Build Report: Hogwarts Castle

hogwarts castle dragonSince I acknowledged that I’ll never have room for the largest LEGO set ever, I set my sights slightly smaller — on the second-largest LEGO set ever. I also thought this dream was unattainable, even though it was my number one wish-list item for the 2018 holiday/birthday season.

Even though my birthday is 6 days after Christmas, my husband is well aware that he is not allowed to combine gifts. But I made an exception this year, when he approved my purchase of my dream LEGO set!

Hogwarts Castle (71403) — 6,020 pieces

I built this set between Christmas and New Year’s Day of 2018/2019, and not a moment of it was ever boring. The architectural details and moments from the books were amazing, and I’m obsessed with the stained glass elements. This set came with not one, but FOUR instruction booklets (and a whopping 37 bags of pieces), so I’ll show the build off by sections. Continue reading

Build Report: BTL-A4 Y-Wing Starfighter

IMG_8739Just because I’m behind schedule with all of my writing projects doesn’t mean I will deprive myself of a reward when I do get something done! To celebrate submitting my fifth novel to my editor, I built this year’s special Star Wars set, the Y-Wing Starfighter. The Y-Wing is not one of my favorite ships from that particular universe, so I didn’t expect to enjoy this build as much as I did.

Between travels and other obligations, this build was spread out over the course of about two weeks. But it started with an epic night of watching Marvel movies, spanned the latest season of the Great British Baking Show, and then most of season 2 of Luke Cage.

Y-Wing Starfighter (75181) — 1,967 pieces

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Build Report: Hans Christian Andersen

HCAThe first step to admitting you have a problem is to buy more LEGOs. That’s how it works, right? Regardless, I’m officially buying LEGO sets faster than I can build them, but the LEGO sets I buy are expensive enough that they keep coming with awesome freebies to tide me over until my next major goal is met. The current major goal is finishing revisions to book 5 and sending the first draft to my editor. In the meantime, I just completed a major freelance editing job, and this is the result.

Hans Christian Andersen (40291) — 307 pieces

As a writer and reader, this was the perfect set for me!  Continue reading

Build Report: BB-8

There was no reason for me to buy this year’s special Star Wars Day LEGO set, but that didn’t stop me! While the awesome Y-Wing Starfighter set is waiting patiently in my “to be built” pile (dwarfed only by my “to be read” pile), I couldn’t resist putting together this cute freebie I got with it.

BB-8 (40288) — 48 pieces

Obviously, this was a short and sweet set that I was able to throw together in about 5 minutes. But it does answer the question of what BB-8 wears under his metal exterior!

BB-8 inside

The answer is apparently LEGOs.

Once finished, BB-8 survived a careful car ride to take his place of pride with his buddy R2-D2 in my office! They have teamed up with a Dalek to protect the TARDIS from the Weeping Angels.

BB-8 complete

An unexpected alliance

TARDIS and Weeping Angels miniatures hand-painted by Tower of the Archmage

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

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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