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Santa's Cottage

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9.000 THANKS! #9 UPDATE

We hit 9,000 votes few hours ago, thank you all for your support!

Why not try drawing Santa's Cottage? Maybe as a greeting card for next Christmas!


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8.000 THANKS! #8 UPDATE INTERIORS

Santa's Cottage fully detailed interiors are out now!

In the past few days I've worked hard to build the interiors of the Santa's Cottage and now here they are!
The Cottage features a complete interior with two floors: the upper one with the bedroom; and the ground floor with the living room. The whole interior is chock full of details that make the set very playable.
You can easily lift up the two roofs to access inside and play with the utensils and surprising accessories including table and chairs, a fireplace, a pendulum clock and many more.
Thanks to the wooden furniture you can breathe a warm and welcoming atmosphere, typical of mountain cottages: nice coziness inside while it's cold outside.
It's Christmastime indeed! And it's so enjoyable!






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7.000 THANKS! #7 UPDATE

Santa's Cottage interior is on its way...

While Santa's Cottage hit 7,000 supporters right few hours ago - thank you all for that - in the past few days I've worked hard to build the interior of Mr. Claus's cozy shelter and it's now almost complete. I just need to finish some details and take nice pictures and I think I'll post them for the next update, stay tuned!
To build the interior, and the cottage as well, I took inspiration from a couple of books about weird cabins and cottages.


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6.000 THANKS! #6 UPDATE

Christmas Eve...

While I'm waiting for some bricks to complete the interior of the cottage, I show you a shot that frames the most magical night of the year.
Thank you all, we have passed the 6,000 supporters!


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5.000 THANKS! #5 HALFWAY "SPECIAL CHRISTMAS" UPDATE

Santa’s Christmas Creation: a LEGO Holiday Tradition

Christmas is likely not only the most awaited day by all children in the world, but it is also the most awaited day by all AFOLs!
To me, Christmas has a special meaning linked in a very strong way to the LEGO world. December 25th was the day on which a much-coveted LEGO would magically appear under the tree. Christmas means really good memories and unforgettable emotions.
Stemming from those experiences and growing in building ability, I now test myself at building holiday-themed MOCs.
In fact, in recent years I have always reserved the first days of December to reveal a creation dedicated to the festivity par excellence  the day that brings everyone together. The Santa's Cottage, below in plain sight, is just the last of a wide series of Christmas builds.
Let's check them out together!


Over the last few years, precisely since 2016, it has become my tradition to build one or two Christmas-themed creations. Here they are in chronological order, each celebrating that most magical time of the year.

In 2016 I built two MOCs: a Santa Claus Maxifigure built with classic bricks, and a reinterpretation of my Volkswagen T2 pick-up, also submitted on LEGO IDEAS back in 2014.
The Maxifigure, technically quite simple, is basically built with basic bricks and looks back to the LEGO models of the seventies and eighties — those present in LEGOLAND parks. Although simple, I am very fond of this MOC — so much that I still have it and I think I won't be taking it apart anytime soon.


The blue pick-up loaded with gifts, on the other hand, is a Christmas version of my Volkswagen T2, created in 2014 as part of a VW Workshop that gave me so much satisfaction and also submitted on LEGO IDEAS a few years ago. The pick-up has a series of small white, red and golden details that immediately bring to mind the holidays. The bed of the truck is full of neatly wrapped gifts which really completes the scene in my opinion.


Heading into 2017, I built a small MOC in which Santa drives a Hot-Rod style sleigh in a typical winter setting filled with snow. “Santa's Hot Rod Sleigh” is a tribute to my Hot-Rod themed works of that same period. It was also my first MOC to have a snowy base created with a multiplicity of white slopes of different sizes.


In 2018, I built two MOCs once again — and both have a vehicle as the main focus of the scene. The first features Santa Claus who is looking for the right tree to decorate. He seems to have found it and loaded it onto the red and white pick-up truck, a reinterpretation of my previous Mooneyes truck. I liked the truck so much (and apparently everyone else did too!) that I published step-by-step photo instructions and it has since appeared in a few more of my MOCs.


In the second MOC, on the other hand, Santa Claus is grappling with a load of "oversized" gifts. Will he make it all fit in the compartment of his nice van?
Also in this case, the van is a reinterpretation of a model that I had previously used in other dioramas. I also released photographic instructions on my social channels for the van as well if you would like to build it.


In 2019, I changed the theme up and for the first time created a "rural house" in different contexts and in different settings. My Christmas MOC was the winter version of my "Walden". Practically, it is a wooden house in the middle of the forest framed by white pines in the background. The protagonist, needless to say, is Santa Claus who is about to ride his sleigh pulled not only by reindeer but by two huskies!
The whole scene is full of details and NPU (Nice Part Usage)—and was well-received by the AFOL community. Based on their reaction and suggestion, I took a night scene photo with light glowing from the frosty windows.



Since you don't change a winning idea, last year I modified my A-Frame Cabin, that reached 10.000 supports on LEGO IDEAS and is under the review phase, and dressed it up for the holiday season — and that's it!
I added snow on the roof, on the eaves and above the woodshed, some white pines in the background, and the brand new reindeer to keep our bearded friend company. Like the autumn version, this is also full of details and tricky NPU.


So that is a trip down memory lane, looking at my Christmas creations of years past. All together, they form quite the unique winter village and I look forward to expanding it again next year with my next holiday MOC. (If you are curious what the MOC will be for Christmas 2022, all you have to do is follow my social pages and wait ... 12 more months!)



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4.000 THANKS! #4 UPDATE

Off road with Santa: a jump back to discover the origin of Mr Claus’s 4WD vehicle.
 
A lot of people were surprised to find a classic off-road vehicle rather than the usual reindeer sleigh in my Christmas diorama.
While the sleigh is used on the night of December 24 to go around the world and deliver gifts, Santa Claus throughout the year prefers to use a more comfortable off-road vehicle, moreover in an eye-catching color scheme matching his cozy cottage.
Let's take a step back and find out a few more details about it.

 
The vehicle is based on my very popular Chevrolet Blazer (first picture below) that first appeared in my Sheriff Hopper's cabin, inspired by the Netflix TV series Stranger Things. It’s a truly 'chameleonic' vehicle that lends itself well to various customizations.
The Santa's version is full of little details and some interesting part usage. There is a spare wheel on the roof - you never know when you might need it - and on the front hood are attached shovel and pickaxe, just in case... and, as I said before, is decked out in classic Xmas livery.

 
I have used the same vehicle chassis in my other dioramas each time with different equipment and new two-tone paint jobs.
Below you can see the version featured in my diorama "The Crumbling Bridge" and the one featured in “The Blue Cottage".
Check it out and enjoy all the little details and tricks.



Which do you prefer? Let me know in the comments!
Have a nice Sunday!

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3.000 THANKS! #3 UPDATE

Building stage No.2:
 
While today Santa’s Cottage has been chosen as Staff Pick by the the LEGO IDEAS staff - they made my day - it’s time for update No.3.
Let’s take a deeper look at the last assembly stages of Mr. Claus residence.
 
The beautiful façade made of many red tiles is ready to be placed on the the base. I used the relatively new ‘Tile, Round Corner’ in two different sizes to create round doors and windows, reminiscent of Hobbit houses.
Rim covers from the Dodge Challenger in the Speed Champion series find new function inside the windows, making the thickness of the portholes circumferences appear smaller and giving the window look a more pleasant, general appeal.


The facade is positioned in its place on the base. The door is textured with some simple inverted 2 x 1 light bluish gray plates to great effect.
Snow and ice are also on the roof. Don’t miss the Trans-Clear Electric, Train Light Prism 1 x 3 used as a piece of ice dripping from the eaves—I don’t think anyone has ever used it before this way as it is a forgotten piece that has fallen into oblivion. I know they can never be used in new LEGO sets but they are just a little stylistic quirk.


Roof is on its place! Do not miss the chimney and the smoke effect...


Last details to complete the MOC and the diorama is ready for the photo shoot!

 
Thanks for stopping by and for your attention. The assembly updates are finished.
Stay tuned, see you next update!

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2.000 THANKS! #2 UPDATE

Building stage No.1: the base

Let's make a jump into the building process of the Santa's Cottage, starting from the base.

The base, as in many of my previous dioramas, is made up of multiple layers of wedge plates on a brick base, all in total white to achieve a scenic, tranquil snow effect.
Featured in my previous A-frame Cabin, the dry-stone wall underneath the cottage is comprised of many Thor's hammers.


To reach the somewhat battered staircase made of tile 1X4 with wood grain, you pass a pavement consisting of some gray slopes between which I have inserted white tiles to simulate the porphyry effect. I used this technique in my Magda's Garden Shed.


Logs and wooden🪵blocks are recreated using the round tiles with the cookies🍪and waffles🫓pattern. Love it!
I also sprinkled broken, brittle reddish-brown shards around the woodpile to represent chips from wood chopping🪓.
Reddish-brown bricks and plates have a somewhat bad reputation among AFOLs, as they are very easily broken. I have collected these tiny pieces for years and finally found the right way to use them!


Stay tuned, in the next updates you'll check out all the building stages till the photo shooting.

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1.000 THANKS! #1 UPDATE

The Blue Cottage as a starting point!

Did you know that the Santa's Cottage now gathering support on LEGO IDEAS is mainly based on my Blue Cottage?
I built the Blue Cottage early this year and few weeks later I built the Christmas edition decked out for the Xmas holidays.

Which is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

In the next updates I will show you the "behind the scenes" of the building process and other curiosities.
Stay tuned!
Thank you all for the support!


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