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 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 – )

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)

Magda’s Garden Shed (or the Shed with the Tree)

Magda’s Garden Shed (or the Shed with the Tree)

Every time I visit a garden shop I am fascinated by the mixture of colors and shapes of the plants that you can find there. I really like that atmosphere especially in the ancient shacks.

I tried to recreate that kind of location by building a barn-shaped shed surrounded by flowers and plants. The inspiration came from a drawing by a Japanese dioramist that I really appreciate.
The large tree that sprout up from the roof catches the eye and it’s the leading element of the entire scene.
The garden shed is the kingdom of Mrs. Magda (can you spot her?), a friendly Spanish lady who has retired to countryside with her plants and flowers.

The diorama is full of details and strange pieces, have fun finding them. In the next few days I’ll share more “behind the scenes” pictures, so if you want to know more, stay tuned!

“When driving through the countryside, it’s a common sight to see a dilapidated barn in the distance, where nature has taken over. But it is much less common to see nature intruding on a well cared for building. Take this lovely shed by Andrea Lattanzio, for example. While it is clear that the roof has seen better days, the landscape and the exterior of this garden shed clearly receive a lot of love and attention from Magda, the owner. Almost every landscape detail is noteworthy, but my favorite unique part is the Minifig base for Sandman from the Marvel Spider-man franchise, used as a base for the pot to the left of the shed doors.“

(Say Magda, there’s a tree in your shed  The Brothers Brick – July 1, 2021)

The Blue Cottage

The Blue Cottage

My latest creation is a rural house that joins my series of weird houses I have built in the last two years.
My goal was to build a cozy country house featuring three new elements: an uncommon color scheme, a shape I hadn’t used before and an unconventional doors/windows shape.
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 uncommon blue/black color combo is simple but effective, and the yellow trees  in the background match well. Last but not least the door and windows are round, a shape never seen on a cottage but quite common in Hobbit Houses.
The host, who is coming home from a hunting trip, has a nice off-road vehicle painted with a color scheme matching with the cottage.
It was very funny building the “long sloping  roof” structure and trying to add a few weird details. I also played with the light to let the scene as deep as possible. Hope you like it!

“In many parts of the world, if you’ve been following COVID safety protocols correctly, you may be itching to get out of the house right about now. Thankfully there is such a thing as contact-free check-in and this cottage may have the cure for what ails us. Is it called cabin fever when you want to leave the house to stay in a cabin? Whatever it’s called, Andrea Lattanzio’s stunning blue LEGO cottage is a sight for sore eyes. The round door and windows, the woodpile under the eave, and the weathered ramshackle texture make this a cottage I’d love to stay at for a weekend or even a month. The fall leaves, the skylights, the birdhouse, and even the mushrooms out front make for a picturesque vacation setting. I can even forgive the skunk for paying a visit. They don’t spray when you treat them with respect and I’m willing to respect the skunk and all the other woodland creatures for a stay in this cottage. Andrea was The Brothers Brick Builder of the Year in 2019 for good reason. Check out our archives to see what else Andrea Lattanzio has been up to.“

(A blue cottage to stave off those COVID blues  The Brothers Brick – February 25, 2021)

Don’t mess with the Black Bear!

Don’t mess with the Black Bear!

One of the characters from my Stilt Houses (which I presented last November) seems to have gone to a dangerous area with a very hungry black bear ready to defend his territory…
Better to escape and take shelter on the Stilt Houses. But beware of that crumbling bridge!
I was looking for a setting for the off-road vehicle that was featured in my Stilt Houses last November and I came up with the idea of creating an ironic scene with some construction techniques that I had never used, such as the rocks made of many bluish gray slopes and inverted slopes.
The crumbling bridge recall the one I built for the Stilt Houses, but is longer and wider.
I really like the entire scene and hope you like it!