LEGO Masters Belgium/Netherlands
Season 2 Episode 8 – Semi-Finals Recap
Smash and Grab mini-challenge!
After seven episodes of testing eight team’s LEGO Master abilities, we are down to the semi-finals for LEGO Masters Belgium/Netherlands. The teams roll up to find an impressively tall structure that is being lovingly admired by the judges. Brickmaster points out it took 72 hours to build with alternating teams and is around 35,000 bricks… Then, Ruben knocks it to the ground sending pieces flying everywhere!
Yes, it’s the start of the smash and grab challenge. Each team has three minutes to scavenge the wreckage like seagulls to chips. They must build something using the bricks they have collected and they do a pretty good job scooping up the majority off the floor. The usual rules of technical, aesthetics and story are still in play and they have four hours to complete their mini-challenge. Also, it seems the work desks aren’t locked in, any pieces that fall through are disqualified from being used. The reality of time and limited bricks begin to hit the builders as they struggle to realise their designs along with structural issues.
Brickmaster confers with the hosts noting two designs that both feature a tree in glass and Thomas and Roy’s yacht build focusing mainly on the tan pieces, ignoring many of the other parts they’ve collected.
Ernesto and Marco – Last Tree On Earth
The last tree rests inside a dark glass cube to protect it. Around it lies the remains of civilization with mysterious structures. Alas, when opening the roof parts of the tree collapses.
Thomas and Roy – Luxury Yacht
They name their yacht, the Florence, and point out the features such as the bar and lift of section that shows the interior and engine room. Brickmaster, again, doesn’t offer any feedback.
Bibi and Marcel – Aviary
Bibi points out how they tried to create some contrast between the dark grey glass by putting in all sorts of contrasting birds. Brickman comments on the scale being a bit oddball with the birds being quite large compared to the minifigs.
Jan and Julien – Sand Planet Greenhouse
They point out they have built-in microscale to compensate for not having any minifigs and explain that the open roof is really a force field shield.
Brickmaster, who has been unusually quiet during judging, delivers his verdict. He focuses on how the aesthetics for this build has fallen flat with oodles of colour being stored inside the tower, yet all of the teams focused on beige in their looks. Brickmaster notes he cannot really call up two teams as a result and picks one: Marcel and Bibi, whose use of colour for the birds got them over the line and an advantage.
Night and Day
A city block with four empty spaces which are themed with different functions, such as industrial, residential. They need to be transformed into a building that tells two stories, night and day. That is when the lights go out, these buildings need to be lit up and reveal a new scene. Marcel and Bibi get to choose their theme and the others.
Bibi and Marcel – Residential / Cycling Path
They set their scene in the fictional town of Wolvenheim where a cycling event is taking place around the village. But this idyllic setting is changed as when night falls werewolves appear inside the building.
Thomas and Roy – Offices
They decide to choose a bank for their office building. By day the workers are just going through the motions and routines with not much joy. By night the cleaners transform the offices into a cabaret and dance show complete with a moving lift and a fantastic light up staircase.
Jan and Julien – Town Centre
By day a couple is getting married on the steps. At night the festival of the dead is in full swing inside the town hall. At the back of the town hall is an abandoned cafe and a graveyard, hinting to what is to come when it’s night.
Ernesto and Marco – Industrial
Their imposing building is surrounded by a mix of workers carrying out dangerous goods and official-looking people landing in a helicopter on the roof while an alien is coming out of a portal from inside. Brickmaster pops by to remind them to make the build have a bit of their unique personality. They decide to have the alien be a mutated banana.
This week’s co-judge is Senior LEGO designer and manager Benedikte Stamp who oversees the Disney range. She is focused on the story and details and wants to have both night and day be continuous.
Ernesto and Marco They elaborate on their daytime story being a cover for what goes on in this secret facility at night with workers seemingly going on their ordinary business. At night the interdimensional banana is lit up and the story is explained further that they are harnessing its intelligence and shipping it out in secret, while returning the empty barrels that the workers are putting back inside during the day. Benedikte is honest with her assessment; their story doesn’t quite match up what is there in the build. While the banana is praised for being imaginative and humorous, it was read as a banana party and not exiting through a portal.
Another point raised was the lighting is too white for the scene and suggested that more varied lighting colours could be used to enhance the story as well as drawing the eye to the canisters that were leaving, which were left in the dark.
Thomas and Roy Benedikte’s first impression was “what a boring building” but this was soon changed as it lit up to reveal the show. Brickmaster also backs this up by congratulating them on the building being originally built using alternating layers in the brickwork to not make it a grey square while combining their personal love of musicals.
Marcel and Bibi Brickmaster starts off by commenting he was a bit worried over their initial story being a pool party that celebrated the main event but lauds the story shift. Acclaim is given to the use of dramatic shadow and lighting to create the effect of teeth on a building that looked like it had a very basic facade during the day. Benedikte loves the surprise of the story as you don’t see it coming and the person getting pursued and the family having dinner around a table is a great contrast to the cycling scene while tying the two separate buildings together.
Jan and Julien The judges love the details, especially of the broken windows that use an assortment of transparent cheese slopes to create shattered glass, a technique Brickmasters comments on not having seen before. NPU praise is given to using white minifigs to create statues on the front of the town hall. The judges also point out the element of surprise is a bit lacking as the ruined building foreshadows what’s to come.
The teams are lined up with three on the line to go into the finale. The top two are Thomas and Roy and Marcel and Bibi!. With Ernesto and Marco and Julien and Jan the bottom two, it comes to a hard decision between the two as both were fantastically detailed builds. But sadly Ernesto and Marco’s jumbled story meant they are the last team to be eliminated for this season, a very sad farewell to a team that has produced some fantastically artistic builds.
Next week – The Grand Finale!
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This article was written by Sam.
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