Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Authentic Cafe Corner

The next creation we want to spotlight is one that we built together: What we call the 'Authentic Cafe Corner'.

A few years ago LEGO released a set called the Cafe Corner. While the set is great (and chock full of good parts), it infuriated Alice (and to a lesser extent Roy) since it looked more like a New Orleans brothel than a cafe. As a result, we decided to build our own version of a Cafe Corner, based (loosely) on the Place du Molard in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first version, which won Best Town Layout at Northwest Brickcon 2007 in Seattle Washington, consisted of building facades on two sides of the street, with a mosiac in the background depicting the famous Jet D'Eau spraying up out of Lac Leman.
We tried to cram in as many details as possible. Particularly notable is the cobblestone street. A number of years back LEGO changed the formula for their grey bricks (both light and dark grey). Many fans were furious, since new bricks in these colors didn't match the older bricks in their collection, but we try to look at them as just two separate colors. In particular, mixing old and new dark grey tiles (or dark grey and dark 'bley', in aficionado terms) provides a particularly nice effect here.

In our second version, which was nominated for best building at Brickworld 2008 in Chicago (but which didn't win), we eliminated the mosaic background and replaced the facades with full buildings. This version consisted of a full block of buildings:
We were actually quite happy we didn't win this one, since we had originally planned on doing two blocks, but time caught up with us, and we didn't get the second set of buildings finished. (I was particularly happy with the brick effect I achieved on the black and white building, although Alice is right in pointing out that it doesn't really fit the neighborhood we are modeling this on. Thus, cool as it is, it might not survive into future versions). The next version will have three blocks of buildings plus a tram station at one end and some nice landscaping at the other.

Roy and Alice

Little Birdy with a Bite: The Grey Gosling

This is another spaceship I built, and it is Alice's favorite of the bunch. It inspiration lay in my obtaining a huge amount of the tiny arches in light grey (you will see lots of them on the back of the ship). Anyway, here are a few photos - nothing much to tell about this one other than I think it is pretty cool too!
Oh, one other comment - the cool background on the photo above was done by yours truly in photoshop - see, I'm a man of many talents!

Homba 7033: Immensely Swooshable!

Okay, back to posting about our favorite creations. Although I am probably most well-known within the LEGO community for my ambitious mosaics, I have also been building a lot of spaceships. I have been trying to develop a retro/art-deco style of spaceship, with lots of curves and 'modernistic' details. The Homba 7033 is, I think, the first successful ship I have constructed in this style (after a number of 'learning experiences'). Here it is (this photo taken by Derek):
I will give an imaginary prize to the first person who correctly identifies the source of the name 'Homba' in the comments.

Anyway, the Homba 7033 has retractable landing gear, hatches that open to expose engine components, and a cockpit that slides open. Here is a shot of the front of the ship, showing off all of the chrome cannons (six large on top, plus four smaller underneath) as well as the missile bay holding two large missiles.
This last shot, from behind, nicely shows off the racing stripes and other styling details:
This creation won a best spacefighter contest on, the European website for adult (and teen) fans of LEGO.