MOC: The Warrior of the Shogunate

This is the second samurai from The New Shogunate. At the point I had the first version of bridge done I started to ponder the other warrior, representing the "New" side. How would he differ from the bearded stalwart? I wanted him to be masked, but still use the three-stud-wide model with headlight bricks with the eyes. I also though of just making an unmasker face of a younger man, but that didn't seem interesting. Sure, I could have given him bit of a black moustache and a goatee maybe, but I though that those samurai masks were quite cool, so I give it a few tries. I played around with some white designs with red details. The final version uses some food items, sausages on cheeks and a croissant as the jaw; I really like the shape. The kabuto helm has more aggressive crest with some smaller-scale katanas and crowbars.

The colour scheme for the armor became mostly dark green, as I had nice amount of 1x2 cut-out slopes and 1x3 curved slopes around. They can be seen in big shoulder plates, which created a nice profile. They also made it possible to build somewhat-adaptable plate skirt to achieve stepping pose on the base of the bridge. Like armor skirts always - or any skirts with actual legs underneath - this was challenging. Prototype version used very thin upper legs, but it was impossible to perceive the proportions and physics with them. At early version the skirt was made fixedly posed by sticking 1x1 round plates between the cut-out slopes, but I eventually settled with design that is hinged on the waistline. It's not perfect, as the skirt consists of 5 separate sheets instead of one, flowing plating, but at least it is easy and can be posed differently.

The boots, featuring Japanese divided toes design taken from the first-born samurai, were a late addition (and almost copied from the other samurai here - the pose testing version used regular HF boots), as well as the sashimono banner, with the snake detail that runs through the armor. It can also be seen on the katana scabbard, again rather straight but shape-wise fitting for the blade piece.

Next up some Discworld stuff, and then I do not know what - but I have several projects under way.



MOC: The Samurai Stalwart

This old warrior was the first thing I built for The New Shogunate, my biggest character build diorama so far (there aren't many though). I had been wanting to build some samurais for some time, and Palikkatakomo's summer contest felt like a nice chance. Especially as I wanted to build an elderly bearded one (always a good choice) and the contest was about old  and new.

I was very happy with my Arcane Samurai from last year's May, but this time I wanted to built one with a bit larger scale to use my standard three-wide head. The beard was the starting point, as usual - the first version had silver beard that used Wolverine's claws as thin sensei-style beard, but I wanted something fuller, so I rebuilt it bigger with cool moustache. There are some similarities with Dwarven Runemaster  - the eyebrows use light bluish grey handlebar piece. I think the color difference between it and the beard works well; it keeps his appearance somewhat fierce. The sigil on the kabuto helm hides the middle part, so it doesn't look like one united eyebrow. The head is fixed, which limits the poseablity, but as he was supposed to guard the bridge like a stalwart it didn't matter.

The main idea on the armor was to use loads "Plate, modified with 2 axle holes" pieces. They're very cheap pieces with interesting pattern and I bought hundred or something few years ago for roofs. They look quite nice as plate armor (or, hahaha, plate, modified armor). They have also some nice connection points, so overall they were nice to work with.  Armor skirts like this are usually tricky, but I think I managed to make it look quite realistic; It's also surprisingly stable, given that some parts of it are connected only via bar into thin liftarm's axle hole... It limits the mobility of the upper legs almost to zero, but you can't have everything. Some dark red and pearl gold balance the colour scheme.

The upper arms use the exactly same design than the old Arcane Samurai; It's solid and sturdy design that fits easily under heavy shoulder pads but doesn't look weak on its own right. I'm particularly happy with the gloves. 3x3x3 cone always works, and the aforementioned plate modified unites the look with the armor. The boots use those pieces too, along with some kneepads done with octagonal bar frame and dark red 1x1 round tiles. The boots represent Japanese style footwear with divided toes. They were suprisingly tricky, and feature studs going to pretty much every direction, but I quite like them. The sword is another design recycled from Arcane Samurai. That creation was critized for lack of scabbard, so I made sure this warrior had one. It's quite straight for a katana sheath, but those big katanas from Ninjago sets are pretty straight, and the scabbard should fit one of them. The main ingredien is 2x16 helicopter rotor blade thing, another interesting and very cheap piece.



MOC: The New Shogunate

This has been the most unactive summer of Cyclopic Bricks so far - sorry. It's not that I wouldn't have time, inspiration, or bricks. I have all of those, and lots of them, too. It just seems to be that these projects get bigger than they used to, and as I don't really like to post WIP shots (they would just spoil you), time between posts gets larger. Like this one: For years people said, hey, cool figures, make so scenery for them, and I though, hell, that'd be great, but as my figures are more than 30 cm tall (one foot for odd measurement people), the scenery would be large and take lot of time and bricks (and inspiration). Well, it's summer, and my vacation is four months long, so here we go... The Samurai Bridge, or as I call it, The New Shogunate: Showdown between two members of warrior class of feudal Japan. This one is for my LUG Palikkatakomo's summer contest, with interesting subject of "The old meets the new". Samurai of this new rule has come to challenge the last warrior of the old shogunate.

There were several starting points here. I had wanted to build an old, bearded samurai for some time, so I did; there was, however, a problem: The figure was 30 centimeters tall and that meant a large scene for two of these figures. The nature of the encounter was not yet clear. Probably there would be a novice learning from his master, or a training challenge - but I ended up with a real fight, with masked warrior in a bit more modern suit of armor trying to cross a bridge.

The bridge was a tricky thing to build. I wanted one of the samurais stand on it, so it had to be quite sturdy. The design itself is quite close to real Japanese garden bridges. They're usually black or not painted at all, but as I quite like to add some bright colours to my creations, I went with red. The supports took almost all of my 1xX red plates. Fortunately I had recently acquired lot of 1x8 tiles in red and they helped to create a clean, studless look. The ends of the bridge are sturdily connected to the very base with some TECHNIC, which then again is hidden inside the mossed ground. There is naturally lot of rainbow warrior stuff going on inside the base - the water used almost all of my thin blue bricks and everything turns into mess of yellow, orange, lime green and medium lavender under the banks. The main ingredients of the shoreline, 2x3 slopes in olive green, are from LUG event reward packages. There are probably 100 of them here.

After (almost) finishing the younger warrior I returned to work with the bridge. The cherry blossom bush (that would be a tree if I had LUGBULKed more than 50 of those leaves per colour) was always going to be there, and I had fun building those shrines. The ones on the "New Shogunate" side are less mossy, and have Buddhist style using microfigs on the bases. The one on the old side in somewhat angled and covered in moss. That side also uses light bley plates and wedge plates to represent "white" gravel essential on Buddhist gardens, while the new side features stairs of stone.

The measurements of this model are 94x26 studs, just to fit my shelves - it would be painful to be forced to keep this on table, as there isn't too much table space on my apartment. Photographing this was interesting too. I first took photos with white background, but as they were almost impossible to photoshop decently with my skills, I constructed a studio in my balcony using two of my black "wooden" (MDF) tables and my white kitchen table; The other black one was used as the backdrop, supported by the white one. It looked alright but as the model is so long I couldn't take shots on every angle, so there is only six photos. I'll take and upload photos of both samurais and add them as separate posts later on.