As usual it’s time to look back and take stock of what I’ve done in the past twelve months.
Alongside the traditional buildings of MOCs (scroll the images for a deeper look) this year I submitted two builds on the LEGO IDEAS: the A-Frame Cabin in spring, that reached 10,000 votes in 42 days (!), and a few weeks ago the Santa’s Cottage which is currently gathering supports (if you haven’t yet please support it).
Joining the LEGO IDEAS program was, and is, a very fun experience and now I’m waiting for the review result for my A-Frame Cabin. Fingers crossed…
I wanted to build more this year but unfortunately I had to face many personal issues that limited my free time.
Thanks to all of you who follow me and support my work, it means a lot to me! Thanks to all the great builders out there who are a big source of inspiration. Also a big thank you to all the blogs and magazines that featured my works in 2021. Let’s take a look at 2021 builds here below.
All the best, happy building and I wish you a happy new year!
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!
Let’s take a look at some unreleased WIP snapshots of my latest creation straight from the countryside. Follow Magda’s Garden Shed “step by step” building stages, scroll through the images and find out the secrets of my latest flowering diorama.
In the middle of the scene is the actual garden shed which has the classic American barn shape (does it remind you of anything?) and a warm color combination: reddish brown for the roof and eaves, combined with the tan of the walls and the dark tan of the doors. The entrance steps are medium nougat.
The large tree that sprouts up from the roof immediately catches the eye, and it’s the leading feature of the entire scene. The outdoor flooring is 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 many plants, flowers, and a couple of saplings (one on the left in the foreground and the yellow one in the background). On the right, you can spot the scarecrow made with different types of bars and with the head and hat of the collectible Scarecrow Minifigure, one of my favorites.
The Swirling Rocks element on the left, coming from the Sandman Minifigure, is used as a vase holder, I think it’s a NPU (Nice Part Usage). A flower holder made with a fishnet hangs from the side wall, and close to it is a plant set in a Scala and Belville series Flowerpot. I have already used that element in my Winter Garden.
There are also two wheelbarrows in the scene: a red one leaning against the wall near the pumpkins, and another in the foreground on the right. The latter is made with different LEGO pieces. Can you guess which ones they are?
On the top of the façade there is a porthole made like the ones in my previous Blue Cottage. On the left, you can see a compass that represents a sort of sundial. There is also a nice little roof over the door made with many slightly raised 2X1 tiles.
Below the step by step pictures, in order:
1) The flowering diorama and me;
2) A beautiful photo of the shed with a natural background;
3) Preparing the base made with many dark tan plates and plate wedges, the flooring is made with many light bluish gray slopes of different sizes, among which I have inserted white tiles to give the idea of porphyry;
4) The facade is ready, only a bunch of details are missing;
5) Coupling the base and the main building;
6) Adding the details on the left side;
7) Plants and utensils added on the right side and the eaves made with many slightly raised 2X1 tiles;
8) The two-piece roof is made with reddish brown plates and tiles;
9) With the roof on top the shed is almost complete;
10) The Garden Shed is complete and ready for the photo shoot!
The inspiration behind the Garden Shed came from a drawing by a Japanese dioramist, Mr. Yasuhiro Okugawa, who I really appreciate. Take a look below at the coloring process of the original black&white drawing.
A few hours ago my A-FrAme Cabin achieved the coveted 10,000 votes on LEGO IDEAS platform: it’s unbelievable!
I’ve worked hard these 42 days to promote the project and I am delighted to have achieved the goal.
I published several updates in that period and this helped the project to keep cool and appealing.
The most important updates were at 6,000 votes (interior update) and at 8,000 votes (Spiders attack), below you can find out the photos.
I thank everyone who helped me in this incredible adventure. I don’t know how it will end up but I am already very happy and satisfied with it.
Thank you all, you’re awesome! And now fingers crossed…
As usual it’s time to look back and take stock of what has been done in the past twelve months. 2020 has finally passed and what a strange year it’s been for everyone.
Despite many personal issues I have had to face, I have built many creations I am particularly satisfied with: new colors, new shapes, new techniques, new stories, I must admit I built some of my favorite MOCs ever.
I had a lot of fun testing new part usages and also find out new piece on Bricklink. I used a lot of weird parts in my last few MOCs. Very funny!
2020 also marks an incredible goal to me: I reached 10.000 followers both on Instagram and Facebook, really unbelievable.
Thanks to all of you who follow me and support my work, it means a lot to me! Thanks to all the great builders out there who are a big source of inspiration. Also a big thank you to all the blogs and magazines that featured my works in 2020. Let’s take a look at 2020 builds here below.
All the best and happy building!
Few hours ago I had the pleasure to find out my snowy Magic Bus has been chosen by The Brothers Brick as the December 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, few months ago when the yellow General Store was the Cover Photo for June 2020 and last month when the A-frame cabin, probably one of my most appreciated creations, was chosen once again as the TBB cover, this time for November. Three times in the same year, unbelievable but mind blowing!
Take a look at the four screenshot straight from The Brothers Brick website and read below the complete write-up by James Wiley (TBB Social Media Specialist).
“This month’s cover photo from Andrea Lattanzio takes us back to the wild. The Magic Bus we’ve been treated with before has now been treated with snow, which makes for a lovely winter scene. The bus remains familiar, but there have been some added details to give depth and texture to the snow. Additionally, trees that were once leaf-filled are now barren and covered with snow, the firs have been replaced with white branches, and the clever touch of icicles added to the bus windows complete the scene.
Be sure to visit Norton74’s flickr page for a bit of history on this bus that no longer resides in Alaska’s wilderness. It’s an interesting story that makes for a great scene.“
(“TBB Cover Photo for December 2020: Into the Wintery Wild” The Brothers Brick – December 12, 2020)