MOC: Younger Balin

 After a four-month break, here's another dwarf. Surprised? Didn't think so.

Balin is my favourite character in Hobbit movies, so I though he deserved another version. This one is the Erebor version from the flashback of the first film, An Unexpected Journey. Balin has the most beautiful coats in these so well-tailored films, and this one began a couple of months ago with fiddling with those cloack details. They came out rather nicely. This is the first time I used those old 1x16 net plates on a MOC (or at least MOC posted online). There were some fences at first, but those were quite perfect, showing the dark orange behind them, enhancing the rich color scheme. I think it is a nice example of wealth and glory of Erebor at its peak.

The torso construction otherwise is quite basic, using most of my dark red slopes again (keep in mind that regular Balin, Dori and Thráin are still in one piece). There are some obligatory SNOT and  offset techniques used but nothing too special.

The arms have quite nice range of motion using minifig legs on elbows and small ball joints on shoulders. I'm especially happy with the upper arm details using those ninja knives, whatever they are called. The gloves ended up being dark bley. I wasn't sure about the color, it could have been dark brown instead, but I wouldn't have had right pieces in that shade. The grey ones look quite good with the beard, though.

I'm happy with the head and the hair (both facial and ordinary). I'm not that happy with the beard and face of my older Balin MOC though, but haven't remade it yet because it's sort of the first thing I build for the whole Hobbit thing, as a bust form in 2012. The tail/robot arm beard is, sort of, the genesis of this thing. But heck, I tried a curved slope design with better nose and man it looks more natural. We will see. This one, though, has a lot winder hair with a bead on back. Well done, that dwarf.

 The boots were the last part to be build, as usual. They are built studs up though, instead of whole SNOT design used in pretty much all other dwarf boots except Ori's. The design is similar to older Balin's boots with curled-up toes. I have a bit similar leather boots I use at winter; My grandfather bought them years ago. Family heritage!

This, along with Thráin, is for another bigger project (but still smaller than the original; Don't expect 15 figures this time). It'll wait until I receive this year's LUGBULK pieces, though. Until then, there might be some other dwarves though. I like these fellows, as you probably already guessed.

- Eero


MOC: Ambrose Steet 23

 Here's a modular house. My first actual modular house, to tell the truth. There are no interior nor even floors, as this one was build for one purpose only: War  Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo RY's house building contest on our biggest annual exhibit, Model Expo, that took place last week.

We had separate voting for LUG members and the audience. I got the third place on both and got Ideas Birds set (which is fantastic!) and Creator red dragon (neat parts pack). This was my only MOC on collaborative works this year, as I had my The Hobbit figures, Mustrum, Purifier and Kira and I went there by train.

Building this was quite neat - I mostly tablescrapped some greebles and ideas and then stuck them together. I did not want any baroque supergreebled style, and tried to go with Jugend aesthetics, but it ended up looking neo-gothic. It's probably a bit due to the dramatic color scheme and mostly due to the tower; my Model Expo contest buildings usually end up with tower like that. The lower part of the roof of the tower is a trick by Derfel Cadarn, but I added a dice-based ball to it to make it interesting.

At the beginning the tower began from the street level, but I abandoned it because I didn't have enough 1x2xX tan bricks for it. There were going to be a balcony instead of it at a time, and once the black minifig statues were going to held a ball like Atlas figures, but I ended up with tower eventually to give the house a neat profile. There is some trickery done with trans-clear plates, turntable bases and minifig legs to make some interesting windows to it. I didn't have enough black windows so I went with a thing like this; it looks quite good but isn't very sturdy. Minifig legs are excellent SNOT pieces, by the way.

The first and second floor of the house are asymmetrical. I wanted to put a door on one side only, so it was natural to make different windows on the second floor too. There are some serious offsetting done to get stuff inside the arches; The door frame is my favourite one. The big round lantern is taken from Brasshill's Town Hall, and connected to Cafe Corner style cool round thing using skeleton legs I have a lot in tan.

I didn't want to put lot of going on to the pavement to keep the focus on architecture (which I am trying to get to study in the university). There are a couple of street lamps of my own design and a surprisingly accurate minifig of myself.



Thorin & Boys On Tour - Model Expo 2015

Showtime 10th to 12th of April, Model Expo at Messukeskus in Helsinki!

Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo Ry will be there, along with Finnish brick seller Lelukauppa Pii Poo. We are having a big modular castle and town collaborations and a 42-unit GBC build! And 13 dwarves, one (Two, actually...) wizard and one hobbit!

And more. So if some of you happens to be around, come and say hello!



MOC: Toa Nautilda

 Here's another blue-silvery Klaanon creation for this weekend - This time a bit fresher character.

Toa Nautilda is one of the "native" Toas of the Island of Bio-Klaani. He used to be the guardian of Ruki-Koro in the south with Toa Ursanga before her Toa-brother got fed up with the village's mayor and moved north. Nautilda is tall and strong and has numerous accessories to boost the swimming abilities, including wing-like fins, knife skirt working like rudders and sharpened axe-blade like flippers that can also be used as a kicking aid. She also has a tall seashell helmet with a spike crown.

This MOC originates from a few tablescraps. I designed the lower leg armor - a part I'm very happy with - and was going for an unsymmetrical armor that used Dragon Bolt's skull as another lower leg armor. The piece was perfectly shaped for that, but the unsymmetrical design didn't work out. I luckily had more of those Tahu Mistake blades (though the other leg armor is pearl silver and another flat silver) and I was able to use the original tablescrap. The Dragon Bolt skull came back later as the helmet. All of the other "Native Toas" (Ursanga, Muothka and Korpraun) has some sort of iconic headgear, and this needed something like that too. Ruru worked well with the helmet and it also had a story-based reasons, being the same mask than Ursanga's.

The axe flippers were another starting point. I just though that hell, Axonn's axes could make interesting swimming equipment. They were quite badass.

The torso was rather nice to build. Some parts of the upper body are similar to one of my favourite (own) MOCs, Karmenna. Jaller Mahri chest armor is so gloriously shaped piece and I had bought one in light bley on Bricklink some time ago, so that felt fitting. It also creates a shape of broad shoulders and relatively muscular upper body, as Nautilda is all-out attacker instead of more agile martial arts -type Toa of water. She's bristling with weapons.

The main weapon is Hahli Mahri's trident with longer (well, more realistic) hande and some extra spikes. I have always liked the shape of that piece and hadn't used it for years. Most of my Bionicle weapons are stored deep in the cupboard - There is just too many of them, do not talk to me about Bordahk staffs...

The minifig arm hand are a bit of a compromise. Robot arms looked too thick and long, and battle droid arms never really look good. Well, minifig arms worked alright on Ämkoo, so why not.



Old MOC mod: Guardian

 Some of you might remember this one. The older page is one of the most popular in this blog.

Guardian is one of the main characters on Klaanon. He is an admin of Bio-Klaani with Tawa and Visokki (and formerly Ämkoo) and a war veteral from Zakaz.  He has lost one eye in the war and uses mostly his Zamor revolver and trustworthy "Watchman" rifle.

 The original version (which is still inside the torso of this one, few pieces at least) dates back to 2010. I have been trying to post this new version several times before, but have failed at the photographing stage - this guy is surprisingly hard to pose. For the first two or three times the proportions were way off, the legs were too long or too short or too much apart. And then I made the version with metal blue leg armor (as I didn't realize I had two more silver ones...) photographed it and edited to photos but well, didn't want to post it. But here we are, finally.

The legs have double joint on the knee, so they often appear to be different heigh, making the pose look stupid especially through camera's lens. The legs are the most modified parts of this one; most of the torso is reworked too, though it looks pretty much the same. It's sturdier and doesn't stress the pieces.

The new version has also the accessory suspenders with bags and pockets and style. This might have something to do with the fact that Guardian is pretty much Mal from Firefly...



MOC: Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully

 Last Thursday, 12th of March 2015, world lost one of its greatest writers, Sir Terry Pratchett.

I made a little tribute when I heard the sad news. I was, after all, having a week of Discworld figbarfs. I didn't find any word back then, and I did feel the picture told enough. There were many other tributes on Flickr LEGO Community. I'm not surprised; Sir Terry had a huge impact on popular culture.

As Going Postal notes, man is not dead as long as his name is spoken. Pratchett still lives in the million of his books sold (I, for example, bought three from antique bookshop on Friday) and then there's the TV adaption of City Watch coming. The turtle moves.

Building this MOC, a big-scale creation of my favourite Discworld character Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully (The Brown), had been on my mind for some time, and I sort of felt the right time was now. This is the result of two days of very intensive building. I began with the head, like with the Hobbit Project; There are of course some similarities with those dwarves and Gandalf.

The whole thing is loosely based of Paul Kidby's art, from the beard style to clothing. Ridcully has his famous hat with lockers and equipments, and I wanted to make it red. I had a bit of a problem there, because the only big dish available in red is that X-Pod lid and their prices have gone through the roof on Bricklink after Arvo Brothers released the instructions for their Akira Bike. Fortunately I was able to buy one from the random bricks selling table on Leiki Legoilla 2015 for cheap (in a 1/2 litre bulk bag for 8€). The hat is generally similar to one I made for Gandalf, though this one uses 70s tyre as a belt and has some locker knobs. I was not able to add every described accessories to it (it should turn into a tent!) but it looks cool enough.

Ridcully doesn't use the traditional robes, but has a simple overcoat, red vest and brown boots instead. The coat was quite a simple build, but I'm happy with the shapes of the collar. The vest uses some parts I got from a parts draft. The legs were quite challenging. I have never built basic trouser legs on this scale. The dwarves had quite a long coats and cloaks, leaving little more than the boots visible (well, except Bombur), and Gandalf's legs were completely covered. The boots were the last part to build (as with the dwarves, again) and I had to build a Technic pin hinge to make the stance look more natural.

The arms were very simple and fast, as they are very similar to ones I have built before. I had to borrow the hands from Annya because I ran out of fingers again.

Ridcully also has his crossbow. I pondered should I give him it or his oak staff, but I though the crowwbow was more suitable, interesting and more fun to build. I had some problems with the string, as I didn't have long enough around and the bow looked too wee. I cheated a bit with the bow to make it extend further than the string's studs, and it didn't look too bad. Elephant trunk pieces work rather well here creating an original silhouette.



Sir Terry Pratchett 1948 - 2015