Star Wars Regulator
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About BEAVeR

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    'Dark Force Bigger Wall of Text'!
  • Birthday 06/13/1995

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  1. BEAVeR

    [O5 - Junction - CS] Investigation in the Sand

    Sweet diorama, Josh! You've hidden some true gems in a big mess, and I mean that fully as a compliment! Maybe let's start with some less obvious details I really enjoy. That stack of two orange flower pots head to head for example, evoking perhaps some kind of gourd which is perfectly at home in such an environment. Then there's the domed roof that really just seems thrown on top of those skeletal girders with its crazy angle. Next, I give you credit for introducing me to that bottle part with ID 4429 - not a part you see every day, which therefore looks like a real treasure in such a landscape. It's a big contrast with all of those mundane objects lying around, but even there you put some nice details like the mismatching lids on some containers that show the "if it sits, it fits" mentality. And finally there's your use of those truncated cone parts introduced as the head of BB-9E. I never realised they'd blend so nicely with the tube parts and the other 2x2 truncated cone parts... They bring some nice variation to all the tubing present! But of course we have to talk about that gorgeous door you created! I love the emphasis on the grooves in the pentagonal tiles, accentuated even more by the protruding lip of the 1x2 bracket plates next to them. Maybe a grill tile in the place where now those brown studs are peaking through would add to the effect even more. It would really accentuate the grooved look of the door, which is both very Star Wars and a natural design element in a desert landscape to me. I imagine people's faces riddled with grooves because of the exposure to the elements, and what they build to reflect that feature... As I said, those gems are hidden in a big mess. In such an enviroment, it's not worthwhile to build exquisite architecture when a piece of junk does the job just fine. Anything new will be reduced to junk anyway in record time by the elements. You emphasize that feeling by using parts that sometimes look like the real junk of someone's collection. These stange plastic sheets and clunky big domes, circle sector and cement mixer parts are hard to incorporate into any detailed MOC, except maybe for a one-off gimmick, but never as a main element. They often end up as the leftovers of a collection. What an analogy for the junk that would be used in an outpost like the one you depict! I can't help but feeling that these really are the best parts those minifigs could get their hands on in their circumstances. Finally, a word about the landscaping. It's always difficult with a limited collection of parts, but you've managed not to neglect any part and give it an interesting overall shape. Especially the bows are a nice feature. Maybe they're not distributed randomly enough for my taste with many starting and ending on the same lines which looks a bit unnatural and creates a stark contrast between the studded sections and the smooth section (but again, I imagine this has a lot to do with the limitations in available parts. Maybe strategically placing minifigs and structures to hide parts in other colors is a solution?), but the overall directionality they put in the landscape it great. They create strong lines in the landscape, giving us a feel for what we can't see: the wind. Some of those wedge plates you placed also enforce that effect, but I have the feeling it would be stronger still if you'd rotate some parts 90 degrees, like the ones towards the front feet of the dewback. And maybe it would be even stronger if we some sand collecting in crevices perpendicular to the direction of the wind, and the inhabitant adapting their architecture to it (or maybe even the pylons of that domed tent tilting in the direction of the wind!). And while directionality in the natural elements is a good thing here, I feel like the artificial elements should be less aligned with each other. How to even achieve perfect alignment while building in the desert with little fixed reference points? Some randomness in the rotation of some of those tubes emerging from the sand would probably sell the haphazard look of the outpost more where you don't want to bother with alignment because you don't like being outside for too long. So maybe this is one of those cases where there should be more structure in the landscape than in the artificial elements, which you already show with the direction of the wind versus the random orientation of the dome and the curved wall. Wow, this creation ended up inspiring me way more than I had anticipated! That can only be due to the many great touches you put in. So more MOCs please, much more
  2. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Geonosis

    I remember seeing your Geonosian Fighter and thinking it looked really nice, but never would I have thought it would get such a monumental "garage"! You've managed to create an incredibly fine piece of landscaping that really captures the feel of Geonosis like few MOCs have done before for me. And that without even relying on the cliches that define the planet like the orange haze and those tall and curvy spires. You seem to really have understood what makes Geonosis Geonosis at a more subtle level and you've managed to translate it into bricks so perfectly that I expect a whiff of steam to escape from one of those holes any minute now! What jumps out to me when looking at your creation is the abundance of long, vertical lines. They are everywhere, but they are subtle enough not to overwhelm the viewer with too much contrasted details. And those vertical lines are interrupted by a myriad of even finer horizontal lines. They're a natural result of the features of the bricks you used, but they read as the perfect analog to the texture of those rocks on Geonosis, so you chose your parts very well. It's admirable that you really embraced their texture and used them everywhere in your MOC. imagine that it becomes a bit boring to keep building the same stuff for a long time and that it becomes tempting to throw in some other techniques along the way. But here, mixing in different techniques in random places would probably feel quite unnatural, because in reality all bricks represent the same material that has undergone the same weathering processes, so it's only logical that they have the same basic look. Of course other textures can be present in your model, but it's best when they're concentrated on a place that makes sense and not one-off things randomly strewn about, like those singular curved slopes or wedged slopes or that one brick just above the Lego World 2012 brick. Those small deviations tend to jump out as a bit jarring and unnecessary to me. In other places, you show great mixing of different textures in bigger patches though. For example, towards the right corner the surface starts to look a lot smoother which makes sense because that's were sand and dust would be likely to collect. Also, you kept the sand red parts you used together instead of sprinkling them around, which feels much more natural, as if they represent veins of another mineral poking through. It echoes the fact that nature might be random, but not noisy in a way... Apart from using a mix of different textures without going overboard, there are other things that make your creation interesting. The naturally incorporated holes in the rocks and the walkway are obvious examples, but there is another one that I really like: the overall shape of the rocks. In the picture you posted here, I really love how you have that part of the cliff coming down at a gentle angle and then receding. There is an interesting overall shape in your rockworks that elevates it above just a study in textures. And it has the same quality as the rocks in the pictures of Geonosis: steep at the bottom, gentler at the bottom and grouped together in lobes. I think you coud have gone a bit farther in that last aspect, to exaggerate a bit and make the cliff less flat but have more pronounced protrusions from it (so that when you look at it from the top, it looks more wavy) to really mimick that feel of the original even more, and you could even put those lobes at an angle with each other to bring even more variation (maybe something for a smaller diorama that does not need to come apart in baseplates?). Now, especially your back wall looks a bit flat, but I imagine that is largely due to the constraints of the base and stuff. Talking of the back, that's also a nice flight of stairs ou built, which look especially great because of their angle. The only thing that bugs (pun not intended) me is that they don't look as if they were hewn from the cliff. Now it just looks as if a part of the cliff face has jumped forward were the stairs are. To me, it would make more sense if the cliff face above the stairs would have another texture because in that spot a lot of rock would have been removed in order to make the stairs 'appear' from the rocks. I'm probably not talking sense, anymore, but if there's anything you need to understand, it is that I really like what you did here, showing us a unique piece of landscaping. I hope your Geonosis project still has many more pleasant surprises like this for us in store!
  3. It might be a quick build, but the result is quite nice for its size! On a rather small footprint, you give us a nice variety of terrain which matches very well with the content you are presenting. It makes sense to build a shelter next to rocks that provide a sturdy foundation as well as provide some cover but still on a rather flat and somewhat soft piece of land. The couple of smaller rock pieces poking through the ground you just have to live with. And the sand pouring over the rocks, almost as if it is sneaking into the shelter, perfectly reinforces the things you are saying about sand: it does get everywhere (maybe a small pile of sand where the trooper is removing the sand from his armor would be a logical detail too). So the landscape you built is both pretty to look at ánd is in perfect harmony with the rest of the scene. The shelter itself looks the part too. It definitely has the prefab feel with the tube-like construction, the net (which has the added bonus of kind of blurring the background so you get some more perspective effect) and the portable equipment inside. The slant of the net and the inclusion of the lamps suggests to me that you intend for this to represent a cutaway view of an enclosed tent, but I think you could have made that effect a little bit clearer still because now it could also look like a fence that has fallen over due to the wind. Maybe some kind of entrance at either side could help. Or maybe you could add some cloth pieces at the top of the net, as if they were rolled up curtains, and light the build from the back to get a bit of different lighting between what should be the inside and outside. That could also really help to set them apart visually without the need for a lot of building, and it would definitely create a more inside-y feeling. Finally, just a great job on all the little things! The pile of bricks next to the trooper perfectly suggests a set of dismanteled armour, way more than just a separate minifig torso could ever do even though it seems like the obvious choice. And I like how the trooper is holding some kind of cleaning cloth or sponge or whatever, to really make him seem busy cleaning. Just the fact that a minifig can't really look down seems to limit you a bit, as now the minifig seems lost in though instead of actually invested in cleaning, him staring off in the distance like that. Maybe you could instead lift the arm with the helmet up, as if he is really looking inside and pulling the dust out with the help of gravity. That could both make the action even clearer and direct the look of the minifig to the point that should interest us most from a story standpoint. In the end it's a great build! Building small really helps you to appreciate the details!
  4. BEAVeR

    [R16 - Tatooine - CFS] Refuge in the sands

    Now that's a build oozing with personality! The Eopie really seems reluctant and just tired of life, while Obi-Wan (let's just call a spade a spade) hardly notices it because he's to busy trying to look serene despite his legs hurting like crazy in a position like that Comical as it is, you manage to infuse what would otherwise be quite a static scene of just a person on an animal with a lot of life, making for a captivating image! One of the reasons your build talks so much is that you really manage to capture the weight literally resting on the shoulders of the Eopie. There are bags on top of bags in a variety of angles, as if every free spot was used to put something on. I especially like how that bag on the front right shoulder is angled like that, as it suggests the angular bone structure of the shoulder underneath it. And of course the technique you used for that basket by stacking those 2x2 round plates is just perfect, especially with that subtle mix of old and new brown! The only disadvantage of all that clutter is that your build is a bit hard to read in some places. In particular, at first I was wondering why Obi-Wan wasn't holding the reins to the animal (though of course you could always say he's using the force ), but then I realized that 1x2 tile with handle bar represents the continuation of the reins below and isn't a part of the saddle or another bit of baggage. I think the continuation would have been clearer with another one of those wip pieces or maybe a rubber hose: just something that keeps the same kind of geometry going and wouldn't merge into the rest of the baggage. You might also be able to tie the harness around the head of the Eopie together a bit more, as now the brown parts look more like coloring on the animal itself to me than parts of the same harness. Maybe a part like the minifig scabber 95348 could be useful somewhere... Another example of where things look unclear to me is at the thorax of the beast. In between the front legs, we can see the dark orange showing through. This would be fine if there would be a level difference with the legs, but as it is now, it's very difficult not to interpret it as a miscolored part of the body rather than a piece of cloth draped around it, so that the legs seem a bit disconnected from the rest. So while I love the clutter you create and the effect that has on the personality of the beast, I think some order would help to make it look even better, and make some connections clearer. The key is to tie parts that belong together visually together as well. Be it through using consistend elements as in the case of the reins, be it by making a physical bridge of color to anchor everything to the right instance. Finally, I find it remarkable that you don't use any articulation in the legs but still manage to pull of a nice pose, with the back foot lifting just enough to keep moving with the smallest effort possible for the Eopie. As if the Eopie is too tired to bend its own legs... Maintaining the studs works very well too, mimicking the 'ugly' joints on the Eopie reference, so I would definitely keep some of those! In the end, you created a lovely immersive image which manages to tell a story to me and is just pretty to look at. Well done by the way on the lovely diagonal composition in your picture with a nice silhouette and separation of color, and on really placing it in an impressive landscape. You prove again that no challenge is too hard for you: buildings, spaceships, landscapes, creatures... you can build it all and make it look awesome too!
  5. Another Lego Star Wars alternate build, yippy! And a very interesting one too which makes the most out of the limited part selection of a small set The connection to the Kashyyyk fluttercraft is immediately obvious without any need for context from the title or your text, so you've definitely managed to distill the essence out of Wookiee engineering. It's more than just those antennas/wings at the top. It's also the spindly structure of the canopy (also echoed in the use of the droid arms) that looks both strong and light, and the mix of curved and spikey elements all over the ship that make it feel so organic. Really good job observing the references and paying hommage to them with your limited part selection! At the same time, your design has a different flavour from for example the fluttercraft that appears in the movie. That one seems to be more inspired by a dragonfly while yours reminds me more of a bumblebee with its more rounded shape and less protrusions, all the way up to those 1x2 grated cheese slopes that kind of mimick those typical insect eyes. This alternate build challenge definitely brought out your creativity, and I would love to see how you would elaborate on this with a more extensive selection of parts! One thing you maybe could improve then would be the legibility of your design. Admittedly, you already have a pretty strong silhouette and I can clearly identify the most critical parts of the ship and see that it has Kashyyyk DNA, so that's already a great job, but the bottom half of the ship lags behind a bit I think. It has no real flow to it, no clear singular shape but instead a variety of angles, textures and colors not really moving in one direction. Maybe you could try clustering the shapes a bit more. For example, I would try to more clearly separate the part responsible for communication and the part responsible for defense of the ship. The communication part is themed around round parts, the dishes, while the defensive/aggressive part is all about being sharp, just like the stinger of a wasp. So try to use your spikey elements to converge more towards the weapons side. Those slopes and wedge plates would play off a gun barrel which is angled down perfectly to direct the flow of the ship towards the business end, so try to orient more slopes to point towards the weapons and maybe also use the more angular droid arms with the same purpose, so all hard elements guide your eye towards a single location, with the antennas/wings as one of main guides. Also keep up the great use of color you have now, of creating the highest contrast in color (i.e. light green vs dark grey) towards the sharp parts as sharpness in geometry and color go hand in hand, but maybe try to cluster it a bit more again, really trying to create meaningful shapes with your contrast. You can use more of the rounded bows towards the communications end, where they will match more with all of the dishes. It makes sense to orient the communication dishes in multiple directions, also up and down, but try to cluster them around the same location (e.g. more toward the bottom of the ship, where they don't interfere with the line of sight of the crew. It are some rough ideas and with these alternate models there's always a lot more balancing you have to do, but maybe it's useful to you. In any case, know that your build has inspired me a lot and keep up the awesome work!
  6. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Jakku Quadjumper Alternative Build

    I'm glad that my comments could inspire you, Retro, because I really dig how v2 looks! The front view is just great and I love how the gap between the tailfin parts plays off the inset 2x2 brick with groove to create a compelling amount of depth in your model. Another fun reveal in the front view is how clean the underside of the cockpit looks with those inverted tiles and the 4x4 double inverted slope plate, making that you can find beauty in your creation no matter in what orientation you look at it! In the end, you made integrating the tail fin parts just so easy, cleverly making the transition with the engine intakes by capping the fins with those flat silver grill tiles. That doesn't just echo the material of the intakes, but the shape language as well. It makes me wonder whether you tried to flip the orientation of those grill tiles by 90 degrees so the grooves in the tiles directly match the grooves in the rim pieces and would also provide a bit more structural rigidity. Finally, I'm still wondering if it is possible to move the enitire head maybe a stud forward... You could already gain some space by placing the gun in front of the astromech, but if my experience in building alternate models has thought me anything, I'm guessing that you're probably out of nice plates to bridge the gap Obviously, the creature you built is a bit less polished, but still looks nice enough with the great organic shaping of the back and the studs that kind of work as some kind of scale-like texture. But yet again, you manage to convince me you tried to built something else than what you describe, because to me it looks really close to the Opee Sea Killer we see in Episode I The shape of the feet is just perfect for that, as are the crazy eyes, and one could even go as far as to interpert those clips sticking out on the side as guills! O well, maybe I'm just going crazy... Anyway, I'm glad that you brought just the right amount of bricks on your holiday. I'm sad to see the pink table go though
  7. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Jakku Quadjumper Alternative Build

    That's amazing! In fact, one of my fondest early Lego memories was playing just with the bricks from the original Y-wing and TIE advanced set, my first Star Wars set. That set had a lot of alternate models shown in the instruction booklet which was just such a great point for jumping off. Ever since I have loved both Y-wings and the creativity of alternate models, so this model is an absolute gem to me! You know that an alternate model is really successful if you look at it and wouldn't tell at first sight that it is one, if it would look just the same way if you didn't have the restriction of working only with parts from a single set. And that totally happened to me here. When I looked at your picture, my first thought was that I was just looking at a MOC built to represent the original Y-wing concept art by Ralph McQuarrie with its rounded head and more pronounced cockpit. The final model just looks so clean! An often overlooked challenge in building an alternative model is the color scheme. It's hard to create a decent color scheme when the pieces that fit a certain challenge only come in a single color. Still, you managed to pull off some really interesting patterns that look like they were meant to be there. I just love what yu did with the U-shaped stripe wrapping around the head of the craft, leading into the guns of the same color. And you resisted the temptation to put the orange pieces in random places to simulate some kind of rust or something like that, which wouldn't have been the best idea since the dominance of the shear amount of the color makes it read as an inherent part of the ship rather than a detail for weathering. I just wander if it ould be possible to make the connection between the fuselage and the engine nacelles a bit more coherent by aligning the dark orange curved slope with the 4x4 round plates of the same color. Another thing that contributes to the clean look of your model is the overall smoothness of the shape. It was a clever move to use the curved slopes on the main body to make for a gradual transition between the cockpit and the engines. If there are any gaps, you manage to make them look like intentional details rather than unwanted artefacts. For example, you could have opted to make the studs in the nacelles point in the other way so the gap between the wheel rim part and the 4x4 round brick would be in the back of the model and the front would be a smoother connection. That would indeed be smoother, but the way you built it now puts the gap front and center and really shows off the unique texture it has, looking like some kind of mechanical detail or a truss structure supporting the intakes. In general, you use gaps to make the build more interesting, like offsetting the 2x2 brick with grooves by half a stud in the front side of the main body to give it some extra depth. That's really using everything you've got! If there would be one thing that I'd maybe look at again, it would be the connection between the head and the body. Now it is stuck on (amazing that you managed to pull of that SNOT work by the way) rather squarely without much of a transition. Maybe it would have been possible to put a bit more distance between those two parts of the ship by for example using some of the rounded parts from the engines (which look a tad too long for a Y-wing of your proportions), although that would involve more crazy SNOT work. In any case, I think it would have been interesting to use the wing parts in that section. You could (relatively) easy attach them to the brackets like you did with those curved slopes on the sides of the cockpit and orient them such that they form a sloping transition from the cockpit to the engines. That would really result in a sleek shape and would give some intake-like details. Maybe it would be a bit too different from the original Y-wing shape, but the fact that you put them in the back of the model as a new design feature and the fact that you put the guns behind the astromech droid rather than in front of it tell me that's not really what you're going for. Congratulations on building such a fine model from such a small set. I think you really pulled everything out of it that you could, making one of the best Star Wars alternative models that I know off. you've defenitely given me the itch to have a crack at it myself once more, just like in the goold old days! And before I go, thank for having fun with those minifigs. That totally made me chuckle
  8. Wow, I love how dynamic that looks! I can totally picture this being the moment in a movie or video game when the slow motion kicks in to show off how awesome the scene looks.You really managed to sell the emergency and distress of the situation through the motion. First of all, there the speed with which our protagonist is dragged along, indicating that he's trying to get away from something as fast as he can: it even juts out of the footprint of the build as it is too small to contain its energy. Every single part and every angle of posing in the bird and the character shows forward velocity. I especially like how the foot the creature is pushing off against is already curling away from the ground and how the leg is already tilted forward, ready to release its energy. And then there's the brilliant touch of tilting the bird's head ever so slightly, to indicate that every last muscle in the body is working. You seem to understand its biomechanics exceptionally well. And if the posing in itself isn't enough, you also manage to sell the bird's speed through your parts usage, which is more than just some NPU just because of the novelty factor. You selected parts with very organic shapes on them, and especially ridges and folds. They really look like tensioned muscles and tendons, mimicking the hyperdetailed and sharp look of athlete's bodies at the peak of their performance. Even the more conventional parts like the binoculars have this tendon-like look and you avoided the usual rectangular parts as much as possible as they would ruin that look. That is just a wonderful achievement. With such a small creature build, you've really taught me a lot! If there would just be one thing'd I change, it would be to make the binoculars and clip plates at the feet black as well to make the angles less noticeable and to avoid adding too many colors that take away from the "realism" a bit. And maybe it would be cool to replace the tuft of hair on the bird's head with a minifig beard piece or something, because it sticking out at such a sharp angle messes a bit with the aerodynamic look. The bird is only half of the story though. You also get some real intensity from the bad guy. If his pose wasn't threathening enough (maybe putting one foot on top of the ballustrade would look even more epic), I adore how the building buckles under the weight of his jump. The smooth, flowing nature of it really makes it feel like a sureal shockwave is emanating from him that warps everything around him. The only thing that seems to be unaffected by all of this drama is the landscape. I feel like you could have upped the tension just a bit more if the entire environment interacted with the motion, as it would make it look even bigger. For example, the shrubberies could have been tilted a bit as well as those stalks (maybe even with a gradient: the one furthest from the action bending the least) and the bird could have kicked up some sand while its front foot would dig into the soil more. And maybe you could even do something truly unique. I just noticed that the baseplates you built everything on have a slight curve, which actually kind of amplifies the action here: the ground itself gets warped by the tremendous forces on display. Imagine really embracing this effect and somehow making the ground even more curved. It wouldn't exactly look realistic anymore, but it would look awesome as hell! And then we haven't even talked about the wonderful worldbuilding touches you put in, like those mushrooms growing at the base of the pallisades or the fact that on one side of the road the plants are different than on the other side instead of homogeneously mixed, implying some kind of agriculture... So much to unpack in such a small build, I love it! Do keep sharing your electrifying builds!
  9. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Clone Ambush On Naboo

    Wow, that's awesome! When I have a look at your photostream on Flickr, I don't see any similar builds on there (some really awesome ship builds though: that AT-RD is both cute and kind of terrifying), so this is really great for one of your first attempts at rock building. I think the best thing about your rock work is in the shaping, and that on two levels. Firstly, I love the overall shape you gave to the rockface and the land. It curves around the land and seemingly tries climbing up the from the see there in the middle. It makes it look visually interesting and also very natural. In your creation, the land itself does not appear as a flat surface that was loosely dropped on top of the rocks as you see in quite a few MOCs, but a natural extension of the rocks that really seems to flow around the overall shape. Moreover, the incorporation of that little monument which is angled relative to the rest is awesome. Great stuff. Secondly, I think that within the overall shape of the rocks you also do some interesting things, especially with putting those bricks at very crazy angles. They're totally out of system, which gives a very natural look as reality isn't fully horizontal or vertical as well. Moreover, you manage to put some slopes around those strangely angled pieces which have a double effect. On one hand, they make the gaps smaller without totally filling them, which lets shadows create the illusion of jagged, natural cracks in the rocks and gives it more dimension than if the all holes would have been covered fully. On the other hand, they make for a nice transition with the pieces that are "in system", so that the shapes in your rock seem to flow smoothly and form one cohesive thing. These are definitely awesome elements you should keep using when you further develop your rock techniques! On the other hand, I feel like there are some other things that could be changed on your technique which have the potential to make it even more natural. For example, the difference between shape and texture. If you look at any picture of a rock face or cliff, chances are that you can see a clear structure. It looks like the rock has some big shapes, with each shape covered with a smaller texture. You see that there is a difference between variations ons a bigger scale and those on a smaller scale. You already started working on those bigger scales, with the great overall shape I pointed out earlier, but I think you can take it further: more irregular lumps of rock protruding into the see as some sort of leg, for example. Create different levels of depth and angles, different larger surfaces which will carry the detail. Then keep the detail (the studs, the smaller slopes) smaller than those bigger features to keep your shapes readable. I see that you have done this already to some extent (for example with that piece of the rock face angled at 45°, but unfortunately its level of detailing is not realy coherent with the rest of the face), but I think you can exaggerate it more. Basically try to avoid making one big surface of detailing, even though that surface has already an interesting shape as it does now. I don't know if it's clear what I want to say, but in any case I think you can learn a lot by watching closely at pictures of rocks That being said, it's still an awesome piece of work with some rocks that already look top notch. I wonder how far you can take those techniques to show us the beauty in Star Wars landscapes! I can already imagine you building this scene but with a mirror image of the rocks underneath the surface of the water, which would create an insane effect maybe, or some ruins of a broken bridge at the end of that path you built... So many possibilities, but I know that if you keep experimenting as you did here, you'll pull off something still more amazing in no time!
  10. BEAVeR

    [MOC] Harrower Class Dreadnought

    I must say I was never a big fan of how the Harrower-class Dreadnought looked in those otherwise awesome cinematic game trailers. The design looked weird and confusing, not very readable with all the different notches and extra planes desparately thrown in in hopes of making it look unique and sophisticated. It felt like a couple of shapes haphazardly glued together and cut into. Or maybe it's just that prevalent low angle shot that really didn't do the design justice. Whatever is the case Swan Dutchman's amazing MOC of it finally made me appreciate the design of the ship. He made it slimmer and the shapes just felt right. It kind of became the new official version of the ship in my mind. Until I saw your creation. Design wise, your version seems to do the opposite of what Swan Dutchman did, but I only love it more because of it. Your design ended up shorter and wider. The central triangle shape on your MOC also doesn't jut up as a single block from the body of the ship, but grows in different steps, with different layers just like on the ISD. The rows of cannons with the cheese slopes in between it literally tie the central triangle to the body, with the two parallellogram protrusions serving as extra anchor points. The "wings" protruding from the side of the ship are better proportioned and angled than in the reference: they give a more interesting profile to the ship without detracting from the main shape. Those large "ears" attached to the bridge have a nice heft and don't look fragile like on the original, and your hard work to align them perfectly with the other faces of the ship pays off wonderfully. And finally, I love the decision to go with the diamond shaped engines rather than the round ones: the round shapes really don't appear anywhere else on the ship (I also find them to be the weakest part of the design of the ISD), but those facets shapes are both a perfect complement to the rest of the ship and a believable engine, although it might not look as big because it is just one big surface. Translating a model from a reference into a Lego creation is a complex series of decision. For every feature, you only have a handful of fundamental options: "am I going to make this 2 plates thick or one brick wide?" "am I going to make it five or six studs long?" "will I work with 2x3 or 2x4 plates?" "will I work with tiles or with SNOT?". It's a series of approximations, of rounding up or rounding down. And you seem to have mastered making the right decisions, to accumulate all that wiggle room to get a beautiful creation. To on one hand stay close enough to the original to keep it recognisable and accurate, but on the other hand improve on it by making consistent choices such that everything lines op nicely together. Perhaps you didn't use some fancy SNOT technique to perfectly replicate the angle of the ship, but instead you opted for techniques that look consistent throughout the ship and give a very clean finish. It results in a ship that looks plausible and solid, not with all random parts thrown together but one block of power coming your way. Squat but mean. A great balance. If I would change anything in the design, it would only be small things to make the shape even more coherent. For example at the backside, the sharp corners at the outside of the engines. Right now, it looks like you wanted to still represent the chamfer of the engines there but didn't have enough space for a 45° slope, so instead selected a cheese slope to still suggest the angle. However, in my eye this disrupts the flow more, introducing new levels and new angles, such that it isn't as clean anymore and really looks like a builder's compromise. It might be better to just have a hard edge there and even live with the gap it causes. Maybe you could also embrace the gap and use it to put some detail there, maybe with some minifig utensil hammers sticking out or something like that. Another area is the underside of the ship with those pentagonal Nexoknight tiles used to simulate a sharp edge. Again, they only introduce new textures and angles which really makes them jump out instead of blend in. I would just replace them with those 4x3 plates with wedges on both sides and a cutout in the middle to get the same angles going as in the rest of the ship. Accepting the blunt nose it creates only echoes the decisions you already made for the triangle on top of the ship and the two prongs of the ship. A final thing would be some details. For example, now you've alternated those hinge plates in the 'trench' in the side of the ship I guess to give it a more even texture. But it only breaks the flow by adding all of these angles that are close to each other but not quite the same. I would just attach all hinge plates on the same side and it will become a lot cleaner. Maybe also more monotonic, but then you could add some other elements in between, like those simple plates you used for instance in the 'wing' portion of the side or maybe even technic bricks with a hollow stud that attach to those pins of the hinge plates. Plenty of options. And maybe also think about some more interesting things you could do with the detailing in the central cut-out of the hull, where now you just have some plane plates, a grill tile and a 2x2 jumper plate. Maybe those 1x2 plates with a triangular part with either a ball or cup attached to them would fit perfectly? On the other hand, I must say I love the fact that you chose 1x4 transparent tiles for the hangars instead of 1x1 or 1x2 tiles. The pins give some really nice dimension and detail to them, suggesting other ships in the hanger. Great touch! Thanks for your awesome creation. In my head, the Dreadnought looks a lot better now. And I learned a lot from your model as well. I do hope you get to make it for real some day!
  11. 10183 - Hobby Train (U model) – Factory 2007 - Small steam locomotive 2 Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 21.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (V model) – Factory 2007 - Subway car Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 22.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (W model) – Factory 2007 - Diesel-electric French locomotive Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 23.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (X model) – Factory 2007 - Switcher 2 Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 24.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None 10183 - Hobby Train (Y model) – Factory 2007 - Steam locomotive with tender and cargo car Download 10183 - Hobby Train - 25.mpd (OMR compliant), built with LDCad 1.5 Known errors: None ___________________ Even with 25 of the 30 models contained in the 10183 set (finally) done, the models keep surprising me in what is possible with the bricks delivered in the box. Admittedly, some models are getting a bit boring with the same techniques and slight variations on the same bogie designs coming back, but then you get gems like the Y model which is not just one, but three beautiful and coherent vehicles complete with effective but original techniques. What a stunning set which shows what you can do with a limited supply of bricks! I keep having fun with creating each model in total zen mode, and love pushing myself to present the models nicely with minimal effort!
  12. We here in Belgium (and the Netherlands) are the favourite countries of Saint Nicholas. Why? Because here he already comes on December 6th! He also shows up at Christmas of course, as the Santa everybody knows. But on December 6th, Sinterklaas is the true Saint Nicholas, in episcopal attire and complete with his staff. He also gives toys, chocolate figures, marzipan, small biscuits in letter shapes and notably also chocolate coins and mandarins and drops them into children's shoes. These two symbols of wealth harken back to the most inspiring of Saint Nicholas' deeds which made him a saint. The story goes that a poor widow with three daughters was at the brink of having to sell his daughters into slavery when Saint Nicholas passed by. He made a treasure appear in their shoes, by which they never had to worry about gettings sold into slavery again. I love the story, as it shows Saint Nicholas' sensibility for the problems of people around him, even when they kept it behind closed doors and had no relationship whatsoever with the saint. Sinterklaas is a great reminder to keep those less fortunate than us in mind in these cold days, while we only wonder what Santa Claus will bring to us... So I wish you all a very happy Christmas, inspired by the generosity of Sinterklaas. And if Sinterklaas' generosity isn't cutting it for you, then just look at the generous saint within our midst, CopMike!
  13. Magical. That's what the House of the Five Senses is to me. [MOC] House of the Five Senses by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The House of the Five Senses is the entrance to the Efteling theme park, which I have the fondest memories of. I still try to trick my parents into taking me there. We never visited Disneyland or even Legoland () even though I'm a big fan. But still, that was never a problem to me because we would often visit the Efteling, which is such a magical, whimsical, fun and genuine place that it totally made up for not visiting those other theme parks. The mere sight of the Efteling's entrance therefore gives me warm feelings. That made it the perfect fit for the latest (and last) contest on Rebrick, "Architecture faves", which called on builders to recreate a place close to their hearts in Architecture style. That and the fact that it's just a super interesting structure to recreate with a fascinating story: [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Everything you need to know by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr Its distinct visual style and defining compound curves made it very challenging to replicate in bricks though, especially at the Architecture scale. My first instinct was to use many bows, cylinders and cones. Turns out that there is a severe lack of cone pieces in reddish brown (and it's only one single set which provides the brown carrots that work perfectly as the peaks...). I had to resort to using slopes and flat parts, and in the end I'm very glad I had to. Using bow pieces would have been a mistake as the main shape of the surface has a concave surface, while the concave bows would have destroyed the flow of that surface. Moreover, it would have been impossible to hide every single half stud lip of a brick or to align everything perfectly, so the angular bricks make those features look more intentional and part of the creation. So strangely, using slopes instead of bows actually results in a visually smoother build and also gives strong, crisp edges where they need to be. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Dragon Perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The downside was that I had to create the surface out of a multitude of small pieces at just the right angle instead of using bigger pieces with inherent curvature. That meant I had to find a lot of compact ways to connect things at funny angles and do my best to fill up all gaps. New parts like all the 1x1 pieces with bars in different configurations were absolute life savers to get it to work. Without them, it also wouldn't have been possible to connect the triangular panels that were the only right part for the job in several places. The disadvantage was that all of the complex connections needed a lot of tweaking just to get the part not to collide with others. This being built with Lego Digital Designer, you can understand the struggle of taking half an hour just to line all of the parts up, just to come to the conclusion that it sticks out too much and you have to figure out a completely new solution, or that the collision box of the part is ill defined so it refuses to put the part in place even though there's no collision in real life... Sure, building digitally has a lot of advantages (and no, I didn't use part-colour combos that don't exist as far as I know), but there are some definite disadvantages like spending ages on lining up parts, wishing you could use the illegal connections everybody uses or struggling to understand compled 3D orientations on a screen... Anyway, the small rant being over , believe it or not, in the end I managed to create the building entirely with legal connections as far as LDD is concerned. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Leaving perspective... by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr In the end, I'm very happy with the final appearance of the building on its own and the fact that it matches the original building quite closely (look here for some excellent reference pictures). I'm especially happy that I took the extra trouble to angle the four peaks of the main part of the building which makes it both accurate and gives it a very dynamic look for a static piece of architecture. To complement the spiky look of the building, I opted for a presentation on an unconventional base placed at a 45 degree angle which emphasized its corners. It has the extra advantage of representing the triangular square (now that's a funny turn of phrase ) in front of the real building, which features a fishbone pattern in the floor which I tried to replicate with the tiles (until I realized I totally missed the point of the pattern, but it still looked good enough ). The very new 2x2 triangular tiles in the end enabled my vision of an angled base, but sadly I had to use some loose parts to fill in some funny gaps. Still, I think it was totally worth it for the presentation. Finally, it was very fun to add all of the little elements like the trees, hedges, lightposts and flowers that breathe some life and colour into the scene like the seasoning in a dish. [MOC] House of the Five Senses - Group perspective by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr In the end, I'm very happy with the visual result. Also with the fact that I pushed myself to tackle such a challenging topic and persisted through the entire building process which took an entire month even though the model only counts eight to nine hundred pieces (I often went days with only placing ten bricks or something like that...), because through it I learned some new techniques and part combinations (triangular flag element + 1x1 round place with bar at the bottom = total win!) which will certainly be handy in the future. And what made it truly special was the feedback I got. I has already been very fun to see Efteling fans react to my model. And I am very grateful that the judges of the Rebrick competition liked it enough to designate me as a runner up winner... The House of the Five Senses certainly has worked his magic on me once more! If it only puts a little bit more magic on your day as well, that'd be just perfect. So I hope you enjoy it, and don't forget to keep your eyes open to see magical things! ____________ So, I mentioned this was built with LDD, which means that I can also easily share the file with you, just in case you're interested in the techniques or would like to try to build your own. As I said, all the parts (at least the most important ones I checked) are available in the colours I used, and everything is connected, although I don't promise it will be a creation you can swoosh around - if that is something you'd want to do with a building. However, the design presented in the renders isn't horribly practical. The base, for example, would take in more depth than needed on a shelf, limiting the display options. The angled base also requires some loose parts and the new 2x2 triangular tile in grey, which have only appeared in the roller coaster set so are on the rare side. That's why I've also designed a version with a rectangular base, which should be a lot easier to build and manage in real life. It doesn't have the tirangular square in front, but it does have more vegetation in a corner. I also got rid of the loose white jumper plates at the base of the back tower. I couldn't find a solution during the time frame of the contest, but after a lot of thinking I've now designed an alternative with car doors which are all firmly attached. Both versions of the model are included in the file below, so you can check out the one that suits you best. Have fun with it, and if somebody does succeed in building it in real life, be sure to send me a picture, and don't hesitate to ask questions because I still have some designer notes! The LDD file:
  14. BEAVeR

    [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents!

    Yeah, other people have pointed that out to me as well, but I hadn't heard about that set before posting my entry, probably because it's so obscure. Too bad there are no instructions to be found from that set, as I'd love to know how it moves. By the way, this similarity wouldn't have been a problem in the contest as the grand prize winning entry of the Ideas "Moments in space" contest is in fact also a rocket ride. Not mine, but at least I had a "winning idea" if you look at it from the right angle Now it's hoping they make that design a reality as a gift with purchase set, so we finally have a working and freely available version. Also thanks to everyone for the support and for voting on my entry, putting me in the 30th place with 116 votes, just 15 votes shy of the top 25, which would have meant progressing to the judging phase. I feel incredibly honored and thank you all!
  15. BEAVeR

    [MOC] To Space and Back for 50 Cents!

    Thank you all very much for your kind words and the support. I'm glad that it gives you some joy . For those of you that are further interested in the mechanism, you can find the LDD file here so you can look at it in more detail. As a bonus, the file also contains an extra mechanism that achieves a similar motion but didn't make it into the final model because it was difficult to build the rocket around it. I hope you find it useful, and I'd love to see what rides you come up with!