MOC: Mistral Nereis

 Hello... Again. I hope to post more now when the City Block is finished. How last few weeks (or months) I have been thinking that hell, when I get these houses done, I can move into more elegant builds... So here´s one! Not that I built this completely after the block; this has been in somewhat WIP stage for months. Ans sort of for a year or so.

This is another creation based on those Japanese anime video game things not released outside Japan. Never played it, of course, but ended up seeing concept art on internet, and got inspired. This one is Mistral Nereis, from Shining Hearts. She appears to be pirate. Just wonder how many hours (answer: MANY) I have been wondering how to build such big and heavy three-layer skirt? This was, in a way, very geometric build...

But let's go back a year. Some of you might remember another, somewhat similar MOC of mine: Adela from June 2016. Similar gloves, patterns and colours, huh? I tried to built Mistral before, but as this dress was pretty damn challenging, I ended up with this Adela instead. Not bad, though. But I ended up giving Mistral and her heavy dress another go. I wanted to prove myself as a character builder.

This time I began with the legs and clinched them pretty nicely. I quite like how dark tan works as stockings here. A problem aroused, however: They couldn't support the weight of the creation. I also wanted to build a more natural stance with one leg slightly bent. There was a TECHNIC axle to support it, but I was still very fragile and didn't look good. So I made the dramatic change and sat her down on a stool. Ha! It solved many problems and made it possible to work on the skirt without everything breaking every ten minutes. The early stool was just four girder pieces and some red basic bricks and the base was the modular base of Atelier, but it worked anyway.

Then there's the dress. There is, actually, somewhat interesting backstory here. Couple of years back, in some brick convention, I was going through Pii Poo's random part tables. There were these inverted 4x4 wedge slopes in red, and someone asked if I need one, as I was collecting curved wedge slopes. I think I said that nay, I don't need one, but if I had 20 I could do something with them. This creation has 17, so my exaggeration was quite accurate. I think that they indeed form a nice shape, akin to a creped skirt (there might be an actual word but I don't know it). The construction of this version is quite simple, having 1x2/1x2 swivel hinge plates and 1x2 plate modified with bar/1x1 tile, modified with clip hinges. The previous version had Mixel ball joints and more spread shape; It was on another WIP for a while when I had given up with this. But the design ended up with its original target after all. What a happy ending.

It's a multi-layer skirt, though. There's a vague white layer over the red one, but I solved it simply by building the upper part in white using same inverted 4x4 wedge slopes; it's visible from the back. Then there was the black over-layer. What a nuisance! I tried several designs using wedges and whatnot. It even had a big red heart on the side with crossbones on it. But at some point I realized that the tail pieces would do it. I like it very much now; One of my favourite parts on this. There's also big black ribbon on the other side, but after the skirt it was a piece of cake.

The main bodice was done several months earlier, though its width was adjusted a couple of times. I had used barb pieces on version that ended up being Adela, but here I ended up with a realistic version using actual LEGO string. The breast area, again, was challenging: there was several colours going on, again, and I had to layer black, red, white and more black without losing the shape. It's quite good now, but went though some rather clumsy versions. They're also this ruffle collar, which was oversized at first, boring in the middle and alright now; I like the life saver ring piece, it enables some good-looking connections.

The neck and shoulder area was, overall, a real battlefield. Neck joint was painful and took several versions, and making the shoulder width 9 instead of 8 was a last-minute change that made it possible to make the chest area a bit wider to correspond the body and the legs better. The arms are rather similar to Adela expect that they use new-ish TECHNIC connectors on the elbow joint instead of wrenches.

Another last minute change was the posture of the upper torso. I was strictly horizontal for most of the process, but it looked too unnatural; nobody sits like that. So I added a hinge and bent it down a bit; the creation got a lot more life-like. Such small fixes can have a great impact on the big picture.

The head, then again, was quite simple, mostly because it recycles design of Red Lady of the Stream with subtle differences. There are some hair accessories done with unorthodox rubber band connections and TECHNIC pins. The long pigtails use yellow katanas from Dragon Bolt. I used them previously on Kirika Towa Alma, a character of same franchise, but for this I luckily found two more from Pii Poo's tables. 

The final base was the last thing I built. I ended up with simple wooden stool to fit the pirate feel. The SNOT base itself is very simple, with slightly curved corners. And a little secret: The shoe of the straight leg is not connected to the leg. It's just a 1x2 rooftop slope. Don't tell anyone!



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