MOC: Younger Balin

 After a four-month break, here's another dwarf. Surprised? Didn't think so.

Balin is my favourite character in Hobbit movies, so I though he deserved another version. This one is the Erebor version from the flashback of the first film, An Unexpected Journey. Balin has the most beautiful coats in these so well-tailored films, and this one began a couple of months ago with fiddling with those cloack details. They came out rather nicely. This is the first time I used those old 1x16 net plates on a MOC (or at least MOC posted online). There were some fences at first, but those were quite perfect, showing the dark orange behind them, enhancing the rich color scheme. I think it is a nice example of wealth and glory of Erebor at its peak.

The torso construction otherwise is quite basic, using most of my dark red slopes again (keep in mind that regular Balin, Dori and Thráin are still in one piece). There are some obligatory SNOT and  offset techniques used but nothing too special.

The arms have quite nice range of motion using minifig legs on elbows and small ball joints on shoulders. I'm especially happy with the upper arm details using those ninja knives, whatever they are called. The gloves ended up being dark bley. I wasn't sure about the color, it could have been dark brown instead, but I wouldn't have had right pieces in that shade. The grey ones look quite good with the beard, though.

I'm happy with the head and the hair (both facial and ordinary). I'm not that happy with the beard and face of my older Balin MOC though, but haven't remade it yet because it's sort of the first thing I build for the whole Hobbit thing, as a bust form in 2012. The tail/robot arm beard is, sort of, the genesis of this thing. But heck, I tried a curved slope design with better nose and man it looks more natural. We will see. This one, though, has a lot winder hair with a bead on back. Well done, that dwarf.

 The boots were the last part to be build, as usual. They are built studs up though, instead of whole SNOT design used in pretty much all other dwarf boots except Ori's. The design is similar to older Balin's boots with curled-up toes. I have a bit similar leather boots I use at winter; My grandfather bought them years ago. Family heritage!

This, along with Thráin, is for another bigger project (but still smaller than the original; Don't expect 15 figures this time). It'll wait until I receive this year's LUGBULK pieces, though. Until then, there might be some other dwarves though. I like these fellows, as you probably already guessed.

- Eero


MOC: Ambrose Steet 23

 Here's a modular house. My first actual modular house, to tell the truth. There are no interior nor even floors, as this one was build for one purpose only: War  Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo RY's house building contest on our biggest annual exhibit, Model Expo, that took place last week.

We had separate voting for LUG members and the audience. I got the third place on both and got Ideas Birds set (which is fantastic!) and Creator red dragon (neat parts pack). This was my only MOC on collaborative works this year, as I had my The Hobbit figures, Mustrum, Purifier and Kira and I went there by train.

Building this was quite neat - I mostly tablescrapped some greebles and ideas and then stuck them together. I did not want any baroque supergreebled style, and tried to go with Jugend aesthetics, but it ended up looking neo-gothic. It's probably a bit due to the dramatic color scheme and mostly due to the tower; my Model Expo contest buildings usually end up with tower like that. The lower part of the roof of the tower is a trick by Derfel Cadarn, but I added a dice-based ball to it to make it interesting.

At the beginning the tower began from the street level, but I abandoned it because I didn't have enough 1x2xX tan bricks for it. There were going to be a balcony instead of it at a time, and once the black minifig statues were going to held a ball like Atlas figures, but I ended up with tower eventually to give the house a neat profile. There is some trickery done with trans-clear plates, turntable bases and minifig legs to make some interesting windows to it. I didn't have enough black windows so I went with a thing like this; it looks quite good but isn't very sturdy. Minifig legs are excellent SNOT pieces, by the way.

The first and second floor of the house are asymmetrical. I wanted to put a door on one side only, so it was natural to make different windows on the second floor too. There are some serious offsetting done to get stuff inside the arches; The door frame is my favourite one. The big round lantern is taken from Brasshill's Town Hall, and connected to Cafe Corner style cool round thing using skeleton legs I have a lot in tan.

I didn't want to put lot of going on to the pavement to keep the focus on architecture (which I am trying to get to study in the university). There are a couple of street lamps of my own design and a surprisingly accurate minifig of myself.



Thorin & Boys On Tour - Model Expo 2015

Showtime 10th to 12th of April, Model Expo at Messukeskus in Helsinki!

Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo Ry will be there, along with Finnish brick seller Lelukauppa Pii Poo. We are having a big modular castle and town collaborations and a 42-unit GBC build! And 13 dwarves, one (Two, actually...) wizard and one hobbit!

And more. So if some of you happens to be around, come and say hello!