Getting ready for Xmas

Christmas is a magical time, even at Hogwarts. As soon as December comes around, The Great Hall transforms into a Winter Wonderland. But did you know that the annual display isn’t forged by magic?

Xtra to the rescue

Despite Hogwarts being the home of some of the world’s most skillful witches and wizards, they just can’t quite do Christmas like Muggles can. And that’s why the job of bringing the festive spirit to the castle is sub-contracted to Xtra, the Muggle-based decoration company (you may have seen their signage, botanical installments, or catering business before?)

Dumbledore and Hagrid welcome the Xtra team to Hogwarts. Two boats were just enough to transport all of their kits. But boy was it cold out on the Great Lake, beanie hats were a must!
Continue reading “Getting ready for Xmas”

Off Roading the Land Rover Defender

LEGO Technic Land Rover Defender 2019

The wonderful designers at the LEGO Group have only gone and done it again. The new Land Rover Defender 2019 has been released and like its original design, it is a force to be reckoned with. The new model 42110 from the Technic range is authentic and iconic. Developed in partnership with Land Rover, this impressive LEGO replica does not disappoint.

Continue reading “Off Roading the Land Rover Defender”

Adventures with the Land Rover

When I found out I had the chance to shoot this iconic vehicle, I couldn’t wait to get out in the local streams and woods where I thought this set would be right at home, but first I faced a bigger challenge, building the Set. With it being a Technic set I knew I had a big job on my hands but I took my time and built it over 4 evenings so not to lose what is ultimately the point with any set, the enjoyment of the build.

What stood out from a lot of other technic sets was the realistic look of the vehicle. It seemed very photogenic and rugged just like the real thing. The amazing innards of the vehicle are probably lost on a lot of people but the suspension and gears are a wonder of modern Lego design.

When I came to shooting I was faced with my usual dilemma how to transport the set and keep clean and in one piece. I had to get the set to my selected location without losing half the pieces so I opted for the bulky but secure enormous plastic box. Having to walk to the secluded location took it out on my arms and back but there’s alway a few awkward steps when doing something you love.

The early Monday morning clouds had given way to a clear sky but my preferred favourite spot in a shallow stream had become a raging torrent due to the usual seasonal weather conditions in the North West of England. But I had my heart set on this location so had too improvise. Luckily I had worn my Wellington boots so I trawled the steam for pebbles and rocks and built a platform for the Land Rover to sit on set just below the surface of the water. I had to take extra care not too lose any pieces of they’d be lost forever. Somewhere downstream.

The bright sun was presenting some harsh shadows but also some interesting shafts of light through the overhanging tree branches. These were enhanced with the help of some Atmosphere Aerosol smoke and I managed to capture some satisfactory shots before the clouds rolled back in for what was to be another wet day.

All that was left to do was to take the set and trudge back to safety (before I ended up with a soaking wet Land Rover) and spend the afternoon editing my images down to a handful of ‘keepers’.

Collectible Minifigures Seris 19 and Minidolls

It’s been already a month that the new CMF series has been officially out (and more unofficially)… Yet it seems like yesterday to me.

Because Boris received the box of minifigs late, we decided to not proceed with our usual crowd review of the series. Still, Boris asked if one of us wanted a full series to review.

My first reaction was “no”. From the images available online, I wasn’t particularly excited about this series. There were a couple of cool minifigs I wanted, but I wasn’t feeling like photographing the 16 minifigures. To me, the series was too focused on new accessories and some of the minifigures were rather “meh” once the accessories removed.

But then I thought… What about focusing on these new accessories and see how many of them I can reuse for my LEGO Elves photography? So I ended up saying yes. But somehow it still took a full month. First the Swedish or Finnish (or both?) has been slow. Then I got on the same day the Gingerbread House which got prioritized. And then it took longer than I expected to gather all the photos I wanted and come up with a (rather lengthy) blog post.

In this (rather late) review of series 19, I will focus on the accessories that inspired me for my LEGO Elves photography, and more generally to use with Minidolls. There are however quite many accessories I didn’t use. These include generic accessories that didn’t spark a flame, new ones I didn’t care about, new ones I like but don’t fit my Elves, and most animals as they actually don’t need to be used alongside another figure.

Continue reading “Collectible Minifigures Seris 19 and Minidolls”

The Gingerbread House

A few weeks ago, Boris told me about the opportunity to review a LEGO Creator Expert set part of the Amusement Park series. I was a bit surprised as these used to be released in spring, and after the Roller Coaster, I wasn’t expecting something else in that series.

Nevertheless, I decided to accept the challenge. I had no idea what the set was, and was afraid it would be another set too big to easily transport outside. But I thought that if that was the case, then it would force me to take some indoor studio photos for a change.

Fast forward one or two weeks later, I get a shipping notification from our friends at LEGO. Two hours later, once back from work, I see on multiple LEGO news websites the official announcement for the new Creator gingerbread house. So it meant the set that had just been shipped from Billund was actually the gingerbread house.

I was partly disappointed (no new amusement ride for my city) and partly relieved (no struggle finding a place a place for it in the city). I was also partly excited (winter is coming!) and partly scared… It will take a few weeks before the first snow comes here in the North. This meant I had no choice and would have to put my (rusty) indoor photography skills to the test.

Continue reading “The Gingerbread House”

Disney train station review

This summer I received the new Disney train station set to photograph from our friends at LEGO.

It took me more than 6 hours to build it and it was such a pleasure! As you may know, I’m not an AFOL (I’m more into skeleton toys) but I must admit that building a big LEGO set is something. One brick with another brick, with another brick and suddenly there is a wall, and then a complete floor! Yes, that was a nice building experience.

Continue reading “Disney train station review”

The Elves’ Treehouse

Last month, I got the chance to take part in a photo collaboration with LEGO on the new LEGO Ideas Treehouse. Thus, I got the opportunity to build and photograph this beauty before it was publicly unveiled. And it ended up being quite a surprise. (That said, it wasn’t the total surprise I was excepting. Like most people, I saw the leaked images that were circulating online while the set was on its way to Finland.)

Continue reading “The Elves’ Treehouse”

F•R•I•E•N•D•S

Our Friends at Central Perk.

For those who don’t know what the television series Friends is all about ….. (which I can hardly imagine), here is a quick intro:

The series revolves around a group of six friends: Rachel Green, Ross Geller, Monica Geller, Chandler Bing, Joey Tribbiani and Phoebe Buffay. They are all in their twenties and they live and work in Manhattan, New York in the nineties (there were 10 seasons with the first one released in 1994) .
The ups and downs of the characters take place in their apartments and Central Perk, a coffee house around the corner.

Continue reading “F•R•I•E•N•D•S”

The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets

I went to Denmark with a rather detailed (and long) list of the sets I wanted to buy while visiting the P-Shop. On top of that list, the complete series of new Jurassic World sets. I’ve spent my summer with all of them in my backpack. I even went on a road trip along the coast of Helgeland with them.

One of my first photo with the new Triceratops, taken during our fun challenge #ToyPhotographersDoItBetterTogether on the last day, in collaboration with @gehrkesven.

In this post, I want to share what inspires me photographically in the following sets:

I won’t go into all the details but focus on what I liked to photograph. If you’re looking for a full-fledge review, you can probably find one on Brickset which list both text and video reviews.

Continue reading “The Best of the LEGO Jurassic World 2019 sets”

The test

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. After a pause, she opened her eyes and nervously took hold of the controls. She’d never driven until 6 days ago. What on earth was she doing in the cockpit of an RC Car taking her driver’s test?!

Trepidation.

Lego ShtacyP had never cared too much for cars. But sometimes in life you have to take opportunities when they arise. So when the chance to take a Fast-Track RC Driving Course came up, ShtacyP didn’t want to let it pass her by.

Continue reading “The test”