Robert8

LEGO IDEAS - The Medieval Blacksmith

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On 1/4/2021 at 1:41 AM, bigginsd said:

Does anyone think the contrast is bumped way up on this due to it being basically a button on a website designed to catch the eye?

It reminds me of the Ideas Tree House set which a lot of people railed against when it was announced due to the colour scheme.

After building the Tree House I realised it looked a lot more muted in real life and was structurally closer to the submission than I realised.

From a technical standpoint yeah there actually is a significant difference in the exposures or "brightness" of the two images, in addition to levels/'curves' and contrast like you said. User images and third party digital renders (like the original Medieval Blacksmith submission) are often slightly underexposed while Lego's own images are what one might call perfect, like laboratory high-key. The actual sets won't look the same in your own place unless you have a really really bright living space. In addition Lego has their own rendering software which was used for the released blacksmith image.

If you look at the two images in photoshop and use the color sampler to see the RGB values the background whites on TLG's own images are straight 255/255/255 (pure absolute digital white, there is nothing 'whiter', this is perfect high-key) and the non-shadowed white bricks within the official blacksmith image are approximately 245/243/244. Measuring the non-shadowed white bricks on the Ideas Medieval Blacksmith submission shows approximately 200/200/200; so a significant difference in brightness of the two images despite sampling from the surface of the white bricks. To bring the whites from the submission up to the same level as TLG image requires an exposure adjustment layer correction of approximately +0.70 on the submission.

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On 1/3/2021 at 3:29 PM, Lord Insanity said:

I don't get it.  How are AFOLs so terrible at casually assessing the scale of a Lego build from pictures?  Look at the side by side comparison picture at the top of this brickset article.   The final design had the terrain significantly reduced but the building itself has not been significantly reduced.  Count the studs and bricks.  The chimney is still 4 studs by 4 studs, the steps are still 2 studs by 5 studs, the windows are still 4 studs x 3 bricks.  The roof peak is 24 studs long.  The buildings in the Medieval Market Village are only 16 studs by 16 studs.  Both the original and the final Blacksmith Shop have a similar volume as both Medieval Market Village buildings combined.  I seriously can't figure out why everyone seems to think the Blacksmith Shop has been downsized by any significant margin.  *huh*

I think what most people are observing is the difference in the height of the two models. For instance, the base of the attic in the original model is nine bricks higher than the top of the stone staircase, while in the final set it's only seven or eight bricks higher than the top of the stone staircase. But I definitely see this as an improvement, since the final set's proportions feel more consistent between floors, whereas the original model's ground floor seemed a lot more cramped than the upper floors.

7 hours ago, koalayummies said:

From a technical standpoint yeah there actually is a significant difference in the exposures or "brightness" of the two images, in addition to levels/'curves' and contrast like you said. User images and third party digital renders (like the original Medieval Blacksmith submission) are often slightly underexposed while Lego's own images are what one might call perfect, like laboratory high-key. The actual sets won't look the same in your own place unless you have a really really bright living space. In addition Lego has their own rendering software which was used for the released blacksmith image.

Yeah, professional product photos and renders in general tend to be very brightly and carefully lit compared to a typical MOC photo or render, which helps to create much higher contrast even before any sort of digital post-processing. After all, how many builders do you know who go out of their way to use separate spot, main, and fill lights for their MOC photos and renders? In a professional photo studio environment, that tends to be one of the more basic standards.

And I suspect that even many builders who have both that sort of professional experience and professional-grade equipment/software probably wouldn't put the same level of time and effort into MOC photos or renders as they would for a paid assignment (unless it was a project of great personal significance, like a gift for a loved one).

Also, neat analysis of the brightness of the white bricks! I can't help but observe that the color you sampled from the white bricks in the official image is very close to the RGB value that LEGO Digital Designer uses for white bricks (244/244/244). I know LEGO holds their illustrators and graphic designers to pretty strict standards for this sort of color matching, so I guess it's not surprising that they would try to maintain a similar level of consistency in official product renders and photos!

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6 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Yeah, professional product photos and renders in general tend to be very brightly and carefully lit compared to a typical MOC photo or render, which helps to create much higher contrast even before any sort of digital post-processing. After all, how many builders do you know who go out of their way to use separate spot, main, and fill lights for their MOC photos and renders? In a professional photo studio environment, that tends to be one of the more basic standards.

And I suspect that even many builders who have both that sort of professional experience and professional-grade equipment/software probably wouldn't put the same level of time and effort into MOC photos or renders as they would for a paid assignment (unless it was a project of great personal significance, like a gift for a loved one).

You certainly know what's up! That's my feeling as well; a contract brings out the equipment and effort but for personal stuff a backdrop, second roll of white paper as a giant bounce card and single strobe flash will work just fine. Maybe a minute or so in Adobe Camera Raw batch adjustment cause we just want to post it already! :excited:

11 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Also, neat analysis of the brightness of the white bricks! I can't help but observe that the color you sampled from the white bricks in the official image is very close to the RGB value that LEGO Digital Designer uses for white bricks (244/244/244). I know LEGO holds their illustrators and graphic designers to pretty strict standards for this sort of color matching, so I guess it's not surprising that they would try to maintain a similar level of consistency in official product renders and photos!

I didn't know that! I never thought to test the colors in LDD so that's very ruminative. That value is basically spot on then cause sampling just a pixel or two over in an image can vary a RGB value by a couple points even on a seemingly solid color surface. So the LDD program is essentially color calibrated to Lego's product image, rending software and physical production piece color standards. Across the board color calibration, that's really awesome. Yeah I shouldn't be surprised given their quality control and care for their product but it's still a fascinating level of consistency. Gotta love it!

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The design of the minifigures is very strange. But at least black falcons are back!

That shoulder piece in the female knight is from Star Wars, right?

The one shoulder armor piece doesn't look right in a medieval setting

 

And well, no goat. 

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I have seen the final product on a photo.
4 minifigs: one female archer/hunter, the blacksmith, 2 black falcons knights
One horse on tan
One husky

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Posted (edited)

A castle set is high on my wishing list, but as much as I want to love this blacksmith, I just don't feel it.

I still consider the building is too big (with an eventual castle in the future in mind), and I don't really dig the minifigures. Too bad for me, as I think the horse drawn cart adds a lot charm to the set as a whole.

PS: the bear carpet is appropiate in castle setting, but I consider it a bit cruel in an official LEGO setting.

Edited by Wesley D

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26 minutes ago, Robert8 said:

The design of the minifigures is very strange. But at least black falcons are back!

That shoulder piece in the female knight is from Star Wars, right?

The one shoulder armor piece doesn't look right in a medieval setting

I agree. Moreover, hard to tell on the photos I've seen, but it seems like the female archer has the same green torso as one of the pirate ladies from the Barracuda bay, which does not look right either. 

Anyway, yay for the recolored horse! 

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I appreciate all the nice details, but the price still isn't justified to me...

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Does anyone have a closer pic to the back of the box where it has each layer separated? 

I don’t think I care for the interior too much...

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Just now, Grover said:

Is there an official release or is this just on IG right now?

It's just on instagram.

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Also, wouldn't it be easier to use this piece instead?

LEGO® Minifigure Weapon Halberd Elaborate Lot x 4 castle old Dark Gray  large axe | eBay

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Just now, JintaiZ said:

It's just on instagram.

Ah thanks!

I have mixed feelings about this set.  My opinions are below.

The good:
- Falcon shield
- Falcon torsos
- Good use of the orange hair and beard on the blacksmith
- Tan horse!
- The bearskin rug
- Good interior architecture
- Good furniture

The bad:
- NO GOAT! (Not a realistic expectation but still disappointing)
- A husky?  Really?  Is that even realistic for medieval settings except in far north reaches?
- No other animals like rabbit, owl ,etc.
- The shoulder armor looks cartoony and ridiculous. It was fine for Ninjago or Marvel since they are cartoons, but these guys look more like Nexo to me and I am not a fan.  They will definitely be removed if I buy this.
- The polearm looks ridiculous.  @Robert8 has it right, they should have just remade the old halberds
- Reuse of the female pirate torso?  I agree with @Aurore, it doesn't even look very medieval
- No tiling of the floor.  Few sets leave that much exposed stud now and the bearskin rug looks unusual there.
- Lots of reused mini pieces: Larry the Barista's legs on the blacksmith, and maybe some Ninjago legs on the knights.  Reused winking face on the woman.  Disappointing.

I haven't decided if I'm actually going to buy this set or just buy parts on B&P.  At $150, it's hard to put down as a must buy since $150 would buy a lot of minifig parts and horses... I had been planning on buying multiple copies of this set, but the more I see, the more disappointed I am and I'm not sure I'd even buy one now.  It feels more like a medieval parts pack than anything I'd put into a medieval city of mine. :sad:

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I’m not a fan of Castle by any means, but I do like this set and think that it’s getting way more flak than it deserves. The original build looked amazing and intricate, don’t get me wrong, but the colors made it look very drab and boring. And that’s probably accurate to how Medieval Blacksmith shops would look like, but for me personally, I want my Lego sets to have color. They are toys after all and I personally use them as an escape from the real world. Bright colors and outlandish creations further pushes that escapism for me. And let us not forget that Lego’s first medieval castle was a bright yellow. Overly colorful medieval sets are nothing new and neither are heavily redesigned Ideas sets.

So like I said the build looks good to me. It could definitely use a few more figures and/or animals, but overall, I’m impressed by it. I look forward to putting that on one of my tables next to Barracuda Bay (which I’m working on currently), Benny’s Spaceship, and the Ideas Exo Suit. Essentially, it’ll be my shelf of modern tributes to Lego’s iconic, classic themes. I just need a new Western set to go with it!

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Personally I'm a fan of the shoulder armor. Yes, it's a little oversized—but that's basically necessary for articulation, and minifigures generally have cartoony proportions anyway. I also like how it gives them a strong/"heroic" silhouette compared to the more humble blacksmith and his wife—conversely, I've never been that fond of how older armor pieces that mainly cover the torso raise the figures' heads without really covering their shoulders much, making the proportions feel awkward. As a bonus it fancies them up (and provides some armor for the blacksmith to work on) without covering those glorious Black Falcons torsos.
 

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I like the set a bit more now that we know the figures and animals that will come with it, but still, the final product does leave a lot to be desired, especially since it's the only legitimate Castle set we got in almost 8 years. 

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47 minutes ago, valon said:

were are these picture ?

On Facebook or Youtube you can find them.

I like the set, I agree with almost Grover said, but I am begining to feel upset with the rumour price tag. I mean for $50 you can get a Pirates of Barracuda Bay that is way way more superior to this one.
I am not sure if I will buy this one, I really feel castle guys are kind of mistreated honestly.

 

2 hours ago, Grover said:

Ah thanks!

I have mixed feelings about this set.  My opinions are below.

The good:
- Falcon shield
- Falcon torsos
- Good use of the orange hair and beard on the blacksmith
- Tan horse!
- The bearskin rug
- Good interior architecture
- Good furniture

The bad:
- NO GOAT! (Not a realistic expectation but still disappointing)
- A husky?  Really?  Is that even realistic for medieval settings except in far north reaches?
- No other animals like rabbit, owl ,etc.
- The shoulder armor looks cartoony and ridiculous. It was fine for Ninjago or Marvel since they are cartoons, but these guys look more like Nexo to me and I am not a fan.  They will definitely be removed if I buy this.
- The polearm looks ridiculous.  @Robert8 has it right, they should have just remade the old halberds
- Reuse of the female pirate torso?  I agree with @Aurore, it doesn't even look very medieval
- No tiling of the floor.  Few sets leave that much exposed stud now and the bearskin rug looks unusual there.
- Lots of reused mini pieces: Larry the Barista's legs on the blacksmith, and maybe some Ninjago legs on the knights.  Reused winking face on the woman.  Disappointing.

I haven't decided if I'm actually going to buy this set or just buy parts on B&P.  At $150, it's hard to put down as a must buy since $150 would buy a lot of minifig parts and horses... I had been planning on buying multiple copies of this set, but the more I see, the more disappointed I am and I'm not sure I'd even buy one now.  It feels more like a medieval parts pack than anything I'd put into a medieval city of mine. :sad:

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Niku said:

On Facebook or Youtube you can find them.

I like the set, I agree with almost Grover said, but I am begining to feel upset with the rumour price tag. I mean for $50 you can get a Pirates of Barracuda Bay that is way way more superior to this one.
I am not sure if I will buy this one, I really feel castle guys are kind of mistreated honestly.

@Niku, I think you describe it well.  I feel that Barracuda Bay is a great set, lots of awesome minis, cool parts, great design, for $200.  If this really is $150, I feel that we get two cool minis and a horse.  The building is nice, and despite some of my reservations about the moss, is a good building.  But for $150?  This does not feel like a throwback to me, more like they threw a few falcon prints on torsos and shields and called it good.  I'd like to see either a more medieval set or a real nod to classic castle.  This may hit the mark with the general market, but I kind of feel like it snubs the castle crowd.  This could also be called 'blacksmith shop', since it doesn't have a very medieval vibe to me.  The two 'medieval' characters (the soldiers, since the blacksmith and the female character could be from just about any time) could easily be Cosplayers or Ren Faire goers with their comical armor, and little else about the build screams medieval to me.

Edited by Grover

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I like this set. That said, I don't like the shoulder armour and I agree the rumoured price sounds a bit high.  Think I would have to hope to see one built in store and know the confirmed price before deciding whether to buy it.

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The star wars armor recolor is nice.  I will be buying this set.  I think its a nice set and has enough details.  Has some great parts too.  Love the black falcons and the new swords.  The tan horse is nice.  The build is actually growing on me with these new picks.  Sure its not like the original but this will fit in nicely in my fantasy castle world.  

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The armour looks to be from Ninjago to me. Not really a problem to just leave it off. The inclusion of the husky and the steepness of the roof implies it would located in somewhere like Scandinavia so adding snow would be a great mod.

 The price doesn’t seem justified though. It doesn’t look to be worth $A200 but I fear it might be $220 or up to $250.

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Wow, tough crowd around here. I think the set is awesome, the minfigs are awesome, and plan to get this day one!

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Posted (edited)

I love it. ?

I had no reason to expect Black Falcons. 

Is their livery the same as that of the knight in the Joust set from several years back? I can't make it out.

Edited by 0tter

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I think the building looks good and it is great to get a new tan horse :thumbup:
However where is the rest of the animals :wacko:

  • I understand if they did not have the budget for a goat, but why not throw in a pig instead that was in 2 sets last year?
  • there are several owls to choose from other sets in production so how hard can it be to include one?
  • the chickens/hens can not be so hard to include either since they where in a set not long ago?
  • if they can not include the new hare in a new normal colour, why not just include a rabbit?
     

Why is it so hard to include animals in sets?! 10 years ago 7189 Mill Village Raid a normal retail set with half the price managed to include a new horse colour, a new pig colour, 3 brand new chickens/hens in 2 different colours and 2 brand new goats and now in a similar set made specifically to please fans for twice the price we get a new horse colour (and the old husky) and that is it :facepalm:

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