Kids playground

The contest for which I made the modular hospital also had a category for making a parks and recreation area that would fit into the modular standard. I chose to make a kids playground, heavily inspired by how I remember playgrounds from my own childhood.

The stripes on the pavement is an attempt at making a hopscotch court, which was not easy to emulate in this way. The icecream seller has found a good spot for selling his icecream though πŸ˜‰

The yellow rocking animal thingy is attached to a flexible tube that actually makes it able to move in the way the real thing does (I do not know what those things are called, but I remember them fondly from when I was a little kid).

One of my favourite things of this playground is the swing. I was testing out a different use for that tyre, but seeing how it looked with the chain through it made me realize I had to use at as a swing attached to a tree in this way :) Also notice the kid burying his legs in the sandbox πŸ˜‰

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Norwegian ambulance

I mentioned it when talking about my modular hospital, because that’s what I made it for, but I think it deserves it’s own post :) For the first time, I have created a car in LEGO I am pleased with. I have made a few feeble attempts previously, but nothing I have really wanted to show off. This time, since I was making the modular hospital for a contest, I wanted the ambulance to look good. I got some expert tips from a friend who loves to build cars, and got going.

I wanted it to look like a Mercedes Rescueline as used in Norway when I grew up in the 80s/90s, and I think I achieved the look fairly well at this scale. One of the things I would never have thought of without the help of my car loving friend is the use of those wheels. They’re actually a smaller type wheels from the tiny cars Lego make that are way smaller than minifig scale, with a motorcycle tyre on top of the original tyre. It fits perfectly, and looks great :)

The back door opens to reveal space for a stretcher, an intravenous line, a seat for a paramedic, and a defibrillitor.

See how it just fits in the gate to it’s garage in the hospital πŸ˜€

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Modular hospital: interior details

Last time I talked about my modular hospital, but the only thing I showed from the inside was the elevator door design. I wanted my hospital to have a full interior, filling all sorts of functions a hospital should. Obviously, my hospital is too small to have everything imagineable, but I think I managed to squeeze in enough to make it seem like a fully functional hospital.

The ground floor has the reception, a waiting area and a doctor’s office. Quite tight spaces, the receptionist is the only one who has a fairly good amount of space. The doctor’s office has a chair for the patient and a patient bed, but I would say it’s a bit hard to move around in there πŸ˜‰ The waiting area has room for three people, and has a couple of plants to keep them company.

The first floor has a maternity ward. It has room for three birthing mothers, four babies, and seats for the anxious dads to wait outside. One of the last minute add-ons to this floor, that ended up being one of my favourite interior details, is the water cooler.

The second floor has the cafeteria. It’s used by both visitors and employees. It serves a healthy menu, but also sells some treats like croissants πŸ˜‰ This floor also has an MRI machine. That one was not easy to make both functional (able to fit a minifig that could slide in and out), look like an actual MRI machine, and fit into the tight space of the hospital. The operator of the machine is shielded behind a glass wall. The last thing on this floor (except the balcony) is a room with bedding for two patients, which was excruciatingly hard to photograph because of the obtrusion the window design is making on the inside.

Last thing my hospital had to have was an operating room, which has an operating table, a big lamp to provide enough lights, a monitor and a sink for the surgeons to scrub in. This shot also shows the helicopter landing pad, which can be used to transport patients who can’t be treated at this small hospital to a larger one.

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Modular hospital: my first modular building!

I have been quite busy building lately. And I will probably be quite busy building for the coming monts as well, as I’m building lots of stuff for an event in November… But more about that later πŸ˜‰

I have just finished my hospital! I used UllevΓ₯l Universitetssykehus in Oslo as inspiration for the facade, although the original is much larger than my building…

The hardest part of getting the facade right was those window arches. Took me quite some time to figure out how to get those right. I’m quite pleased with the result.

On the back I chose to emulate an expansion that had been made to the building in a more modern architecture, to break it up a little, but also to add more room inside. I think it worked quite well to serve both purposes :)

Another thingΒ  I spent a lot of time working on for this hospital was the elevator design. A hospital has to have an elevator, and I wanted mine to actually have doors that worked and looked like real elevator doors. Not exactly easy in a tight space with LEGO. This is what the result looks like.

Click the picture for a view of the doors in the open position :) The doors are not really attached to anything, but they are locked in place on top and rests against the wall, so they don’t fall out… until the elevator is moved to another floor, then they tend to fall out easily into the elevator shaft πŸ˜›

There are lots more pictures to check out on flickr, andΒ  I will also show some more of them here and talk about the interior and the ambulance I made for this in a later post. Stay tuned πŸ˜‰

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My LEGO room, a work in progress

I recently moved into my new house, and one of the big benefits of moving from a 2-room apartment to a house is the increase in the number of rooms, meaning there are now enough rooms for me to have my own LEGO room πŸ˜€

Here’s how it looked, empty. The way it will never look again πŸ˜‰

Ready to be filled with LEGO!

And here’s the little closet right outside the room I’ll also be filling with LEGO, after the first batch of LEGO had been brought in.

A small fraction of my collection, stuffed in the closet.

After starting work on putting up shelves, and getting a desk (and putting some LEGO inside…), this is how it looked.

Still more shelves to put up…

After this, I started to build again and sort of haven’t put up any more shelves yet… The room is way more messy now, with LEGO all over the desk, and my modular house under construction… I really need to tidy it it up a bit so I can finish putting up shelves and actually get some organization in here πŸ˜›

More pics to come when I’ve gotten around to doing that!

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Brikkelauget at Desucon 2012

Last weekend Brikkelauget had a display at Desucon. It’s always fun to be at Desucon, and watch all the awesome cosplayers that are there. A lot of the people there think LEGO is really cool, so their eyes all light up when they see our display :) So aside from doing the Caramel Dance alongside stormtroopers, this is what I’ve been up to:

Zombie apocalypse

Pirate invasion

Ninja takedown

Robots attack

Pirates vs ninjas vs zombies vs robots

More pics on flickr as usual :)

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LEGO here, there, everywhere!

I see have neglected my blog for sometime again now. I guess I’ll just have to blame that on being busy (again). A lot has happened the last month though. I have moved out of my apartment and am currently living at my mother’s house until my new house is finished next week. So all my LEGO is sort of packed away now, but that doesn’t stop me from buying sets or cracking out some bricks to build a little!

I have also had two LEGO related trips recently. First we went to Trondheim where Brikkelauget held it’s first self hosted event. Which was awesome :) I brought a lot of models with me there to display: my Fabuland houses, winter village, Brickfoot village, yellow train and collectible minifig shelves. Phew! I also won theΒ  contest for best vehicle with my Santa sleigh, and shared first place in the Historic contest with my Brickfoot village (had to wait a bit for my prize in that one though, since the other guy got to bring home the one we had there).

Last weekend I went to the Eurobricks event in Billund to meet up with people I have become acquainted with over the internet, and it was a lot of fun :) We got to meet the AFOLs’ favourite designer, Jamie Berard, who held a presentation about the design process of the upcoming Sopwith Camel model. And former Eurobricks Star Wars moderator Kim Thomson told us about how he got a job as community coordinator at LEGO. We also went to Legoland and I got to ride the new super awesome Polar Expedition roller coaster πŸ˜€ Yeah, I love roller coasters πŸ˜‰

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Holmenkollbakken – in 3D TV!

Ever since I got out of my dark ages, I’ve had this strange urge to build Holmenkollbakken (the ski jump in Holmenkollen in Oslo) in LEGO. My first attempt, made only from bricks from 4 blue buckets wasn’t exactly a masterpiece πŸ˜› And ever since, I’ve been afraid to try again. I tried to build an architecture scale version of the old Holmenkollbakken last year, but it turned out so boring I didn’t even want to post pictures of it online… Now, however, spurred on by a contest at Eurobricks, I have made a new attempt, but this time with the new Holmenkollbakken. I also made a little 3D TV scene out of it, to fit in the contest.

See more photos on flickr.

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Cecilie Cottontail’s red house

It’s all a bit hectic these days with selling my apartment and stuff, but right before I had to pack all my LEGO away, I finally finished and snapped pictures of my latest Fabuland house. This actually started as an idea on how to use all those red slopes that have been accumulating. Flipped 45 degrees, they looked like wall panel! So with much thinking and fiddling, I came up with a solution for it, and I’m quite happy with the result. So I present the house of Cecilie Cottontail and her husband Ace Leo :)

And a picture of the interior:

If you want to see more pictures, head on over to flickr :)

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Wireless music – from server through phone to speakers

Been a while since I’ve blogged anything, guess I’ve been rather busy with getting my apartment ready for sale. One of the things we’ve done is to paint the bedroom and living room. And what better way to make that a pleasant experience than to play some music while working? When painting the bedroom that was not a problem, we could just play music from the media center pc to the surround speakers installed in the living room. But when the time came to paint the living room, we had packed all that away, to get everything cleaned out before painting (oh, the irony :P). So what does a geek do? Go out and buy some bluetooth A2DP enabled portable mini speakers of course. But then started the fun part. The music library on my phone wasn’t what I wanted to listen to while painting, it was more suited to relaxed listening on the subway. What I wanted was to get access to my full music library on my server (located in the “server cabinet” in the kitchen). I could of course have just plugged an audio cable from said server to the speakers, but what fun is that? So I started looking for an application to my phone that could stream music from the server. Now, as you may already know, I don’t have a mainstream android phone or iphone, but a Nokia N900 with Maemo. And lo and behold, in the extras-repository, I found something called Knots. Installation seemed to be quite straightforward, just install the application on the phone, and on the server, and the only requirements besides that were a browser and VLC. No problem, right? I wish…

Turns out installing a compatible VLC was a bit harder than expected. Of course, everything is usually a bit harder than expected when you run Gentoo Linux. πŸ˜‰ After many reinstalls of different versions of VLC and gradually adding more USE flags, I finally found a combination that worked. Apparently, Knots uses a telnet interface in VLC that they have abandoned. In VLC 1.1.x it was still available with the format “oldtelnet” (which Knots supported using if configured to use with VLC 1.1.x), but no such luck with VLC 2.x. Maybe it’s still in there, I don’t know, but it must be under a different name if it is. So, in the unlikely event that somebody else out there is trying to use Knots in Gentoo Linux and is struggling with this, here is the final VLC install:
media-video/vlc-1.1.13 USE="X ffmpeg gcrypt httpd lua mmx mp3 ncurses ogg qt4 sqlite sse theora vlm vorbis xcb xml"
The USE flags of note here that I had to add for it to work are httpd, lua, xml and vlm.

After that, it was just a matter of getting my phone on the correct WLAN (for some reason, it kept choosing the one named “linksys” belonging to a neighbour :P), and turn off the silent profile on the phone (for some reason, Knots didn’t make i single sound when the phone was in the silent profile, even though the inbuilt music player couldn’t care less about that, oh well. Just caused me some confusion). I should maybe note, however, that even though Knots worked fine, it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. A few features I missed were the possibility to just add everything to the playlist, and then shuffle said playlist. I had to settle for either the “random” feature, which just selected a (not very large) number of songs randomly from the library, or add some songs matching a search to a playlist, but then they couldn’t be shuffled. I just ended up using the “random” feature, and just go and select a new set of random songs every time it stopped.

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