Submarine Enthusiast Converts Small Barge into U-Boat Replica

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Richard Williams may be 51 years old, but he still has the dreams of a young boy. Sure, he’s not the only one, but unlike others he set out to fulfill them. I guess it’s true what they say, better late than never.

As a child, Richard was a big Star Trek fan, but never got the chance to be on the bridge of the Enterprise, so ten years ago he converted one of the rooms in his apartment into the bridge of the iconic spaceship. It wasn’t the best Star Trek replica ever created, but it made our man happy. “Every boy wants a spaceship, but I got to 40 before I could have mine”, he says, but that’s not the only childhood dream he managed to fulfill. The idea for his U-boat replica, came around his 50th birthday, when his father bought him a barge, so he could enjoy life at a more relaxed pace. But as soon as he laid eyes on it, the former mobility scooter salesman began devising a plan to turn it into something more exciting.

At first, he wanted to transform his barge into The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, but after he finished converting the hull, he learned the specialist yellow paint would cost him £4,000 ($6,500), so he settled for black, which was considerably cheaper. When it was finished, his wife Laurel said it looked a lot like a German U-boat, and since he had always been interested in naval history, he decided to take it to the next level. With the help of a company that supplies props for the Star Wars and James Bond movies, Richard Williams decided to turn his U-boat into a floating museum.

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Working Flintstones Car Replica For Sale

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I’m a huge Flintstones fan, but apparently not as huge as this guy who actually built a replica of Fred’s iconic vehicle from wood, fabric and steel.

I haven’t yet been able to find the source of this story, but according to InAutoNews.com, this cool replica of the Flintstones car is actually for sale, online. And the best thing about it is that under all that wooden exterior is a functional, drivable car powered by a 4-cylinder 1.6 petrol engine. Although it looks like it uses two wooden drums as wheels, if you look closely you’ll see one of the four old-fashion tires revealed, in the front. Which is a good thing, because steering would have been a problem with the original prehistoric system.

According to the above mentioned car blog, the vehicle already has 80,000 km under its belt, although it’s listed as built in 2011. The top speed of the real-life Flintstones car isn’t specified, but I’m pretty sure whatever it is, it beats pushing it with your feet. If you’re interested and manage to find the actual sales ad, this nicely done replica apparently costs just 2,200 euros. Pretty cheap for such an iconic piece of cartoon history.

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House from Disney’s Animated Movie Up Recreated in Real Life

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A full-scale replica of the iconic house from the movie “Up”, complete with small details from Disney/Pixar’s animation, is being built in the city of Herriman, Utah.

Utah fans looking to feast their eyes on some real-life Disney magic won’t have to take the trip to California anymore, as a real masterpiece starts to take shape a lot closer to home, in Herriman. Blair Bangerter, one of the three brothers in charge of Bangerter Homes – a custom home building company – said: “I was just watching the movie, and thought, ‘We build houses kind of like that, ’” So after getting the go-ahead from Disney, they started recreating Carl and Ellie’s house from “Up”, while making some modifications of their own.

While the laws of physics may not apply to cartoons, they do apply in real life, so in order to make this house safe, the Bangerters had to make some changes: the house is now a narrow rectangle rather than a square, and the chimney and fireplace have been modified so they actually match up in real life. But, according to Adam Bangerter “ff you see it in the movie, you are going to see it in real life here”. The outside is painted in sherbet shades and there is even a replica of Carl and Ellie’s hand-printed mailbox and custom-made garden hose reel. And the movie details continue inside: the upstairs nursery has the same mural Ellie paints in the film, her and Carl’s armchairs have been custom ordered to match those in the animation, and there is a painting of fictional Paradise Falls over the mantle and a custom-made fireplace.

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Students Recreate Van Gogh’s Starry Night with 8,000 Bottle Caps

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Two students from the University of Virginia have created a pixelated replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” using around 8,000 colorful bottle caps.

I don’t know how they got their hands on so many bottle caps, but I’m sure Ross Thomas and Elizabeth Farrell made quite an impression on their teachers and colleagues when they unveiled this recycled version of Starry Night. Around 8,000 bottle caps were used to complete the 7′ by 9′ masterpiece, but although the number itself is pretty impressive, what I find most amazing is how they used the colors and logos of the caps in just the right places to create a beautiful artwork.

I don’t know what it is about Van Gogh’s masterpiece that bottle cap artists love so much, but I think it just might be the most bottle cap reproduced artwork in history. Take a look at some other versions of Starry Night, at the bottom.

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Man Builds 100-Foot Replica of the Titanic in His Backyard

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Scotish ship enthusiast Stan Fraser has spent eleven years of his life building a 100-foot model of the Titanic, in his own backyard.

The 46-year-old former lighting engineer has always had a thing for the Titanic as well as maritime items in general, and his house in Inverness is filled with life jackets, models of other ships and copies of old newspaper articles reporting the Titanic’s tragic accident. His mother used to tell him lots of seafaring stories when he was a child, and he developed a strong passion for the sea that stuck with him throughout his life. He chose a nautical theme for his house and turned his cousin’s old rowing boat into a pirate ship for his kids.

But it was the famous Titanic that fascinated Fraser the most, as he says it was the most beautiful ship ever made, even compared to modern sea liners. He started working on a small replica of the Titanic for fun, but he kept making it bigger until he decided on a 1:100 scale model of the ship. Stan used two caravans he had in the garden as the base of his masterpiece, then someone gave him an old shed to use as material, and another friend who was building a house, helped him out with wood and nails. This got him started, but he spent the next eleven years working on his incredibly detailed model.

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Retired Farmer Spends 30 Years Building Scale Model of Herod’s Temple

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Alec Garrard, an 80-year-old retired farmer from Norfolk, England, has spent the last thirty years working on a 1:100 scale model of Herod’s Biblical Temple.

Mr. Garrard has liked creating models all his life, but as he was getting older, he began thinking about a single big project that would see him through to the end of his life. Having always been interested in architecture and religion, the retired farmer thought to combine his two passions and create a unique scale model of Herod’s Temple. He had seen one or two other models of the structure during Biblical exhibitions, but he didn’t find them accurate enough, and he knew he could do better.

The expert model-maker started working on the project when he was in his 40′s. He first spent more than three years just researching the Biblical temple and then began constructing the model, exclusively by hand. The retired farmer cut the plywood frames of the temple walls, baked all the clay bricks in the oven and then stuck them together, and even sculpted and painted 4,000 half-an-inch figurines and dressed them in costumes. It looks absolutely amazing, but Alec Garrard says “I have been working on it for decades, but it will never be finished as I’m always finding something new to add”.

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Jewelry Collector Creates World’s Most Expensive Mona Lisa Painting

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A Chinese jewelry collector, who probably had more money that he could spend, has created a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” with 100,000 carats of jewelry.

Many artists have tried to replicate da Vinci’s masterpiece out all kinds of unusual materials, from coffee cups, to pieces of toast and even motherboard components, but no one has ever create an extravagant a replica like this jewel Mona Lisa. The name of the artist is unknown, all that’s been revealed is that he’s a jewelry collector who has spent the last five years working on this one-of-a-kind jewelry painting and the last 30 years collecting all the necessary raw gem stones. The thousands of jewels used ad up to an impressive 100,000 carats.

This bedazzled replica of the Mona Lisa is currently on display in a shopping mall in Shenyang City, China.

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Chef Builds Replica of His Kitchen Entirely Out of Chocolate and Sugar

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Master pastry chef Alain Roby has built a replica of his home kitchen in Geneva, entirely out of 2,000 pounds of chocolate and sugar.

Alain Roby, the man who previously built a 20-foot chocolate skyscraper and a 22-foot-tall Christmas tree made of chocolate, began work on his unique replica last year, when he received a chocolate donation from Belgian chocolaterie Callebaut. He started out by melting the chocolate into molds he himself designed, and connected the parts using more chocolate. The dishes were made from sugar, and the tiles were glazed and sculpted into the desired shape. The whole project took months to complete, and Alain still finds ways to improve it, every now and then.

The chocolate artist admits the artistry of the kitchen is a big challenge, but it’s actually the engineering part that’s the most complicated. He had to put in many hours of hard work and come up with a lot of ingenious ideas to finish this sweet replica of his home kitchen, in Geneva, but the response has been fantastic. Complete with cabinets, a stove, a sink, a tiled backsplash, teapots and dishes, Alain Roby’s chocolate kitchen has become a temporary local attraction of Geneva, since it has been on display in a downtown venue.

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It’s Simply Amazing What a Man Can Do with a Single Toothpick

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San Francisco-based artist Steven J. Backman uses simple toothpicks to create the most incredible artworks.

Steven’s fascination for toothpick art can be traced back to his elementary school days, when he used toothpicks and beans to create a project of DNA molecules. Unfortunately, after accidentally getting a toothpick stuck in his palm, he had to quit his favorite hobby. But, even though he didn’t practice it anymore, his passion for building toothpick models stuck with him all the way through university, when he started to give it another shot. In 1984, he decided to build a replica of a San Francisco cable cart, from toothpicks and glue, as a way to show his appreciation the iconic landmarks. Soon after, he established his toothpick art company, “Landmarks of San Francisco”, which he still operates today.

Throughout the years, Steven J. Backman has created some truly impressive toothpick sculptures and replicas, from a 10,000 toothpick electric powered radio-controlled yacht and a 30,000 toothpick replica of the Golden Gate Bridge, acquired by Ripley’s Believe or Not. I promise to cover all of his incredible artworks in the future, but I thought his one toothpick wonders deserved a full post of their own.

I’ve stared at his miniature masterpieces for a while now and I still can’t wrap my head around how he managed to reproduce all these famous landmarks in such fine detail, using a single toothpick, some glue and tweezers. His mini models are under two inches long and take anywhere from a a few hours to a few months to complete, and some of them currently hold the Guinness Record for the world’s smallest replica. One thing is for sure, Steven’s favorite motto – “The Essence of Patience” – best describes the time and effort that goes into his work.

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World’s Tallest Optimus Prime Statue Unveiled in China

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An 11-meters-high, 21-ton heavy statue of Autobots leader Optimus Prime has recently been unveiled in one of the squares of Shenyang City, China. According to Chinese sources, this is the biggest Transformers replica ever created, beating the previous record (also set by China) by only one meter. Just like all the other Optimus Prime statues I’ve featured on Oddity Central in the past, this latest one was assembled from various old car parts, taken from 20 automobiles.

The world’s tallest Optimus Prime model was completed yesterday and can now be admired outside the “Guangzhou Street” metro station, in Shenyang. I didn’t know Asia was so big on the Transformers franchise, seeing it has its own giant robot creations, like Gundam or Tetsujin, but the most impressive Transformers statues so far were created in mainland China and Taiwan.

 

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Fan Builds 1/1000 Scale LEGO Replica of Ohio Stadium

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Paul Janssen spent over 1,000 hours and around 1,000,000 LEGO pieces to build an incredible replica of the Ohio State Buckeyes Stadium.

In order to build a realistic model of Ohio’s The Horseshoe Stadium, Janssen studied original measurements and satellite images, often using his trusty camera to take photos of interior details, during ball games. Originally from the Netherlands, this LEGO master didn’t even understand the game of American football,at first, but over time he grew to like it, and is now a big fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and a season-ticket holder.

Paul Janssen spent three years just collecting the necessary LEGO pieces for his amazing replica, and had to improvise quite a bit on some details. For example, the Rotunda decor is made out of  Dragon horns from a LEGO castle kit, while chrome truck parts serve as pipes extending from the stadium bathrooms. President of the Central Ohio Lego Train Club, Janssen traded for most of the necessary LEGO pieces, and thinks that if he had to purchase all of them, it would have set him back $50,000 to $75,000.

The 8 foot by 6 foot replica of the Ohio Stadium took 42-year-old Janssen over 1,000 hours to build, over the course of two years. And he did it all in his home basement, in Dublin, Ohio.

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Artist Recreates Da Vinci’s Last Supper Out of Laundry Lint

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Michigan-based artist Laura Bell has created a unique replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, exclusively out of colored laundry lint. The fluffy masterpiece measures 14 feet long by 4 feet tall.

The amateur artist from Roscommon, Michigan, was inspired to create this amazing artwork 10 years ago, when she saw a laundry lint portrait at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Wisconsin Dells Odditorium. In 2009, encouraged by her husband, Laura began working on her one-of-kind replica of The Last Supper, for the 2010 Art Prize competition, held in Grand Rapids.

As you can imagine, making a painting from laundry lint couldn’t have been easy. Laura Bell spent seven months just collecting the laundry lint she needed for her special project. The lint she collected from her own dryer was always the same color, so she tried laundramat lint, but that always had shades of gray. Eventually, she ended up buying different color towels and washing and drying them separately, to get just the right colors for her masterpiece.

Laura estimates she spent 700-800 hours just doing laundry to collect the needed material, plus another 200 hours putting it together in her unusual replica of The Last Supper. The artist says most people who see it are amazed it was created out of basic laundry lint that hasn’t been colored or dyed, while for some, seeing such a unique work of art is a spiritual experience.

Laura Bell’s The Last Supper made from lint was recently acquired by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and will soon find its place in one of the company’s 32 odditoriums around the world.

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BMW Made of Bricks Costs More than the Real Thing

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A BMW Z4 model made from hundreds of bricks is now being sold for $125,000.

Chinese artist Dai Geng spent more than a year cementing bricks together and then carving the massive block into an impressive replica of the 155 mhp BMW Z4. Except for the windows, everything is made from brick, even the hinges that allow the door to open and close just like metal ones. The car was unveiled in January 2010, and has been on display, in Shenzheng City, for the last year. Now the artist wants to sell it and make a nice profit.

Although this brick BMW Z4 is definitely an impressive replica, down to the interior trimmings, the price tag of $125,000 seems prohibitive. But Dai Geng is confident that one of China’s rich businessmen will want to buy it as and ornament for their gardens…

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Gingerbread Car Is the Sweetest Ride You’ve Ever Seen

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If you thought elaborate gingerbread houses were impressive, wait until you see the life-size gingerbread car a team of chefs have created, in California.

I’ve seen quite a number of gingerbread houses this holiday season, and don’t get me wrong, some of them were pretty cool, but I was definitely looking for something a little more original. Luckily, the chefs at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, California came up with a brilliant idea – create an edible replica of a 1948 Ford Woodie. Unless you’re a big car fan, you’ve probably never heard about this model, but who cares, it’s an edible car!

The 8-foot-long, 6-foot-wide and 5-1/2-foot tall masterpiece was built from 150 pounds of gingerbread, and covered with 300 pounds of royal icing and thousands of M&Ms. Chef Brian Sundeen and his team spent approximately 800 hours working on the gingerbread house, but you can see their efforts paid off, just by looking at the car.

The gingerbread 1948 Ford Woodie will be on display until December 31st, at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, after which it will probably broken into pieces and given to children.

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Parker Brothers Choppers Creates Real Life Functional Tron Lightcycle

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The designers of Parker Brothers Choppers have managed to turn the iconic CGI Tron Lightcycle into a real, rideable motorcycle.

While it may look impossible to ride in real life, Parker Brothers Choppers managed to create a real life replica able to reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. The 8-feet-long, 23-inches-wide and 215-kilograms-heavy masterpiece looks exactly like the space-age bike featured in Tron, it’s powered by a present day TL1000R motor that powers the chain driven friction drive system.

At first, the guys just wanted to see if they could build it, but as the videos of the build process they posted on YouTube went viral, it turned into a serious project. 800,000 people viewed the test drive of the Tron Lighcycle, and all the media coverage attracted the attention of Disney, who now wants to use the bike at promotional event for their new motion picture.

The real life Lightcycle is just a prototype, but Parker Brothers Choppers is currently working on another four lightcycles. Sadly, if you were thinking of buying one of these babies, you should know four of them are already spoken for, so that just leaves a single one for Tron fanboys to fight over. According to the Florida-based motorcycle manufacturer, a real life lightcycle sells for $55,000.

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