Pirates and Piracy
Last September I was offered a heap of custom Lightaling lighting accessories for what was to be my largest LEGO project yet - one year, two conventions, 5,000 miles, and a whole lot of experiences later, I invite you to read on about my thought-process, adventures, and conclusions on the subject of custom LEGO lighting.
I'll give you fair warning though - once you start down that path, there ain't no turning back!

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Summer Joust 2022 Wrapup
We were excited to host our 7th Summer Joust this year, and once again the community response was astonishing!
If you haven't already seen the winners, check out the announcement post here.

Now let's take a look at some of the specific details and statistics from the biggest Joust so far!

We received 217 entries from 111 competitors, meaning there was an average of just under two builds per competitor (1.95 to be exact).
For the first time we had seven categories and 12x12 Vignette regained its title as the most entered category after a surprise twist saw it dethroned last year.
12x12 Vignette: 59 entries
Gradients: 36 entries
Going Big: 30 entries
An Exotic Feast: 7 teams, 22 participants, 25 entries
Subterranean: 23 entries
African Setting: 22 entries
Bridging the Gap: 22 entries

Not surprisingly, the category with highest average score was An Exotic Feast where competition was incredibly fierce.
An Exotic Feast: average score of 18.23
African Setting: average score of 16.81
Going Big: average score of 16.24
Gradients: average score of 16.12
Bridging the Gap: average score of 15.70
12x12 Vignette: average score of 15.67
Subterranean: average score of 15.31
The overall average score across the entire contest was 16.30

There was a staggering 22 participants who entered three or more categories and qualified for the Conquering Hero award.

And once again the vast majority of entries came in the last two weeks.
In the first month and a half we received 64 entries across the following categories:4 from Subterranean, 3 from Bridging the Gap, 10 from Going Big, 23 from 12x12 Vignette, 10 from African Setting, and 14 from Gradients.
Which meant 153 came in from July 17th - August 1st: 25 from An Exotic Feast, 19 from Subterranean, 19 from Bridging the Gap, 26 from 12x12 Vignette, 20 from Going Big, 12 from African Setting, and 12 from Gradients.

Flickr remains the dominant platform with 91% of entries (198) being submitted there , and only 9% from Instagram (19).

Which wraps up our statistics for this year alone, but let's take a look at it in context of all 7 Summer Jousts.
As previously mentioned, this year was the biggest ever with 217 entries. How does that compare with previous installments?
Here's the breakdown:
2022: 217 Entries
2021: 211 Entries
2020: 163 Entries
2019: 157 Entries
2018: 147 Entries
2017: 117 Entries
2016: 130 Entries
Meaning this year had 100 entries more than the 2017 Summer Joust!

And if we add all those entries together, we get a total of 1,142 models created for the Joust. That's a lot of castle MOCs!

Vignette is the only category to have featured in some form in every single Joust, and there have been 323 Vignettes submitted over the 7 years.
After this year it holds the record for most ever entries in a single category with 59.

On the other hand, what was the least popular category ever?
Historian with a measly 6 entries back in 2016.
That's a record I prefer remain unbroken...

That's it for this year, well done to everyone who participated and encouraged the competitors!
We're anticipating great things again in 2023!

Pirates and Piracy
Adding lights to our LEGO creations and MOCs is something a lot of us builders have dreamed of, but often it seems too complicated to actually carry out - plus you need to get the lights somewhere! But today we're going to take a look at a custom lighting kit from BriksMax and Lightailing and the effect on your pictures, and you can decide if it's worth it for yourself!

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Summer Joust 2021 Wrapup
The 2021 Summer Joust has come to a close, and now let's take a look back at some of the details and statistics.
Though if you haven't already, be sure to check out the results first!

For the 6th Summer Joust, 100 participants submitted 210 entries. The average number of entries per competitor was 2.1.
Significant increase compared to last year's 79 participants and 163 entries.

In 2020, only one category reached more than 40 entries, but this year three did! And even more astonishing, the Vignette category didn't have most entries!
Categories by Entry Count:
High Fantasy: 48
12x12 Vignette: 45
Creating an Atmosphere: 41
Through the Seasons: 32
Asian Setting: 25
Monastery: 19

Category Average Entry Score:
Through the Seasons: 19.34
Asian Setting: 17.56
Monastery: 17.43
Creating an Atmosphere: 16.77
12x12 Vignette: 15.70
High Fantasy: 15.13

Approximately 110 builds were submitted in the last week, which is over half of the total entries. In fact, in just the last two days around 75 builds came in! The team category always plays a large role in that, as almost every team posts in the last few days.
Still, there was a consistent flow of entries throughout the contest, with the first ones being posted after just a few days.

All in all it was our most successful Joust yet and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did.

Thanks for reading, and we're looking forward to next year's Summer Joust!

InnovaLUG Winter Vignette Collab
After the fun we had doing an autumn themed collab, it only made sense to do a winter one a few months later! So once again we settled on a castle themed series of vignettes, but this time under snow.

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