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.



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.



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.