Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Arrival at Fornax K7

The good folks at the ABS Builder Challenge have wasted no time cleaning the arena floor from the Season 1 Finale and getting Season 2 all set up. Mark Erickson (Mark of Falworth) is one of the four contestants in Season 2's inaugural round, and he's setting a tough precedent: a lovely, whimsical alien-planet-landing scene that seems straight out of the Pikmin games. 
The minifigures have apparently landed in a human-scaled world, where flowers are tree-sized and pebbles are boulder-sized (but only to the little plastic dudes). The seed part is in fact the red bucket element, put to use very nicely in those flowers. And the whimsically positioned stems, leaves, and tufts of grass? It all looks terrific, as does the spaceship itself, with a Classic Space design and that nice bulbous moon-lander shape. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cheep cheep!

It's always nice to see new builders on Flickr, and it's even nicer when they're posting MOCs as good as this one. Josephine Monterosso (jigsawjo) just showed up this month, but she's already posted probably 20 different builds ranging from mosaics to mecha. I'm only highlighting one of her builds in this post, but I highly recommend you go give her a follow and check out some more of her work!

This bird's nest must use just about every flexible brown part that's been produced - flex-tubes, bullwhips (thanks Indy Jones), and vines, as well as a few rigid parts. It has a very nice natural aesthetic and looks just like a real bird nest, complete with a couple of eggs that hopefully will soon reveal a couple of baby birds, mouths agape to receive a fresh worm or two from mama bird. While actual egg pieces technically exist (from the Angry Birds sets), I like the use of the light-blue minifig heads here, presumably as robin eggs. 

Into the jungle

This jungle temple by Jonas Wide is chock full of creative building techniques and part uses. The structure has a really nice decaying feel that blends well with the mayhem of the jungle - vines growing everywhere, monkeys scurrying about, birds chirping loudly... it reminds me of a quote from the author Orson Scott Card: "The natural world is beautiful, and it is beautiful again when it reclaims the ruins of humans who are gone." 
Something that works really well here is the blend of different shades of green - there's the olive-green grass, dark green of the vines, and medium shades used for the trees. It offers a nice contrast and adds that natural touch to the build. Also noteworthy are the microfigure "statues" set a half-stud into the walls of the temple, and the incredible multi-layered, intricate construction of that tree nudged up against the ruins. (I'm also a fan of that spindlier tree on the other side of the build, but I don't know what the pieces used for the leaves are!)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Prisma and LEGO

Sometimes it's not just the construction of a MOC that catches my attention, but the presentation of it too. That's the case with this "Bug Smasher Mech" from Marco Marozzi. Marco built a pretty sweet mecha, but he took it to the next level by using the photo-editing program Prisma on one of the pictures. The result is this artsy-swirly-not-quite-right-but-still-recognizably-LEGO work of art: 
This is a really interesting (and creative) concept, and one I might like to apply to some of my future builds, given my own fascination with Prisma. 

For reference, here's the unedited photo:
The color scheme is flashy; I love yellow paired with a duller color or set of colors, and the black and light grey here work perfectly. There are also some fantastic greebles. I particularly love the construction of the legs. It's clear that Marco isn't just a good photographer - he's got building chops too!

Cute characters from a galaxy far, far away

A few Star Wars character builds have sprung up in my Flickr feed over the past few days, so I decided to compile them all in one post. 

The first is this Admiral Ackbar figure by Djokson, whose signature CCBS-pieces style lends itself to some fantastic part usage: 
The next two figures are both by Miro Dudas (Miro78), and both feature Princess Leia. First, here's Leia's disguise as the bounty hunter "Boushh" from Return of the Jedi: 
There's some excellent part use on this figure too, notably the "letter E" tiles on the mask, Technic pins to form the staff, and various ball joints, binoculars, and the like for greebles. The textured 1x2 bricks work great to provide texture to the pants. 

Also featuring this pants technique is Leia in her Hoth outfit from Empire Strikes Back
The rounded, smooth elements and lack of facial features give this figure a charming, inquisitive demeanor, almost non-LEGO. Character builds are always stunning when pulled off correctly, and these three are certainly well done. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A sight to sea

Several months ago I built a coral reef for the ABS Builder Challenge, and it's still my most-faved Flickr photo to this day. I was intrigued by the opportunities presented by the vast array of corals and other denizens of the reef environment; combined with the opportunity for some Nice Part Use, it seemed like a perfect build. Unfortunately I was never quite happy with the way I incorporated the seed part. 

Now Drazard has built his own reef model for an ABS competition, this time for the Season 1 Finale (which I also competed in). And I've gotta say I think I like it better than my own...
The seed part (dark red elbow brick) features quite nicely, used for both the dark red coral and the shiny treasure chest, but that's not nearly all. The array of different pieces and colors here is spectacular! There's not a coral I don't like - each one features smart part usage and impeccable color combinations. The rockwork and stacked seaweed is a great frame for the photo. Feel free to compare to my own reef model and report back in the comments - and be sure to check out the rest of the fantastic builds from the Season 1 Finale of ABS!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tasty burger

As the ABS Season 1 Finale races to a close, jsnyder002 is still churning out MOCs, compressing them into patties, and dousing them with ketchup. Everything about this meaty build is top-notch, right down to the excellent shaping of the melted cheese and splotches of ketchup. I especially love the window shutters used as lettuce: 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Back to the future

I've got a handful of Popular Science magazines from the 1950s, and it's both fascinating and hilarious to look back on what bygone generations predicted the future would be like. These hovercars by timhenderson73 look just like something out of those magazine pages, right between the sexist advertisements and Cold War hysteria:
Tim got some great shaping on these and I love the bubble cockpits and how they accent the sleek, studless surface. The use of a few textured grilles adds the perfect level of contrast.

The builder has a few more hovercars over on Flickr, so be a good fellow and take a look.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Café au lait

Confession: I'm much more of a tea person than a coffee person. Coffee tends to make me shaky, but there's not much more soothing that some chamomile tea or a chai latte. But hey, if Brother Steven wants to be a coffee drinker, that's up to him. I just don't know how I'd feel about my morning cuppa being made of plastic. 
This was built for the ABS Season 1 Finale (which I'm a proud part of!) using the dark red elbow brick as the seed part. 

A cool castle (plus some personal updates!)

I'm back!
The last few months have been super busy and I've barely even touched a LEGO brick, much less had the time to build anything serious or, as you've probably noticed, post anything here. But I'm still here, and so are the other Bucketeers, so never fear! Woo, rhymes!

A couple of asides before I jump into the main content of this post:

First, the Season 1 finale of the ABS Builder Challenge is underway, and as a Season 1 contestant, I'm included! 16 competitors are using the dark red "elbow brick" to create some dang cool MOCs, and I'll be blogging several of those in the next few days, as well as hopefully uploading a few of my own contributions to Flickr. 

Second, the other day I had an excellent conversation with my English teacher regarding the LEGO fan community. Turns out his 10-year-old son is a big fan and my teacher got suckered in, and they took a trip to LEGOLAND in Florida over February break. My teacher showed my a video he took of Miniland, and we discussed conventions and TFOLs; the next day I brought my copy of Beautiful LEGO for him and his son to borrow. I found it impressive that LEGO fan terminology and culture has now reached the level of popularity that I can discuss it with my English teacher as normally as if we were talking about Huckleberry Finn or The Catcher in the Rye

Anyways. I do actually have a MOC to show you today, and it's a good one. 

"Waelras Castle" comes from the build table of Sir Gillian and it's a case study in constructing a natural, tranquil Castle setting. Everything flows together nicely, from the greebled stone walls of the castle to the rocky, leafy cliffs to the smooth SNOTed water. 
Check out the Flickr album for several more shots, because there are a lot of creative details packed into this build. But I gotta point this one out: what are a Fabuland figure and a Rock Monster doing down here?
Explain yourself, sir. 

I'll be back later with some more quality content™!