In the MOCcing world, usually bigger is better. So you wouldn’t expect that this small AT-ST by anothergol (yes, the same one from the incredible minifig scale version) would have more details, better proportions and loads more expression than your average bigger version. And yet it does. You could say this creation is awesome just because of its hilarious concept. It does indeed brighten your day just with its irresistibly adorable look. There are those big, expressive and interchangeable eyes, the great poses and the cute but surprisingly accurate proportions. In fact, it’s way more accurate than you’d think at first sight. Details like the guns, the railings around the hatch and the claws are noticeable right away. You’d expect those on an AT-ST of any size. It’s not hard to notice the accurate grills on the head, the “eyebrows” and the hexagonal shape on its booty. A nice and clever bonus, that make it the better small creation. The rounded shape of the legs and the surprisingly accurate details on them are a bit harder do appreciate. Wasn’t expecting those on a creation of this scale. And the square beveled panel on the “nose” or the accurate details on the back of the head created with the undersides of parts? I haven’t seen that on a lot of the bigger creations! All of that for a creation that would have been great just because of its concept. This creation truly puts a smile to your face. Not just because it’s so cute. But also because it shows that you don’t have to be big in the MOCcing world, that you don’t have to have a lot of parts but just some imagination and a good attitude to give the big boys a run for their money. Funny that, we could have said just the same about the Ewoks!
While many a wonderful LEGO Star Wars creation captures a whole lot of details and atmosphere of the original, there usually is one thing they don’t capture at all. It’s the movement. The speed of a podrace, the acrobatics of a dogfight, the slow steadiness of a Death Star moving towards it target… essential parts of the scenes, but not at all easy to capture with bricks. Not in the conventional way. nerdsforprez managed to capture the hypnotic magic of movement in a refreshing Technic orrery showcasing the most exciting parts of the movies in their full moving glory. I love how he really designed the movement, with different elements within the same scenes moving at different speeds to create a dynamic story. Anakin is about to overtake Sebulba! Is the TIE shooting at X-wing or is it the other way around? Is the snowspeeder going fast enough to stop the AT-AT? It’s wonderful how a clever assembly of gears can help to tell a story in which you root for mini models. Not just by creating the movement, but also by being an integral part of the scene. I love how they form planets and give the impression of dangerously hurtling asteroids to place the mini models in context. The mini models themselves are great as will. Nice little touches like the accurate shield generators on the Star Destroyer or the rope around the walker’s feet help them to come to life even more. And if it wasn’t enough, the base is the best looking battery box I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t just display some extra awesome micro models like that Death Star with an amazing texture for the scale. It also makes clever scenes with them. The Death Star is breaking through the borders of its frame and the simple but gorgeous scene with the Naboo starfighter puts the Stars back in Star Wars. All of that makes this the perfect wonderful creation to help you dream away… if the sound of the gears doesn’t keep you awake, that is.
The most ubiquitous things in life rarely are the prettiest. That’s no different in a galaxy far, far away. Take the Dreadnaught-class heavy cruiser, for instance. Contrary to that other Dreadnought we talked about earlier, its design isn’t what you’d call aesthetically stunning. It doesn’t look threatening, it doesn’t look fast, it doesn’t look like anything really, but it works. That’s why it could be found all over the galaxy for a long time, at least in Legends. Its versatility made it extremely useful to both Rebels, Imperials and even Hutts. Doesn’t make it prettier though.
So how do you turn such an ugly, formless blob into something beautiful? ProvenceTristram‘s genius solution is to use ugly pieces. Those pieces no one ever uses because they’re too big, have a clunky shape and just don’t seem to belong in a detailed creation. It seems hard to use those big windscreen pieces for anything else than windscreens or giant tiles for something else than a quick road or a surface to stick your UCS sticker to. ProvenceTristram realized that those boring parts are ideal in this situation. Not only is their shape the perfect match for the source material, the fact that they are so featureless makes them perfect for a ship that’s all about cheap functionality. As a manufacturer, it’s just more effective to build everything from big pieces instead of assembling a multitude of tiny components. The builder saw that this ship does have personality and that it lies precisely in its unashamedly placing function over form. That insight enabled him to capture it perfectly with bricks. He balanced the amount of additional detailing just right for it to be interesting to look at without compromising its unique character. He accomplished this by having the details look like big, cheap chunks that were repeatedly slotted right in instead of being all unique and well incorporated into the ship. ProvenceTristram excelled in putting his aversion for big pieces aside and resisting the urge to make each detail unique. In this creation, he shows himself the master of cutting corners for the greater good, making the most beautiful ugly ship you’ve seen for a while. And then you haven’t even seen it up close!
The Last Jedi. That will be the title to the Star Wars saga’s eighth episode. The hype for Rogue One was just starting to die down and I could finally roam the internet freely without the fear for spoilers when this news hit us unexpectedly. The title hasn’t grown on me yet, “TLJ” doesn’t have a nice ring to it and I find it a bit overly dramatic, but I do like the contrast it provides with the hopeful “The Force Awakens”. The alleged darker tone of this episode is already shining through in its title, so we’re sure to be in for a heavy ride! The movie will be directed by Rian Johnson, known for 2012’s Looper. Now the rumor shuttle has departed, we have to wait until December 15th of this year to find out which ones were true. Hop aboard in the Star Wars movie discussion topic!
The gorgeous shots in Rogue One would convince you it’s impossible to improve on the design of the Star Destroyer. And you’d be almost right. It’s nearly impossible. That’s why it took two years to finalize the design of the Harrower-class Dreadnought from The Old Republic and why it took some more months for Swan Dutchman to build the LEGO version of it to make it absolutely beautiful. He made the Star Destroyer look just right, more massive than ever. He also made sure the saying that a man starts to look like his spaceship after a while is clearer than ever with the sith species face shape of the ship giving it a serene but dead and unstoppable look.
The only problem with the Dreadnought is that its shape is more difficult to recreate than that of his good old younger brother. That didn’t seem to be a problem for Swan Dutchman though: everything comes beautifully together. And if there were any gaps, the builder even used them to his advantage and used them as a place to accommodate details. Just look at the clever antenna down the nose (a term you can take quite literally with such a design!) or the little spikes in the center of the “crown”. All of the complex arrangements of pieces to achieve all of the angles give rise to intriguing patterns on the hull, emphasized by the color variation in the grays. Notches of wedge plates visible at the back don’t look like accidents. When brought together with side views of grill tiles in the same model, they suddenly become windows. You don’t see that kind of clever tricks in the original! They take an already stunning creation with beautiful forms, intricate details and a crisp look to the next level. A level on which it rivals the original Star Destroyer in magnificence. Go right here to have a face-to-face meeting with this excellent ship and read all about how you begin to plan such a marvel with some insightful WIP comments.
Finally over the initial excitement of seeing Rogue One? Excellent, then the excitement can start all over again because the mid-season trailer for the third season of Rebels has just been released on the internet. The excitement is about seemingly getting more background information about the aforementioned movie, about seeing nice locations and vehicles, about seeing stories continued we’ve all been waiting to see evolve, about seeing thrilling action and about encountering some more familiar characters. We’ll be getting a lot of awesome action, so let’s hope the character development is of an equally high quality and we’re in for an awesome ride. You still have to contain that excitement for two more days, since the new episodes will start airing on January 7th. In the meantime you can wait for our review of the mid season finale and discuss what you saw in the trailer in the Rebels discussion topic.
What a hype these days! Finally being able to judge the Rogue One sets at face value, rumors of UCS sets roaming around, all kinds of sets becoming available… And then there are things nobody even saw coming. The polybag 30611 came out of the dark blue. Its contents are something quite new: a brick built character. The detail on the underside is pretty sweet, it’s great that the head can be rotated and the fact you can take of the middle leg easily is quite ingenius. Still, I’m not really sold on this particular design, probably because the legs are a bit disproportionate. It’s definitely interesting that polybags now can be about more than spaceships and bare minifigs though. And that printed dome piece opens up a new world for large scale replica’s of X-wings or Jedi starfighters, so I’m excited! No word yet on the official availability of this polybag, but you can go ahead and discover and discuss it in the Pictures and Rumors topic.