Wow, what a nice entry Joe! For a first MOC, this is quite impressive and I love how you've utilized a number of well-known smart techniques in order to give this one a more complete look. The blue/white/tan combination of water hitting the rocks and the colour nuances in the rocks both work very nicely here, although I'm not really sure why there's just one portion of the building which looks lighter than the other part of it. But then again, not everything requires a solid explanation and as long as it looks good - which in this case it does, at least to me - it's a more than welcome addition!
Before I continue with the MOC itself, I have to say that I think you need to tamper with some of those pics a bit in order to enhance their lighting and contrast. There's a quite prominent presence of shadows in the interior shots which in the case with the sleeping sentry works nicely, but in the captain's room it's just a bit too much and is making it hard for the viewer to recognise what it is they're looking at. While the angle is perfect, I feel that some additional lighting wouldn't go amiss there.
Back to the MOC -- and speaking about the captain's room, I really like it, it looks well aranged and thought out. The coathanger, the bed - everything in there looks just right. As to that issue with the wine pouring out of glass, I realize it can't have been the easiest of tasks balancing those pieces. Then again, I'm not really sure whether you needed to go to such great lengths for that, especially seeing as there's nothing that's causing the glass to be falling over in that very instant - not unless that black tile came off the Captain's bed when he was brutally awoken by the sight of the UFO.
So I'd suggest simply removing the black tile, letting the glass fall down on the floor and placing the plume alongside it (lying down instead of standing upright), so that it "leads" to the puddle of wine which has been created overnight (brilliant use of the red flower petal piece, by the way! Absolutely loving it!). That way you'd please the viewers who really want a realistic-looking scene. Of course, if you want to keep the glass as it is, I'd suggest using a rat that's just coming from underneath the bed as the main culprit there - otherwise I really don't see why it would end up falling in the first place.
Enough about the red red wine (yeah, I am
going to a UB40 gig soon :) ). I also wanted to mention the wise selection of colours that make up the building's second floor - green and black complement each other very nicely, especially on top of those rocks. The roof technique also works great here, giving the front facade a gloomy look and feel, which is quite appropriate and desired, given the headache this here Captain must be suffering. What I'm not so sure about is the flag on the left-hand side of the building. And it's not the colours that bother me, it's its presence which I'm actually not that fond of. While I understand why it's there (after all, those are the captain's quarters), I just don't think it adds anything to the MOC. Instead, I think it just stands in the way when viewed from certain angles and doesn't quite let the viewer concentrate on that intricate machinery. Perhaps having a bit more solid chimney would look even nicer there - that way the viewers could also notice the smart use of white plumes as smoke...
And bearing in mind that the machine is almost as big as the house itself, it should be the focal point of this MOC. Which leads me to the next question - why did they ever have such a lifting mechanism on top of that house anyway? It's not a criticism in any way - I love it - I just thought you could add something in the story to explain its presence there.
The UFO is - quite obviously - brilliant and while I'm not sure whether pirates had ever pondered the existence of extra-terrestrial life forms, I must say this whole idea makes for a really hilarious entry :) The sentry sleeping on his job, Jack holding his bandana so that he doesn't laugh out too loud and Peter being a boy instead of an actual pirate (given his short legs, that's the assumption, right?) are all very nice touches as well - all of those show that you've really thought this out.
Which is why I'm adding this MOC to my list of favourites in this category and bookmarking it for future reference. Best of luck in the competition and keep MOCcing, you're a great builder!
P.S.: Whoa, I just noticed the length of my post... Sorry for the rant mate... :/
Edited by TheOtters, 15 November 2009 - 09:09 PM.