Damn, I’m good. (new 5,000K 9W CFL bulb has arrived) #SuperMario #Mario #Nintendo #NES #LEGO #FireFlower (at Baron von Brunk’s Attic Fortress of Justice)
Throwback Thursday: two years ago on this date, I began production for one of my first ambitious #LEGO projects to use several thousand pieces - a 6-foot replica of a #SuperMario airship model! This project was then featured in several news/gaming sites, and eventually published in #Nintendo Power in May 2012! Fun fact: my ingenious engineering method of construction was conceptualized whilst I was drunk! #Mario #SuperMario3 #tbt
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.
- Download my LEGO Digital Designer file for Mecha Link 1.0 here
- Download LEGO Digital Designer here (free)
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).
Nintendo World Mosaic by Baron von Brunk
The first phase of my next custom LEGO creations, here’s an articulated figurine of Link (as circa Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time era) in an artistically-transformed mode — inspired by Japanese mechas, à la Mobile Suit Gundam! This particular figure is the original base model that I built; three more variants are currently being manufactured and photographed by me. Stay tuned for the next three versions from this series of custom LEGO figures — and eventually an instructional guide with parts list so that you can build your own!
Check back for updates… The WILL be more of this series!
-Baron von Brunk
P.S. - The hard part? The shield. That damn shield.
"OGELNIKUFESIN" — the Baron von Brunk Collection!
My ultimate collage of my best custom creations and minifigures from the past two years, many of which are still intact in my workshop. Not shown: some of the Nintendo World Exclusives, notably my mosaic composite image of NES characters (which has been dismantled and shall be rebuilt to be larger).
-Baron von Brunk
Here’s an original creation that I built exclusively for Nintendo World Store in April. This was intended to be a platform to go underneath my full-scale replica of a Nintendo Wii U and controller made from LEGO bricks, but alas, I decided to keep both units — the platform and the Wii U/controller — separate in the glass case — as this tiled mosaic was too pretty to be covered up predominantly by the Wii U model! When kept on display at Nintendo World, I originally had a few imperfections in the pixel design, notably the Piranha Plant — which I’ve repaired specially for this photo shoot. As of now, only two imperfections remain: the right-hand coin has a black pixel in the wrong spot, and the warp pipe is too short by one line of pixels.
To create this project, I used MS Paint to design a custom 96 x 96 composite image of various Super Mario Bros. items/characters, then enlarged the image as a reference for laying out the LEGO tiles and plates. In my composite image, I deviated a bit from the genuine NES sprites by adding more colors to create the effect of shading and vibrant hues. Underneath the tiles are two 48 x 48 LEGO baseplates, with a layer of bricks and plates on top of them, to maintain a rigid surface for the mosaic design.
Right here’s the original reference image I created, so you can compare the before and after progress. As you can see, I clearly didn’t have enough 1x1 plates/tiles of blue and sky blue, hence I made the final sky background with lines, rather than dots; also, I had to make some substitutions with colors, as with the shades of tan and grey with the Koopa and Goombas.
-Baron von Brunk
"Mecha Man", the mechanized battle upgrade to Capcom’s Mega Man! Built with basic LEGO pieces, Technic parts and a few Bionicle components, I have constructed a fully-articulated action figure that stands at 15”, and has a removable Mega Buster arm attachment.
This was merely intended to be a small throw-away creation I thought of recently, but instead kept piling on pieces until it ballooned into a huge action figure. Initially I was inspired by the recent DC and Marvel articulated LEGO action figures (akin to Hero Factory) to make one in the style of Mega Man, however I then swayed into the direction of Bandai’s Mobile Suit Gundam models to make this custom toy much larger and menacing than the original chibi Mega Man sprite! What was the most difficult part? Creating the head/face. In fact, trying to come up with a suitable head for this project was about as difficult as playing the original Mega Man for NES.
-Baron von Brunk
LEGO City: Undercover Release Party at Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Center!
In early 2013, after the publicity of my giant LEGO NES controller, Nintendo of America commissioned me to create a custom display to promote their spring 2013 release of “LEGO City: Undercover”. I gradually worked on most of these creations throughout January-March 2013, and unveiled them at the flagship store on Saturday April 6th. I was also invited to stay the whole day and greet customers, as I proudly displayed several of my other popular Nintendo-themed LEGO models! What you see here are the various LEGO creations all made by me, which are currently on display at the Rockefeller Center — and shall remain in the glass case until the end of the month — whereupon some will get permanently displayed! (taken on April 6th, 2013)
I felt rather honored to keep my famous Game Boy Transformer in a glass case alongside the Operation Desert Storm battle damaged Game Boy — made me feel like a real American! Unfortunately, I could only fit a few of the Fireflower Airship's mini ships, and not the bow and stern. The Lake Hylia scientist was omitted due to his size (and lack of space), and the Super Mario coin block lamp wasn’t plugged in. Regardless, I hung out by my display all afternoon and met a ton of new fans — many of which were young LEGO builders to whom I gave encouragement! Don’t waste your time following instructions… Instead, create your own original stuff that rocks — such as transforming Nintendo accessories!
-Baron von Brunk
Baron von Brunk’s LEGO-Nintendo Exhibit at Rockefeller Center — LEGO City Undercover Release Party!
Nintendo of America has commissioned me to create a large Wii U diorama to kick off LEGO City Undercover. On Saturday April 6th at the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Plaza (NYC), I’ll be at the store from 12-4 PM to show off several of my best Nintendo-themed LEGO creations! I apologize for the muffled sound quality with this video, as there were technical issues.
Stop on by and bring me some cans of Monster, and maybe later I’ll buy you a pizza!
-Baron von Brunk
"Deku Scrub Link!"
The next component in my LEGO of Zelda series, here we have our hero Link clad in his majestic Deku scrub mask and thus transformed into an anthropomorphic plant stage! Fun fact: the original concept behind this statue was to have a hollow head with a spring mechanism in the mouth — which would launch LEGO pieces similar to Deku nuts! Unfortunately, due to time and engineering issues, I scrapped the idea and simply made him a stationary statue with a solid head.
I completed this whole project in about 14 hours, give or take. There were no parts shortages this time — rather, the hindrances were some obstacles such as the feet (which use a mix of traditional and SNOT “studs not on top” methods), as well as getting a sturdy way to keep the arms attached. Also, the basic statue was built in its entirety the night before the completed project was photographed — but alas, I felt as if the original head was too small and narrow, which made Deku Link look wonky and squished. Thus, I kept the body intact and spent the previous few hours completely rebuilding the head to be fatter and overall larger — to be more game accurate — as Deku Link’s head was like a round ball in the game.
This creation, as well as most of my previous Nintendo-related creations will be put in Nintendo World Store’s museum on Saturday April 6th for the release party of LEGO City Undercover! Come by to the Rockefeller Center if you’re in the New York area, and from 12-4 PM I’ll be at the store to show off my creations!
-Baron von Brunk
First teaser photo of my forthcoming custom commission for Nintendo World Store — “Wii The People!”
I haven’t been very open about this on Tumblr, as I wanted to make it a surprise — but nonetheless, here’s the initial teaser of a grand project I’ve dubbed “Wii The People”. Background: upon the success of my giant LEGO NES controller, Nintendo of America contacted me and offered to pay me to build for them a promotional display to kick off the release event of LEGO City Undercover at the Nintendo World Store in Rockefeller Plaza. For the past few months, I’ve been gradually working on this massive creation which uses several mosaic platforms and walls containing elements of Nintendo games throughout the years — from NES to Wii U. On top of the middle platform rests a 1:1 replica of a Nintendo Wii U system with controller, accompanied by several minifigures (not shown in this picture)!
Now that the final project is completed, in a few days I’ll be dropping this large display off at Nintendo World Store in Manhattan — and for anyone who wants to check it out, stop by on Saturday April 6th to see this display unveiled! I’ll be at the store signing autographs and handing out sharp objects for all of the little Brunkamaniacs.
-Baron von Brunk
For the public display event at Rockefeller Plaza next month, I’m rebuilding Domaster with a major upgrade. The people have spoken… MOAR BATTERIES!! (oh, and better, sturdier flexibility, too)
- Baron von Brunk