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About AmperZand

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    In a LEGO castle far, far away...
  1. Elf going back to his swamp house

    The use of the lime green tiles for the swampy water is a nice touch. I also like the super abundance of plant-life. Gives it a real boggy feel. If I could change one thing - and I realise this is entirely a matter of taste - I would make the minifigure yellowy, not fleshy.
  2. Lego catalog cover error?

    This thread covers quite a few known errors in official images and art as well as a few printing errors on parts.
  3. Dragons

    Cool dragons! I realise that the red one uses some Smaug parts, but it - and to a lesser degree the other two - remind me of LEGO's Nidhogg dragon (7017, below) from the Vikings range which is one of the dragons in my display collection.
  4. Spock hair

    Not Man-Bat. It was the CMF werewolf: Back to the OP, if you don't mind going non-purist, Kre-O do a Spock hairpiece with fleshy ears that better captures Spock's hairstyle. The flesh tone is pretty close to LEGO's. It's not a perfect match, but it doesn't stand out as wrong either. In terms of size, it fits LEGO. The problem with it is the quality of the printing which is messy around some of the edges.
  5. Research about minifigures

    It isn't clear from your description if the platform allows consumers to design their own custom printing, choose from your custom printing on parts or just allows the user to virtually assemble existing minifigure parts. If it's the last one, I doubt there would be a lot of demand. I reckon that AFOLs are pretty good at imagining what minifigure parts will be like together and wouldn't be willing to pay a premium to see a virtual representation first. Even if they did value a virtual view, they might use your tool for the visualisation and then order the parts from elsewhere (LEGO, BrickLink, Ebay etc). If you were offering your custom printing on parts, the value proposition would depend on your design (usefulness, uniqueness etc) and quality (sharpness, permanence, compatibility with LEGO's aesthetic and colours etc) of the printing as well as price, platform's user friendliness, customer service and so on. If you were offering to produce the user's printing, what is the differentiation from existing custom printing services like Minifig Labs?
  6. I wish LEGO would name their weapons correctly. The one they're calling a 'sword' in Ninjago should be a 'dao'. Sure, that's the Mandarin word for 'sword', but then 'katana' is the Japanese word for 'sword'. So if you're going to be accurate about Japanese swords, why not Chinese ones, too? And speaking of Japanese weapons, the one they call 'nunchucks' (which isn't even a Japanese word, 'nunchaku' is) should be called a 'kusarigama'.
  7. One of the quintessentially Indian subcontinental weapons is the katar dagger, or simply, katar. Unlike most other daggers, the long axis of the blade is perpendicular to the hilt and attached to it by two backward-facing extensions of the guard. As such, the katar falls within the family of push/punch-daggers. Though historically a South Asian weapon of war or ceremony, in fantasy, it is often portrayed as an assassin's instrument of murder. LEGO doesn't produce one perhaps because of its sinister reputation. To my knowledge, no third party maker of minifigure accessories does either... until now. BrickWarriors (BW) have started selling them. For the time being, you can only get them in steel with the Human Assassin custom minifigure. But for the forthcoming 2017 holiday season, they should be available individually in three colours: steel, black and pearl gold. I have obtained samples of each and have reviewed them below on 8 criteria. 1. Compatibility. The katar fits perfectly in a minifigure's hand and is scaled appropriately too. It could easily have been too long or short, but it's exactly the right size compared to other minifigure weapons. The blade has a historically accurate fuller that adds detail without drawing undue attention to the weapon. The katar is well proportioned and instantly recognisable for what it is. Its grip is cleverly angled so that the length of the blade continues the straight line of the minifigure's forearm - just as it should. 2. Material. The katar is made of the same plastic, ABS, that LEGO uses. The lustre is the same as LEGO and the pearl gold one is a perfect match with some of LEGO's pieces in this colour (LEGO's 'pearl gold' being several different shades under one label). The black is not exactly the same as LEGO's, but rather a subtly very dark grey/metallic colour that offers just enough contrast from a black minifigure's hand to tell the hand and weapon apart. The steel does not match any LEGO colour as far as I know but is identical to other BW parts in this colour. 3. Manufacture. The katar is made to a very high standard. There are no mould lines and only a tiny partition burr on the tip of the guard which is no worse than that found on LEGO parts and easily removed with a fingernail. 4. Variety. The katar is only available in one style but that should be more than adequate. After all, how many different designs of katar does one need? It doesn't have any printing. BW don't do dual-moulded weapons, but if they did, katars with different blade and hilt colours would look great and be historically accurate. Hopefully, this is something BW will do in future. 5. Usefulness. If you are seeking to arm a South Asian army or just some assassins, this weapon gives your minifigures added authenticity. Could you substitute ordinary daggers instead? Sure you could, but your minifigures would not be the same. The katar can also be used as a right-angle blade to represent a mech's or brick-built monster's teeth or claws (pictured above), or as an architectural feature such as spikes across the top of a wall. 6. Originality. The BW katar is unique. LEGO doesn't make one and neither do any third parties that I know of. I would be surprised if LEGO ever did. 7. Service. BW's service is top class. They ship very promptly with reasonable P&P charges and parts well protected in padded envelopes. Communicating with BW has always been a pleasure: they're fast, super friendly and helpful. 8. Value. The katars will retail for $1 each which is reasonable value and unlikely to be an issue unless you are arming a vast Indian force. Overall, I'm very pleased with the BW katar. They have done a great job of capturing this classic Indian subcontinental/assassin's weapon. Disclosure: The katars were provided by BrickWarriors. The views above are entirely my own. Photographs by AmperZand.
  8. [MOC] - LotR "Mines of Moria"

    Very impressive! I especially like the texturing of the walls and the shape of the architectural features like the columns. I don't like fleshies and would have yellowised the Fellowship, but appreciate that fleshies make the creation more like a UCS set or display piece at a LEGO store.
  9. Best way to replace defective minifig hands?

    @Feng-huang0296 Ease the hands out slowly and replace them the same way. Bear in mind that LEGO uses at least two different diameters for the tolerances for the mininfigure pins/arm holes. As you're staying within the same range, you should be OK. But it is possible that the new hands have pins that are either too wide or narrow for the arm holes. If they don't fit, too thick pins can be made thinner with sand paper, and too thin pins can be thickened with a thin application of Humbrol satin cote varnish (which should be allowed to dry for 24 hours before attempting putting the hands in the arm holes). If the pins are still too thin, apply another cote, allow to dry for another 24 hours, and try again. Repeat as required until the right clutch is achieved. Hope that helps.
  10. Post Your Castle Army Here!

    Not so much an army as a raiding party but formidable nonetheless due to its giant riding lizards.
  11. Further to my posts on page 3 of this thread, here is my de-mechanised Ninjago Movie green dragon. As I said I would, I have made a number of mostly cosmetic changes. The only functional changes were to use LEGO rubber bands to make the tail poseable and to get rid of the knob that controls the tail's whipping action. I am using it as a giant riding lizard for my lizardman raiding party, hence the minifigures and other riding lizard in the picture.
  12. I thought that you were very unlucky not to go through to the next round. Your fairy tale themed builds were inspired. I liked Nate's builds a lot, too. No offence to the Cantabrigians, but their eco-theme struck me as mawkish and their builds nothing to write home about. I would not have put them through. I really hope they didn't win the competition overall. Of the remaining teams, Nate's is the one I reckon deserves to win.
  13. I mostly MOC minifigures, so if they count, my oldest one that's still pretty much as it was originally (barring a weapon change) is 24 years and counting. He was 'born' when I came out of my DA in 1993.
  14. Sauron Renovates: The New Black Gate

    It is a little known fact that Sauron was partial to chintz and scatter cushions. After a hard day of terrorising Middle Earth, he enjoyed nothing more than slipping into his favourite pink lace teddie and savouring a glass of Babycham.
  15. Jang has. I think Brickset has, too, though I don't know that Huw and co. have admitted it. Apparently, TLG are not the originators of the issue. It seems that TLG are being strong-armed by another IP stakeholder. TLG - or more specifically, their lawyers - are at fault however. They should have anticipated this possibility which would have allowed them to protect the influencer community. Instead, TLG's lawyers have goofed and as a result, acted against the company's own marketing efforts. If those lawyers were hired in the US, they should be easy to fire. Hopefully, they weren't hired in Denmark; it's almost impossible to fire anyone under Danish law.