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" Before "Traders, Traitors, and Jail-Breakers


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23 replies to this topic  – Started by Briggs Broadside , Oct 22 2009 03:55 AM

#1 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 03:55 AM

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Click the image for pictures at Flickr, and they're big enough that you can zoom in on some nitty-gritty detail if you want. I actually have quite a few more than that ... but I handpicked those I thought the best so I didn't use up all my monthly Flickr space.

At any rate ... things to check out:

* Blueshirts trading with Redshirts? Blasphemy! But then, who is the third faction waltzing in with treasure and a cannon? That's Lord Something-or-Other and the Dutch East India Company. Old alliances die when his private navy arrives to do business. The Redshirt captain is Captain Herringbone (a stuffy old sea-dog). The Blueshirt captain is Capitaine Cheval (a dashing, roguish fellow).

* It's hard to tell from the angles, but none other than Captain Redbeard himself is locked up in the brig, and so the MOC is in fact a jailbreak scene - the young pirate captain leading the attack? Redbeard Junior, Prince of Pirates. The pirate about to gore the Marine atop the office? That's Mako, the trusty (and savage) first mate. The old, bearded pirate leading the way through the storm drains? Barbary Bill - a veteran pirate with extensive knowledge of excavation and tunneling.

* A Redshirt sailor filling his flintlock from a powder horn.

* The Harbourmaster's a busy man, studying sea-lane maps and keeping tabs on everything that goes on his harbor. His go-to-guy is the same Blueshirt from 6245 Harbor Sentry. My very first Pirate set, albeit I've given him a scarf to distinguish him a bit. He maintains the position of Harbor Sentry.

* The poor old front clerk's eyesight isn't so good ...

* Dark green foliage as beach kelp.

* Dusty bricks. Very, very dusty. I've got to take some soapy water to them. I'm cool with yellowed white bricks, but the accumulated dust over the last 20 years requires a little TLC.

I'm going to try to keep this model built until I can get my hands on the new Imperial Flagship so I can park it offshore and take a few pictures, but odds are it'll get dismantled before then.

UPDATED!

In an effort to more accurately convey the PTVII rules (there is now no violence, just spying, infiltrating and bartering), and to show off some angles that were harder to see in the first set of photos (overall less figures - plenty of "fully busy" pictures already), AND after a quick dusting, I'm ready in earnest for PTVII. Oh, and numerous suggestions and disappointed "aw, how comes" are satiated - there's a female fig, an easy view of how the catwalk is constructed, the cannon is pointed in the right direction, the white 2x2 tile found proper replacements, and ... well, that's all of it. And a string of white breakers to illustrate waves and subtly indicate where the shallows deepen.

Build is the same. Story is basically the same (maybe set "10 minutes earlier"). Redcoats and Traders are still trying to parlay for Redbeard's custody. Pirates are still preparing a jailbreak. It's a typical hypothetical situation - maybe with this "hiccup in time" things'll be 100% non-lethal!

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Cleaner bricks! A few tiny tweaks! Better visibility! No fatalities!

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For those who wanted a better look at the dock itself. And wondered what the map was doing on the railing.

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Pirates are just "tunneling" for Redbeard now, rather than stealth-killing every shako guarding the place. Notice: Female fig for variety, based on popular demand.

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And just spying on the sentries, rather than tossing them three stories to their painful deaths.

More angles at Flickr. It's amazing what a small brush and some warm water + dish-soap can do.

Edited by Erdbeereis, 16 December 2009 - 06:22 AM.


#2 General Armendariz

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 04:09 AM

A great MOC with fantastic scenes. Has a very classic feel to it.
altogether a perfect scene...Except for the Bluecoats trading with Redcoats. Us Bluecoats would never trade with those Redcoat scum! :pir-tongue:

#3 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 04:19 AM

View PostGeneral Armendariz, on Oct 22 2009, 04:09 AM, said:

A great MOC with fantastic scenes. Has a very classic feel to it.
altogether a perfect scene...Except for the Bluecoats trading with Redcoats. Us Bluecoats would never trade with those Redcoat scum! :pir-tongue:

Manteau-rouge cochon!

Heh. These Redcoats must be traitors ... or else banding with the Blues to combat a larger enemy, whether it be rapacious Pirates or corrupt Traders. The Blues do have the infamous, notorious, epic Captain Redbeard prisoner ... no doubt the Reds and Traders have arrived to try to parlay for his custody so that THEY rather than their rivals can be the ones to execute him. Don't think about it too hard.  :pir_laugh2:

Edited by Briggs Broadside, 22 October 2009 - 04:21 AM.


#4 Rick

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 06:41 AM

Nothing that assures peace better than economic forces...  :pir_laugh2: Nice MOC!

btw: your water is a little dusty  :pir-tongue:

#5 SlyOwl

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 05:33 PM

Hey, great MOC!
The palm tree cover is something I really like in a harbour MOC, and the action is great overall.
I can totally empathise with your lack of bricks and wishes to have more 1x2s :pir-grin:

BTW, jailbreak fits the PTVII theme fine, and we'd love to have this entered! :thumbup:

To the barricades!
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#6 Big Cam

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 06:18 PM

Impressive.  As already said, the palm tree cover is really realistic.  It gives it an older feel, like the building has been there a long time.  You really have your palm tree covering down too, it looks much better than any palm tree set up that comes in a standard set.

I also really like the large amount of open water you have.  So many people cut the water off so early and I think it's a simple way to really enlarge the project with very little work.  I love the litle rock a few feet out.


Awesome work.

#7 Ratshot

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:05 PM

View PostGeneral Armendariz, on Oct 22 2009, 01:09 AM, said:

Us Bluecoats would never trade with those Redcoat scum! :pir-tongue:
I'd die before I would ever trade with the Redcoats :jollyroger:

View PostBig Cam, on Oct 22 2009, 03:18 PM, said:

I also really like the large amount of open water you have.  So many people cut the water off so early and I think it's a simple way to really enlarge the project with very little work.  I love the litle rock a few feet out.
Agreed, people cut the water off far to early, This is a great MOC you have here, I like the "Jail Break" idea, those brown window shudders look good :thumbup:

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#8 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 01:06 AM

View PostRatshot, on Oct 22 2009, 10:05 PM, said:

I'd die before I would ever trade with the Redcoats :jollyroger:


Agreed, people cut the water off far to early, This is a great MOC you have here, I like the "Jail Break" idea, those brown window shudders look good :thumbup:

The open water was a later addition. I only had one 16x32 blue plate and a shorter stretch of water, but having the boat at the dock, wanting the rock, and the fort being as tall as it is, I really thought it needed an extra 16 studs of water to balance it.

The brown window shutters were actually the second desigm element, and I lifted them (and others) from this toy soldiers fort: Napoleonic Watch Tower.

I'll definitely count this as a PTVII entry, then. After all, who knows ... while the three factions are arguing over who gets to execute Redbeard, the Pirates might rescue him without a single drop of blood being spilled.  :pir_laugh2:

If a Moderator could throw "PTVII Entry:" before "Traders, Traitors, and Jail-Breakers", I'd appreciate it.

Edited by Briggs Broadside, 23 October 2009 - 01:08 AM.


#9 MetroiD

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 12:12 PM

Adding this to the PTV II Contest is definitely a wonderful idea, I was hoping you'd do that. That way we get even more diversity in the Large category - besides, another cool MOC can't go amiss there! And it does fit the theme of this year's contest perfectly - at least in my point of view.

I was actually checking this one out over at Flickr a few days ago and I wasn't aware you'd posted it here as well. Congratulations, it's a great MOC and your attention to detail makes it a joy to behold. There's just one small thing which spoils that joy - and that's the amount of dust which some of your pieces have gathered throught the years :pir-sceptic: . Believe me, I know just how you feel about that, I've got a pretty sizeable chunk of my collection ruined by sun & dust - and while the latter can be cleaned, the effects of sunlight on white and grey bricks can be detrimental... However, back to the dust issue - seeing as you've entered this wonderful MOC into the contest, I thought I'd just give you a friendly advice to dust it off so that you get more votes in. EB members are pretty spoilt as far as Pirate MOCs go (due to being given the chance to check out tons of awesome MOCs :P), so they'll definitely nit-pick something as high up on the "nay-nay" list as obvious dust layers...

Since I'm guessing you wouldn't want to take that to pieces just yet, I'd recommend using a soft toothbrush and some warm water to rinse your bricks. That shouldn't take too much time or effort, but the outcome should be a noticable imrpovement. Even though, I must admit, having dust on top of the treasure chests looks sooo right!

That aside, I was also wondering why you'd wanted to build the entire thing out of white bricks. It's perfect as it is, I don't think a full-white approach would have been a good idea, least of all because it would have looked way too monchromatic :pir_laugh2: Perhaps the gold-coloured 2 x 1 slope bricks would indeed have looked nice in white, but then again those pieces don't come in white all too often, unfortunately. Otherwise though, the entire construction & design is wonderful, and the same goes to the little stories unfolding all over the place :)

If there's just one thing I would have really liked to see more of, that has to be docks & wharves... I really enjoy seeing good builders come up with unique wharf designs and thought that a larger and more intricate dock would have been the perfect thing to place in a Harbourmaster MOC - for example, something along the lines of the Imperial Trading Post - because your MOC does kinda remind of that awesome set. That said though, I like this one as it is just fine - I was just imagining what you could have come up with if you'd decided to extend that.

Good luck in the competition! This is definitely an entry to look out for!!
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#10 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 02:39 PM

View PostTheOtters, on Oct 23 2009, 12:12 PM, said:

Adding this to the PTV II Contest is definitely a wonderful idea, I was hoping you'd do that. That way we get even more diversity in the Large category - besides, another cool MOC can't go amiss there! And it does fit the theme of this year's contest perfectly - at least in my point of view.

I was actually checking this one out over at Flickr a few days ago and I wasn't aware you'd posted it here as well. Congratulations, it's a great MOC and your attention to detail makes it a joy to behold. There's just one small thing which spoils that joy - and that's the amount of dust which some of your pieces have gathered throught the years :pir-sceptic: . Believe me, I know just how you feel about that, I've got a pretty sizeable chunk of my collection ruined by sun & dust - and while the latter can be cleaned, the effects of sunlight on white and grey bricks can be detrimental... However, back to the dust issue - seeing as you've entered this wonderful MOC into the contest, I thought I'd just give you a friendly advice to dust it off so that you get more votes in. EB members are pretty spoilt as far as Pirate MOCs go (due to being given the chance to check out tons of awesome MOCs :P), so they'll definitely nit-pick something as high up on the "nay-nay" list as obvious dust layers...

Since I'm guessing you wouldn't want to take that to pieces just yet, I'd recommend using a soft toothbrush and some warm water to rinse your bricks. That shouldn't take too much time or effort, but the outcome should be a noticable imrpovement. Even though, I must admit, having dust on top of the treasure chests looks sooo right!

That aside, I was also wondering why you'd wanted to build the entire thing out of white bricks. It's perfect as it is, I don't think a full-white approach would have been a good idea, least of all because it would have looked way too monchromatic :pir_laugh2: Perhaps the gold-coloured 2 x 1 slope bricks would indeed have looked nice in white, but then again those pieces don't come in white all too often, unfortunately. Otherwise though, the entire construction & design is wonderful, and the same goes to the little stories unfolding all over the place :)

If there's just one thing I would have really liked to see more of, that has to be docks & wharves... I really enjoy seeing good builders come up with unique wharf designs and thought that a larger and more intricate dock would have been the perfect thing to place in a Harbourmaster MOC - for example, something along the lines of the Imperial Trading Post - because your MOC does kinda remind of that awesome set. That said though, I like this one as it is just fine - I was just imagining what you could have come up with if you'd decided to extend that.

Good luck in the competition! This is definitely an entry to look out for!!

One of the drawbacks of a "Dark Age" - they might as well be called a dust age. I've had most of my bulk bricks since I got them in the 80's. I'm currently knee-deep in sorting out my bricks by color right now, and part of that process is going to be a quick bath in some warm water and dish soap, a shake, and a quick dry. I'm pretty sure that'll cover my dust problems. The big pet peeve I have is with the dust that settles in the deepest creases of the Tricorne Hats ... might have to put a little extra work into them.

This MOC definitely has the bad position of being the first construct out of a long, long Dark Age and will suffer for it a little. Since that was the case, of course I jumped into inspired building, when I should've cleaned first.

Thanks for the recommendation on quick clean-ups.

I've grown fond of the gold caps on the battlements, so even if I'd pipe-dreamed about white, the way the gold, and newer colors like the varying browns and dark red look with classic white walls and yellow sand really worked.

My main dilemma is a need for more bricks. Lots more bricks. New bricks. Time to get a job.

Edited by Briggs Broadside, 23 October 2009 - 02:41 PM.


#11 Zorro

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 04:48 PM

Very nice MOC and I gratefully granted your request and made it a PTVII entry!

#12 MetroiD

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:18 PM

View PostBriggs Broadside, on Oct 23 2009, 05:39 PM, said:

I've grown fond of the gold caps on the battlements, so even if I'd pipe-dreamed about white, the way the gold, and newer colors like the varying browns and dark red look with classic white walls and yellow sand really worked.
The way brown & dark red works with classic white walls is undeniably marvellous, that's one of the reasons I like this creation so much!

Quote

My main dilemma is a need for more bricks. Lots more bricks. New bricks. Time to get a job.
Welcome out of the Dark Ages. Once LEGO was a toy, now it's hard-earned joy :pir_laugh2: Just kidding -- I wish you the best of success in getting all those pieces cleaned and sorted. If you have a girlfriend, that's the perfect way to get her into LEGO (and I'm not joking here!) Making your comeback with an entry in such a contest is a wonderful thing, I can only congratulate you once again :)

Edited by TheOtters, 23 October 2009 - 07:19 PM.

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#13 JeffD984

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 08:46 PM

Great job! This really puts a smile on my face!

#14 badboytje88

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 07:29 AM

Wow I love the classic feel the MOC has. It brought back some sweet childhood memories. I love the foliage, the size of the palm trees and their placements. I spy ninjas! Are those pirate ninjas or ninja pirates?The mix of adventurer, cowboy, ninja, pirate and castle fig part is a gigantic win for me. The chandelier looks plain damn awesome. I suggest posting some inside shots of your MOC in your first post to promote some of the lovely details you included. There are however some minor things you could change to improve it:

- I really don't like the trans green flames stanging upright on the beach. What you could do with these is attach them to eachother like this:
http://www.flickr.co...e88/3909851790/
And lay them on the beach to represent flushed see weed.
- A minor thing I don't like is the use of the 2x2 tile in the water near the rock. I think it would look better without this piece.
- This MOC needs a female fig!

That's all, good luck!

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#15 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 08:04 AM

View Postbadboytje88, on Oct 24 2009, 07:29 AM, said:

Wow I love the classic feel the MOC has. It brought back some sweet childhood memories. I love the foliage, the size of the palm trees and their placements. I spy ninjas! Are those pirate ninjas or ninja pirates?The mix of adventurer, cowboy, ninja, pirate and castle fig part is a gigantic win for me. The chandelier looks plain damn awesome. I suggest posting some inside shots of your MOC in your first post to promote some of the lovely details you included. There are however some minor things you could change to improve it:

- I really don't like the trans green flames stanging upright on the beach. What you could do with these is attach them to eachother like this:
http://www.flickr.co...e88/3909851790/
And lay them on the beach to represent flushed see weed.
- A minor thing I don't like is the use of the 2x2 tile in the water near the rock. I think it would look better without this piece.
- This MOC needs a female fig!

That's all, good luck!

~Badboy

really just 'scarved' pirates, but the fun of pirates swiping ninja looks and methods works here. plus i ran out of hats and bandanas.

i agree, the 2x2 white tile didn't fit in. trying to pass it off among studs stands out.

i'm definitely going to try the green flame linked seaweed. as for female figs - lego in the 90's (and still) is pretty stingy with female figs. i have the woman from Rock Island Refuge, but couldn't think of where to spotlight her.

thanks for the compliments, everyone.

#16 Milan

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 03:40 PM

Very nice!
I like how you did the rock where the building is standing. Trees are great and well placed. This MOC really has life. It looks like everything is in move. Very well done!
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#17 MetroiD

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 09:37 AM

Erm, this goes out to the admins - guys, excuse me if this sounds stupid, but I was wondering whether I was the only one who's bothered by the fact that there seems to have been a bit of a misunderstanding here... I think Briggs wanted his MOC (and the entry itself) to still be called "Harbour Master's Office" and the description of the topic to contain "PTV II - Large: Traders, Traitors and Jail-Breakers" as a clarification that he's submitted it a PTV entry. What he got instead is... a weird designation for his MOC, to say the least :pir_laugh2:
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#18 badboytje88

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 08:58 PM

View PostBriggs Broadside, on Oct 24 2009, 09:04 AM, said:

As for female figs - lego in the 90's (and still) is pretty stingy with female figs. i have the woman from Rock Island Refuge, but couldn't think of where to spotlight her.

Well you are so right about this! Don't get me started about the amount of LEGO female figs. I think LEGO is going in the right direction concidering the amount of female figs we got this year. Your set has about 30 figures, maybe more, so I think 1 female fig is reasonable. It doesn't need to be a wench. It could be a maiden or a princess. Most of the bigger 90's pirate sets contained 1 female fig. Either the female pirate in the red corset or the island girl. On the other hand I'm not sure if the Rock Island Refuge Female Pirate would fit in with the rest of the classic figs.

I still think it is a very lovely MOC. I'm looking forward to whatever changes you might make.

~Badboy

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#19 martinsuper

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 01:45 PM

Ok... where do I start?  :pir_laugh2:

Well first, I'm going to have to stretch my poor fingers  :pir_bawling: ...... Done....  :pir-hmpf_bad:

Now. Since this is an MOC with LOTS to talk about, I'm going to go with the "things I like", "things I don't" number system.

Things I like:

1. The vegetation looks natural yet not overgrown. To me it looks like it actually grew into the spot it is in. One thing that the pirate system of LEGO failed at was not adding enough vegetation to really make the sets look like they were in a tropical or island environment. I think you have added just enough to accomplish this without going too far. That is really neat.

2. I like the rock coming out of sand. It looks like a real beach were sand washed up and gathered around a natural piece of rock in that area. Again, it looks very natural and correct.

3. The rock coming out of the water. This is a very simple yet creative choice you have made and I enjoy it immensly. When you look at rocky islands, there are often rocks coming out of the water off of the shore. We often forget this in our MOCs and in my opinion this is the most realistic aspect of your MOC.

4. Blue, red, and others. I know we have had our squabbles about red coats, blue coats, etc..., but this MOC reminds me of a simplier time when I was a kid and honestly I had them all mixed up as much as anyone. Though I have noticed, as Im sure others have, that the blue coats are more land based and the red coats are more seafaring. I think you showed this natural bias in your MOC as well (good thing).

5. The brick choice. I love the use of some yellowed white brick to show age and wear. I also really enjoy the use of the gold "toppers" to make the feel of some of the older sets that used a lot of white and yellow.

6. Second story windows. I love the look and style of those windows and the way you incorporated the mini flags without making them look gaudy.

7. Third story tower. This looks like an appropriate sized "lookout" tower without it being too small and too large. It looks exactly like it should and has the size and substance to not look "dinky".

8. Old blues, Old reds. Don't know why this matters, but I still like seeing MOCs with the old guys.

What I don't like:

1. Violence. The rules say no violence, no how. And yet I see a guard getting killed or taken out on the second floor. I know you have a storyline to uphold here and all, but there is a way this MOC can compete and win without the violence you have shown. I think you could modify this to show your third faction perhaps robbing the fort or something else. But as hard as it has been for me and everyone else to avoid violence; it should be as hard for you too.

2. Second story cannon. This cannon does not look like it has enough room, and does not look practical. How does anyone load this cannon? How did it get up there? How do you fire it? How do you get around it? When I ask these questions it makes that cannon and its location all wrong. Also, why does your fort have half its cannons pointing away from the water? its pointing in a wierd direction and unless you SHOW me a reason it needs to point that way, it just isn't right.

3. The path from the beach. I can see you have spent a good deal of time making a nice path and all. But I can't see it. There are too many minifigs doing way too much stuff for me to actually see the MOC! Please clean that up a little so I can actually see the whole path and decide if I like it or not.

4. First floor windows. Either use the exposed brick for both windows or neither. I don't know why, but only have one window with the exposed brick keeps making me look there, and I don't think you want me to just look at that window. Maybe work some exposed brick into the rest of the MOC as well or get rid of that one?

5. Map on the railing. Why is it there? What's the point? A railing isn't an office or anything like that. It just doesn't make sense to be there.

6. I know I mentioned the violence earlier, but if you are going to have that many minifigs doing something in the MOC make them more visible.

All in all a very good job and very nicely done! I think with a few mods this is a top notch creation!

Good Job!

-martinsuper

Edited by martinsuper, 28 October 2009 - 02:02 PM.


#20 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 04:39 PM

View Postmartinsuper, on Oct 26 2009, 01:45 PM, said:

Ok... where do I start?  :pir_laugh2:

Well first, I'm going to have to stretch my poor fingers  :pir_bawling: ...... Done....  :pir-hmpf_bad:

Now. Since this is an MOC with LOTS to talk about, I'm going to go with the "things I like", "things I don't" number system.

Things I like:

1. The vegetation looks natural yet not overgrown. To me it looks like it actually grew into the spot it is in. One thing that the pirate system of LEGO failed at was not adding enough vegetation to really make the sets look like they were in a tropical or island environment. I think you have added just enough to accomplish this without going too far. That is really neat.

2. I like the rock coming out of sand. It looks like a real beach were sand washed up and gathered around a natural piece of rock in that area. Again, it looks very natural and correct.

3. The rock coming out of the water. This is a very simple yet creative choice you have made and I enjoy it immensly. When you look at rocky islands, there are often rocks coming out of the wat off of the shore. We often forget this in our MOCs and in my opinion this is the most realistic aspect of your MOC.

4. Blue, red, and others. I know we have had our squabbles about red coats, blue coats, etc..., but this MOC reminds me of a simplier time when I was a kid and honestly I had them all mixed up as much as anyone. Though I have noticed, as Im sure others have, that the blue coats are more land based and the red coats are more seafaring. I think you showed this natural bias in your MOC as well (good thing).

5. The brick choice. I love the use of some yellowed white brick to show age and wear. I also really enjoy the use of the gold "toppers" to make the feel of some of the older sets that used a lot of white and yellow.

6. Second story windows. I love the look and style of those windows and the way you incorporated the mini flags without making them look gaudy.

7. Third story tower. This looks like an appropriate sized "lookout" tower without it being too small and too large. It looks exactly like it should and has the size and substance to not look "dinky".

8. Old blues, Old reds. Don't know why this matters, but I still like seeing MOCs with the old guys.

What I don't like:

1. Violence. The rules say no violence, no how. And yet I see a guard getting killed or taken out on the second floor. I know you have a storyline to uphold here and all, but there is a way this MOC can compete and win without the violence you have shown. I think you could modify this to show your third faction perhaps robbing the fort or something else. But as hard as it has been for me and everyone else to avoid violence; it should be as hard for you too.

2. Second story cannon. This cannon does not look like it has enough room, and does not look practical. How does anyone load this cannon? How did it get up there? How do you fire it? How do you get around it? When I ask these questions it makes that cannon and its location all wrong. Also, why does your fort have half its cannons pointing away from the water? its pointing in a wierd direction and unless you SHOW me a reason it needs to point that way, it just isn't right.

3. The path from the beach. I can see you have spent a good deal of time making a nice path and all. But I can't see it. There are too many minifigs doing way too much stuff for me to actually see the MOC! Please clean that up a little so I can actually see the whole path and decide if I like it or not.

4. First floor windows. Either use the exposed brick for both windows or neither. I don't know why, but only have one window with the exposed brick keeps making me look there, and I don't think you want me to just look at that window. Maybe work some exposed brick into the rest of the MOC as well or get rid of that one?

5. Map on the railing. Why is it there? What's the point? A railing isn't an office or anything like that. It just doesn't make sense to be there.

6. I know I mentioned the violence earlier, but if you are going to have that many minifigs doing something in the MOC make them more visible.

All in all a very good job and very nicely done! I think with a few mods this is a top notch creation!

Good Job!

-martinsuper

Ah! I've been anxiously awaiting a nice, well-thought pros/cons list and I can address a lot of this.

Pros 1&2: The rock and vegetation is the stuff that comes naturally to me from outdoor exploring, and I guess painting. The tall trees went well with a tall building, the curves were because I see trees grow sideways all the time, especially on cliffs, whether lakeside, oceanside, or where there are plenty of rocks falling. It seemed like an easy choice (especially since it was early on in the build) but I really liked how it worked, and plan on incorporating that a bit in the future, at least when I build forts that ought to have "good stone foundations".

3: I'm partial to the beach rock, too. I love standing on big rocks in lakes or rivers and looking into the water. I only wish I had some light blue plates to make the rock seem like the line where the water goes from "shallow" to "deep". But I've actually got a tweak that might make that evident as well.

4: That came purely from my old-school Lego upbringing. The shakos stay on the bluecoats, and that's that, no arguments, and so blues with more Marines won the draw as far as who patrols the harbor. I guess it's easy to rationalize, since as strong as France's Navy was, England was the king of the seas.

6: Mini-flags were actually a happy accident. I was just using the white "ladder hitch" pieces as decorative and was going to hang mini-flags as banners from between every battlement ... but I was trying variations out and two simple bits of blue in the upper corners worked.

7: Proportion is why I moved the "penthouse" to the side and stuck with an L-shaped patrol area. I started with it in the middle, and there was no walking room for shakos to march back and forth on. It's still not really that logical a place for a cannon, since this office would arguably be deep in a harbor that was already well defended, and so at this point shako marksmen would have it covered, but something about a classic Lego fort without a canon on the roof seemed wrong.

8: Easy choice, since I don't own any of the new Pirates figures yet.

CONS

1, 2, and 3: Violence. When I take two or three snapshots I'll be addressing numerous things. A little less activity - a mostly clear boardwalk for whoever asked to see it unimpaired ... nobody being tossed wantonly off a three story roof. Canon (which is currently facing oceanward and I'm not sure why I had facing sideways during the shoot. That'll come with some basic cleaning of dust.

4. Can't help that one, actually. I only have the one exposed-brick window piece. If I had more, I'd have used them all and tried not to use any plain white ones (or fewer, at least). If I had any of the windows with the red brick patterns around the window holes, I'd have used only them. But since I only have the one, I wanted it closest to the doors. Looking at it now I think I'd want it on the 2nd floor, right side window, where maybe trees in the wind had worn on it, but that's a lot of disassembling, so that's the main thing I'm not changing.

5. Map on the railing. There's also the two mugs. Originally, I had captains blue and red standing on the porch, overseeing their sailors doing all the hard work and taking in afternoon tea, no doubt discussing the map. It seemed a little too cozy.

I'll get to the tweaks at some point this week. They're all pretty small tasks (except maybe dusting) so it'll be a quick matter of primarily rearranging figs and snapping half a dozen pictures.

#21 Briggs Broadside

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 06:49 PM

PTVII: Harbourmaster's Office - UPDATED!

See first post for pictures of a cleaner, leaner presentation of the same MOC. Criticisms addressed. A few nitpicks of my own taken care of. Overall a good 75% less dusty. More picks at Flickr, all labeled as "UPDATED" for easy recognition.  :pir_laugh2:

#22 MetroiD

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:55 PM

Wow, giving your bricks a bath sure worked out nicely! Bet they're also quite grateful :)

Regarding the MOC itself - following martinsuper's idea and getting rid of some minifigs and "action scenes" has actually helped a lot here. Same goes for the new photos, they' re showcasing the MOC's good angles in a much clearer and more focused way than the old ones. I was a bit concerned last time that someone would for some reason disapprove of the vegetation for being too lush and you'd feel the need to change that -- but it's good to see that Martin pointed how spot on all the palms (and algae too!) are, I feel exactly the same way.

Now, the one thing I don't really like in this update is the white line a few studs off the beach which represents waves and marks where "the shallows deepen", as you put it... Seeing as it adds an unnatural height which doesn't really look like a wave, I just find it out of place. To be perfectly honest, I think you should either get rid of it or build on that and turn it into an actual nice rolling wave. I believe the latter would be the best option for your MOC - and I can remember pointing another entrant to a couple of older MOCs that depicted waves in a great way - you could refer to those for inspiration. You don't have to create a large wave as the one in the first MOC I linked to - actually, I feel you should refrain from doing so, since a gentle small wave would look much better here. And you don't need to cover the entire baseplate with cheese slopes as Erdbeeris did either - just combine those two to create your own water image, that would surely make this entry stand out even more! Besides, if you add an actual wave, you could also create a splash effect where the wave meets the rock - which would look absolutely gorgeous.

Oh, and regarding that rock - while I love the idea just as much as everybody else, I believe that the rock itself could have been a bit lower. In reality, a rock this high would hardly ever be seen just coming out of the water like that - on most occasions, the foundations of the same rock structure would be visible on the beach as well, especially if it's in the immediate vicinity of the tip of the rock, as it the case here. I know this borders on nit-picking, but I just thought I'd let you know how I feel about it. I really believe that addressing the height of that rock would add realism to it.

Another thing I feel you could address is the beach - to me, those two blue flowers blossoming right at the shore look out of place, and the right part of the beach is still a bit too cluttered. I'd recommend taking off those 2x2 gray round plates and just letting sand be sand. You could always add a seashell or a clam if you want something particularly "special" to catch viewers' attention there, but the way it looks right now just doesn't feel right to me.

Obviously, you've chosen not to expand the dock and looking at your MOC now, I must admit no longer think that's necessary. The wooden structure there does look very nicely built and is a wonderful addition to the whole MOC; having something much bigger than that would perhaps not look right.


Now, seeing as you obviously like having things listed in a clear, systematic way, I'll just follow in Martin's footsteps here and supply you with a very short list of things which I feel you could address in order to make this one an EVEN better MOC:

1)  The "string of white breakers". Turn that into an actual wave (not too big, of course) and you'll also be able to add some water splashing against the rock. That should definitely turn this entry into an even greater eye-catcher!

2)  Lower the rock just a bit - but leave the "seaweed" on :)

3)  A little clean-up of the beach and replacing some of those 1x1 and 2x2 plates should go a long way to "opening it up" and letting it actually look and feel like a beach.
Currently trimming bangs and slicing scalps in TrumpetKing's CMF Mafia 2 as Melinda Dugan.
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#23 martinsuper

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 02:07 PM

View PostBriggs Broadside, on Oct 26 2009, 02:49 PM, said:

PTVII: Harbourmaster's Office - UPDATED!

See first post for pictures of a cleaner, leaner presentation of the same MOC. Criticisms addressed. A few nitpicks of my own taken care of. Overall a good 75% less dusty. More picks at Flickr, all labeled as "UPDATED" for easy recognition.  :pir_laugh2:

Great updates! I know I have already written you a book about your MOC, so I will only speak to the updates!

1. Minifigs. Awesome job of moving them around and eliminating the violence. As for the map, you showed me a reason why it needs to be there and so now I can live with it.
2. Cannon. See how a simple move makes the whole thing look so much better? Now it looks perfect in its location and I really like it. Another problem with a lot of MOCs is too many cannons (Im the biggest culprit of this). This one cannon on the second floor looks just right.
3. The water. I like how the wave is clearly visible and goes across well. I also like how I can see the walkway much better!

This was a very good job of using suggestions to vastly improve your MOC! People are really impressing me with their mods.

Good Job!

-martinsuper

#24 badboytje88

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 01:55 AM

The update is looking awesome. Downsizing the violence was a good idea if you ask me. And thanks for adding a female fig. Nice to know people really listen to our advice!

Good luck in the competition!

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