MOC: Harkel-Walker

A strange shape moves over the treetops... a long pair of thin legs clank as it walks... The Harkel-Walker, or in other words the Egg-shaped Steam-powered Moustache Walker has arrived! Piloted and built by engineer Jonathan Achemus, this handlebared machine brings hope and justice all around the world.

It might be hard to believe, but I was actually going to build a steampunk Vic Viper for Novvember (Rest in peace, nnenn, we miss you and your MOCs), but it turned into a moustache walker. Well, it is Movember too, so this still counts as theme month MOC... And if this raises awareness of manly diseases, the better.

I wanted to have a strong difference between the egg-shaped and simplistic cockpit and the mechanical and thin legs. The another main point (which was there even when I was building the Viper) was to use the big bubble canopy. I have always wanted to use that piece (but to be honest, it has been available less than 2 years and I have had it for a year, but I kinda saw it coming...) but didn't have a chance before (of course I had, no one prevented me from using it, but it never worked when I tried).

The legs use the studs-to-TECHNIC-holes joints. It is a very handy technique in thin limbs etc. as both "boat studs" and turntable tops look good when used that way and there are four connection points, not to mention the sturdiness of the connection.  The front supports of the legs are supposed to be solid and the back supports with black pieces are pistons. The upper pistons actually work and the walker can easily bend on the upper joint: see here and here. The feet are bit of a combination of the styles, and I quite like their fin-like shape. The new-ish brackets made their magic.

The top part has this round shape to fit with the bubble windscreen. It uses SNOTted 1x3 curved slopes which I managed to buy from an unofficial PaB in Prague. Inside the cockpit there is a few handy accessories, a bottle for refreshment, optic tools for navigating and a sack full of other goods. Under the cockpit there is some machinery and the exhaust pipe which was the last piece I added.

And yes, the moustache. It is important.



And... One more steampunk figbarf

 I like steampunk genre very much, so nearly every time I get more minifig parts I tend to build a batch of characters from Victorian steampunk settings. Hope you are not yet tired with them!

The mysterious Weldmeister has somehow captured the power of thunder into his super-strong suit of armour that has a power to fuse metal things together with a immerse bolt of lightning that blinds the mortal. Now many facets with different agendas are looking for to hire him... but who of them are worth of his extraordinary powers?

Miss Margaret Pisland was an ordinary art director. Or was, until he became an adventurer, as the dirty alleys and old castles of Brassport and its dwellings were still undiscovered. She still has some vision and style from her former job, but nowadays the painting brush is mostly used to mark the place and position of the corpse. And by the way, the onions are only for a snack. She isn't afraid of vampires.

Engineer Jonathan Achemus were forced to leave his hometown and live as a wandered with his awesome gadgets and vehicles. It really wasn't his fault: The reason was jealousy. The other men of the city were never able to grow a moustache able to challenge the magnitude of his fur on the upper lip. But somehow that's fortune to the world - His moustache has saved many damsels in distress since then.
 Lissie Burrong is a real Steam Punk. A steamhardcorepunk. She doesn't listen to authorities. She has a metal peg leg. She is not afraid to interrupt and is she wants to shoot an arrow through your head, she does. There is lot of room to some anarchy in Victorian era, the age of strict appropriateness. Plus she likes music that normal people can't listen without taking a few cold beers.
 Michaela Mallilme was hired by the Government to be the symbol of the new era. You know, posing for steam fighter nose arts, alluring young men to join the military forces and such. But some claim that she is an agent of a hostile foreign power. But who can you trust these days anyway?
Private Max Dankrough is an ordinary soldier of Machine-Buster division. His gas-function rifle can shoot through the thickest steel shell. And it wan be used to chop some wood to build trenches.



MOC: Rinsan

 Sometimes an idea leads to a whole different destination than you were thinking - and the it can probably come back to the original concept. That sort of happened with this female Toa of Iron.

The original idea was to build a Toa Knight using dark red KK2 legs and feet as a boots. I built a quite nice looking upper legs to go with them so I chose to make it female. In Bionicle canon (which for I don't have much respect if it doesn't have MNOG in its name) dark red doesn't appear in any female Toa color (rather strong gender roles in that theme, I tell you) but there isn't lot of known Iron Toas (they also say that "Toa" can't be used is form "Toas" but I don't listen to their ridiculous cavil). Well, I took some liberties. Silver isn't very interesting colour, but I had lots of pieces to work with and it makes the dark red stand out pretty nicely.

But at some point it didn't look Toa, or probably I wasn't interested to build one any more. I started to look for a more mecha-like MOC, with head similar to Belsa's, without hair (hairy mechas, nooo) but with some kind of headphones. It stayed on a wip stage on my "Bionicle table" for a month or something, but the idea didn't fly. It just looked bad and I didn't have any ideas about the weapons or tools.

So I returned to work on the MOC and somehow returned back to the original idea. The red-silver Ruru had been used as a chest armour on the mecha version (and it looked terrible even though the marbled effect has good) but I switched it to the face and built a new chest (which came out well in my opinion) and gave her a sword and an odd shield tablescap that had been floating around in the WIP-shelf for some some time.

I don't think that the finalized MOC is perfect, as the legs are rather rigid. But I didn't want to change them as they were the main point of the project and making them more flexible would have demanded some big big tweaks.



MOC: Brassport

Dear passenger! Wax your mustache or straighten your underskirt and step into Brassport, a highly industrial town of the new age. But don't be imprudent! Despite General-Governor Justanoff Crawford's guards aware ward, there is all kinds of folk in the town and all of them aren't friendly...

The main employer of Brassport is the New Factory of Piston-Brothers Inc., a big red brick building. For faster and effective profit, the factory has built a  private railway through the town. There is just a train full of secret good incoming, but there seems to be a bit of a kerfuffle... Outlaw heroes Pantelomeus T. Ongu and Edwin Pillingshot McBlaine seem to want something from the delivery! The green cyclops hangs fearlessly from a cable of McBlaine's (stolen) Capercaillie Tri-Copter!I wonder what is stored in this unfortunate wooden box...

But there is more stuff going on around the factory. At the left corner one legendary biologist is demonstrating his theory about the development of the species; the another frog lived in a green environment (a bog) and the another in yellow one (a polluted bog; downsides of the Industrian Revolution). His book is currently titled "Oranges and Peaches" but he is about the tweak it a bit, probably to "Orangutangs of Peaches" or something like that.

 At the right corner the improvised international oompah jazz band is playing its tunes. Gaffyn McGraffan is making some awesome riffs with his pneumatic-powered bagpipe. It leaves his mouth free so he can easily shout obscenities to passing-by women. William "Peg" Johnson is making some blues improvisations with his saxophone and Peruvian virtuoso Peedro Panama's accordion's tunes are about to shake the ground and the nearby buildings.

Next to the factory is the old People's House where nowadays is a craft shop and Nival Iccule's atelier. Iccule's wife keeps the shop where relic hunters Sir Daniel Slothabury and Katey Bruckhire are seeking for old artifacts. They wonder if these crafts have ancient curses or terrible powers on them... But I can provide that they are completely arti-free! Except for the Teddy-bear... You know never about the Teddy-bear.

At the basement there are a few proto-communists preparing for a revolution... They are digging a tunnel into the factory to "free" the workers. But they haven't done their plains properly. Actually, their tunnle is about to end into a vat full of molten iron. Well, it will be a red revolution after all.

 At the front of the building Little Tomer is about to earn his first bucks. He is scrubbing and waxing General-Governors boots. General-Governor is having his boots fixed just to have that "forward, lads!" leg-up pose. He likes it, as it has a feel of the suspended monorail charge...

At the other side of the canal there is a old fisherman Gilles's boathouse. The grumpy old man is sorting his fishes from the net (sorting is important) and yelling to the gull. He is so keen of his fishes that he doesn't even notice McBlaine's (stolen) copter floating over his shack!

Next to the boathouse lies the rail guard's booth, but the guard is so deeply immersed in his Solitaire game that he has no sense what is going on, neither up in the air or in the basement where Freddie "Booger" Brandon keeps his secret speakeasy, where all kinds of folk with dark business meet. Aikapoika is planning a time hop; he has bought a strange map from adventurer Alinen Flora Boing. Private detective Victor G. Gononde is going to make his thoughts clearer with the best absinthe in town. We'll see if the Green Fairy will help him solving the crimes.

Next to the speakeasy is one of the most important buildings in the country, Prime Minister Churston Windmill's house. In the downstairs lies his office with a big mahogany table and a ultra-modern tele-phone with artistic statue base representing the responsibility that the fast way of information brings. The second floor is the living room, and the steam-powered elevator can go up to the third floor, where is the most comfortable loo of the country; The Primal Loo. On the attic lives Doktor Heberron, as every man in charge should have a questionable scientist living on their attic.

Okay. Now that is all about the stories I thought when building this thing, hope you enjoyed them or found them fun to read. To the technical details, Robin!

The whole thing measured (probably around) 60x48 studs and weighs a few kilograms; it can be divided into few modules to be easily transported. This is the biggest single MOC I have ever built (Minas Tirith project was bigger but I count is a separate MOCs). I wanted to present different architecture styles: Industrialism on the factory, Victorian style on Prime Minister's house, some rather basic older stone buildings and a funny looking sand green wooden building with a bit of a wild west influence. There is a cog motif on the whole things; I'm especially happy with the gear arch on top of the speakeasy. It is built with those strange ball cogs on Toa Hordika's swinging arms as they can be connected to each other. I found that out accidentally.

 I also wanted to have different thoroughfares on this MOC: The railway bridge crossing a channel was there from the start. I like the railway as it has both heavy looking pillars and lighter net profile and captures the look of black steel.

 The train is rather traditional. It is not based on any particular engine, and has a different boiler/fire box than ordinary locomotives, but is still more of a real-world train than a wacky steampunk vehicle. Tri-copter's case is different: It has somewhat serious flavours on it, but I guess it couldn't really work. I am very happy with the SNOTty front, new bracket pieces I bought from LUGBULK really helped there. The cockpit is nearly airtight which is always challenging.

The roof window of the factory is one particularly steampunky bit that was interesting to built. It uses some old windscreens and trans-clear slopes combined with the steel arch built from 1x4 plates with two studs. I got a lot of them from Ninjago polybag promos from Model Expo (TRU gave them away) and that idea came long before I started to built this MOC. I'm rather happy how the railway goes under the glass shed like in some old train stations.

Another special thing was the color scheme of Prime Minister's house. Black and red is very striking, but I think it quite fits the snazzy punked-up victorian era. I could have used some brown or dark red between the red and black striped to soften it a bit, but it was too late. Well, guess the trees balance it a bit. At least they give some autumn feel rarely seen in MOCs.

I pondered whether I should use some tiling on the streets. I guess it would have looked a bit better, but even though I bought a big amount of light bley 2x2 tiles from LUGBULK a couple of years ago, most of them are in MOCs and I should have taken a lot of stuff apart in order to tile the whole thing. In addition, the studdy surface makes it easier to make scenes with minifigs as replacing 2x2 tiles with 2x2 jumpers is always troublesome - you have to remove everything from quite a big area to change the needed parts. 

I hope you enjoyed your trip to Brassport! See you later! Goodbyeeeeee!