2021-11-21

Woolly Mammoth

I think most buiders have a mental array of potential subjects they'd like to build. Not all of them are super big projects like Minifig-scale Cloud City or old Katajanokka. Sometimes they are just regular builds one has never tried their hands on. One of those for me for years was to build a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius). Sure, I had built Jörn, my Auronia DnD character, a year ago - he's still alive and kicking in level 5 - but he was a loxodon, a mammoth furry, with spear and bag and cloak and everything; and the old idea was to build a realistic four-legged one straight from the last Ice Age. Quite surprisingly, New Elementary's Bionicle Parts Festival gave a perfect opportunity for it, as one of those Rahkshi backs (my seed part) looked just like a mammoth's face and it did come on old brown. 

I think a prime actor in the excellence of mammoths is their big head with these handsome round shapes; the muscular arragement of the trunk, the high dome of the head and the small ears; and the sloping back with a big hunch. Asian elephant is a lot more closely related to mammoths than the African variant, and some of there features are found in contemporary Elephas maximus. But mammoth combines there shapes with its thick coat of fur and long, curved tusks - what a magnificent beast! The Rahkshi back fitted this animal very well, as well as the variety of wedge slopes and dinosaur tails and dishes. The texture was made with some "ski-slope" armour slopes and grill tiles - and combination of reddish and old brown shades. 

As the mammoth was nevertheless mostly a large brown shape, I also built a patch of Siberian tundra for it to roam on. It has lot of hays, made of tan and dark tan axles: these were mammoths' most important food. For colour I also added some olive green bushed and white tufts of cottongrass, with a small stream of very old trans-clear 2x4 plates. The terrain was inspired by the animal models by Simon Hundsbichler who displayed them in the Lego House with me in 2019-2021.

-Eero.





2021-11-10

Queen Namárië

 Queen Namárië was built to accompany an element development article on the new candlestick piece on New Elementary. At first I intended to build just a tablescrap, a bust of a character with a crown made using the piece. I couldn't limit myself into a bust, in the end. Thus I finished the character, while keeping the scale modest - she's quite short compared to most of my similar models; something like a mid-scale along Augur of the Last Peak or even Winona Skyrake. Honestly there could be a stud of two of more lenght in the dress, but I felt that would have made the dark blue area above the Bright Light Orange wedge too long... Well, not everyone is tall. I'm not, for example.

The inspiration of this character lies somewhere along the Valar and the Reigning queens of Númenor, from Tolkien's legendarium (I have been reading Morgoth's Ring and War of the Jewels lately; interesting stuff). The name refers to Galadriel's lament in Fellowship of the Ring. But I wanted to differ from "stereotypical Tolkien art" by adding colour and certain brightness to the mix; lavender hair, for example, and strong contrast between the orange and the blue. There's also a wide range of blue shades, something that ended up looking great; this includes rares colours like old azure-ish colour from Clickits and metal blue from KK2. I'm also very happy with the detached sleeves as I've been waiting to use those pretty trans-purple pot pieces on a character for some time.

As some curious facts, the gentle curve on the sides of the lower part of the dress is an accident; it misses one (vertical) layer of plates and thus the side is "bent" outside the system. Looks good though, so glad I miscalculated it. Also more embarrasingly I forgot to fill the back before photographing (I had a deadline, even) so no back photos. Also the upper torso above the bust uses new-ish 1x3 inverted arches from this year's LUGBULK to capture the curve. They're neat pieces and I think I'll use them in variety of way.

-Eero.


2021-11-05

Windle Poons

 A new Discworld wizard dropped! This is Windle Poons, the oldest member of the Unseen University Senior Faculty in Sir Terry Pratchett's Moving Pictures and Reaper Man; and he was built as a part of my parts review article on 43196 Belle and the Beast Castle on New Elementary. 

Now this black-and-gold monster wheelchair does not look much like a lavender fairytale castle. This is fair enough. I was only certain that the natural use for a glorious 10x10 dish in dark red would be a wizard's hat and I hadn't built Poons yet so... Poons is became, and the golden turrets of the castle became his array of horns and whistles, and the roofs formed the point of the pointy hat... and even the little horse cart's wheels formed the small front wheel of Windle's chair.

The wheels of Windle's monster chair are based on set 7041 Troll Battle Wheel. I got it as a kid and loved the set (it still looks awesome). Those are the very same hinge bricks, only I changed the spokes black and used a ship's wheel as the hub; it works rather nicely. I'm also happy with the black oilskin roof dome, which gives the chair a somewhat beastial silhouette, reminding an armadillo or something. In all the chair could use a bit more gold, but I somehow didn't have the right pieces.

Windle himself is more polychrome for balance. I gave him a blanket to emphasize his age (most wizards are old, but none as old as him). The blue colour signifies its different origin from usual wizardy garments - though honestly the effect is quite kilt-like. The shoulders and the tummy use newly recoloured 3x3 macaroni slopes from the reviewed set, while the hat is, as mentioned, the hotspot of the seed parts. The face, however, was were most of the labour went. I've used to building old people's faces, which are fun due to all the wrinkles, but this had to look old even compared to them. 

To achieve the age I gave him just a small goatee as if he was running out of jaw; and made the nose comically large, as person's nose grows all his lifetime. His toothless mouth is thin and continues as wrinkles all around the head, and the wild eyebrows portray both confusion on things gone past and irritation for all the modern mischiefs. The hair is coarse and sparse.

And yes - the chair can balance for a wheelie.

-Eero.