2019-11-30

Highlands Shepherd

 Here's another model built for New Elementary's Parts Festival II of 2019. I'm again quoting myself from the text I wrote for that site and that was published there couple of weeks ago as a shorter version. Thanks again Tim and Elspeth and others! 

"The concept behind this MOC originated during quite unessential lecture about geocritical analysis of literature. I was doodling some seed part doodles on the side of my notes and came up with this idea of connecting those hockey sticks side by side very close to each other by connecting them all to a single bar with battle droid arms. The doodle used them as beard, as I like beards a lot. I tried it at home, and it worked nicely.
 
I also used another pair of hockey stick as the eyebrows. Eyebrows define character very strongly: I have heard that people recognize each other mostly using the area around the eyes. Having eyebrows partially in front of the eye socket – a headlight brick – gives the builds emotion. Those sticks can also be adjusted into angry grim position, but this slightly worried looks fitted the character better. The eyebrow sticks continue quite far in the back of the head, but they are faded among the hair.

After building the head I defined what kind of character it would be. I though of building a dwarf: The WIP looked a lot like excellent Balin from the Hobbit movies. A bust of Balin, back in 2012, was my first character build in this scale, so it’s very important subject for me, having played such critical role in my development towards SYSTEM character builds. This hockey stick WIP looked more like Balin than my first Balin, too, with its lack of moustache and white beard bending in the ends. But somehow, I didn’t feel like building a dwarf (and I like dwarves a lot – it hasn’t been so much time since my latest dwarf character build Munburr). I ended up developing him into a very short Scotsman. There is an actual, almost-real-life model for him. He appears in a paper border strip thing that was in the door of my very first bedroom. The paper border is still in its place, the room serves as my parent’s bedroom in my childhood room in Joensuu, eastern Finland. The highland-attire fellow in it had a full beard without moustache, but I think it was brown and somewhat shorter. He was accompanied by various farm animals and was probably carrying a lamb.

I made some background work on traditional Highlands attire. I was aiming for a small, somewhat light-hearted figure. I made the bonnet – it has a pattern when seen from above, as there’s black webbed 6x6 dish above a regular dark red one. It’s not perfect, but it was an interesting idea and I wanted to use it. I don’t want to take building too seriously; there are enough serious things in the world as it is. The jacket ended up being black and very simple, not draw attention away from the beard that would cover most of it anyway. There were also some lot more complicated kilt designs, but I ended up with a very simple one. There was a surprising lack of red 1x1 bricks and I had to substitute one or two with three 1x1 plates. Red 1x1 brick is so usual piece that one barely ever thinks about getting some more. I think I must remember them next time I go through used bricks troughs.

To keep the scale logical, I had to have the leg elements in small space – bit of a bare leg, some stocking and pair of black shoes. I again went with more experimental and less sophisticated route. The look odd in some angles but use some parts that still feel new to me; 1x2 plates with 2x2 tile SNOT things. Looking at it now, I feel I should have just added a 1x2 TECHNIC brick in there instead, as the 2x2 tile-ish bit sticks out too much. The shoes use that weird piece that I use as a shoe very often. It’s simple, clean and shoe-like. I think their flatness fits the nature of this short character from paper border strip. In the arms, there’s also some experimentalism. Straight arms would have looked awkward, yet it was hard to include proper joint in this scale. The compromise uses sausages to create a slight curve in the arm; a tire hides most of the gap, at least in theory. The resulting posture looks a bit more like actual human being, while still staying faithful to the nature of the character."

-Eero




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