LEGO© Creations

LEGO baseball and stand

25 August, 2013 (20:22) | LEGO© Creations

LEGO baseball and stand

LEGO baseball and stand

To celebrate the 1st birthday of Steel City LUG, we had a big party which included taking down our Dig Into Reading display, a parts draft, raffle prizes, and some awards to members.  This was the trophy for Rookie of The Year.

I had done the sphere a while back, but the idea of changing the color for just the threading came after looking at other LEGO baseball creations and thinking they could be done better.  The ones I saw were brick built and just looked too blocky, in my opinion.  As far as I could search, I don’t see anyone else that has done this.

Originally, the awards were supposed to be much smaller than this… In my mind, it was fine, but once I actually built it, I did the math and realized I blew the part count guidelines significantly.  Oh well…It was a well deserved award.

It’s a total of 156 parts and it’s really easy to build the 6 sides that get put together with 8 1×1 with 5 studs.   Instructions are here.

LEGO baseball and stand

LEGO baseball and stand

Pittsburgh

30 Reasons You Need to Move to Pittsburgh

13 August, 2013 (21:49) | Pittsburgh

30 Reasons You Need to Move to Pittsburgh.

As if you needed any more reasons.  This is a pretty comprehensive list of all the cool things any visitors should check out if they have the time.  I’m saving it here, because people come and ask me what they should see while they’re here, and I never think of anything.

 

Memories

The immortal man

30 July, 2013 (21:42) | Memories

I’ve got a bunch of weird emotions going on right now.  I don’t want to say “I lost someone today.” That sounds too self-centered.  Especially since I haven’t talked to my dad’s friend for almost 10 years.  But, how do I explain this feeling of loss?

I don’t think he knew how much I revered him as a child.  Even in the objectiveness of my adult awareness, I knew how much of a role he played in the development of what a friend was, what a man was, or what an adult was.  I’m only realizing now, after he’s gone, that I had blurred those characteristics in with my father;  I’m beginning to realize my father figure was not defined by one man, but a collection of interactions with role models.  I’m having to mourn the loss of my father (figure), again.

I don’t want to write a eulogy — and I don’t want to take away from his family and friends that knew him so much better and were so much closer and so much better to him.  The fact is, I didn’t realize I held him so closely until now.  The fact is, I didn’t realize I could lose him until now.

I’ve thought about him often.  Every time with a smile at some memory.  I failed to mature my relationship with him though, because I never stopped regarding him as the immortal man; the man in my memories.  I’d admit to taking him for granted.  He’d always be there.  He’d always been there in the past.  I hadn’t seen him in years before my dad called him up in the middle of a snowstorm to come take us to the emergency room because I had split my finger in half.   When my dad was in the hospital, he came and stayed with us.  He was present.  After my dad passed, he was there for questions about what to do with the house.  He was family.  He was my dad’s best friend–I have no doubt.

I’m still struggling with not making this about my loss, my failed initiative, my missed opportunities.  I’ve found peace in this though – maybe he was in the same situation as me; Maybe he regarded me as the little boy who walked all over his chalk line.  Maybe I was still the boy who always chatted with him while he was trying to pour concrete or swing a hammer.  If that’s true, then I’ll be proud to never lose the little boy’s adoration for him.  Whatever ethereal portion of a father I just lost, the adoration will stay.

 

LEGO© Creations

Sidney Crosbrick: A model of Sidney Crosby in LEGO bricks

16 June, 2013 (19:36) | LEGO© Creations

After winning the S.W. Randall LEGO competition last year with the LEGO Cathedral of Learning, I had been mulling a few ideas over for my entry this year. A fellow member of Steel City LUG, Evan, makes these wonderful humanoid shapes, and I really wanted to attempt the art form. Once Sid had his jaw broken, a piece came to mind for his new protector, and that pretty much solidified the idea that I would move forward with Sidney Crosbrick.

lego stanley cup The Pens had just sealed their spot in the playoffs when I started making a parts list on bricklink for parts that I needed. I wasn’t confident in my ability to create anything that even vaguely resembled a hockey player, so I wanted something that could be a safety net. I made a few bricklink orders for sid parts, and began experimenting with different techniques to pull of a lego stanley cup. I had to tinker a few times to get the scaling right and the connections to all be hidden. I also found a lot of the pieces in metallic silver, but a few were only in gray…It would have been SUPER in all metallic silver…

 

anyway, I started out with building a ball and joint frame to help me get the scale in mind.  I kept this together along side my actual build just to keep for reference.  Once I built the frame, I started looking around at pictures to mimic.  I settled on this one, which has him leaning forward.IMG_0826smaller  As you can see from that picture, the legs were the first thing to get built.  I loved them.  I was so motivated and proud of myself at that point.  They were simple, light, and sturdy enough…at least I thought.

The original intent of creating a poseable figure turned out to be a lofty ambition.  That was mainly due to the weight of the torso that I would create.  Secondly due to the connections I used for the joints after abandoning the ball joints.  The ball joints just didn’t have enough friction to stay in place with the weight, and I’d also have to design this thing to stand still in a window display for a few months.

I’d need to support the torso.  So, I build the boards behind Sid.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well the addition of the wall added depth and detail to the model.  It wasn’t just a model now, it was a scene, especially with the white ice.  (as an aside, a LUG member later suggested I cover the ice in clear tiles…I love that suggestion, just didn’t have the time and money for that now, but I may revisit that idea if I win).  In that wall, I jutted out a technic brick that connected to the hips that would support the weight of the torso.  At this point, I did question the chosen pose.  If I didn’t have him crouching and leaning, I might be able to keep his center of gravity over his feet.  I was just so drawn to that pose though, I couldn’t abandon it.  The day before I submitted it to the contest, I am glad I didn’t abandon the pose, because it was JUST under the 10″ height requirement – Something i forgot to monitor during my building progress.  If you turn his head upward, it breaks 10 inches.  PHEW!!!  THAT WAS CLOSE!

I made a last minute bricklink order for the letters to spell out Crosby on the back of the sweater.  I had thought about spelling out crosbrick, but that was just too long of a name for, in my opinion, a torso that had already broken it’s desired width.  The reason I allowed the wider torso was to fit the SNOT (studs not on top) number 87 on the back.  Doing this certainly created a lot of gaps that produces an appearance of a robot/machine moreso than a human…but I still like the intense edges.  Out of all the things I said about the hobby, the figure, and the work involved, that’s the only quote the Tribune Review decided to publish

Voting starts Tuesday, June 18th at the Squirrel Hill S.W. Randall store and the last day to vote is Sunday, June 30th.  There are 2 other LUG members also in the event, so I won’t FORCE you to vote for me, I’ll just encourage you to stop in and check out all the creations and vote for your favorite.  Thanks!

Poll the People

Poll garbage a week

15 June, 2013 (12:00) | Poll the People

How many garbage bags do you fill in any given week? Let’s keep it simple and say per person. With me, my wife, and daughter, we’ll get about 1 bag of garbage and 1 bag of recycling a week. I think that’s pretty good. I remember growing up, I used to take at least 10 bags of garbage out each week at each of my parents’ houses.

How many bags of garbage do you produce a week?

View Results

LEGO© Creations

Pittsburgh Steelers Logo in LEGO bricks

7 June, 2013 (21:38) | LEGO© Creations

The same person that wanted the Pittsburgh Penguins logo asked if I had anything for the pirates or the steelers. I mentioned the pirates mosaic and the steelers helmet in lego, but he wanted it in less than a week, and I wouldn’t be able to recreate either in that time. We settled for a simple Steeler’s logo at the same scale of the Penguins logo. I think it turned out well. The curved brick really matches the original font well, I think. Still looking at about 1,000 pieces. I didn’t take a picture of it, but I took the time to make sure the back is solid white with the gray border. It looks very sharp with all the SNOT and diamonds not showing from the back.

Pittsburgh Steelers logo in lego




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