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A Catablog of Tools, Tips, and Techniques for building with LEGO®

Chris Giddens: Mr. Pre-Classic Space

Image of Chris Giddens
Chris is a big name in the LEGO AFOL community. And “why” do you ask? Well, for a number of reasons. For one, he is well-known, especially among Spacers, as the guy who created Pre-Classic Space, referred to as PCS, for short. Originally most of this series was posted at, (a sub-site of, but nowadays Chris does his posting at Flickr under the name Fazoom.

Because of his PCS theme along with collaboration with Mark Sandlin, the two were asked by LEGO to design a couple sets in the LEGO Factory line. Chris’s Pre-Classic Space became known as “Star Justice” in set 10191, and Mark’s 3vil (3 times the evil) became known as “Space Skulls” in set 10192. These sets were available from April 2008 to June 2009.

Furthermore, Chris and Mark were interviewed by Joe Meno for the Summer 2008 issue of BrickJournal magazine (pp. 52-55).

I had the privilege of meeting both of these guys several months ago when I joined up with DixieLUG, a LEGO users group based in North Georgia. (Being one of the few AFOL’s in the state of South Carolina, I have to deal with a long-distance LUG relationship. In the meantime, I’m very thankful for the online community!)

My original interview with Chris was mostly done back in September, but many things happened between then and now, or else you’d have had this lovely post sooner. We’ve also added a couple other questions about more recent events (bottom of the page). So the MOC pictured and discussed here isn’t his most recent, but is still a brilliant blend of PCS building technique and some great work in Photoshop. continue reading…

cockpit box, originally uploaded by nnenn.

I’ve previously blogged this creation on Fascinating LEGO model of the Day, but feel it appropriate to re-cover it here, at the passing of it’s creator, Nate Nielsen, well known to the community as Nnenn.

Up to this point, Nnenn is the only person whose Flickr photostream was in my Google Reader feed. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the many ways he could come up with to reinvent the starfighter.

This particular creation of his was a suggestion for a way to start building a starfighter — it gave you a template starting point to build out from.

Space Container, originally uploaded by AfroEngineer.

These Space Containers by Breakdown are a brilliant exercise in compact building technique.

AfroEngineer has also included a breakdown of how to build them: continue reading…

Engel Statue by Michael Jasper

Engel by Michael Jasper.

I covered some of Michael Jasper’s famous people vignettes over on Fascinating LEGO Model of the Day with a post about Michael’s Francis Drake back in May. Michael is a builder who often does very cool things with a small number of pieces. This vignette does no less.

The statue’s pedestal is a brilliant blend of some 8 Tooth Technic Gear Timing Wheels and lightsaber blades. The statue effect is a simple use of pieces that are all the same color. Usually I’ve seen statues done in grey, so it was a nice change to see this one in white. One key thing that always makes the statue is a blank face.

Also, the posts abnd rope around the statue sitting in the midst of grass surrounded by sidewalk — all on a 10×6 area, very effectively convey the idea of the statue.

WIP: Hut Wall Experiment, originally uploaded by mhuffman.

No one goes from a pile of bricks to hitting all the popular LEGO MOC blogs in just a few short minutes. The best creations require planning and practice.

Sketch it out

In this image we see examples of both planning and practice. Mhuffman has some sketches that are part of the planning stage. He is experimenting with creating a hut wall, so he has drawn out the basic idea first to help figure out what the end result will be before he’s bricked together a whole pile of LEGO in a miserable failure. 🙂

Practice the technique

After some advance planning, he has now started experimenting with the idea for his technique with the physical bricks.

Coming up with something new — even if it’s just a technique that is new to you — can be tricky. It helps to practice the idea before you implement it on your MOC. Better to figure out all the kinks and problems separately before having to take your 75,000 piece MOC apart halfway through!