ED-209

Eurobricks Citizen
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Everything posted by ED-209

  1. I've been offline for ages, and thought what better way to break my hiatus than with 24 consecutive days of posting?! And it's December 1st! Well, at least here in Australia it is. My kids have got their official Lego Advent Calendars, but what's a castle fan to do? Since there's been no castle theme for years I decided to make my own Advent Calendar. And because I'm such a shameless Viking enthusiast, it's going to be a Viking one! Now much like the 2008 "Castle" and 2010 "Kingdoms" Advent Calendars (sets 7979 and 7952), mine isn't terribly Christmassy. They were really just an excuse to get a bunch of minifigs and minibuilds, and that's perfectly fine with me! Mine will just fit in with the ongoing efforts towards my Viking Village display. So without further ado, let's kick things off with: DAY 1 - Berserker Perhaps a bit of an angry start to the season, or maybe he's just stressed about spending the holidays with the in-laws? DAY 2 - Woodchopping Ah, now the Berserker has something to do with his axes! *CHOP CHOP* DAY 3 - Farm boy This young lad has the eggcellent job of collecting eggs! Ah, I crack myself up... no more silly yolks please... Day 4 - Toy boat When he's not working on the farm, the young lad enjoys playing with his toy boat. Day 5 - Old woodcarver An old villager carves wooden figures - maybe statues of the Norse gods? Day 6 - Campfire A simple build technique that's been done before, but now our hungry woodcarver can cook himself up a tasty meal! Day 7 - Blacksmith I think it's fair to say that no Lego Castle line is complete without a blacksmith! Day 8 - Anvil and grindstone Because the smith needs somewhere to work his elemental magic, doesn't he? Day 9 - Maiden Some traditional Scandinavian hospitality as this young maiden welcomes visitors to the village with some delicious freshly baked bread! Day 10 - Barrel o' mead The hospitality doesn't stop at bread! Skål! Day 11 - Pig farmer Home again, home again, jiggety-jig! Day 12 - Haystack A very, very simple build today - just three bricks! But you can stick the underside of a brick onto the end of the pitchfork. So at least it gives yesterday's farmer something to do besides chase that pig around all day! Day 13 - Apiary Hooray, more work for the farmer to do! A couple of beehives (which I made before the new beehive element was unveiled!) Day 14 - Huscarl Personal retainer and bodyguard to the Jarl, he takes his work very seriously. Day 15 - Banner stand Only five parts in this simple build, but I think it looks pretty cute. Plus it gives the huscarl something to stand next to so he can feel important! Day 16 - Cheese table More hospitality and winter feasting with a table full of interesting chesses. Day 17 - Noblewoman One of my custom prints, the noblewoman carries the household keys on her belt. Her cat makes sure the cheese table remains rat-free! Day 18 - Runestone A stone raised as a marker, inscribed with pictures and runes telling of great deeds and the like. If this were a real official Lego set, I'd like to see the surfaces of sloped bricks printed with the inscription! Day 19 - Sacred tree A bit small to be a mighty oak tree, but nevertheless it's part of a sacred grove in the forest outside our viking village. Some wild herbs and a mushroom grow in its shade. Day 20 - Sage And who worships in the sacred grove? Who collects the wild medicinal herbs? The village sage does! Day 21 - Jarl's weapon rack It's a rack. For weapons. Belonging to the Jarl. Day 22 - Jarl's armour rack It's another rack. For... oh you can figure it out! Day 23 - Jarl's throne Sitting. The great leveler. From the mightiest pharaoh to the lowliest peasant, who doesn’t enjoy a good sit? Day 24 - The Jarl Who didn't see this coming after the past few days?! A good jarl would rule not by force, but with the support of his followers. He is a strong leader, an inspirational speaker, and a fierce warrior; generous with his food, drink, and coin.
  2. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Oh it made complete sense to me when you mentioned it. I was going for a non-mythological theme, but I was tempted to bend my rules and make day 24 Odin when you brought up the idea! And don't forget old white-bearded Odin going on "the Wild Hunt" around Jul-time, the imagery of the clattering hooves across the winter sky... and even the idea of children leaving out a boot filled with straw for Odin's horse Sleipnir, in exchange for which Odin would leave a small gift as a token of thanks. It all sounds very familiar! I think I was in my early teens when I finally learnt about all the pre-Christian Pagan roots of Christmas, and it blew my mind! And don't get me started on the Pagan fertility festival that became Easter! You're most welcome, I'm glad everyone enjoyed it! Thanks, I did try to balance out the minifigs in the same ratio as TLG's official Advent Calendars. Hey that's a great idea! And one just of the figs themselves, something of a final bow.
  3. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    I propose an elaborate system of 12 Advent Calendars a year, one per month! Language! It's not that type of "throne"! (It was actually a Simpsons quote, in case you didn't spot it!) By all means use the design, is it clear enough for you to reverse-engineer or would you like some brief instructions? Well, we're all done now! Thank you all for coming along on this little journey with me, I've had a lot of fun! Day 24 is up, it's Christmas Day tomorrow, best wishes to everyone!
  4. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Thank you, I'd buy it too! Yes some of the builds are very simple, mainly because I was trying to emulate the way TLG makes their Advent Calendars. There always seems to be a few simple builds to keep the overall parts count down. I think the haystack is my simplest build. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, but case in point my daughter opened her Friends calendar today and it contained nothing but a single pony. A few days ago it was just a single dog! It surprised me that even though they're complex elements to mould (and have personalities that kids will imbue them with) there was no assembly of any parts at all on those days at all. Why not?! That must be some mighty good cheese! Almost finished, Day 22 is up!
  5. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Thanks again! It's really an improper part usage from TLG's perspective (because they don't treat the hand as an individual element), but I felt the staff just looked a little too plain without something suggesting branches. I had originally based the look on this picture I once found of this kinda crazy-looking pagan wizard, I just found the photo so evocative - this is a character I want to see in a movie/book/TV show! I couldn't figure out a way to make a goat horn on the end of his staff, so I went with the branch look. Oh, that's a fantastic idea! 1x1 round tiles like cross-sectioned slices of a branch with runic symbols carved/burnt into them! I'll have to work on that...
  6. ED-209

    Ideas for CMFs

    By the gods, these are fantastic!! I love the fact that you keep coming up with more and more designs and ideas! I know I'm late to the party here, but I just can't express how blown away I am! Keep up the fantastic work, I'm dying to see more!
  7. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Day 20 is up, and there's your nordic wizard! I was biting my tongue all this time!!
  8. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Wow, thanks! I can't even tell you how much I wish I owned one of those printers! LOL plates aren't butch enough perhaps?! Well really they used wooden plates, but sadly Lego haven't yet made the plate/dish element in a woodsy colour! Oh, if the plate and classic mug elements came in tan... just imagine how many inns, taverns, meadhalls and banquet tables across the world would be filled with minifigs enjoying food and drink from all those wooden trenchers and tankards! In the meantime... the cheese just goes directly on the table! By the hammer of Thor, day 18 is now up!
  9. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    It's cool, isn't it?! I'm also looking forward to the black bear, I missed out on the dark brown one last time... Day 15 is up.
  10. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    That's right, new beehive element! Coming in some of the City mountain police sets in 2018. It even fits on a minifig's head for comedic results:
  11. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    There's no rush, the wheel works perfectly fine as it is - it's just a little unsightly on one side! There are actually a couple of builds that I think I'll modify. For the log from Day 2 I'll insert this part in the middle to make it "break away"more cleanly: And for the toy boat on Day 4 I'll replace the 2x3 plate with a 2x3 tile, and probably make a sticker of a billowed sail in that archetypal Viking stripe:
  12. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Thanks my man! But how else is a little blacksmith going to keep a sharp edge on all those little toy swords?! It's straightforward enough that you can probably already see this, but the grindstone is made of these two parts: and I'd love the grindstone to be smooth/tiled on both sides! Do you mean to replace the plate with another tile, and position them back to back? It would be doable, but because they both have pin holes instead of axle holes they'd move about feely and the axle would slide out easily (unless you used a longer one with bushings on the end). There may be a way to get a smooth underside to the wheel, but I was just trying to build it with the minimum number of parts I could! Let me know if I've misunderstood what you were suggesting, or if you (or anyone else) has any other suggestions! And Lego? If you're listening: I'd like a new element like this, but round and with a hole through it! By Odin's beard, day 12 is now online and that means we're already half way through!
  13. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Well if you're having a bet with yourself the good news is that whatever shows up on the 24th, you're going to win the bet! But the bad news is you're also going to lose the bet! Thank you, I had a lot of fun putting them together. And since I've forgotten which order I put them in, every day is still a little surprise to me! And on that note, day 11 is up!
  14. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Aw thanks, that's so kind! I really like the wood carver too! Also, day 10 is now up!
  15. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    So it is the underpants look. Got it. I AM THE NORDIC WIZARD!! LOL I love that, I feel like I want to walk around wearing some sort of antlered headdress now! The blacksmith is one of the only civilian minifigs in the castle lines! But yeah, he's gonna burn his hands without some tongs! Aaaaaaand... day 8 is up!
  16. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Thanks! I think you're right - if I were a Danish toy company, I'd be making Viking toys all the time! :-P My 4yo loves them too! (Although he loves his Lego City calendar as well!) And my 2yo ran off with with the little chicken from day 3! That's because it's a custom sticker I made! Thank you, the woodcarver is wearing one of my standard Norse tunic printed torsos. I had them printed in several colours and have gotten a lot of mileage out of them! What's troubling you about the tan pants? Is it the "squint and he looks like he might be wearing underpants" thing? I originally had him in unprinted pants, but it just looked too plain. My preference would actually be dark tan, if I had something that had a suitable belt and pouch printed on it. And by Frey's golden boar, Day 7 is now online!
  17. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Thanks KristofBD! And thanks again Littleworlds! I tried to represent a few different elements of village life. As one of the gripes we AFOLs have with TLG's castle stuff is how over represented soldiers and knights are. I know, I know, conflicts are what the kids like to play out! But nevertheless, I always wanted merchants and tailors and craftsmen and stuff when I was a kid, as well as soldiers and knights! Anyway... Day 5 is now up!
  18. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    As I'll tell anyone who'll listen, it was the Viking sets that brought me out of my Dark Ages. The sets are a bit dated now though, I really wish they'd do a new Viking line! With some civilian figs in addition to all the warriors. And a longhouse! But then, that's the beauty of Lego - I just make these things myself anyway! Day 3 is now online! (Speaking of civilian figs...)
  19. ED-209

    [MOC] ROME Theme

    Awesome! I'd snap these all up if they were real sets! You broke up the tan in the other Imperial sets with some dark tan masonry bricks, is there any reason you didn't do that with the Forum? I think if Lego were producing something like this, they'd use a different colour for the ground and insert a bit of random variation in some of the walls with colour or texture. I'd also love to see a small sticker one one of the walls displaying the graffiti "Romanes eunt domus"
  20. ED-209

    Monty Python Black Knight

    Haha, love it! How did you stick the base to the backing?
  21. ED-209

    Viking Advent Calendar

    Yes! Vikings are always great! Thanks for the kind words both of you, I'm looking forward to drawing this out over the next few weeks! I'll add each new day to the original post... Day 2 is now online!
  22. ED-209

    [MOC] Hercules and the Erymanthian Boar

    Fantastic! I love it! The temple, the tree, the boar... and I love how small Hercules looks!
  23. ED-209

    [MOC] Chartres Cathedral

    Wow, I love how intricate and detailed it is! Some wonderful texturing in there!
  24. I think I'm not alone in saying that I was disappointed that we missed out on any official sets based on both Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and on Thor: The Dark World. So to rectify this, I made a MOC based on the flying Viking longboats the Asgardians are depicted using. I'm quite pleased with how the overall line of the ship came out. The design could easily be adapted for a castle/Viking theme. The wing segments are each hinged, and joined to the hull by a ball-and-socket joint. This allows the wings to be set at a wide range of angles and positions. Although not depicted in the film, I figured a built in gangplank/step would be suitable! I also incorporated a clip at each end of the boat for the Asgaridans to stow their weapons.
  25. Hi everyone, I've been posting some prints for custom minifig stickers/decals recently, and several people have asked how I make my images. I use Adobe Illustrator and I thought I'd make a tutorial detailing the process. Firstly, Illustrator is a professional grade product, so it's packed full of features that can get a bit overwhelming at first. I will really only be focusing on the tools and methods I use in making minifig decals, but it's quite easy to get very clean and precise results with a little practice. It's also worth noting that Illustrator is quite expensive! They used to release free trial versions - you may want to look into sourcing one before you commit to any purchases. Additionally, there's no "right" or "wrong" way to go about drawing the images, this is merely a guide to the way I personally do it. Just quickly, you can hold the space bar to turn on the drag tool. Space + control for the zoom in tool, and space + control + alt for the zoom out. I find this the quickest way to move in and around the images. OK, let's get started! PART 1: Setting up the guides. 1. Open Illustrator and create a new blank document (ctrl+N). I just use a standard A4 page, as that's the size I'll be printing. Set the resolution to 300dpi and the colour mode to CMYK. 2. Now because we're drawing something very small, we need to be very precise about our measurements. Press ctrl+R to toggle the display of rulers across the top and left side of the page. If you've defaulted to inches, you'll need to go to "Edit > Preferences > Units & Display Performance" and change the general units to millimetres. 3. Click and hold on the ruler at the top of the page, and drag down to drop a horizontal guide. Just drop it somewhere near the top. Do the same with the vertical ruler. These guides will form the edges of our torso design. 4. Now zoom in to the position where the two guides intersect. Zoom in all the way, so the magnifier cursor no longer has a "+" sign in it! Place your cursor in the little white square where the two rulers meet, and click and drag to the precise point where the two guides intersect. This will reassign the "zero point" of both horizontal and vertical rulers. If you don't get it quite right, just repeat until you do. 5. Zooming out to a more comfortable level, we're now going to drag out another horizontal guide, and another vertical guide. Only this time we're going to position them exactly. A minifig is 15.44mm wide at the waist, and 12.77mm high (excluding the neck post), so our new guides need to reflect that. I personally like to use 16mm and 13mm, as the overlap is minuscule, but gives a little wiggle room when applying the decals/stickers. PART 2: Base image. 6. Now comes the fun part! I'm going to reproduce the forestman design from series 1 of the Collectable Minifigure range. So I find an image online and copy it, then paste it into Illustrator. This is the result: 7. Way too big of course, but that's fine. We zoom out until we can see the edges of the image. Click on the image object to highlight it, then click and drag on one of the corners to resize it. Hold shift to constrain the proportions. 8. You'll need to do this a few times to get the position just right, but we're aiming for the printed surface of the figure to line up with our guides. If the image you're using isn't exactly straight, hover the mouse cursor around the corners of the image until it turns into a curved arrow. Click and hold to rotate. Here's the end result: 9. Now go to the layer window (F7 to bring it up). Create a new layer above our old one, and lock the old one so we can't accidentally select or change it. 10. Ensuring you've got layer 2 selected, zoom in and drag a new vertical guide to the 8mm mark - this will prove invaluable when drawing anything symmetrical! 11. Most objects drawn in Illustrator have two colours assigned to them, a "stroke" which is the colour of the linework, and a "fill" which is the colour inside the lines. At the bottom of the vertical tool bar are the current colours you have for both fill and stroke. Fill is the upper left, stroke the lower right. Click to select fill, click to select the "none" option beneath it. Then double-click the stroke to both select it and bring up a colour palate. I use a bright blue or pink to start with, just so I can easily keep track of it. Now select the pen tool (P) and we're ready to draw. PART 3: Drawing lines. 12. OK, now we start drawing some lines. Zoom in a bit if you need to, and click on the guide intersection at the bottom left corner. Then move up the line of the torso, just 0.75mm short of the top. Click and hold here, to drag some handles out from the point. A line between two points with no handles will be perfectly straight, but a point with handles will cause the line to form curves. You'll want to make sure the bottom handle is in line with the line, and the upper handle reaches nearly to the top guide. Now move across the guide to the 13.1mm mark, and click and drag here to create another point with handles of the same size, but this time running across the horizontal guide. (Hold shift here if you need to constrain.) Your results should look much like this: 13. Use the selection tool (V), and our linework is now an object. The object will appear to be already selected, but it's actually only the last point which is selected here. Make sure to click somewhere else to deselect the object, then click on it again to select. If we were using the other arrow tool, the "direct selection tool" (A), we would be highlighting only the individual points. 14. Now select the reflect tool (O). Position the cursor directly on top of the 8mm guide, hold alt, and click. A new dialogue box will pop up, allowing us to indicate the precise details we wish. Select vertical, and hit copy. We should now have two identical line objects. If you only have one line with a crazy loop at the top, you've probably accidentally reflected the point rather than the object as a whole. Just ctrl+Z to undo, and repeat step 13. 15. OK, now we're going to fuse these two objects together. Use the direct selection tool (A), and highlight the bottom point of the left object, then hold shift to select the same point on the right object. You can also achieve the same result by drawing a box around both points, as long as you don't draw it high enough to accidentally select any of the other points. Either way, you can now press ctrl+J to join the two points. Then go select the top two points, and join them too. You should see this: 16. At this point, I'd recommend adjusting the thickness of the object's stroke. Use the stroke window (ctrl+F10), and change the stroke weight from 1 point to 0.5 of a point. 17. Go to the layer window again, and create a new layer and lock layer 2 that we've just finished working on. PART 4: The details. 18. Now comes the point where our projects will probably diverge. If you're replicating another design, you'll obviously be drawing those elements. But either way, use the pen tool like before to draw lines, dragging to create handles when you need curves. You can use the rectangle (M) and ellipse tools (L) when need be, and the same scaling, reflecting and rotating tools we used earlier. Use the direct selection tool (A) to adjust the position of the points and handles so they're just right. I usually use several different layers to keep elements separate, and to help keep foreground elements separate from background ones. You can also use "object > arrange" to move objects forward and backwards in relation to each other, but only within layers. You can also press ctrl+G and ctrl+shift+G to group and ungroup objects for convenience. 19. Once you've started drawing elements, you can colour them in. Most outlines on Lego designs are in black, and you can use the CMYK values from Peeron's colour chart to match the object elements: http://www.peeron.com/inv/colors For instance, the forestman's sleeves are tan so I'll colour the collar to match. So I select the two objects that form the collar, and use the colour window (F6) to enter 14,21,47,0. Then I'll repeat the process with the dark green section, with the values 100,58,100,33. The belt buckles aren't meant to match any other part of the figure, so I'll feel free to use whatever colours I like here, just trying to find a brassy look that feels right. The belts I'll match with reddish brown, as his quiver and bow came in that colour: PART 5: Cropping. 20. The final step I take is to create a crop mask; a white box with a hole in it the exact shape of the torso. This means that any overhanging objects (the belts and collars here) are masked to look nice and presentable. Create a new layer on top of all the others and draw a large white box in it. The box needs to be large enough to obscure all your other objects (with the exception of the image we used to trace.) Now hide this layer and unlock layer 2. Highlight the blue outline we made earlier on, and holding shift and alt, I press the left arrow key. This duplicates the object as it moves it. The original outline I can now fill with green and stroke to "none", and the new object I will move to the masking layer. 21. To move a selected object between layers, first highlight it then go look at your layers window. There will be a little coloured square in the layer, off to the right. This represents the selected objects in the layer. Simply drag it up to the masking layer. 22. Hide layer 2, and unhide the mask layer. Select the torso shape and hold shift then press the right arrow key. This will move the object back to the exact same location as before, but keep it on the current layer. Press ctrl+shift+] to ensure that the torso shape is in front of the white box. 23. Now hold shift and click the white box so both it and the torso shape are selected at the same time. Bring up the pathfinder window with ctrl+shift+F9. Hold alt and click on the second "shape mode". This will subtract the shape of the object in front (the torso shape), from the shape of the object behind (the box). Think of it as using a cookie cutter, and the dough left behind once the cookie shape has been removed is what we see here. You may find that you need to reassign the fill colour of the new shape, and set its stroke back to none. 24. The only thing left to do now is to export the finished product. Go to "view > guides > hide guides", or alternatively press ctrl+; to do the same. Then delete layer 1, as we no longer need it. Then go to "file > export" to save it in your preferred file format. Don't forget that a bitmap is uncompressed, and I'd recommend saving a copy in a lossless format to preserve the quality. I up the resolution to 600dpi in the export stage. And now we can do a bunch of recolours very easily! And it's very easy to add your own flavour to things, think of other elements to add/remove. For medieval characters, think about adding pouches, potions or daggers to their belts, or a talisman around the neck. If it's a peasant perhaps add patches where their clothes have been mended, or splotches of mud. Or blood? Add creases where you want to indicate folds in the fabric. Mix and match between your characters, lots of the elements in my designs I reuse on others. Just copy them across, rotate/resize/recolour as needed. That's it, we're all done! That actually took a lot longer than I realised it would, but I hope it's been interesting and been valuable for anyone interested, and most of all fun! If there are any questions, or any points I haven't covered in enough detail please let me know and I will do what I can to make things clearer.