2016-02-01

MOC: Fury Road: Max and Furiosa

 V8! Valhalla! Witness me, bloodbag! Mediocre, Morsov!

Mad Max: Fury Road was amazingly breathtaking movie. It was, like, whee, super cool. Flaming guitars and all. I think it's the best film of 2010s, so far, though I naturally haven't seen every film released since 2010; This might also be the best film of 21th century, but comparing it to Lord of the Rings trilogy and Spirited away is a bit problematic (Porco Rosso is still the best film though). 

I think I started to make first version of Furiosa in June or July, month or two after seeing the film; But it didn't somehow work, the legs weren't poseable, they were just stiff like bricks. I knew from the beginning I'm going to build Max too - He's Mad Max, after all. First parts of Max (Head prototype and parts of the jacket) were build a month or two ago, simultaneously rebuilding most of Furiosa, and they were completed in a building fury last weekend.

Legs were overall the biggest challenge here; LEGO bricks doesn't give very good options for building human trousers that are poseable and natural. Fortunately both Max and Furiosa wear tight leather trousers, as baggy shapes are hard. They might be a bit robotic, but at least the posing makes the characters look a lot more natural.

The colors were interesting, too. Max's jacket and trousers look black in earlier films, but in Fury Road everything is covered in lot of dust so dark grey looked more accurate; Black is used only on Furiosa's undershirt and Max's harness. Both bleys and old greys are used together to create dirty look.

The clothing had enough details to make the building interesting. On Furiosa I'm particularly happy with the belts, where different browns add nice variety. The belt accessory with the steering wheel and the chains were nice touch too. Max's harness worn in the last third of the film includes lot of stuff and deemed lot of image browsing to get them right; The shoulder pad was always going to be the round CBBS add-on, a piece I love. Other things I like here is the dark tan minifig bag on the harness and the iconic leg brace on the left leg.

Max and Furiosa naturally needed some firepower to fight Immortan Joe's War Boys. Furiosa's sniper rifle was a obvious choice, but as it's impossible to make natural shooting stances with it, I also equipped her with a revolver (not based on anything particular, but there were lot of guns in the film). Max has a sawed shotgun, not used with the harness, but it was so iconic part of the character I couldn't miss it. And it is seen in the film, after all, just in a different scene.

I wonder if I should build Nux and Immortan Joe, too. I think I could. They both have their iconic look that would be interesting to catch in brick form. We'll see. But, until then, here was Max and Furiosa. I hope they weren't mediocre. What a lovely day!

-Eero















2016-01-29

MOC: Hands of Blue

Two by two.

Hands of Blue. 

 Superhuman Nazorak agents? Yes. Horror story material? Yes. Obvious Firefly reference? Pretty much. Actually more like Men In Black? I'd say. Hands of Blue, Nazorak units 019 and 020, (I'm not sure which one this is... Probably I should build another one) are known for their matte black armor and weird technology on their mechanical blue hands. They can swipe memories, move things telepathically and emit ultraviolet lights. This MOC is actually capable of the last one!

Hands of Blue have been in Klaanon for years, but somehow I hadn't managed to build them until now. The main motivator behind this was getting a grip of UV led technology. See gifs at the ends of this post! The hands have strong blinking blue leds. How?

INIKA Technologies!

I opened couple of Inika swords with blue lights with a small screwdriver, removed the electronics and built a little structured around them. They have little rubbery pieces that work as a switch. I placed them in the holes of 1x2 TECHNIC bricks, and they are operated by pushing an axle through the hole. The light makes trans-light-blue ball socket pieces illuminate very vividly. The frame is a bit fragile, as the circuits have no actual connection points, but they stay intact if handled tenderly.

Other than the arms, this MOC isn't groundbreakingly revolutionary. The bohrok head shell on the chest reminds of General 001's officer armor, but otherwise the shapes are sleeker and lighter. Additional ankle joint is used to enhance insect feel. I'm very happy with the head; Hands's faces are covered with black visors, and their eye sockets are empty; I think Slizer head represented that well. Mantibles are a bit less aggressive than on General and Chima spider legs are used again as antennae.

-Eero




2016-01-18

MOC: General 001

 Yes, I'm alive!

Even though it's pretty damned cold in here! But I prevail!

I haven't been posting much (anything) this year (hey, it's been only 17 days...). There have been several reasons: Foremost I landed on a new job at the beginning of the year. It's not a proper job, the state pays me a bit and I work 6 hours a day, but at least I work at art department of folk high school (or something...). I do handyman stuff and help on children's art classes; I've been studying there for 8,5 years myself.

So I have had a bit less time available than last year. But that's not the only problem! It's bloody cold out there. Haven't been less (more?) than 10 degrees minus (Celsius) for two weeks! And it has been more 30 degrees minus for several days; For dear readers not familiar with the glory of SI system, that's -22 Fahrenheit. Temperature like that makes the brick connections odd; They don't really like to stay together, but they are hard connect again, too. So I never take that many shots during there freezing conditions.

But yes, the MOC! This is from Klaanon, Finnish multi-author Bionicle-ish novel project. General 001 is one of the main antagonists, probably THE main antagonist of the "war plot". He's the commander of the Nazorak, war-monging Rahi species that stands for purity, Na Zora. They were developed from villains of old, abandoned indie game project Guardian Versus Nazi Roaches. The character has developed from those times.

General was based on some Klaanon artwork, but I also took some liberties. Pearl dark grey (gunmetal) pieces were where I began, using Bohrok faceplate as the chest armor and KK2 pauldrons. The rather simple legs were built in a minute or two, but the arms took more effort; they were the most redesigned part of this. They use bits of the arms of Clam-type heavy diving suit from my Novo Atlantis creation; That mech's arms were originally built with 001 in mind. I though the padded gloves had sort of "officer feel" in them. The same effect was used on a bit less pivotal General  Nurukan last month. 2x2 round jumper tile is used here to add stability to the wrist connection.

The middle torso was another hard bit. I wanted it to be a bit longer than on average humanoids, and it had to have two small arms on it - Nazoraks have four arms. They are a bit smaller than the should be, but I didn't come up with any better solutions. I guess they are alright. But I'm very happy how the claw/wing pieces work with the Bohrok shell; Those pieces are wonderful!

General is an old warrior and fight with a traditional officer cutlass and a pistol. I tried to make the sword using one of many Bionicle weapon pieces, but there weren't any good ones - They're always too complex and biomechanical. So I went with a simple but effective SYSTEM solution using tiles and a curved slope. The gun, in other hand, (pun not intended) was simple; The shape was pretty much same all the time, though it went throught couple of different versions before settling in this one.

Next up an another Nazorak creation! What then, I don't know - I have several projects as always, but photographing them won't be easy... Until next time!

-Eero 



2015-12-29

Lemmy Kilmister 1945-2015


You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools,
But that's the way I like it baby,
I don't wanna live for ever!

2015-12-24

MOC: Cohen the Barbarian

Gheng, Gheng, Ghenghiz Cohen! Merry Christmas to everyone. It is the Christmas evening and I'll continue my "tradition " of posting a typical old bearded man MOC. This one isn't very jolly though, and definitely not giving any presents. Actually he'll possibly steal everything he can. He's robbed thousands of temples, burial sites and tabernacles, stealing numerous gems, virgins and other pieces of treasure. In other words, he's a hero, in the old sense; After all, he fight monsters, crazy monks and so on... He's Cohen the Barbarian, aka Ghengiz Cohen, also known as Emperor of Agatea, aged ninety-something, He's Discworld's most (in)famous barbarian hero and leads his Silver Horde.

 Cohen has been important character in three Discworld books, including the second one (Light Fantastic), Interesting times and awesome Discworld fable book The Last Hero illustrated by Paul Kidby; That one I can recommend to anybody. My creation is strongly based on its cover art, as you can see.

Building Cohen had been on my to-do list for some time; I though building old bandy-legged man in little bits of fur and leather would be challenging. Many techniques used on Dwarves and previous Discworld characters wouldn't have worked here, and I leaned lot on Boat Stud On TECHNIC Hole connections; It's one of my favorites. I Bricklinked 100 tan boat studs (one of my favorite parts) and around 20 tan TECHNIC connectors for this.

Building was relatively fast and straight-forward. The body and the limbs didn't offer very big challenges; Even the bandy legs came out nicely, even though it deemed some balancing with the cape and sword.

The head was the most challenging part and the last part I built. This is odd, because my bearded characters almost always start with the beard, then the head and then the body; legs last. Not here! Making Cohen look angry and old, very old, was hard. I pressed hid eyes deep into his skull and made a very powerful brow; Cohen isn't very pretty. The eyepatch was a bit tricky too; I was going to use black rubber band, but almost every one of them had dried and broken during the past years! So I just took one of those cord pieces, plucked the stud end on the eyepatch and stuck the bar end behind the ear. 

Cohen also needed a little base to stand correctly, as the lower legs are pin-connected and can spin freely. I made just some snow, for the season and to be true to the book cover. But in all, Cohen's surprisingly sturdy.

And yes, again, happy Christmas to everyone, or merry, whatever. We got snow! Though it's going to melt again tomorrow, but at least that's something! I threw some snowballs to my sisters head and everything; hooray!

I'll probably be back before 2016!

If not, happy new year!

-Eero


2015-12-22

MOC: Toa Nurukan

Babies and ladies, here's the (likely) last Klaanon creation for 2015 (at least before Christmas). This guy is Toa Nurukan, toa of earth. He is old and wise and has a big moustache on his bulky Kakama. He fought on the Great War of Metru Nui, but his memories have been manipulated: But they include hazy references to weapon organization The Black Hand and high officer ranks... Nurukan was also a close friend of Deleva and Umbra.

Nurukan is in some way a MOC that could be called Toa-mod, but I think I slipped in enough interesting details. The mask is brick-built, as it had to have a friendly muttonchops moustache (copied from Bombur, har har) and regular black Kakama looked too dynamic and light for the character. There's quite lot of SYSTEM overall, in the arms, chest armor (using old satellite solar panels - I like them!) and belt-mounted canteen (based on Finnish or Swedish military ones).

I wanted Nurukan to have military quality on him, but this old chap isn't so much of a warrior any more. He has wrist blades (with surprisingly working mechanism), which are not very logical weapon choice for old trench monster like him, but they probably refer to something in his past (I'm not spoiling you, if you want to read thousand of pages on Finnish Bionicle fanfiction. But good one, mind you.)

There's also a lot of more HF stuff than actual Bionicle parts. The blocky armor add-ons used on the knees and pauldrons are among my favorite pieces, though the round ones are even better. Bulked up Metru feet are used tho bring on a bit of Bionicle feel. They also create nice boot-like profile with the heavily armored lower legs.

-Eero






2015-12-20

MOC: Winter Village Brewery

Yeah, it's this time of the year again! Wait, it is not. Or well, that might be a bit odd statement. But hey, it's several degrees plus outside (with our Celsius system - That's logical, in fact) and misty and rains a lot (water). But it's still almost Christmas (I'm not in the mood due to the weather though), I've watched the new Star Wars and this is my entry for Eurobricks's Expand The Winter Village Contest VI. As humorous side note, I also took part of their first such contest in 2010 with this Cáfe... Look a those glorious quality photographs! Oh boy...

Yeah, the contest. The prizes are quite awesome, so I'm going to be honest and say they motivated me to build this. This is a brewery. Small ale breweries seem to be popular right now. Coincidence? I think so. This is brewery/pub due my recent trip in Britain with few chums which included nice amount of sitting inna pub. Bennets Bar in Edinburgh was particularly pleasant one and one of the high points of our journey.

I know there would be a bar counter with taps, dark red chairs, brewing containers with pipes (which I know nothing about, though), publican's apartment on upstairs, and last but not least, three old geezers outside the pubs with pints. They exist everywhere. I'm sure you'll find them in any of the seventy-three corners of the multiverse. And then there would be the vehicle, because several of Winter Village sets have one, and I like old cars.

I began building with pub's floor. It uses old good "45 degree 1x1 bricks and tiles stuck between them" technique to make an interesting pattern. The colors are white and yellow (beer) that nicely brighten the room. The brewery side followed. Walls ended up being sand green with LUBGULKed masonry bricks; I have quite lot of them, though most of them ended up in this. Some earthly colors (tan, reddish brown, bleys, greys) were used here too make some architectural and promotional details; The sign read "ALE" because it was only beer-related word with thee letters I came up with. It also means sale or discount in Finnish, and I suppose it'll cause confusion on Finnish exhibits.

After a while I realised it had to have a tower. My buildings usually end up with a tower. I like towers. There are not many buildings with towers in Finland, especially in my hometown, which is rather recent one with little or no history; In 1600s there were two occupied houses; A true story.

I think the tower makes sense as it can be used to store malt used in brewing and also makes the pub visible in the village, being sort of a landmark. The roof technique is from Derfeln Cadarn's Medieval village guide.

The pub owners seems to be a solitary man, and his little room upstairs is messy but comfortable. His secret receipt is held in a safe. He's also not a man that decorates the Christmas three very brightly. The tree is based on these with some natural adaption. It's same that I used on Eurobricks Christmas raffle last month. I won on the 1st of December (handful of figs from Marvel's Helicarrier) and my tree was on their calendar page, hooray. So here's a little tribute for that (because it saved me from building furniture to the corner, right enough).

The lorry is loosely based on old Saab lorries, but only loosely. The one-fig cockpit is more set-esque and not very true to actual vehicles, but it fit the overall feel there. I began with the fender and hood and most of time was spent working on them; I build everything first on black and them copied it in bleys and cool medium blue. The barrels on the platform include the products of our brewery.

I also used a handful of figs there. Some of them had been going around my minifig bins or tables for a while, but most were built for this creation. I wanted to achieve 50s or 60s British village feel familiar from numerous popular TV series. In Finland, at least.

-Eero