Crystal Mill extra pics

Crystal Mill extra pics

Let’s take a look at some extra-pics of my latest super fresh build: the Crystal Mill.
The double shack is built using my classic lifted-up tiles style, and it rocks!
While it’s my very first waterfall, rocks and trees come from my previous builds such as the A-Frame Cabin and the Blue Cottage.
I used more or less 2,500 plate round 1X1 trans-light blue to create the water effect.
There are many other hidden details and very interesting tecniques here and there, hope you have a good time spotting them all.


Crystal Mill (Colorado)

Crystal Mill (Colorado)

The Crystal Mill, or the Old Mill is an 1892 wooden powerhouse located on an outcrop above the Crystal River in Crystal, Colorado, United States.
Although called a Watermill, it is more correctly denoted as a compressor station, which used a water turbine to drive an air compressor, and was originally built with a horizontal wheel. The compressed air was then used to power other machinery or tools.
The building is built on a mining claim named “Lost Horse”, it fell into disuse in 1917 when the Sheep Mountain Tunnel mine closed.

I spotted the Crystal Mill while browsing in search of new rural houses to build and it caught my eye.
For the first time, I built two blocks of rocks and a waterfall made from hundreds of 1×2 trans-clear plates. Many other builders have tried their hand at this type of build so thanks for inspiring me.

The story goes that an old gold digger* accidentally discovered the now disused Crystal Mill, and immediately decided to live there isolated from the rest of the world. One day an explorer* on a small boat while sailing on the Crystall River came across the old shack…What will happen when the explorer and the gold digger meet?

*Mainly based on the CMF Prospector (Series 12), without a doubt one of my favorite Minifigs.
**Probably the explorer was part of Johnny Thunder‘s Adventures team 😉

“When it comes to beautifully constructed LEGO cabins, Andrea Lattanzio is in a class of his own. Whether you’re looking for perilously perched adventure or a little holiday magic, odds are good Andrea has you covered. Andrea’s latest build is the Crystal Mill, a real-life Colorado landmark as it might have looked back in the 19th century. The realistic trees and gorgeous waterfall catch your attention right away, but don’t overlook the smaller details of the cabin, like the minifigure wand elements on the front-door and the creatively crafted ladder.”

(Go back in time to Colorado’s Crystal Mill  The Brothers Brick – June 16, 2022)

NIBARIKI: behind the scenes

NIBARIKI: behind the scenes

Let’s take an in-depth look at the “behind the scenes” of my latest work, the tribute to master Miyazaki straight from Tokyo.
As usual, we start from a simple drawing to get to the photo-shoot, and in between the different building stages. Scroll through the images and find out the secrets of my very gray diorama. Have fun!

  • As usual we start with a drawing, and yes, it will be a very gray MOC…
  • The simple but effective facade is ready. I used dozens of dark bluish grey 2X1 tiles to get the same texture as the real building. The whole structure is quite strong.
  • Let’s add the reddish brown porch and the large canopy in the same color as the building. The base of the porch is done with Brick, Modified 1 x 2 with Masonry Profile, but inverted.
  • It’s time to add the black roof, quite similar to my Blue Cottage, and a handful of details.
  • Tall trees and plants with autumn colors frame Nibariki, only the main characters of the diorama are missing now…
  • Here they are… Mr. Miyazaki and his beloved Citroen 2CV called Nibariki in Japanese. The diorama is ready for the photo shoot!
  • Click! The gray background makes everything more difficult, sometimes ugly creases appear and we have to fix with photoshop.
  • The diorama is complete! Miyazaki Minifig is composed by different official LEGO pieces, the head comes from Ernie Prang of HP The Knight Bus set, and it looks perfect!
Hayao Miyazaki and his Nibariki (Citroën 2CV)

Hayao Miyazaki and his Nibariki (Citroën 2CV)

My latest creation is a tribute to Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s greatest animation director and co-founder of Studio Ghibli, best-loved of all the Japanese animation studios.
I had already written in the past how his films and his stories often inspired my creations, especially in terms of atmosphere and environments.
Back in 1998, Hayao Miyazaki designed and built a house for his production company, called Nibariki. This house is located nearby Studio Ghibli’s main building. Nibariki means 2 horsepower in Japanese and the name is a clear tribute to the beloved Citroën 2CV that the Japanese artist has been driving for more than forty years.
Above you can see both Mr. Miyazaki’s new office and his Citroën 2CV. And of course our beloved masterful storyteller too.

Miyazaki bought his first 2CV as a university student in the early 1960s. It was a right-hand-drive model, imported from the U.K. and painted bright yellow.
A 2CV first appeared in Miyazaki’s first feature-length film, 1979’s The Castle of Cagliostro. An action-adventure tale involving a mischievous gentlemen thief, the well known Lupin III, and featuring multiple car chases, including the heroine, Clarisse, escaping in her 2CV.

Miyazaki’s current Citroën is a 1987 2CV 6 painted in light gray and is exactly like the one you see in my latest creation.

Hayao Miyazaki is arriving at work.

Floating Dystopia “behind the scenes”

Floating Dystopia “behind the scenes”

Let’s take a deeper look at my latest post-apocalyptic build, Floating Dystopia, a ramshackle pile of outhouses and palettes covered with clever techniques and textural details.
Enjoy the olive-green, dark nougat and medium azure modules.
Towering antennae and string lights add height as well as detail to the model while reactor-powered turbines under the barge move the colony, frothing the sea of loose studs below.
Find out yourself the other secrets of my latest build and enjoy this kaleidoscopic creation.

Floating Dystopia

Floating Dystopia

Floating Dystopia is a floating barge doomed to wander the oceans of Hyperuranium in search of the promised land.

It all started on February 22, 2222 when a tremendous nuclear war wiped out human civilization in less than a week.
The earth thrown off its axis, its crust rocked by massive movements, and the five continents were torn completely apart and sunk deep below the sea.

Only a small portion of sub-Saharan Africa was saved and the few remaining human beings were forced to leave their lands, devastated and burned, to seek a safe haven where they can live in peace and prosperity.
But this land is far away and in the meantime they are forced to live a dystopian life made of deprivation and scarcity.

Floating Dystopia consists of 4 modules and a floating base. Under the base you can find the reactors that make it move.The characters are: KebraNagast and Hailé. Will they find their promised land?

Floating Dystopia is freely inspired by the wonderful works of Simon Laveuve, French artist who builds post apocalyptic dioramas.

“In the distant dystopian future of LEGO builder Andrea Lattanzio’s imagination, a colony of survivors braves the seas and storms searching for land. Based on “Le Navigator” by Simon Laveuve (a miniature artist known for grungy, industrial dioramas), this ramshackle pile of outhouses and palettes is covered with clever techniques and textural details. Towering antennae and string lights add height as well as detail to the model while reactor-powered turbines under the barge move the colony, frothing the sea of loose studs below. The olive-green, dark nougat and medium azure plates detailing the structures add a “cobbled together” effect by intentionally misaligning them. The key to any post-apocalyptic build is knowing when and how to mismatch. Something like the railing of a floating platform would probably be pieced together from scrap. All of the mismatching parts give this effect while accessories hang along its perimeter for added detail. The shoulder pad adorned minifigure clearly understood the assignment but it’s the telephone booth for me. I mean, I barely see those around anymore so these guys must have dredged deep in those rising oceans. Perched atop the smallest structure, poised like a king and overseer of this tiny piece of dry, a majestic, orange cat scorns the minifigure that took his big red chair. The clever little crane lifting up a fresh batch of scrap is an awesome detail and an essential tool for any seafaring houseboat. Of course, a mobile generator is a must-have in any survival scenario as well and this one adds just the right amount of contrasting color to the palette. The bright yellow, and the green of the plants growing up in the back, contrast the muted tones of the denizens’ domiciles and grab your eyes. Three floors above the sea, this survivor surveys the skyline, watching for enemies or opportunities while nestled amongst the satellites and the seagulls. The red barrel is pretty fun but that lamp using Sauron’s crown inside a round plate is subtly awesome. Fresh off the confirmation of the A-Frame Ideas set, this builder doesn’t seem to be taking a break. The capable Andrea Lattanzio‘s tribute to the amazing Simon Laveuve translates his work well into brick form and it’s not the first, or the last time, someone has done something like this. Still, it’s always refreshing seeing artists pay homage to each other. You never know who you will inspire or what they might create so join these guys and go make something great!

(In search of land, promised or not  The Brothers Brick – March 9, 2022)