MOC: Do-It-Yourself-Seraph

Hello, and welcome the new subject of my creations, stuff inspired by art in Magic the Gathering cards. First of which is not any famous legendary creature nor Black Lotus nor planeswalker but one cool mythic rare creature from humorous Unstable set: Cyborg Angel Do-It-Yourself-Seraph. I play it in my budget Sram commander even though it's probably illegal. But it's such cool. Cyborg angel!

This isn't super accurate rendition of art by David Sladek. Wanted to make a cool, slightly humorous but still somewhat elegant design. I also wanted to use as much metallic silver SYSTEM parts as possible. I had gathered quite a bit of them from Pii Poo's tables during few past years, and once tried to build an armored dwarf with them, but didn't end up with anything finished. Better luck this time!

As usual on builds like this, I began with the legs, trying to achieve detail on hip joint using those TECHNIC pin connected little blade pieces. It's barely visible between the armour plating skirt, but I think it looks quite good. The thighs have plenty of metallic colours; unfortunately the shins don't, as there weren't than much, let's say, metallic silver tiles and plates. I like the knee armour, though. Hooray for curved sloping.

The torso was interesting. It is largely improvised upon parts available, and not very accurate to the card art. I like how the pearl gold ornamental blade pieces add warmth on the metallic/flat silver surfaces. I even managed to use couple of Ninjago spinner top parts, a trick that I'm happy with. The wing-pack is tightly connected to back that runs bracket pieces from bottom to neck. As the creation has very large overall dimensions, sturdy connections are vital.

The arms were horrible to work with. I wanted to preserve some mobility to make the seraph look natural, but with the heavy swords, the arms tended to fall of a lot. Getting the elbow joint work was the main trouble here. The first design used TECHNIC pin with a pin hole, with the pin barely connected inside the driving ring part, connected to a stud inside new-ish Speed Champions wheel hub. It worked okay at first, but with time the pin began to slip out from it's unorthodox connection and I had to change them to minifig wrenches. I could have some more of those pieces. But overall, the arm is build mostly using metallic shaded pieces, and there's even hoop hand guards. Bionicle Gen II armor add-on had nice cyborg feel and ended up as a shoulder armour. I even managed to keep the shoulder width moderate 6,5 to make the proportions look pleasantly natural.

The head uses 2017 style standard female (minifig hand eyes). I hope you haven't got fed up with it yet, there's more to come, and it's the best I can do right now (but I wish to make some tests with Elves element shards if I even get some). I wanted to make the wind-swept blonde hair from the card art. It was rather easy, as I had done things like that before rather often. Yellow was a natural choice, as tan hair would have looked ridiculous with tan skin. However, it looked a rather dull, so I added some light yellow stripes; hair is rarely constant in colour. I rather like the effect.

Then there's the flight pack. I ditched the wooden flapping blades for good - they were too much, and impossible to make light enough to avoid the whole creation collapsing. But I wanted to have a pair of magnificent, man-made wings. I first wondered if I'd simply build them using dark tan slopes and wedge slopes, as that would have been close to the source material at least colour-wise. But I didn't have enough, and the weight would have been an issue. So I ended up using sails from Corsairs of Umbar, Bricklinked for rather cheap maybe five years ago and never used in anything. The print being one-sided was bit of a problem, but honestly I think it looks alright in the completed model. I managed to add some metallic silver to the uppermost part of the wings, and faux-piston system near the shoulder joint. The wings are a bit poseable, but almost fixed due to stability issues, which were rather critical on this build.

The flight pack also includes tail, using the smaller sails from aforementioned ships of Black Numenoreans, connected with my beloved turret ball socket part. There's also the back propeller, protected with a large TECHNIC hoop, and a crank handle to winch everything up. It is actually missing from the last photo of this post, which was taken on slightly earlier version shortly before terrible wind accident. There's lot of sail surface area here, given that's everything is is balanced on two ankle mixel ball joints, and two big swords are needed to balance everything up.



MOC: Villa Great Agano

Villa Great-Agano was designed by builder-architects Väinämöinen's House-building OY AB. It was commissioned by former samurai Miko Katanai and features elements from medieval Japanese fortresses and Finnish Art Nouveu villas (the name refers to Villa Suur-Merijoki by Gesellius-Lindgren-Saarinen, as well as river Agano in Japan). The cobblestone base is made with Finnish granite from the wilderlands of Kainuu, where the boss of Väinämöinen's House Building OY AB had bit of a incident with their younger rival building company House-Builders Joukahainen. But that's another story, featuring a swamp.

In other words, this was an entry for House Exhibition contest on HupiCon 2018, the successor of Model Expo, and our LUG's biggest annual show. It went pretty good, not much points on the audience voting but fourth place on LUG member voting, and I was awarded with London Skyline set. The model was built during two evening, maybe 8 hours or so, which I think is quite fast. I was rather busy before HupiCon, due to massive City Blocks I had to finish, and some schoolwork that had to be done.

But the school year is now behind, and I have three months of free time. I actually returned from my two-week trip around Italy, Czech Republic and Germany with my girlfriend three days ago - it was great time and I bough several bricks, one small cup and three bigs from LEGO Stores with some sand green, and also some used goodies from fan-based stores in Prague and Berlin. Good time.

Back to the build! As I mentioned, it's an odd mix of old Japanese fortress and Finnish Jugendstil villa. It was going to be more like the latter but I began with the foundations, overlapping those boat studs (marvellous pieces marvellous pieces) it very fragile but cool-looking fashion (there's a 1x1 round plate in the middle of overlapping plates, that, if applied right, connects on the "tube" of the plate in the middle of three boat studs; works on random plates and is frustrating to apply). The shape looked like those samurai castles and quite liked it. The tower is from aforementioned Villa Suur-Merijoki. It is rather stout, as the contest had a height restriction of 25 bricks. The Japanese feel was even more enhanced with the vertical lines on the walls, as well as those lanterns, steep stairs leading to the main entrance, and the shape of the roof (even though it's quite basic). I added couple of statues and bonsai trees near the stairs to underscore the influences. And yes, there's a garage inside, with it's door visible on the back. In all, it's not a house I'd design in real life (architect student, remember?) but it was fun, fast build, with some experimental techniques.