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About bartneck

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    New Zealand
  1. Dear Lug 4/2 AFOLs, Today I would like to share an experience with you that I had during and after the Christchurch Brick Show. As some of you already know, one of my exhibits was banned from the show by the Show/Lug Committee. I displayed the LEGO Ferrari F40 right next to its LEPIN copy. The models were accompanied with a poster explaining the lawsuit between LEGO and LEPIN. The reason for banning the exhibit was that it was against the rules. Reluctantly I took the exhibit down. This was the most unpleasant experience I ever had at a show and you might wonder why I email all of you about it. My intention is to prevent this to happen to any of you and to help the club to define clear guidelines that would prevent such situations in the future. Again, you may ask, why emailing this to everybody when this could be discussed with the committees. Well, I communicated with the club’s management extensively and eventually submitted an official complaint. I did not receive any response to my concerns and my complaint. To make things worse, the management of our club instructed our LEGO ambassador not to talk to me and not to provide essential information. Moreover, they also gave the same instruction to David Woodbridge, head of the Auckland LUG. At this point I felt rather isolated. A club is about sharing and communicating with fellow enthusiast. Isolating a member from this is certainly not in the spirit of the club. I did receive one response from LUG 4/2’s management and I will explain to you why this message is so significant. First, here is the message: The RLUG IP Guidelines is what I requested from our LEGO Ambassador and from David Woodbridge. Both of them and the LUG management withheld this document from me. Luckily, I was able to obtain a copy through another channel. This document defines how a show may use LEGO advertising material, such as their logo, to promote the show. It does say nothing about what may or may not be exhibited. LEGO’s Fair Play Policy, however, does give clear indications that copying one of their models is considered unfair. LEPIN is most likely violating their Fair Play Policy. Hence the lawsuit. But here comes the important difference. Reporting about LEPIN is not the same as copying a LEGO model. As a matter of fact, Brickset recently published a review of LEPIN’s Super Star Destroyer ( Reporting about a crime does not make the reporter a villain nor the report a crime. Brickset has to follow the exact same rules and guidelines as a recognized fan media than we have as a recognized LEGO user group. I contacted the LEGO company to ask about their view on the issue and their clear message was that the LEGO group does not influence what may be exhibited at a fan run show. LEGO is not always happy about what is exhibited, such as the burning twin towers in New York, but they do not interfere. Let’s consider the case of Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist famous for his critical and controversial work. TLG initially declined a bulk order he made since it would exhibition would contravene “corporate policy”. Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen later revised this decision and in January 2016 In LEGO dropped its restrictions on bulk orders, saying it would stop asking people why they wanted its bricks. Customers wanting to build public displays out of Lego bricks would now only have to make clear that the company does not endorse the project. Another claim made by the committee was that my exhibit would have triggered a report being send to the LEGO company. Owain Bunyan, a representative from LEGO New Zealand who attended the show told me that he is not aware of any such report. Jan Beyer, LEGO community manager, was also unaware of any such report. Showing two Ferrari F40, one from LEGO and one from LEPIN, and challenging the community to guess which one is which is a playful and engaging method of stimulating a discussion. A discussion that we desperately need. The public and the AFOLs need to be informed about what they are buying and how they can tell original LEGO products apart from copies. The two Ferraris showed how difficult this has become. Section 3.c of the LUG 4/2 rules even stipulate the goal to “Assist in education of the community through participation in LUG4x2 events, related workshops and increasing the capabilities of the community”. The charitable status of our club is based on its educational mission. We have to provide education to the community, including how to tell original LEGO models apart from copies. In summary, it appears that the show/LUG committee was not aware of the rules or did not understand them correctly when they made their decision to ban my exhibit. This can be best described as negligent if not incompetent. What followed after the show is also highly problematic. Withholding information, ignoring complaints and instructing other club members not to talk to me is unprofessional. As a matter of fact, it gives me the impression that they had something to hide. What can we do to prevent this from happening in the future. First, the show needs to have clear guidelines about what is allowed at the show and what not. Do we allow the display of military equipment? Do we allow the depiction of violent scenes? (Both happened before). How do we deal with fake LEGO and non-LEGO products? Does everything at the show has to be 100% original LEGO? I hope that we have a chance to talk about this during our upcoming annual general meeting. A more detailed report on my experience is available on my website at:
  2. Play TicTacToe against this LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot. It uses three motors to drop its balls into the right field and a NXTCam to view the board. It then calculates the best move using a MiniMax Algorithm. All future moves are explored and rated according to their winning chances. An IR sensor detects your hand when you drop your ball. The robot is using red balls and the human player uses blue balls. The java code is available at Github and the building instructions are available for LEGO Digital Designer on my website show in the description. I used the MinuteBot baseplate, which is useful for building static Mindstorms models. I also used a LED lamp to provide consistent lighting that is powered through the USB port of the EV3. The position of the camera can be centered on the board using the wrench and through sliding along the axles. I hope you enjoy this robot. More information at
  3. LEGO’s turn table has considerable friction and rotating a model at an exhibition for a whole day would ruin it. A thrust ball bearing is necessary to decrease the friction. I previously 3D printed a large bearing for my Unikitty. For this year’s exhibition I needed a smaller thrust ball bearing so I designed a new medium sized ball bearing. It includes liftarms to hold a worm wheel which results in a rotation ratio of 1:78. The 3D model is available from my website. I hope it helps you for your MOCs.
  4. The t-shirt is now available on Tee Fury ( It looks like they still have to add their graphics, but it is there in principle. During the first week it is only 15$, after that it will go up to $20. Enjoy!
  5. The guys over at Teefury intend to bring it to the market shortly. Well, they have not given me a date yet, but I will post it here as soon as I know.
  6. The Complete Minifigure Catalog has finally become what it should have been from the start. A massive hardcover book with the best printing quality. I hope you enjoy this book!
  7. The United Colors Of The Brick

    You might have seen my other post on the exact LEGO color palette. Well, here is one of the reasons I got so interested in it. I created a T-Shirt Design and if you like it, please consider voting for it.
  8. LEGO Color Palette

    The LEGO color palette remains a mystery. Yes, there are many AFOLs who tried to identify all the colors and even TLG provided some information. The problem is that they all disagree with each other on the exact color definitions. I wrote a blog entry on my analysis. Have you found a precise definition of the LEGO color palette?
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien Signature mosaic

    You might enjoy this mosaic:
  10. The Classic Castle LEGO Minifigure Catalog

    They know about the books. I sent several to them. I also talked to DK in an attempt for collaboration, but they were not interested.
  11. The Classic Castle LEGO Minifigure Catalog

    I have been working on LEGO related books for years and, fingers crossed, LEGO has not taken any legal action.
  12. The Classic Castle LEGO Minifigure Catalog has just become available. It is available as a book or ebook. It contains all the Classic Castle Minifigure and no, it does not contain Nexo Knights. I does, however, included the Classic Castle heraldry and you might also enjoy the t-shirt.
  13. I designed a Classic Castle & Game Of Thrones t-shirt and it is up for vote at Threadless. Please vote for it so that it becomes available for production.
  14. Hello, I would like to let you know that a dedicated Middle Earth LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available. It has the best photographs of all the LOTR/Hobbit Minifigures in it. I hope you enjoy it.
  15. LEGO LotR - general discussion

    Hello, I would like to let you know that a dedicated Middle Earth LEGO Minifigure Catalog is now available. It has the best photographs of all the LOTR/Hobbit Minifigures in it. I hope you enjoy it.