This is the second white-haired samurai this year, after my entry on Bio-Cup's "numbers" category, The Kami of Five Elements. The name derives from a real-world female samurai, and there are of course apparently dozens of similar anime etc. characters with the same basic idea (and often less comprehensive armour). I though white, flowing hair gave a nice contrast to traditional but not exactly accurate samurai gear, and in contrast to the smaller samurai in Bio-Cup entry, I wanted to build it in bigger scale to allow more details (I call this rock'n'roll scale). I chose this distinquished colour scheme on the very beginning.

I wanted to use balloon panes as a hair. This isn't the first for no means, and thus I wanted to try something new with them. I first tried several ponytail designs, but they didn't fly. The second version was a sort of mohakw I turned 90 degrees to create a striking silhouette. I've got no idea how it would work in real life, but that doesn't probably matter that much. The hair pin was a very late addition stuck there when the model was complete. 

There is a certain logic behind the armour: Dark green for plate armour, black for small armour plates and leather and red for softer parts plus armour highlights. The skirt uses 1x4 double curved slopes from The Starry Night's frame. I wanted to keep is somewhat short to allow decent amount of movement to the legs and also to show their ornamented kneecaps. The printed Ninjago tile was a late addition, and the pearl gold leaves continued the motif of the gauntlets and sword crossguards.In general, I wanted to use the pearl gold pieces to create outstanding details telling of the handicraft and tradition weaved into the armour-making. The character is a work of fantasy, but it roots back to the tradition.

When it comes to the swords, Gozen has two scabbards - Samurais had the special permit to carry two blades. I really like what a long scabbard doed to a figure's silhouette and balance, and the hilts and crossguards offer a position for interesting detail. However, there has been a slight pacifistic motive in my build during the last few years, and I did not explicitly want to include sort of weapon-posing... so Gozen keeps her blades sheathed, and I didn't have to find out how to connect a katana blade to that 2-stud wide crossguards. The longer katana scabbard is actually recycled from the Samurai of the Garden, who neither had a blade - as neither did the samurai from the Bio-Cup entry.

This was not the last MOC I made this year, but this nonetheless felt like the final piece of 2022. It was very much a free build during a year full of contest entries, New Elementary models and slow modular house process. Here I just wanted to make a thing that is cool and nice to me personally - to capture the samurai aesthetics I love without worrying about accuracy or anything else. I am very happy with the outcome, and thus this makes a excellent ending of 2022 on this blog. More creations next year!

Peaceful Christmas and hopeful new year!




It's time of flowers and leaves and sprouts and... No it's actually time for Secret Santa. This goes to Ryan Z. and is a version of 妈妈 which was an entry for Bio-Cup 2022's preliminary round, theme nature. And boy, nature-themed it was - Mother Nature -themed, to be precise. I liked its weirdness, the cool part uses and certain otherwordliness. The creation was based clearly on Botanical sets - Birds of Paradise and Succulents, both cool part packs I don't have. So I had to do with something else. I threw in some Bionicle parts, as this was vaguely Bionicle-themed Secret Santa; also those marbled Karzahni shells are generally beautiful and I like using them! The hair is actually a callback to very old MOC Karmenna from 2012; she was going to have Vladek sword ponytail, but it ended up as, well, sword instead. Here it is finally used as a hair, with the inverted Arthron bangs!

Nonetheless, my version is more system-based than the original. I simply did not have enough nice, smooth TECHNIC/Bionicle parts in appropriate colours; Ryan's model's big lines are defined by the dark green panels of birds of paradise set. I used cockpits and wedges instead and replaced the shoulder armour bust with angled pattern made of 1x1 quarter tiles - the part options in Lavender were limited. I'm happiest with the hip area, featuring the the large flower from Ryan's original but remodelled and stuck into the medium azure belt. The hands are quite close to Ryan's version, but the long, weird arms are here visible as I didn't have the cloth dragon wings for the overcoat; sadly, as it was probably my favourite part on Ryan's MOC. A slightly similar feel is emulated here with the round pauldrons, some of my favourite CCBS pieces.

The face gave me serious challenges. Ryan used the new Optimus Prime faceplate, which came in bright light orange in succulents set; I didn't have it, and neither had I the classic 2x2 top slope with cut-out - used as a face of Karmenna there - in any yellows or oranges. Either of them would have looked better, and the double 1x2 cut-out slopes are bit of a compromise - their flatness isn't that flattering... At least my hair option keeps it more hidden and creates some shadows, while keeping the colour effect true to Ryan's original.

Merry Christmas Ryan Z.!

- Eero.



 The name of this model doesn't have an appropriate English translation, so we'll do with jäähy. It's something like a pause for cooling outiside sauna. Enjoying refreshments is common.

This model was not about jäähy in the beginning. It was very spontaneous, fast process, beginning with a tablescraps of mohawk moustache and beard eyebrows. I was parting out sets and storing minifig parts into minifig parts box, and somehow ended up wondering the two orange mohawks I had there; they ended up into a Lemmy-style mutterchops moustache. I was first going to accompany them with some poseable minifig arm eyebrows, but thought, what the hell... I had also two orange beards in the minifig box and boom, hair become facial hair and facial hair became eyebrows. It's just matter of scale.

The resulting head was somehow working class -like, a bit brusque, maybe a publician, lumberjack or a police sergeant or something. These were all considered, but I ended up stripping him of any sort of job (and shirt) and giving him a nice medium blue towel, a bottle and all the time in the world. He's enjoying himself in between the saunaings, and he's much happier than he would be was he working. He looks solemn, because all the heat and then all the cold, and he's pretty old, seen the world, seen forest felled and streams dammed. But he's happy with this moment.

Technique-wise, this is continuation on what I wrote on sitting figures with Eithel Meristem. This allowed me to make a nice, somewhat ambitious towel without needing to worry about the upper legs fitting inside it. Another little goal here was to use those tan 3x3x2 1/4 domes. I had recently acquired some more, and wondered if I'll ever use them... they're quite big for usual characters, and their solidity (aka they're not hollow) makes them sometimes hard on integrate into builds; But here our man was hunched enough, and I was able to overlap his belly with the upper torso, chest hairs and everything. There actually was a layer with navel between the belly domes and the towel, but it was accidentally lost while tweaking the towel. I don't think he needs it, proportions-wise.

The build felt much bigger during the process. I was shocked how tiny it was when I put it on the shelf along with some other models. 




Or yellowfeet? These delicious Craterellus Tubaeformis mushrooms aka funnel chanterelles were built for Palikkatakomo's autumn contest with a theme of 1:1 model of some real-life non-Lego object. It was the season and I bloody well like yellowfoots so I built a bunch. My score (of five judges) was mid-tier, which I think is decent for my three-hour model; there were far more ambitious entries by my LUG-mates.

There are no two identical yellowfoots so I took an approach of making several with different techniques. They are not all that polished, and some have more emphasis on the top of the cap whereas others are focused on the underside and the foot. The one with "geometrical" cap with 3x3 dish and boat studs on octagonal frame is a "top mushroom", while the big one with 8x8 dish cap is "bottom mushroom" - the cap itself is not very realistic (it's not tubular, that is). I'm rather happy with its foot, made with macoroni tubes connected to each other with 2L bar with middle ring; a stolen technique from some Bonkle builder, but can't recall who, bummer.

The colours were a challenge - the real ones are mostly watery yellowish with yellow-brown caps. On the first version I tried pearl gold, as the hue was quite close, and the pearl effect seemed accurate. On the other hand, it was too shiny, and with brown cap it looked like some mysterious steampunk artifact - not a thing grown in the forest. I ended up using lot of yellow, as it's beautiful and cheerful colour and the bunch benefitted from some unity of colours. The reddish brown of the hats is not perfect, but sometimes yellowfoot caps are very brown - just not the ones I have in the mandatory comparison pictures! Dark tan worked alright too. I only with they'd make a new ochre colour, something like mustard yellow. That would be very useful in buildings in addition to some 1:1 mushrooms MOCs.



Lydia Frenckell

This saxophonist started with a pair of legs, with the intention of using dark brown as stockings. It wasn't very easy, giving the limited number of parts available in this colour (still about 14 years after it debuted). Fortunately, the black joints don't jump out too much and the ankle rings of the heeled shoes make the ankle connections - small ball joint with a bar into the blocked stud of the 1x2x3 slope - sturdy enough to support the character. 

Playing the sax takes both hands and a mouth, and I didn't want the playing poses look too rigid.There is a ball joint below the bust, allowing more natural jamming stances. It makes the upper torso a bit too fragile, but I suppose it is worth it; I wanted the neck line to match the line with the tan inverter arches below, and this led to half-plate gaps inside. I'm rather happy with the Friends horse bridle as the top strap; it connects nicely around a 2x2 round brick, and its shape matches the black macaroni tubes.

Lydia's outfit turned out to be very dramatic in its dark colours, so I balanced it with the big, gold (brass!) saxophone and the bright magenta hair. All the previous "rock'n'roll scale" musician characters had got black hair, but I didn't have any real reason to limit that; and black would have fused too much with the clothes! I was also probably running out with black hair ideas... Anyway, it's balloon panel hair again - maybe third time - but for the first time with the curves turned inside. I like the way the hair hugs the upper torso!

The saxophone is a relatively simple affair with few key parts; a stack of 1x1 round plates with handles, braced with some robot arms and bars forming the... well, the bits that are played, probably. Elephant trunk makes a perfect mouthpiece; my only gripe is the somewhat filled "output" dish, but there arent's any good alternatives! The wamr gold colour is balanced on the skirt and the shoulder furs, adding some blight to the outfit.