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MOC: X-Wing

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#51 Fallenangel


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Posted 23 March 2011 - 11:54 PM

I honestly don't think I was being fair in commenting on this MOC the way I did previously because according to what others have been saying I approach such things the wrong way and end up sounding anal and nitpicky. It is obviously ridiculous to aim for a high degree of accuracy with anything made of LEGO and I'm sorry that my previous nitpicky critique leaned that way. This time I’ll try and focus on more 'holistic' aspects which I guess are more reasonable things not to like about an MOC because I have clearly done you and myself a great disservice in missing the point.

First of all I’m sorry if this sounds harsh or negative. English is not my first language and in any case when reading things you don’t agree with tone can easily be misinterpreted. This has been happening way too many times recently so I felt I should make it clear this time that I’m not hell-bent on bashing imperfections because there’s no point in it and in any case it takes too long.
So, here goes:

The first thing I feel could be better is the blockiness. The sides of the rear fuselage, the top and bottom edges of the nose, and the canopy, among other things, are all very straight and rectangular, and while this does make the MOC much more solid I feel that it detracts from what makes an X-wing. This is less a case of accuracy so much as the “essence” of a ship. When I think of an X-wing, I do think ‘sleek’; I do not think ‘boxy’. Part of what sets this fighter apart from other ships in the franchise is the fact that it’s chock full of weird angles that nonetheless come together beautifully making for a great overall look (an aspect that is reflected in several other designs I’m quite fond of such as the T-47 or the Eta-2). This angular quality is also what makes it more interesting than more geometrically consistent ships such as the Y-wing, which is essentially several rectangular portions and two cylinders, or the Star Destroyer which is essentially a large wedge. To capture this angular aspect taking advantage of whatever hinged parts you have (bricks, plates, Technic) is recommended, as well as generally steering clear of the “sculpture” style of building and leaning more toward the primarily SNOT look you see in UCS sets such as 10030 or 10179. The process would admittedly be rather messy, but if it all comes together in the end to make a great X-wing then that’s what matters, right?

The second point that I think I should make is that in my eyes it just looks too clean. X-wings, despite what model makers may say, are not display pieces; they are not polished like the N-1 or the J-type Nubian 327 ; rather, they identify more with ships like the Slave I and the Millennium Falcon in that they are well-worn and very functional which of course makes their battered hulls look all the more impressive. While there’s nothing wrong with a studless System build (a lot of studs showing can make an MOC look amateurish after all) the use of shiny LEGO white and bright LEGO tan is. If you’ve ever seen the large Red Three model at the Art of Star Wars exhibit you may remember that the model is absolutely filthy. While old LEGO gray isn’t quite filthy enough I think it would be closer to a worn look than the crisp LEGO bley is; one reason errbt’s X-wing remains my favorite is because the base color is a mix of old and new gray with some bright red and yellow thrown in which just looks really nice. And yellow to me has always seemed more discolored than tan.
I think the white background might have something to do with it as well, but I don’t know anything about photo editing so I’ll leave that alone.

I guess this next point kind of goes against what I mentioned earlier, but as it does not constitute nitpicking I think it is a valid point: proportions in general. When something is blatantly disproportionate with itself, it shows.  In my opinion it detracts from aesthetic quality, and while it would be unrealistic to expect perfect proportions I think taking note of certain prominent contrasts and relations not only makes the MOC more recognizable (again, relating to the “essence” of the ship) but also more fun to design.

As you’ve said, this is your first X-wing; I think psiaki’s is his fourth or fifth. Given your amazing skills as an MOCer I think that keeping these in mind if and when you build a second rendition will make that second rendition that much better.

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