Lalibela Upbeat and Dawn Resurgent

Here comes the speeder number three. Lately some readers might have stumbled upon some new creation by me on some LEGO fan site or another; those things will be posted here soon enough. I did take part on Part Festival II of 2019, and technically I still am, but I've got decent amount of material there, all photographed and written and everything. New Elementary will have some photos and shorter versions of my texts, and Cyclopic Bricks will host the full sets, as usual. But more of that later on. I'm having a creation here.

Lalibela Upbeat and her Dawn Resurgent Speeder bike was built in late August and early September at the very start of the current semester. As in two previous speeders, Carp Speeder and Salamander Sword, the speeder was built first and then accompanied with a matching daredevil. I made some sketches on the vessel, but essentially it was built like a spaceship. I wanted to use similar shapes, techniques and even details that some skilled space builders utilise in their SHIPs. I think the speeder could be a decent half-lenght SHIP in mini-scale if I removed the handlebars, pedals and exhaust flames. That was the aim, at least: Stealthy collision of two very different scales, hopefully in harmony.

I began with the shape (flat and quite long), colours (I wanted to use magenta and had plenty of dark blue around) and some details (turbine parts in front, window in the engine compartment, 8-esque exhaust). I made the turbines that could be from 30's power plant in minifig scale; I quite enjoyed their contrast with sleek and futuristic speeder in bright colours. Their shape matched the 8 exhaust frame made with macaroni bricks and tiles, connected with 1x2 round plates. As most of my magenta pieces were usual slopes, I made profile resembling 8 with them too, as 4-stud-deep on front and 2-stud-deep in back sections. They were assembled around sturdy SNOT frame with a TECHNIC core.

The dark blue area under the handlebars has some interesting aspects. There is the window, made using two curved 2x6 windscreens. I wanted the light shine through it for maximum effect, so the frame has a hole in this part. Originally it was much bulkier design, and had 6x6 round windshields from Death Star II throne room as the windows, but it didn't work out. On this version, I also like the elegant, triangular shape the tan 2x6 wedge slopes form between dark blue 8x3 odd wedge bow things: I knew the rider wouldn't use tan as the skin colour, so I could freely use it as light leather, mostly on the seat, but also on this part on what the rider could lean on.

There's another magenta belt behind this area, featuring some car bonnet pieces. The left side has stickered 2x4 tile on it, probably featuring someone important for the rider, as a mark of personification. This magenta section was originally arranged differently, between two tan leather sections, but this made the rider sit too much ahead, bending the stand in a way that the speeder would face slightly downwards, looking dump. I moved the seat section back, made it 6-wide to make room for the rider and hided the stand inside the magenta section. This also made it possible to make the seat very clean in shape, looking more convenient for the rider.

The back engine section featured layered section of different patterns. On top, pentagonal Nexo wedges continue the 8-esque shape of the thrusters. Under them there is mild pattern of curved shapes, made using macaroni tiles. Their greyness balances the turbines on front, while the pattern hints to exquisite enginecraft. The thruster section mentioned earlier is connected in curious way: Inside it there are two wheel pieces with their tires turned inside out; their rubber, next to the macaroni parts, has enough friction to keep the 8 strip in place. The flames are connected to TECHNIC "gear" with four knobs with bar holes. I think it works quite nicely.

The speeders so far have had differently angled stands and this is the most daring so far. The angle is not that slight, and the weight of the model bends it significantly more. The figure is connected to her ride only on thumbs, with quite loose bar-to-clip connection, so it takes some dexterity to set up... But it looks fast! I'd prefer the liftarms to be black, but almost all of my black liftarms are on Tomi Leppänen's drum podium in the LEGO House...

The another half of the build is the figure. It was much faster process, mostly because I have some experience in building figures and well, it uses several basic designs seen before on other builds. The key concepts were colours: magenta and dark blue, taken from the speeder; darker skin colour; and attempt to make sand blue jeans, even though the ended up being shorts. On parts level, I wanted to use rounded magenta bonnet piece on the chest, as sort of very short tank top leaving the stomach visible; I have no idea what the actual term might be here. Another key part were stickered aeroplane tail fin pieces from Ninjago, with cool thunderbolt pattern. They would form a jacket collar to frame the chest, in similar way than in Kiirus Ögonblick, rider of the Carp Speeder. The characters on these speeders had had cool and casual yet modern attires, so this quite bold compilation of clothed felt interesting.

To give the colours some extra contrast, I ended up using yellow stockings with the sand blue jeans shorts. I also made red alternative, but it was somehow too close to the magenta shade. Don't worry, you'll see the red ones eventually. As a side note, my head has a mental connection between these stocking and some Brexit news. I was reading them while building and now I'll connect these things in my mind, eternally. The knee has a black guards, using skrall armour pieces from Bionicle. They are not connected properly but stay on anyway. The shoes are asymmetrical sneakers, maybe referencing to Toppo Koponen; They're quite usual, but one of them uses some weird printed tiles, and both use new-ish rounded 1x1 parts, maybe they could be called bows or something; "anti-arches". The complete the footprint with 1x4 curved slopes. The gloves are white, as dark brown (or brown, or dark tan...) hands are hard to make due availability of parts.

The head with the hair was the most challenging part of the figure and took most time. I wanted to use icy wing parts from Chima ultrabuilds to make a lion-like mane. Icy bolt of flame pieces from Hero Factory worked nicely with them. However, both of those pieces are big and rigid and hard to get flowing in variety of poses. Earlier versions included some bigger and more fragile constructions, but I ended up putting the big special pieces on one side and simple sweep on the other side, using 2x2 triangular tile and white plume as an "escaped" bang. I think the white hair looks very striking with dark brown skin.

Coming up with names is usually the last thing done in builds like this. Lalibela is a town in Ethiopia, known for its rock-cut monolith churches. For me it's more familiar as a Pharaoh Overlord song from live album Horn. I like the sound of word upbeat, and resurgent is taken from Magic card named Zendikar Resurgent.



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