The Kumquat Alchemist

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Posts posted by The Kumquat Alchemist


  1. Hum, seems fairly good.

    Ekimu looks to be the most generic of all the sets, and I'd call him an instant pass if not for his value as a parts pack; that mask is a thing of beauty, and I also need those Chima shells to assemble a Protector-scale Makuta figure. The one thing about him that stands out is the orthodox use of a gearbox, which is a nice touch that will add a significant amount to his portfolio of action features, assuming his pauldrons don't get in the way. Still, not as interesting as the secondary action features given to the beasts.

    Storm Beast is a rather awkward thing. Out of all the beasts, this one has the least appealing proportions to me, though I expect I'll come to appreciate it for the action feature, once we some see in-hand reviews. Despite that and the beautiful dark blue shells, I'll probably be skipping it.

    Lava Beast is my favorite of the trio, having a wicked elemental color scheme that trumps Storm Beast's lackluster application of trans-blue, and a set of weapons with a range that offsets Lava Beast's small stature, and imply a far greater strength than would be guessed from such a thin-limbed being. On the topic of limbs, I love the use of trans-black armor add-ons over trans-orange bones. It really gives Lava Beast the appearance of having a molten core overlaid with a partially cooled, still-luminous outer crust, all done without any printed shells other than the chest piece.

    Quake Beast seems to be revisiting Bruizer's functionality, and though it is a great improvement over that first unusual attempt, I'm still skeptical about the sideways gearbox. Despite this reservation, Quake Beast is a definite buy, alongside Lava Beast. I quite can't articulate how I've come to appreciate this figure, but something about the awkward, lopsided design pleases me.

    Umarak the Destroyer, what a lovely beast this is! The short upper arms & thighs contrast nicely with the over sized legs, hands, & chest; it really looks like Umarak went overboard with elemental steroids! The corrupted Mask of Control is probably the only thing about this figure I don't like, as I loathe any combination of gold and trans-bright-green.


  2. It's a good attempt, and probably does help the posability, but I don't really like the way it changes his silhouette. Part of what I love about Lewa's limb construction is how lean and elegant it is, while in your mod it flares out more and doesn't hug the arms to nearly the same extent.

    I won't necessarily keep my Lewa the way he was designed either, but I think the easiest way to mod him to improve his posability might be to just swap the Y-joints and Hordika necks in his shoulders. Even unmodded, I definitely disagree with a lot of people who seem to think the new Lewa's build is some grave error or that its flaws outweigh its benefits. Just like with the neck on last year's Lewa, I don't mind slightly limited articulation in the service of a unique look or better armor coverage. After all, it's not like all real-world armor allows a complete range of movement either, and all the points of articulation are still thereā€”some of them just can't move quite as freely as they would with a more generic build.

    I have to admit, I agree with you somewhat. I initially considered using 4M instead of 5M bones for the upper arms so he'd keep the appearance of having high shoulders, one of Lewa's defining traits in this new iteration of BIONICLE. It certainly is his distinct "look", and if implemented well, as in 2015 Lewa, it's marvelous, but I cannot stand how awkwardly it was done for Lewa Uniter.

    So yes, I will be exploring ways to make him more faithful to Lewa's unique appearance, but I do not regret separating the Vorox armor from the upper arms.


  3. I tried my hand at modding Lewa. I really, really love how well the designers positioned his armor, both the crystal addons and the Vorox shells, but I think that, while creative, their means of attachment are detriments to the figure, especially on the shoulders. I've gone for a more mundane approach, replacing Lewa's custom limbs with generic CCBS bones, while trying to maintain the original positions of his armor. The results can be found here.


  4. I've noticed that, when I compare old instances of 6019 to part 21252, and even to instances of 6019 from 2008 sets, that the older clips used a softer variety of plastic, which had a duller sheen. This plastic was also used for Battle Droid minifigure legs and heads (Though it may no longer be used for those, it's been years since I got a set with Battle Droids in it), old 1x1 plates with vertical clips, and old flags with 2 clips.

    What variety of ABS was that, and why does it seem to no longer be used? When used for clips, it lost tension faster, but it never cracked like hard ABS clips are sometimes inclined to do.

    Edit: Oops, it truncated the title.


  5. Hum, most of the Toa seem lackluster compared to their 2015 counterparts, though that's probably more out of my preference for those that look closer to their G1 brothers than out of any dislike for the 2016 wave.

    Onua and his beast will be aquired for the sake of purple parts. Umarak intrigues me, and will be a must-have if only for what appears to be the Mask of Control.

    Also, I'm curious to see what function those gears on their rears have; perhaps a swiveling waist function? If that's a thing, I'll have to pick up more than the aforementioned three just for parts.

    Oh, and one last thing I noticed: It looks like we'll finally have 1x1 studs in tr. purple!


  6. I'd love a Roboriders reboot, on the condition that they were primarily of Technic construction.

    The Roboriders of old, though closer to Technic than its fellow action themes, still possessed few versatile components, thanks to LEGO's tendency to create overspecialized molds during the late 1990s and early 2000s, so even though the gap between Technic and Technic-based action themes was smaller pre-CCBS, the non-Titan Roboriders were still rather simplistic in terms of Technic construction, with exception to Dust.

    However, under LEGO's current philosophy of creating fewer, more versatile molds, Roboriders could be a rebirth of the action-based Technic theme, avoiding the pitfall of overspecialized parts, and perhaps making it into something similar to Competition, which married basic Technic components with fantastical, unique, and enjoyable designs perfectly.


  7. It feels dishonorable, my first post in the Historical Themes subforum being on a thread dedicated to some absurd Knights/Sci-Fi crossover, but I must admit that this theme has me excited, as a lover of anachronistic settings.

    Most of all I look forward to seeing what the "Ultimate" versions of our, presumably, four heroes and two villains will be. Could it be a new Minifig-based gimmick, like Ninjago's Spinjitzu & Airjitzu? Or might they be akin to Chima's Legend Beasts? The latter would be preferable for parts, but I'd also be curious to see what further gimmicks LEGO's designers could think up.


  8. Just thought of something... There's all the talk of how Ekimu and Makuta are just villagers, but then what element tribes are they from...?

    I don't see how it would matter, myself. The villagers seem to have no elemental affinities beyond acclimation to their village locations, so I suppose that all the villagers are of the same race, and simply wear different types of armor based on the necessities of climate, utility, and camouflage.

    Because of this, I don't think that their home tribes would make any difference in their abilities, other than whatever skills they may have learned which were required to survive in their home environments.


  9. Full list so far

    Small sets (9.99 Euro)

    71300 Uxar Creature of the Jungle

    71301 Ketar Creature of Stone

    71302 Akida Creature of Water

    71303 Ikir Creature of Fire

    71304 Terak Creature of Earth

    Medium sets (14.99 Euro)

    71305 Lewa Unifier of the Jungle

    71306 Pohatu Unifier of Stone

    71307 Gali Unifier of Water

    Large sets (19.99 Euro)

    71308 Tahu Unifier of Fire

    71309 Onua Unifier of Earth

    71310 Umarak the Hunter

    Basically, like the 2015 Winter wave, minus LoSS and with Umarak replacing Kopaka as the third large set. It feels weird that they keep Onua as a large set while Kopaka either disappears or gets downgraded to a medium set (since I somehow doubt they'd make 4 large set in one wave). Aren't Ice sets supposed to be super popular?

    In Hero Factory, protagonists oftentimes appeared alongside antagonists in the same waves.

    Though I'd first assume it's a fluke that Kopaka has yet to be shown, there's also the chance that he'll be released in the summer 2016 wave.


  10. 2007 was outstanding in the figure department. Yes, there were some hiccups in the process of moving away from cookie-cutter figures, with fellows like Pridak being very good examples of how not to create a unique build for a canister set, but despite its failings in the first half of the year, the second half truly shined when the designers showed the extent of what could be done with unique builds per character; to this day, the Toa Mahri are my favorite post-2001 wave of heroes, and one of the few waves I've managed to re-assemble in their entirety.

    The story, though still a bit woefully grimdark at times, at least provided a fresh setting; the underwater environs were something we'd never seen before, and also had some interesting complications that eventually tied into Mata-Nui's true nature as a giant robot.


  11. I adore the architecture and general aesthetic of the City of the Mask Makers. So geometric and art-deco and gorgeous. It only makes me wish for playsets that much more (not that if we got them they'd necessarily resemble what we've seen in artwork, but still).

    I don't think more elemental motifs would even be that good a thing. That'd mostly just evoke the highly segregated look of Metru Nui. The idea of a city where all the villagers intermingled and coexisted regardless of their elemental affiliation is much more appealing to me.

    I liked the strict segregation of Metru Nui, as it contributed towards the very totalitarian atmosphere, but in the context of Okoto, it is appealing to see a more natural, less artificially segmented city.


  12. Oddly enough, from what I have seen TRU does not put markups on sets until their release date. I've seen it mentioned before that maybe they have a special agreement that lets them put the sets out a week or two early only if they are at MSRP for that duration of exclusivity.

    Really? I could have sworn that when I picked up an Agents set a year back, it was marked up by ~$1, and was technically an early release. Perhaps I was wrong about the "early release" part, as I recall I was searching for HF sets at the time, which were going to become available roughly a month later than the rest of LEGO's summer lines.


  13. There was an audio error, had to reupload :p

    The sets are available on toysrus.com though, in case you were wondering.

    I hope that reflects their actual store inventories, at least in most cases; I'd be willing to accept Toys'R'Us markups in exchange for early availability.


  14. If they pulled off decent minifigures, I'd like to see playsets of the various temples in Okoto.

    Another thing LEGO really needs, not only for 2016 BIONICLE but for the other lines as well: non-human heroes. Except for Life on Mars and the occasional robot, every line with humans and non-humans puts the former as heroes and the latter as villains, no matter what they're actually doing. This is hardly only LEGO's fault (for example, Decepticons nowadays are so feral-looking they hardly seem to be the same species as the Autobots), but someone needs to show kids that goodness is not exclusive to normal-looking humans.

    Though we've yet to see extremely non-humanoid protagonists in System lines, I have hopes for Ninjago 2016 continuing to feature humans (or at least, previously-humans) as antagonists; though not evident solely through the sets, media such as the Tournament of Elements story arc in the television show have managed to repair Ninjago's speciest reputation, and the inclusion of a protagonist Ghost (who will likely hang around for quite a while) in the Possession arc has prevented all Ghosts from being lumped into the "evil" category.


  15. LEGO Minifigures, though tempting, have always been off-limits for me. Though objectively, most 'figs are beautifully done, I personally dislike about half of each wave if not more. This, combined with their blind-bag nature, makes Minifigures collecting too expensive and disappointing for me.

    However, for this new wave of figures, I think I'll try picking some up; I actually love the look of every figure in the lineup!

    I'm a bit ambivalent about Wolfman, odd-brown-fuzzy-thing, and Zombie Cheerleader, but 3 out of 16 are such small odds that I feel safe with my chances, for once.


  16. Though I wish I could believe in ghosts (and the many new shades of transparent CCBS components they would bring), this seems to be just an absurd rumour, coming from nothing resembling a credible source.

    If 2016 does happen to have a wave of villainous ghosts, I'll eat a pizza with chunky tomato sauce. I hate chunky tomato sauce.


  17. See, this is where your argument falls apart: all of those MoCs are using a ton of CCBS parts... Which most people aren't going to have access to. On the smaller scale it's always going to be the same dull skeleton over and over and over and over again. Gearboxes won't change that.

    And what of classic BIONICLE components? Are those not equally dull and samey when used on a small scale? yes, the singular parts are more detailed, but, if not using liberal amounts of Technic, can those detailed parts actually be used in interesting ways on a small, 8-14" tall MOC?

    Neither CCBS nor classic components can do anything truly unique at a small scale without Technic, but CCBS provides a lower skill floor and greater versatility, whereas classic BIONICLE provided a far more detailed aesthetic, with the caveat that to keep said aesthetic cohesive, each new wave of figures needed a crippling number of new molds, which encouraged the designers to make clone sets, and which was an inefficient way of doing business.

    Though the designers began to deviate from this philosophy during 2007 and continued with more varied builds throughout '08 and '09, all of the truly unique builds, such as Takadox or Ehlek, required basic Technic to make functional, and as such are hardly a proof of classic BIONICLE's versatility, but instead an example of basic Technic's incredible usefulness.

    So, I agree that small-scale CCBS is often (though not always) samey, but I think the same was true of classic BIONICLE, and I also believe that their samey appearances at smaller scales can be solved with the application of well-placed Technic parts.


  18. Why do people make the "lol too expensive" comment when they know why? They're collectibles.

    Same goes with minifigs. Even though they usually go for twice the amount the masks are.

    Why not? The value of something as a collectable is far more subjective than the value of actual resources put into making said thing; though he would be wrong to say that it's too expensive for anyone, it is perfectly reasonable for him to say that, since he feels little sentiment towards it, that it is too expensive for him.


  19. Never understood people who buy Lego sets (or anything for that matter) just to sit on it and sell it off like it's an investment. It's a toy that's meant to be built, played with, broken down and used, etc. When I get these sets, I will be cracking them open and building them (probably impatiently one after the other).

    Eh, I can understand why certain sets are worth investing in; so long as he isn't stalking the toy isle at 1 AM waiting for the shelves to be restocked, and then purchasing everything in it for immediate resale on Ebay, I've got nothing wrong with such a practice.

    However, I do wonder how good of an investment Grievous will be, considering the CCBS stigma among many AFOLs. After all, a high resale value comes from high demand.


  20. Ahhh yeah, Nuparu Inika got me into collecting Bio mainstream. Of course I still got at least one each year prior, my first was Tahu Mata, but the first one was missing his mask and sword in the container so I had to get a replacement in 02', can ya believe that? Anybody? ...anyways, I should rebuild Nuparu, and the bulk of my G1, but them 08' sockets scare me. XD And Hahli Mahri is pretty much impossible due to those soooo...

    Hahli's a great figure, and definitely worth rebuilding. If you can manage it, there's always the option to Bricklink some '05 Visorak Keelerak lime sockets, or, if not a stickler for 100% part-accuracy, use lime '08 sockets instead. Though quite fragile, '08 sockets are adamantine in comparison to '07 lime.


  21. I'm quite taken by the shoulder shell placement! Via the extra torso balls is one of my favorite ways to mount shoulder armor onto gearbox-equipped figures, and to see how well the new shells take to my favorite attachment method is making me absolutely gleeful, and eager to get some Skull sets of my own to Moc with.