In which I supersede my soft light box with a quick trip to the local hardware shop, for less than the cost of medium size LEGO set…This gives me a place to take pictures of Voltron, who has learned some new moves.
Over the last couple of years, I have used a number of techniques to light and photograph LEGO Models and minifiugres here at the Rambling Brick.
Before too long, I started using a small, reliable ‘Soft box’ – with two compact fluorescent tubes, some diffusing fabric and folding up into a convenient carry case. This has been my mainstay of LEGO® photography over the last few years. It is pretty good for most smaller, which have a footprint of less than a square foot.
A Sizeable Challenge
Voltron 31211: this set challenged my sensibilities with regard to what I could fit in the light box. In real life, I don’t have the space for a dedicated studio, with large lights. A bit of bench space in my build room is all I have. (you can read my review here)
But it was time to revisit my photographic setup, ideally while maintaining enough budget to pick up one of the new Powered Up trains. Perhaps I will need to look at the passenger train rather than the freight train now. I took my inspiration from my friend @frostbricks, who recently shared images of his kitchen table photo studio on Instagram.
As we await the official release of the new range of Harry Potter Sets on August 1st, today the LEGO Group announced the largest Harry Potter Set to date. Due for release on September 1st , the massive 71043 Hogwarts Castle is the second largest LEGO® set ever produced, with over 6000 parts, it is only outnumbered only by the Millennium Falcon 75192 from 2017. Unlike previous Hogwarts sets, this one is a microscale construction, with 27 microfigures. There are also four minifigures, representing the Four Founders of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As a microscale model, this is possibly the most comprehensive model of Hogwarts to date!
71043 Hogwarts Castle, 6,020 pieces
US $399.99 – CA $499.99 – DE 399.99€ – UK £349.99 – FR 419.99€ – DK 3499DK
Explore the magic of Hogwarts Castle!
Make the magic come alive at the LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle! This highly detailed LEGO Harry Potter collectible has over 6,000 pieces and offers a rewarding build experience. It comes packed with highlights from the Harry Potter series, where you will discover towers, turrets, chambers, classrooms, creatures, the Whomping Willow and Hagrid´s hut, plus many more iconic features. And with 4 minifigures, 27 microfigures featuring students, professors and statues, plus 5 Dementors, this advanced building set makes the perfect Harry Potter gift.
Over recent weeks, the LEGO® Powered Up App has become available, initially with programs for running both the new Passenger train and Cargo Train Sets, and now also the Powered Up Batmobile.
As well as controlling the speed of movement, there are also a number of sound effects associated with the app. The sound effects are played through the phone/tablet speakers, rather than the powered up brick itself. While exploring the app at the breakfast table one morning, Mabel the Cavoodle hopped up to join us. She was more engaged with the sounds made by the Batmobile App than the City Passenger Train App. Except for the one that sounds a little like our front door bell. Her responses were captured for your enjoyment.
I have a more comprehensive review of the passenger train coming up in the near future. In the mean time, don’t forget about our Antman and the Wasp MOC Competition, open until the 15th of August. Until next time,
From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the Universe comes a Legend: The Legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe! A mighty robot, loved by Good, feared by Evil. As Voltron’s legend grew, peace settled across the galaxy….
During this review, we will build the lions, form Voltron, consider the lessons learned and finally , compare it with a prebuilt Voltron toy…
I was excited to be offered the opportunity to review LEGO Ideas 21311 – Voltron . As I previously confessed, Voltron was not a major part of my upbringing. However, I have been catching up in recent days with the 1980’s cartoon series ( which in turn was based on the Japanese Anime ‘Beast King GoLion’). Others may prefer to take in the current Dream Works Series, Voltron: Legendary Defender, for a more contemporary tale, with a reduced serving of cheese.
After a quick revision of a parallel childhood, I felt qualified to look at the box.
It is a good sized box: similar in size to that which contained the Saturn V Ideas set, released just over twelve months ago. This box, however, contains 2321 elements, waiting to give a hefty dose of nostalgia to any child of the 80’s. In fact, you don’t have to wait to open the box for that feeling: the box art cries out 1984, with the background artwork shading from red to purple to the blue of a startled, with an underlying grid drawn in for good measure. Voltron, the giant, compound super robot almost fills the cover. In fact, it is printed slightly smaller than actual size. The back of the box shows how Voltron is made up of the individual Lion elements, as well as highlight the sword and shield. The process of the LEGO Ideas program is also outlined.
On opening this set, I had a pleasant surprise. Many sets that I have opened this year seemed to have had their ‘contents settle during transport,’ with many boxes being barely half full of LEGO Bricks. This box appeared to be almost 80% full. Excitedly, I emptied the box over the floor revealing the bags inside: all 16 of them! These came with six manuals: One detailing the construction of each lion, and the final one showing how to build the shield and sword, transform the five robot lions into Voltron, and provides some background information on the television series as well as some notes from the design team and the fan designer. The manuals came in a sealed plastic bag with a sticker sheet. This sheet however, only had five stickers, for numbering the lions (as occurred occasionally in Voltron: Defender of the Universe, but not the original Japanese series). For the purposes of the review, I did not apply them. You could argue in favour of using printed elements here, but I suspect many will prefer the look without stickers.
In the cartoon, each of the lions is piloted by a human, and it is a little disappointing not seeing the pilots represented here. However given a variable crew roster, and uniforms not matching up to the colours of the lions, not to mention the relative scale of the lions to a human, a minifigure representation might not be entirely appropriate. Indeed, there is not even space inside the heads of the lions to contain a microfigure. I’m sure someone out there will develop a creative solution.
In which I go to the movies, and open up for entries for a new building challenge.
I recently caught up with the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) offering, Ant-Man and The Wasp at the cinema. I really enjoyed the way that this film was far more human and lighthearted than some of the recent MCU offerings. Not the least of the reasons being the setting ( contemporary earth, immediately prior/in parallel with the events of Infinity War) and the fact that the eponymous heroes of this story are normal human beings, with powers given to them through their suits. It was also an easy film to get into if you missed the previous Ant-Man film, and had a only passing knowledge of the MCU.
Quantum Realm Explorers 76109
Unfortunately, I have missed the last few sets featuring Ant-Man (Ant-Man Final Battle 76039 and Super Hero Airport Battle 76051, featuring both the Micro scale and Gi-Ant Man Figures.) and am unlikely to get my hands on the SDCC 2018 Exclusive 75997 Ant Man and the Wasp. Fortunately, where there is a new MCU film, a LEGO set is sure to follow, and this one is no exception. Quantum Realm Explorers 76109 features figures for Ant-Man, The Wasp and Ghost. The vehicle build looks fun, and I am looking forward to being able to build it at some stage in the next few weeks. (There has been something BIG providing a sizeable distraction, but you will hear about that soon enough.)
Time for a challenge:
In the mean time, one of the things that I enjoyed about the film was the way that our heroes were able to change their size, from normal size, to microscopic and indeed to be just a little bigger than you might consider to be healthy.
So… here is that challenge: build a model that exploits one of the varied scales that an Ant-Man minifigure may be confronted with: it might be a giant coffee cup, or a microscale truck or… anything. Just build it to scale with a minifgure representing either a shrunken or enlarged Ant Man.
Builds must be able to fit on a 32 stud square baseplate, but they can be smaller, and some overhang is allowed. Both Physical and digital entries are allowed, but you should include a minifigure to help give a sense of the scale involved. Builds do NOT need to depict a scene from Ant-Man and the Wasp. You may use any minifigure: we don’t expect you to already own an Ant-Man minifigure.
submit a single photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, post it by direct message on our Facebook page ( don’t forget to like and follow it while you are there) or use the hashtag #ramblingantman on flickr or instagram.
There will be two prizes of a copy of 76109 up for grabs, courtesy of the LEGO AFOL Engagement Team. One for a minifigure portraying a giant character, and one for a minifigure portraying a tiny figure.
Entries will be judged according to:
Adherence to the theme
Technical quality of the build.
Judging will be by previous winners of contests and raffles here at the Rambling Brick. They know who they are. Entries will close on 15th August(Extended to) 31st August 2018 at midnight, Australian Eastern Standard Time. The standard rules and conditions apply. There are two prizes on offer. If you enter both arms of the competition, and win one of them, you will be ineligible for a second prize in this contest.
Do you have any questions? Why not ask below. In the meantime, look out for our review of this set in a few weeks.
After feeling disappointed at my own ability to build a good looking mech for a LEGO Rebrick contest, I set out to examine 72004: Tech Wizard Showdown in search of ways in which I could improve my design. Along the way we discover the mech suit in a mech suit: Mech-ception!
In the closing hours of the LEGO Rebrick NEXO Knights Mech Building Challenge, I thought I would give it a go. After all, how hard could it be? I’d recently returned from Japan BrickFest, where I had the chance to study Mechs and Giant Robots aplenty. I’d even attended a mech building workshop where some key concepts were presented and discussed. It seemed that everyone could do it. In retrospect, this was an over simplification of the facts on my part.
I built a mech as a MOC. The final result was a bit meh. The Black and green colour scheme seems to work, BUT, I can identify a number of faults: the legs are disproportionately long, and it is quite wobbly; the shoulders look a bit weird. The feet look like they belong belong on an AT-AT, there are way too many studs on display. It looks like something thrown together by someone short of parts, trying to get a mech built in six hours. Which coincidently it was. However, it got me thinking about what would help to make it look like a reasonable Mech Model.
So I thought I would have a look at the final Mech in the NEXO Knights line: 72004 Tech Wizard Showdown. I wish I had looked at it a few weeks ago. As I built it, I learned a few important lessons in mech construction. Continue reading →
Dreaming of a summer caravanning holiday, our comparison of LEGO TOWN and LEGO City continues. Has there been an ongoing covert celebration, with Town sets from twenty, thirty and forty years ago being reimagined in 2018? Comparing 1988’s Car and Caravan with 2018’s Pickup and Caravan, we also ask “Why, after 30 years, does a family vehicle towing a caravan still seat only one minifigure?” We also discover where LEGO Children come from…and wonder where other characters have gone…
Today I would like to look at another set with a parallel set from thirty years ago: Pickup and Caravan 60182 – from the 2018 LEGO City Great Vehicles sub theme; and Vacation Camper 9590 from LEGO Town in 1988. So what do these sets have in common? Two adults, a caravan and a vehicle to tow it behind. The vehicle in question has only one seat, in both instances. The differences are far greater…