Saturday, March 31, 2007

poking on BrickShelf...

and spotted this:

and this

This is from Megladon on Brickshelf

This looks cool , but the Republic Cruiser is not going to be cheap!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Holy smoke!! I'm building again!!

Yeah, it's been a while, but I am starting to get back to building...

my latest is the SeaShell, a Sea Monkey hermit crab:

I've been wanting to build a hermit crab for a LONG time - it's a real building challenge - the shell is a major challenge and a crab that fits??

Finding the Stingrays disk part started me thinking, and it took a couple of days of thinking, but I got the above. To be honest, the crab is a little too big really, but the look really worked in a way that I really liked.

I added some weapons on it here:

but it gets a little cluttered. The problem is that there are too many antennas all over it at this point.

With this, I had to come up with a background story - the Sea Monkeys wasnted to develop some beast of burden to move things, and they chose the hermit crab. For something like the recon task, one of these could be placed and it could keep watch for days.

This also has a limited land range, which is good for the Sea Monkeys.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

LEGO Digital Designer @.0

Playing with LDD, and it's nicely faster than LDD 1.6!

I can build on it much faster with the speed woked up, and the connections are smarter.

Some other improvements:

The hinge function now shows the rotation direction.
Rotation of the model can now go to the horizon line.
For a Mac, the Mac command functions (cut, paste, undo) work.
The price of a set is internally calculated - you don't go to the website and download the set for pricing.
Building area is pretty much unlimited.
Some new parts.

Some odd things:
No piece counts to your models.
Some parts left the inventory.

I haven't played with the instructions yet.

A quick tip: If you build like me, I go all over the place with  palettes to find pieces. One way to eliminate the constant looking is to find the parts that you use most commonly and put them by your model. Then you can use the clone tool and get as many of that part when you need it without having to hunt.

And a big question: In the view screen, there's a button for animation....what does that do, as it's greyed out so it can't be used?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

BBC Budget LEGO?

Eurobricks first mentioned this, but there hasn't been an effort on finding this online, so I did a check and found this:

The 2007 Budget in LEGO

Pretty fun way to present a rather dry subject.

Other LEGO related subjects on BBC:

Themed LEGO - Star Wars
(dated August 20, 2001)
A review of the Star Wars sets that is complete for that time.

LEGO, Camera, action!
(dated October 16th, 2001)
Nottinghamshire school students get involved in a national filmmaking competition  with Movie Maker sets as prizes.

I Love 1960
Seen at Brighton Toy Fair for the first time.

LEGO to cut jobs and shift plants (dated June 20, 2006)
Article on announcement to outsource production.

£20,000 of Lego stolen from lorry (dated November 15, 2005)
Short article on a large robbery.

You can see much more here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Cleaning

You ever getto a point when you can't find the floor?

I got there about six months ago, so you can imagine how happy I am at now being able to clean after getting things done!

And I get to sort too..

So I am also starting to get the building bug again. About danged time!

And some planning for BrickJournal 8 is happening. Pretty quiet all around, but hat's kinda nice for me now:-)

I'm also archiving the past issue for the website, which is a pretty tedious process.

Am getting some fun info about BrickWorld too....

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ramping up for?

So during my down time, I am thinking about some things that have to be done with BrickJournal.

The biggest priority is setting up a website. I am in the initial stages of planning it, and I wantto have something that takes advantage of the medium that the magazine can't, so there would be multimedia and interactive stuff.

The website will also allow faster release of information, too.

But I do need some ideas, so if you have one, send it to me!

The only things I don't want are forums and discussion areas - I will be  using LUGNET and the  BrickJournal page for that.  I personally want LUGNET to BrickJournal's discussion area.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I am now in a recovery mode after Issue 7 - I basically did two back-to-back issues, so I need a little rest.

There's been a lot of positive feedback about the articles we got this issue, so naturally, I'm pretty happy. Some people are also stepping forward to help BrickJournal in layout and reviews, and that is a really nice sign, especially in the layout area. We really need to be strengthened in that department, as that  will allow us to work on other possibilities, such as adding more issues.

There's been many requests for printing, and I am looking at it - the challenges I face are have to do with needing to print a high quantity to make any print run worthwhile. I would like to see the magazine become somethng that will be a part of a media group, and in order to do that the mag needs to earn money. Which ultimately means that many issues need to be sold. As in thousands.

Can thousands be sold? Honestly, I don't know. When BrickJournal goes to print, then downloads will have to change. I don't know how that will affect things. There are many variables, and I need to make my best decision against those, and presently, I don't think I have enough information to make a wise decision. But I am researching.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Leaks! HERE?

The leak of the Café Corner hit us offguard for about five minutes - while I didn't expect this to happen, I am not surprised.

The Millennium Falcon was leaked a few days before it was presented. This can only mean the following:

1. The community REALLY wants to know this stuff.
2. The LEGO Group really needs to make their site a little more secure.

While I am all for being in the know (it's kinda my job), I do understand and respect the notion of secrecy. There's a lot that I do know and don't know.

But I don't mind a surprise every so often, myself:-)

German minissue of BrickJournal?

Well, yes, by request. It has a couple of ths main stories.

It's really neat seeing the cover in German.

Now I get to talk about what just happened!

It has been really quiet here because I was working on the Journal and some smaller things - but it has all added up to a ridiculously large pile of stuff to do. Now's a good time to explain what is up.

The cover articles for BrickJournal 7 have been on the radar since October, and the date  for publication was set for mid March. This sounded fine then, and even in December, as Issue 6 was slated to be done.

Well, the production to Issue 6 went behind schedule considerably, mainly because I was trying to make things more efficient. Really. I started using a collaborative website to have the proofers read articles before  layout -- which sounds great on paper, but failed. What happened was that one of the two proofers never got notification of incoming files, which hasn't been figured out.

When that happened I got the articles proofed the old-fashioned way - and got more stories. The End of Year Issue needed event reports, and they came in. A LOT came in. This is good, but it started to strain the resources of the magazine.

By a funny coincidence, this about the time that the European Bureau was started. Thanks to Jan Beyer's request,  in December and January, the staff  of writers doubled. I also got a person in Europe that can keep track of what's going there and can contact Jan quickly on things (hi Mel!) - that has proven to be a Very Good Move. This was around December, and Issue 6 was still being set up.

And I was busy on trips(!) doing reporting it was getting stressful.

January, things got really tripped up. Issue 6 was progressing, but I got a call from Jan to move up BrickJournal 7 to the beginning of March! I was planning mid March, so two weeks was a definite problem.

Now the reasons for this are obvious now - the two products were launching. Back then, though, it was not as clear, as delivery dates weren't clear...and the Café Corner was going to be in catalogs not delivered!!

During this time, though, there were some positive things that happened. Issue 6 was finally released in February, and in January, the plan for Issue 7 was worked on and taken care of by me and Mel on teh European side - she was able to get articles for Issue 7 inside of two weeks! And I sent things to proof almost immediately so things would be ready  for layout as soon as possible. With two new layout artists, my load would drop, which was reallyhelpful.

So I had to make some command decisions - I had to force Issue 6 out (yes, force is the right word - it was so big that it sorta sat there and I wasn't going as fast as I am used to), and after some prodding, it went February. So now I had about a month to get things done....not the best situation to be in.

Things got more complicated, though, when the Hobby Train was placed on an information embargo - nothing could be released on it until, it appeared, after the release of Issue 7 - I was looking at the possibility of not having it in the issue, and that would be a major loss.

So some discussions were done, and with a little effort, the dates got coordinated. So it was off to the races!

Layouts were done with assistance of Bill Jacob and Didier Enjary, who gave a different look to heir pages - which is a good thing! My design skills are set toward speed, but not necessarily a really nice design. Having more layout designers will help me out and the mag out as we start learning from each other. And we have another layout person coming onboard - actually two! So the look of BrickJournal will hopefully get sharper in the next couple of issues.

And somehow, the mag was finished one day early. Really. Thanks to the help of the  writers, photographers, and senior staff, this issue was done in record time. I'm impressed. And pretty proud.

The really great thing is that BrickJournal will be doing more articles with the LEGO Group of this type. It's really a testament to all of those who have worked on BrickJournal to see TLG work with us on such a high level of confidence. It's something to be proud of and staff should be!

Next issue is in I can rest:-)

And post more here!

Issue 7 is out!!

You can go here to use the links to download a copy!

For some reason, LUGNET is being slower than usual posting messages (I posted at midnight, and it's been 25 minutes) so here is the notice!

If you want the file right now, hit this

Have fun!

Friday, March 2, 2007


to the new and returning LEGO Ambassadors!

It's really nice to see that LEGO opens itself to the community for feedback and advice. Not many companies do that, and for this program to have been extended to its present form (from 6 month cycles to one year cycles) is a nice indication of the commitment the LEGO Group has to its community.