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Welcome to BZPower!

Hi there, while we hope you enjoy browsing through the site, there's a lot more you can do if you register. Some perks of joining include:
  • Create your own topics, participate in existing discussions, and vote in polls
  • Show off your creations, stories, art, music, and movies
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes
  • Participate in raffles to win LEGO prizes
  • Organize with other members to attend or send your MOCs to LEGO fan events all over the world
  • Much, much more!
Enjoy your visit!

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Scientific Progress Goes "Boink"


Meet the Fleet

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jun 20 2016 · 80 views

Quite a while ago I posted about all the tiny spaceship sets I have that LEGO has made. Micro-sized (and one midi-scale) starfighters, pod racers, and more adorn my shelf. That collection has grown, and it's time I show off my extended fleet of micro-models. They are mostly Star Wars, with the Tumbler being the exception. I also didn't put the midi-scale Star Destroyer in the picture because it doesn't technically count, plus it is hard to get to at the moment.

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But I was in a filming mood when I did this last night, so I made a short video detailing each piece:

Now, off to hunt for more!

-CF :kakama:


Mosaic Evolution

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , May 14 2016 · 87 views
LEGO, Bionicle, Mosaic, System and 1 more...
I've been doing Bionicle-themed mosaics ever since I collaborated with xccj and Nukaya back in 2010. At that point we had a handful of members on our side, mailing in pieces even if they weren't attending BrickFair.

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We've since made a few more mosaics via collaboration, but a constant has been the base I've displayed them on.

In 2010 it was two plywood boards that would fit 3 baseplates by 3 baseplates.

In 2011 it was combined and trimmed into a long 2x6 board:

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Then in 2013 it was trimmed again to fit a a single row of baseplates:

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And now at Scouting for Bricks, I've adjusted it again, hopefully for the final time. It now fits 2 by 2 segments of baseplates, so xccj and I could collaborate on a mosaic design I've wanted to do for a few years now, Kurahk:

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(It'll be at BrickFair VA too.)

It's been weird seeing it shrink and change shape over these years, but it's happy to still be excited about making mosaics, even if I've taken a year off here and there (2013's mosaic was at BrickCon).

What's next? Well, I've got a few clever mosaics in mind, so we'll see what I have the time and budget for.

-CF :kakama:


Big Fig Invasion

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , May 03 2016 · 133 views
LEGO, Bigfigs, Big Figs
I seem to have accidentally amassed a small collection of LEGO big figs:

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It's an odd bunch, towering over minifigs. But man, they look so cool! It's almost enough to make me want Mungus, Dogshank, and a Wampa, though not enough to make me shell out the cash. But it might be a new addiction.

-CF :kakama:


Famous for a Day

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 22 2016 · 159 views
Ever see tabloid headlines or hear a gossip news clip about some celebrity you normally would never hear of because they aren't in a band or movie? Somehow "celebrities" get all the press without having done anything to garner your attention? Yet somehow they get followed around and sometimes paid for all the focus.

Now, I can just as easily ignore gossip as the next person who doesn't care, but sometimes things enter my field of vision. Which gets me thinking, why them? Who decided that this random person suddenly gets a bunch of money in exchange of being followed around and get their drama reported on?

What if it was me? Or you? Or any other nerd in the world? How hilarious would that be? A TV crew is set up and arriving at your house, an editor is eagerly awaiting an article and pictures of every detail of your day, and blogs are going to dissect your every facial expression.

Except if it was me, with the cameras lined up waiting for something to happen, they'd just see me sitting at my computer for an hour scrolling through facebook and youtube right before work. Then an 8 hour shift of fetch quests with a lunch break of reading comics. "Start some drama," a paparazzi says (at this point I'm as surprised as you are they're still here), so I call up some friends to play Risk or Catan later that night. Little do the reporters know that my friends will go back to being quite agreeable as soon as the game is cleaned up. Ha!

Then it's back to sitting in front of my computer, or reading a book or watching TV, with a few glances at my phone for a silent conversation. And that's the day. I take the money allowing them to follow me around for a day, and they go back home rethinking the purpose of their career, with any luck.

-CF :kakama:


Death Star Roll II

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Feb 24 2016 · 146 views
LEGO, BrickFair, Death Star and 1 more...
Remember quite a few years ago when Binkmeister did a Death Star Roll at BrickCon?*

Let's do that again at BrickFair VA! Except it won't be someone's sacrificed Death Star set. We'll build a sphere out of Stay and Play bricks and find a slope somewhere to roll it down. Maybe put the finishing touches on it at Adult Swim when everyone is already riled up and ready to see something wild.

Let's remember this post in July right as we're ready for BFVA.

-CF :kakama:
*IDK if it was even his or at BrickCon. Could have been at BrickFest PDX, and someone else's set. But then where did I hear about it if not on BZP or TBB?


Dust Free

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 23 2016 · 169 views
LEGO, Displays, Minifigs
Displaying LEGO is always tricky, because dust is very annoying. It's something I constantly worry about with my displays on my shelf, because it is so very annoying to remove. It just looks ugly on display.
While my plan is to use model car cases for things like the DeLorean and Curiosity Rover, and some big clear cases for minifigs to grandstand on, I would rather have a few figs stand out. I have some cases, but that's still not good enough. Things can be touched easily, and I am always rotating out which minifigs get displayed.

So I found these little things that came with Pokemon toys inside them. They're relatively cheap (or cheap enough) and look great.

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The pricey minifigs in the upper pictures deserve a bit of separation from the rest of my collection. The chrome Star Wars figs shouldn't ever be touched with bare fingers, and the two Comic Con figures have a nice sentimental value. (Their high monetary value also garners them some extra respect.) The TRU Force Friday brick could be moved elsewhere more visible, but it's big and bulky and doesn't quite deserve to be unintruded. It's a nice piece of history though.

The Avengers in the lower pictures were a gift for a friend. She had a few of the "main six" from the movies, but needed a few more characters to complete her collection. I put them in the display case on some bases adhered with sticky tack, allowing for the mirrors to really show them off.

I have one more case which needs filled. I can fit 5 figures without overshadowing anyone, so it's just a matter of who. Something special, something cool, and something I won't want to take out to use in a vignette. I've got a lot of figs to choose from, so I'll make it count.

-CF :kakama:


Best Sets of 2015

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 12 2016 · 206 views
LEGO, LEGO Sets, 2015
It's still early enough in 2016 to reflect on 2015, so let's talk about great LEGO sets from last year.

Specifically, I will be drawing from my own building experiences. Admittedly, regrettably, I still have a few 2015 sets unbuilt. I don't want to become the AFOL stereotype of having hordes of boxes of unbuilt sets. These are not yet built because I thought I'd review them and then I never did and then I realized that Jurassic World sets and Quicksilver's Avengers set would never be on store shelves again after their initial run. But I doubt they'd make this list anyway.

The list of my favorite sets stars off with General Grievous, who has a fantastic build and looks great on my shelf. That's saying something, because it's hard to be surprising with constraction sets nowadays, and because I like to think I cannibalize my sets pretty quickly after getting them if I'm in a building phase. But until I build a tan Bionicle MOC, Grievous is here to stay. People can argue about the price, but for the satisfaction of a 45 minute build that is quite intense, it's worth it.

I also had the pleasure of building the Helicarrier with 55555 thanks to Toa Lhikan Hordika buying it and then we did a livestream to build it. Good times. It's huge, it's iconic, it has a great build. And I didn't pay for it but got to build it anyway; you'll have to ask TLH if it's worth the $350 plus motor pack. (I bet he'll say yes.)

The Doctor Who LEGO Ideas is also worthy of a mention. It's got the minifigs, it has the TARDIS interior and exterior, and it's reasonably priced for a licensed set. Unfortunately it doesn't come in numbered baggies for staged building within the instructions, which means you are searching for parts a lot longer than expected.

And finally, I can not forget the Millennium Falcon! It's iconic, has a great build, comes with great play features and hosts some great minifigs. I'll be keeping this displayed on my shelf for at least a year before realizing I need grey angled plates for something.

These were my favorite. I build some more, but nothing as stand-out like these. I've already got my hands on a ton of 2016 sets however, some of which already look amazing, and some which can be criticized too. Now to find time to build some....

-CF :kakama:


Posing Heroically

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 07 2016 · 189 views
LEGO, Nexo Knights
LEGO sure has a great thing going on with the new Nexo Knights line. I've already bought $110 worth of sets, and I don't think I even spent that much on Chima and I certainly didn't on Ninjago. But these Knights are something different entirely: They've got the sci-fi aspect which I love mixed in with the Castle theme I respect and want to eventually build. Plus all the new parts look fantastic! I would have bought more Ninjago and Chima sets if I wanted their parts (I might get some steampunk ninja pirates this year), but the stuff the Nexo Knights has is getting me excited: The shield power-ups, the dark blue lightsaber hilts, the pyramid cheese slope, and the new 4x4 pointed slope brick to name a few.

So I got slightly worried when I realized we'll be getting even more sets like these this summer, and next year and the year after and on until LEGO feels like stopping. So I'm going to need to rethink my budget with everything LEGO is putting out this year.

Right now I'll just be integrating these Knights' torsos into space suits.

-CF :kakama:


Christmas Carols

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Dec 24 2015 · 163 views
Music, Christmas, Songs
I enjoy hearing some festive songs on the radio for about a month every year. But what I am getting tired of is the feel of the same old Christmas standards sung by the same standard artists from a few decades ago. I know there is a larger variety out there, just look at my Christmas music collection, but I wish the radio would realize this too.

Now, I realize the radio has some newer things. Adam Sandler's Eight Crazy Nights is a good laugh whenever it's played. The Waitresses have their Christmas Wrapping song that is pretty catchy. And there are a few standards by contemporary artists like Michael Buble, Pentatonix, and a special favorite The Calling's Carol of the Bells. (Oh, and don't forget lots of Trans Siberian Orchestra.)

But the radio can do better. The Barenaked Ladies, Relient K, Colbie Caillat, and more all have their own renditions of favorites, and I'd like to emphasize that there are also some great original songs out there too: Elf's Lament by BNL, Chrion Beta Prime by Jonathan Coulton, and Lumberjack Christmas by Sufjan Stevens come to mind, to name a few.

Would it hurt for a little more variety, dear radio stations? It sure would be nice.

-CF :kakama:


Spoils of War

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 10 2015 · 220 views
LEGO, Bionicle, pieces
And by "war" I mean running a Bionicle event by myself for 30 children.

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Unfortunately, I didn't get any leftover purple limbs. But I got plenty of trans-green and keetorange shells, which means I won't have to buy a second Protector of Jungle (though should BrickLink some of his swords).

Of course, parting out this grab-bag of leftovers makes me think I need to sort out my Bionicle collection again before I actually put these to use. I've got a box full of scrapped MOCs to disassemble before some ideas are realized.

-CF :kakama:


Filler Words

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Nov 04 2015 · 480 views
language, english, people
Working retail, I interact with a lot of people. More than I'd care to on a daily basis. And people, as a whole, seem to like to talk a lot. Again, more than I'd care to let my ears hear. So, the less words said the better, right?

One thing that I really can not stand is the phrase "you know" when describing something. It's as bad as "like," "um," and "uh," when it comes to filler. Something involuntary to cause a pause when your brain can't quite put the right words in order in conversation.

Whenever a customer (or even someone closer actually conversing) injects "you know" into their sentence when going into detail on something to better help me understand, my immediate thought is, "No, I don't know, that's why you're telling me."

I'm not perfect either, but it's a habit I've broken pretty well. I've even winced when I said it recently.

I just need a super-villain weapon that changes the brain waves of everyone across the world to be more precise with their language!

-CF :kakama:


Imagination Situation

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 24 2015 · 296 views

Today I participated in a LUG display at a local museum's Halloween event (I went as The Eleventh Doctor, btw). It was plenty fun displaying MOCs and interacting with the public, as it always is. But there was something about the way people looked at the creations that seemed a little short-sighted: They couldn't reach their creativity past licensed themes.

Example One: The Rancor. I displayed a six-module long Pharaoh's Labyrinth, including a hollow pyramid with a tomb and an excavation attacked by a mummy army starting outside that to tell a little narrative before getting into all the dangerous rooms. This included The Doctor and TARDIS landing somewhere he'd rather not be, the Stargate and cast in a perfect Egyptian setting, and a Munchkin Level 8 Gazebo which few people noticed. The fourth room was more Munchkin Bricks minifigs attacking several monster-types. This included a Rancor. But as people saw the Stargate and the TARDIS, they noticed the Rancor as "Star Wars" instead of just "monster! AHHH!" to my dismay.

Example Two: The Exuberant. I love showing off my SHIP because I put a lot of work into it, plus big things get attention. But among several original space MOCs, they suddenly see this big thing and immediately ask what it's from. Uhhh, my mind? It's not "from" anything you might have seen on TV, the movies, or a video game. (Unless you can spot the slight inspirational points I took from Stargate Atlantis' Aurora and Orion.) It's a microspace SHIP for LEGO's 1998 Exploriens space line, and I had complete creative freedom in building it.

Example Three: Jurassic World. My Bubble Helmet Retronaut is the most fun I've had building Bionicle in years (because it's been years since I properly build Bionicle). Now, I'm not entirely jaded that people started mentioning the theme where I took his bubble helmet from, but there comes a point where it's not being inspiring as NPU and instead being a distraction for mentioning where parts are from. Luckily my Steampunk Sleigh didn't have that same problem, much.

Bonus example: The LEGO Movie: I also had Emmet and Wyldstyle in peril in the Labyrinth, and kids were calling it "LEGO Dimensions" and "The LEGO Movie," to the point of asking why they're here instead of, say, the Wild West or the City. Note to self: No more off-hand nods to fun.

At this point, I'm reconsidering how I want to display the Pharaoh's Labyrinth at BrickFair next week, if at all. I could parse it down to Stargate and TARDIS vignettes. Scratch the Munchkin Bricks and monsters. But there might be a better crowd there, as BrickFair VA was very promising in people enjoying those portions. I'm definitely staying away from things that might distract from the overall feel of building whatever you want, so the Rancor is out and I'll give the monster dungeon more narrative with less busyness. I think I'll replace the Rancor with this guy, and rubberband a Bionicle mask to the head.

And hopefully something can be figured out for the public to appreciate genre-mashing.

-CF :kakama:


Costume Time!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 22 2015 · 234 views

Costume Time! Help! I can't choose what costumes to wear for Halloween celebrations!

I'll be wearing one on Saturday for a Halloween LEGO event, and then I'll need two costumes for BrickFair public hours next week.

I've got three options: Eleventh Doctor, Indiana Jones, and Jayne Cobb. Jayne works best for Saturday because I know I'll be more comfortable in a t-shirt. It works best overall because I have a trimmed/maintained beard, but I'll ignore that feature for the other two. But the Eleventh is also easy because I can forgo the tweed jacket if bodyheat/internal temperature rises. But Indiana Jones is fun too, though I no longer have the whip. So I feel like the Doctor and Jayne costumes are more favorable for the events. Beard and all.

Still, it's a tough choice. What do I want to cosplay right now?

-CF :kakama:


Comic Con of Weekends Past

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Oct 01 2015 · 196 views

Last weekend was Baltimore Comic Con, and I attended with a BZPower Press Pass on my shirt and comics in my backpack. I hung out with 55555 on Friday and went solo on Saturday. Both days I had a blast, got many autographs, bought some stuff, and attended some fun panels. (And I interviewedBionicle's Pop Mhan.)

And just as I was hoping, I got to meet Charles Soule again, and Greg Pak and Mark Waid finally. They're all really cool, and some of the panels I attended featured them.

Unlike New York Comic Con, panels here are much more accessible and definitely don't need to require waiting in line for an hour to get in (just show up on time). BCC is a tenth of the attendance size of NYCC, so there's that. It was much more feasible to fill up my time with panels at this event, which made the overall experience more enjoyable. NYCC was more of a scavenger hunt to get autographs on comic covers without waiting in line for an hour, but this was an even mix of everything I wanted to do because the time allowed for it.

Which included getting some awesome swag! A favorite online artist, Mike Maihack, from the webcomic/graphic novel Cleopatra in Space, was there and offering a great deal on watercolor commissions, so this was my best chance to finally get a custom piece of Kitty Pryde by him. (His style is really cute, especially his Batgirl and Supergirl comics, and as you can see he does a great Kitty Pryde too.)

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He also had a Rey and BB-8 print he just did recently, so I picked that up too (but it was really hard to choose between that and something with other heroins he's known for). The Sandman print is from another artist (Angela McKendrick) who has a great style, and I wish I could have afforded the 3-for-$25 deal. (Another issue: wall space.) I also got to meet Otis Frampton, who works on the art and animation for the How It Should Have Ended videos!

As you can see, there a few comic covers with autographs, which is a great way to show who I've met:
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Someday I'll frame a bunch of these.

Finally,I also bought some fake LEGO. (Gasp!) It's not like LEGO will ever make Fantastic Four minifigs anyway...
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Though hopefully they'll eventually do Reverse Flash. Daredevil will hopefully happen too (Marvel Collectible Minifig Series?), and I skipped a few other figs like Doctor Strange out of hopes for official figs come Avengers 3 and 3 Part 2. And the FF Spidey is something I would expect in a DK LEGO Marvel guidebook like LEGO Batman has, if I'm allowed some wishful thinking. (These are from Amazing Heroes Minis.)

Alas, I missed out on getting Scott Snyder's autograph. He's a big name and a great writer, but there just wasn't enough time to get to everything and get to him. But that's OK, because the panels matter more. It's the con experience! Plus I like Charles Soule more, and I saw him plenty.

It was a good comic-focused weekend, and I had a blast. It's more comic-oriented than San Diego Comic Con is, or even NYCC is. Though NYCC is big enough to have panels and stuff on the comic-inspired movies and TV shows while still being about comics and geekiness. A broader audience. If there's ever something like this locally that suits your interests, I definitely recommend it! It's a great way to connect with your hobbies.

What's next for me? Probably BrickFair NJ.

-CF :kakama:


Baltimore Comic Con Cometh

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Sep 23 2015 · 199 views
baltimore, marvel, dc, lego and 1 more...
Baltimore Comic Con is coming this weekend, and I am getting more and more pumped with anticipation with each day!

On Friday I'll be hanging out with 55555, and on Saturday I'll be going solo unless a friend actually replies to my texts.

There are plenty of exciting panels happening, so it's just a matter of if I can get in to see the awesome comic creators talk. So I guess it's a matter of getting in line in time. There's a talk about the 90s X-Men series New Mutants, one about comics as myths and working mythology into your story, Mark Waid talking about writing great characters, a spotlight on Waid and Charles Soule, looking at the science behind superheroes and their powers, and more!

I also hope to get a handful of comics autographed by some favorite creators, like Mark Waid, Scott Snyder, and Charles Soule:

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That's five issues by Charles Soule, two by Greg Pak, two by Scott Snyder, two by Mark Waid including my Kingdom Come graphic novel, and a few others by some more cool comic creators. And eventually I'll get some of these signed works of art framed.

I'm hoping to get some cool works of art in Artists Alley too. So we'll see what happens by the end of the weekend.

And I'll be back in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. A beautiful part of the city!

If you're going too, drop me a message!

-CF :kakama:

The Me Brick

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My BrickLink
Location: Northern Virginia
Favorite color: Guess
Favorite smell: Campfire
Interests: LEGO, Boy Scouts (Eagle), Geeking, Comics
First LEGO Set: Renegade Runner
Roman Catholic
Convention history: BrickFest '04, & '06
BrickFair VA '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14 & '15.
BrickCon '13.
Bricks Cascade '15.
BrickFair NJ '15.
:flagusa: :kakama:


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Mosaic 2011

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(Thanks to everyone who helped!)

BḞ10: Mosaic

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^News Coverage^
Special thanks to Nukaya and xccj for getting this off the ground and making it work!

Cool Links/members

BrickFest web page

BrickFair web page
Brickworld web page
North West BrickCon site
My BrickShelf
Piraka Fusion
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Members I've met
Arpy His Something Completely Different
xccj His Team
EmperorWhenua His Blog
Nukaya Cloud Fire Her Bubble Wrap
Nuju Metru His Showtime

Lady Kopaka Her System
Primus His Time
Sisen His Company
Disky Her Rant
Binkmeister His Blog
Kopaka's Ice Engineering His Chocolate City
Argetlam (nathan8472) His Showcase

Toa Lhikan Hordika His Blog
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Aanchir: Rachira of Time His Sugar Bowl
Lyichir: Rachira of Influence His Surreality
Black Six His Bio
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.:Sora:. His Keyhole
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55555 His Array
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Friar Tuck His Tuck
Kohaku His Room
Spink His Garden
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Bionicle Rex
Total Nut (well, now he's Ancient Builder)
The dude that worked at Tyson's Lego Store
Toa Meiko of Meikoes
The pangolin under E's bed
Bionicle Raptor

Avohkah Tamer


Turakki #1 Lavasurfer

One of my college buddies who forgot his username
(PM me if I forgot you)
Other Cool members

Bundalings the Bunny His Burrow

GregF His Blog
T-Hybrid His Haven
Tilius His Blog
Shine His...Hikarikagayaku
Brave_Dragon: Her Pyromania
Jack_Skellington: His What's This
Air-Master: His Ærospaċe
Nukora: His Land Beyond
Master Vahi: His Testing Center
Arch-Angel: His Yin/Yang Story
Kativa/Ka-Chan: His Dormitory
~GreenBioGuy~ His Forest
Ca'gerrin His Orbit
Creator of the Kanohi
Core: Matoran of Chaos (Spiderman 121)
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