Trials of the Darksaber

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What did you think of the Plot?
BEAVeR: Rebels is like a box of chocolates: you never know which one you’re gonna get. One week, you’re watching a pretty bad episode, the next week you’re recovering from one of the best ones you’ve seen. When starting to watch, I certainly didn’t expect this to be one of the few episodes I needed to see twice in order to fully absorb it. Continue reading

Who’s a Cute Little Walking Tank?

The life of AT-Steve, by anothergol, on Eurobricks The life of AT-Steve, by anothergol, on Eurobricks

 

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!

A New Death Star Spin-off

Star Wars Orrery, by nerdsforprez, on Eurobricks

 

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.

If it’s Ugly but it Works, it isn’t Ugly

Alliance Dreadnaught cruiser Stolen Gold, by ProvenceTristram, on Eurobricks

 

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!