2020-02-13

Delfte Solflare and Azure Mayfly


This is the second last of my New Elementary Parts Festival creations. It is probably the most ambitious one, too, and parts of the Speeder Racing project that should be ready by April; that's the goal, at least. On some stage. We will see. Anyway, this one is a balancing act with sci-fi themes and figure building. And oh boy, it might be my record on photos per creation; and maybe a world record, too.

MOC WARS will begin on Saturday and I'm in House Team, so you can expect at least six creations during the next 30 days; but I have still one more Parts Festival builds to be posted, and I'll probably post it in Sunday or something before the first MW entry. And, of course, I have been building stuff between the festival and the upcoming war, including but not limited to one self-portrait. But they'll wait until late March, at least. Once again, thanks to Tim and Elspeth, and to my readers. 

"This model dates a month back from the beginning of the parts festival. I had completed the third MOC of my large racing speeder bikes series and wanted to begin working with the next one. I wanted to make something different from a motorcycle-like riding vehicle. I’m a bit fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and thought about something similar to Air Pirates’ flying speeders from Laputa, Castle in the Sky. They had a bulky engine in the front, four vibrating insect-like wings and little platform for the rider the stand on, hanging on the speeder with a belt. They’re dynamic and unique and design.

I made the big radiator thing that looks a bit like older car’s front grille turned 90 degrees. I like medium azure and used some interesting rounded panels that I had had around for some years. With 45 degree “A-frame” pieces they formed a cool shell for the mechanics. That part was completed, and the project stumbled into some sort of builder’s block. I made lot of sketches for this one during some lectures but didn’t get them to work in the brick form. Then I went to Denmark, LEGO House and Skaerbaek, came back, made five other Parts Festival MOCs and continued working on this. With some TECHNIC I made the platform for the rider, in about 40-degree angle with the radiator block. I made the first test with a rider (the test rider being the rider of the latest finished speeder) and noticed that I had underestimated the size of the figure, bad time. I adjusted the platform to be lower and accepted the fact that the scale was much smaller than on those Air Pirate speeders. That just meant that the position of the rider would be different, and the control sticks needed to be longer. 

I made angled pedals for the rider to stand on; at first the boots connected to them only in the back, but I ended up making the connection more secure with baby bows on the tips of the boots. I also began making the engines. I had made some sketches and test models of them, first ones maybe month ago, but they hadn’t worked. They were compositions of different TECHNIC wheel hubs with Ninjago flying spinner domes on the top. At this part, the seed parts jumped on. They were great for making some engine details! Ship’s wheels in grey made interesting turbine section with macaroni tube pieces connecting two; Batman’s hubcaps made the radiators and 90-degree bar connectors were stuck to pneumatic hoses. But the part I like the most is those chessboard-like sections near the end of the engines, connecting Batman greeble capsules – both big and small variants – into “knobbed” TECHNIC gear pieces in black. Also, a Batman greeble bowl piece in used inside the wheel hub near the tip. At this point bright light orange was added into the colour scheme, as I needed something to cap the engines, and the speeder felt like needing another bright colour. I like bright shades.
 
With the engines stuck on, I began to work with the figure. A starting point was usage of 2x4x4 half-cone pieces on upper legs, above the knee joint. I’ve tended to use 3x3x3 or sometimes 4x4x3 cones there very often, and this new piece from AFOL Day’s Pick-a-Brick worked very well too. They’re hollow, so the connection was very easy to make. I had to use 4x4 round plates, and I chose bright light yellow ones to add that colour to the rider too. I used it to make rather nice colour stripe going along the side of the upper leg and the torso. The lower legs were optional design for the previous rider and was recycled there.

The other riders of this series have had quite casual yet cool attires with jackets and shirts, but I wanted to try something else here, so I built a simple jumpsuit thing. It was much easier to connect the belt this way into the figure, without tearing a jacket apart; there was going to be some serious pulling forces in this build! I also made a turning joint in the middle torso. It offered some new posing possibilities, but also made connecting the belt easier; I could just tear the figure in half rather than open the chain links of the belt… The arms are the usual type. Red was used on the gloves to balance the red boots. 

Building hair is one of the best things, and actually the first idea for seed part uses is “hair!”. Well, not on those Batman greeble parts. Anyway, this hair doesn’t use seed parts, but transparent parts, mostly 1x2 plates. Now human hair is hardly monochrome, it has different shades, shadows, thicknesses and ages of hair. I wanted to capture this using transparent colours, as they overlay each other. The colour, in other hand, is far from realistic hair. This fitted the style of the series (previous hair colours are lime green, vibrant coral with black and white with some trans-light-blue) and gave the figure some rad attitude. The name of the character, referring to a Circle song (Delfte means “mice” in Meronia, Jussi Lehtisalo’s onomatopoetic language) and solar flares, comes from the brightness of the hairdo; the last name at least, not the mice.
Connecting the figure was a challenge itself. As I noted earlier, the pulling forces are quite big in this creation. The rider hangs over nothing, only by the strap and the belt. The strap consists of small chain links, connected the securely to the control panel on the radiator block. A black rubber band connects it to the belt, which is a hoop of those links. The rubber band gives the whole construction some flexibility. I’m not an expert on mechanics, but I believe that is good thing, softening the forces like a suspension, or something. It worked on the prototype, but as I added some weight to the figures legs in order to make their shape more natural, the whole thing just collapsed; I had to remove all the unnecessary parts from  the viscera of the figure, including lot of plates. It was enough to make the full thing balanced again. 

As the final details, I needed the control sticks and some meters and gauges. I thought of some rigid sticks, like in those Air Pirate speeders, but they would’ve clashed with the dynamics of the build. The handles that use shepherd staff seed parts were there quite early on. Some blue ribbed hoses are drawn over them. I thought of using those hose pieces on the sticks. Trans-medium-blue ones were to longest I had, so I used them; they looked more futuristic than some silver ones. At first, they were connected to the radiator panel, but I ended up connecting them to the engines using Batman greeble gun pieces. It suggested that the rider would control each engine separately, as there isn’t any steering fins or rudders. I’m very happy with the gauge panel, situated behind the radiator. It uses several printed tiles, some of them connected with Batman greeble seed parts, some with ball joints.

I was also positively surprised that I managed to make a stand with only two beams; one TECHNIC liftarm taking the pulling forces (the front part of the stand block practically floats) and an axle, furbished with 1x1 liftarms, taking the pressing forces. It really pushed my boundaries as a builder."

-Eero








































































































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