11 November 2017

Book review: LEGO® and Philosophy

And now for something completely different. We were sent a review copy of an unusual book about LEGO® which piqued my interest. Who better to examine it than our occasional contributor David Alexander Smith, who runs the mind-stimulating blog Building Debates which "takes a look at the LEGO community and the theoretical and aesthetic discussions it raises". But if deep thought about our favourite kids' toy is not your thing, you may instead prefer to revisit the Classic Space Tortoise David made for us!

Neal Stephenson in Seveneves, his 2015 epic speculative novel of human survival following a catastrophic cosmic event – the destruction of the moon – describes the technology that allows the quick assembly of the space craft in terms of an element based kit language reminiscent of LEGO building. In fact he explicitly uses the phrasing ‘LEGO-like’. On this hinges the premise that humanity will endure the worst of times through ingenuity and creative thinking, mediated through the limited resources and components of this restricted technological system. It is an unusually positive assessment as to what our combined intellectual endeavours might achieve in an era often obsessed with the critical appraisal of our species’ actions and the gloomy prognoses that follow.

6 November 2017

10259 Winter Village Holiday Station

Can we talk about Christmas yet? I guess so; LEGO® Creator Expert 10259 Winter Village Holiday Station



 has been available for over a month now (902 pieces, priced £74.99 / US$79.99 / 69.99€). Today, Sven Franic explores the new parts included and gets inspired to build.

A year since we saw the 10254 Winter Village Holiday Train, presumably picking up passengers randomly along the line, a train station is finally here to restore some order to the holiday chaos.



Although the Winter Village Holiday sets are part of the Creator Expert line, there isn't all that much expert in them. This is also acknowledged by the 12+ marking on the box compared to most other sets in the line which are 16+.

2 November 2017

Old Bricks: What is Modulex?

Back in the 1960s the LEGO® Group created a new kind of brick, for adults. Self-confessed LEGO history geek Francesco Spreafico has kindly agreed to translate another of his great articles for us, which he first published in Italian on his excellent blog Old Bricks.

In past articles I mentioned Modulex bricks a few times, but I never fully explained what these bricks actually were; I think that now the time has come to write a brief introduction about them.

At the beginning of the 1960s Godtfred Kirk Christiansen had to design a real building and, as an extension to regular drawings, he created a physical model of the building using LEGO® bricks. Since he had found this process to be very useful, he decided to have a new system developed, a system that was not compatible with the LEGO System, but that was optimised for this kind of architectural design. These new bricks – the Modulex bricks – were put on the market in 1963 and they were intended only for architects, the category they had been created for.


30 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: More from Peter Reid

Today brings the final post in our current parts festival giving you inspiration for using new LEGO® pieces. Last time, Peter Reid and friends gave us Neo-Classic Space micro spaceships but today Peter's creations are more more eclectic. On that note, where better to start than with a...  

Krablaxian Death Snail

A heavily armoured, bio augmented cybernetic warrior snail, with blip pilot.

Parts used: 2 x 30925

26 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Classic Space micro ships

Our latest parts festival is nearing its end but fear not, we have some models from Peter Reid and his pals, using the parts he took home after attending our final session. Although he rarely makes instructions of his work, Peter has listed which of the new parts he used in each model, so you can get hold of the ones you're less likely to have.

LL611

This first model, a Neo-Classic Space (NCS) micro ship, was made during the New Elementary workshop in Portugal. I wasn't sure I'd be able to make anything decent in an unfamiliar building environment, but it turned out fine; after one or two false starts I had this little beauty in hand. I managed to safely bring it home and put the ship in a safe place, ready for photography. I immediately lost it, and had to recreate it from pictures taken by the lovely Miguel.

Parts used: 2 x 29120, 2 x 29119, 1 x 25892

23 October 2017

The new LEGO® vehicle mudguard

I'm not a big fan of vehicles, but I love a good arch. That's why I store my LEGO® mudguard pieces in my box of arch bricks instead of my 'vehicle bits' box! Mudguards make interesting arches, especially for the tops of windows.

So I was happy to see a new mudguard come out last summer, called 'Mudguard 3X4, W/ Plate, No. 1' by TLG and 'Vehicle, Mudguard 4 x 3 x 1 with Arch Curved' on BrickLink. I chose it, in Dark Stone Grey [TLG]/ Dark Bluish Gray [BL], to be one of the pieces featured in our PdC Parts Festival workshops in Portugal where it proved very popular. Today I want to explore its geometry a little more, in the hope of inspiring you to use it in interesting ways.

19 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: Day Three

Here are the results from the final day of our first ever live parts festival, where AFOLs from all over the world who were attending the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend last June were given just over an hour to come up with ideas of what might be possible using a range of new LEGO® parts. See the parts selection here.

Bill Ward



At the rear of his spaceship, Bill created rather neat vector thrust capability by creating oval shapes from pairs of Mudguard 3X4, W/ Plate, No. 1 (6178912 | 28326). I will show you a breakdown of this technique in my next post, when I explore the geometry of this part a little more deeply. 

14 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: "Oops, Wrong Portal"

At the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal we ran a live 'parts festival' workshop and afterwards, some participants took the new LEGO® parts home to continue experimenting. Alexandre Campos (the Ambassador for PLUG, the Portuguese LEGO User Group) is usually a LEGO Technic builder, so it's a good thing that our parts festivals are all about challenging people! Alexandre sent us this build using the parts and explains how the parts inspired him.

"Guys, I think we got the wrong address. Could you open the portal back home? Uh, guys? Guys?..."