australia 2019 LEGO Exhibition

Brickvention is Australia’s biggest and, in my opinion at least, best LEGO convention. This year I recorded a heap of footage and pics to share with everyone who couldn’t make it. But nothing beats seeing these builds in real life, so if you live here I HIGHLY recommend going for yourself. The video linked above has over 20 minutes of footage containing some absolutely awesome builds by people of all ages.

My favorite piece from the entire day.
If this was for sale, I would be broke...

And I thought lining up a dozen 1x1s in the Architecture sets was a pain!

An example of a train looking like it is moving even when it's not.

One of the selling points this year was the world's biggest Minifigure swap, A wall with THOUSANDS of various Minifgures attached. The idea is you bring in your own Minifig that you no longer want and swap it for one on the wall to take home. Towards the end of the day the wall was made up of mostly Green Ninja Lloyd's!

The Great Wall of Minifigures!

The kids I went with swapped in a Batman and Emmett, much to my surprise, the attendant told us no one had brought either of them yet so they probably got swapped back out pretty quick!

There was a channel 9 news reporter there who I overheard saying to the camera "you may even find one that looks like you". Funnily enough I had brought my own Benny SigFig to add to the wall so that was very true. I ended up walking away with a generic Grey Ninja.

Brickvention 2019 was my favorite exhibition,
more than any other pop culture convention.

I am already super excited for next years Brickvention and I have plans to exhibit some of my own builds, probably something train related.

Monday 21 January 2019

Custom LEGO Motorized Hogwarts Express Train 75955

Based on the 2018 re-re-re released Harry Potter set 75955 Hogwarts Express. It's a pretty nice looking set to begin with, that most people will be very happy to own as is, other than it does not come ready to be motorized right out of the box. For mine I used the new Powered Up (Power Functions 2.0) and put all the electronics in the slightly bigger tender instead of messing around with the locomotive too much.

I wanted to bring the locomotive's details closer in line with that of the Emerald Night. Other than a few minor part and color changes, I would say the main thing that I'm happy with is in the design of the side coupling and piston rods. I took a different approach than most that I haven't seen before. It's simple but I think they turned out pretty good, especially when the train is moving.

Check out the video for my thoughts and some clips of the Hogwarts Express running around my City Layout.

Friday 18 January 2019

Benny's LEGO City Update #4 - Beach & Bay Walls

Hi all, this time around for my City Update video I'm trying out a bit of a VLOG style as suggested by some subscribers.

I've completed the largest stretch of bay wall, and probably the most interesting, if you could call it that at all for a bunch of grey bricks...

Some of the less boring sections are the water and sewer maintenance access area and the larger cylindrical sewer pipes. I based them off a similar build technique using arches and rounded bricks that I saw demonstrated somewhere sometime but had nothing to do with sewers or pipes. It works well for this purpose.

My next few updates will show some of my custom buildings on the suburban side of town.

Thursday 17 January 2019

LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Melbourne - January 2019 Visit

While I have visited the LEGO Store out the front many many times, unfortunately in order to enter the attractions all adults must be accompanied by a child under 17. So with my teenage cousin on board I finally got my chance to glance inside the actual LEGOLAND Discovery Center. The main attraction for me is the Miniland which is a LEGO City modeled on Melbourne and surrounding landmarks and locations. Check out the video for a tour.

I definitely loved checking out Miniland but the rest of the attractions just weren't for me, and in fairness they are aimed more at kids. Miniland alone was probbaly worth the price of admission, at least once, but I don't feel I have a major reason to go back inside the Discovery Centre.

The LEGO Store out the front on the other hand is amazing. Just about every current set is available at RRP unless you are an annual member of the store. The Pick A Brick wall is my favorite and I rarely leave with less than 4 large cups overflowing.

Would I recommend it? As an AFOL, maybe just once to see Miniland. But if you are a parent of children who will ride an play with every attraction on offer I'd say it's a definite and your children will love it.

Checkout their website for more information: melbourne.legolanddiscoverycentre.com.au