Thursday, March 4, 2010

Brick Epistles

Brendan Powell Smith has added three new (well, two of them are remakes) sections to the Brick Testament, focusing on the Epistles:

On Enemies illustrates some verses from Romans and Ephesians. Great job on reproducing the US House of Representatives - the use of that Bionicle(?) element for those decorations on the wall, the wheels, the teleprompters, etc. Double bonus points for attention to detail from the 2010 President Obama State of the Union speech - notice that Brendan was careful to match the figures sitting around the President, even to the point of getting their clothes right. I'm glad to see the inclusion of President Obama - previous chapters have used President Bush, and Brendan is always timely.

On Slavery is essentially a rebuild of his previous iteration: Instructions for Slaves. Personally I'd rather see Brendan take on new passages than rework old ones, but it's interesting to see how much his building has improved over the years of this project (BTW, Brendan, it would be great if you'd actually include links to prior versions, rather than making me search to come up with the old links - maybe, for instance, create a little 'behind the scenes of the BT' section to your website with links to these older iterations of stories, and some things like this or this). I really like the inclusion of the microscale manor house in the photo below, and then the full scale version to match. One negative is that the photoshopped wounds on the whipped slave don't work well (as opposed to the photoshopped glint of light off the mirror, which is brilliantly done), and also in 1 Peter 2:18, I've never thought the use of a torso to show a shirt lying there worked well. I've done it as well, but it just comes across looking like a body's been chopped in half.

On Women is similarly a remake of Instructions for Women. Indeed it's almost a shot for shot remake, like that version of Psycho with Vince Vaughn. I do note that in the last eight years, the standard has gone from tube TVs to flatscreens. I'm glad that Brendan's figs are keeping up with technology. Also, looking at old and new we can see how the selection of minifig parts has improved and the use of more advanced building techniques, like the stained glass windows, the fig legs and the trick of connecting the flames that Brendan was an early promoter of. BTW, the posing of the figs praying is great; I wonder how that was done. Of course the joke with switching around heads for 1 Cor 11:3 is still funny.


  1. Hi, Bruce. Nice to have your detailed comments once again. I did include a link to the old version of the Epistles in the update on the News page of The Brick Testament and in the announcement sent out to the Brick Testament mailing list. And while I also think it's interesting to compare the version I did 8 years ago against the new versions, I'm not sure the average Brick Testament viewer would be that interested, so I haven't added any sort of official Behind the Scenes section to the website. But just for you and your viewership, here's a page where the old and new from On Slavery are pitted side-by-side:

    (A couple of the new photos have no parallel in the old, so I didn't include those in the comparison.)

    A redo of Instructions for Marriage is on the way soon along with three new stories!

  2. Here's a old/new comparison for the On Women story too: