MOC: Purifier

 Tillbaka i Klaanon, as a Swede would say. I'll continue with the baddies (I think I've built one good guy (gal) from Klaanon this year). This is Purifier, and he's a Bahrag, or maybe a Vahki-Bahrag. He used to be a Toa. He is a Dark Hunter. He collects strange spheres that grow organic Krana-like substance on him. He has been killed numerous times but the spheres always bring him back more powerful. He's got lot of teeth and not all of them are on his mouth.

In other words, he's not my character. My characters are usually stout and reasonable.

There were two main points behind this build. One was the head, which had to include lots of sharp teeth and no much else. The other was the organic feel; Purifier really differs from average inhabitants of Matoran Universe. He's nowadays something like walking piece of black meat with some teeth. So I naturally used lot of CCBS pieces, though some older sleek parts like "destroyer droid feet" and roborider halves make appearances.

I fortunately was able to restock my CCBS shell collection, as I bough some cheap used HF sets on summer and some extra parts from Pii Poo's shop and event in October. Purifier, of course, used most of my good black CCBS parts, like round armor add-ons, SW armor add-ons and long shells. But it's cool that parts I've bought see use. It's no good keeping them in their sorted bags.

Construction-wise this is quite simple. Surpringly few SYSTEM parts are used, mainly on the head. At last those black insect legs from LUGBULK couple of years back see some use. Interesting parts but somehow limited. The torso and the arms are almost pure CCBS, legs are more traditional Bionicle/TECHNIC construction. Colour scheme is not very interesting, but hey that's the point, and at least it's not red.

Next up, I don't know what. Christmas Holidays are soon here, but I have two tests to go (only tests this year, Human and Environment (essays) and History of (Western) Architecture (mostly drawings). I might or might not be able to post more during the holiday. Anything might happen.



MOC: Dwarvish Runemaster

Hur hur hur, the Red Era of my career as a LEGO builder is over! Well, temporarily; I'm not saying I wouldn't use red any more (I will. I've got WIPs an' everything). But last six of my published creations included red, usually as their primary colour, and I was beginning to get fed up with that. And naturally my collection of essential red pieces (small plates, cheese slopes... you know) was getting sparse. So here's Dwarvish Runemaster, straight from The Battle for Wesnoth, open-source fantasy strategy game. My previous Wesnoth-themed creation was Dwarvish Dragonguard.

Runesmiths are rare units that don't appear on the mainline multiplayer game but are still "official" core units and present in many campaigns. Their rune hammers deliver strong blows with magically high change of hitting (Wesnoth is sometimes rather luck-based).

As with the Dragonguard, this one is mostly based in on-game sprite. Shapes of the armor, helmet and weapons are taken there, but I also made up a lot. Colours of you units depend on the colour of you side (I usually use orange), so I had plenty of freedom there. I went with sand blue, sand green and pearl gold with some light greys and reddish brown. I think it's very pleasant, somewhat regal and nicely different for usual dark and earthy tones seen on characters like this.

The skirt was the beginning here. I wanted to use the masonry brick pattern on the attire, and got some shapes with sand blue slopes that originate from 2004's awesome mecha set Titan XP. The same patterns continue to upper torso. I'm particularly happy with the shoulder pads. They're rather faithful to the sprite, and managed to hide the shoulder joint rather nicely. Sand blue Nexo shields from drafted Brick Bank are used here.

The arms were a bit problematic, due to the basic issue of all character builders: Small ball sockets only come in grays. I wanted to but some brown on the less-important parts of the suit, and upper arms seemed logical. But now as the joint is not in the middle, the posing isn't completely natural; hence the lack of more diverse posing.

I'm also happy with the head. It was challenging, but the eyebrows saved the day, gave the dwarf lot of age and sort of "I'm too old for this shit" vibes. He has also quite a moustache. The sprite had a full beard, but those new inverted baby bows worked so well with other curved parts that I had to go with that. The helmet took also many tries, and was very samurai-esque at some point, but finally settled on this version that is not very far-fetched and even uses one of those new-ish pyramid slopes.

The hammer is quite usual, and uses same techniques than my hammers in the past (I've built quite a few hammer-using creations). The old tires are used to give it some pattern and age. The shield is probably a bit more interesting and utilized 1x6x2 bow pieces form aforementioned Titan XP. It also rounds up the colours of the creation overall.



MOC: Red Lady of the Stream

 Good time of day, good reader fellows. I present you a MOC which is a good example on "part-based creation"; I bargained some used and minifigless Ninjago sets recently, including Final Flight of Destiny's Bounty, and its remarkable orient-themed pieces pleaded to be used!

I had tried building large, Japanese-style sleeves previously on Kirika Towa Alma, but it was very hard to make them look natural on bricks, and the weigh made the figure very hard to display (I already dissected it for parts.) Those plastic (well, that's what Bricklink call them, even though most LEGO bricks are plastic) sail pieces seemed to be perfect for that use, even though pressing them between undersides of 2x6 SNOT plate things was somewhat tricky and is probably a little bit illegal. The smaller sail pieces were used on the dress.

While the costume here is a bit kimono-esque, anyone familiar with the subject could point out that it's far from it; Barely any reference material was used and the costume, as well as the character, are both results of my imagination. I went for one-shoulder strap, for example, as it presented an interesting challenge.

Making the patterns of the costume was interesting. Pearl gold sprout pieces, one of my favorite parts, is used here, too; The piece has great shape and interesting connection points. I also used one of those elaborate Ninjago dragon swords and a few shurikens. I seem to have been making lot of red-gold creations lately, and my red is running low again...

I'm happy with the head. It took lot of time, and at the beginning had old good batarang eyes, but they felt too big, and I managed to make better one using minifig hand connected to the sides of a tile. The neck was an another buggerer, and making the hair three-dimensional enough was another challenge. More Ninjago pieces (medium-sized katanas) are used as hairpins, and old weird space feel as a bun.

It felt a good idea to build a base. I don't do much bases for figures, usually only when it's required for staying upright, and they tend to be very simple. There are exceptions, like Lingeán, but they are few and far between. Here I went with similar idea than on Gale Serpent Arises, even though the scale is very different; Rocky terrain covered in lichen and a stream. The colors are different, though. On the Gale Serpent MOC the stream was black, maybe raw oil, and the lichen (or moss) was murkier olive green. Here the water is pleasant medium azure covered in trans-clear and the lichen is brisker sand green. I also added a reddish brown frame (LUGBULKed those cheese slopes, as you might have guessed) and made the stream flow over it; here goes the fourth wall (literally). I also liked the idea of figure standing on the stream with tall wooden Geta shoes.

The cool printed 9x9 dish piece from the aforementioned Ninjago set was another I wanted to use. It was used as an actual shield on the figure at the beginning, when I didn't have enough pieces to build the sleeves in red, an the other had to be different; so I plugged the shield on it and made it black, as a strap for the shield. But it didn't look good, as I didn't want the figure to be war-like. Fortunately I managed to get the needed red pieces from Dean's robes (don't worry, he's fine) when I visited Joensuu during my hardcore excursion with our architecture student guild TamArk.

I pondered the alternative uses for the shield. I tried it as a parasol, but it was too small and heavy looking, so I ended up with sort of a pole. It is again not based on anything real. I also pegged on couple of printed Japanese-style wall element I bought from Pii Poo's used part tables recently. They connect nicely to lever bases.

What else? My first half-year term at the university is soon coming to and end, and it couple of weeks I'll be knee-deep in deadlines. But don't worry, I still build a lot. Some modular building are under construction, and are indented to be published in January.



MOC: Bursar

"Good so be would you if, duff plum of helping second A."
-Bursar (by Sir Terry Pratchett)

Bursar is an another wizard of the Unseen University. He has been on his post for quite long. Bursar's job includes doing all the math needed to run an University; Financial things, mostly. Bursar is also plain nuts. He firstly suffered a nervous breakdown by his Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully and was tried to be cured by feeding him dried frogs pills; however, their effect is uncertain. Bursar also suffers from planets and an uncertainty principle (which means he can't know where he is and what he is at the same time, much like all-defining quantum). But, after all, he sometimes feels quite happy and flies around. Nobody knows why.

Bursar is quite well-known Discworld character despite his average "screen time" and rather minor effect on the plots of the books. But he's funny and therefore easy to remember. You don't forget him in a hurry.

I had to build Bursar. I'm making the Senior Faculty, and Bursar is one of the members that have at least some character, in contrary to ones like The Lecturer on Recent Runes, The Chair of Indefinite Studies and The Senior Wrangler. Bursar's mad face was fun to construct; I'm particularly happy with the Mixel teeth as a moustache. I managed to include details from several books: Crossbow bolt in the hat from Moving Pictures, bare feet as in Reaper Man and new jar for dried frog pills from Hogfather.  

Technically this is quite a simple creation. There are some SNOT, and the overall construction is similar to Balin; I even used the same cheese slope pattern on the robe. Another interesting part use is those stickered 2x4 wedge slopes from The Last Flight of Destiny's bounty that I recently bough used with several other last year's Ninjago sets (expect more MOCs with parts from them soon).

By the way, I currently feel I'm using too much red! My very basic red pieces like 1x2 plates and cheese slopes are running very low, which is odd as it's so common colour. But sometimes it has to be odd, especially with Bursar.



MOC: The Lecturer on Recent Runes

We continue our adventure on Discworld! The wizards of the senior faculty of the Unseen University are my favorite characters of the series; I sort of began with them, opening the TV when Ridcully was about to take the bath in Hogfather mini-series; Looking back to it, the adaptation was far from perfect, but you got to start somewhere, right?
This is The Lecturer of Recent Runes. He's a thin character, usually having strange adventures and (mostly) ridiculous debates with his colleagues, without really ever standing on his own feet. I could have named this MOC The Chair of Indefinite Studies as well, or maybe even Senior Wrangler; he's got a bit more character, but Pterry didn't describe the look of his character much, so it doesn't really matter: Long beard, pointy hat, wooden staff and some jewellery and you have a wizard; Congratulations! At least this one differs from Ridcully, Dean, Librarian, Rincewind, Bursar (Coming soon!) and Ponder Stibbons (Coming soon-ish). 

This MOC was built both before and after moving. The hat, head and beard go back to spring, and they were a WIP of Albus Dumbledore for a while (after re-reading Harry Potter books) but I realized I didn't have enough purple and went for a more familiar Discworld magical territory. Dumbledore (and Mad-Eye Moody, who's cool) might see the light some day, who knows?

The upper torso, including the golden flame collar, was built before moving, and then the partial wizard was stuffed in WIP box 1# (characters and misc) for a month or so. When I finally got around finalizing it, the hard parts were behind; I filled the back, stuck on arms and legs (with similar appropriate curled-up wizard slippers than on Dean) gave him a staff.

He ended up being surprisingly not-very-fat wizard. The problem is the beard; It had to build the beard on big, looming tummy, and the tied-up beard was the starting point here (beard usually is the starting point if there's going to be one). Maybe his friend Chair of Indefinite studies will be more round. Bursar won't be, tough.



MOC: Dwarvish Dragonguard

 This dwarvish dragonguard, armed with elaborate and destructible dragonstaff, isn't from Discworld or Middle-Earth; He's actually an unit (and what an unit!) from old, ever-developing open-source fantasy strategy game Battle for Wesnoth. Wesnoth is loved for it's pixel graphics, vast array of units and sheer amount of user-created content, but also often hated for it's luck-based aspects (your 70-per-cent magical attacks seem always to miss, but of course, deep down, it's just an illusion created by human mind). But I like Wesnoth. And I seem to have quite a good luck with these dragonstaffs or thunderstaffs. It's always cool to hear the "boom" sound effect, followed by formula 1-style wrooom that, for some reason, marks that you're just "killed" an irritating enemy ghost. They seem to eat lead pretty well...

On brick perspective, this MOC was a perfect way to try out some LUGBULK pieces. I got my order a month ago or so, but I didn't manage the post this MOC until now; I retook the photos this morning. The old ones weren't that good. So yeah, I have had my LUGBULK pieces for some time now. I have already several WIPs, as always. 1000 dark red masonry bricks have already shown their power in facades designed to continue my New Century Corner! Other LUGBULK stuff included odd and interesting gold pieces, which have been used on the staff: The sprout pieces are fantastic is pearl gold (I also got some in olive green) and created the nostrils, arms, jaws and horns of the dragon quite nicely. I also got lots of cheese slopes and 1x1 round bricks, as you can see.

The majestic flowing cape is one of the key features of dragonguard sprite, and the robe took most of my dark red curved pieces; I need more, as I love dark red and curved pieces. I also tried to copy the facial hair of the sprite; It's triangular shape with massive moustache and conical beard. The dwarf's hairline is also drawing back a bit. He also had a monocle at one point, but I removed it for the sake of accuracy.

The boots use cannon ball joint pieces, which I rather like; I'm also very happy with the gloves. Ah, reddish brown boat studs. Now I can make all the brown leather gloves for my figure builds. One of the best pieces, as I've stated several time before.

There's usually two images of every Wesnoth mainline units, the little field sprite and the bigger profile picture in the "pokedex" of the units (you need to see the units in the game to unlock the data). The field sprites are the ones you see when battling, so they are loved and adored. The profile pictures are usually less cool, despite having more detail. Somehow the little, simplistic sprites have lots of more character in them. But I had to take some stuff from the profile pictures too, like the details of the mail armor (unseen in the sprite) and the elaborate cannon (more shotgun-esque in the sprite).

What else? There's Pii Poo's brick event next weekend with a MOC show by our LUG Palikkatakomo Ry, and I'll be there, for sure (this dwarf will be, too). Then I'll have a week off. It's actually a test week on the university, but as Architecture students don't have many tests, ever, it's free. That's nice, as we've had loads of deadlines recently (I have to do a storyboards of two-page comic about Pispalanharju district for Friday and that's it for the first period).

Next up, some wizards, sooner or later; Discworld awaits!



Brickfilm: Neljä tai kaksi

"Despite the schooling system and geography together tried to keep Vuhvelituotanto's creative forces safely apart, a time has come to publish our newest animation Neljä tai kaksi (Four or two).

A shared flat in Hervanta exceeded all the expectations as a film studio."

This avant-garde/post-indepedent videofilm was animated in Friday the 23th. It took probably an hour or two. Intuition was our driven force. 

The distance between Vuhvelituotanto's infamous creative forces (and all the other forces, too) used to be 7 kilometers, or a half an hour with a bike, but it's currently 177 kilometers (The other guy, E. Karvinen, studies some forest ecology in Helsinki; well done, that man). But thanks to comprehensive transportation infrastructure of our cold (also dark) beloved home country, distance is just a number and we present you this thrilling 12-second art film; A masterpiece!

You can also peek some sneaks of my upcoming modular buildings.



MOC: Guechex

 Guechex is a character from Klaanon. It has been a while since the last Klaanon post on this blog. Actually, this MOC has been built for a while, but I didn't manage to post it until now.

Guechex is one of the Zyglaks of the Island of Bio-Klaani, though they don't naturally call it that; They think it was their island that the Matorans invaded. Guechex is a freedom fighter, huntsman and a field leader; but in Matoran perspective, he's probably a terrorist. You might notice where his name derives from.

Zyglak was originally a decent combiner model of three Barraki sets, Takadox, Kalmah and Pridak. I naturally took some parts of the official form, but made up a lot too. From descriptions and discussions with the creator of the character I got few things; He's bulky, red-black, sky-blue-eyed, had probably some tribal decoration and somewhat lumpy "nose". The rest I made up. The shapes are more practical and life-like than in the combiner model.

I began with the head that I actually completed few months ago. I wanted to use several feather- or scale-like pieces to create an aerodynamic and scavenger-like head; The nose is very bald and the lower jaw is full of odd teeth. Marabou stork was a source is inspiration here. The eyes were white viking horns at first, but were changed to medium azure 1x2 tile to maintain correct colouring. Guechex also has an important black sideburns.

I also tried some printed pattern here. I'm very happy with the uses of 4x4 wedge slopes with Crab Crusher prints; Fire Lord's lava-printed HF shells are probably not as succesfull, but I like the color they bring to the MOC.

Interesting bit in building a Zyglak character was the balance between dinosaur-like monster and a humanoid. My first version was too reptile-like, and I ended up adding mass to the upper body and broadening the shoulders. The necklace hopefully emphasizes the sapient feel here; There's some bones and fish skins constructed of bar-clips.

Photographing this wasn't easy, as it was hard to fit into the studion, but I managed to pull some cool poses. The light was another problem; The red bits that look alright in real life tended to overexpose, and I had to done them down with my antique photoshop CS2 quite a bit. But it should look OK now.

Next up dwarf stuff or hell, probably even a Brickfilm!



MOC: Samus Aran

Now here's a video game character you all should recognize. Because I'm not much a gamer I've mostly controlled every one's favourite brightly clad space heroine in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Not that I would be very good with Samus, but she's fun with the Charge Beam and everything.

I've built Samus couple of times before, with Power Suit in October 2016 (didn't remember that neck looked that bad, and people still wanted instructions!) and with Zero Suit in late 2013, with major revamp in May 2015. The latter looks still quite good and is still built and in similar scale than this one, but I can give you a shot of both as the tight-fitting version is in Joensuu, some 420 kilometres away.

This new Samus was built after realizing that I had hoarded enough orange to make her in bigger scale. The old power suit version was oddly coloured with red and tan because of lack of parts, but now that problem has been solved. Some of this was built in Joensuu, some here. I went with Other M/Super Smash Bros. 4 style, as I like the round, simplified shapes and there was good reference material out here; it also fitted the OM-style Zero Suit. I began with the gunless arm, continued to the iconic shoulders that came out rather nicely, and had a break of couple of weeks; Then I worked with the lower torso and embarked the quest to built the legs, which was scary but fortunately rather successful adventure. I can't say there's lot of posability, but they're sturdy. The real sorrow was the hip joint, though; I wanted to have a black rubbery part, but the loose pulley tires kept going places and setting unsettingly; They also limit the movement. The old hip joints were in A-shape using those tri-axle-connectors, but I deserted the idea. They kept falling off.

The chest plate was problematic, too. It's not too easy shape to start with, and the lime lines made it worse. I made several versions, back in Joensuu and in here, before settling to this one. The lines are far from perfect, but at least the plate is solid and without notable gaps. The helmet was easier and didn't take too long. It maybe a tad flat, but I quite like it. The tubes use old technique of lever piece with base on both ends and short ribbed hose around; you might have seen on some MaK. bot arms.

The cannon wasn't easy. I wanted to make it in medium azure, which is a beautiful colour and looked great with orange, red and yellow. There isn't too much pieces available, but I had some nice curved wedges and slopes and though it can't be too hard. I made the first version, photographed it and showed to some friends and yeah, it was too small, so I redesigned it, shot the whole model again and here we are. Some liberties are taken with the shape, but it doesn't look too bad, right?



MOC: Excela Noa Aura

 That's enough for the minifig scale, let's get back to the real deal of this blog, the character builds. This is Excela Noa Aura, Dragon Knigh of some sort, from same game - Shining Resonance - than Kirika Towa Alma. Never played it, just saw some concept art, was inspired. Ridiculously stupid skirt armor but somewhat cool anyway. Might be hard to use narrow doors, but I guess she could just do a pirouette and slice the legs of her enemies off.

The building started with the upper torso, which came out surprisingly easily. The shapes were tricky, but old solar panel piece and two of those odd 2x4 wedge slopes did the trick. I like the spiky shoulder pads, too. The arms were too thick on the first version, and were scaled down later. Droid arms were used as fingers as I don't have enough black skeleton arms. (I have two. TLG should rerelease them.)

The trickiest part was the multi-layered skirt. I though plates and TECHNIC panels but ended up making the main black layers with bricks and slopes; That enables more precision with the shapes. The white layer uses both wedge plates, wedge slopes and curved slopes. It was challenging to get all the connection points with needed friction inside the lower torso, but it ended up pretty good. It just isn't very sturdy.

The waist area of the skirt uses 4x4 curved wedge slopes - one of my favorite parts - with white rubber bands as embroidered lines. There's also ribbon in the back for some reason. Another tricky thing to get connected into the right angle.

The legs use some new, interesting parts like SW constraction figure leg armor and 1x2 inverted curved slope (inverted baby bow), though the latter isn't well visible on these photos (It's on the sole of the heeled boot). There's also obligatory 3x3x3 cone, another piece I cherish, and some boat studs to make a sturdy knee joint. Not that there would be lot posability, as the skirts are quite heavy. The boots are nailed into the base.

This MOC was built and photographed back in Joensuu before moving. I also tried some experimental photoshop on the first shot. I hope it looks good.



Interviewed by Tommy in BrickNerd

A few days ago Tommy Williamson (who you all know anyway, don't fool me!) interviewed me for Builder Showcase in his amusing and excellent blog BrickNerd. You can find the article here.

It has more information about myself as a builder and person than this blog has. I just don't bother wiriting about "random things concerning myself" here. Probably it's this Finnish thing, don't make fuss about yourself, dunno. But in the interview you can read about my building area, building philosophies (there isn't much) and music I listen to when building.

I hope you like it. It was pleasant to be interviewed by Tommy who has blogger my work several times.



MOC: Gale Serpent Arises

"Was he greedy for power, or guided by higher though, or simply out of his mind? What made the old man, elder of the village, to leave behind the warmth of his house and climb up the mountains, to the moor cold and bare, which the cults of old had inhabited with ancient shrines, causes long forgotten? But there he went, and at the springs of the black stream he awoke what should not been disturbed. His fate remains forgotten; but since then has rain not ceased, nor have we had peace from the thunder and the lightning. The crops rot; The fields are flooded. Nothing will save us from the wrath of the Gale Serpent."

 I moved into Tampere two weeks ago. I left most of my creations (temporarily) behind, but I have almost all of my parts here, in my shared flat room. This is the first MOC built here. Well, mostly. Most of the dragon was built back old home. The base, however, is done completely here. The new building area seems working. It's probably even better, as I can browse reference material online when building.

This is entry for this year's summer contest on Finnish LUG Palikkatakomo Ry. The theme of the contest was Monster, with size limit of 64x64 studs. I had several ideas on the entry; I though of Mothman, and Bricklinked those Ninjago Morro Dragon wings for it, but the idea didn't fly; I made couple of different heads, but they somehow didn't work. So I went with a dragon; Colour-wise somewhat similar than the original set the wings was taken for, but more oriental. There are similarities with Dragon Dance built for the contests on Model Expo earlier this year, but I hope the differences are big enough.

The overall shape of the dragon went through several version. At some point it used 12 big insectoid wings, with six on the back and six on the tail; It also had four small limbs and stood on two legs. There was also a fish or beetle-style version with several body segments with shells, fins and wings, but it looked too random and didn't stay intact.

So I abandoned the idea of building the whole dragon and chose to integrate it with the landscape. I ended up making quite a long neck and a serpent-like body mostly with CCBS with some lime green stomach scales. The dragon rises from black waters, or maybe it's petroleum? I'm neither sure if those wings are really wings, or just arcane energy bursting out as the dragon emerges. It's up to you. Make your interpretations.

The moor developed quite nicely. Dark bley stones with olive green vegetation and some light grey shrines were simple enough not to draw too much attention from the beast. At a point I though of making a mini-scale village to make the dragon look enormous, but the idea didn't fly. There was also some snow, but I didn't feel there was need for another element. The Monster is the main dish here.

The photographs were taken on a balcony (I live in fourth floor). It seems to work nicely as a studio.