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Brickworld 2012 - a brief tour
One pass through the exhibits before the crowds hit. I'm a builder rather than photographer, but I regretted not taking any photos in 2010, so here I've captured not all but some of the great MOCs on display in 2012. For more details on Dave Kaleta's MOC (above) see pic 1687 below.
About this creation

by Nathan Flood of Lincoln, Nebraska for daughter Katie
So O.K. Go to Brickworld and learn something about popular culture :-)
I feel like such an old fogie. I never heard of Justin Bieber before, but one little girl's father made her a *very* happy camper with this rendition of "One Less Lonely Girl." Evidently, Justin brings one lucky young attendee up on stage each time he performs and sings this hit directly to her. When asked by a Brickworld attendee which minifig represented her, our young Brickworlder pointed at the girl on stage getting flowers, etc. Can you guess who was getting sung to at *this* concert? Well done, Dad! I always say there's a bit of wish fulfillment in every great LEGO creation :-)

Now *this* represented Dad's own interests :-)

WisLUG is a new LUG and had only a modest half-table display at Brickworld 2012. I hope for more next year!

This "Lord of the Flies" island was Lisa Parker's contribution to the EuroBricks display that won Best Group Layout -- and deservedly so!

A closer view of Simon and the pig's head in the clearing -- one of the pivotal episodes, and the title scene -- in "The Lord of the Flies."


A closeup of one corner of the EuroBricks display. This is the winner of the Best Small Building award. A creative entry, especially the waterfall on the far side (not in photo), but my personal vote went to Dave Kaleta's "1007 Mountain Drive."
Note: Nannan Z. captured the waterfall in a video clip:

Dave Kaleta's "1007 Mountain Drive." This MOC was nominated for Best Small Building and received my personal vote due to its elegant and masterly design and construction. It was complete to the smallest detail, interior and exterior. The dramatic upswept roof came off in one piece to reveal a finely crafted and realistic interior with delightful and sophisticated furnishings. The pool used trans-light blue panels to superb effect, topped off with a delightful little visitor enjoying the water. The Andirondack deck furniture showed the kind of creative repurposing of LEGO pieces that is one of the hallmarks of my favorite builders.

A closeup of Dave Kaleta's superb creation, where the craftsmanship and details such as the chairs on the balcony above the pool can be further enjoyed.

River Run Watchtower by Benjamin Hauger of Roseville, Minnesota
In addition to EuroBrick's award-winning group display, this well-crafted castle or watchtower, rich with creative detail work, was almost a throw-away on a nearby side table. What a gifted group of builders!

WisLUG's own Lisa Parker is responsible for this set of thrones (Guilds of Historica), also a part of EuroBrick's side table display.

Nannan Zhang of Plano, Texas and Tyler Clites (Legohaulic) of Brandon, Florida join forces once again to create a group display to "Wow" everyone at Brickworld 2012. Nominated for Best Group Display, only EuroBrick's creative and elaborate island display could have beat out their "Mirage." Personally, I voted for this terrific twosome once again. Their seemingly boundless creativity and matchless skill wins my respect hands down. I also enjoyed their Brickworld 2012 presentation on their collaboration, what I was able to see of it. Unfortunately, technical difficulties delayed the start of it, and I had to leave a bit early in order to prepare for my own presentation, immediately following (though in a different room). It was enlightening to see how they manage to share the work and inspiration, and mesh their varied contributions and styles, working wholly at a distance, over the internet.

Another view of Nannan & Tyler's "Mirage," showing it still undergoing construction at Brickworld 2012. It seemed like *most* of it was built on site! I especially enjoyed the plant life and can imagine it feeding the population on the central "island" of the complexly inter-related structure.

This medieval village with fields and castle created by Aleks Oslapas of Dearborn Heights, Michigan was nominated for Best Individual Display. I first met Aleks and his father at Brickworld 2010 when they were my next-door neighbors at a display table. This year, they were just one exhibitor down but still at the same table grouping. I remember Aleks building madly that first year due to destruction during travel -- a common problem at Brickworld. His exhibit has grown both in size and complexity, and greatly in sophistication, in only two short years. Where it drew attention mainly from the younger crowd that first year he exhibited, it now received universal attention and admiration, and deservedly so. He quietly bemoans the limitations that being 14 and unemployed places on his LEGO budget and creations, but his work is a testimony to what great things can be done within those limits. He does have the benefit of a supportive father who set up a building space for him in the basement, and accompanies him to shows. And also, by the way, created a carrier for his exhibit that helped it get to Brickworld (and other shows) pretty much intact this year. I kidded him (his father) about using an erector set (for the carrier) when all about him were building strictly in LEGO. Of course, I also got kidded by passers-by when found standing in the hallway waiting for the doors to the ballroom to open holding a large board. "That's not LEGO!" they said. But it was the base for my display, so that the two halves of my house could more easily slide around. I learned in previous years that large MOCs don't shift around easily on the cloths covering the display tables.

And this is Aleks talking to another Brickworld participant about his castle.

Victorian IIIB by me. Originally intended to be a rebuild (by request) of Victorian III using medium blue rather than sand blue, the differences multiplied until I decided that it deserved to be considered an original creation, just inspired by the same photo as Victorian III. It was nominated for Best Large Building, but lost out to Hamish's Mansion, a fine construction. I did a presentation at Brickworld 2012 on The Building of Victorian IIIB or Why there will never be printed instructions. It is posted on my web site at
and is a response to the queries I often get about instructions for my Victorians as well as some general principles on building large-scale MOCs.

There are more photos, including detail shots of the interiors of VicIIIB at

This was a battle scene with castles on opposite ends of the table and the opposing forces meeting in between. It was an impressive array of soldiers, but personally, I'd much rather see creative building than large numbers of figs.

This is someone who *really* likes trucks :-) There was an incredible variety of well-executed trucks and similar vehicles in this display. I wasn't that nuts about the "Can you find a ...?" cards placed strategically around the table, but maybe the younger crowd enjoyed them.

Assault Carrier by Ben Caulkins of Chappaqua, NY aka Benny Brickster. Nominated for and winner of Best Space Ship. It got my vote! A truly impressive build. Also one of those requiring much on-site repair after traveling. It's tough enough building something like this once, but to do it again under immediate pressure of "exhibit opens tomorrow" is really rough!

I enjoyed the whimsicality of this bowling alley MOC by Jeffery Viens of Lombard, Illinois. Quite an assortment of players there!

A very impressive first MOC from Robin Viens of Lombard, Illinois. The prehistoric creature emerging from a time travel gateway was captured very creatively. The little scorpions beneath were not its feet, however. They were left hither and yon as calling cards by builder Arthur Gugick, and their mysterious appearance on various displays caused a bit of a stir at the time. Some people were inclined to take it poorly - perhaps thinking they represented a negative and anonymous judgement or even tiny sabotage of their carefully composed display - but I thought they were rather fun. Eventually I think that most builders were inclined to feel neglected if they didn't receive at least one of the little critters from this talented and highly respected builder :-)

A trebuchet built out of LEGO. I can't see a trebuchet now without thinking of John Locke on "Lost." If John had been able to build a trebuchet like *this* one, would he have been able to get that hatch open? Who knows ...

There was a variety of delightful sculptures on display by Dave Xandegar of briXwerX
Lindenhurst, Illinois

Also from briXwerX, the Black Knight from Monty Python was nominated for Best Art Work but was beaten out by one of Arthur Gugick's matchless mosaics - in particular, one that showed Anakin from one angle and Darth Vader from another. That was a brilliant idea and totally successful in execution. I'm not big on mosaics, though. I voted for this Knight. It was impressive as all get out :-)

This lawn chair was my personal favorite. Seemingly simple, it was *so* well done!
I would love to have taken it home with me :-)


A familiar scene from "Airplane" I believe. It was nominated for Best Vignette, but the competition in that category was stiff and it did not win. It sure captured the moment, though!

The Unnamed by Chris Edwards

Marmoreal: The White Queen's Castle, by Chris Phipson. Part of the VirtuaLUG's
"Alice in Wonderland" collaborative display.
I've always loved Chris's MOCpages posts about events like Brickworld for their warmth and humor. Now I can see that he is also a major builder in his own right.

I was totally impressed by the work of a young builder named Rocco Buttliere of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He filled at least two full tables with his highly detailed micro-scale replicas of famous buildings. I am sure he has a great future in architecture, in which he will begin his studies this coming fall.

Here's his World Trade Center.

And this is Rocco himself, caught unawares.

And *more* buildings by Rocco.

And yet *more* by Rocco.

This microscale city by Paul Wellington of Milwaukee, Wisconsin was nominated for Best Individual Layout, and was truly an impressive display.

This was a beautiful recreation of Smolny Cathedral located in St. Petersburg, Russia, done by Heath 'kik36' Flor of Prescott Valley, Arizona. He graciously informed me that my little shop on BrickLink had contributed parts to his masterpiece. It was nominated for Best Mega Creation, but that is always a tough category, being filled with the year's show stoppers, and it did not win. It tells you something about the calibre of the Brickworld 2012 displays that *this* gorgeous creation did not receive an award.

I was very impressed, and recorded some details of the construction for inspiration and reference.


And *here* is Hamish's Mansion by Lee Jones of Canada. The emphasis is due to the fact that *this* is the MOC that beat me out for Best Large Building. I was disappointed, but this is obviously a beautiful piece of work. I was impressed especially by the creative use of gears for the fence corner posts and took several photos of details as well as the whole.





1733 - 35
by James Thies of Schaumburg, Illinois

James used clear bricks to separate the floors of his major buildings,
in order to better display the interiors. Very clever!


Alvin & the Chipmunks (Simon & Theodore) by Maria Gaido

I have no info on this one, but it's obviously a gem.
There were many such on display.

The Red Chief was nominated as Best Land Vehicle and got my vote!
The circular platform it was mounted on rotated constantly.


1742 - 44
by Johan Warden of Naples, Florida and inspired by the mansion from the Resident Evil video game
This was an awesome creation, but being a LEGO purist, I was a little put off by the non-LEGO elements like the carpet runner down the central staircase and some of the pictures on the walls, etc. If you don't mind a few "illegal" insertions like those, you'll love this MOC :-)



Kenosha North Pier Lighthouse by Jameson Gagnepain of Kenosha, Wisconsin

In back, Sean's Motorcycle Shop by Sean Wolfe

Mont St. Michel by Arthur Gugick. This is one of my personal favorites. It is elegant simplification raised to an art form. I love it!

Notre Dame
For more details as well as more of Arthur Gugick's creations, see:

Big Ben in microscale by Arthur Gugick

by Timothy Allwein and nominated for Best Creature.


1752 - 53
Castello di Rocca Scaligera
by Robert G Carney Jr, MD (Carney's Castles) of Decatur, Illinois
For more castles, visit his web site at:


I somehow missed getting a shot of the winner of the Best Mega Creation award, which
was the Neotron Mining Company. This was a huge, complex train layout including a tower with tracks winding (circling) up it. The builder said he did a preliminary build of the tower alone, to make sure the purposely short trains in the display could actually make the grade, before constructing the rest of the MOC. For a few pics of the layout, see Nannan Z.'s photostream on Flickr:

I also missed other great MOCs exhibited at Brickworld 2012. This is *not* an exhaustive tour. But, I hope you enjoyed it, and that it whets your appetite for more!

NOTE: Hi-res versions of the photos in this post are available on Flickr at

Please feel free to post or email me at softarae at gmail dot com if you can supply names of creations or builders that I haven't put in the captions. I did good just to take the photos and missed getting names on some of them, but would be happy to be able to add them. Thank you! ~Rae


 I made it 
  August 23, 2012
Quoting Rocco Buttliere Lol, I guess you did catch me unawares! Very nice review of all that was there! And by the way, none of my brothers help me at all. What you see is 100% me. :P
Thank you! And oops! Sorry about the misattribution on the Towers. I obviously misheard/misunderstood something I was told in conversation there at the display. I'll fix the caption!
 I like it 
  August 23, 2012
Lol, I guess you did catch me unawares! Very nice review of all that was there! And by the way, none of my brothers help me at all. What you see is 100% me. :P
 I like it 
  July 2, 2012
Excellent tour Rae. It was an absolute pleasure to finally meet you! I really enjoyed your Victorian home. It's a shame you had to go up against Lee.....honestly it was a very tough weekend. I look forward to seeing what you bring next year! And for anyone looking for high quality "used" brick, I highly recommend your store as the quality is higher than some people's "new" bricks! Thanks again for the quick service! For the record the brick you sold me went all into the now you know. :P
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Oh my gosh! I desperately want to go next year. My wife is getting annoyed with me after looking at this because I kept pointing out pictures from your tour and exclaiming over them while she was trying to read a book. Great tour, wish I could have been there.
  July 1, 2012
Well, I guess Brickworld CAN be bigger than I would imagine it. Awesome stuff, all of it. Great work, everybody!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Awesome tour! 5/5
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Great! I really need to hop across the pond and visit one year!
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Thanks for the tour! It's always great to see the event through other people's eyes. See ya next year! ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Thanx so much for the views of the phenomenal stuff! :)
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
If there is such a thing as POSITIVELY JEALOUS count me in, how I wish we'd get events like this in the New York City area! BUT thanks to you I WAS THERE! thanks a job well done!
 I made it 
  July 1, 2012
Dave! When we talked, I totally did not remember the name of the 2010 Best Mega Creation winner, just the creation itself ... The Batcave/Wayne Manor. You got my vote that year too! So ... you are no stranger to Large Buildings! The manor alone was a winner, even without the incredible Batcave beneath. Myself, I'm thinking of trying something different next year ... along the lines of a Greek Isles layout. We'll see :-)
 I like it 
  July 1, 2012
Rae, Ha! Thanks for the vote. It was great chatting with you, and your cutaway style is going to be a HUGH influence on my next project... be ready for some competition in large building! ~Dave
By SoftaRae .
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