Master Yupa

This creation is a return to familiar subject: Hayao Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, especially the manga. I've built six character builds about that masterpiece around four years ago. Their scale was little bigger than miniland scale, with bare, stylized faces and very limited articulation. I think some of them are good creations nevertheless, but they feel somewhat stiff, and as the source material is very close and inspiring, I recently chose to return to these characters, or at least one of them. The old models are still preserved somewhere in my wardrobe.

The man featured here is Master Yupa, greatest swordsman of Fukai, a mentor character in the comic book (and the film, of course). He has a cool uniform with cape and a brimmed hat with a tuft and pleasant looking boots; I don't remember the colours of the clothes in the film very clearly, and the manga is black-and-white, so this is more based on how I imagined the colours: Natural shades of uncolored wool, felt and leather. The pose, however, is the key point of the build. It is based on a panel on page 108 of volume II (Finnish version), where Yupa jumps to face his adversary in wormhandler's citadel. There is a very similar scene in the film, located in wormhandler's airship, if I remember correctly.  
Making a very specific, dynamic posing is unusual in my work. It posed plenty of fresh challenges. Making of this was inspired by a very specific piece: 6x6 quarter round slope thing. In August, I bought eight of those from Pii Poo in dark brown. Six is used there, and their shape forms the key areas of the flowing cape. Of course, they are big and thick chunks, so some "cheating" is made with the arms; they're connected with axles on ball joints, sticking out of the thin gaps inside the arches of those 6x6 bits. Yupa's impressive moustache hangs over the central one, making the distance between the head and the coat (or maybe it's a tunic) appear smaller. The rest of the cape is made with three more, and variety of dark brown curved and normal slopes.

Another key technique used here is 45 degree turns throughout the model. First one is between the head and the cape, using A-frame piece. Second is between the tunic and the cape, again using A-frames connecting to a hinge, as the cape is angled forward. Around the waist, there is another 45 degree turn, this time using custom turntable, stiffened with 3L axle with stud on end. I'm particularly happy with the belt buckle appearing between the hem of the tunic. The custom turntable was 4x4, which means Yupa's arse turned to be very square-shaped. It's rounded with some curved slopes, connected to ancient buffer piece. This creation was something like a three-dimensional puzzle, giving its geometrical difficulty, stability questions and incorporation of big, interesting pieces.

There were, of course, the usual aesthetic questions always important in character builds. Yupa's eyes are not seen in the original frame, and they're hidden under the brim of the hat (they don't really exist in the build). The hat uses 10x10 dish, which is quite rare - this one is from Pii Poo again and I'm happy the own one! The dome of the hat uses the same technique than my old Yupa. The barrel is connected with a ball joint, so it's slightly angles. The tuft is new, using dark brown grass pieces (I got 25 from LUGBULK and this is the first time I use any). Yupa has his moustache, an important character trait, and it consists of four 1x2 curved slopes, offset for flowing effect. The gloves are classic design from 2015 or something, but connected to an unusual angle, true to reference material. The swords are think brick-built ones. I wonder if I should have turned the anti-stud side hidden in the photos, but that might have been cheating... The scabbard was a very late addition, but true to the sources again.

This might just be my first character build to feature a jumping person. Flying Palutena built for Iron Builder might be the closest. Being static in mid-air required a base. The first one used a transparent beam made of 1x2x2 panels in trans-clear, but it was too weak. Four 1x2x5 bricks worked much better. They were all I had, but fortunately I got more from LEGO House's PaB later on. As ten bricks wasn't enough height, I added some pieces of wormhandles machinery to the base; round, organic shapes with some suspicious piping. The base itself is a block of tan pieces. Inside there are four boat weight blocks, keeping the point of balance low and thus making the model safer to display. I think it's also worth noting that the the figure rests on single 1x2 brick hinge (with four studs on top). Helppo nakki, as they say here.



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