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    Posted February 28, 2012 by
    New York, New York

    "The Fireflower" - LEGO Super Mario 3 Airship Replica


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     The 'Super Mario Bros. 3'-obsessed vonBrunk told me this is 'the closest thing I could do to actually building a real airship!'
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Containing over 8,000 individual LEGO pieces, rigged up with wiring and lights -- and spanning over a 6-foot table -- this titanic brute is a massive fan tribute to the greatest Nintendo game of all time, "Super Mario Bros. 3". I gradually worked on building this huge project between November 2011 and February 2012, and with much time and effort, I've made my boyhood imaginations run rampant!


    The ship itself is placed on top of a series of transparent stanchions to give the illusion of flight, and the hollows of the frame are able to be opened up like a dollhouse; within the bridge, cabin, deck and bow are tiled floors -- some of which are decorated with mosaics of Super Mario game sprites. Atop the stern is a hollow warp pipe for gaining entry to the inner cabin, right next to a large 16 cm stained-glass window of a fire flower power-up sprite. With the help of a 9V battery, some wires, and a 6 Watt bulb, the stained-glass lights up like a Tiffany lamp -- or a Lite Brite! The crafty faux-wood design was made possible with thousands of reddish-brown LEGO bricks, which are carefully constructed sideways to mimic the appearance of wooden logs. This particular type of construction -- in which LEGO studs don't face upwards -- is known as "SNOT", or "studs not on top" in LEGO slang.


    These photos were taken by my friend Roz Smith of New Jersey; below is the full Tumblr article with all of the pictures from the session, as well as more detail of the ship's construction:




    Let's see if I can get this ship into a public display at an art gallery!


    - "Baron" Julius von Brunk

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