2015-03-22

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.

-Eero 




2015-03-21

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...

-Eero




2015-03-15

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.

-Eero










2015-03-12

Sir Terry Pratchett 1948 - 2015



2015-03-11

Discworld Wednesday: Unseen University Staff Part Two

 Here's the second batch of UU "pointies": Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully (My ultimately favourite Discworld character since the first Pratchett book I read) and some of his friends and sort-of-enemies.

 Doctor John Hix, Head of the Department of Necromancy Post-Mortem Communications. He is a generally nasty person due to university statute; Skull ring, remember? Unexpected smacks, cursed household items and so on - but otherwise he's decent cap who often partakes the plays of amateur theatre. His parents were named Hicks, but "evil" wizard can't pass the chance to use X instead, right?
 Ponder Stibbons, the youngest member of the University Council and holder of many important titles. Ponder was quite lazy at the beginning and graduated due to mistake, but has later built career with new generation of magic at the High Energy Magic Building. Is kind of a sidekick to Ridcully after Bursar went completely mad.
 Mustrum Ridcully, the Archchancellor of the Unseen University, is man who ended the tradition of killing upper-level wizards to get their place by being simply impossible to eliminate. He loves hunting and fishing, has fought trolls in bar brawls, is in excellent shape for his age and owns several crossbows. He doesn't usually rely on magic (six-feet long oak staff is usually more effective anyway) but is skilled with it, being able to perform the rite of AshkEnte (summoning Death) quickly without usually needed junk. Most of his dialogue is bellowed, at least on the earlier books.
 Dean, or more precisely Man Formerly Known As Dean, Henry, Two-Chairs or Archchancellor or Brazeneck University on Pseudopolis, is incredibly fat wizard (duck-like, as they say) and very prone to influences, like Music With Rocks In. He is never nice, often first to shoot fireballs, and treated as a traitor by Ridcully after leaving UU to become the Archchancellor of Brazneck. Likes to go hut-hut-hut.
Dr. A.A. Dinwiddie, best known as Bursar, was once a decent wizard if a bit quiet and deeply into maths. Nobody wanted his job despite wizards killing each other all the time. Then Ridcully became the Archchancellor and everything changed. Ridcully's shouting (BURSAAAR) and shooting (the target was at the door of Bursar's office..) drove Bursar completely nuts. He is kept in somewhat sane minds with dried frog pills since then.


-Eero

2015-03-10

Discworld Tuesday: Unseen University Staff Part One

 The Discworld week rolls on: Now it's time for some sorcery (but fortunately not sourcery, wouldn't mind turning into a frog or pitchfork or something). There are some wizard characters, important and not-so-important, but magical nevertheless. Wizards are my all-time-favourite characters, and Pratchett definitely has an original approach on them.

The Lecturer in Recent Runes, not names Arnold, is a flat character but a solid part of the Senior Faculty. Known to be good at playing banjo made of Roundworldian turtle shell.
 Rincewind, the unpaid  Egregious Professor of Cruel and Unusual Geography among other titles, is the original Discworld protagonist and definitely not the most heroic one. Enjoys potatoes. Has saved the Disc several times and the Roundworld at least one.
 Ook.
 The Chair of Indefinite Studies, known shortly as Chair, is probably even flatter character than Runes. He is not interested in dealing definite problems. They are not his business.
The Senior Wrangler is an another member of the senior faculty. He is a philosopher who looks a bit like a horse. His first name is Horace and he's thin, belabouring and often frustrating and has some sort of crush on Mrs Whitlow the housekeeper.



More magic tomorrow, I tell ye.

-Eero

2015-03-09

Discworld Monday: The Original City Watch

 It's surprising that there haven't been any MOCs or minifigs inspired by Terry Pratchett's Discworld as I have been an avid fan ana reader since... Christmas 2008, probably, when I saw Hogfather TV adaption. I read the books during the years between now and then when they got translated into Finnish (though I read Unseen Academicals, Snuff and Raising Steam in English before they got translated, and have been reading the older ones in original language recently; Carpe Jugulum right now, finished Going Postal few days ago). Here's the first minifig barf, the original members of the Night Watch from Guards! Guards! (which, honestly, isn't very good compared to the newer watch books if you ask me; on other hand, Night Watch is my favourite Discworld novel overall), though probably not in their night watch outfits; though Vimes, Nobby nor Fred probably haven't changed their boots, chestplates or helmets since then.

Captain Carrot Ironfoundersson, or to dwarves "Kzad-bhat", the head-banger. Handsome, honest, clean and charismatic watch officer. Has mirror-clear armor and helmet and a sword that is definitely not magical.
 Commander Samuel Vimes, His Grace, His Excellency The Duke of Ankh, the Blackboard Monitor of the Dwarves and so on - and a damn good copper. Famous for being unbribable. Known as Vetinari's terrier.
 Sergeant Frederick "Fred" Colon, Vimes's oldest friend and kind of sergeant that never gets promoted into a officer. Stupid, slow and cowardy, but surprisingly good jailer and skilled at listening to the City. Often guards important objects like Brass Bridge, Opera House or Royal Art Museum in case they would get stolen.
Corporal Cecil Wormsborough St. John "Nobby" Nobbs, best friend of Fren Colon, is a hideous creature who carries a note from the Patrician certificating that he is a human being. Scoundrel and a rogue, but rather harmless one. Armor and weapons immendiately rust near him. Has recently developed a romance with a goblin girl.


-Eero

Post Scriptum: Hopefully we get some official Discworld stuff if the CUUSOO projects gets trough the review. Thumbs up!