Welcome to my second attempt to convey to you, the MOCpages audience, a little of what BrickCon is like. I would like to apologize right off, because I'm an absolutely terrible photographer, and I can't bring you many of the things I'd like to -- most of my favorite creations there will not be seen on this page because my shots of them turned out so poorly. You can see everything that I deemed worth saving in my Brickshelf gallery.
I threw this together Sunday night after I got home, before the BrickCon hangover could totally take over. Four straight days of Lego immersion, for me, is very draining; it saps the creative energies. For a bit of explanation of some of the elements in the little shrine/marquee here, see my flickr page.
Least meets Best -- I prostrate myself before the great Nannan Z. When I first stumbled upon MOCpages, Nannan was one of a handful of builders whose stuff just leaped out and grabbed me and said, "You need to get a digital camera and join this party."
When I wasn't busy inserting the two sig-Shannon-figs anywhere they weren't wanted, I was doing it with Rory.
Like I said.
Lee Jones would like to assure his faithful MOCpages fans that he is still alive, lack of recent activity on his account notwithstanding. Unfortunately he is too busy trying to work off the million dollar debt he has accrued amassing and outfitting this minifig army to post any new MOCs, or to leave reviews on any of yours. Lee has a very nice family (that's his son there on the left) who are all quite understanding and supportive of daddy's little addiction. (Quote from Mrs. Jones regarding this army: "This isn't even half of them, this is just what he could fit in a suitcase to bring down here.")
This ended up winning an award in the super-duper ultra heavy art category, or something like that. And while mosaics always work best from afar, this one was cool to get right up close to and see the depth.
A kid and his dad were talking to another conventioneer about this when I came up to look at it, assuming one of the adults had built it... Turns out the thirteen year old kid had. Jeez. I hope I can build this well when I grow up.
For Big Alex and his unholy fascination with the evil Disneyland.
Rory has died several times now, and to commemorate his final(?) passing, The Lego Group has come out with this beautiful Taj Mahal model in his honor.
ZOIKS! One of the fifteen or so award-winning MOCs made by renaissance man Nathan Proudlove in as many different categories.
I have no idea what this is all about, but man was it cool. There was a motorized conveyor belt inside the door with a rat on it. There was a dragon out front with a guy scooping up its poop. It was in the Space section. It made no sense at all, and was one of my favorite displays of the convention.
The Titanic, always a crowd pleaser during public hours. It's big. And it's for sale.
The fact that you're asking means you can't afford it.
The micro moonbase ended up being about two-thirds me, one-third Andrew Lee. I'm glad I made my modules, Andrew's would have looked very sad and lonely on their own. Microscale submissions in general were very thin this year.
This trophy means that for the next year I can introduce our favorite microcity, without hyperbole, as "The Award-Winning Shannonia" -- and I probably will.
There were so few microscale displays that Shannonia winning Best Micro was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I can't help but feel it would have been more of an accomplishment if there'd been more competition... but I'll take the trophy, and the attendant bragging rights. And everyone said it would have won no matter what other microscale had been there. In fact, so many people were just absolutely gushing about it to me, that I began to get delusions of grandeur. I started wondering if it might not have an outside shot at the coveted Best in Show award, since there wasn't one obvious standout creation this year blowing everyone away, and Shannonia seemed about as popular as anything...
Much like microscale, mechs were sadly underrepresented as well. I've seen pictures at other fests where they have the Mecha City Project, which looks great. Don't know why we don't have anything like that here. Behind the big pillar there was the steampunk display, which was even smaller. I never really got steampunk myself, and maybe it's a fad whose popularity has crested.
A few of my more devoted fans stalked me during public hours on Saturday and cornered me near Shannonia. Seen harassing me here are two of MOCpages' rising young stars, JD Luse (front and center), and Caleb Blanchet (skulking in back). Also pictured is Caleb's little brother Matt, who has not yet joined our dysfunctional MOCpages family with his own account. Big thanks to JD for sending me this pic, as it turned out when we were posing for three or four different cameras, that I didn't actually get a group shot with mine.
Instead, mine was full of nonsense like this.
In that vein, this one was taken with Nannan's camera, and I stole it from his flickr stream. I just really like the picture. Aren't we a couple of badasses?
Heather stars in "Attack of the Fifty Foot Sig-Fig," filmed entirely on location in Shannonia.
I don't know what to say about Bionicle -- it's cool when people are able to do things like this with it, but it sure isn't worth it to me to acquire that much to try something like it myself. Oh well, the kids are stoked when they see it, it's not aimed at grumpy old men like myself.
We conventioneers were wowed by the unveiling of the new Medieval Market set due out in January, with good reason. Rory wasn't impressed with the chickens that come in it, though. "Pfft," he snorted, "I'm better looking than them."
The castle display, which was amazing last year, took a bit of a step back this year -- not helped by the fact that they had more space to fill this time, and less to fill it with. Not that there weren't some great things there (most of my pictures of the castle display turned out horribly; not a single one of my favorite, the dragon tower, came out worth a damn), it was just with all the expanse of empty tables, they really got hurt presentationwise.
But if you're in that situation, all you can do is laugh and make the best of it. This was my vote for Best in Show. I have a penchant for throwing my vote away; I'll be doing it again this November. Libertarian and Independent all the way! The major parties can kiss my ass, I loathe them both equally. Democrats take the left cheek, Republicans take the right.
Seeing stuff like this makes me want to try my hand at some miniland scale.
There weren't as many huge SHIPs as last year. This one was not the biggest or most detailed, but it was my favorite.
I really want to like the moonbase, I really do... and somehow I just can't quite do it. The concept is great. There are some really neat buildings. So what's my problem? After thinking deeply on it, I've decided that maybe it's the very name "moonbase." This doesn't look like a moonbase to me. A moonbase would be utilitarian, drab and industrial-looking, a lot of gray and white, no structure too tall. I think if the concept were redefined to "future city," or something like that, the whimsical, brightly-colored skyscrapers would make a lot more sense. Or maybe it's just me.
(And yes, I do realize I'm a filthy hypocrite because many of my micro moonbase buildings are tall and colorful. Tall moonbase structures are nothing more than a builder's conceit. So as far as I'm concerned, changing the appellation to "future city" applies equally to the micro moonbase.)
Jacob Sysak is another one of those guys that is half my age and twice as talented (he's also got one of the more evocative online aliases out there -- you may know him better as Memory). We were talking and it turns out it's been his lifelong dream to have one of his microspace ships buzz Shannonia, so we took a few minutes to set this up.
I still don't know why the Batman sign was in front of these two local landmarks, the Space Needle and the Smith Tower. Is the game set in Seattle or something?
Town had a lot of space to fill, and they filled it well. While the Zombie Apocafest had to be my favorite collaborative display, it was still comparatively small. Between the Big Three -- Castle, Town, and Moonbase -- I'd have to say Town was the runaway winner this year.
One of the highlights of the Con was the Lego Zombie Apocafest, organized by Andrew Becraft of the Brothers Brick, which I am proud to say I contributed two buildings and a vehicle to. Free Brickarms swag for all participants surely brought many builders out of the woodwork, but for me it was an excuse to try my hand at some town buildings without them having to compete with the much more detailed and polished buildings of the hardcore Townies in their more straitlaced display.
Paul Hetherington's Casa de Baron had a fully detailed interior as ornate as the outside -- unfortunately the open backside got pressed up against other buildings in the display and the public never saw it. It won Best Zombie Building, and was somewhat of a surprise winner for Best in Show. Definitely one of the more striking MOCs there, so not a surprise in that regard, but a surprise in that any one of a half dozen things there could have gotten the award and it would have been hard to argue against any of them.
It was definitely a surprise to Paul -- his reaction at the Saturday night awards ceremony was priceless. He walked up to receive his trophy in a daze, and turned to go back to his seat. The presenters had to call him back to tell him he got a prize for winning, and unveiled the huge Imperial Star Destroyer set. Classic double take -- he had to take a step back, mouth agape. The crowd went wild. When I talked with him on Sunday he was still in a state of shock about it.
Heather's dollhouse got sort of hidden in a bad spot on Saturday, but was placed in a position of better prominence on Sunday to reap the accolades it deserved. In the scale it's built at, Rory is actually close to the proper size, not some huge mutant.
I become giddy and start giggling uncontrollably as Heather "Lego Girl" Braaten presses up against me after I finally tracked her down on Sunday. She muttered some lame excuse about car trouble, but really she was hiding from her many admirers all weekend. This is the last thing I remember -- they tell me I fainted.
The moral of the story is, you can not vicariously experience a Fest or a Con online. It really is one of those "you had to be there" things. I know that if you're financially or geographically or parentally challenged, you get tired of hearing it, but you really have to get yourself to one of these things someday.
Hey, I was there! Dang it, could've gotten so many autographs and made so many of my friends here jealous. If I only knew about MOCpages and these awesome builders back then. Oh, yeah, I live in Redmond, so it's a 20 minute drive to Seattle. =P
I'm going to Brickcon '09! Not that anyone cares, I'm a nobody! But I will be there... oh yes... I will be there.
I like it
April 13, 2009
Only six more building months left until Brickcon '09! This year, I'm there for the entire time if I have to hitchhike with questionable characters just to get there. But the real question is, will you be giving the graveyard tour? Because sadly, this local has never been to either gravesite. Anyhow, the countdown is ON!
MAN, that was Awesome! Brickcon ROCKS! It was great meeting you there, and these creations people come up with...CRAZY! I look at all the pictures to see if I am in them(In the background)! I agree the castle, mech, and moonbase sections were pretty small...But having builders like 'RebelRock' having at least one creation in the category helped! Again thanks for showing the public this great Con!
wow.I was wondering where Lee went,now I know!first,he had to pay off the million dollars,than get someone to lend him a suitcase to fit all of them in it,then he got there about a year ago and started setting them up.....is that really only half of it?I could do with a couple hundred minies....
I like it
Heather LEGO Girl
October 19, 2008
I still wish you could have heard how bad my husband was making fun of us afterward for our "shaky little hands" and our nervousness. He kept telling me how cute it all was. Don't worry, I got a ladder and beat him up.
Sorry it took me so long to comment, I've been consoling Kelso. I've never seen a man cry so hard... Anyway, I think my favorite thing was the "Invisible Castle"! The detail on that thing is just inspirational! How that didn't win Best in Show is beyond me. Congrats on best Microscale! And as far as cons go, you're right, you had to be there. I hope to make it "there" someday but till then, I guess Brickworld will do. ~ Chris.
That's what Lee Jones has been up to this whole time? Wow, no wonder. Also, I looked at some of the pictures you have on Brickshelf, and that stuff is amazing! I'm going to echo everybody else and say that I wish I could have been there. Thanks for sharing this, at least.
Gee, thanks. I wish I could say "I feel like I'm there", yet a Con really IS a "you have to have actually been there" sort of deal. It looks like it was a blast; I need my bib before I continue to check out every photos (off to Brickshelf I go!). Oh yeah, that photo of you and Nannan. . . bad-a**
I like it
October 13, 2008
Ahem... Heather's Dollhouse? Doesn't it have a name? HMM? I would have loved to attended BrickCon, I am looking into maybe going to Chicago next year to harass Kelso and Phipson. More so, I am kicking around the idea of getting one going in the Southwest in the next couple of years. What amazed me most about this really long post, is that I actually sat and read the WHOLE thing. NO SKIMMING. Once again Mr. Young, I am jealous. Maybe we'll see you there next year! -dave
Thanks for rubbing salt in the wound there, Shannon. Bad enough that it's in my old stomping grounds (used to do art shows in that room), but throw in Lego, and all the cool kids...and I...I just...*breaks down crying* (I'm sorry, I just get so emotional over these cons!)
Nice to meet you JD and Caleb! Ok, congrats are in order for best Micro Shan. I hope you remembered to thank God. Great reportage on the Con man. Boy, that blank white table just had "Goldman?" written all over it. And as usual, you're right about physically being at a Con; the MOCs are cool and all but to actually meet and talk to you guys would be priceless (or more acurately, about $A 2,500 airfare). But most importantly: your 'Homeland Security' t-shirt? Absolute win.