MOC: An Unexpected Party

This 16x16 vignette was built for Eurobricks' Middle Earth Contest category C, There and Back Again. It has, as you can observe, seven of the thirteen dwarves pillaging poor Bilbo Baggins' pantry. Bombur is showing menacing interest towards cheese, Bofur and Nori are fighting for a sausage and Dori is offering wizard Gandalf a glass of wine to mention few.

This vignette is sort-of side project of my old, but still ongoing Bag End project. I used some parts of it here, but as I had a lot less room to work with, I went with more detailed and polished style. I wonder if I should re-engineer the bigger project on this style with 16x16 modules and TECHNIC pin connections.

The middle part here is a SNOT section with a four-stud long round walkway to the pantry. It was rather challening, as it's half a stud lower than the rest of the walls; the difference is hidden inside the ceiling.

Posing the figures was the most interesting part on this. Bombur with cheese was there from the beginning (He'll eat them by block!) and the sausage incident is seen in the trailer of An Unexpected Journey. Originally Bilbo was standing next to Gandalf, but I replaced him with Dori and the wine as a reference to the little scene in the film.



MOC:The Town Hall of Brasshill

Good day, readers, and apologies for unactivity lately. I spent the last weekend on LUG Exhibit in Lelukauppa Pii Poon LEGO-rakennustapahtuma in Vantaa and on Wednesday night I got a nasty flu; But here's a big sort of steampunk MOC from the exhibit, built as a part of 160x160 steampunk collaboration creation with Janne Kalliola and Tuomas Kukkamaa. You can see photos of the whole thing here.

 This is likely my biggest creation so far. This is quite close to Brassport and The Twisted Victorian from last year. It began in July with the underground station, using lot of those black girder pieces I had bought recently. The base for the collaboration was going to be quite high, 7 bricks, so I was able to build the station partly under the ground level; But I also wanted it to be extensive with a high ceiling, using new-ish gothic arches, so it deemed a building outside it. I went with some shop windows as I planned to build a Harrold-style grand emporium, but I went with a Town Hall with hostage situation instead; I left the display windows there anyway, as there sometimes is things like that on train stations etc. I used all my medium dark flesh brick bricks there. Inside the station I left lot of studs to display my numerous steampunk minifigs waiting for the train. I also build the underground air pressure engine with some heavy spotlights to light up the tunnels.

I wanted to add all sorts of tasteless Victorian pompousness to the town hall. There's a clock tower, with Ninjago spinner used on the clock-face, and an organ (built using golden gate pieces) with robotic player to add steampunk vibe. Fabuland 3x6x5 arches are used here in similar way than in The Twisted Victorian, though windows inside them are not all the same as I didn't have enough of one type... Lot of girders are used to add a bit of industrial influence. I'm quite happy with the coat-of-arms featuring a falcon. I originally built it in white with magenta background, but altered the color scheme to give it a good fit. Above the entrace there is a couple of horse statues and an Atlas figure holding a big SNOT lamp similar to the geezer on this vignette.

The MOC also features a bit of a lane and a park with autumnal trees. I had always wanted to use spears to build a London-style park fence, and after getting a lot of those dark orange and dark red leaves I had a chance to build beautiful autumnal foliage.

The best part on MOCs like this setting on the figures to tell small stories. There is a hostage situation in the Town Hall, where a gang of gangsters are assaulting Prime Minister Churston Windmill and the other important people of the contry. Their heist isn't going that well, though. There's the police service at the door, with "superbobby" Nicholas Franrike making a steam wall to ensure the charge. And then one of the hostages is hiding a rapier behind her back and she's definitely ready to use it. And then... There's The League of Extraordinry Gentlemen (the original comic book version, pictures will come some day...) on the roof near the dome ready to interfere with Mr. Quatermain's elephant gun, Nemo's cutlass and Dr. Jekyll's alter ego to name a few.

At the lane adventurer Howard H. Brundenberg is driving  his sidecar-trike with his wife while the crown is running in panic to take cover. At the park Prime Minister's wife Mrs. Margaret Windmill is having a walk with his assistant Lisbeth Hendawn, convinced that his husband will keep out of problems.

That's all being said, and here's some more pictured to enjoy and look around at Brasshill!



MOC: Alice Nautia

 It has been a two weeks gap between this and the latest post. I have been busy at work (Civilian service on Police station - cleaning cars, sorting warehouses, that sort of handyman work), I spent last weekend at our summer cottage and the days are turning dark here on north anyway, which is a bit problematic for the photographing. And then there's this one LUG exhibit on Vantaa on next weekend, Lelukauppa Pii Poon rakennustapahtuma, where I'm taking part on two collaboration works, one for steampunk and one for castle, and I have been finishing those things (8 32x32 modules in total, two of them are water).

And then the MOC. Yep, another steampunk girl á la Bricks of Character. The scale is bigger than on those posted in March and April, but obviously smaller than Brenda's and Qwena's. This was supposed to be a Bionicle MOC, with the basic idea of steering joints and 3x3 cones as thighs, so this MOC actually uses a Metru Hip piece. That's a bit ironic as I usually don't use it on Bionicle MOCs because it's too big and has bad connection points...

The legs were quite simple, 2x2 round tiles with holes (lovely pieces indeed, and they should make them in other colors too), a few smooth tires and boots similar to those SYSTEM MOCs linked above. The skirt was an impulse addition, but it folded out very nicely and formed a fish's tail looking thing, that ended up creating an ocean theme for this MOC - see the head jewellery and the octopus hair...

I also built a corset and a perfectly steampunk cliché one; I like it, as the design is very simple using pretty much 1x2 slopes and 1x2 plates in dark brown connected on those odd stud bar things. The upper torso included some rather challenging shaping, but ended up quite good: I just hope they will release 1x2 half round plates some day. The neck is a bit too think on some angles, but looked definitely better than 1x1 brick.

I'm very happy with the hair. It took time to come up with a good design, but Metru chest armors, a surprising piece for hairdo, saved the day. I knew that octopus was going to be there since the skirt, and Atlantic squid key worked well enough with it.

The arms are simple and similar to Miss Orchard's, with big upper sleeves and (supposedly?) long gloves with some jewellery. There is a double joints on elbows to allow better posing.



Brickfilm: Vanhan Ukon Humppa (Old Geezer's Humppa)

 Behold! Vanhan Ukon humppa by Vuhvelituontanto/Eläkeläiset!

(No old people were harmed during the production.)

(I would have embedded it but that was impossible; see Karaoke version here.)

Now, this isn't the most common type of a LEGO creation you see on this page! This stop motion Brickfilm was filmed in, if I remember correctly, on November of the last year by Vuhvelituotanto, an independent film production consisting of me and my friend, sometimes known as Humppakeksi. We were asked to do the video for the band Eläkeläiset (an finnish folk-ish oompah group that makes excellent humppa covers on classic songs, mostly) after the release of their newest CD/LP Humppakalmisto.

We had done a music video of their song Jukolan Humppa earlier for LUG Palikkatakomo RY's video contest. That was not released by the band officially, though, and it didn't have to whole song. This time we had a bit shorter song and more experience. Division of work was same as earlier: I built the MOCs (a cottage with old/new modes; a gloomy nursing home room; a piece of a street; part of Finnish House of Parliament's facade with stairs. Humppa Pub was used for playing sections as before.) and he edited the video. The "script" was mostly done by me while building the props, though I have to say it's mostly on the lyrics. You likely won't understand a bit of them, but I'll add a translation later when I have more time. It's about the bad situation of the eldery, terrible state of affairs and questionable political activities. Until then... Humppa or die!




MOC: Exo-Dwarfsuit 3.0

The steam technology of Dwarven Low Kingdom has taken a new step. Borgan Hammerhock's Exo-Dwarfsuit features a new furious weapon: A Dragon flamepipe. Dwarven alchemists spent decades to solve the secrets of articfically creating dragon-flame, and now the guardsdwarves can shoot fiery death into anyone who tries to take down their mines. The suit naturally has also a old good warhammer for close-combat situations.

This is an entry for Eurobricks' Dress my Exo-Suit Mini Challenge. Some of you probably already noticed that it is built on Exo-Suit frame. The theme is Fantasy Era Castle. I wanted to build steampunk (so surprises here) so I went back into dwarfpunk business. If Fantasy Era dwarves had exo-suits, they definitely would work on steam. I tried Rock Raiders and Monster Fighters, and even had some ideas for The Hobbit suits, but went with this design. It is sort of a succesor of Aulëthur dwarfsuit from 2012 and the Dwarfsuit from 2010. These things seem to turn up every other year, it seems. I had to ditch the barrel halves on the shoulders due to the limits of the frame, but I used three of them around the MOC instead.
The build was quite straightforward after I had chosen the theme. There are some dwarven elements visible, like the axe armoring. I also wanted to use the cloth piece (car roof from Indiana Jones set) to add some contrast. Piping on the back adds steampunk feel and so on. I wish I could have made the upper arms better, but the frame isn't very friendly to customizer around there. Most of the armor add-ons killed the mobilty, and I had to use three-long axles to deactivate the best connection points. But a man can't always win, and probably not even on the every other time.



MOC: Womba the Stalwart

 My educational period is over and my job starts on Monday, so I'm back in the usual evenings-and-weekends building business. This is Womba the Stalwart, a little MOC a threw together yesterday evening/today morning. It was not based on any WIP nor tablescrap, I had just some pieces laying around on the Bionicle table and they turned out to be this guy - firstly the legs, then the torso, arm, head and the weapons.

To be honest, I have no sense who Womba is. At least he's stalwart and seems to guard something, and his wardrobe doesn't seem to be that cheap either. His leg guards have seen some battle and he has done something to earn his title. But what he is? Wombat, frog, turtle or what? No sense. But I guess he is related to some of Djorkson's MOCs. Those weren't source of inspiration at first, but when I though about the Mixel eyes for this, I knew instantly to whose style I would owe to. He's a jolly good builder.

This MOC is relatively simple (Because it's rather small) but has naturally a trick or two. I'm very happy with the chest armor, even though I think it has been use before. It's very sturdy as it's supported by clip plates and a bar. Boat stud joints are used on the the arms. Boat studs are awesome, got 20 black from Bricklink a month ago. Don't know what I would be doing without them.
 And I finally got an use for Fire Laval's cool flame shield. I had been waiting for a good reason to use it for a while.



Hobbitsplosion part IV: The Company of Thorin Oakenshield

 Behold (I've always wanted to say that)!

The Company of Thorin Oakenshield project is now finally completed.

Alright, it was completed last Sunday, but due to my educational period of civil service, I didn't have time to post it until now... There was lot to photograpth, lot to photo edit and finally, lot to write in the previous three posts.

This was a fun project, rather original one if you don't mind me saying. It took 656 days counting from Balin Bust posted before the premiere of An Unexpected Journey, or 580 days if counting from the posting date of Balin & Dwalin. That is around 10% of my current life, and that sound quite lot if you ask me! Naturally all the positive feedback I got during the project on Flickr, Eurobricks and Palikkatakomo plus from friends from Bio-Klaani and surrondings gave me heaps of inspiration. This wasn't a project at the beginning. I just threw together Balin and Dwalin and Oin and Bifur and Thorin and there I went... And then somebody asked if I'll build Gandalf and Bilbo and I said that yes, why not? And I'm glad I did, as they are iconic characters and turned out decent.

Photographing this lot was interesting and deemed some DIY skills. I found some plywood plates from our garage and taped some black cardboard on it for the platform and then did the same thing for the backdrop. I used garden table for support and spend a couple hour in crispy late August weather. The wind caused the backdrop to fall about three times killing some of the dwarves - At least Dori and Fili exploded once. I rebuilt them, of course, but that was slightly irritating to say at least. The sunlight was another thing - I can't take photos with direct light, and had to use big sheets of cardboard as a shade... But I overcome with those problems and here we are, with some group shots, shots of every "family" and even portraits of all the MOCs with black blackdrop. Now I'll just wait for a convention to get these fellows on round!