2017-03-20

Iron Builder II: Riverside Kingdom

Hullo again, and sorry for inactivity on the blog side: Iron Builder takes lot of time, and posting stuff on Flickr is the main priority for now. Jonas is one build ahead of me, but I'm on his heels... We'll see!

 This MOC, Riverside Kingdom, was posted last Sunday, I think; On the third day of the contest. There seems to be at least one micro-scale build in every IB and this one is mine. The DUBLO grass part seemed to work nicely as a polished SNOT landscape, and rest of this was build around few of them as a river banks. The landscape became medieval, so I went with a little fortress. I've never posted a proper micro castle before, but it was a fun little challenge. The corner towers are based on those of Olavinlinna, the oldest medieval stone castle still standing.  The main tower was inspired by Tampere Cathedral, beautiful national romantic church of my hometown. I particularly happy with the transition between the corner towers' 3x3x3 cone and the walls. They use 1x2 grilled cheese slopes, which I unfortunately had only two in light bley; therefore the side walls have some dark bley tarnish.

Next to the castle lays a simple farm house with a partially plowed field. I was going to use grill tiles at first, but I didn't find them in brown (that happens sometimes) so I went with some 4l bars side-by-side, not properly connected. There's also some inverted bush trees. Stoned road leads to a bridge, as a river scene deemed one. The original design had a big arch done using rigid tubes, 1x1 clip tiles and 1x3 plates, but the scale looked wrong; it was too big. The second version was akin to this, but had two small arches and six posts; I went with longer arch and added some plates on the bottom to create a vault pattern.

The other side is more rural with some shrubbery, big brocolli-like tree and a wizard's tower, probably inspired by Discworld. I wanted to make it very tall to create some contrast on the build. The grill tiles represent tall Gothic style windows. The base seems to be somewhat banana-shaped, like the tower would have grown from the land by itself.

That's it for now. I've posted four entries for now and the fifth was finished today; I'll try to photograph it tomorrow. I'll write more here when the time is right. See you!

-Eero




2017-03-13

Iron Builder I: Hospitalized


Yep, I am on Iron Builder. 5.0, to be exact. Against Jonas Kramm aka Legopard. And our secret seed part is 2x8 DUBLO grass block.


Yep.

As I have to build loads of entries, they might appear on the blog later than on Flickr and likely with shorter presentations than "normal" builds. This is going to be a hectic month, and I want to concentrate on the building process. I know you understand.

The seed part was said to be sadistic and surprising; it was actually a April Fools joke some time back. But now it's real, goddamn big dublo block with awful connection points. But I'm not complaining. It's interesting, at least. I have several ideas already.

I got to open Guy's package last Friday before going to my Architecture history lecture. I was shocked at first, of course, but I spend most of the day fiddling with two of the seed parts and thinking uses. I came up with this one, using the underside pattern as a heart beat indicator curve, when queueing on the university restaurant (falafels). I wanted to use this particular idea before Jonas. It was quite a quick build, maybe six hours. (I watched Logan between the sessions. It was excellent.) I wanted to include a patient on the bed, but crop the the photo in a way that he or she would be left anonymous. I'm quite happy with the results of the shoot.

-Eero


2017-03-06

MOC: Mistral Nereis


 Hello... Again. I hope to post more now when the City Block is finished. How last few weeks (or months) I have been thinking that hell, when I get these houses done, I can move into more elegant builds... So here´s one! Not that I built this completely after the block; this has been in somewhat WIP stage for months. Ans sort of for a year or so.

This is another creation based on those Japanese anime video game things not released outside Japan. Never played it, of course, but ended up seeing concept art on internet, and got inspired. This one is Mistral Nereis, from Shining Hearts. She appears to be pirate. Just wonder how many hours (answer: MANY) I have been wondering how to build such big and heavy three-layer skirt? This was, in a way, very geometric build...

But let's go back a year. Some of you might remember another, somewhat similar MOC of mine: Adela from June 2016. Similar gloves, patterns and colours, huh? I tried to built Mistral before, but as this dress was pretty damn challenging, I ended up with this Adela instead. Not bad, though. But I ended up giving Mistral and her heavy dress another go. I wanted to prove myself as a character builder.

This time I began with the legs and clinched them pretty nicely. I quite like how dark tan works as stockings here. A problem aroused, however: They couldn't support the weight of the creation. I also wanted to build a more natural stance with one leg slightly bent. There was a TECHNIC axle to support it, but I was still very fragile and didn't look good. So I made the dramatic change and sat her down on a stool. Ha! It solved many problems and made it possible to work on the skirt without everything breaking every ten minutes. The early stool was just four girder pieces and some red basic bricks and the base was the modular base of Atelier, but it worked anyway.

Then there's the dress. There is, actually, somewhat interesting backstory here. Couple of years back, in some brick convention, I was going through Pii Poo's random part tables. There were these inverted 4x4 wedge slopes in red, and someone asked if I need one, as I was collecting curved wedge slopes. I think I said that nay, I don't need one, but if I had 20 I could do something with them. This creation has 17, so my exaggeration was quite accurate. I think that they indeed form a nice shape, akin to a creped skirt (there might be an actual word but I don't know it). The construction of this version is quite simple, having 1x2/1x2 swivel hinge plates and 1x2 plate modified with bar/1x1 tile, modified with clip hinges. The previous version had Mixel ball joints and more spread shape; It was on another WIP for a while when I had given up with this. But the design ended up with its original target after all. What a happy ending.

It's a multi-layer skirt, though. There's a vague white layer over the red one, but I solved it simply by building the upper part in white using same inverted 4x4 wedge slopes; it's visible from the back. Then there was the black over-layer. What a nuisance! I tried several designs using wedges and whatnot. It even had a big red heart on the side with crossbones on it. But at some point I realized that the tail pieces would do it. I like it very much now; One of my favourite parts on this. There's also big black ribbon on the other side, but after the skirt it was a piece of cake.

The main bodice was done several months earlier, though its width was adjusted a couple of times. I had used barb pieces on version that ended up being Adela, but here I ended up with a realistic version using actual LEGO string. The breast area, again, was challenging: there was several colours going on, again, and I had to layer black, red, white and more black without losing the shape. It's quite good now, but went though some rather clumsy versions. They're also this ruffle collar, which was oversized at first, boring in the middle and alright now; I like the life saver ring piece, it enables some good-looking connections.

The neck and shoulder area was, overall, a real battlefield. Neck joint was painful and took several versions, and making the shoulder width 9 instead of 8 was a last-minute change that made it possible to make the chest area a bit wider to correspond the body and the legs better. The arms are rather similar to Adela expect that they use new-ish TECHNIC connectors on the elbow joint instead of wrenches.

Another last minute change was the posture of the upper torso. I was strictly horizontal for most of the process, but it looked too unnatural; nobody sits like that. So I added a hinge and bent it down a bit; the creation got a lot more life-like. Such small fixes can have a great impact on the big picture.

The head, then again, was quite simple, mostly because it recycles design of Red Lady of the Stream with subtle differences. There are some hair accessories done with unorthodox rubber band connections and TECHNIC pins. The long pigtails use yellow katanas from Dragon Bolt. I used them previously on Kirika Towa Alma, a character of same franchise, but for this I luckily found two more from Pii Poo's tables. 

The final base was the last thing I built. I ended up with simple wooden stool to fit the pirate feel. The SNOT base itself is very simple, with slightly curved corners. And a little secret: The shoe of the straight leg is not connected to the leg. It's just a 1x2 rooftop slope. Don't tell anyone!

-Eero














2017-03-05

Palikat Pinoon + New Century City Block preview + Public display info + Interview special

Great news: Several month's work is now finished. Palikkatakomo Ry's first major exhibit in Tampere is now live. Palikat Pinoon (or Brilliant Bricks - you can thank me for the English name) takes place in Vapriikki, a museum centre located at Tampella's old red brick industrial buildings. It has, for example, a Finnish gaming museum (which is excellent), ice hockey museum, stone museum, nature museum and some temporary exhibits - including our glass cabinet exhibit of 12 LUG members.

This is also another sort of milestone because this is also the first LUG exhibit with me being the main organizer on the LUG's behalf. Everything went alright, expect for one vitrine, which was 30 centimeters shorter than I was told; Ismo "Awis" Aavaharju had to shorten his "Lost Highway" model down from 197cm to 170 cm. Luckily MOCs are at least somewhat flexible in this manner. I was also asked to ask our members to send photos of creations for the wall art. Nobody sent anything, so they made those glorious canvas prints of my creations, 13 in total (Cohen the Barbarian, Porco Rosso, Lingeán, BotFA Dwalin, Susan Sto Helit, three houses of New Century Corner, Dragon Dance, I am the Mole, Mace-bearer, Noa Excela Aura, Gale Serpent Arises, Foraois, Clam-type heavy diving suit, Forfhuarú and Kushana). I will get the prints after the exhibit. Though I must confess that some members though I meant mosaics, which were offered, but the museum didn't want them. Exhibit's home page features my work too, along with the promotional material of the show.

Ah, yes, the MOCs featured? There were 12 builders, and here's some photos. They are not of very good quality, and unfortunately I didn't have any decent photos featuring cabinet with Aavaharju family's Finland 100 MOCs: Kantele, Aalto vase, book and border.


  Dragon battle by Asser/Tiikeli:
 Timo Mäkinen drives rally hood up by Olli Mäkinen:
 Lost Highway by Antti, Arttu and Ismo Aavaharju:



 Smith Ilmarinen plows the viper-ish field by Antti Aavaharju:


 Little red hut with potato plot by Mikke Palvanen:
 Maisa-Kyllikki by Fanny & Janne Kortelainen:
Three Bungalows by Mikko & Eevi Aalto:



Aaand then there's my work.

Quite lot of it, actually, because a. I am a local man b. my student flat (currently shared with no one, actually) doesn't fit very big numbers of MOCs. So I dumped them to the exhibit, so to speak. Well, actually around half of them were imported from Joensuu by my parents. Thanks, parents.

Anyway! Three boxes, one holding Brand New New Century City Block, which I have mentioned probably in every post during the last half a year; and one for misc character builds (recent stuff mostly) and one for Discworld builds (Wizards of UU and City Watch). But you know that stuff already. Let's focus on the block.

Firstly, I would have liked to photograph this thing properly before shutting it inside the glass box, but I didn't really have a chance, so proper photos posted on Flickr and Eurobricks and Palikkatakomo will wait until the exhibit's over. These remain as Special Preview Pictures for the readers of the blog. It is, you know, very hard to photograph anything behind a glass, especially when there's dozen of other boxes nearby reflecting things. But I hope you enjoy the block on this brutal presentation.


House of the Sword of Justice:
House of the Firefighter Alliance:
Scala Arcus:
Corner of the Honour of the Empire:
House of the Sunrise (In the middle):

Domus Lupus:


And the other cabinets:





Palikat Pinoon/Brilliant Bricks at Vapriikki till 13.4.2017.


ATTENTION! SPECIAL BONUS CONTENT!

Other public displays

Yes, indeed, I have two - no, three - other public displays. 
In Pii Poo Helsinki, an excellent unofficial LEGO store in Finnish capital city, there are six of my creations: Foraois and Fómhar in shop window and Mace-bearer, King Dedede, Dwarvish Dragonguard and Dain II Ironfoot in the glass cabinet inside. Check the location (it's in very central place near Kamppi shopping centre and underground station) and opening hours at their Facebook page; A must for any AFOLs visiting Helsinki. I think I buy most of my bricks from Pii Poo these days.


The second one is in my current hometown Tampere, at the best street of the city (Puutarhakatu, or Garden Street, hosting also awesome antique bookstore Lukulaari and board game café Taverna): Vintage Palikka, or Looru, a small and cozy shop selling used bricks and sport (mainly ice hockey) merchandise. Gale Serpent Rises and Doktor Viktor Von Nebula are on display there. It's also located on the Pantin Talo, the pawn shop house, which is one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the town.




And the third one... This is a special case, as the builds displayed there are not my property; They're just built by me. Last summer we had a brick convention in Harjavalta and there was this Constraction building table. I slept at the indoor ice rink where the event was held (what an adventure) and during the night I built this demoness with machine gun leg, and some samurai dude too. Aforementioned Ismo Aavaharju who owned the pieces took the creations to his Imatra Legoista display in Citymarket Imatra. They have got good feedback despite being rather chaotic builds. But fun ones, admittedly.

ATTENTION! MORE EXTRA BONUS SPECIAL CONTENT!

Just to mention - check rather long interview of yours truly at Tiles or Studs

And for our Finnish friends, check this "Reportaashi" by Aamulehti's Moro. It also appeared in printed paper. The article includes super secret spoiler content about upcoming MOCs.

 There was also a radio interview (My first! It was fun.) for YLE Radio Suomi Tampere but I don't think it was put online; there will probably be an article on YLE's website later. I'll link it.