2022-08-15

Bea on the Beach

 This was my third and last MOC for New Elementary's Cloth Festival. It actually bends the theme a bit, as the pieces in limelight are not textiles but "Plastic" according to their Bricklink taxonomy. However, the Plastic category pieces behave similarly to cloth parts, so including them felt appropriate. There is a cloth piece here too, the blanket - but it's not connected to anything.

As Suon Suncaller was clearly a winter-themed character, I wanted to make a very summery person for balance. It called for a beach setting, and the sail parts (the set has only one) from 41317 Sunshine Catamaran were perfect for that. They're used as a beach skirt, and combining two sails in different position results a nice swirly star-like pattern in the middle. The sail parts again defined the colour of the MOC, though I dropped the white in favour of more bright colour: Medium azure, magenta and trans-yellow for the hair.

As the sail parts are large, 23 x 26, the MOC is larger than the two previous Cloth Fest characters; I call this scale rock'n'roll scale. This is the first time I've built bare legs in this scale, and there is an interesting bit of mould variation utilised here. The ankles use 1x2x3 slopes in tan with hollow, open studs, so a bar with small ball joint can go through, making a clean ankle joint with Mixel ball socket. This can be only done with the oldest (and least common) version of this part, but it's relatively stable.

The hair is made of stacked 1x2 plates, a technique I've used many times. I think the transparent plastic with the stud pattern has some tincture and variation akin to real hair. One must be careful with this technique, though - Bea had originally trans-blue earrings, and the gave the hair unpleasant green tint! The hair is topped with a big magenta hat, as hats are cool and they create nice posing options!

 In addition to the clothes, I packed in the MOC some extra beach gear; a box of picnic, a refreshing drick, beach-almost-ball, an ice cream cone (must-have!) and a crab. The crab is a reference to those crab collabs cool people do. The crab befriends Bea in the end.

-Eero.














2022-08-09

Rinka Padmavati

 Rinka Padmavati was the second character I built for New Elementary's Cloth Festival. She was based on an Activity Request set 10279 Volkswagen T2 Camper Van which I got the the fest but ended up reviewing, too. The set has a large orange cloth part, made of soft material and used in the pop-up roof of the van. Additionally it was eight curtain pieces, four mirrored pairs; a combination of two totally different cloth part types. I began this character with the little curtains, first composing a skirt but abandoning it in favour of epaulettes. The rest of the build developed a military uniform look, including Belville saddle-topped boots, in regal combination of white, dark red and pearl gold.

I had no idea of the orange cloth use, but I believe the turban was the first thing I had a crack at. the part is soft and folds pleasantly, so it was an empty canvas, tabula rasa. I simply folded it into a turba and, as it didn't have connection points on the right places, sandwiched it with some magnets. The tail is put through some curved slopes in the back. There is a big gold Zamor sphere adorning it, as the connection point of the magned snugly fits into the moulding hole of the sphere! Magic.

I general I'm very happy with the simple shapes of this character, and the colours look so nice against the blue backdrop. 

-Eero.









2022-08-06

Suon Suncaller

 This was my first character for New Elementary's Cloth Festival. The fest was a brainchild of Áron Gerencsér, who's currently a set designer (congrats!). He had idea of a series of articles about various cloth parts, from pirate ship sails to KK2 capes. I was of course in and up to make some character with cloth part clothes. The series is two article, first one by Áron about history of cloth parts + his MOCs and my article about cloth part connections and my MOCs. Suon Suncaller was built in last November, I think, for the article; I had got a donation of one classic teepee part some years ago and wanted to use it! It's from controversial Western theme, but the quality of the part is top notch even after all there 25 years.

I aimed for vibes inspired by norther indigenous peoples but I didn't want too anything too close to real-life counterparts. The main idea was thet the clothes should feel warm and convenient, with mundane detailing. The teepee part defined the colours, white, black, and dark red, with bit of red for details. I'm particularly happy with the windscreen collar and plastic tire boot furs.  

Hair is one of the funniest things to built, and a cool way to emphasize the character traits of a build. I've used rubber Bionicle tentacles from 2007 once before as hair, many years ago, but never these black ones despite owning six. I think their free silhouette works well with the simple winter garment. She's also got a sunstaff, symbolising the first sunrise after the long dark dayless winter, and a lantern to guide the ways.

-Eero.






2022-07-31

Bladorthin the Short

 

Blandorthin the Short! My last entry for Summer Joust, for the Going Big category, the one match made for a character builder. To get the humour out of it I wanted to build something that is small by name, aka a Dwarf. I've built lot of dwarves but nonne in scale this big - this is my biggest character so far. And brother this was a fast build. I made the head, helmet and the first version of the beard, along with the separate shoulder armour shells in June. The chest armour and part of the arms was built yesterday and the rest - hands, skirt, boots, scepter - today.

The colour was mostly based on the dark red pentagonal tiles, which I got from LUGBULK a year (or two?) ago and somehow never managed to use, until now. I also wanted steer clear from greys, which are very common on castle builds. So Blandorthin's armour is very dark red with some gold touches and bits of black leather visible underneath. I had recently disassembled my Samurai mech from 2019 and had plenty of dark red around so the colour wasn't a problem.

Thematically I wanted to avoid violence, another overused theme on castle builds. The dwarf still has a heavy suit of armour - it's a cultural thing and armours are fun to build. However, I gave him a scepter instead of an axe or a battlehammer. I suppose he's an ambassador of sort, wearing a symbolic ritual armour (that is nonetheless very useful in battle). The armour was designed very much on spot, but I knew I wanted big shoulder pads (that hide the shoulder joints) and bit of golden chainmail visible, somewhere. In the end I ended up building a big chest plate and a tall armoured skirt with the maille filling the gap. The gap had to be small, as the golden chains are of the short type. The armoured skirt is built around large chain links.

The hands deserve a special mention. Each finger moves separately despite the two-stud-wide finger plates. Each finger save the thumb had two joints. He's also able to hold the scepter - with its stalk made of 32L axles tied together with small tyres - quite firmly without a connection. The legs have naturally less movement, as they're holding the bulk of the big short man!

-Eero.



2022-07-30

Ghost of the Strand

This is my second entry for Summer Joust 2022, this time for the Gradients category. The idea of the category is to build a model using only colours from one "colour family", plus white, black and greys. It's a fantastic idea and I knew from the beginning that I wanted to participate. I wanted to use different purples, as my collection of different purple shades has expanded vastly during couple of last years. 

I wanted to build something non-violent, and obviously not in minifig scale. The original idea was to build a medieval dress, maybe a queen's dress. However, I didn't get it working; the idea of (unoccupied) piece of clothing, made of one colour family, remained dull. I didn't manage to create enough cool pattern to make it interesting, and it cried for some contrast - warm hues to compliment the cool purples! I had also made this bendable structure of medium lavender 1x2 plates and dark purple 1x1 round plates, but due to the lack of rounds I couldn't make it as big as I wanted, and integrating it into the regal dress would have been very hard.

So I dumped the idea and jumped into more familiar territory of character building. One idea would have been a dressmaker's dummy, but I wanted to play with movement and flow; so it turned into a ghost, a restless spirit, with the dress disintegrating into medium lavender strains (I still had lot of 1x2 plates left). I kept the upper torso as it was, added the arms and finished the character with monochrome white head and flowing grey flocks. The base has a contrast of smooth, reflecting black surface and studdy, offset plate-built shore. The finished build reminds me of some classic car hood ornaments.

-Eero.  

2022-07-29

Scale the Depths

 The Bio-Cup semifinals ended to Ari's amazing Bloodsmith's favor so now I have some time to switch into Summer Joust mode... It was great Cup altogether! This one, an entry to "Subterranean" category of the Joust, was built between Kami of the Five Elements and Hemogoblin. I had pretty clear vision of this from the beginning, though the large scale surprised me (once again). This is inspired by a little climbing hobby we started last winter, and also Breath of Wild that Pinja has been playing recently, with its numerous Link's climbing bits. This character is not exactly Link (nor anyone particular) but an elf anyway. 

I began with the character, and the main point of interest was building the back - in other words, the front of the figure would be almost completely hidden, with the back getting all the attention. Usually back of a figure is, well, secondary, and it's not uncommon that I have to add forgotted pieces there during the shoot... but the was different, and it was interesting. Also the figure was going to be on a fixed position: The rock climbing needed a supporting straight leg as well as bent leg ready to push. The knees are thus very differently built, as is the butt to make the transition smooth and natural. The legs are completed with some straps, knee covers and smooth leather boots. 

The torso was simpler, with an angle made with swivel joints and 2x4 wedge plates to achive a natural, reaching position. Dark blue felt like a beautiful combinaton with white and browns, and somehow the hood emphasized the medieval fantasy aspect of it. The visible bit of white undershirt, as well as the brown fingerless gloves call back to the colours of the legs. The hair was the last part I built. Pearl gold fitted the theme and balanced the colours, while the candle headlamp again emphasized both the fantasy and underground aspects, differenting the climber from a mountaineer. The ponytail bobble uses a rubber cable holder - I didn't have any pearl gold pin connectors around, so it had to have a bobble!

The cliff was... interesting. The original idea had a more overhanging cliff, similar to one on Augur of the Last Peak. However, I wanted to break the horizontal/vertical shapes natural to this medium and make an angled wall of rock, formed by the layers of sediment. The final shape was not planned but simple built on floor with most of dark bley slopes I could find. I like the weird shape of it - I wanted to achieve a certain sculpture-like shape. The sturcture uses thee LURPs - this is the first time in years than I've used a LURP or BURP! Luckily I had some around. There are also some boat weighs on the bottom, securing the balance of the finished model.

-Eero.









2022-07-20

Hemogoblin

This is Hemogoblin, hauling oxygen from Lugn Town via Aorta Highway. He has a motorcycle, he is helpful and he lives inside you and me.

The theme for the third round of Bio-Cup 2022 was Blood, Sweat and Tears. I was on the blood bracket. The theme called for violence but I wanted to avoid it, as usual. My first idea was a blood feast of well-dressed vampires, but I felt that would have been very hard with Bionicle parts, so I rethought and ended up bouncing ideas around the old pune or a play of words of hemogoblin, the personification of hemoglobin (red blood cells transporting oxygen). Goblins are, in general, always great, and the idea felt original enough, so I went with it. The goblin would be of course red and he needed something to transport the oxygen, so he got a motorbike. A bike felt goblin-y while not being too complex idea; and I had plenty of good motorcycle wheels around.

I began with the goblin's head as it would define the character. My starting point was lovely MTG card Brash Taunter, with its mad pink goblin; it had been on my short list for builds quite a while. I did not aim to copy the Taunter, but it influenced the eyes, nose and ears of the hemogoblin. The rest of him is based with some Mad Max inspiration, with one shoulder pad, very short jacket, big belt buckle and riveted shorts. I think that those bare red CCBS bones in the lower arms have appropriate pattern for a hemogoblin. 

The motorbike was lot more challenging - mostly because I don't know much anything about motorbikes. I've built two big ones in the past, but they were strongly futuristic and "out there". Hemogoblin's bike is closer to real-life adventure-oriented bikes, but gets it own layer of oddness from the coating of Bionicle/CCBS parts and themes and the vague "vein-like" shapes made with dragon neck pieces. Connecting the oxygen cells with these veins felt fitting. There are no real-life counterparts for this bike, my main sources of reference were the numerous Technic motorbikes released along the years. The look of the bike was largely defined by the parts I had available in the chosen colour (Dark Pearl Grey). I'm particularly happy with the combination of parts in the front, and the minifig hockey game stands connecting the front wheel. The colour contrast between the trans-orange wheels and trans-light-blue oxygen cells is pleasant too. 

I also changed my display in the local Hervanta library (Thanks Pinja for help <3) with, among others, the previous Bio-Cup builds and some New Elementary cloth fest characters not published here yet. Some photos of it after all the Hemogoblin photographs.