The Blue Cottage: behind the scenes of the building process

The Blue Cottage: behind the scenes of the building process

Let’s take a look at some unreleased work in progress snapshots of my latest creation straight from the woods: the very popular Blue Cottage.
Follow The Blue Cottage “step by step” building stages, scroll through the images and find out the secrets of one of my beloved creations.

Also take a look at the nice article published on BrickNerd in which I tell the whole story behind the Blue Cottage. Click the link and enjoy!

Below the caption of every single photo:

  1. As sketch as starting point, as usual!
  2. Preparing the base made with many dark tan plates and plate wedges;
  3. The dry stone wall made with hammers is ready to be placed in its place;
  4. The base of the house made with many light bluish gray tiles;
  5. Coupling the base and the terrace;
  6. An overview of the work station;
  7. The facade is ready;
  8. The facade is positioned in its place above the base;
  9. The two-piece roof is made with black plates and tiles;
  10. The diorama is almost complete;
  11. Final details to complete the MOC;
  12. The diorama is ready for the photo shoot;
  13. Click! Let’s go with the photos!
  14. Beautiful drawing of the Blue Cottage from my daughter Claudia!
The crumbling bridge: behind the scenes of the building process

The crumbling bridge: behind the scenes of the building process

Last November I built a MOC in which two weird guys lived 30 feet in the air in minimal but cozy stilts. It was called Stilt Houses precisely. In the diorama there was also an off-road vehicle for which I wanted to build a small dedicated setting. Recently I came up with the idea of creating an ironic scene with some building techniques that I had never used, such as the rocks made of many dark bluish gray slopes and inverted slopes.
The diorama is quite small but cute, and it manages to get a smile, in this period there is a need…
It is mainly composed of three parts: two rocky blocks covered with shrubs and a crumbling bridge that joins them. In the middle the all-terrain vehicle is crossing the bridge escaping from the hungry bear to take shelter on the stilts.

The starting point of the MOC is the first rocky block, the largest on the left. The block is made with a quite common building technique that I had never used. A couple of years ago I managed to get a lot of dark bluish gray “slopes” and “inverted slopes” thanks to the bulk program. And I finally used them for the rocks of this diorama.
To complete the block I added shrubs and bushes. A bright light orange pine stands out in a mostly brown and gray setting. The leaves are attached to “plates with clip on end” and fixed to “plate with bar frame octagonal”. It is not the first time I have used this technique and the outcome is always amazing. I got the yellow leaves from the pick a brick wall at the local LEGO store in my town. Below there is a small tree made with many “flower stems” and the trunk is a dinosaur tail in dark brown. I also added a “tree hollow stump”, a quite expensive and rare piece from 90s Western theme. I love that piece.
The second block on the right is similar to the first, a little smaller and with a green sapling on the side. I used a bunch of reddish brown “hoses” for the trunk of the tree and some “bars with clips” to hold the leaves. At the base a barrel contains the hoses and all around some whips to create the twisted branches effect. Don’t miss the mushrooms made with knit caps of different colors!
The most characteristic part of the whole diorama is probably the crumbling bridge that joins the two rocky banks. The bridge recall the one I built for the Stilt Houses, but it’s longer and wider. It’s made of two long black parallel “strings with rope climbing grips” to which plates with clips are attached, and above them different tiles and plates of various colors. And it rocks!
Last but not least in the middle of the bridge there is the off-road vehicle, ready to deal with mud and rough terrain and complete with all the necessary tools to fix it yourself in case. It is based on my previous Chevrolet Blazer spotted in the Sheriff Hopper’s Cabin diorama built in 2019 but with a new 80s two-tone paint job and loads of gear strapped all over. It’s full of details and some interesting part usage such the weird “Scala towel bar” used for the running board of the Blazer. And take look also at the front winch and the side mirrors

Below a few photos of the building stages. From left to right:

  1. The first rocky block is the MOC starting point;
  2. Beautiful bright yellow pine and few others shrubs are added;
  3. Assembling the bridge;
  4. The crumbling bridge is ready to join;
  5. Second rocky block is ready;
  6. A bunch of details to complete the light bluish rocky block;
  7. The bridge joins the two blocks and it rocks!;
  8. The All Terrain vehcile, the bear and the main character are ready to complete the scene;
  9. Will the crumbling bridge bear the A-T vehcile? YES!
  10. Photo shooting and the work is now complete!
The A-Frame Cabin is The Brothers Brick cover photo for November 2020!

The A-Frame Cabin is The Brothers Brick cover photo for November 2020!

The A-Frame Cabin has been chosen by The Brothers Brick as the November photo cover for all Brothers Brick social media. A huge pleasure and honor for me, thanks once again TBB team!
The same happens 5 years ago when my Scooter Garage was chosen as the TBB cover photo for August 2015 and few months ago when the yellow General Store was the Cover Photo for June 2020. Two times in the same year, unbelievable but mind blowing!

“One of my favorite annual activities is heading to the mountain where my fam stays at an A-Frame in the snow, so this A-Frame build from, Norton74, immediately brings thoughts of winter and fun. Where it gets good, and one of my favorite things about Norton74’s builds, is looking at all the details scattered throughout. These details tell the story of this cabin and really bring the build to life, further reminding me of our A-Frame vacay. Take a look at that log pile and saw, cookie rounds for log ends is a smooth move. Seriously, look at those logs. Other notable features that bring me to the mountain include the jagged roof, the abundance of wildlife, and the little doodads scattered here and there. 
Now I need to see the inside of this cabin….is it February yet?

(TBB Cover Photo for November 2020: A Cozy Cabin Awaits  The Brothers Brick – November 7, 2020)

General Store: behind the scenes

General Store: behind the scenes

Let’s take a look at some unreleased WIP snapshots of my latest creation, the General Store right from somewhere in the heart of America.
At first I had chosen dark tan/tan as a color combo, then I ventured for an unexpected and unusual yellow/reddish brown combo. And the outcome rocks! The ground comes from my previous Into the Wild diorama but is wider and longer.
The first prototype showed more details and objects but there was also too much confusion; I took something away to make it more enjoyable.
As usual I drew a sketch of the idea I had in mind and then brick by brick I created the General Store.
And a big thank you to my daughter Claudia for the nice drawing of my creation.

Brick Journal No. 61 features Norton74 Food Stands

Brick Journal No. 61 features Norton74 Food Stands

Super article about Norton74’s famous FOOD STANDS on April issue of Brick Journal. If you like my street restaurants you can’t miss issue No. 61. 9 pages of hi-quality pictures and the complete story about my street food-themed builds: from the first Hot Dog Stand to the Coffee Stand and the last Hamburger Stand. In the middle also the Agip Gas Station. The article focuses the attention to the possibility to build different scenes using the same base, and that’s what I did in the past two years.
It’s not the first time Brick Journal features my works: back in 2015 the first 8 pages piece about the well known Scooter Shop and then in 2016 with an article focusing on my Hot Rods and vehicles in general.
Brick Journal is one of the most popular LEGO-themed magazine throughout the AFOL community. Run by Mr. Joe Meno is available here. Don’t miss it!

The builds featured on the magazine:
Hot Dog Stand (February 2018)
AGIP Gas Station (June 2018)
Andy’s Coffee Stand (February 2019)
Andy’s Hamburger Stand (June 2019)

Brick Journal previous Norton74’s features:
Scooter Shop (BJ US #35 July 2015)
Scooter Shop (BJ ITA #2 November 2015)
Hot Rods (BJ US #38 February 2016)
Hot Rods (BJ ITA #6 October 2016)

Thanks again Joe Meno for this great chance, always an honour being featured in BrickJournal.

Coffee Stand: INSTRUCTIONS AVAILABLE!

Coffee Stand: INSTRUCTIONS AVAILABLE!

I’m happy to announce the Coffee Stand (48x48studs) and Truck instructions are now available on Brick Vault website!

You can buy the instructions right now using this handy link.

Main features:
✅ Step by step Hi-Quality instructions made by Simone Bissi, one of the most capable instructions maker all around;
✅ Instructions for Coffee Stand and Pick-up truck;
✅ Part count (48x48studs): 1482 pieces; 
✅ Part count (32×32 studs): 988 pieces; 
✅ A modular version of the stand that fits in a 32×32 baseplate is also included;
✅ PDF for sticker printing included.

The Coffee Stand is the second classic food stand designed by Norton74 and it follows the well known Hot Dog Stand (February 2018) and precedes the Hamburger Stand built few months after in June 2019.

Below some pages extracted from the instructions as an example.

If you are wondering if the Coffee Stand fits between your Modular Buildings, the answer is YES it fits! Look at the photo below to realize it.

So if you like coffee don’t miss the chance to build the iconic mid-20th century Americana culture Coffee Stand designed by Norton74. You won’t be disappointed!

This is the video presentation by the guys from Brick Vault…so cool!