Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting Medieval in New York

We spent our Thanksgiving holiday in upstate New York.  As usual the kids availed themselves of their uncle's vintage Lego sets-- specifically the King's Castle #6080 and the Forestmen's Hideout #6054.  We just posted a video tour of a battle scene that Tyler made which you can watch below: 

For more detailed pictures of the scene, keep going!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October's September Update

Seems like we've been in a holding pattern for a few months here, but the clock is finally winding down our on "two house lifestyle".   Tyler and I have been working on the design for the new Lego tables and spending some money on eBay while the moving related house projects wrap up.  
Since there might be some new eyeballs on the blog in the next few days, here's a little pandering to our guests:  
Wondering what that is all about?  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

More Car Variations - As Requested

A while back we posted a YouTube video on how to make a Porsche but lots of folks were more interested in this:
That's right-- a family-mobile in the background attracted more attention than a sports car!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hotel Inferno!

"Breaking news on Bricksburgh-TV, we have reports of a fire at the City Hotel..."
That's how you might expect the report to start as the helicopter camera catches a ground crew already interviewing first responders.
Remember how last time I wrote that we'd burn the hotel down?  Well, here comes a mega-gallery of hotel destruction, fire trucks and dramatic rescues!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Police Vans for Fans

What?  No burning hotel??  I know I promised that would be next-- but it'll be a couple more days to polish up that post.  In the meantime, we've had a lot of questions off our YouTube Videos regarding the police vans.  We love to answer our fans so, as requested, we hurried up a video tutorial on our Police Vans, with some more information added on here.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Rooms With a View

Last time we showed you how the Bricksburgh TV Station was built.  Since we're talking about how our landmark buildings in town came into being, it seems only fitting to talk about the City Hotel.  The City Hotel was a natural addition to the town.  After all, if the town is to be a vacation island with a famous beach... it would need a hotel-- and one that would offer First Class service! 
 But what was the REAL inspiration of the hotel and why does it look the way it does?  
You might be surprised....

Thursday, August 30, 2012

There's No Business Like Show Business!

We have a special fondness for our Bricksburgh TV Station.  It's a valuable part of any big news story and adds a lot of excitement around town to have cameras showing up whenever there's a fire or a large cat attack.
Lego did a great job when they made the Crisis News Team set but there was never an official TV station set... and what good is a live truck if there is no station to send the signal to?   
Well..  we solved that!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

ARG! What Strange Lands Are These??

Often when I empty camera cards I find evidence of adventures and stories captured on our cameras by the kids.  This was a great expedition that Tyler created and photographed all on his own:

We've moved into the new house and while the Legotown remains in boxes, the Pirates have escaped.  Eager to plunder and pillage their new land they set out on an expedition around the new house-- what great discovers and adventures would await them?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Race Track In a Box

If you saw our Race Track Preview video earlier in the summer, you know that we're getting ready to expand the town and have some racing events.  What you might not have seen (unless you looked closely in the 2011 Legotown Tour Update) is that we also added THE BEST TRUCK SET Lego ever made:  Indy Transport 6335.
Read on for a closer look and see the modifications we've made to it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Super Vans!

In between projects at the new house, projects at the old house, and moving stuff from one to the other, we've been working on some Lego projects too.   The town may be boxed up and the table dismantled but there are plenty of unused Lego pieces lurking about and now and then we find enough to cobble together some interesting creations-- some of which are good enough that they will survive to make an appearance in a future Legotown Tour.  These "Super Vans" (from our YouTube video) are two of those recent creations.  Read on for their story.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Ugly Bus-ling

In anticipation of our Lego City Buses Video hitting 1 million views this month (probably) on YouTube, I'd love to be able to post a tutorial on how to build one--- and might still-- but for now, here's a look at one of the very early prototypes.   We call it, the UGLY BUSLING:

Friday, June 22, 2012

MOVING DAY!

Tomorrow morning -- early-- is MOVING DAY!   We'll be packing up our U-Haul with all the beds and bedroom furniture and OFFICIALLY start living at our new house!  Yay!
This picture is from the "floor version" of the town but since all the Lego are in boxes I have only "archival" pictures to choose from!   The new house is about 12 miles from the old one, so moving shouldn't take too long.  We're hoping to have lunch at the new house before/during the unloading.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sneak Peak!

As promised, here's a quick video peak of the new house's gameroom where Legotown will be rebuilt.  Have ideas for how the new table OR town should be built?  Leave us comments!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Update

We're moving!   No, no.... not the blog or the YouTube channel-- US!   We'll soon be dismantling the town and packing it all into boxes for the quick trip to the new house.  
 Closing is this week and we'll make the actual move next month...  which means we'll be using "archival" Lego pictures until we get set up in the new place.  We'll mix those posts in with updates on the moving of the town itself too.  There's also a chance the Lego table might be available for sale---  anyone interested?  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Mail Must Go Through

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds....  and neither do street lights, nor bus stops, nor fences, nor dead end streets...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

City Planning Commission

I'm often asked where we get the road plates for our town.  The real question is, once you've got them, how do you make them into a usable town?  Below is the "winning" plan for our first floor-based town.  Let me show you how we put it all together...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where Dwight Works

Once we move into the new house the Legotown will be getting some upgrades.  Among the first buildings to get upgraded will be the Office Building.  It will gain another floor (for a total of 4) to bring it closer in height to the Condos.  With that in mind, I thought we'd take a closer look at its history so far.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pod-racing Indy Style!

Alright, this one is a little weird.   What do you get when Storm Troopers steal your race cars?  A chase!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Not a Geek!

Over the years I've made a lot of custom sets for the kids.  One of the most popular was the TechMan company.  The TechMan company started out from a single idea:   I wanted to use a pair of grey panels that I'd found.   From panels...  there came a grey van...  then an IDEA.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Upside Down

More progress toward a new house.  The inspection went well and we are continuing to move forward.  Every move throws your world into the blender though, so today I thought I'd show you a creation Tyler made that fit that theme.  It's an armored car that was built.... upside down!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Up a Creek

We finally have a house under a sales agreement and are starting the inspection process.  LOTS of room for Lego in the new place but it'll also require a lot of work before we move in-- pay a little less, have to do a little more... but in the end, you're farther ahead.  The house also has a creek in the backyard and that, combined with today's picture, pretty much sums up the next 6 weeks or so:  we have to keep paddling.   I'll try and keep the blog alive but will certainly have less time until we are settled in the new place.

Thanks for visiting us here at www.bricksburgh.com and check out the videos on our YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/MSIMMONS.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Something Fast, This Way Comes

Short post today.   In case you missed it, here's the latest video on our YouTube channel.  The house hunting has really taken a lot of our free time and the town has "degraded" a bit along the way.  We love our loyal YouTube subscribers and I felt I owed them a quick explanation and preview of "coming attractions".
CLICK TO PLAY

Thanks for visiting us here at www.bricksburgh.com and check out the videos on our YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/MSIMMONS.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two Are Better Than One

When I was a kid my Dad stumbled into a sale on Lego and made the best of it.  Unfortunately, he had no clear memory of what sets I already had.  Fortunately, with Lego, that doesn't matter.  You might have see the extra large repair shop in town, for example, and maybe you noticed the bigger hospital too?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Biggest Loser Ambulance

A few years ago Tyler received a new ambulance set for Christmas (or a birthday?).   The set was built around a much wider chassis than anything else in the town and didn't really fit it.  You can see the original set here: Lego Set 7890.  In order to fit into the town we'd need to rebuild it and make it closer to the 4-wide vehicle standard...   and here's what we came up with:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Top Shelf

After I posted videos on our YouTube channel showing the new Lego table, I immediately began getting all sorts of requests for instructions on how to build one.   This was quite flattering!  The video shows the table after it was set up, but I thought this would be a better place to explain how it was built and why you should not build one...  and why this table could very well not survive much longer.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Where Lego Minifigs Spend Less

You've probably seen it in the videos and pictures.  You may even have caught the name of it.  Some have requested a more detailed video tour and instructions...   but in reality, this building was never intended to be anything more than an answer to every "where do you buy" question.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lovin' Lugs

Valentine's Day was a few days ago and with that in mind I posed a few little pictures from our marriage... using the Lego.
Roses are red...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Garage Sale Soccer

Garage sales are a GREAT place to find Lego.   Unfortunately, that's not a very good secret.   Last time our neighborhood had a large garage sale I discovered I was following a grandmotherly type around who was SPECIFICALLY asking about and looking for Lego.   To get the good stuff, I'd have the leapfrog her a couple houses... but in the end, there were no Lego to be had anywhere.  However, the year before we had made a big find, LEGO SOCCER!   It's like having a fussball table without the table.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Death From Above

Growing up overseas and spending lots of time on ski slopes in the Alps was very inspiring.  We rode cable cars all over the mountains to get around the ski areas and like most Lego kids, I was determined to replicate real life in my Legotown.  I don't have any surviving pictures of the BEST cable car system I made....  all I have is this, a crude "cargo" version:
I know it doesn't look like much, but bear with me... it'll make more sense in a minute.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I am the Stig

We're HUGE fans of the BBC television show Top Gear.  It is the best car-related show... in the world.  If you're in England we're jealous of you tonight.  Here's a picture Tyler took of our own Legotown Stig.  I believe he is holding a paper so it looks like a police mugshot.   He was "caught" zooming around our airport runways.  That's also our Porsche model in the background (you can see video on how to build it HERE).
If you look closely, you'll see the Stig in many of the other Lego videos on our YouTube channel... but I'm not telling where!
Thanks for visiting us here at www.bricksburgh.com and check out the videos on our YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/MSIMMONS.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Can Still Hear You!

With the prospects of a quick move to a new house with an EMPTY garage gone, it is beginning to look like our Subaru will keep its loud broken exhaust until the weather gets warmer.  I'm just not a fan of crawling around on a cold driveway and scraping my dry wintered hands on rusty undercarriage bits.  So I will continue the thread I started a week or so ago and live vicariously through our trusty Lego repair shop...  where the weather is always warm enough to work outside (if you're made of plastic) and the parts just snap on and off.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

House Falls Through

It's over.   Our big deal on a new house fell through because the seller valued cheap over legal.   Looks like the Lego won't be moving anytime soon so maybe we can get our video work going while we wait for the next dream house to come along (we're very picky).   Houses and their problems are the theme this week so I'm revisiting some very old pictures from when Legotown lived on the floor (as opposed to the table it's on now).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pink Rocks!

All the talk around here about buying a new house is really stressing us all out.  Hopefully the deal doesn't fall through and we're packing up Lego for a new place with LOTS more room...  but it looks shaky right now, sadly.   That said, Mia's minifig in Legotown already HAS her dream house.   It started with one of those pink Lego building sets and then became a secluded island just off the coast of the main town.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Historical Airport

It has been a busy week around here... so I'm late again.   We will work to correct that.  
I found some pictures of what our airport looked like in its earlier days and I thought I'd share them.  These also will help me come in for a "soft landing" this week because... well, there is still a lot going on around here! I hope you enjoy some scenes from our airport's history.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

Sorry I missed my usual posting day.  If you've been checking back you may have noticed I'm trying to put up new posts about 3 times a week.  Today being an "off" day and a "make up" day, I thought I'd show you something quite unique in our family Lego world:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What's That Sound?!

It is pretty hard for us to sneak up on anyone lately.  Our Subaru has a hole in the exhaust and rumbles and roars like a Top Fuel Dragster (no flames though, which is good).   With the weather being so wet and snowy I have not been able to attempt any repair, so we're just thumping around town scaring all the little kids until I can.   So... in that theme, I thought I'd share some older pictures of our Lego mechanics hard at work... mainly because I wish I could send a small army of minifigs out to fix our real car.  Wouldn't that be great?!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NEAR.... far... NEAR.... far....

Growing up I was a Sesame Street kid.  Oh sure, I watched Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, The Electric Company, Fat Albert, and the all the rest....  but I remember the Sesame Street segments better than any of the others.  Even now, decades later, I often find myself whistling jingles for letters and numbers.
Today's post is in honor of Grover.   In the days before GPS systems, we kids had two very simple ways of describing where something was and Grover taught us.   Near.   Far.   Very simple stuff.
So I'm still playing with my new lens filters and their potential for storytelling.  The limited depth of field is great because it allows us to play with things that are near...  and far.    For instance, consider this policeman:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Open Wide

Earlier this week I posted a few samples taken with my new macro lens filters.   For under $12, I was able to get up close and personal with our Lego people.  Certainly that will help with our story-telling and our upcoming (hopefully!) movies but it has also opened my eyes to the town in a new way.   Even wider shots of the town have a whole new look:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Up Close and Personal

I recently purchased some new lens filters to use for making some short HD movies (hopefully!)   My problem was that I couldn't get any up close views of the Lego minifigs and that's no way to tell a story!  Imagine how boring watching any TV show would be if every shot was a full-height body shot.   Luckily I was able to address that for the low, low price of about $12.   Now I am experimenting with a whole new perspective.  Check out this car driver:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The One That Got Away

Over the course of about a week last Fall, Tyler and I played two sides of a jail escape in town.  I was the prisoner who broke out of jail and he was all the police trying to catch me.  We'd make measured moves each day (sort of like a chess game) and left video messages to each explaining what had happened.  It was kind of fun and quite unpredictable but the combined video messages aren't really good enough to share.  HOWEVER, the pictures tell the story pretty well and I thought you'd like seeing them.  So here's the story of how I ran from the police:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rule the Air!

The police station set # 588 was the very first Lego set I ever had.  It was Christmas of 1982 (I think) and I was both thrilled to get it and also mystified by what I remember thinking was a weird puzzle of some kind.  Lego weren't something I had see before!  The set is superb, even by modern standards, with lots of details and selection of vehicles to mess with.  As time went on the motorcycle was replaced by the more modern types (and dismantled) and the patrol car itself was vastly upgraded.... but the helicopter still... well...  stunk.  And then we upgraded it to THIS:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Just Truckin'

It started simply enough.   We had two black fenders in the new style and were trying to figure out how to use them in our "classic" style town (where the vehicles are only four studs wide).  Most vehicles have at least four fenders...  so this was a puzzle.  Pawing through the parts bins and randomly snapping pieces together, we found inspiration.   We designed around the two fenders and came up with a pretty decent (and quite useful) flatbed truck.  What town can't use another dude with a truck?!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Take the Money and Run

One of the joys of having a large town and two kids who are camera savvy is that I find surprises quite often.  Depending on what's going on, I generally "empty" the various cards from our camera arsenal about twice a month.  Almost always I find interesting pictures on them that only the kids could have taken.   Today's sequence of pictures are from an ATM theft and police chase that Tyler set up and photographed.   I never saw this set up -- I only found the pictures over a week later, but the story speaks for itself:

Looks like today, crime DOES pay.  These guys are making a withdrawal.

A Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

In Bricksburgh, if you want to "move on up" there is only one address that will do.   The Apartment/Condo building (sadly we don't have a fancier name for it than that) is the tallest tower in town at 5 stories.   It has beach/ocean views and a coffee shop owned by Mia in the bottom.  I'll post the video tour of the building at the bottom, but here's some pictures I took of it being constructed:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CATZILLA ATTACKS!

Sophie is our cat.  She's so intent on being near us that whenever anyone enters the room where the Lego table is she promptly jumps up and finds someplace to watch us.   Most of the time this involves sitting on someone or something on the table (she prefers the smooth streets but those are typically crowded).  Naturally, this weird behavior has brought us a lot of fun.

Isle of Man... Sort of.

The annual Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle race is an incredible event featuring daredevil cyclists throwing their bikes and their bodies around turns and down straights with very little separating them from certain death.  Our Lego island has a somewhat smaller (in more ways than one) version of the event.

Generation 2

You may have noticed in the header for this blog that we are TWO generations of Lego fans.   I am the first generation  (Matt) and my son is the second generation (Tyler).   Somewhere I have pictures of my introduction to Lego in 1982, but I can't find them at the moment.  What I do have are pictures of the first time Tyler received my hand-me-down Lego.

Zombies Don't Obey Traffic Laws

It's hard running a civilized town when the locals become zombies... made only worse by the well known fact that zombies don't stop for red lights.  Luckily for this unfortunate cab driver, the police are ready-- but ultimately our zombie friend still hasn't learned to follow traffic laws and does not use the crosswalk.

Police are chasing the stolen TechMan van when it runs a red light and gets hit by a taxi.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Stud at a Time...

After years of thinking about it, this weekend we finally made the leap and purchased a web domain.  You'll have to patient with us as we're newbies at this, but we're ready to do our best to dazzle and excite you with our passion for Lego.  Hopefully by the time you read this you're linking straight in from our new domain:

www.Bricksburgh.com

I suspect most of you are past friends or current subscribers to our videos at www.youtube.com/msimmons and you've faithfully followed us here.  Thank you.  Your interest in our videos encouraged us to start this.  We hope to use this blog as a place to talk with you between the video posts.  Think of this as a complement our Youtube Channel which will feature picture galleries, town updates, and building tips.   This will also be the home for "behind the scenes" articles as we move into mini-feature movies.  Like the YouTube channel, our primary passion is our Legotown featuring "classic" style buildings and cars.

As we always have, we welcome your questions and comments here and will do our very best to answer all of them with the best information we can reasonably provide.   Come back often!

Thanks for visiting us here at www.bricksburgh.com and check out the videos on our YouTube channel at www.YouTube.com/MSIMMONS.