Father Christmas

 Do you know what time of the year it is? Yeah probably as it's christmas eve (when I'm publishing this. Most will read this later on, when it is not. But a blog post is an entity that lives in particular point of history). And whose great day is it? Father Christmas's, of course - I somehow dislike the name Santa Claus even though it's just Saint Nicholas with a twist; all I can think is Cola Santa, which is sad. Father Christmas is better, or in Finnish, Joulupukki, the Christmas goat. Or maybe a Yule goat. 

I've always liked the concept of him - very old guy, practically an ancient, with a beard and good intentions. I'm a fan. So it's weird that I haven't build any model of him until now. All I can think of is this 16x16 vignette made for a LUG contest in 2012 (for some reason, the url says Merry Chrisman; the text has some opinions that remain unchanged). What a coincidence, as this new build is also a contest entry, for Palikkatakomon Wanhan setin uusi elämä aka Old set's new life contest. I was 5th (shared with another entry). The old set this is """based""" on is 1555 Santa Claus, a set our family got from an American friend who always sends us a bit packet of gifts each year. It's the only LEGO item we've ever got from him, and oddly it arrived about 20 years after its release in early 2000s. There's probably a story behind it. Well, it's a cute little set. But I'm not fan of Santa Claus wearing all too bright red uniform with white fur. What I wanted to achieve is realistic, rough, human and maybe slightly scary Christmas Geezer who has seen some life. He's got a red cap, fair enough, but the mantle is grey and the fur is, well, lighter grey. HP bed curtain worked perfectly as the collar, its grey stars matching the mantle.

Overall the character looks familiar - even though I haven't build Father Christmas before, I've built many white-bearded gaffers with red suits, and I reckon the all reflect my childhood admiration towards the Eve Night Visitor (who gave me such treasures as Scorpion Palace, Jakten på Makuta, Troll Warship, Uruk-Hai Army, Kanohi bag, Boxor, Motor Set and Bordakh). These are various Discworld wizards, many Ridcullys in particular, and some Balins, and who knows what else... So I did not have any problems to start this. The main idea and the seed part was to use white grass stalks (with bar) to form the beard, and even though it took many alternative versions, it ended up looking good. I've used wings as sideburns many times before, but they matched the beard texture so well that I went with them anyway. The eyebrows are identical to the latest Ridcully, only white. They vastly enhance the character!

Most of the solutions are basic character building stuff and probably not worth of mentioning; I'm happy with the "armpit" slot of the loose mantle, which means the torso can be 8 studs wide without the shoulders growing too wide. The belt uses tan, which is also the skin colour here, but I hope it does not look like a bare tattooed stomach! Instead of regular sack I gave him a birchbark knapsack, familiar from older Joulupukki aesthetics (term punkinkontti, referring to this, is still widely used in Finland). The stick comes with same sources; here it is a very simple one made of five parts in pleasant medium nougat colour.

That's it - and this is also my last model this year (I'm away from my bricks, well, most of them; here, in Joensuu, are about 15 big dwarf system characters and dozens of Bionicles and thousands of silly Bionicle parts... so not that away. But the good stuff is in Joensuu, waiting for my return next year. Merry Christmas and jolly new year everyone).



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