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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. The process is easy and you can use your Google, Facebook, or Twitter account to make it even faster. 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 and play member and staff-run games
  • Enter contests to win free LEGO sets and other prizes, and vote to decide the winners
  • Participate in raffles, including exclusive raffles for new members, and win free LEGO sets
  • Send private messages to other members
  • 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"


Steamboat Shenanigans

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jul 28 2015 · 182 views
lego, steampunk, brickfair, MOC
Steampunk fans! Have you heard the sweet tunes of the Steam Powered Giraffe? For the uninitiated, they are a steampunk-themed rock band (with a slight hint of folk), and at shows they even act the part of being automatons through their movements and way they talk with each other. They have all kinds of songs, from things about steamboats to pirates and suspenders to magic. It's not a gimmick, their singing is really good and the songs are catchy!

So I immortalized them in LEGO for BrickFair's Steampunk theme:

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Furthermore, I'm bringing another new Steampunk build, utilizing the Pteranodon:

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And, almost surprisingly, there are more MOCs to come! I've been keeping busy the past couple of weeks, seeing as how I procrastinated on LEGO building for a while. Stay tuned!

-CF :kakama:


Adults Who Ask Too Many Questions

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jul 16 2015 · 272 views
life, rant
This is a rant. It's about adults. Not adults like me, but adults much older than me who have some life experience and know what they're doing, and thus think nothing of the consequences on my psyche when conversing. Granted, I do know adults who have their life together--solid job, living on their own--but most of my complaints are coming because of even older adults.

It's about conversation. And while I definitely dislike small talk, it's unavoidable. And while I'm learning how to ask small-talk-like questions that are actually meaningful, the same usual small talk queries are addressed to me whenever I meet new adults.

The questions are simple: "What did you study in college?" and "What do you do?" (The latter meaning jobs and money, not in life in general in your free time. More on that later.) I understand that my answers are in my control. I'm living at home and underemployed. I believe in responsibility and accountability, and I hold myself to my societal shortcomings. Though adults are always kind in talking about the troubled economy and job market. But it falls to me. But what falls to them are the questions. Why ask things that remind me of my shortcomings?

I understand it's easy, but even after that topic has been breached it remains the point of conversation. It's not like it's a lead in to other interests. Small talk like this would be so much better if we focused on, say, hobbies. "What do you do?" "Oh, I build LEGO creations and collect comic books." And there is so much conversation to be made going on from there. People are enthusiastic about their passions, and it allows the other person to continually ask questions and show/feign interest. And even if the job question has come up, my working in a bookstore is such a great lead for a deeper conversation about books. Everyone (mostly) reads! What isn't there to talk about in the world of books?

Until such ends are met, I will just have to live with my problems, work harder in any job, and steer the conversation into something more favorable.

Now, I know I have plenty of friends also living at home and not working in their field of study at school (if they even went to college). And I also have friends that are adulting better than I am either by making enough to move out yet remain underemployed or actually making a career out of their interests and studies. So I ask: What problems has everyone encountered? What have you done until better options came along? What kind of comments have been received; what kind of answers were given? And what is the best way to bear with the unbearable smalltalk?

-CF :kakama:


Collecting the Collector

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jun 29 2015 · 150 views
LEGO, minifigs, super heroes and 2 more...
You know what's great about having a friend who is extremely adept at making trades and scouring ebay for deals? He knows just how to grab something rad online. A few days later and bam!--Toa Lhikan Hordika puts in my hands the Collector, one of San Diego Comic Con's exclusive LEGO minifigs last year! (A trade, of course.)

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He looks good with the team, and by team I'm including the proper Nova, of course. And Drax has his signature energy axe.
(A second thanks goes to xccj for grabbing me Rocket in his Ravagers outfit.)

What is really cool about the Collector is the backing of the case unfolds to show a large image of him, scowling (the other side of his minifig head). Not that any sane LEGO collector would display this unless there was a safe way to do so, but it's a pretty neat bonus.

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But the exclusives don't stop there! I also have another benefactor: my manager who used to work at GameStop and snagged all kinds of extras for the LEGO video games. So now I have the exclusive Elrond figure and, better yet, Lex Luthor in power armor and, better yet, Plastic Man! Certainly exciting additions to my collection.

What's next? Making a display case for all of these (and my other exclusives)!

-CF :kakama:


Baltimore Comic Con

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jun 25 2015 · 140 views
comics, baltimore, comic con
Baltimore Comic Con is happening at the end of September, and I'll be going! So far it sounds like 55555 is planning on going too, but it'd be cool to hang with anyone else attending too. Hopefully we'll be getting a hotel to stay a night and attend two days (Friday and Saturday, unless he has other plans), so if anyone else wants to join us and keep costs down, let me know.

Right now it's planning logistics with Fivey, figuring out what/if I'm cosplaying, and which comics I need to bring to get autographed.

But until then, I'm eagerly awaiting the convention that is coming way too quickly to keep up with my MOCing schedule: BrickFair VA!

-CF :kakama:


Asking the Tough Questions

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jun 13 2015 · 75 views
LEGO, Jurassic World, Philosophy and 2 more...
There are a few good memes floating around online. Philosoraptor is one such meme. And now he's come to LEGO:

The PhiLEGOphy Raptor!

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(Cell phone pic with decently solid background at WAMALUG using a friend's raptor.)

Make your own!
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Maybe more to come? Enjoy!

-CF :kakama:
(Totally stole that thought from a LEGO Movie character guide.)


An Evening with Neil Gaiman

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , May 02 2015 · 181 views
books, neil gaiman
On Friday, May 1, I had the fortunate pleasure of seeing and hearing Neil Gaiman, my favorite author, speak in DC. It was a fantastic evening, shared with Toa Lhikan Hordika, who has also been a fan and is slowly being inducted into more of his works as well.

The format was different than what I've experienced before with author talks. This time around, people could write questions down on a note card before the show. So he comes on stage, giving his usual "Hullo" we all know, holding a stack of maybe 300 note cards. The entire night is just him picking a card and answering it, going off on minor tangents when it suited him and digging deep into his personal experiences to share his world with ours. In that way it felt like we were having a conversation with him, or a very informal interview, in which he's simply talking to us, for us, about pretty much anything.

He even answered my question! I asked what I can say, as a bookseller, to parents that are set on not letting their kids read new and genre-filled books since they're forcing their kids to read arguably boring and uninteresting books (depending on the reader)? His answer ("Ah, parents," he says, and the audience laughs) was to handsell books with a passion so that maybe they'd allow something new to be tried. A good answer, of course.

He had various touching moments, from recounting how many women said Coraline inspired them as young girls to be brave, to speaking briefly about Terry Pratchett and writing Good Omens together. He had advice about writing and living a good life. He spoke of adventures he had even when he didn't realize they were adventures. He made us laugh, fall silent, and take in his every word in only the way his voice can as he pauses every now and then as if choosing his next word to make sure it is perfect.

He also read a few short stories from his new book, the anthology Trigger Warning, and a few pages from Good Omens and then told us which part Pratchett had contributed to. I was especially happy because he read the October Tale from A Calendar of Tales, which is my favorite. It is about a genie who appears for someone who does not want or need anything obtained through a wish, and is happy with their simply life and starts to befriend the perplexed djinn. (The whole Calendar can be read for free online.)

It was unlike anything I've experienced, and even if I see Gaiman speak again it will no be anything like that night. It was an evening filled with humorous, heartfelt, and truthful insight into his life and his books. What a fantastic way to start the month.
-CF :kakama:
(PS, I recommend his books American Gods, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and his comic series The Sandman, for anyone interested in a starting point for his works. And then I recommend everything!)



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Apr 04 2015 · 218 views
lego, sets, nostalgia, bionicle
I was cleaning up my room a bit and dug around in a few boxes. To my bemusement, I found an old Exploriens' box!

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While this is the oldest box I haven't recycled yet (I've recycled everything except Bionicle canisters, which up until recently were used as parts storage), the oldest set I still have built is a RoboForce vehicle that is sitting on my shelf (gathering dust).

The Exploriens are my favorite LEGO Space theme, but I suppose at some point in my childhood I felt the need to take this set apart but was never compelled to do so to the RoboForce one. At this point I don't really feel like I should, if only to keep a bit of my childhood around (as well as a variety of figs).

Also unearthed was a tub of Bionicle things I didn't miss: Piraka spines, Kanoka, Rhotuka, Kraata, Zamor, and some torsos from 2008 and on. I reorganized my Bionicle collection late last year but never said, "huh, I wonder where those Piraka spines are." But, I know they have building potential. (I wonder if the Rhotuka and Kraata are worth anything in my BrickLink store....)

Oh and I found the LEGO Club BrickMaster CD with Bionicle comics #1-25 on it! Now I can reread most of the story (seeing as how I have no idea where in my house the physical comics are, despite now wanting to bag and board them).

Just another day in the life of an AFOL!

-CF :kakama:


Booster Gold Pre-Decals

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 22 2015 · 175 views

Until I finally get and print on some water slide decals, I've made the first version of Green Lantern Booster Gold:

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Now to make Skeets!

-CF :kakama:


Bricks Cascade Wrap-up

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 17 2015 · 210 views
lego, conventions, bricks cascade and 1 more...
The Bricks Cascade LEGO convention took place this weekend in Portland, Oregon. After hearing from friends how it's worth visiting, this year I was able to see for myself!

At about 200 AFOL attendees, it was a little small for what I was used to. But that meant a much higher chance of snagging deals, getting into some games and taking home some freebies.

On Friday I played the Mixels Mix Up, where players combined two Mixels sets into something else (using all the pieces). I got third place in the judging (and more free sets)! And then on Saturday I got second place in the one-handed speed build with a City set! (No prize.) And since everyone was guaranteed to win a big set, I won the latest iteration of the Mos Eisley Cantina set! There were a few other perks due to support LEGO has started contributing to conventions.

There were plenty of cool MOCs on display (pictures coming soon to the front page), some big, some small, and something that stood out in every theme. Keep in mind the con was "tiny" by my usual standards, but MOCs were still impressive both for the attendees and the public.

Speaking of the public, Micah tipped me off that local Marvel Comics scribe Matt Fraction was visiting on Saturday. Due to my wishful thinking (wishful hoping) that he would, I wore my Hawkeye #3 "Because boomerangs" t-shirt, met him and had him sign it! (Majhost is down, so no pictures.) He immediately recognized the shirt to which I said it was my favorite issue. It was really cool meeting him since I missed out at New York Comic Con.

For me, the main attraction has become less on MOCs and sales and more on hanging out with friends! Getting to the West Coast has different advantages than the East Coast, so I was able to see some friends I haven't seen in years, and some friends I haven't seen in months. Other members also attended, so making new friends was just another perk. You know who you all are. It was great to be able to spend time with everyone, and I think I divided my time appropriately (and hanging out as a group was great too).

I also made sure I took some time to hike the famed great outdoors of Oregon. On Monday xccj and I hiked Eagle Creek and then stopped by Multnomah Falls. Due to the weekend's rain, all the waterfalls along the Eagle Creek trail were at full blast and made for some amazing scenery. Absolutely beautiful. It was great to be able to go hiking and get some fresh air, something I hadn't done in way too long.

And now, another fun event has come and gone. I wholeheartedly recommend seeing if there is a LEGO convention or similar event in your area (even if going is a committed day trip) for any country. BZPower aims to have a large presence at many of the US-based conventions, discussed in our Event forum along with the goal to display your MOCs!

My next big event will be BrickFair VA in August, but I plan on building some more between now and then. Events like this rejuvenate my inspiration to build something different and, if I really want to aim towards some awards, big and unique.

Until then, leg godt!

-CF :kakama:


Leaving Cascade

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 17 2015 · 156 views

And thus ends my third trip to the West Coast. I'll have a more nostalgic and 'miss everyone' entry soon (tonight during Flash and SHIELD?), but I miss everyone and had a great time this weekend at Bricks Cascade! (Pictures coming hopefully soon to the front page.)

-CF :kakama:


The Flash!

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 08 2015 · 211 views
lego, bionicle, flash, comics and 1 more...
Remember how last summer I was seeking to get a hold of a red Kakama, and someone (Danny?) came through and helped me out at BrickFair? Well, here's why I had to have that mask:

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I had to. Just for the pun utilizing the mask.

Sure, you can nitpick over the dark red parts or the red feet, but I had fun building him. He'll be debuting at Bricks Cascade this weekend as part of the Super Hero theme.

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More pictures can be found on my BrickShelf.

With any luck, I'll be inspired to build a whole superhero team!

BZPower Topic!

-CF :kakama:


Suiting Up Iron Man

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Mar 05 2015 · 241 views
LEGO, bionicle, MOC, marvel and 1 more...
He didn't turn out exactly how I would have liked, but a custom torso extending its length and reducing the neck will better match his long arms (which have to be that way if I want the layered CCBS otherwise it won't look like encompassing armor) and fix that.

But I don't think those changes will come before Bricks Cascade, which is a shame because there's a whole super hero theme going on. Luckily I just built another hero which I'll hopefully post quickly.

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(Yes it's a terrible photo but it's a WIP so ha.)

I've been itching to use that mask for Iron Man's gold/black armor since October.

-CF :kakama:


Shiny Cunning Hat

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Feb 21 2015 · 210 views
knitting, firefly, jayne hat and 1 more...
I learned how to knit three and a half years ago so I could make a Fourth Doctor Scarf from Doctor Who. I recently picked up the knitting needles again to make my own Jayne Hat from Firefly:

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How's it sit? Pretty cunning, don't you think?

It's actually a tad smaller than I'd like, so I think I'll make a second, better one over the summer.

-CF :kakama:



Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 07 2015 · 219 views
bionicle, lego
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I built a few small things to show off my early-received Bionicle pieces at December's WAMALUG* meeting (remember?). While that's not much to brag about now, I still enjoyed breaking out the Bionicle pieces and trying a few things out, and at the very least making use of new masks, weapons, and ideas.

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I had been wanting to use Gali's new golden mask (especially on red), and saw this as a great chance. (Hand design borrowed from Bundalings.)

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You've heard of Figbarfs? Fiddling with minifigs to see what gets made? Think of these as Bioni-barfs.

And I've been doing a little bit more building too. I should have some new stuff for BrickFair!

-CF :kakama:
*My local LEGO Users Group


Attack on Winter Vilage

Posted by ChocolateFrogs , Jan 02 2015 · 211 views
lego, winter, village, mr freeze and 1 more...
As I see my mom's classic Winter Village display, I'm suddenly regretting not collecting the winter sets LEGO makes just like these. This will have to do:

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Because really, that's an impossibly absurd amount of snow.

-CF :kakama:
(This almost as great as me putting a TARDIS in the Creche under the tree.)

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
ChrisKopaka His blog
Omicron His Rush
Aanchir: Rachira of Time His Sugar Bowl
Lyichir: Rachira of Influence His Surreality
Black Six His Bio
Kaiapu His Skippy
.:Sora:. His Keyhole
Ouch His Giant Enemy
Roa McToa Her Spectaculoso
Darth Vader His Wanting
55555 His Array
Smeagol His Quote
Hahli Husky Her Label
Nikira Her Blog
Janus His E.M.O.T.I.O.N.
LehvakLah Her Handshields
Emzee His Maker
(Inner)Rayg His Contents
ToM Dracone His Memory
Vezok's Friend His Journeys
Waffles His Window
Senjo Her Outpost
Friar Tuck His Tuck
Kohaku His Room
Spink His Garden
Brickeens His 9
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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