Micro Farm

While building my Micro Steam Engine I started to think about how I would display it.  I initially planned to build a set of train tracks to put it on, but the the project quickly grew into this entire farm layout, complete with crop circles and aliens abducting cattle.

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Micro Steam Engine

Instructions

Building Guide

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Digital Model Files

LDraw File

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Parts List

Rebrickable

I’ve always thought that the LEGO Technic Competition Cannon looked like the boiler for a steam engine.  I finally took the time to make it happen and this is the result.

There are quite a few friction based connections, but they are all pretty solid with the original version of the cannon. Unfortunately LEGO has since redesigned the mold for this piece, and although the connections still work, the main wheels are quite loose and there are some odd looking gaps in a couple of places.

Micro Steam Engine

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O-Train

This is a 1:57 scale LEGO model of the O-Train, a light passenger train (Bombardier Talent BR643 DMU) that provides commuter service to the city of Ottawa.

I built this model for ParLUGment‘s Ottawa themed Winterlude 2005 train layout.  I developed a new technique for close coupling the cars using shared bogies.  It uses an elastic to keep the cars together while the train is straight, but allows them to separate when it is traveling around a corner.  This technique is illustrated in the photos below.

O-Train

 

 

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LEGO Flower Mosaic

A mosaic of the LEGO logo creating using LEGO flowers. The mosaic itself measures 24 by 24 studs, requiring 576 flowers – 282 red 50 yellow, 63 white and 181 black. Since LEGO does not currently make black flowers, I did have to pain 181 blue flowers black.

LEGO Flower Mosaic

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Minifig Scale Cow

Instructions

Building Guide

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Digital Model Files

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Rebrickable

Inspired by the motorized cows created by Erik Amzallag, which can be seen in his Brickshelf gallery.  I loved these so much that I planned to build a pair, using the instructions he provided, for one of ParLUGment‘s train layouts.

Unfortunately they turned out to be a little too large for my needs – but I was determined to get this amazing idea working with cows more to scale with the standard LEGO minifig. The first step was to design a minifig scale brick built cow.

Cattle

The next step was to get their heads to turn. Since these cows are too small to contain a micro motor, the micro motor needed to be placed ‘underground’.  I built the cattle onto a 2 brick high ‘hill’.

The cows in the video below are controlled using a Mindstorms RCX and triggered with a light sensor that detects when the train passes.  Except for some changes to motor power and timing, the program used to control these cows is essentially the same as the one Erik provides in his Brickshelf gallery.

 

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Leonov

Instructions

Building Guide

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Digital Model Files

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Rebrickable

A 1:60 scale LEGO model of the Leonov, from the move 2010: The Year We Make Contact.

This is another one of my favorite science fiction vessels, and was an obvious companion build for the Discovery.  It is built to the same scale as the Discovery, and can technically couple with it. Unfortunately doing so under the influence of Earth’s gravity requires an enormous amount of external support, which I did create at some point. I have an edited photo of them joined, but it’s actually not very interesting.

The armature containing the habitat modules rotates, and is powered by an internal motor and gearing system.

I have created building instructions for it but, much like the Discovery, at 3650 pieces it would be an ambitious project.  Again, keep in mind that it was designed and built in 2004, so some pieces may be harder to come by these days.

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The Dawn of Man

A small LEGO diorama recreating the opening scenes of the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Complete with watering hole, boneyard and monolith.  The monolith has the correct proportions of depth, width and height, being 1:4:9.

Dawn of Man

 

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Discovery

Instructions

Building Guide

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Digital Model Files

LDraw File

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Parts List

Rebrickable

A 1:60 scale LEGO model of the Discovery, from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The Discovery has always been one of my favorite science fictions vessels.  This model was over a year in the making and measures 185 cm (6 feet, 1 inch) in length. You can read about the making of it in the very first issue of BrickJournal magazine.

Discovery Stars

Here are some of the features I have built into this model:

  • Each pod bay door in the command module is attached using a pair of magnets and can be easily removed.  Three retractable platforms allow each pod to slide out for launch.
  • The top of the command module can be removed to reveal the detailed bod bay and habitat centrifuge.
  • The radar dish is fully pose-able and exhibits the full range of motion that is seen in the movie.
  • The ship and stand can be separated into four major sections for transportation.

I have created building instructions for this model, but at 3873 pieces taking on this project is not for the faint of heart.  Keep in mind that it was designed and built in 2003, so some of the parts are no longer in production and hard to come by.

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