Seize the Night

This is the prelim entry of Bio-Cup 2023. Wish me luck! I've been rather sluggish in posting the New Elementary Flowerfest models, but I've now written the remaining two to be ready; just had to take a break to fit this in before the deadline.
The theme for the preliminary round is Villain. A good, universal, character packed theme. It wasn't the easiest for me; I'm generally more into good guys. I always side with the good guys. Empire has cool gadgets and walkers, but I'm still in Rebel Alliance camp, ever day. But the entry had to be a villain! What does that mean? Antagonist, the opposing force of the protagonist? Or simply someone who's bad? I went to the second route and tried to capture few villain clichés in a cool way. As this is for the Cup, I mad a real constraction figure, lessening the amount of System a lot from what I usually do: The base is system, of course, as are the feet and the upper arms; but rest is based on the technic/bonkle system. It was refreshing, really. I've been doing a lot of architecture lately.
Blood red armour? Yeah! Blood red armour with an evil demon-face on the chest? Hell yeah! The armour face was my seed part; the pauldrons were going to be dark red Fenrakk (Skirmix?) heads, but they were way too big. The wheel hub was there from early on, I like its pattern with three 6x6 dishes underneath. The spiky KK2 armours deserved more loce, and Skrall armours are one of the nice, not over-designes bonkle parts I enjoy. Humorously I think that them, the knee spikes and the Y ball sockets are the only Bionicle-introduced parts here; but hey, there have been many constraction themes.
Aside the armour, pose was one of the main points here. She's a villain, but she's winning. She's like a villain and a protagonist. Forward! Knee up, sword in front and rising the flag. The flag pole was there from the early on, but I swapped it to the other hand and added the bat sword, meaning she can put some weight on the pole, making the pose feel more impressive. I chose a bright red hair as Tahu Star's sword looked to nice with its gradient, and the red eyelines separates the face from my usual ones. Seize the Night! Seize the Cup! Gonna be a busy summer again!


Palutena's new hair!

This is a shorter post for a weekend, as the subject is just an addition to an older model. I built another Palutena (with Wario and some scenery) for my LUG's contest in April 2022, but wasn't quite happy with her hair. It wasn't an easy case - the hair should be long, which means heavy, but also able to hang from the back of the head (as usually...) and the head should be poseable, with a ball joint keeping it upright. And green isn't the most widely available colour in my collection. Well, actually, Palutena's bangs and other "head-hair" here are bright green, as some parts in it were just perfect.. but I had no means for making the long flock bright green, and thus it was green - and a bit puny...

Jump to this spring. I was taking part to New Elementary's Flowerfest, and was making own models with Dried Flower Centerpiece and Daffodils. I had plenty of ideas for the dried flower parts (one build out here, two still incoming - but naturally published on New Elementary) but was struck black with the daffodils. Then I realised, hey - that's plenty of neat dynamic and light green pieces, the large fin pieces with female click joints! They felt excellent for this use. The only bugger was there weren't any green connectors with male click joints, at least not in my collection; the set uses sand green ones for unknown reasons. This made angling the pieces naturally challenging, but I think I nailed it just fine. One of the fins is connected with a mixel ball joint, but I even managed to hide the grey connector pretty well.



Greta Ericales + Exhibition

The beginning of this year has been quiet here - as before, I've been mostly working on a large modular building. However, that's not everything: My post on New Elementary's Flowerfest came out recently, and here's the first character from it - built using parts from 10314 Dried Flower Centrepiece. And some other parts, too; this is not an alternative build.

The aim was to build a character with elaborate, uniform-like clothing using rich dark red and orange hues from the set. The paddle petals formed a simple pleated skirt, whilst the longer wing pieces worked as coattails. The orange epaulette was an interesting new recolour in the set, and I was sure to use those as ornamental buttons or toggles. Their connection was more complicated than expected, but worked fine in the end. Orange flippers and some more paddle petals added some nice layering to the top of the attire, and I kept the arms and legs relatively simple to avoid making the character over-designed. Dark orange pumpkins made a very nice hair buns; the long pigtails are nothing new, as I've used those balloon panels as hair sooo many times, but whatever; they work pretty well, and there aren't many good hair options in dark orange.

But in the end, something on this character didn't work; for starters, it was very hard to keep intact. Now, I've made a lot of fragile models in the past, but I've been getting better at sturdiness; but this was a painstaking one. There were problems with the skirt/waist connection, the coattails dropped off, and most importantly, the head was a mess, all the time. There's something troublesome with the jaw consisting of two 1x2 cheese slopes, connected with their back studs only; they wobble, get misaligned and drop off all the time. But 1x2 double slope (nor any of its variants) isn't available in dark tan (nor, for example, in medium nougat). For the sake of diversity I wish they'd release those parts; or maybe is should just gid gud in making those faces. Sight.

Greta Ericales has already been demolished, but I displayed it at Pii Poo's event in Turku of Finland three weeks ago. I'm also currently having a new exhibition in Messukylä library, Tampere - titled Osa-alue -  until 29th of May. Check it out! I'm quite happy with how I was able to set the display with very limited array of furniture and a rather weirdly-designed (but big) glass cabinet.


Helia Manning


More music-themed builds for 2023! This one continues my "rock'n'roll" scale band member series. She's a singer, so no instruments here; but for sake of posing I added a microphone tripod... and a huge amplifier, inspired by Ralf Langer's Open Air 2053. I wanted to explore how to capture the lifelike and lively stances of a singer, so the figure had to be relative sturdy and flexible. Of course, not having a heavy instrument makes the posing easier.

I had had that dress hem doodle on a tabel for a while, and almost parted it out before realizing it could work here. This character itself started with the sfootwear - black leather boots or military shoes with heavy-duty sole profile and silver buckles. I wanted to something entirely different from the dainty high heels of Lydia Frenckell, the previous character of this series. However, I did not want this character to be overall heavy metal esque - I wanted to to create a contrast between these heavy and more feminine elements of the attire. So to continue upwards from the boots I grabbed the dress hem tablescrap, added the flower belt and made a matching bright light orange bodice (which took plenty of adjustments during the whole process). I'm particularly happy with the magenta dot pattern below the neckline.

Again, the fingerless gloves match the boots, using skeleton warrior -themed minifig chestplates. I've had a small collection of those armour parts around for new uses for years, but haven't managed to use them that often (okay, Lydia's aforementioned shoes had a pair). Their shape is such nice. It's also nice to see that we've got enough reddish brown parts for arm joints now - no black pieces needed! Who would have known ten years ago?

The head and the hair call back to Virva Staccato, the third character of this series - but this time it uses one big balloon tire. This is an older tire from late 90s or early 00s, and it is somehow more round than the newer balloon tires; I actually experimented with a newer and bigger tire, but it wasn't that good; probably due to the profile being larger, it didn't look like fluffy hair. This one stays in place nicely, and actually helps the head to stay in one piece: if the head falls off (as it sometimes does due to being heavy) it tends to hit the floor hair first and bounce a couple of times harmlessly. The zipline braid holding the hair up was suggested by the clever folk on EPLUG - thanks! It works well.

The microphone stand is a simple affair. I made it silver-grey to make it shand out from the black amplifier and the black gloves; candle pieces are of good diameter for this scale. I tried a non-Lego sewing string for the cord, but it wasn't too thick. Now the cord is a bit short, but has enough thickness to look convincing. I think its curve and flow adds some important authenticity to the whole. The amplifier was designed around those big balloon tires turned inside-out, and the red and yellow 6x6 dishes were a late swap to make it fit the colourful aesthetics of the group. The amp has been designed to work both horizonally and vertically - hence it's quite smooth and without visible knobs and switches.




Richard Dawson

 Back in 2018 I finished my large project on Pori-based avant-garde rock band Circle. A year later I displayed it at the Masterpieces Gallery in the Lego House. The display was supposed to last one year, but it was extended into 2021 due to the pandemic. This meant that for a while no-one (except the employees) could see the gallery, and later only mostly the Danish were able to visit it. Nonetheless, I think huge number of people saw it, and it was of course a very nice trip to be there, along with AFOL day and the Skaerbaek Fan Weekend. I got Circle back in late 2021, mummified in plastic wrap. Circle dudes stayed in these cocoons for over a year.

In the past-time, the real Circle band went through changes: they intoduced a new member, UK citizen and folk singer-songwriter Richard Dawson, who had made several acclaimed albums and already featured on one Janne Westerlund's solo album. Dawson made a debut in live line-up in 2019 and during the pandemic they published a small-issue improvisational free-form cassette Hymiö. The grand double-LP Henki, featuring songs about plants (lyrics and lead vocals by Dawson), was released in November 2021 and got a wide publicity (for a Circle album). The toured Europe and had some gigs in Finland - I saw them in Manse Psych Fest in my hometown, Manchester of Finland. Instead of rivets, spikes and colourful spandexes featured on my Circle MOC, they now had black uniforms with green scarves. 

Back to me and spring-winter 2023. There was about to be Pii Poo's Lego event in Pori, and I knew I had to display Circle there. But I wanted to have the complete current line-up, so I built Richard Dawson. It took a few days before the event (that was three weeks ago). It was made easy due to black colour scheme; it's painless to make all the joints in black, and I didn't have to worry about details because there wasn't many in the black costume! The hardest part was thus the face and the hair - Dawson has a long hair and relatively round facial features with high forehead. I wanted the style to be similar to my other Circle figures, so I didn't went far with more modern adjustable eyebrows - partly also because Dawson's eyebrows are not that dominant. So while this creation does not have anything revolutionary technique-wise, I think it fills it part in the broader MOC.

I built the guitar after completing the figure. According to the gig photos I found, Dawson used two guitars in Circle, a black or dark blue Fidelity and red Stratocaster (or similar). I ended up building the Stratocaster for two reasons: First, the Fidelity's colour would have been hard to tell apart from the black clothes, and I wanted to see colour on this MOC (as I always do). Secondly, its head was very small and slender, and it would have been very hard to build it! When making the original MOC, I chose to make the guitars rather bulky, with two-stud-wide necks and correct number of tuning pegs. Not entirely realistic and somewhat funny - but still probably more fitting than thin and dainty ones. So Dawson's instrument is likely too large too, and I'm not that happy with its head, but I hope that's ok. It uses some parts from official Ideas Stratocaster set I reviewed for New Elementary.

And what about the event? Dawson aside, I opened the rest from their plastic wrap cocoons and official Lego ziplock packs during the set-up - and those packing materials were's reusable at all! Most Pori inhabitants didn't recognize the cultural treasure of their city, but a couple of visitors were smitted by it; I think both of them knew Lehtisalo personally.