greg3

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  1. greg3

    Ballabreek 2020

    Today we see the unveiling of the town's first public electric car charging point. Using cutting edge technology, it can fully charge a car in 30 mins and thanks to its ultra efficient solar cells is 100% emission free. It's currently being trialled for a few months but the hope is that if it proves popular, then other charging points will be added around the town as more of the locals switch to electric vehicles. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr As happened last week, the local news team is there to get the story - this time interviewing the CEO of the company behind the technology about his future plans. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Finally a pic of it in action - charging one the latest fully electric cars now available. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr This latest mini update was inspired by a local news report about plans to increase the number of public charging points (and by chance I'd just bought the new filling station set!). Eventually I'll find space for the shop and petrol pumps (although they'll have to dispense some sort of environmentally friendly bio-fuel to please my environmentalist minifigs ) As always, thanks for looking... wonder what the news crew will report on next week?
  2. greg3

    Brickchester 2020

    Looking good so far and a very impressive collection of modular buildings!! (Sort of like Ballabreek’s bigger brother😉. Looking forward to seeing what sort of stories you come up with!! As for the photography I know how hard it is to photograph a layout when the available lighting and angles are not the best. Try concentrating on just a close up of a small area as it makes it much easier to get decent shots. Nice work and thanks for sharing.
  3. greg3

    Ballabreek 2020

    This week's update injects a bit of culture into Ballabreek with a new temporary art installation at the park. The statue that usually stands here has been removed for restoration and cleaning so the town council has offered the area up for local artists to showcase their work with a new exhibit each month. This month's is a sculpture created from recycled glass and already christened "The Crystal Snake" by the locals... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The local TV news crew are interviewing the sculptor... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Close up of the artwork itself... (it can be rotated to create a spiralling effect) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr This was just a quick little build resulting from a play around with the spare parts from the new DC CMF series!! (Those new trans clear parts look like they could be quite useful!!) But now I need to think of some more artworks for the next few months!! ) Thanks for looking - comments are always welcome!!
  4. greg3

    Ballabreek 2020

    It's the first weekend of the year which means it's time for a new topic for my LEGO town of Ballabreek!! Later this year, will mark 10 years since I first put 6 roadplates together and called it Ballabreek ("Place of the Brick" in Manx"). Since then it's grown and changed a fair bit as each year I've tried to add as many official sets as possible (often modified to make them fit better). I also like to come up with backstories to explain the changes and add a bit of character to the town and its minifig population. The first change in the town this year sees the loss of a major employer... the Space Technology Centre . Last year saw the Centre taken over by a consortium of tech companies with ambitious aims to reach the moon and beyond. As part of their restructuring, they've moved the Ballabreek centre out of the town so it can expand. (it's actually only going on a nearby shelf!) This has left an empty area which an enterprising minifig has turned into a used car lot. Now the locals can get "reliable, cut priced vehicles" for "incredible low low prices!!" Then Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Now Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Eventually the site will be home to a large tuning workshop/garage . Unfortunately the current building plans would mean blocking access to the public footpath - the local walkers aren't even happy about having to walk across the car lot!! So until the access issue can be solved, the garage build is on hold (bad news for the garage business owner but good news for the used car salesmen!!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr In actual fact, the delay is because I may have to move house next month or 2. Hopefully I won't but until I'm sure, I'm reluctant to make any big changes/builds that I'll just have to dismantle in a few weeks! Anyway, for those new to Ballabreek here's a quick tour of the town as it is now... The industrial area centred around the mine. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Behind the mine is the footpath that's causing all the planning issues... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Opposite the mine are the recycling area, police and fire stations... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The town centre; tram stop, park, hospital, shop and bank. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr More shops (and apartments); LEGO store, newsstand, gem store, bike shop and hairdressers. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Residential area - a quiet one-way street... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Finally, the harbour area (including a small open air pool) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr So what has 2020 got in store for Ballabreek? Well I guess we'll just have to wait and see!! Thanks for looking. As always, comments are very welcome.
  5. Hi I recently picked up the new Tuning Workshop set and while I'm perfectly fine with buildings having no backs, having no roof is really a step too far!! Anyway, I decided to do something about it and after an hour or so here's the result... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The crane can still be moved around/raised and lowered and the whole roof lifts off easily for access. The open side of the building won't be visible on my display so I've not bothered closing it off. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr It's still a bit of a WIP I'd like to have skylights and maybe rework the ventilation/air conditioning details but I think it'll do for now. Thanks for looking, comments are always welcome.
  6. greg3

    [MOC] Icebreaker

    Wow!! Love the ice floes - especially the aerial view!! (the Land Rover and ship aren't bad either!!) Excellent stuff!!
  7. greg3

    Ballabreek 2019

    Long time, no update... It's been very quiet on the Ballabreek front the last few months as real life has interrupted things (I may have to move house so the future of Ballabreek as we know it is in doubt!!) While this has meant no big additions or changes to it until I know what's happening, it won't get in the way of my minfigs enjoying Christmas... this year sees them erecting a large tree in the park... Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The perfect backdrop for a spot of carol singing! Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Thanks for looking and Happy Christmas!!
  8. greg3

    EB Xmas Build 2019

    Glad this is going ahead this year - manatees prizes or not it's become a part of my Christmas build up!! Anyway, here's my MOC (think I might have taken the theme a little too literally!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr
  9. greg3

    [MOC] Air Battlecruiser

    That is awesome!! I love the hull design, the masts and I especially the different turret design and the flight deck/catapults. Excellent work. Thanks for sharing!!
  10. A quick Halloween/WW1 crossover inspired by the "Royal Zombie Corps" books by C. M Harald. The series (4 short books so far) describes an alternative history where the British Army is attempting to use zombies to help win WW1! Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr The zombies first begin to appear naturally in small numbers across no-mans land. The method of reanimation isn't yet fully explained in the books but is described as having a bacterial component. The zombies themselves are aggressive, fast and strong, with seemingly well developed senses. Around 75% of those killed by zombies reanimate and like all good zombies they can only be "killed" by damage to the brain - those being used by the British are given basic uniforms and helmets for protection... but how you persuade a zombie to fight for you? Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Here's the key to the formation of the Royal Zombie Corps... Alfie Marsh - the books' main character. We first meet him as a conscript undergoing basic training but not making a particularly good job of it! When he finally arrives at the front he's thrown straight into battle. During his first taste of action, he comes across a seemingly wounded soldier who attacks him and his friend. Thinking the wounded soldier is suffering from shock, Alfie manages to calm him down and gets him to an aid station where he learns the truth from a mysterious officer/doctor... the soldier was already dead but the officer is more interested in Alfie, realising that for some reason the zombie had followed his instructions. After a number of tests it's found that Alfie is able to mentally control several zombies at once and he becomes the first "handler" of a new unit... The royal "Zombie Corps"! The rest of his squad are "volunteered" to provide support and security as the generals try to work out the best way to use zombies on the battlefield! Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr I've equipped him with Brickmania uniform sticker and shotgun. His serious expression is because he's mentally commanding the zombies to not tear his throat out!! Alfie's best friend, Joshua Wells was the soldier Alfie saved from the first zombie and although they joined up at the same time, Wells is soon promoted to sergeant because of his coolness under fire (and his ability to steal, scrounge or find just about anything the unit might need). In the books he prefers to use a light machine gun... first a French Chauchat and then a Lewis gun that he "finds" in a tank. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Again, his uniform is a Brickmania sticker and the weapon is from Brickarms. He's smirking because his gasmask bag is full of cigars he's just "liberated" from an officer! Anyway, thanks for looking, I hope to make some more characters from the books at some point (I need some more zombie heads though!) Happy Halloween!!
  11. This MOC is inspired by a news article I read a few months ago about the unveiling of a statue to an unsung Danish hero, one of those people that make you wonder why you've never head of them before! (and whether under the same circumstances you'd have had the courage to do the right thing!) Sindberg_on_inspection_in_the_refugee_camp,_Nanjing_Massacre by g.nat, on Flickr Born in Denmark in 1911, Bernhard Arp Sindberg would go on to save thousands of Chinese lives during the second Sino-Japanese War, earning himself the nickname of the "Shining Buddha" and comparisons with Oskar Schindler. During his childhood, his love of adventure saw him run away from home several times. At the age of 20 he joined the French Foreign Legion but deserted after less than a year and found himself in China. Here his military experience saw him get a job with a Danish arms company demonstrating weapons to the Chinese. When the Japanese invaded China in 1937, the company pulled out (not wanting to be seen siding against Japan) and Sindberg got a job as a driver for an English journalist, Pembroke Stephens, who was covering the invasion of Shanghai. On one occasion during an air raid, they were strafed by a Japanese plane and Stephens was killed. Following this, Bernhard moved to the the Chinese capital Nanjing/Nanking where he found employment as a security guard at a Danish owned cement factory. As the war reached Nanking itself, Sindberg and the only other European working at the factory, a German named Karl Gunther, decided to paint giant flags, a Danish cross (the Dannebrog) and a German Swastika on the factory roof hoping that the Japanese would leave them alone. Their plan worked, as at that time the Japanese wanted to keep other nations out of their war, and the factory was left alone during air raids and the following ground invasion. However, soon it was being besieged by desperate Chinese civilians seeking safety from the marauding Japanese troops. Their tales of the atrocities being committed by the invaders led to Sindberg opening the gates and soon the factory grounds became a vast refugee camp. It's believed that between 6,000 and 20,000 Chinese men, women and children took shelter in the factory and a nearby temple that also came under the protection of Sindberg and Gunther's flags. During this time, Sindberg made frequent trips through the city to collect food and medicines often taking his camera and collecting evidence of what would become known as "The Rape of Nanking". Several times, Japanese troops tried to enter the factory but each time they were met by Sindberg clutching his flag and somehow persuading them to leave. After about 6 weeks the worst of the violence died down and other Europeans set up similar safe havens but the Japanese had had enough of Sindberg and he was forced to leave the country. He would eventually travel to the US and serve in the Navy during WW2 before marrying and settling in California. He died in 1983, but never said much about his time in China. It's only in recent years that his story has become more widely known. My small MOC shows him protecting a Chinese woman and her 2 children from members of a Japanese patrol. The minifig of Sindberg is based on the reference photo of him at the top of this post, the flag and Japanese troops are from Brickmania. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Thanks for looking - comments are always welcome.
  12. greg3

    [MOC] Lockheed P-38J "Lightning"

    Nice build of one of my favourite US WW2 planes. I really like the clever use of minifies accessories for the engine "greebling". Thanks for sharing.
  13. greg3

    MOC: Horse Drawn Steam Fire Engine

    Wow this thread is a blast from the past!! As for the other models from back then, I thought they were here but it seems not (I can't find them anyway!) but they are on MOCpages.com - when it's working!! (my user name there is Greg Nation) There should be a couple of hose carts, a chemical fire cart, a fire bicycle and a hand pumped engine - which I've recently redesigned... here's the 2019 version so far. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr
  14. greg3

    Can't find part in picture

    I think it's a whip too....possibly this piece... https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=88704#T=C
  15. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche and built by Volkswagen, the Kübelwagen was the German equivalent to the jeep during WW2. Like the jeep, it could be modified for use in a wide variety of roles. One such modification kit allowed the vehicle to operate on a railway by fitting metal discs between the road wheels and body. It was then driven onto the tracks and the discs adjusted to fit inside the rails. The “Kubel” could then be driven as normal along the track. The discs could be removed and stored on top of the spare wheel when being driven on roads. Known as the Kübelwagen Type 157, these railcars were used as maintenance vehicles, transporting key personnel and general patrolling. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr My version is a quick MOD of the Kübelwagen kit recently released by Brickmania. I changed the wheels and axles as well as moving the headlights to accommodate the slightly larger spare wheel. I also added a rear bar which was also part on the original conversion kit (not sure what it did but I’ve seen it described as a bumper or tow bar!). The decorated door/rear tiles are Brickmania texture printed parts. (I added the number plate sticker). Close up of the wheel/disc arrangement. Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Rear view showing the tow bar/bumper - not entirely accurate (and it blocks the opening engine cover) but the best I could come up with! Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Ready for the road (unfortunately, as you can see, the raised centre of the discs make them stack higher than they real life ones would!) Untitled by g.nat, on Flickr Finally a link to a Youtube vid showing a restored version in action. Video of the real thing I know it's not a "real" train but thanks for looking - comments are always welcome!!