Competitions (PTV - Small)


Pillage the Village - Small Division

The fantastic forum were having a photographic competition with a huge array of prizes. I have not been collecting the Lego pirated theme but who knows maybe I might win a set. My first entry was for the small division and had to be 8 x 8 studs or less at it's base. The competition stated that entries must represent pirates as cruel and I came up with the cannon. I built only one draft version, but received lots of great feedback from the forum.
From 43 entries, my entry came 2nd which won me this cool set (6258) as a prize.

The Legend of Captain Blood Beard - Part I
Blood Beard was infamous for his cruel and unusual punishments. Trade ships that he commandeered would often have a number of surviving captives which he took great delight in torturing.

Competitions (PTV - Medium)


Pillage the Village - Medium Division

The medium division had to be 16 x 16 studs or less at it's base. I started with what I thought was a cool idea. Burying mini-figs in the sand of a beach. Until a friend pointed out that it's already been done plenty of times and way better than this. After a rethink I came up with the idea of a secret room where Blood Beard buries his treasure.



The Legend of Captain Blood Beard - Part II

Blood Beard's piracy on both land and sea had netted him a considerable fortune which he was forced to frequently bury. In keeping with his brutal nature he would also bury some of his trash. Most often this would be the original owners of the treasure but sometimes it was a member of his crew that was exhibiting mutinous tendencies or just one he didn't like.
I did a tally of the votes and it appears I came about 12th (out of 27).

Competitions (PTV - Large)


Pillage the Village - Large Division

The competition is judged from one picture, so I opted to make a lot of the background detail micro-scale. I don't have any pirate ships I missed out on them when they were in the shops the first time. I wanted to build the Black Seas Barracuda and without anywhere near enough bricks came up with one in micro-scale (so cute, I mean tough and piratey). Next I built as much background as I could in various scales. The water uses every single blue piece I have, I had to bust up two models (one which was a favourite on my bookcase) to get enough blue bricks. I even built some tiny pirates...hehe cute, I mean tough.
I did a tally of the votes and it appears I came about 9th (out of 36).



The Legend of Captain Blood Beard - Part III

The self proclaimed king of pillage, Blood Beard had few peers, that lived. His swordsmanship was exceptional and as a captain he led by example. His motley crew became so complacent they just let him unleash his mayhem, often turning up late to simply loot and burn the village. Many thought his name was due to his ginger hair, but legend has it that when he pillaged a village he would not stop the slaughter until the blood was up to his beard.

Competitions (Gizmodo)


Go Mini Man Go - Gizmodo

One of my daily web reads is Gizmodo. Primarily a gadgets blogg however there are frequent articles relating to Lego. Recently Jesus Diaz visited the home of Lego in Billund and there was lots of brilliant articles, here are just a few (be sure to visit Gizmodo for plenty more):
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lego
Lego Secret Vault Contains All Sets In History
65-foot-high Lego Cathedrals Store 19 Billion Pieces a Year

To celebrate the 30th Birthday of the mini-figure Gizmodo had a Brickfilm competition. I submitted two entries this one was made just for this competition and is titled "Go Mini Man Go".
This is my 2nd brickfilm and although it can be quite time consuming I had a lot of fun making it. The aim was to try and animate these rigid characters and make them seem alive and I really wanted to see if I could make it look like the star was dancing.

The 4 wheel drive truck is based on an actual Lego set (6641) but the sound system it transforms into and the ruins are my creations. The animation is quite fast but was captured at 24 frames a second which keeps things smooth. The hardest scene was with all the figs walking along (00:33). Moving all those legs and arms every frame it took me over 4 hours to do 40 frames (about 1.5 seconds of animation). Keep an eye on the lead character in this scene, his hat comes flying off and lands on the character behind him. He in turn trips on the ruins and Dr Octopus walks all over him. At the end of this short film there is a pure white and then pure black mini-figure. I had to pull lots of different characters apart to make them.

I captured the frames with a green screen in the background as I was going to key in some other scenery, but that process is very time consuming and I ran out of time. After I began post production and edited a few scenes, the green background grew on me, it symbolises go. To contrast, the very end has a red background (stop).

Update: My other entry "Train to Catch" won the Gizmodo competition (see below).

Competitions (The Brothers Brick)


Go Mini Man Go - The Brothers Brick

The Brothers Brick is also daily read for me, they have so much brilliant Lego content. 2008 was the 30th birthday of the mini-figure and to celebrate they had a competition. There was four divisions with the theme 70's, 80's, 90's and present. I thought of the most important events in Lego history and took some photo's.From left to right:
Waiting for the arrival of 9 volt trains, Mindstorm RCX arrives, StarWars Lego arrives and my final entry just represents my love of the little Lego people, they are part of my daily bread.

Competitions (Nick Toons)


Nicktoons Animation Film Festival Entry

After 5+ weeks of work I managed to create my first stop-frame brick film (1 minute 17 second). I made it to enter the Nicktoons Network Animation Film Festival 2008 - "Built by me" Lego Movie Contest. There were lots of new things to learn to produce this movie but I'm happy with the end result. My only regret is that I didn't have more time to finish all the ideas I had.
Unfortunately it didn't do well in the competition and was not even mentioned.

I re-edited the beginning and branded it with the "Go Mini Man Go" logos to enter it in the Gizmodo competition
Update: My brick film "Train to Catch" won 1st prize in the Gizmodo "Go Mini Man Go" competition. I won this awesome set (928) as a prize, woohoo!

The hardest part in making this movie was keying out the green and digitally adding all the backgrounds. Below you can see the original captured frame (with my hand in shot), the frame cleaned up for keying and the final frame with the background replaced with a sky picture and some Lego clouds. All of the backgrounds were made using Lego's Digital Designer software. There was a considerable amount of time (approx. 2 weeks) spent editing all the video and audio (music & fx). There are also pictures of my stop motion studio in the Movie section.