a polite and unassuming lego blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Better Than Two Ninjas

More and more steampunk is coming out of the woodwork lately. I think I speak for everyone when I say that this is the best Christmas ever.

The builder, spotfrog on FBTB and CSF, is a theme-dabbler after my own heart. He started off with Bionicle and Star Wars MOCs, tried Castle and Space, and has just now (okay, last week) had a go at the sublimeness that is steampunk. Not to oversell it or anything.

The MOC is very good, especially for a first try at this tricky-to-do-right theme. The treads are well-played: each gear wheel being a different size maximizes the cute-factor. The greebs are competently done, and the pneumatic tubing is a nice touch. A couple of nitpicks: He forgot the steering wheels for pressure valves (almost essential), there's no discernable smokestack (not as crucial), the nose needs some work, and the cannon is a bit awkwardly positioned. I sure hope there's no recoil on that thing! It's supposed to be steampunk, not splatterpunk!

Happy Everyday

Kevoh fails at timing. Mere moments after he posted his Chistmas MOC roundup, the incomparable Ry posted his equally incomparable Santa sleigh.

It's about time Santa showed those spoiled kids who's the boss. A gatling gun, candy-striped rail gun, and gun-toting elf riding a mecha-Rudolph should make nice, smoking craters of those kids that steal candy from shops, scream unnecessarily in theaters and restaurants, and relentlessly kick the back of your seat for the entire duration of your transatlantic flight. See if you can find the dark green!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas!

2 clever builds celebrating this fun and wonderous holiday (holy day?)

Brickshelfer Komi has made this fun Bionicle - Santa mashup. Excellent use of parts (especially that dementor shroud as a beard!) although the tan mask for Santa's face is rather creepy...

And Moko, appearing on Golden Shpleem for the nth time, created a variation of his recent Baikinman. His Santa Claus features rosy cheeks and a cute fluff ball at the end of his hat. Nicely sculpted.

In other news, I would be remise if I didn't mention my pal Adrian Drake's hilarious Christmas parody song, entitled Chrismahanarama-

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Busy, Busy

Jamie Neufeld has been quite busy, with 2 new ships and a new base. Check them all out on his CSF post here. I know, I know, I really should write something about them, but he's not the only one who is busy!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Yum, yum, eat 'em up.

A few weeks ago I e-mailed Myroder, a CSF user, about the 4 rail pieces seen in his Intrepid. He said they are called "crane harbor derricks" and I fully intended to write a post about the Intrepid, but I got lazy. Do check it out.

Anyway, Myroder's latest is very neato. After his recent change in diet, Myroder has applied his new skills to this crazy contraption. Very interesting intersection of forms delineated by color. Lots of playability throughout, this would be real fun to fiddle with.

Those click-hinge connections to the side engine-dealies (big fans in space?) and to the top radar dish are pretty lame. In fact, I think the ship would be much improved if the fans and dish were just taken off. Yes. It would create a much sleaker profile. Definitely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

We're No Render Bigots

Brickshelf user KillerMoth26 gives us an early Chanukkah gift in this hip Greek-flavored airship. I'm a pretty avid airship aficionado, and I love the original angle taken on this MOC. To quote Tim: oh, baby! This looks like KillerMoth26's first foray into steampunk-type stuff, I wonder what inspired him? Perhaps after watching Last Exile, he decided to do his own spin on a Greek airship?

There's a few things I don't like about this MOC. The machine gun portals on the side look too much like Moonbase corridor ends, the lift rotor mounts don't look quite robust enough, and the rear propellors look slightly tacked on. Also, the windshield is goofy. The helmsman could easily wear goggles. Otherwise, it's excellent. The bow's air intakes are a stroke of brilliance. The gamma on the side is well done. And the brick-built Greek flag is a nice touch. To tell the truth, I'm thinking of making my own version in real brick.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

You Haven't Fastened Your Safety Bat-Belt, Robin.

You can tell Kevoh's on winter break, because he's cranking out MOCs. Hot on the heels of his Hitodama, Kevoh builds yet another steampunk creation.

This latest effort somehow doesn't grab me. I mean, all the elements are there: spoked wheels, huge boiler, pipes and greebs; but as a whole it isn't my favorite. I hate to say it, but it's kinda "meh".

I think the problem is he set out to make a steampunk-ified version of a modern car, even though Tim did it first. He relied too much on black brick, making a frame that, were it wrought iron, would be too heavy for the steam engine (wherever it is) to reach any useful speed. I will also point out that the shape is boxy, and isn't that exactly what CSF tells its new members to avoid? Also, greeblies are the backbone of steampunk, and this MOC doesn't have nearly enough. Perhaps they're tied up somewhere else? Or is it that he just didn't want to spend the time?

In the end, it's just a clanky old Batmobile. Everyone has their missteps, and I'm sure Kevoh will get back on track.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Become Cabbies

The mysterious Brickshelfer Legohaulic has built again! It was built for a contest on the shadowy "Saber Scorpion Lair Forum". Alas, the forum doesn't allow the unregistered to browse (read: lurk) its threads. I'd consider joining if red text on a black background didn't scare me so much.

As for the MOC, I like it. Now, I have a well-known aversion to automobiles generally, with a few exceptions. Fortunately, that doesn't extend to hovercars. The engines are nice and oversized, (or is it that the cab is undersized?) it has dual subspace antennae, (or are they overhead curb feelers?) and even tailfins! Yeah!!!

The MOC's Achilles Heel seems to be its transparent elements. Transparent red, green, clear, orange, blue, neon green, even purple? Bad news. Also, he switched the red and green lights. Who does he think he is, Dan Rubin? Greeblies would've been a better choice than transparent parts for the engines, although greebs don't seem to be Legohaulic's strong suit. Regardless, it's my favorite to win the contest, although I've only seen one other entry.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I should have saved the "Jesusmas" reference.

Now that our spat of mutual self-gratification (could I have written anything dirtier?) is over, we return to writing about other people's creations, because, you know, Jonesy and I aren't the only ones building awesome stuff ;-P

New kid on the block "Wizz" has taken over the Brickshelf recent page, just as Jonesy and I took over ILENN.

News and fake news programs have been speaking on the supposed "Attack on Christmas" lately; Wizz takes it to the next level with this hilarious and well-crafted series of vignettes. Kudos to him!

My 2 favorites are linked to above and to the right, but be sure to check out the whole bunch here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Nepotism is the new Principled

CSFer and self-proclaimed "Lego Pope" Kevin Blocksidge graced the internet community with a new MOC today.

The "Hitodama" is a svelte, spry little slip of steampunkery. Constructed entirely of greeblies, this one-legged mecha is an unimpeachable example of MOC perfection!

Well, that's a lie, but I said it with a smile. I advised "Kevoh" (as he's known) to tart up the lantern a bit, as that's the thing it's named for, but he didn't. Maybe he's not good with rubber bands? Furthermore, he uses an unholy combination of old and new grays. It gives me the shivers!

He should have waited until Jesusmas Eve

Oh Jonesy, my fellow blogger. You, the brave reader, may think he posts infrequently, but just look at the chronology of his MOCage! Almost a full year between his newest and his next newest. For shame. I even know that he has other things built, like some nifty airships inspired by Last Exile that must be still sitting around since Brickfest. Not to mention his nifty moonbase module that can only be seen in random people's Post-Brickfest albums.

Jonesy, when will you learn to shamelessly self-promote yourself across multiple fora? What an opportunity Steampunk affords, being both castle and space. Talk about crossposting!

Regarding the vehicle itself, then. I initially admonished Jonesy for including the first picture, before the colorful awning was added, per a suggestion by Dan "HappyWeasel" Rubin (why someone would want to be associated with a weasel is beyond me. I'd much rather be associated with an infallible institution like the Popehood) but I like the history it gives to the creation. Sort of a before and after, but without the added benefit of a change from frown to smile for those that didn't pick up on the radical change in weight.

And hooray for gears on the bottom! Ry has set a new standard.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Jesus Helps Me Trick People

Mwahaha, I got Kevoh to compromise his principles. Mark Stafford ended up entering his "Death in the Library" diorama (see previous post) in the CCC3 anyways. Yes, Golden Shpleem is secretly a morass of lies and intrigue like that. Stay tuned for further unscrupulousness! By the by, Mr. Stafford made another death-themed diorama, this one conforming to the rules, and it is pretty hip.

It is always a cause for celebration when a CSFer makes their debut. RocketSeason, also known as Matt (Forcum?) has made his MOC "coming out", and what a MOC it is! Now, I normally don't much like small space fighters, as their same-yness seems to me like permutating the name of G-d, but this one thankfully breaks the mold. Indeed, it looks very Miyazaki-esque.

The ship is excitingly chunky. Its bold 90° edges, normally anathema to a spacer, are ameliorated by the funky angled sectioning. The round Santa Fe windows are the perfect retro non-canopy solution. I'm really curious about the use of the chessboard piece in the controls. 3D holographic navigation? Some sort of baroque battle system? That bull-horn figurehead is kinda goofy, but it has a certain charm, so I'll let it slide. All I can find fault with is that the greebing could be a bit more complex. And I can't get all fired-up about just that, how disappointing!

If this debut MOC is any indication, RocketSeason should be a great builder. I look forward to his next work!

P.S.: The title is a Diesel Sweeties ref.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Interior Decorating

Mark Stafford attempted to make an entry for the CCC3, but neglected to follow a few rules regarding the number of walls.

Good thing he did, because otherwise I would not have been able to comment on it (as a C-C admin, and thus a judge of the contest, I feel it would be inappropriate to comment until the contest is over). And Jonesy seems to be rather busy at the moment, which school and stuff, while my quarter is essentially over.

Anyway, this scene has so many nice details, in decorating and in architecting (made-up word!). Really nice bookshelves, excellent corner shelving, nice use of tiles throughout, and amazing window treatment.

It pays to edit.

One of the voidfighter entries I did not link to on Golden Shpleem was this one by Saber-Scorpion. Why didn't I? Because it sucked! Well not really, but I just didn't care for it. The coloring, the details, and the photography all really detracted from the creation as a whole.

But wait! He decided to re-do the craft in a new color scheme, changing the wings significantly, changed the engines, and made a few other minor touch-ups. I must say, Mark II is way cooler.

Perhaps not all the way there yet, but there is always time for a Mark III :)


I was recently thinking "we don't really feature many train creations on Golden Shpleem. Is it because there just haven't been many recently? Or do we not know where to look for them? Or do all the recent ones suck?"

Well, a recent look at Brickshelf has turned up some neat train cars by MIJasper.

I didn't even know those 3 wide curved pieces came in brown, but he has tons!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I <3 Rube Goldberg

Back in middle school, I was on the "Science Olympiad" team. One of the events was "Mission Possible", which involved the creation of a contraption made up of simple machines that started with a simple action and ended with some task. For example, in 8th grade we had to start it by dropping a quarter and end it by launching a ping pong ball. I think. It may have been popping a balloon. No matter.

In 8th grade me and 2 friends took charge of the event, and we won 3rd at States, I think. Maybe 5th? We got a medal, is all I know. 1st at regionals as well, if I recall correctly. I may be confusing the exact numbers with Experimental Design, which I was also awesome at. Any nerdy kid in middle or high school in the US from 1985 onward should know what I am talking about.

Don't care about adventures of my youth? Blame Shane Larson, the long time supporter of all things TechWest and all things Sci-Facty, who has made a Rube Goldberg mousetrap, featuring the classic swinging axe, rolling ball, and falling anvil. So many fun details in such a small footprint!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Judge and Jury?

Bizarre happenings. Today I recieved the second or third email that goes something like this:

Hi there, look at this thing I built. I am not sure if it is "Golden Shpleem" quality, but please take a gander. I appreciate your input.

They've all been very polite, and I suppose in some respect it's a bit of an ego-boost to thinkthat people are specifically seeking my opinion, but I feel bad about it.

Jonesy and I aren't some sort of judicial panel. We are simply 2 guys that see neat things and for some reason have a desire to ramble on about them.

Which is not to say that emails asking for advice are unwelcome, if you want someone's thoughts on a creation, or a more global LEGO issue, the mailbox is always open.

Oh, and look at these voidfighters. Totally unrelated to the ramblings above, but so what?