Pug ITTAR Vehicle

I saw a post on The Brothers Brick the other day with a new vehicle meme that looked pretty interesting and today I finally got the chance to sit down and build something and came up with “Pug”.


The cockpit for Pug is where my design diverges from the meme spec which calls for it to be sealed. I’ve been looking for a good way to use the angled trans-blue window parts from an airport set that J and I won a few years ago in a contest and finally figured out a good use for it. It took me quite awhile to figure out the SNOT techniques required to get it mounted properly, and honestly the parts are not as secure as I would normally like them to be in a MOC, but I think it looks damned good.

I’m also quite pleased at the track design. I’ve been playing around with interesting intersecting angles with Technic lift arms and was able to put it to very good use. The combination of angles on both the exterior and interior parts lends both stability and some neat lines to an otherwise somewhat boxy look. Having the third wheel mounted lower also makes for a cool raked angle for the vehicle as whole.

All in all it’s not perfect but was quite satisfying given that I was working with J’s enormous bin of parts rather than my own neatly organized collection.

My creative output in the wild

It is quite the coincidence that over the last week two of my creative projects have appeared in large public spaces. It’s a little weird honestly since unlike some of my friends pretty much I do almost nothing with the express purpose of getting broad public exposure and by and large it all hides in entirely deserved obscurity. The few times that I have attempted to elevate my work to more public status has failed entirely which only makes these next two items all the more strange.

The first, and strangest, is a project that I put together on a whim for a room party at Icon 27 in 2002. For some bizarre reason I had the thought that it would be cool to do Stonehenge, or at least standing stones, in rice krispie treats. The results were actually fairly good, though the photography of the project was only so-so. Fast forward to a couple of months ago and imagine my shock to have someone from The Smithsonian Channel contacting me about getting rights to include one or more photos in a small project they were putting together to highlight the various ways that people have payed homage to the best known standing stones in the world. Bring that forward to last week when they sent me a link to the finished segment and mentioned it was going to air this past Sunday (9/21/2008) and today, lo and behold, here it is:

The second project is one where there was expectation of public display, but I don’t think it ever really occurred to me quite how much fun it would be to see the completed work. If you have been hanging out with me recently or been following my Twitter stream you have probably heard me mention my resurgent interest in LEGO and starting to get involved with the local LEGO enthusiast community in the form of TwinLUG (Involved enough to volunteer to host and maintain the group’s website). At he August meeting one of the other members proposed that we work on a group project where we put together a city built entirely of LEGO parts. We eventually agreed on some basic common design specifications and the initial results were assembled at this month’s meeting and then taken to the LEGO Imagination Center at the Mall Of America and installed in one of the displays that is reserved for community projects. Yesterday evening J, S, M, K, and I headed down to take a look at the installation and I am really happy about how oddly proud I was to see my contributions sitting in that case among the other great models. One of the really great things about a group project like this is that it’s the perfect showcase for different building styles and techniques since a real city is so often such an eclectic agglomeration of materials and styles from the imaginations and influences of so many different people. If you do have a chance to go and see the display it is in the NE corner of the store on the outer wall of the Duplo section. Since it’s on an outer glass wall you can see pretty much everything even though it’s configured to be best viewed from inside. I built the dark gray memorial, construction site, and (mediocre) apartment building sections.

LEGO Build: Technic Road Bike

So I was inspired to build a fairly neat looking bike this morning while playing with LEGOs with my girlfriend’s kids. There was a set of interesting balloon tires (43.2 x 28 Balloon Small according to the LDRAW parts list) near the top of the bin and they obviously needed to be put onto a motorcycle of some sort.

Technic Road Bike

The original intention had been to make the bike primarily out of Bionicle parts, but the scale just wasn’t working out. I might be able to pull it off with the much larger wheels I have in my Technic parts at home, but not with these. The build went relatively quickly, even with a couple of tricky angles and I decided to finally take a crack at one of the LEGO CAD systems to record the design for posterity. Or just in case one of the kids asked me to rebuild it again someday after they took it apart. Looking around it seemed that LeoCAD and MLCAD where the most recommended packages to sit on LDRAW, so I tried both of them out. Of the two I can say that for me LeoCAD is by far the superior package. Where I was was futzing with MLCAD for 45min just trying to locate the parts that I wanted and manage to get them put together, within 10min in LeoCAD I had found the first few parts I needed and had started to assemble the model. It’s hard to say for certain since I had so much trouble getting around in MLCAD, but it seems like it might have slightly more advanced features, but the interface is such that I doubt I’ll ever know that for certain.

If you’re interested in seeing the parts list you can get the LeoCAD file here.