Before we begin this article, we’d like to express our deepest feelings of sorrow, sympathy and support to the victims and the families of the victims of the horrible events in France, Turkey and everywhere in the world. We hope we can still make this a peaceful and wonderful world together. May the Force be with us all.
Now that the Imperial patrols on Kuat slowly grow more infrequent, the Rebels find time to address a pressing problem: an attempt at the life of Luke Skywalker by an unknown enemy. They begin a search throughout the entire galaxy to find the one responsible and stop him/her. The Empire does so as well, since the Emperor will keep his next apprentice alive at all costs. Both teams have already found some clues, but not all of them are known to each other… The result is the twelfth episode of our role playing/building game the Shadows of Nar Eurbrikka which is a seed part challenge, but only different. Both teams have a separate list of seed parts which they have to incorporate into their builds, but they have to be so good, that the other team can’t guess what this seed part was… It’s important to know as many parts as possible, because all of the parts come together to form a model that’s a final clue as to who the hidden adversary is. Intrigued? Excited? Enthousiastic? Ready for a challenge? Longing for a supportive community? Wanting to develop stories? Then don’t wait to enlist in SoNE, confer with your team, build something awesome, tell a great story, analyse the builds of the opponent and put together that elusive final model… See you on Nar Eurbrikka!
Probably the hardest models to build are the ones that have already a version that’s imprinted into everyone’s mind. Especially when the model is small, it’s incredibly hard to make something that’s just as good as that other model, but not a rip-off of it. For the X-wing, the model to beat is Psiaki‘s version. That was probably the last time I wrote that, because Inthert‘s version enchants me in a whole new way. The shaping on this model is just incredible, with all of the lovely angles in all of the different directions in the nose, fuselage and back. And don’t you just love the details, with those gears with the nice rim round them and deliciously uncomplicated greebles in the back. O, and the textures! There’s the right amount of smoothness and the right amount of roughness and such a lovely variation of color. And there is one extra factor that makes this model unique: it’s how authentic and solid it looks. The reason? I think it’s the fact that the builder only shows your relatively simple bricks even though there is some complicated stuff going on out of view. I mentioned the lovely simplicity of the greebles. But there’s also the brick built cockpit that fits way better than a prefab piece. And have you noticed anything special about the wings, apart from the fact they’re beautiful? Neither have I, but that means there’s not a bit of Technic or hinge to be seen, even though the wings are perfectly able to open. The connection between the wing and the body is virtually invisible, so that all of the uncomplicated goodness gets all the room to shine. There’s nothing to distract you from the undeniable beauty of this model. So head over to Inthert’s photostream, put those pictures on full screen, and believe yourself to be in that galaxy far, far away…
If your hunger for these kind of creations is insatiable, don’t worry. Inthert has the perfect treat for you, since he recreated Poe’s X-wing as well. And if pictures just don’t do it for you, the builder has also published detailed breakdown shots of his creation so you can build it at home.
As far as I can recall, this is only the third time we write about what’s probably everyone’s second favorite saga on this blog. And it’s the first time we feature a crossover MOC. Not that we don’t like them, it’s just because they barely exist! Luckily, FBTB’s speeder bike contest inspired Chris Weight to build a pair of The Lord of the Rings speeder bikes. Lovely as they are, I have no doubt they will inspire many more of these kind of creations to come! The builder managed to fuse the two vastly different worlds together perfectly. He kept the sci-fi elements to a minimum to preserve the LotR magic and end up with something that would fit perfectly in that universe as a magic chariot of some sort. At the same time, he used the distinct geometric features a Star Wars speeder bike should have, including a wealth of stabilizer fins. The Middle-Earthian influences make the vehicles way more than recolors of what we’re used to. Both of the speeders are way more elaborate, with
Count Dooku’s Saruman’s being so wonderfully spiky, textured, ‘technological’, aggressive and tastefully over the top, and Galadriel’s being light, airy, elegant and also tastefully over the top. They don’t get more personality than this. Quite remarkable when you consider the scale of these builds, and the fact that they still look like practical rides. I’m sorry that there aren’t more of these crossovers, because now it seems a little bit lame when I say this is the best Star Wars – The Lord of the Rings crossover build I’ve ever seen, no matter how hard I mean it! One more reason why we all should take a closer look at Chris Weight’s photostream and start building more of these kind of creations: Use the Ring, Luke…
I absolutely loved the Luggabeast in The Force Awakens. Its physiology seems perfectly natural, but then you have those technological elements that make it so cold and mysterious. Robert Lundmark‘s rendition perfectly captures the strength and roughness of the creature. The constraction pieces plant it firmly in the ground, and the system pieces with their studs give the impression of a skin impervious skin to everything the desert can throw at it. Note how the builder uses a similar texture for the technological parts, instead of making those smooth and full of the greebles as we’ve come to expect. This way he makes sure everything looks like one coherent and accurate model, and it perfectly illustrates the way meat and metal are intertwined in these creatures. Look how it gives those ribs a very uncomfortable feeling… The chains have a similar texture as well and succeed to make me think of the erosion the many unforgiving sandstorms cause even to the toughest traveler. Maybe that’s what makes the Teedo such an unforgiving creature? The builder succeeded in capturing his temperament in a rather small amount of bricks. His face doesn’t only look incredibly angry, his entire posture indicates it: quickly rising out of his seat to show he means business, swaying with his (brilliantly built!) staff. His threatening almost make you click away! But take Rey’s example, and don’t yield to him: you keep standing there and admire this great build with all of its buzz saws, pitchforks and ninja-parts, its awesome textures and its supreme posing. If you pull together all of your courage, you might even come a bit closer and move on to Robert Lundmark’s photostream to discover a wealth of other beautiful builds that don’t get mad at you.
There are so many elements that make up a great MOC. We all know proportions are important, and so are details and textures and the correspondence to the reference material if applicable. Amazing building techniques are a must and a good presentation with some incorporated lights is always a bonus. An elaborate interior and some functions are the icing on the perfect cake. You don’t have to take your checklist and look hours at Hobo Fett‘s Millennium Falcon to know it features all of those qualities we can come up with. Just look at how right everything looks, with the beautiful greebles, extremely sleek construction of the difficult shape and lovely interior. Things like the excellently crafted brick-built cockpit with its controls, the opening boarding ramp and the mesmerizing diaphragmic port (through which Lando rises to help Luke on board) further illustrate the level of genius this creation is infused with.
One aspect that we overlooked in our list, and that we don’t often think off until we see a masterpiece like this creation, is the choice of parts. You might think about using strange parts in NPU’s, but that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m talking about the kind of parts, like System versus Technic, big versus small or – in this case – old versus new. You might notice Hobo Fett used mostly old pieces for this creation, both in color and mold. The reason for their usage was that the builder had them on hand, but they end up doing a better job than any fancy new parts could have. The way the bricks have the old greys and have their dents give the ship a real beat up feeling like it should have. And there’s another effect: the older pieces tend to be rather simple instead of over-complicated, they don’t look over-specialized but totally utilitarian and you don’t have these big prefab pieces that kind of do the job, but intricate assemblies that far better represent the original. The usage of those old, beat up parts gives this creation a level of authenticity I’ve never had the amazement of witnessing before. The parts that constitute this model are as nostalgic as the model itself. It’s a creation that feels in every brick like its reference and looks like it could be right in the movie. This is also the first creation I’ve ever seen that gives me the feeling that it could have been build ten years ago already without being a bit less awesome, which gives this creation a timeless, almost mythical quality. High time to get to know this myth written by the epic poet called Hobo Fett better! Check out the topic for a short account of the history of the model, and a link to more than lots of photos to meditate on.
It didn’t take long for every vehicle from The Force Awakens to be represented with bricks, and there have been a couple of great location builds as well. But despite the seventh installment of the saga offering a wealth of new characters and creatures, the amount of character builds has remained remarkably small. Legohaulic is one of the few who isn’t to blame, because he gives us this quartet of extremely expressive and excessively adorable figures. I love it how he invented a new way of building characters that forms a great base for a variety of creations, that begs to be reused. The use of Mixel joints is an obvious choice, but the real merit is in the surprisingly simple construction of the face that allows for all of the critical features that can vary from person to person. The feet and hands are fully equipped as well and those eyebrows are pure genius: that way even the simplest model with this technique wouldn’t be a bare skeleton. The best thing about the figures is how individual they are. Obvious differences can be found in the bodies, but the difference in personality comes from the face. The variety of fabulous techniques used to create the various hairdos is inspiring, but there are also subtler differences like the noses or the way the eyes stand. Finally, the way too cute BB-8 is the white and orange cherry on top. Character, cuteness and skill all in these small figures, it really makes you excited to see more of these! In the meantime, Legohaulic still hasn’t tried other Star Wars characters, so why don’t you indulge some more in the pictures of this creation and see what you can do with it yourself?
Hangars are a beloved topic by MOCcers to display there ships in. Undoubtedly you’ve seen more of those creations you can count depicting a hangar located on the Death Star or in Echo Base. You’ll have a hard time placing tastenmann‘s hangar MOC above though. It definitely looks familiar, with some Death Star cues but it is obviously different… The truth is that the design of the hangar was entirely made up by the creator, only lightly basing his creation on what we saw in the movies. The result is something new but very familiar. The overall color scheme with its glorious greys, the columns at the walls, the greebles between them, the doors leading to the further innards of the base… But then again those greebles are new: I love the inverted pallisade bricks, the use of holes in bricks and the deliberate use of the space between two slope bricks. The great thing is that everything is so regular, giving the big structure that realistic touch, but at the same time, there are some irregularities like the asymmetrical details at the command station and the different effects of weathering in different sections, making it that much more real. The orderly stripes on the floor are a lovely touch as well, finally bringing order to those often messy Rebel hangars. Another treat is the variety of equipment with the cranes, crates, power cells and transports. All of that makes this a hangar you’ve never seen the likes of before, and a perfect scene to admire the ships that call it their home – until the Empire finds out about this base, that is. So check it out before the probe droids show up in tastenmann’s Flickr stream.