Jan 14

CoWLUG Meetings 2.0!

Activities Everywhere

“Great space! Parts draft! Pizza! And beer?!” – Some of the things that could be heard at CoWLUG’s recent meeting, hosted by Christian of hobbydb in Boulder this past Monday night. All told, there were 27 members in attendance, and if I counted correctly, four of them were new members attending for the first time. This year CoWLUG has a goal of making meetings more regular and also more fun. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed items or activities, we started out with a bang.

Big & Little

MOC sharing anchored the center of the space on the ping pong table, while (in the background) parts swapping and sales took place.


Freebies included plenty of instruction booklets for the taking (above) and bulk brick provided by LEGO as LUG support for 2014 (below.)

Bulk Brick Pick

There were also a handful of LEGO sets provided as LUG support for 2014 which were distributed via a simple random draw from a box of all attending members’ names. Congratulations to those who went home with a free, cool set! Many thanks to LEGO and to Mark for bringing the goods to distribute.

Parts Drafting

And if that weren’t enough for any LEGO fan, Ryan H. graciously organized a parts draft with about 18 participants. Plans for upcoming meetings include regular parts drafts.

Joe H. Ships

Ships by Joe H. covered a large part of the MOCs table (above.) And no matter where one stood in the space, it seemed Imagine’s gundam mech was picking out a target (below.)

Moc Sharing

There was actual LUG business tended to as well. Planning for several of this year’s displays were discussed, as well as what members would like to do for future meetings. Christian has offered up the hobbydb space for the rest of the year, with plans to host a meeting every other month. Check out CoWLUG’s group email list for details on that schedule. And just so you can all put faces to names, Christian and I (Jessica) posed for a quick photo (below.) We all look forward to a great year of some fantastic building and good times.

Chrisitan & Jessica

Oct 04

Loveland BrickBuilder Expo – The First!

A Brick Expo in Loveland, Colorado! Certainly. With the enthusiasm of John Metcalf and a dozen CoWLUG members, behold the first annual BrickBuilder Expo. Held in conjunction with the NoCo Mini Maker Faire, now in its second year, the emphasis for all is on making things. For the LEGO part, team builds for the public are a huge highlight (below.)

Build Contest

For the AFOL among us, chatting about LEGO elements, colors and build techniques is on the agenda for the afternoon. (Imagine, Stefano & Ryan below.)

Color Discussions

And of course there has to be a gathering of creations for all to see and share. (Dan’s Steampunk Dragonfly & Mech Diorama below.)

Dan Dan's Mechs

Newer members to CoWLUG, Doug (left) Joe (right) and Kieran (not pictured), collaborate on a fantastic build loaded with details. And cute goats! Joe is also the organizer for the event, connecting members to the Expo, making sure all activities run smoothly. Thanks Joe!

Doug & Joe Doug, Joe & Keiran Collab

Closer details of Joe’s spaceships (below.)

Joe's Ships Being in the same space as the NoCo Mini Maker Faire, makes for some great interaction – among mechs and droids, mechs and kids.

Droid in Love Fans That’s Imagine’s giant anime mech by the way, alongside his floating Bank of the Prophet from Bioshock Infinite (below.)
Imagine's Table Mech in Progress

Speaking of the Maker Faire – there’s all that too! Giant robots breathing fire, human foosball, cardboard cities, air cannons, swords – did I mention giant robots?!
Maker Faire 2014

Displays cover all themes, as shown by Collin’s Star Wars mash up (below.)

Eric Jake covered dungeon/castle, island & spaceship themes (below.)
Jake Jeff always does some amazing things with Bionicle (below.)

Jeff's Bionicle Jim’s button pushing crazy carnival rides are a super hit with all ages and do not dissapoint.
Jim's ParkJohn, the Brickbuilder instigator and new CoWLUG member, presents Loveland in micro scale. It’s a lovely tribute to the town of the same name.
John's Micro Loveland The LEGO Movie submarine, executed in brick by Imagine, is a hit among new LEGO fans, and sidles up along Ryan’s Tardis (which does NOT open) and spaceships of the real and imagined sort.
Lego Movie Sub & Ryan's Work

There’s a record store by Ryan (which you should go support on LEGO Ideas if you haven’t already,) Modulex built items (also LEGO if you didn’t know,) and headphones entirely out of LEGO – all built by Ryan too!Ryan's Store & Ships

Reference materials? You say you want a chart of LEGO colors? Well we have that too! Or at least Ryan does. If you can’t see it in person, check out his Brick Colorstream Flickr page for the most excellent and up to date reference on LEGO colors.
Ryan's Color ChartWhat? No trains? Of course not! Where there is LEGO, there are bound to be trains somewhere. Stefanos has his modern train station running a train provided by another newer member, Chris (below.) I might also add that if you scroll back up to Jeff’s Bionicle, you will see a very clever Bionicle train too. Did you miss it? Well, go back up and look.

Stefanos & Christopher Station & Train

Feb 16

Rails on the Rockies: Estes Park 2014

Zombies, Toys & Coffee by Meghan

Despite the continued reconstruction of all the highways leading up to Estes Park after last fall’s disastrous flood, there was a solid showing for CoWLUG members participating in this year’s display, organized by Lester. Above a corner of the city showcases buildings by Meghan, Duane and Samantha.

Push Button Amusement Park by Jim M.

Jim M.’s interactive amusement park received continued action by the younger crowds.

Button Pusing

Below, Art created a mountainous backdrop to Jerry’s fort.

Fort by Jerry & Mountain by Art

Grimy Gulch Station by Jeff Market by Lester and other buildings by Duane & Meghan

The mountain’s tunnel spilled out into a very large Western section of the layout with buildings by Lester (Market,) Grimy Gulch station by Jeff, and a multitude of detailed structures by Meghan and Duane populating the action.

Spanish Village by Jerry

A Spanish village by Jerry spanned the length of one side, bringing us to an Indian village by Jim M. and Bent’s fort by Ian.

Indian Village by Jim M. & Bent's Fort by Ian

Hedgehogs vs. Octopus Teddy Bear Army

No one was quite sure exactly what was happening between the hedgehogs, bears and an octopus….

Western by Samantha

Western Detail by Samantha

Samantha’s detailed western structures and scenes were a popular draw, especially with the addition of LEGO Movie references.

Train Wreck fun with Lester & Imagine

There was plenty of train wreck action happening as Lester changed out various trains during the show (the blurry figure lower right behind the tarantula leg) and tested the number of characters that could be added to numerous cars. The crowds looked on, very entertained.

Low Clearance under Tarantula by Imagine

Low clearance under Imagine’s steampunk tarantula contraption from Wild Wild West brought inquisitive looks from onlookers.

Victorian Block by Meghan

Beyond the western area, Meghan’s gorgeously colorful victorian street created a lovely spot to stand and gaze. Lester certainly looks pretty posing behind them. I think the pink house is giving him a rosy glow. 🙂

Lester Extraordinaire

Lester’s pièce de résistance this year was his addition of the steampunk street scene and various steampunk inspired vehicles and figs.

Steampunk Village by Lester

Steampunk Village & Dirigible by Lester

Steampunk Details by LesterAnd literally bridging the gap between steampunk and city features was Duane’s quadruple bridge, dam and river scene. The underwater and cave features were particularly exciting for the shorter members of the crowd who could peer in at their own eye level.

Dam & Bridge by Duane

Dam & Bridge Crossing by Duane

The city scape continued to grow this year with more buildings (by Stuart, Lester, Duane, Samantha and Meghan,) and activities.

Pizza by Stuart & City by Lester

Ice Cream & Salon by Samantha

LEGO Movie Action by Imagine

And since the LEGO Movie hit theaters, there were of course several relevant action scenes playing out in the streets. Here, Imagine’s redesign of Lord Business’ Lair uses his huge legs to stomp his way through the streets.

Multiple Layers-Monorail by Jim M.

Finally, it wouldn’t be Rails on the Rockies without trains. There were trains of all kinds, moving through every part of the layout all day – thank you train builders: Lester, Duane, Michael & Jim M!  Lester would like to extend his thanks to everyone who took part in building, displaying and tending the show over the weekend. It was a truly fabulous collaboration by all.

Dec 29

Wow! Children’s Museum Free Build.

Early in December Todd E. volunteered on behalf of CoWLUG to run an afternoon of free build fun at the Wow! Children’s Museum in Lafayette. Known for its interactive, child-oriented exhibits, the museum was thrilled to have a table of bricks for building during the holiday season.

A huge thanks goes out to Todd E. for running the event and to Ian & Abby for lending the bucket full of basic bricks that have now traveled to several free build events.

Photographs are courtesy of Wow! Children’s Museum. They were so happy with the visitor excitement and interaction with the free build that they’d love to hold another in the future.