MOC: Porco Rosso

A wise man once said: I'll rather be a pig than a fascist pig.

Porco Rosso is my favorite Ghibli movie. It's also my favorite animated movie. Hell, it's my favorite movie ever. Beautiful, not too complicated, original, great music, old water planes. The best, ever.

I built Porco's iconic Savoia S-21 last summer, and now it was time for the pig himself. The plane was miniland scale and included a miniature Porco in the cockpit. This Porco is made in same scale than the figures from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. The old and more angular version of the face dates back to last summer, and today I got my shit together and finished it. It took around three hours total; quite fast and relatively easy.

The colour scheme was the challenge factor here. Dark tan isn't the most common color, but I luckily had lot of "key parts": 1x2, 1x1 and 1x4 plates, 1x2 and 1x1 slopes, 4x4 wedge slopes, 2x2x3 slopes and both 1x2 and 2x2 jumpers. There is naturally lot of SNOT here. The helmet was the hard part, I'd say; Getting the flying goggles angled properly wasn't so simple (1x1 plate with bar proved it prowess) and those earmuffs required some pondering.

I had my architecture entrance exams (seven of them) last week, and now my real summer holiday finally began. It's damned cold here! But there'll be a LUG exhibit next weekend, by the way, and I'll go and see some relatives in the north, so I probably won't be that active anyway. But I might get something else out before leaving in Thursday; who knows. It seems that my blog has got lot of readers lately, around 1200 a day, which is ten times more than before. Cool! Keep it up, I'm glad to entertain you, of course. It's my hobby.


MOC: Sergeant Detritus

Check dat sarge! Now when I've completed the "original" night watch of Ankh-Morpork City Watch, I must move to the "minority group" recruits. Sergeant Detritus is great and sympathetic character. He's the most important troll character on Discworld and gives us the best example of troll biology and culture. Pratchett's trolls don't turn into stone in sunlight, they are stone all along. But as their brain is silicon-based, their thinking slows down as their brains get warmer, just like a computer chip. They're quite clever back in their homelands on the mountains, but warm air of Sto Plains makes them often somewhat dump in the City of Ankh-Morpork. Detritus seems like a clumsy idiot at first (he appears in several books before his wife Ruby makes him join the Watch in Men at Arms), but after his former dwarf colleague Constable Cuddy makes him a clockwork-powered cooling helmet he becomes surprisingly clever, in a troll way. He gets promoted into a sergeant before the next watch book and eventually becomes the chief of recruit division. He also was the Cultural Attacheé of Ankh-Morpork in the Coronation of the Low King of dwarves. 

I began building with the head. It come out nicely and quite easily. The diamond teeth were a must, as well as the rotor on his helmet. I also wanted the eyebrows be adjustable to show different moods. I looked at Paul Kidby's art for inspiration, but there's less similarities than on Colon or Ridcully, for example. I had quite a clear image of Detritus on my head.

The scale was also interesting. As Detritus is a bit hunched, he's shorter than Carrot, but naturally much wider and larger. I haven't built this big SYSTEM characters before. But it wasn't that hard, after all. Poseable legs are the big difference here. They have those odd clickety KK2/Exo-force joints on the hip, click joints on the knees and ball joints on the ankles; plus additional pin-hole-to-studs hinges on the lower ankle. These help to balance the figure; that was rather challenging, especially with his siege crossbow The Piecemaker, which weights rather much. 

Watch sergeants traditionally wear a Roman-esque muscular breastplates. I had already build one for Colon. There are some similarities, like the abs (boat stud, great piece all over again) and the inner structure, but the pecs are more dominant and hinged. The badge is almost hidden behind Detritus's impressive lower jaw. Otherwise the uniform follows the basic Watch uniform, with some leather flaps, bits of chain main, short trousers and open-toe boots, but he doesn't really wear shirt under the armor. I felt he didn't needed, as his skin is rock and he prefers to be cool, if you know what I mean (silicon brain).

Detritus also has his Piecemaker, a siege crossbow. He replaced the big blunt bolt with a stack of wooden arrows, which splinter and catch fire in the air, forming a big flaming ball; Handy when breaking into the castle of evil werewolves, as long as you remember that When Mister Safety Catch Is Off, Mister Crossbow Is Not Your Friend. The design is loosely based on Roman ballista,with two hinged bows; The gears add some friction, and the string is a basic LEGO string gracefully tied on 1x2 thin handle plates.

And remember, kids, never try slab - Jus' say 'Aarrghaarrghpleeasennononough!


MOC: Adela

Celebrating the new layout of my blog, here's an old WIP finished. This dates back to March, I think. I had this "root" of a red/white/black dress. I began with couple of 3x4 curved wedge slopes, and black lacing done with black Viking horns. But the dress overall changed a lot. At a time it was black-and-white and somewhat maid-themed, and later got some brown and more steampunk influences. A lid for Toa Metru canister was used as the bottom part for while, but it didn't work, and had been used numerous times before by other builders like L.A. Miranda for example. So I went on with more wedge slopes - pieces I love and had recently bought a lot from BL - that allowed me to continue the black-and-white pattern further. It helped to create a sort of vintage art-deco feel on the dress. I also included couple of odd freight train contrainer halves to the hem. It's a nice piece I last used on Plutonian Warrior Mining Robot's ankles.
The long gloves (Is there more specific term? No idea) were there from the beginning. They are similar to my current "basic bare arm" design, but making them white avoided the usage of tan 1x1 clip tiles (rare and expensive) and 1x2x2 slopes (not rare nor expensive, but rather recent so I don't have too many). The elbow is similar to Lingeán's. Old hockey puck (with axle hole) is used to represent the strap.

After these parts - The dress and the arms - were finished, the thing was left for two or three months. I quite liked what I had acquired, but didn't have the spark to finish it, and didn't have too much time in my hands anyway. Until, around last week, after coming home from mathematics test (I'm trying to get into a university to study architecture - The art tests will take place next week) I just grabbed it, made the legs (took several hours to get them right) and and chose to take a different route with the MOC; I didn't make it into an another standing character, but built a base with some cushions or blankets and hinged the torso and designed the hair so that it would land nicely on the base. The neck is also asymmetrical and looks odd on other poses - I wanted to make the "stretched" side a bit more realistic. TLG should totally make Mixel ball joints in other colors than greys.
When photographing, I realized that I can take some standing poses too, though it required some minor tweaks and they didn't look that perfect; But something different to finish this blog post with! The legs might be a bit too short on the standing pose, I'm not sure. But it ended up staying upright surprisingly well, taking that the legs were planned completely with horizontal position in mind.

Mosquitoes were a bloody nuisance when taking photographs. I photoshopped quite a few of them out. That's summer in Finland to you.