2018-10-20

Grata of Kontrabontembi

 Grata is a senior exchange student of Kontrabontembi monastery for wizard monks. She masters the green fire of Glum-Murdia and magma-chain-sorcery, but she's most keen of her official monastery school suit with its well-fitting wide-brimmed hat. This amazing backstory was written for the exhibit tag in Pii Poo's Helsinki event a month ago; the creation itself, an another human character build I like fiddling with, is based on some colour and interesting pieces.

The original idea was to make a layered costume of dark blue and dark red areas over a white clothes under them. I had got some of those dark red windscreen wedge pieces, which are nicely shapes for dresses, skirts or lower parts of greatcoats; so the main part of the coat was to be dark red. I also had plenty of those Jedi Starfighter flap pieces, and I think this is the first time I use them on anything at all. I interlaced them to create a frontal armour of interesting pattern; It would be made of leather in real life to shield the upper legs for magical impacts or forge works, bit like blacksmith's apron. This leaves the upper legs somewhat visible, which meant I couldn't cheat on them as I did with Kuohu, elemental incarnation of water a year ago. However, I was never quite happy with Kuohu's leg design, so this wasn't a bad thing really. The stationary sides of the dress naturally limit the sideways leg movement, which makes wider poses impossible, but at least the legs are real here; and they can be angled a little, and that looks a lot more natural than straight 180 degree angle of both legs.

The chest area was re-designed many times. The minifig wing pieces were on pretty much every version. Early on the chest was mostly white, but in the end a small chest plate of dark red looked better, as it created a good silhouette of darker sides over the white areas and somehow brought the colour together as a whole. It's slightly angled with a brick joint, which makes it more dynamic, at least to my eye.

The legs are quite ordinary, with upper leg design from Herald of Scales - though the sides are flattened to allow some movement within the borders of coat sides. The boots are brown to add some more mundane shades to the rich colour of the coat. I'm happy with the colour balance here, as well as the shaping of the boots. Small ball sockets are a source of sorrow here once again, as they're only available in greys; they're hidden quite well though, which again means that the movement is limited, but fine enough as it is. Due to limits of colours, there are some black offset enablers visible on the back.

The arms are mostly regular - "Y-joint" ball sockets, round bricks, nice printed CCBS shells and 3x3x3 cones as trumpet sleeves. The sort of cape-things made of Chima wing pieces were a late addition too, and I managed to get even more of those from Pii Poo's tables during the progress. They recall the layered armour on the front of upper legs and fit the overall style of suit; the wing pieces are simply connected with 1x2 thin TECHNIC liftarms. There's also SW constraction figure shoulder pads that bulk up the coat to make it more convincing.

The hair went through few version. Black is quite a usual hair colour for figures like this, but it's plausible, hides unwelcome patterns and is common among needed parts. The old version had a long braid made using those strange finned TECHNIC pieces from Atlantis monsters; it had a white rubber bands as a, well, rubber bands or whatever is used to band braids. It didn't work so well and I ditched it, going for a messy look with lot of spikes on other sides. The hat was there all the time, but changed a lot. First it had the same dark red and blue colour scheme as the coat, but six-wide brim looked puny, like a pie hat of a grandmother. I wanted something more extravagant. I wanted it to be reddish brown at first, to works with the boots, but I only had 8x8 dishes and they were too small; dark bley 10x10 looked much better, actually shadowing the face. I was unsure about it at first, but it grew on me. Ironically, I bought a 10x10 dish in reddish brown from Pii Poo during the recent event, but didn't feel to change the hat; it looked good as it was. 

-Eero


2018-10-10

Hans Langseth

 Hans Langseth had a beard. He was American farmer, originally from Norway, and didn't shave. He lived from 1846 to 1927 and still holds the Guinness World Record of the longest beard, measured being 5,33 meters (17 and half feet). He also spent some time in circus showing his handsome facial hair, but eventually got tired of people checking if the beard was really real. His matted beard shows kind of gradient of his life, from dark brown hair of his young days to silvery beard of an old man. The beard, which is preserved in Smithsonian Institute, still has grains in it from sowing a century ago.

Hans was built to Late Summer contest of my LUG Palikkatakomo Ry. I became fifth. The subject was Record (ennätys; as a world record, national record and so on, not LPs or anything like that). I actually came up with the subject of the contest, as it was already July and nobody had come up with anything - there has to be a summer contest!

I took a month or so to come up with an interesting record enough. Limits were 32x32 studs, no heigh limited. I though about some biggest-ever catfish, as I'd like to build a catfish some day, but it didn't fly (they weren't that big) as "biggest ever" seemed a bit dull. But it dawned to me: Longest beard! I like beards (and have one). Don't know why. They're just good. Simply good.

There was an iconic picture of Hans Langseth sitting in an ornate chair, taken in 1912 or 1913. I took it as a straight reference, as making a sitting figure felt nice anomaly to my masses of standing characters. I began with the head, as usual (there's some odd mathematics in the neck, and the became problematic later on) and then concentrated on the beard. There are no fancy piece uses here, just plates, that capture the feel of beard quite nicely, as well as its natural, tattered shape. There's also shift to dark bley before the beard divides into two thinner streaks (he tried to cut the beard but didn't manage, or dare) that curl around, being simply 1x2 plates connected, in similar way to older build named Agatha of Four Colours. Then there's the gradient, from dark bley to dark grey, then to dark tan, reddish brown, old brown and finally to dark brown.

It's impossible to tell the actual colour of Hans's suit from the black-and-white photo, but I went with dull black suit to emphasize the beard. There are no interesting tricks there; the legs are based on ones designed for drummer Tomi Leppänen in Circle project, and the shoe type has been used before in Porco Rosso and Terry Pratchett. I have to mention that boat stud kneecaps make me happy, though.

Hans sits on ornate chair, which is made of dark red and reddish brown bricks; dark brown might have looked better, but I might not have had the needed pieces in it. It looks alright to me, I like the red padding on the back rest and reddish brown horn details somewhat hidden behind the head here. It's just a bit fragile, as the legs connect only with one studs and there is no base. It was rather surprising; I though model on six legs would be pleasantly sturdy. Well, not mine.

As a note on another topic, The Brothers Brick recently blogged my previous creation RADIANT EXERT IV and said that I build these humans in inhuman speed. Ha! I have currently six finished characters builds not yet posted. One of them is more like a mushroom, though. But a character all the same.

-Eero.







2018-10-03

RADIANT EXERT IV

 
See, I stopped using "MOC:" in the beginning of a post title? It has been on almost every of them so far and felt bit useless. This is a MOC blog. I post is about something else, I'll notify you.

This is a MOC. This is RADIANT EXERT IV, a person in high-tech tactical battle suit. It is not based on anything particular; basically just a pleasant leisure-build with focus on style, shaping and stark colour contrasts. It began with the legs, with large knee guard rising from the shin armour and some black bird wings on the ankles as a sole detail. I wanted certain level on interesting bulbousness with some elegance; Boat studs work nicely here, as usually. The upper legs are new type of thigh already seen in Herald of Scales and probably in many models in the future.

Above the legs there is a skirt, quite usual hinged wedge plates style. Above there is a black layer done using robot arms and claw pieces, and stickered panel piece from Last Flight of Destiny's Bounty hangs on the front. I'm very happy with it. The stickered piece is a late addition after the first photographs were taken (they weren't very good, somehow; these are taken with by girlfriend's camera, as well as the Circle photos (MOCs, not the actual) on the last post). and it somehow brings everything together, or at least that's what I feel.

The torso is mainly black in contrast to the red skirt. A solar panel piece is used as a chest plate, and four cheese slopes on the sides, being only dark red pieces here, balance the colours a bit; I wondered if I should keep them or not, but I ended up having them there. They didn't look bad. The shoulders are eight-wide with the usual T-bar joint. The arms are quite usual too, with few essential weak points making photographing a posing painful and tough boat studs joints on the elbows to make posing at least possible. 

The head is usual modern type female, with sort of visor lifted on the forehead. There are couple of censor units, small bunny-ear like and long lock-like on the back. I like adding sort of extra dimension-thingies to my characters. There's also a long ponytail and side bangs using those odd spike pieces with rubber ends; I like how the came out, along with the ears visible behind them.

The character is armed with a shield and a sword. Their overall shapes are quite medieval, but their essence is futuristic. The blades of Radon isotope thin ion sword are bands from giveaway Clickits promo packs; Our LUG handed those out couple of years ago and I have a few. The shield was done after the sword. I've used Bellville doors before as a sword and slightly shorted doors as shield before, and this combined those elements. The glittered trans-pink doors were exchanged from a friend to some minifig parts, and a umbrella ices the cake. Or an parasol, as it came from Friends Grand Hotel set, where a parasol would seem more natural. But it's transparent. What use would a transparent parasol have? I do not know!

-Eero.