A jump into the Santa’s Cottage building process

A jump into the Santa’s Cottage building process

While Santa’s Cottage is gathering support on LEGO IDEAS – please don’t forget to vote it – it’s time to take a look at some unreleased work-in-progress snapshots of Mr. Claus residence straight from the Polar Circle.
Follow the “step by step” building stages, scroll through the images and find out the secrets of my snowy diorama.

Let’s take a deeper look together…

My Christmas creation this year is called Santa’s Cottage and joins the series of rural houses that I have built in the past couple of years and which have had so much response in the international AFOL community. If you look carefully you can recognize that it is a reinterpretation of my Blue Cottage built early this year.
The basic structure, sizes and general layout are the same as those of the Blue Cottage; colors, characters and settings are different.
The little house is red and white, and it couldn’t be otherwise, with a black roof and black and white windows. Note the circular shape of the door and windows, as in the houses of the Hobbits; to recreate them I used the new “Tile, Round Corner” of two different sizes. Rim covers from the Dodge Challenger in the Speed Champion series find new function inside the windows, making the thickness of the portholes circumferences appear smaller and giving the window look a more pleasant, general appeal. The door, on the other hand, has as a texture some simple inverted 2X1 light bluish gray plates, and the outcome is excellent.
The base, as in many of my previous dioramas, is made up of multiple layers of “wedge plate” on a brick base, all in total white, the snow effect is guaranteed!

Snow and ice are also on the roof, on the surfaces and objects in the MOC. Don’t miss the Trans-Clear Electric, Train Light Prism 1 x 3 used as a piece of ice dripping from the eaves, I think no one has ever used it before, it is a forgotten piece that has fallen into oblivion.
The roof is asymmetrical and very sloping on one side: on the left under it there are logs and wooden blocks recreated using the round tiles with the cookies and waffles pattern.
To reach the somewhat battered staircase made of tile 1 x 4 with Wood Grain, you pass a pavement consisting of some gray slopes between which I have inserted white tiles to simulate the porphyry effect. I used this technique in my Magda’s Garden Shed.
Featured in my previous A-frame Cabin, the dry-stone wall is comprised of many Thor’s hammers, a clever technique I borrowed from the very talented builder Letranger Absurde. On the right, the white/red off-road vehicle is parked and this time there is a spare wheel on the roof, you never know! The vehicle is based on my very popular Chevrolet Blazer that first appeared in Sheriff Hopper’s cabin, inspired by the TV series Stranger Things. It’s a truly ‘chameleonic’ vehicle that lends itself well to various customisations.

The diorama presents some “features” already appeared in previous works and other small hidden details, have fun finding them!

Santa’s Cottage (on LEGO IDEAS too!)

Santa’s Cottage (on LEGO IDEAS too!)

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…
As usual in this period it’s time for a Christmas themed creation and here it is Santa’s Cottage, a cozy shelter for Santa who is preparing his worldwide tour for delivering gifts.

Let’s give the iconic Santa’s Cottage a chance to turn into an official LEGO IDEAS SET!

SUPPORT IT NOW!

This cute wooden cabin is now on LEGO IDEAS and you can support it to give it a chance of becoming an actual LEGO IDEAS set!
Click the link below and support it:

https://bit.ly/Santas-Cottage-Norton74

About the set
Santa’s Cottage features a classic Xmas color scheme, an uncommon shape and an unconventional doors/windows style. The main feature is probably the asymmetrical roof with a very sloping shape to the left.
The woodshed is located under the excess roof. The red/white/black color combo is simple but effective, and the snowy trees in the background match well.
Last but not least the door and windows are round, a shape rarely spotted on a cottage, but quite common in Hobbit houses.
Santa, who is coming home from a relaxing walk, has also a nice off-road vehicle painted with a color scheme matching with the cottage. You can spot it on the right.

Playability at its best!
The set is full of details, funny building techniques and utensils. The base is made with many white plates and wedge plates that make the surface uneven and give the idea of fresh snow.
In front of the staircase to access the house there is a nice outdoor flooring made with many light bluish gray slopes of different sizes, among which I have inserted white tiles to give the idea of porphyry. The effect is very pleasant.
All around there are trees, plants, and a couple of shrubs, they are all covered by the snow.
The dry stone wall that supports the house is made from many Thor’s hammers, a technique I have used in the past. The terrace is chock full of objects and utensils which make the whole set very playable.
There are lots of other hidden details here and there, have fun finding them!

If you’ve always dreamed of a Santa’s Cottage like this now you can build it and have fun!With your support, hopefully we can turn the Santa’s Cottage into an actual LEGO IDEAS set.
Thank you all for your support, comments and shares!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

“If you follow The Brothers Brick on social media, you might have noticed we just updated our cover photo to Santa’s house, a cozy A-frame cabin built by Andrea Lattanzio. But don’t be fooled by his jolly demeanor, Santa’s a big celebrity. And he’s living a life with all the perks, which includes multiple houses. This asymmetrical cabin, also by Andrea, is a little more stylish than the A-frame. No doubt this house is for when Santa’s feeling a little posher. That four-wheel-drive vehicle might not be able to travel as far as magic reindeer, but I bet it’s more expensive. And the brickwork on the deck couldn’t have come cheap. After all, it’s actually made from dozens of Mjolners.”

(Santa’s home away from home.  The Brothers Brick – December 3, 2021)

Theo’s Trebuchet Fishing Hut: behind the scenes of the building process

Theo’s Trebuchet Fishing Hut: behind the scenes of the building process

Let’s take a look at some unreleased WIP snapshots of my latest creation straight from the sea.
Follow Theo’s Trabuchet “step by step” building stages, scroll through the images and find out the secrets of my fishing diorama.
Below the captions of the photos.

Step 1: the tan platform is ready. Are you wondering if it is fragile? Not as much as it seems, in fact if you touch it it sways but does not break. Playability is guaranteed!
Step 2: first time the medium azure is the main color of one of my MOCs and the outcome rocks!
The two Minifigs are adorable and they come from Hidden Side set No. 70419 / Wrecked Shrimp Boat.
Step 3: Coupling done!
Step 4: the crumbling bridge building technique comes from my early 2021 MOC.
I like the feeling of precariousness of the entire structure.
Step 5: this is Pablo, Theo’s friend. Lovely torso and headgear both from H/S ’20 set.
The lanternon the pole is a quite new element, I recently bought a couple of it, and I like them very much, you’ll see again for sure…
Step 6: everything is ready for the photo shoot, at times the hardest part of the entire work.
Step 7: Click📸!
The white background makes everything easier: you don’t see the paper sores, they are so difficult to fix via Photoshop.
Step 8: Theo’s Trebuchet and me right after the photo shoot for the classic photo in my studio. The main photo is ready to be published on my social pages. It’s thrilling thinking it will be seen thousands of times around the world…
Can you spot the set on the shelf?

Theo’s Trabuchet fishing hut

Theo’s Trabuchet fishing hut

The Trabucco (Trabuchet) is a typical and ancient fishing machine from the east coast of Italy.
It’s made of wood and consists of a platform into the sea connected to the coast by a tight bridge made of wooden boards.
From this platform, two (or more) long arms called antennae stretch out suspended some feet above the water, supporting a huge and narrow-meshed net (called trabocchetto).

My little Trabucco is the home of Theo, an old red-bearded fisherman who loves spending his days fishing and preparing the nets.
Every now and then some friends visit him by boat, since the medium-azure hut can be reached by an unstable ladder starting right from the sea. Today Pablo is docking at the pole near the Trabucco, he has come to visit his friend Theo.

Don’t miss all the little details that make this little diorama fun. Enjoy!

“Here at The Brothers Brick we love smart building techniques. Our hearts start beating a little bit faster when we see a LEGO part used in a clever way. But clever and smart do not always mean complex. Andrea Lattanzio shows us that sometimes simple is the way to go with their 1×1 round plate sea. While it’s not a new technique, using different colours to create waves is a real nice touch. Making the house in the same vibrant colour as the ocean is a nice way to draw attention away from the bright sea and towards the detailed little house. Plus the bright colour of the house highlights all the earth-toned details around the house. If the house was earth-toned too, those little details wouldn’t stand out as much as they do now. However, the simple studded sea is probably one of the only simple techniques used in this creation. Andrea also built a trabucco, which is an ancient fishing machine from the east coast of Italy. This build looks like it is defying gravity and I truly wonder how sturdy it is. It looks so fragile with those thin legs. I can’t help but wonder how many times the legs collapsed when Andra made alterations to the platform on top. Or maybe the legs were added as the final step to the build to prevent this from happening.”

(Studded seas and sea studs  The Brothers Brick – )

From sketch to model: behind the scenes of the Sweet Tooth building process

From sketch to model: behind the scenes of the Sweet Tooth building process

Even for my latest creations, the Sweet Tooth cabin from Netflix TV series, I took the work in progress photos, or rather the steps to assemble the parts of which the diorama is made up of.

While you can take a look at the photos below to check out the assembly steps, clicking here you can read the full and detailed article about the Gus’ shelter. Have fun!

1) the base of the entire MOC made of many dark tan wedge plates;
2) the two shacks ready to be placed on the left side of the diorama;
3) first coupling done;
4) with these 3 cabins the house is going to be complete;
5) the Gus shelter is complete and you can recognize the setting of the Netflix series;
6) Pubba, Gus and his alleged mother;
7) adding the last details;
8) with the trees the MOC is ready for the photo shoot;
9) click! Photos are ready to be published on my social media page.

Sweet Tooth Cabin

Sweet Tooth Cabin

I recently saw the Netflix TV series Sweet Tooth (an American fantasy drama streaming television series developed by Jim Mickle based on the comic book of the same name by Jeff Lemire) and, although I’m not a big fan of the TV series, the first episode gave me a brilliant idea to build a new cabin in the woods.
Here is the shelter of Gus, the half-deer “hybrid” child main character of the series, and of Pubba, his alleged father.
As you know in recent years I have built many shacks and this one joins the previous ones, enriching the series.

The diorama has a structure I have used in many other past creations: a base of dark tan wedge plates on which the central core of the creation stands and in the background some trees and shrubs that frame the scene. The build consists of 5 small shacks that can be joined together to create the shelter of Gus and Pubba. In addition to the usual “warm” colors such as reddish brown, dark tan and the classic dark bluish gray, I used a color that I had never used before: medium azure, as it appears in a part of the house in some scenes of the series.

In the central part you can easily recognize the octagonal window that marks Gus’s house in the woods. I built the window using the useful tile, modified facet 2 x 2 Corner with cut corner. The part on the far left has a circular shape that I built by creating an octagon. It is the first time that I have built a circular shape and I’m satisfied with the outcome. I recreated a kind of rise for the shack using 6X6 light bluish gray tiles, a piece that I have used extensively in the past for all my garages.

As always I have tried to include many details and if possible NPU. Among the strangest parts I like to remember the bearskin rug from Duplo series placed on the roof as a cover. I had already used this element in my Stilt Houses and I am sure that I will find other MOCs where it can be inserted in the future. On the ground to the left you can spot a dark tan leg of an unidentified creature that simulates a large boulder on the ground. On the right the arm of a maxi-fig, specifically Cull Obsidian, also represents a boulder (I have used this piece before).

To recreate Gus, a half-deer “hybrid” child and main character of the series, I used the hair of the Faun from the Collectible Minifigure Series 15. From behind you can see the ears and a hint of horns, just like when Gus was growing up. Pubba, on the other hand, looks like a “hiker” with a large backpack full of objects and tools useful for survival in the woods. On the right a deer shyly appears, Gus thinks it’s his mother, if you’ve seen the series you know what I’m talking about.
There are many other interesting details and parts, check them out and have fun spotting them here and there.

“The main character in Sweet Tooth, a new Netflix series based on a comic book, is a boy who is a human/animal hybrid born in the midst of a global pandemic. His caregiver Pubba makes a secluded home in the woods to raise the deer boy in safety, hiding from surviving humans who resent the existence of hybrids. Norton74, who is a master of building cabins in the woods, put his skills to great use in re-creating the dilapidated cabin that Pubba has spent considerable time and effort to repair and add on all the comforts a growing deer-boy needs, including a place to play “catch the ball”. Aside from the wonderful details in the cabin itself, the inclusion of a buck in the background is perfect.“

(LEGO model of the cabin from Sweet Tooth is the perfect place to wait out the apocalypse  The Brothers Brick – August 26, 2021)