Mr Maniac

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  1. Mr Maniac

    [MOC] - HP Battle of Seven Potters

    Amazing work all around, especially with those little LED fixtures. I cannot imagine how painstaking it must have been to keep the wiring from being too obtrusive. Also brilliant is your placement of one of those Death Eaters in the background of the second photo from the bottom. Very sneaky and a little off-putting (in a good way) since the focus isn't on that part of the model. How'd you build and position that figure? Or is it just the head and cloak hanging off some other parts?
  2. Mr Maniac

    Dwayne The Croc Johnson

    Okay, you won me over with that classic dragon part for the head. Well done there (along with the krana biceps, frog fingers, and just about everything else.) Definitely a fun build!
  3. Mr Maniac

    [MOC] Return to Spanish Armada Fort

    Oh my, this is spectacular! If memory serves, I think I've seen a few of your other Pirate-themed MOCs on this very forum, and I always remain impressed at your ability to update some of the classics with new parts that keep it accessible and familiar without feeling too detailed or cluttered. And this is no exception! The side-lighting on that beautiful tan and nougat(?)-colored building is what first caught my eye, and definitely works for the greedy Imperial Armada to have a building that resembles a gold brick! Of course the best part about this MOC is that after taking in that phenomenal building (all the way down to that great lion-headed fountain), your eye gets drawn to the more classical white-and-green building next door, which is a wonderful shout-out to the Armada's only official building, complete with (what-else?) those fantastic green doors. Finally, hats off on making a whole bunch of unique conquistadors without falling back on the original minifigure torsos or heads! All of them fit in quite nicely and compliment the Series 8 CMF Conquistador quite well! Nicely done all around, and I for sure would not mind adding this to my Pirates of Barracuda Bay layout (after all, they gotta steal from someone, right?)
  4. Can't believe I missed this, but nice job on conveying the original Adventurers theme in such a small footprint! The SNOT(?) construction of that Anubis hieroglyphic is phenomenal, as is the angled column you created with tiles (I must know how you achieved that if you come back to this topic!) As for the car and characters, I definitely appreciate the updated Scorpion Tracker, along with the cross-section of the ground showing the actual tomb. Well done all around (although I did raise an eyebrow with that hat Johnny's wearing. Slouch hat or bust!)
  5. Oh I absolutely love this. There's definitely something to be said for putting LEGO into the real-world when it comes to photography, and this is a great reason why. Honestly brings to my mind the Mania Magazine comic that introduced the Adventurers, since for most of the comic panels, they were using real sand and lighting instead of computer drawings. Good times. Thanks for reviving an old classic (in more ways than one @Third Navigator!)
  6. Unlike my first two entries in this little project of mine, this one's a bit of an outlier. While Witch's Windship and Traitor Transport seemed most of the way there and just needed a few more mods to do it, I can't say I cared too much about Bat Lord's Catapult, and was considering leaving that set in the dust, since the (initial) name of the game here was to create a medieval-themed Halloween display for future use. But fast-forward to November of last year when I'm mired in my Witch's Magic Manor MOC project, and a thought occurred to me: Why should the Dragon Masters have all the fun with their thematically-appropriate Dragon Defender? So after a few more Bricklink orders and some free-building, I came up with a bat-shaped ballista. As Robin might say: Holy Horrifying Weaponry, Batman! And of course you can see I wanted to keep the fancy ornamentation for the horse's harness in the original set intact. Thankfully the carriage that came with the IDEAS Medieval Blacksmith proved to be very useful in terms of giving me a way to update this in proper Fright Knights colors. And lest you think I didn't work to make sure you can adjust the angle of the ballista for...ballistic purposes, here's a few angles of a little Technic doo-dad I cobbled together. Minifigures can access it, but it works better if you do the heavy lifting here. So there you have it! One bat-themed siege weapon, designed by yours truly to emulate everything I love about the Fright Knights! Strange as it may sound, this didn't come together as quickly as I'd hoped, and there were quite a few versions which I attempted before finally giving up and sticking to the four-wheeled, single-horse model you see here. While there are obviously compromises and other nits I could pick, overall I think it blends in pretty well with the rest of my 'Neo-Fright Knights' designs. For more photos, feel free to check out my Bricksafe folder. Hopefully you've enjoyed this small palate-cleanser in between your adoring looks at your newly-built Lion Knight's Castle! Next up, we're going to gather 'round the cauldron to boil and bake while we have some fenny snake fillet, er, I mean a remake of Witch's Magic Manor! Thanks for reading!
  7. Oh, I can agree with you there! I realize lots of people liked the Haunted House that came out as a send-off to the Monster Fighters, but that castle was the perfect flagship set for that theme in my opinion, all the way down to the secret stairway entrance and some of the booby traps. Another version of that castle, complete with updated Fright Knights heraldry would definitely pique my interest (even if it would be annoying and expensive given my current MOC project). God speed to anyone with the money to buy more than one of these suckers. I just got mine this past weekend, and even after a VIP Member discount, it's still a fairly big pill to swallow (but ultimately worth it to give my Black Falcons someone to fight, and for my Fright Knights to torment, of course). In any case, this is as good a time as any to say I also hope (like many of you) to get some Lion Knights torsos and legs through PAB (along with horse barding, Lion Knights shields, etc.) After all, my horseback knights from Medieval Blacksmith need some fancy barding of their own!
  8. I suspect I've seen this in use elsewhere, but if you're looking for an early 20th-Century sailor torso, you could do a lot worse than use the Connoisseur torso from the Series 17 CMF range: (Heck, you could probably get away with using the whole minifigure, honestly). As for other Adventurers-themed goodies, I've stumbled across some older parts which I found useful for some Pharaoh's Quest prequel MOCs I put together a few years ago. For example, this old torso from the 2016 Volcano Explorer line is really good for any female Adventurer (although you'll want a backpack or a long hairpiece to cover up that logo): Similarly, this entire minifigure from the 2012 Dino theme is also fantastic, but I particularly like his torso. I swapped the bare yellow arms for dark tan ones, and hey, now he can look more like a jungle guide! Also, this face is plenty generic in most sets, but I've found it works great as a treacherous minor villain (because eye bags and stubble are sinister enough, right?): Finally, I've found you can get some excellent mileage out of Frank Rock's torso for Adventurer-type settings, especially if you're okay replacing his arms with dark brown ones, which turns this torso into a rather grubby-looking aviator jacket!
  9. Looking for a bit of help on an MOC project of mine, so thought I'd post where I'm at right now. (That and photographing my version of 6087 Witch's Magic Manor is going to be an absolute bear, so I'm currently playing for time as well.) For the past few months I've been working on re-imagining (or modifying, really) all of the larger Fright Knights sets. As of right now I'm most of the way there, with the only set left to do being the big one from this subtheme: 6097 Night Lord's Castle. While my initial plans called for lightly modifying all the existing sets, using only the colors available back in 1997, along with a few newer parts in those same colors, I came around to the wider selection of new parts and colors pretty quickly after mucking around with Traitor Transport. That being said, moving in this new direction presented some fresh problems for me, since it removed some of my self-imposed guardrails. Fortunately after working on several of the small and mid-sized sets first, I created a slightly updated design language for this faction while still preserving what makes them unique for me. Regardless of these stylistic choices, there are three core tenets I've tried to implement with each set modification or MOC I've created thus far: Each set must be sturdy Each set must have some of the original play features (or an acceptable substitution) Each set must be accessible Overall, a pretty good ethos to have in place, and one that's worked out so far. But this last set has me stumped at the foundational level right now, so I thought I'd share my progress so far in order to see if anyone might have any ideas for improving matters. Anywho, you can see my idea for the initial foundation of this set below. The light bluish-grey 16x16 plate (with three 2x16 LBG plates) will form the first half of the ground floor for this castle, after passing through the portcullis and a pair of stockade doors. Seeing how this is one of the taller castles LEGO made, I want to get as much height out of my version as possible, which is why I went with that scalloped effect using overlapping dark bluish-grey plates. Unfortunately, this presents a bit of a problem for me, as I initially wanted to create a staircase (with a pair of banisters) beginning on that 8x6 DBG plate at the front, which would lead to the main entrance. Naturally, this staircase idea, coupled with the layered plates, looked better in my head than in reality. Now it looks like the slope is too small and too gradual for the staircase to be of any use, so I'm considering an increase in the height of the foundation. At first I considered using two of the 8x8x6 corner MURPs near the 6x6 curved DBG plates, but I fear that would increase the height too much, and I can't say I have any plans for making use of the available space I'd gain from that much height. After looking back at the original castle, I shifted gears somewhat, electing instead to use bricks to increase the height of the foundation a modest amount. The only problem is how high I should go. 8 bricks high seems a tad drastic, and I'd almost certainly want to create caverns or another fun detail, something I can't say I have too much appetite for. But a height of 1 brick is pretty much where I'm at now with those plates, and I'd prefer to keep the rounded edges, instead of being locked into a more angular style. I'm considering using some DBG 4x4 round corner bricks for the edges, but don't know if that would look too man-made. Either way, it's clear I need to play around some more with this foundation before getting to the fun part of building the castle proper, so I'll leave it at that. More photos here on my Bricksafe folder. If I find a foundation design that works for me, I'll be sure to add to that folder. But thanks for reading, and again, any suggestions would certainly be welcome!
  10. Now this I did not know, but that provides an interesting bit of continuity! Also, Sir John Blackghost is a truly phenomenal name that frankly should be highlighted more often. I believe I recall seeing your comment back when the PAB Falcon torsos first started showing up but couldn't quite dig it up when I wrote that last post, so thank you for linking to it (along with all the great additional lore!) You're telling me, although I contend that the weird flying machines from that subtheme helped give the Fright Knights an even more unique identity compared to the other castle factions that came before. That said, I can't say I'd be disappointed if they chose to reintroduce that faction sans flying gizmos, if only to see how far they'd take the Gothic architecture. As for the vampiric elements, I might say the Monster Fighters line from 2012 was a reasonable stand-in for the Fright Knights, seeing how we got two vampires and Whatever you call them. You mean the chrome gold ones? Because I'm right there with ya! They're up there with the first red gemstone part LEGO introduced in 1998 for me. A treasure chamber (or just multiple chests) of the stuff would be quite a sight to see. After all, they're quite photogenic, if some of these LEGO Pirate promotional photos are any indicator!
  11. Mr Maniac

    LEGO Monkie Kid 2022

    Wow, that's a wild first-draft of the mech. Don't mind the finished version since it works nicely as a reduced-size mirror image of the Monkey King Warrior Mech, but definitely agree that getting a chance to see some of the earlier iterations of these models is pretty neat! I would also like to second a comment made on that Twitter thread that, much like the big cat lion molds, I wouldn't mind at all if LEGO finds a way to re-use those new monkey molds in jet black or whatever. From that rendered image, they look quite silly and fun!
  12. Mr Maniac

    [MOC] Majisto's Magical Micro Workshop

    Another fun mircoscale build! Had no idea LEGO had a contest like this going, but another great rendition of a classic set. I think what I particularly like here is the build of the roof, along with the use of those reddish-brown 4L bars as a stand-in for the spears, which works great at an impressionistic scale. I'd also be remiss if I didn't praise you for re-using those old blue dragon helmet accessory parts, which don't look out of place one bit! Obviously the original set had them as decor, but they still look properly scaled in this micro-rendition as well. Awesome work!
  13. If I had to guess, this quote in the instructions might be nod to some of the older bits of lore LEGO published when they first debuted the Black Falcons. It might be a long shot, but there is this old commercial which refers to a Black Falcon knight on horseback as the "Black Knight." Seeing some of the other comments here noting the parallels to the Lord of the Rings with the amber standing in for the One Ring might suggest a more sinister nature to the Black Falcon faction, especially when you dip into the archival stuff like this older Bricks and Pieces magazine issue or this example from Legokrant (credit to Aanchir for these two print examples. Apologies about forgoing the credit on that score). Add in the atmosphere from that commercial, and I can see how that quote is a riff on how the Black Falcons were the "darker" castle faction at the time, compared to the more "goodly" or noble Lion Knights! Anyways, just my two cents, although I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at any more Castle factions making a reappearance in set form, be it Black Knights, Wolfpack, Dragon Masters or Fright Knights!
  14. Mr Maniac

    [MOC] Micro Mill Village Raid

    Adorable stuff here Oky. I'm particularly impressed with the details of the minifigures and horse-drawn cart. Using that old dog mold for the horse is brilliant, as is that new-ish piece for the stable doors. Any chance it'll get built with real bricks?
  15. Mr Maniac

    [MOC] Wizard's Tower

    I'll say! I recently tried my hand at a (ruined) round tower for an MOC, and the closest I could get was with some hinge bricks to add stability to the whole thing. It's not bad, but this result is far smoother. Well done!