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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Not your average BrickHeadz: LEGO's new Go Brick Me set

And now for something, completely different! This is so much more than the expected BrickHeadz MOC construction toolkit.  It lets you build not one, but two full figures (and the second needn't be a ghost as shown above), it has a rather long and detailed instruction manual, and it provides a hefty serving of varied pieces at one of the lowest price/part ratios of all time.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

LEGO Collectible Minifigure Series 18 full review & box distribution

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of their creation, the LEGO minifigures are throwing themselves a birthday party, costumes strongly encouraged.  This series has a literally & figuratively odd number of entrants thanks to the presence of a bonus "chase" figure, of which only one is placed in every box of 60 individual blind bags.


New LEGO Star Wars Jedi & Clone Trooper and Solo Movie Imperial Patrol Battle Packs

Two more small sets with long names!  One of these seems to prove that no matter what LEGO does, they just can't win in the court of Internet (TFOL/AFOL) opinion.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

LEGO Star Wars Solo movie Imperial TIE Fighter & Han's Landspeeder reviews

I bought my first few Solo movie sets and, as a special message to LEGO Brand/IP Protection via the company MarkMonitor which falsely and illegally threatened me the last time I reviewed Star Wars sets quickly after they hit the market (resulting in the need for a public apology from The LEGO Group itself), I am reviewing these sets as a consumer who purchased the products and is using 100% of his/her own exclusively owned & produced images & video footage, as protected under Title 17 US Code section 107 and by the First Amendment.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Full tour of my updated LEGO deep sea diorama

I've been happy with my underwater display(s) since I first tried such a setup in 2015, but that doesn't mean I'm just leaving it alone!  Most of the space has been and still is quick & easy, temporary filler, but I keep adding more detail in small batches.  This weekend I caught a burning desire to add a noticeable amount of new life to both halves of the setup, including establishing the start of some reef-like elements.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

How I motorized the LEGO 60097 City Square tram / train

The set with this light rail tram came out in 2015 and I've kept it intact, because I rather liked its design, but I've kept it out of view because there's never been a place for it in either my current city or either of my previous ones.  Thanks to the Mellemby District project, there's finally a place for this to live for awhile, and in the last update for that layout I showed it actually rolling itself around the rail loop.  I'm sure this simple conversion has been done plenty of times by other people in the past three years, but a fair number of you wanted to see my version up close, so here it is (for what it's worth).

Mellemby viewer suggestion recap & LEGO dinosaurs

Two more New Jang City sub-layout updates went up over the past day or so, the first summarizing major takeaways from the initial idea-gathering phase for the Mellemby District.  This will likely end up being one of my most part-intensive projects ever! I have a fairly clear general direction to follow, and now I need to start to strategize a high-level plan of attack.  Similarly, I've reached the point where I'm ready to start on my fantasy prehistoric animal display.


Friday, March 23, 2018

More progress on the train yard

This time around I slowed down a little and got the shed/shop buttoned up more correctly so I could be happier with it long-term.  I also threw down some quick desiccated foliage outside, but that'll be improved once I get some of the inner rail loop ballasted and then topographically texture the space between tracks a bit.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Jang City freight train yard upgrades

Over the past couple of days I tore up my fingertips some more carefully putting down more faux ballast in a way that supports the track on a completely flat (tiled) surface while providing studded texture all around. It also helps keep everything from sliding around much whilst still allowing a bit of flexibility to account for table edges being bumped & such.

Then I added this diesel shed/motive power depot/maintenance shop/whatever it's called in your local region or on the specific train-related sites you frequent :)  I realized while filming this that I had wanted this specific type of model building since I was quite young and first learned about HO scale trains.  Life goal achieved!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

[New] Mellemby opens for business, or at least suggestions

I'm taking a big risk here, but I'm hopeful that with some thoughtful & caring guidance, as opposed to an unregulated popular democracy (i.e. certain catastrophe), the collective will of the viewers can be translated into something really fun!

Monday, March 19, 2018

You Told Me What To (also) Build

The last time I turned over the floor for suggestions on what to make from the 186-piece Building Better Thinking box, a ton of you yelled "Dragon!" while another sizable number cheered for a spaceship (partly my fault for accidentally putting it in peoples' minds).  I did the dragon pretty promptly, and rather than going through another round of comment-gathering, this time I just went with the previous runner-up.  What astonishes me is that all three build videos thus far have been within 1 minute of each others' length, a completely unplanned happenstance.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

A current look at New Jang City

Not a lot has happened since the last update video, aside from the addition of 16 MOCs I've covered in other videos.  There's been a little bit of work on terrain, both the big laccolith and the very flat freight train yard, but that's mostly it.

A previous cargo ship MOC, made better

Sometimes the outcome of the imposition of a set of rules fails to match the original intent.  In these cases, either changing or making exceptions to those rules is the most constructive path forward.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nope, not a good LEGO cargo ship MOC

Alright I am definitely tying my hands a bit too much now.  The collection of non-negotiable requirements I placed on this build forced it into a fairly specific shape & layout that unfortunately could not look good.  Looking at it with the almighty hindsight I actually feel most of it was done right at a high level, with fine details always being debatable.  The problem was all in the constraints.  Without those constraints, though, I'd have a ship in official LEGO style, with the deck level area of the superstructure being 1/2 the height of a minifig, and absolutely no consideration for how figures could potentially get up to the bridge.  I have, in fact, begun to find some of the limits of what can be accomplished with LEGO, with consideration for minifigs, at a reasonable size.  Making everything much bigger would solve all of these issue, but also completely break New Jang City as I'd end up with only 4-6 buildings and 1 ship taking up the entire room! Things that make ya go "Hmm."

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The vehicle MOC streak continues!

Still three more official LEGO City/Town vehicles got kicked out of my city for good in an abbreviated building session.  One of the replacements this time is indeed a as much of a duplicate as it appears above, but it still does its job!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

LEGO Rollback / Flatbed Car Carrier Truck MOC

As promised just a day ago, here's a new vehicle recovery build to kick yet another official LEGO set out of New Jang City for good!

Mega Construx Destiny DO Hunter & FWC Titan Armory sets at last

You'd think these two small single-figure sets were made of pure, concentrated unobtanium the way they've sold for $70+ US on eBay.  They were just another pair of victims of the most exceptional of limited distribution from Mega that seems to strike every 20th product or so.  I held off making an aftermarket purchase for a long time, and thankfully many other potential buyers did too, prompting prices to start to slip down to the outer limits of reasonability.

Monday, March 12, 2018

One more official LEGO build heads to the scrapyard

I've had the tow truck from set 60132 sitting in my MOC ideas bin for over a year now, waiting to be replaced by a custom build.  Finally I've gotten around to it, and soon I'll follow up with a MOC to take the place of the flatbed carrier from the even older set 60097.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

You Told Me What To Build again

There was a clear winner in this most recent round of suggestion gathering, so I ran with it.  It was a bit more of a struggle than last time, but I don't think the result is as bad as I made it out to be.

I'll be doing another of these builds soon, but this time I won't yet need another round of comments as there was a very strong second-place finisher this most recent time and I'm ready to try that challenge straight away.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Avengers: Infinity War wave 1 minifig collection

Many of you asked for a single video focusing on just the figures from all six of the IW sets and I'm happy to be able to oblige and appreciate the suggestions.  It's a larger volume of mostly good figures than I had realized and it's nice to take a step back at another valuable collection you can amass while going for all of the Infinity Stones.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

LEGO Mini Ultimate Batmobile 30526 review & combination model

Pictured above is not the build from the polybag I'm reviewing today.  Rather, it's the combination of all three official build options, made possible when you buy three of the same polybag, or if you just have the spare parts already at your disposal.  The video does cover the single-set main build, plus each of the alternates, plus the super-combo.

Tell Me What To Build #02!

The first attempt at this concept went pretty swimmingly, and now that I've completed most of the recently-mentioned cleanup & maintenance tasks (yes! yay!), I'm ready to give this another shot.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

We Are Groot

Well this was fun, and a little different.  Some folks suggest I should have included a 6th item in this video, but I just can't consider a keychain, plush, watch, sticker, or other gear not meant to be built & played with amongst other LEGO toys to be a figure.

Mega Construx Halo Stormbound series figures in-hand & on screen

Look at that!  I was able to get a whole series of Mega blind bag figures, in my heavily populated area of the most populous state in the country, only ~3 months after it was first released!  Well, technically I wasn't able to get the entire series locally, as the ultra-rare figure had been already very quickly fished out by collectors & resellers from every store I visited, but hey, 7 of 8 isn't bad!

Summary of the week Feb. 26 - Mar 4

Surreal!  That did not feel like a week. It felt like at least two!  It feels fantastic having gotten so much done in such a short period of time, and now I am emerging into the glorious off-season with a strong clean-up push as mentioned yesterday.

Marvel Avengers:

Speed Champions:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Smells like... freedom!

The Hulkbuster Ultron Edition was the last high-priority set I needed to cover this "review season," and now that it's out of the way, a pretty sizable wave of relief is flowing through me as reality sinks in.  I have a ton of Bricklinked parts & MOC-making leftovers to methodically sort & store. Many of this season's sets need to be evaluated & processed one way or another, and the NEXO display needs to be taken down & packed for charity.  I need to make some decisions about low-profile sets I didn't get to at all over the past couple of releases.  Heck, I still need to sort through & stow all manner of wires, adapters, nuts & bolts and other hardware that are strewn about from from the past couple of studio changes.

Catching up with these & other menial, always underestimated & underappreciated (yet essential) background tasks will clear up some mental & physical space for some work outside of the JANGBRiCKS brand.  Also, though, I'll be able to ramp city & MOC work back up a bit again, always a welcome development.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018, another year of experimentation

A friend who's known me for the entirety of the current millennium recently told me that a trait he's always observed in me is a constant quest for self-improvement.  I think that sounds a lot more lofty than it feels and really is.  I can at least confirm that I apply such effort to whatever work I do and specifically to the JANGBRiCKS channel, where I keep a tentative pulse on viewer feedback and make frequent, often unnoticed tweaks to my video-making formulas.  Just last week, for instance, I completely tossed out a custom solution that had taken me weeks to piece together for one of my lighting needs, and I've replaced it with something fundamentally different.

For the first half of this year, I will continue to work towards my goal of a doing my first full New Jang City walkthrough since 2015, but that work is going to have a lot more value than the single video it'll initially produce.  I've not done a comprehensive tour in all of this time because I've not felt the place is worthy of such a thing.  Too many areas have looked either woefully unfinished or unchanged for my liking.  Making significant progress against both of those major issues opens up opportunities for other types of videos around the city that I've been frankly embarrassed to attack.

I also stay on the lookout for opportunities to attempt new types of content, whether on a whim or with careful planning. Squarely in the realm of the former is today's Tell Me What To Build MOC experiment.  It was a suggestion from the aforementioned friend to directly accept and act upon viewer requests in a very, very controlled way with (hopefully) minimal risks to my sanity and schedule. Separately in this vain of course my plans for the new Melemby District under New Jang City remain in place and I'll start accepting input for that in the next month or two.

More trials & changes to come, as always.