Build Report: SHIELD Helicarrier

instructionsAnother writing accomplishment means another LEGO set to build! This time, I celebrated finishing the second draft of Steel Shadows, the fifth book in my Steel Empires series, by building the SHIELD Helicarrier after sending the draft off to my awesome beta readers.

If you’ve been following me online for a while, you know that I’m a total Marvel Cinematic Universe fangirl, so it was awesome to build the ridiculous ship made famous by 2012’s The Avengers.

The SHIELD Helicarrier (76042) — 2,996 pieces

This LEGO set is now retired, so many thanks to a friend of mine for helping me to acquire it before time ran out!  Continue reading

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Build Report: Star Wars Arrowhead

To celebrate completing revisions on my fourth novel, Steel Time, and sending it off to my publisher for layout, I took a break before jumping into my next major project (revisions to book 5, Steel Shadows) by building the awesome set I received from my littlest sister last Christmas.

The Arrowhead (75186) — 775 pieces

As usual, these ships get built from the inside out. Doesn’t seem like much at first, but you need a solid base to add on all the cool bits. I do love the build colors in this build, rather than it being a mess of light and dark grays.

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Build Report: First Order Stormtrooper

Since I built the Parisian Restaurant over the holidays, I couldn’t really justify putting together another massive LEGO set so soon, even though I wanted to do something to celebrate completing the first draft of my most recent novel. Luckily, my sister- and brother-in-law gave me this weird dude for my birthday. I was actually pretty excited about it, because there was no way I was going to buy one of these poseable figures, and this way I still got to experience putting one together.

First Order Stormtrooper (75114): 81 pieces

This was an incredibly quick build that I actually did in bed while my husband watched Dragon Ball Super and I held a cat on my lap. Most of the tiny LEGO bits are used to construct the two blasters, while the figure herself (because mine’s totally a bad-ass chick who was abducted as a young child and now emulates the escaped Stormtrooper known as Finn and is merely biding her time to make her own way out into the galaxy…but I digress) is made of movable joints that you attach the armor to.

Lego stormtrooper front

It’s a little odd that the rear of the figure lacks as much armor. The better for Sabine to take her out, I suppose (at least until JL-1231 rips off her helmet and asks for Sabine’s help to escape, which Sabine absolutely does despite Kanaan’s misgivings, and I know I’ve made my timelines wonky, but I don’t care).

Lego stormtrooper rear

Build Report: Mini London Bus

My littlest sister got mega points for giving me LEGO sets for Christmas, so I took time on my birthday a few days afterward to build this small set. My burgeoning LEGO cityscape needs adequate public transportation, after all.

Mini London Bus (40220) — 118 pieces

I love that clear bricks are used for the bus windows rather than the more traditional thin clear pieces I’m used to. It scales to my city “street” nicely, and I’ve already checked that the film advertised on the side is also advertised by movie poster in the Palace Cinema set currently in my build pile.

Mini London Bus

Build Report: Parisian Restaurant

Over the holidays this year, I added to my growing LEGO metropolis (currently reigning supreme atop a bookshelf in my guest room) by constructing the Parisian Restaurant Creator set. I started on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and spent a few hours each day (after my writing was done!) until it was complete on the evening of December 28.

This was a really fun set with lots of intricate detail and cool surprises. Definitely makes me want to get back to Paris. Or at least break out the cheese and champagne here in my kitchen.

Parisian Restaurant (10243) — 2,469 peices

This set was divided into four main steps. With the first set of bags, I constructed the base of the set.

PR base

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Build Report: 2017 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

Ghost FalconI honestly can’t remember the last time I had an advent calendar as a kid. I have vague memories of the ones with cheap chocolate in middle school, which is when my littlest sister was a toddler.

Now that I’m an adult, for various definitions of the word, it was time to start the tradition anew!

2017 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar (75184)

I’m not going to talk about each day’s present. There are plenty of more hardcore Lego blogs out there for that. Instead, here’s a quick summary with pics, in no particular order.  Continue reading

Build Report: Cargo Railway & Octan Twin Tank Rail Tanker

My husband and I have been married for five years, and living together for almost nine. And every time we think we’ve gotten all of our random belongings from our respective mothers’ houses, something else gets dredged up from a dark basement corner. This past summer, it was a ratty box of various LEGO pieces. Thus began my quest to resurrect a train set from 1996.

Cargo Railway (4559-1) & Octan Twin Tank Rail Tanker (4537-1)

I’ll spare you the picture of the original box. It was GROSS. The first step was letting the entire set soak overnight and then laying it out to dry, back in August.

This got me familiar enough with the pieces as a whole to use the wonders of the Internet to hunt down the instruction manuals for both sets, which I was able to download as PDF files.  Continue reading