Bladorthin the Short


Blandorthin the Short! My last entry for Summer Joust, for the Going Big category, the one match made for a character builder. To get the humour out of it I wanted to build something that is small by name, aka a Dwarf. I've built lot of dwarves but nonne in scale this big - this is my biggest character so far. And brother this was a fast build. I made the head, helmet and the first version of the beard, along with the separate shoulder armour shells in June. The chest armour and part of the arms was built yesterday and the rest - hands, skirt, boots, scepter - today.

The colour was mostly based on the dark red pentagonal tiles, which I got from LUGBULK a year (or two?) ago and somehow never managed to use, until now. I also wanted steer clear from greys, which are very common on castle builds. So Blandorthin's armour is very dark red with some gold touches and bits of black leather visible underneath. I had recently disassembled my Samurai mech from 2019 and had plenty of dark red around so the colour wasn't a problem.

Thematically I wanted to avoid violence, another overused theme on castle builds. The dwarf still has a heavy suit of armour - it's a cultural thing and armours are fun to build. However, I gave him a scepter instead of an axe or a battlehammer. I suppose he's an ambassador of sort, wearing a symbolic ritual armour (that is nonetheless very useful in battle). The armour was designed very much on spot, but I knew I wanted big shoulder pads (that hide the shoulder joints) and bit of golden chainmail visible, somewhere. In the end I ended up building a big chest plate and a tall armoured skirt with the maille filling the gap. The gap had to be small, as the golden chains are of the short type. The armoured skirt is built around large chain links.

The hands deserve a special mention. Each finger moves separately despite the two-stud-wide finger plates. Each finger save the thumb had two joints. He's also able to hold the scepter - with its stalk made of 32L axles tied together with small tyres - quite firmly without a connection. The legs have naturally less movement, as they're holding the bulk of the big short man!



Ghost of the Strand

This is my second entry for Summer Joust 2022, this time for the Gradients category. The idea of the category is to build a model using only colours from one "colour family", plus white, black and greys. It's a fantastic idea and I knew from the beginning that I wanted to participate. I wanted to use different purples, as my collection of different purple shades has expanded vastly during couple of last years. 

I wanted to build something non-violent, and obviously not in minifig scale. The original idea was to build a medieval dress, maybe a queen's dress. However, I didn't get it working; the idea of (unoccupied) piece of clothing, made of one colour family, remained dull. I didn't manage to create enough cool pattern to make it interesting, and it cried for some contrast - warm hues to compliment the cool purples! I had also made this bendable structure of medium lavender 1x2 plates and dark purple 1x1 round plates, but due to the lack of rounds I couldn't make it as big as I wanted, and integrating it into the regal dress would have been very hard.

So I dumped the idea and jumped into more familiar territory of character building. One idea would have been a dressmaker's dummy, but I wanted to play with movement and flow; so it turned into a ghost, a restless spirit, with the dress disintegrating into medium lavender strains (I still had lot of 1x2 plates left). I kept the upper torso as it was, added the arms and finished the character with monochrome white head and flowing grey flocks. The base has a contrast of smooth, reflecting black surface and studdy, offset plate-built shore. The finished build reminds me of some classic car hood ornaments.



Scale the Depths

 The Bio-Cup semifinals ended to Ari's amazing Bloodsmith's favor so now I have some time to switch into Summer Joust mode... It was great Cup altogether! This one, an entry to "Subterranean" category of the Joust, was built between Kami of the Five Elements and Hemogoblin. I had pretty clear vision of this from the beginning, though the large scale surprised me (once again). This is inspired by a little climbing hobby we started last winter, and also Breath of Wild that Pinja has been playing recently, with its numerous Link's climbing bits. This character is not exactly Link (nor anyone particular) but an elf anyway. 

I began with the character, and the main point of interest was building the back - in other words, the front of the figure would be almost completely hidden, with the back getting all the attention. Usually back of a figure is, well, secondary, and it's not uncommon that I have to add forgotted pieces there during the shoot... but the was different, and it was interesting. Also the figure was going to be on a fixed position: The rock climbing needed a supporting straight leg as well as bent leg ready to push. The knees are thus very differently built, as is the butt to make the transition smooth and natural. The legs are completed with some straps, knee covers and smooth leather boots. 

The torso was simpler, with an angle made with swivel joints and 2x4 wedge plates to achive a natural, reaching position. Dark blue felt like a beautiful combinaton with white and browns, and somehow the hood emphasized the medieval fantasy aspect of it. The visible bit of white undershirt, as well as the brown fingerless gloves call back to the colours of the legs. The hair was the last part I built. Pearl gold fitted the theme and balanced the colours, while the candle headlamp again emphasized both the fantasy and underground aspects, differenting the climber from a mountaineer. The ponytail bobble uses a rubber cable holder - I didn't have any pearl gold pin connectors around, so it had to have a bobble!

The cliff was... interesting. The original idea had a more overhanging cliff, similar to one on Augur of the Last Peak. However, I wanted to break the horizontal/vertical shapes natural to this medium and make an angled wall of rock, formed by the layers of sediment. The final shape was not planned but simple built on floor with most of dark bley slopes I could find. I like the weird shape of it - I wanted to achieve a certain sculpture-like shape. The sturcture uses thee LURPs - this is the first time in years than I've used a LURP or BURP! Luckily I had some around. There are also some boat weighs on the bottom, securing the balance of the finished model.




This is Hemogoblin, hauling oxygen from Lugn Town via Aorta Highway. He has a motorcycle, he is helpful and he lives inside you and me.

The theme for the third round of Bio-Cup 2022 was Blood, Sweat and Tears. I was on the blood bracket. The theme called for violence but I wanted to avoid it, as usual. My first idea was a blood feast of well-dressed vampires, but I felt that would have been very hard with Bionicle parts, so I rethought and ended up bouncing ideas around the old pune or a play of words of hemogoblin, the personification of hemoglobin (red blood cells transporting oxygen). Goblins are, in general, always great, and the idea felt original enough, so I went with it. The goblin would be of course red and he needed something to transport the oxygen, so he got a motorbike. A bike felt goblin-y while not being too complex idea; and I had plenty of good motorcycle wheels around.

I began with the goblin's head as it would define the character. My starting point was lovely MTG card Brash Taunter, with its mad pink goblin; it had been on my short list for builds quite a while. I did not aim to copy the Taunter, but it influenced the eyes, nose and ears of the hemogoblin. The rest of him is based with some Mad Max inspiration, with one shoulder pad, very short jacket, big belt buckle and riveted shorts. I think that those bare red CCBS bones in the lower arms have appropriate pattern for a hemogoblin. 

The motorbike was lot more challenging - mostly because I don't know much anything about motorbikes. I've built two big ones in the past, but they were strongly futuristic and "out there". Hemogoblin's bike is closer to real-life adventure-oriented bikes, but gets it own layer of oddness from the coating of Bionicle/CCBS parts and themes and the vague "vein-like" shapes made with dragon neck pieces. Connecting the oxygen cells with these veins felt fitting. There are no real-life counterparts for this bike, my main sources of reference were the numerous Technic motorbikes released along the years. The look of the bike was largely defined by the parts I had available in the chosen colour (Dark Pearl Grey). I'm particularly happy with the combination of parts in the front, and the minifig hockey game stands connecting the front wheel. The colour contrast between the trans-orange wheels and trans-light-blue oxygen cells is pleasant too. 

I also changed my display in the local Hervanta library (Thanks Pinja for help <3) with, among others, the previous Bio-Cup builds and some New Elementary cloth fest characters not published here yet. Some photos of it after all the Hemogoblin photographs.


Kami of the Five Elements

This is built for Bio-Cup 2022, second (third if you cound the preliminary) round with theme "five". Now I again didn't have the whole 12 days available, so I started working on this very soon; I also think I opened the round! Five is not really easy number; for example, three is very common element in stories, and six is integral to Bionicle. Led Zeppelin stopped their number-albums on (unnamed) four! However, Japanese Buddhist tradition has five elements - earth, water, fire, wind and void. This turned out interesting base point; I haven't been a stranger to Japanese themes in my builds before.

The main idea was to have a person conforting these elements in some way. The first sketch had simple the figure, with some small element incarnations howering around them, on a transparent cable. I began with the figure, starting the the feet, with two-toe sock design, and moving gradually upwards. I'm very happy with the armour skirt, based on a net piece; and the chest plate using Technic grapples. The character is very Bionicle- and Technic-heavy in sake of the Bio-Cup - I hope this is visible to the judges. Technically it differs a lot from my other Samurai builds of the recent years. It was mostly a pleasant, refreshing experience to build in this way. Many of the details are connected with ball joints.

Eventually I realised that the cable would not support them; at this point the cherry tree jumped in. I had plenty of black CCBS shelle and bones, and wanted to make an organic, flowing tree with them. The elements were originally growing on the trees (with earth on a root sticking from the ground). I made a somewhat finished tree with this idea, but decided to abandon it. There were two reasons. First, there was too much weight on the tree, and it bent down very often, wrecking everything. Secondly, it looked silly. The tree didn't flow with the lower brances. 

At that point, I had already built the Gorintō stone monument (cube for earth; sphere for water; pyramid for fire; half-sphere for wind; and onion for void) and decided to built a similar sole manifestation of these elements, a kami hovering under the tree, being found by the samurai. I consructed it mostly by putting together and blending the individual manifestation of the "christmas tree ornament" version. And bugger those old flame chains are pain to work with! No wonder the updated the mold about 13 years ago...