2015-09-02

MOC: Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully discovers the Patent 'Typhoon' Superior Indoor Ablutorium with Automatic Soap Dish by "Bloody Stupid" Johnson


Yep, the longest post name in this blog, I'm afraid.

This is my second entry to Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo's summer contest (Finding, discovering). This is, of course, based on Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Hogfather, and features the Archchancellor of the Unseen University, Mustrum Ridcully, who's my favorite Discworld character. I built a large character model on him earlier this year.

For those who are not familiar with Hogfather, there's a scene in the book where Ridcully, the leader (first among equals) of the university of magic finds an old, extraodinary bathroom designed by infamous inventor "Bloody Stupid" Johnson. The bathroom was hidden behind a bookcase and it's door was barred with planks - According to the Dean of  The University late Archchancellor Weatherwax had used it once.

I chose Johnson's bathroom for several reasons. I wanted to build something from a Discworld book (I bought 6 Pratchett books during my trip to Britain and carried them on my packback most of the journey) and the bathroom was nicely described, full of interesting bits and colors, possible to fit on a 16x16 studs and suitable for the theme of the contest.

I started with the shower; a brass and copper pipe crown was described, and I achieved it nicely with some flex piping. The shower-end was replaced couple of times, and used to be one of those curvy decorated golden when pieces (used here as a big wheel controlling the temperature of the water) but I finally settled up with a massive brick-built one with a big wheel spoke. Those in pear gold turned out to be rather useful.

I tiled the roof with some nice white, medium blue and sand green pieces and added a curved wall with clam-shaped sink to make the general shape more interesting. The temperature control with a SNOT meter using various colored plates was rather challenging the add to the wall, but I'm very happy with the results. (I hope this works better than average British tab; They seem to be rather old-fashioned, especially on the pubs. Either stone cold or boiling hot. No compromises, not even in the front of Armageddon.) 

The back features a wall somewhere at the UU, a couple of wizards of the Senior Faculty (The Dean and The Lecturer on Recent Runes), the gardener-janitor dwarf Modo and a pile of planks just removed at the door.

After (nearly) finishing this, I wondered what to do about the roof? It was a boring plain SNOT wall with some irritating studs and holes. After some pondering I ended up building some very random water tanks piping - The water has to come from somewhere, right? It probably doesn't look that good from the above, but works well enough on these photos.

The contest ended yesterday (I naturally posted this on the LUG forum a few days ago) and soon there will be the voting time....

- Eero
 





2015-08-30

MOC: Novo Atlantis


1924: The expedition of Scottish adventurer Roy McBridge discovers the mysterious ruins of assumed New Atlantis at the bottom of the North Sea.

This diorama was built for Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo's summer building contest. The theme was "Finding, discovering", and there were two categories, diorama (Max 64x64x64 studs) and vignette (max 16x16x32 studs). This is, obviously, for the diorama category.

This was built around the Clam-type heavy diving suit. It's top half and the arms are a tablescrap from last winter, and this felt a perfect chance to use it. So I finished it and built some aquatic scenery around it, simply put.

The suit begin with the goggly lamps, a little technique first used on Vapour-Trike Rhebok. I'm sucker for big round headlights. The mech frame ended with some heavy top armor, suitable for high pressure, so it felt natural to make it a piece of scuba equipment. I added some moustache-like tubing and a periscope and they worked nicely. I wanted it to have a dieselpunk-esque feel, not as detailed and decorated as steampunk stuff might be, but with a bit similar attidute. Reminds a bit of my Diver and Big Daddy MOCs.

I had a rather vivid image of the scenery I wanted to achieve in my head. Some sand, naturally, but no too much as I had used lot on the bases of my Nausicaä figures. Interesting shape, not lot 90 degree angles, enough algae to make it look lively, and then some ruins. The statue, a draw-back from TLG's Atlantis line a few years back, was there from the beginning, and it gained a corkscrew pillar when I noticed I had plenty of 2x2 jumpers around. The ruind have plenty of life around them. Flags as alagae was trick I had used several years back with sand green ones, but now I threw in some dark green, dark red and red ones - not all algae have chorolophyll (I reckon). I also threw in some fish, a fish guy that appeared on one of the Historica figbarfs earlier, and couple of members of the expedition with scuba gear to make sure this happens underwater.

I naturally also made a MOC for the vignette category. It might be possible to find my entry somewhere, but more of that a bit later (because the last day to enter is tomorrow).

-Eero





2015-08-29

MOC: Toa Umbra

 Happy fifth anniversary of Klaanon to everyone! Our multi-author Bionicle-ish novel project started as a Text-based role playing game 29th of August 2010. Now, five years later, there are still more unsolved mysteries than we ever imagined!

As an anniversary creation, here's Toa Umbra (again, no relation to canon character), and he's one of the most important heroes we've got, especially lately. He's a Toa of light, with interesting balance of light and shadow powers (when a Toa of light uses his elemental energy, what is left? Is darkness just absence of light), great fighting skills and lot of experience of adventuring. He was an agent of the Order of Mata Nui, but recently left those hypocritical bastards to aid Bio-Klaani in war. He's the boss moderator, though he haven't been much in that business lately.

Like Sheelika, I hadn't built Umbra before as the creator of the character had done his own version years back. But then again I felt it my responsibility to make a MOC, as I am mostly the only "serious" builder on our community. Well, mostly, from time to time we can enjoy others build as well, like at the end of this post.

Umbra begin with the legs. I'm quite happy with them, they came out easily. The lower legs were prototypes for Purifier, but they were ultimately too normal and human-like for Purry's odd posture. the drifted around my Bionicle table for few months, until I decided to use them on Umbra and replaced the yellow pieces with keetorange ones. The rest of this was done slowly during a long period of time, until I finished if during the last two weeks.

Hewkii Mahri's Kanohi Garai was pain to work with. It looks really cool as a chest plate, with the marbled pattern and everything, but the shape isn't that easy... The "nose" tried always to block the head, and the angle of the lobe felt too steep. Fortunately it doesn't look bad on the photos, and a lot of tweaking with the neck (Which was hard to get right due to parts used on the upper torso) solved the head problem.

  The infamous color blocking was another challenge here. In the form seen here Umbra has lost most of his elemental energy due to extreme use of light powers, and his usually yellow armor has turned partly black. It's sleek color combination, but I wonder if they are too clustered around. At least replacing keetorange 1x6 tiles on the upper legs helped here a bit.

The cannon arm was fun, by the way. It is an Exo-Cannon in Klaanon, taken from Exo-Toa, so I wanted to use one of those TECHNIC cannons (I loved them as a kid, built very fragile bricks walls just to gun them down) but alone it looked too puny. So I bulked it up a bit... a lot, actually. A "hand" gun!

By the way, I put the cannon arm on the wrong and just flipped the photos on gimp. I always forget those! Goddamn asymmetrical characters.

-Eero  


2015-08-27

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind group shots!





2015-08-26

MOC: Charuka & Chikuku

Here are the last Nausicaä MOCs for now. Yeah, I said that on Mito, but my original plan-ish also included Charuka and Kurotowa and here they are now. And Chikuku thrown in as a extra, but he's a small lad anyway.

Charuka (Chalka in the Finnish translation) is one of my favourite characters from Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä manga. He's another Miyazakian character without clear good/bad status, but he's definitely a practical person who puts his people's well-being above everything else. He's first seen as an antagonist, being the field commander of the Siege of Sapata in the third volume, but in other hand he's trying to get back his people's hometown and free the prisoners here. He's also a priest and a monk, as Dorok leaders usually are.

Chikuku is a kid with strong mental powers found by Nausicaä near ancient Dorok shrine, but everything else about him is rather spoiler-ridden, so let's not talk about them, alright?

The big and sloppy sleeves were the most challenging part here, but fortunately the color scheme was very easy to work with. There are again no colored pictures on him, but I always imaged the cloak being black and dark red. The white bandage adds some contrast.

 The head differs a bit from the unusual style on these Nausicaä figs, but Charuka has a wide and large head, so it was quite fitting. Chikuku is rather simple and has boat-stud face.

That's all for now. Tomorrow there will be some group shots again, and on Saturday is Klaanon's fifth birthday and I will naturally post something for it.

-Eero




2015-08-21

MOC: Kurotowa

 Yeah yeah, on the last post I said Mito would be the last Nausicaä figure for a while, well nope. I was asked to build Kurotowa, and I'm building Charuka/Chikuku as a one MOC, so suspect them to be finished before other stuff being posted. But don't worry, I have two finalized and photographed MOCs waiting.

Kurotowa is an old soldier obsessed with ambition, according to his own words. He's not a bad man by any means, and usually tried to adapt to the current situation. He was sent to look after Kushana by her father, King Wu, but Kurotowa concluded that his final reward would be death in any case, so he ends up just playing along. On the film he's something like traditional Disney minor villain, but the manga naturally boosts the character and makes him a bit more likable. Very human man, Kurotowa, in some way. Also a very good aircraft pilot, having flown those crappy Torukmenian corvettes for years.

The main challenges here were the colors. In the film he has a blue cloak and a green suit. I really didn't look for the same colors, but ended up something similar, mostly due to the parts I had available by the time. He ended up having a purple cape and dark green suit, something a bit grandiose as he came from the Royal War School. The green suit had also nice military feel on it. The hair and facial hair became dark tan, to fit with Kushana. The gloves and the trousers (using old smooth car tyres) are black purely due to inventorial reasons.

The torso is five-stud-wide with some added wedge slopes. The odd width was challenging to work with, especially with dark green being a bit rarer color, but 6 studs would have looked too muscular and 4 way too puny. Kuorotwa had to be a bit slimmer than Yupa or Mito, but still more masculine than Kushana or Nausicaä. I also made him a little bit shorter than Kushana (tallest figure on the series). One more tyres on the trousers were a last-second mod before photographing to balance the heights. Yeah, I took some shots with Kushana, but they didn't turn out that good. Didn't manage to find a horizontal bit of our yard (which is rather angled - I take photos outside for better lighting) and Kushana needs some heavy balancing due her heavy cape and dynamic posing. She didn't manage to stand up very much...

But anyway, this was Kurotowa. Glad I picked up those 1x2 dark purple tiles on a LEGO store somewhere in Britain, despite not liking the color that much.

-Eero

2015-08-17

MOC: Mito

 Hello folks and sorry for some inactivity recently. I have been travelling far and wide. My civilian service (alternative for almost-obligatory military service in Finland) ended two weeks ago, and I had a week-long trip with three friends in Th Great Britain (four nights in London, three nights in Scotland (Edinburgh, Glasgow, ROY frigging BRIDGE, BritRail passes, three LEGO stores, six Pratchett books, Jamaican take-away and sitting inna pub). That was great. I bought two big and one small PaB cups, the Steampunk Mixels (they are a jolly lot) and a set of build-your-own minifigures. 

Now I'm idle. No job, no income, no worries. I have still some money from my civil service salaries, so I can cope without problems. I didn't really have a summer holiday, so I'll just concentrate on art project and stuff for a while, and try to get into a university when it's possible. Today included ceramic sculpting, raspberry picking and photographing some MOCs, as you can notice.

Yes, the creation. This is Mito, the sergeant-of-arms (according to Internet; Finnish translation doesn't tell his rank and addresses him only as one of the castle granddads) of the Valley of the Wind on Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä manga (and the film too, though this is based on the comic, as the rest of my Nausicaä figures). Mito's one of the main supporting characters on the manga, appearing on every issue, usually piloting Valley's destructive and ancient gunship and aiding Nausicaä and Yupa on their missions. He's loyal and down-to-earth type character with a remarkable moustache - all signs of traditional miyazakian supporting character! He also has an eye-patch, which is a cool plus.

This MOC was built in two parts, before and after my trip. The first part (Head and torso, mostly) was rather chaotic, as my godfather/uncle was visiting us and his 5-year-old son (my cousin, that is) was super exited of my bricks, Star Wars and Ninjago especially. That is alright to me, the minifigs are made to be played with and I don't have that much use to my old SW stuff, and I'd loved to had an AFOL cousin when I was at that age.  But of course it's a bit challenging the concentrate on figure building in the middle of all that enthusiasm and hype...

I finished the build after the trip. It didn't took that much time. The gloves were bit challenging, as well as the head's slight tilt. The color scheme wasn't that easy neither. Miyazaki's manga in in black and white, and I didn't want to use the movie as a reference material, as Kushana's color scheme differs vastly between the formats, for example. I tried sand blue and other combinations of greys and browns, and ended with this one. The brown was good for the gloves and the trousers because my inventories, and I didn't want to make the torso dark tan as it would have looked to much like Yupa.

This is the last of Nausicaä figures for some while; I have other stuff to post, though I might return to this subject later. I also bough recently Art of Laputa book from Amazon, so I might be making some other Miyazaki stuff soon. But before that, some group shots:







-Eero