A Million Little Bricks & The Brick Bible; Two Short Book Reviews

Howdy readers. I need to do better at this blogging thing.

I recently got two books on our favorite multicolored plastic subject: A Million Little Bricks by Sarah Herman, and The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith.

Let me preface by saying that both books are beautiful. High-quality glossy paper and quality color prints. Don't get the kindle version, kids. Feel the heft of those dead trees in your hands. Mmmm. Delicious.

A Million Little Bricks is, unlike The Cult of LEGO (also great), a history of the company and the toy—NOT the fan community (although a short 10-page section does mention it, various conventions, and fan projects like BrickJournal). Any readers who can identify sets based on part number will geek out, and anyone interested in knowing detailed stories behind the progression of various LEGO themes, marketing to girls, and a more textured description of the company history and leadership will have a happy read. It's dense reading, but, well, what else are you going to read anyway? This blog?

And the dedication of the book is the cutest: "For Ian—because you love me enough to let me build your Unitron Monorail set 6991)". Collective awwwwww.

The Brick Bible is more or less what you would expect, but it's not a complete Bible at all—that would be quite a bit longer than the 270 full-bleed glossy pages—. The selected scenes are recreated quite literally (sometimes very humorously, sometimes gruesomely, always plasticky) in LEGO. I'm a dirty non-believer, so I enjoy the book mostly as a talking point, but I imagine if you want to engage people with the word of god etc, this is a good way to do so in a more fun format. I'm not sure how seriously one should take it, but I've never met the author face-to-face. 


Talk too much but not enough its a real cool thing a real cool thing yeah

There are many good things going on with Stefan's latest starfighter. Of note is a great balance between curved and angular wedge pieces; the form doesn't come across first as bulbous or edged. The obnoxious transparent neon colors that I grew up with in previous decades were of hues difficult on the eyes; they have been phased out, thankfully, and Stefan employs a trans-orange canopy of recent production. It works better than anything with the sand blue and dark tan colors.

The incorporation of the unforgiving canopy element is also a success. Some might stray from using it and others like it because of their unfamiliar contours and the lacking aesthetics of their accompanying molds. I think Stephan's success is due in part to the notching on the long blue slope pieces. The notches allow compatibility with parts that might otherwise have intersecting studs. At first they might seem to hinder aesthetics, although here, visible from the front view, they break up the straightness of the wedge just enough to permit a transition from a strait edge to a curved one.

The rear view reveals simpler geometry, which lends itself to being interpreted as serving mechanical function.The angles of the four auxiliary do good to echo the four wings. When viewed from the rear, faces of the angular dark tans wedges form four triangular shapes, highlighted here by the lighting. The longest legs of these seem to come close to tangent to the round thrusters and near parallel to the fins of 47456, forming an imaginary diamond. The triad slits in the sockets Stefan uses for thrusters also hint at this geometry. The one thing that stands out of form are the 8 square insets of 41862.

The cockpit canopy protrudes from the fuselage, visible in the profiles. The orange shape is complemented by a similarly shaped protrusion on the underside. The detail is barely noticeable but it is enough to suggest  symmetry.

Vega-3 Loads of fun, Stefan.


October is Ma.K-tober

Spreading word here of Tromas' Lego Maschinen Krieger building challenge. The parameters of last year's starfighter contest have opened up to include just about anything appropriate for Kow Yokoyama's imagined universe.

This is a fantastic start, I love the presentation: rika_smoke
Tromas' announcement on TBB
"Ma.K bricks", the Lego Maschinen Krieger flickr group.

Occasional driving force of the blog, self-proclaimed Lukas fanboy, and aspiring engineer, Jacob spends too much time building LEGO, not enough time practicing piano, and not nearly enough time doing school. He also enjoys long sentences. In the instance of blogging, he believes in quantity over quality, wherever quantity can be maintained.
One of the cofounders of YSAB, and the founder of YSA, Observing Mike actually being productive is a rare occasion. Mike enjoys making outlandish claims in relation to actually building, pretending he's actually sorting his collection, and making excuses for why he hasn't photographed his MOCs. In his free time he enjoys learning CSS from Spook, photography and poking badgers with spoons.
Occasional builder, occasional blogger, and full-time procrastinator. That's really the only way to describe Dean. He rarely gets anything done, but is a very active lurker. He's probably seen and liked your MOC, but just forgot he had a blog.
Erik is still a teenager.
Lukas is tall, blond, mildly OCD, and doesn't build nearly enough as he would like to, thanks to school. He has a webpage.
Spook (Tim)
The resident codemonkey and graphics person. If something isn't working correctly, it's probably his fault. Fitting to his name, he doesn't post often, but someone has to do this stuff too, right? Spook does build with laygoes, and has his own blog as well.