Heroes of Steam

There's a new Collectable minifigure series available, so I naturally made another steampunk figbarf! This time we have a traditional adventurous group of heroes from Victorian era.

Prof. Murdstone Fitzharris Melvin, inventor and user of revolutionary Remote Oral Communication Apparatus, ROCA. He calls it "cell phone" because of steam-thrust cell technology it uses. The apparatus is very light to carry around, as it weights only frankly 80 KG. It's a very handy tool when the party travels around the victorian world.

Dolores F. Hiney, one of the best gunslingers in Richmond. She's often referred as "Sister White Tender" by other adventurers, but actually she is more like a anti-tender. Hiney uses her trustworthy Pigeon-Giffor G17 musket she inherited from her mother and many different fiery cocktails named after famous Russian war-time politics. Being a excellent gunslinger, decent pilot and practical fighter, she an important part of the team. Hiney has a one weakness though: she knows nothing about cooling systems of steam engines.

 Professor Johanne Bowler Madill is the well-educated chemist of the group. She knows many potions and solutions, and carries a surprisingly big number of flasks and bottles in her two bags and the folds of her long dress. Nobody else of the group has even seen her legs, not even an ankle, so they think that she has a small trolley full of chemicals on which she stands. That would explain why she is two plates taller than everyone else!

Doktor Pahael von Knalli is the prolonged leader of Heroes of Steam. He has a pair of robotic lenses with many different devices and gadgets. His fashionable bowler has hidden circular saw on it (they have torn his suit, too... you know Monday mornings, they existed on the Victorian age too) and his rifle uses the newest technology available. Despite his old age Doktor still has very flexible limbs.

Maiden Selina B. Knalli is a beloved daughter of Doktor von Knalli. She's a rather flashy person, brilliant tracker and fearless adventurer. Selina especially likes jobs that include undercover missions, underworld pubs and pursuit on narrow alleys. Fortunately she has a father who's not too custodial or conservative in what comes to women's status on Victorian world. Selina's weakness is folk dance.

Thompson Esmond Hayes Jr., the unbelievable helipack-man, is a young gentleman with mind full of splendid (and mostly very dangerous) ideas and inventions. Thompson has quite a big beliefs of himself as a savior of young children and beautiful women. He's a big aficionado of rotor technology over rocket packs. Bunch of headless trailblazers is always better than those ugly smoke trails on sky, after all.

Egbert Breakey Flynn is a stereotypic muscular mechanic of the group. Excpectably he can fix pretty much everything that has cogs or valves on them. But the has an another side: Egbert is certifiably the best noughts-and-crosses player in the world. That's why he oftet carves a small grids with circles and crosses on the surfaces.



Poseable minifig arms

I've built lots of minifigs lately. Today morning I took photos of 21 minifigs. I took the pics outside, as the lightning is a lot better there. I tried to shoot some of them few weeks ago indoors, but the pics didn't work out. Luckily it was only -5C and clear weather. Finnish winter is dark and long (but very beautiful).
These figs are an example of poseable arm design I came up with one day. It may of may not have been done before, I don't know. It simply uses small snippets of pneumatic hose that can be connected to both mifig hands and torsos' arm holes. It's surprisingly sturdy design, especially with the old "empty" torsos.
I will likely use this technique on my upcoming MOCs and figs. It allows some more dynamic poses (I especially like the mafioso on the left) and also works as a purist option to V&A Steamwork's ingenious straight arms. Pneumatic hose isn't very expensive on Bricklink, so this isn't going to kill anyone's wallet. Feel free to use if you find this interesting.



Brickfilm: Jukolan Humppa

It's time to go back into basic LEGO business after my super-popular (at least on my standards) Big Daddy MOC that pretty much gave this blog six times more visitors that I had had on it whole history. Big thanks to everyone who blogged and commented.

But on a second thought, this isn't basic business neither. It's LEGO animation debut of Vuhvelituotanto, the very indie video production that consists of me and my friend (Known as Humppakeksi in LEGO community). We have done several short life action films, but this is our first video released online. Without further ado, be ready to some serious humppa!

So, that was it, Humppa of Jukola, song by Finnish humppa cover group Eläkeläiset, which has had some appearances in this blog before.As you probably noticed, the name of the game is alcohol. No, wait. I was saying that you probably noticed that we used my Humppa-Pub as a fake scene prop on the playing scenes. The adventurous orienteering prop was built in couple of hours using BURPs, baseplates and some plates and plant pieces to add detail.
 As I said, this is our animation debut. And I really mean it. Doing a LEGO animation is often said to be hard and time-consuming work, and we wanted to test the veracity of that rumor. We didn't do any test shots. Pretty much every pic taken is on this films. I had built the outdoor prop the previous evening, and Humppakeksi came here on the morning and we made the animating in two hours. When it comes to filming, we were ready for dinner before midday.
 Later on the same day we squeezed the pics into Monkeyjam and made the stop-motion clips. Neither of us had used that software before, but luckily it was rather easy to use despite the lags and bugs in it. Humppakeksi took the clips and made the editing on the next day on his computer. I guess he's lot better than me in that (and he always does that on our films). The video was done in two days. It was not especially hard or time-consuming.

Of course the quality of the animation is not the best possible, there is some fluctuation and lot of loop. The quality of the image isn't perfect eihter, but we don't have any expensive editing software and we do not download those illegally. The pics are taken on my Canon EOS 450D. A System camera isn't the most common tool on stop-motion videos, but it was the best one available. Just in case you wanted to know.

 This video was done for Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo's annual video contest. The subject was Voyage to Uncharted. We did it as a music video of Eläkeläiset's song for several reasons. Firstly, humppa is the best music genre ever. Secondly, we had got some requests for stop-motion humppa animations after our MOCs and we had the props ready. Thirdly there was a humppa song which lyrics were perfect for the contest's subject. You likely have no idea what they are singing, but it's about orienteering trip of demented old man who forgot the map, have no idea what the compass is, has a fragment in his skull and who broke his glasses. It's a cover of Finnish metal group Nightwish's Nemo. You can listen the full song here.

-Pate-keetongu, Vuhvelituotanto