Happy birthday, America! Never forget.

Happy birthday, America! Never forget.

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"I’ve been waiting for you, Itchy-Wan."
Diorama and photography by Baron von Brunk. Camera: Nikon D5200 DSLR.

"I’ve been waiting for you, Itchy-Wan."

Diorama and photography by Baron von Brunk. Camera: Nikon D5200 DSLR.

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Some self-portraits of me in my attic LEGO workshop, taken with my new camera remote control for my Nikon D5200.

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"Vantage", LEGO Game Boy Advance Transformer by Baron von Brunk. Check out the tutorial on Instructables to build your own!

At last, the next LEGOformer in my most popular series — Vantage, a powerful robot that transforms into a Nintendo Game Boy Advance, armed with battery blasters and parody “Boom” automatic shotgun! With a basic design much akin to my Game Boy robot Domaster, along with a refined transformation cycle similar to that of my Game Gear robot Gearhead, this new figure is very sturdy and well-articulated. My previous LEGOformers were built “organically”, as in I’d compile a ton of relevant pieces and build the robot via trial and error — whilst this particular one was my first to be almost entirely designed on the computer with LEGO Digital Designer before being physically built and tested. That being said, the 3D instructional guide was released simultaneously. What was the most challenging part? That Boom shotgun: I spent several days trying to make one that looks like an actual gun as well as having the ability to be held by the robot as a weapon. I chose Doom since that was my favorite GBA game I played in high school back in 2002. My second favorite GBA game was Namco Museum!

-Baron von Brunk

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"Illuminated Mosaic LEGO Legend of Zelda Portrait/Lamp" by Baron von Brunk. Check out the tutorial on Instructables, so you can build your own!

Using the same design principles of my Nintendo World Mosaic from fall 2013, in conjunction with my mosaic “Lite Brite” mood lamps from December, I’ve combined both ideas and created a flat mosaic sprite portrait with hollow innards lined with bright LED strips! The light from the LEDs illuminate the colored LEGO dots plugged into a mosaic grid of Technic bricks, thus mimicking a “Lite Brite” effect. Each LED strip is soldered into a series circuit with 24 gauge wires, then connected to a switch and a female DC adapter plug. The grid of LED strips is attached to a rear door which opens/closes via LEGO hinge bricks.

Electrical power: 12VDC
LED strips: 16 feet (~5 meters)

-Baron von Brunk

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"The Incursion" - a new LEGO diorama featuring some of the mini ships from my popular Super Mario Bros. 3 airship “Fireflower” - along with some new mosaic sprite background items, and photographed with my new Nikon D5200 with its f/1.8 macro lens! I’m thinking of making one of the World 8 battleships next.

-Baron von Brunk

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Hangin’ With Mr. Koopa by Baron von Brunk

Way back in late 2011, I built several minifigure-scale Koopa Troopas to use amongst the scenery of my then work-in-progress Super Mario 3 Fireflower Airship. I decided against using them, and instead opted to have the airship display streamlined and less cluttered. These are a few of the winged minions; I think I built about 20 originally, half with wings half without. Underneath these Koopas is the tiled mosaic Nintendo World Store Platform from spring 2013.

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Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow!

Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow!

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"Fully-Functional LEGO Traffic Signal Lamp" by Baron von Brunk

With a frame consisting of over 1,700 LEGO pieces and with the magic of a color-sequencing microchip wired to powerful LED spotlights, I’ve built a traffic light that actually cycles through three colors! The LEGO structure serves as a frame to house the spotlights and internal wires, whilst the outside lights are made with transparent dots and Technic bricks, in the same fashion as my mosaic Super Mario Bros. lamps.

To build your own, check out my tutorial on Instructables — and be sure to vote on it for the Make it Glow contest!

-Baron von Brunk

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Mosaic LEGO Super Mario Bros. Lamp by Julius von Brunk

Technical details: E12 Candelabra CFL bulb, 580 lumen, 9 Watts, 5,000K CRI.

Based on my previous mosaic Super Mario Bros. LEGO lamp from 2012, which used a stained glass effect, this new model uses a clever rigging of Technic bricks and transparent dots to mimic a Lite Brite set!

To build your own, check out my tutorial on Instructables to build your own — and make sure to vote for this in the Make it Glow contest!

-Baron von Brunk

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I made a few changes on the Tiggs LEGO portrait/lamp. Replaced the incandescent bulbs with bright LEDs, and replaced the parallel wires with a series circuit in order to have the bulb sockets stay in place better due to one less wire. In a series circuit, adding more bulbs draws power away and makes both bulbs dim, whilst in a parallel circuit, both lights illuminate equally. With these particular LED bulbs, I noticed no difference between in brightness with the parallel and series circuits, thus I went with the latter of the two. Both bulb sockets are rigged up to a 120VAC power cord with a switch, similar to that of a Christmas light string.

Photo lights: 5,000k CFL bulbs (x2)
Eye lights: 5 lumen candelabra LED nightlight bulbs (x2)

-Baron von Brunk

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Electronic mosaic LEGO portrait of my deceased Main Coon named Tiggs!

I built this entire project over the course of a weekend, and then rigged up a simple parallel circuit behind the eyes to make them light up, in the same style as the stained glass window of my Super Mario Brothers 3 airship.

This is the Mk.1 edition of the portrait; soon I’m going to remake the eyes to be more green, as the orange and yellow kind of makes them look demonic! The lights in the picture are small 5 Watt bulbs, and soon I’m also going to switch them with bright LED bulbs to reduce heat. I’ve certainly got a knack for making portraits of cats — I should probably build others!

-Baron von Brunk

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"Dark Link Battle" - original LEGO creation by Baron von Brunk

This is another large creation photographed in my new makeshift light tent, using PVC pipes, white linen, and powerful 5,000K daylight CFL bulbs. In this particular diorama, I depict a famous mini boss battle from everyone’s favorite temple of all time — the Water Temple!

These two figurines are of course clones of my Mecha Link 1.0 model. Click here for a tutorial on how to build your own!

-Baron von Brunk

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Wolfenstein 3D Gatling Gun - original LEGO creation by Baron von Brunk.

This bad boy shall soon be used as a prop in a forthcoming photo session I’m getting done! By the way, this was the first LEGO creation to be photographed in my new makeshift light tent for taking pictures of large items. That being said, you’ll expect to see a lot of bigger LEGO models made from me in the future!

-Baron von Brunk

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With a lot of my best LEGO creations, fans typically keep telling me the same thing: "I want to build my own! Why don’t you post instructions!?" — in fact, whenever I receive any sort of backlash for my works, it stems from my lack of building instructions. The fact of the matter is, making custom instructions for my models is a difficult process, as it often requires taking my creations apart and reverse-engineering them. Also, very few of my works are made with detailed plans and chronicling — rather, the process involves acquiring tons of parts within a certain color family, making a huge pile, and throwing together trial & error mockups until I have a refined LEGO model. For instance, my giant Super Mario 3 airship was made using a clever method of side panels riveted on an internal structure — and the method of doing this process came to me whilst I was drunk. I spent weeks trying to make a system for having the faux wooden LEGO bricks facing sideways whilst keeping an internal structure facing upwards in a traditional stud pattern. Then one Saturday night, I drank a case of Rolling Rock, a whole bottle of wine, and half a can of Four Loko as my classic rock playlist queued up “Hawks & Doves” by Neil Young — then I saw a bunch of colors, blacked out, and found a crude mockup of my ingenious LEGO rivet system on my bed — which was apparently thought-up and built whilst I was drunk!* Ergo, despite the crazy, elaborate technical details of my famous LEGO creations, there’s actually not a detailed blueprint system nor a scientific process like a lot of people suspect; rather, there’s a lot of frustration, anger, heavy rock, and drunken debauchery that goes on during my extensive late night LEGO-building sessions.

WITH THAT SAID, I decided to make a custom instructional guide for my recent Mecha Link 1.0 figure — which was initially intended to be my “Hero Factory” mashup of Link from Legend of Zelda, but instead kind of evolved into a robotic battle figure, akin to Japanese mecha (on par with Mobile Suit Gundam). This particular figure was first made by me, then once finalized was then manufactured into three more clones: fire tunic Link, water tunic Link, and Dark Link — all built virtually identical (sans the colors and parts substitutions where applicable), and therefore follow the base model of Link 1.0 — hence his name. This model is intended to be copied and replicated by you fellow LEGO builders out there, so that you can make your own variations, be they direct copies of the green model, colored variants, original styles, or even improvements in flexibility — as in, a Link 2.0 figure of sorts. Unlike my Nintendo 64 Transformer, to which all sorts of angry fans demanded a building guide (which I personally wouldn’t recommend anyway, as building that sucker was like assembling a car from scratch), I’m publicly releasing 3D instructions for Mecha Link 1.0 right off the bat, and encouraging any builder to make their own!

This following instructional guide and parts list have all been generated in LEGO Digital Designer, which is a 3D CAD program (free to download and use), and similar to LDraw — only with a more simplified user interface. Once you’ve downloaded LDD and my Link.lxf file, run the software and load the particular .lxf file to bring up Mecha Link 1.0; the rest is self-explanatory, as the step-by-step process and parts list can be found in the “Building Guide Mode” option. In the Build Mode section, you can move around pieces virtually to make changes and swap colors.

NOTES: This is not an easy build! This particular creation uses well over 300 pieces just for the body, and like my previous custom models, should not be attempted by the novice builder with a limited budget. Also, I haven’t included any weapons nor shield tutorials in the file, since those particular items were made with rare Bionicle and Hero Factory pieces not found in LDD’s library and employed unorthodox techniques for stylization — hence, I encourage you to make your own substitutions and original ideas for weapons. Another thing to point out is that some pieces literally don’t exist in various color swatches: notably, Link’s wedge slope for making his hat, which is available in green, red, and black, but not blue — hence, if you look at the rear photo of blue Link, his hat looks slightly different! Use your best judgement of making parts substitutions when necessary — and don’t limit yourself to these particular color options: make a yellow Link, make a solid white Link, or even a pink & purple one — it’s up to you! LDD has the ability to swap colors in the 3D guide I designed, thus you’re able to make your own virtual clones before you ultimately acquire parts and build one.

-Baron von Brunk

*I’m of course of legal drinking age, and although I’m a “tweener” as far as a personality is concerned (in wrestling lingo, tweener means anti-hero, neither babyface nor heel), I’m not advocating the excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages whilst making LEGO creations. I am, however bluntly stating for the record that excessive alcohol consumption was in fact present during some of my engineering obstacles in the past, and that I’m not trying to hide behind the guise of a squeaky clean image. Mecha Link 1.0 and all of his components were conceptualized and built during complete sobriety on my part, and the only real “crazy drunk” times have been in the development of my Fireflower Airship and Domaster Game Boy Transformer (the latter only involved minor drunkeness).

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