2016-12-06

MOC: Purifier

 Tillbaka i Klaanon, as a Swede would say. I'll continue with the baddies (I think I've built one good guy (gal) from Klaanon this year). This is Purifier, and he's a Bahrag, or maybe a Vahki-Bahrag. He used to be a Toa. He is a Dark Hunter. He collects strange spheres that grow organic Krana-like substance on him. He has been killed numerous times but the spheres always bring him back more powerful. He's got lot of teeth and not all of them are on his mouth.

In other words, he's not my character. My characters are usually stout and reasonable.

There were two main points behind this build. One was the head, which had to include lots of sharp teeth and no much else. The other was the organic feel; Purifier really differs from average inhabitants of Matoran Universe. He's nowadays something like walking piece of black meat with some teeth. So I naturally used lot of CCBS pieces, though some older sleek parts like "destroyer droid feet" and roborider halves make appearances.

I fortunately was able to restock my CCBS shell collection, as I bough some cheap used HF sets on summer and some extra parts from Pii Poo's shop and event in October. Purifier, of course, used most of my good black CCBS parts, like round armor add-ons, SW armor add-ons and long shells. But it's cool that parts I've bought see use. It's no good keeping them in their sorted bags.

Construction-wise this is quite simple. Surpringly few SYSTEM parts are used, mainly on the head. At last those black insect legs from LUGBULK couple of years back see some use. Interesting parts but somehow limited. The torso and the arms are almost pure CCBS, legs are more traditional Bionicle/TECHNIC construction. Colour scheme is not very interesting, but hey that's the point, and at least it's not red.

Next up, I don't know what. Christmas Holidays are soon here, but I have two tests to go (only tests this year, Human and Environment (essays) and History of (Western) Architecture (mostly drawings). I might or might not be able to post more during the holiday. Anything might happen.

-Eero






2016-11-19

MOC: Dwarvish Runemaster

Hur hur hur, the Red Era of my career as a LEGO builder is over! Well, temporarily; I'm not saying I wouldn't use red any more (I will. I've got WIPs an' everything). But last six of my published creations included red, usually as their primary colour, and I was beginning to get fed up with that. And naturally my collection of essential red pieces (small plates, cheese slopes... you know) was getting sparse. So here's Dwarvish Runemaster, straight from The Battle for Wesnoth, open-source fantasy strategy game. My previous Wesnoth-themed creation was Dwarvish Dragonguard.

Runesmiths are rare units that don't appear on the mainline multiplayer game but are still "official" core units and present in many campaigns. Their rune hammers deliver strong blows with magically high change of hitting (Wesnoth is sometimes rather luck-based).

As with the Dragonguard, this one is mostly based in on-game sprite. Shapes of the armor, helmet and weapons are taken there, but I also made up a lot. Colours of you units depend on the colour of you side (I usually use orange), so I had plenty of freedom there. I went with sand blue, sand green and pearl gold with some light greys and reddish brown. I think it's very pleasant, somewhat regal and nicely different for usual dark and earthy tones seen on characters like this.

The skirt was the beginning here. I wanted to use the masonry brick pattern on the attire, and got some shapes with sand blue slopes that originate from 2004's awesome mecha set Titan XP. The same patterns continue to upper torso. I'm particularly happy with the shoulder pads. They're rather faithful to the sprite, and managed to hide the shoulder joint rather nicely. Sand blue Nexo shields from drafted Brick Bank are used here.

The arms were a bit problematic, due to the basic issue of all character builders: Small ball sockets only come in grays. I wanted to but some brown on the less-important parts of the suit, and upper arms seemed logical. But now as the joint is not in the middle, the posing isn't completely natural; hence the lack of more diverse posing.

I'm also happy with the head. It was challenging, but the eyebrows saved the day, gave the dwarf lot of age and sort of "I'm too old for this shit" vibes. He has also quite a moustache. The sprite had a full beard, but those new inverted baby bows worked so well with other curved parts that I had to go with that. The helmet took also many tries, and was very samurai-esque at some point, but finally settled on this version that is not very far-fetched and even uses one of those new-ish pyramid slopes.

The hammer is quite usual, and uses same techniques than my hammers in the past (I've built quite a few hammer-using creations). The old tires are used to give it some pattern and age. The shield is probably a bit more interesting and utilized 1x6x2 bow pieces form aforementioned Titan XP. It also rounds up the colours of the creation overall.

-Eero





2016-11-12

MOC: Red Lady of the Stream

 Good time of day, good reader fellows. I present you a MOC which is a good example on "part-based creation"; I bargained some used and minifigless Ninjago sets recently, including Final Flight of Destiny's Bounty, and its remarkable orient-themed pieces pleaded to be used!

I had tried building large, Japanese-style sleeves previously on Kirika Towa Alma, but it was very hard to make them look natural on bricks, and the weigh made the figure very hard to display (I already dissected it for parts.) Those plastic (well, that's what Bricklink call them, even though most LEGO bricks are plastic) sail pieces seemed to be perfect for that use, even though pressing them between undersides of 2x6 SNOT plate things was somewhat tricky and is probably a little bit illegal. The smaller sail pieces were used on the dress.

While the costume here is a bit kimono-esque, anyone familiar with the subject could point out that it's far from it; Barely any reference material was used and the costume, as well as the character, are both results of my imagination. I went for one-shoulder strap, for example, as it presented an interesting challenge.

Making the patterns of the costume was interesting. Pearl gold sprout pieces, one of my favorite parts, is used here, too; The piece has great shape and interesting connection points. I also used one of those elaborate Ninjago dragon swords and a few shurikens. I seem to have been making lot of red-gold creations lately, and my red is running low again...

I'm happy with the head. It took lot of time, and at the beginning had old good batarang eyes, but they felt too big, and I managed to make better one using minifig hand connected to the sides of a tile. The neck was an another buggerer, and making the hair three-dimensional enough was another challenge. More Ninjago pieces (medium-sized katanas) are used as hairpins, and old weird space feel as a bun.

It felt a good idea to build a base. I don't do much bases for figures, usually only when it's required for staying upright, and they tend to be very simple. There are exceptions, like Lingeán, but they are few and far between. Here I went with similar idea than on Gale Serpent Arises, even though the scale is very different; Rocky terrain covered in lichen and a stream. The colors are different, though. On the Gale Serpent MOC the stream was black, maybe raw oil, and the lichen (or moss) was murkier olive green. Here the water is pleasant medium azure covered in trans-clear and the lichen is brisker sand green. I also added a reddish brown frame (LUGBULKed those cheese slopes, as you might have guessed) and made the stream flow over it; here goes the fourth wall (literally). I also liked the idea of figure standing on the stream with tall wooden Geta shoes.

The cool printed 9x9 dish piece from the aforementioned Ninjago set was another I wanted to use. It was used as an actual shield on the figure at the beginning, when I didn't have enough pieces to build the sleeves in red, an the other had to be different; so I plugged the shield on it and made it black, as a strap for the shield. But it didn't look good, as I didn't want the figure to be war-like. Fortunately I managed to get the needed red pieces from Dean's robes (don't worry, he's fine) when I visited Joensuu during my hardcore excursion with our architecture student guild TamArk.

I pondered the alternative uses for the shield. I tried it as a parasol, but it was too small and heavy looking, so I ended up with sort of a pole. It is again not based on anything real. I also pegged on couple of printed Japanese-style wall element I bought from Pii Poo's used part tables recently. They connect nicely to lever bases.

What else? My first half-year term at the university is soon coming to and end, and it couple of weeks I'll be knee-deep in deadlines. But don't worry, I still build a lot. Some modular building are under construction, and are indented to be published in January.

-Eero




2016-11-02

MOC: Bursar

"Good so be would you if, duff plum of helping second A."
-Bursar (by Sir Terry Pratchett)

Bursar is an another wizard of the Unseen University. He has been on his post for quite long. Bursar's job includes doing all the math needed to run an University; Financial things, mostly. Bursar is also plain nuts. He firstly suffered a nervous breakdown by his Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully and was tried to be cured by feeding him dried frogs pills; however, their effect is uncertain. Bursar also suffers from planets and an uncertainty principle (which means he can't know where he is and what he is at the same time, much like all-defining quantum). But, after all, he sometimes feels quite happy and flies around. Nobody knows why.

Bursar is quite well-known Discworld character despite his average "screen time" and rather minor effect on the plots of the books. But he's funny and therefore easy to remember. You don't forget him in a hurry.

I had to build Bursar. I'm making the Senior Faculty, and Bursar is one of the members that have at least some character, in contrary to ones like The Lecturer on Recent Runes, The Chair of Indefinite Studies and The Senior Wrangler. Bursar's mad face was fun to construct; I'm particularly happy with the Mixel teeth as a moustache. I managed to include details from several books: Crossbow bolt in the hat from Moving Pictures, bare feet as in Reaper Man and new jar for dried frog pills from Hogfather.  

Technically this is quite a simple creation. There are some SNOT, and the overall construction is similar to Balin; I even used the same cheese slope pattern on the robe. Another interesting part use is those stickered 2x4 wedge slopes from The Last Flight of Destiny's bounty that I recently bough used with several other last year's Ninjago sets (expect more MOCs with parts from them soon).

By the way, I currently feel I'm using too much red! My very basic red pieces like 1x2 plates and cheese slopes are running very low, which is odd as it's so common colour. But sometimes it has to be odd, especially with Bursar.

-Eero

2016-10-18

MOC: The Lecturer on Recent Runes

We continue our adventure on Discworld! The wizards of the senior faculty of the Unseen University are my favorite characters of the series; I sort of began with them, opening the TV when Ridcully was about to take the bath in Hogfather mini-series; Looking back to it, the adaptation was far from perfect, but you got to start somewhere, right?
This is The Lecturer of Recent Runes. He's a thin character, usually having strange adventures and (mostly) ridiculous debates with his colleagues, without really ever standing on his own feet. I could have named this MOC The Chair of Indefinite Studies as well, or maybe even Senior Wrangler; he's got a bit more character, but Pterry didn't describe the look of his character much, so it doesn't really matter: Long beard, pointy hat, wooden staff and some jewellery and you have a wizard; Congratulations! At least this one differs from Ridcully, Dean, Librarian, Rincewind, Bursar (Coming soon!) and Ponder Stibbons (Coming soon-ish). 

This MOC was built both before and after moving. The hat, head and beard go back to spring, and they were a WIP of Albus Dumbledore for a while (after re-reading Harry Potter books) but I realized I didn't have enough purple and went for a more familiar Discworld magical territory. Dumbledore (and Mad-Eye Moody, who's cool) might see the light some day, who knows?

The upper torso, including the golden flame collar, was built before moving, and then the partial wizard was stuffed in WIP box 1# (characters and misc) for a month or so. When I finally got around finalizing it, the hard parts were behind; I filled the back, stuck on arms and legs (with similar appropriate curled-up wizard slippers than on Dean) gave him a staff.

He ended up being surprisingly not-very-fat wizard. The problem is the beard; It had to build the beard on big, looming tummy, and the tied-up beard was the starting point here (beard usually is the starting point if there's going to be one). Maybe his friend Chair of Indefinite studies will be more round. Bursar won't be, tough.

-Eero



2016-10-12

MOC: Dwarvish Dragonguard

 This dwarvish dragonguard, armed with elaborate and destructible dragonstaff, isn't from Discworld or Middle-Earth; He's actually an unit (and what an unit!) from old, ever-developing open-source fantasy strategy game Battle for Wesnoth. Wesnoth is loved for it's pixel graphics, vast array of units and sheer amount of user-created content, but also often hated for it's luck-based aspects (your 70-per-cent magical attacks seem always to miss, but of course, deep down, it's just an illusion created by human mind). But I like Wesnoth. And I seem to have quite a good luck with these dragonstaffs or thunderstaffs. It's always cool to hear the "boom" sound effect, followed by formula 1-style wrooom that, for some reason, marks that you're just "killed" an irritating enemy ghost. They seem to eat lead pretty well...

On brick perspective, this MOC was a perfect way to try out some LUGBULK pieces. I got my order a month ago or so, but I didn't manage the post this MOC until now; I retook the photos this morning. The old ones weren't that good. So yeah, I have had my LUGBULK pieces for some time now. I have already several WIPs, as always. 1000 dark red masonry bricks have already shown their power in facades designed to continue my New Century Corner! Other LUGBULK stuff included odd and interesting gold pieces, which have been used on the staff: The sprout pieces are fantastic is pearl gold (I also got some in olive green) and created the nostrils, arms, jaws and horns of the dragon quite nicely. I also got lots of cheese slopes and 1x1 round bricks, as you can see.

The majestic flowing cape is one of the key features of dragonguard sprite, and the robe took most of my dark red curved pieces; I need more, as I love dark red and curved pieces. I also tried to copy the facial hair of the sprite; It's triangular shape with massive moustache and conical beard. The dwarf's hairline is also drawing back a bit. He also had a monocle at one point, but I removed it for the sake of accuracy.

The boots use cannon ball joint pieces, which I rather like; I'm also very happy with the gloves. Ah, reddish brown boat studs. Now I can make all the brown leather gloves for my figure builds. One of the best pieces, as I've stated several time before.

There's usually two images of every Wesnoth mainline units, the little field sprite and the bigger profile picture in the "pokedex" of the units (you need to see the units in the game to unlock the data). The field sprites are the ones you see when battling, so they are loved and adored. The profile pictures are usually less cool, despite having more detail. Somehow the little, simplistic sprites have lots of more character in them. But I had to take some stuff from the profile pictures too, like the details of the mail armor (unseen in the sprite) and the elaborate cannon (more shotgun-esque in the sprite).

What else? There's Pii Poo's brick event next weekend with a MOC show by our LUG Palikkatakomo Ry, and I'll be there, for sure (this dwarf will be, too). Then I'll have a week off. It's actually a test week on the university, but as Architecture students don't have many tests, ever, it's free. That's nice, as we've had loads of deadlines recently (I have to do a storyboards of two-page comic about Pispalanharju district for Friday and that's it for the first period).

Next up, some wizards, sooner or later; Discworld awaits!

-Eero



2016-09-28

Brickfilm: Neljä tai kaksi

"Despite the schooling system and geography together tried to keep Vuhvelituotanto's creative forces safely apart, a time has come to publish our newest animation Neljä tai kaksi (Four or two).

A shared flat in Hervanta exceeded all the expectations as a film studio."

This avant-garde/post-indepedent videofilm was animated in Friday the 23th. It took probably an hour or two. Intuition was our driven force. 

The distance between Vuhvelituotanto's infamous creative forces (and all the other forces, too) used to be 7 kilometers, or a half an hour with a bike, but it's currently 177 kilometers (The other guy, E. Karvinen, studies some forest ecology in Helsinki; well done, that man). But thanks to comprehensive transportation infrastructure of our cold (also dark) beloved home country, distance is just a number and we present you this thrilling 12-second art film; A masterpiece!

You can also peek some sneaks of my upcoming modular buildings.