Friday, June 29, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Although this post is being written long in advance of its publication date, when it *does* go live, it will be going live just as my wedding wraps up--appropriately so, because today's post is about the wedding favours I designed for our wedding. I wrote a couple weeks ago about the fact that I've designed a few custom LEGO sets for my brothers as Christmas presents over the last few years, and I put this talent to good use for our wedding. As a result, an element of LEGO (reflecting just a wee bit of my character and quite a bit of my new wife's Do-It-Yourself craftiness/artsiness) has been introduced into our wedding, and we have distinctive, hopefully somewhat unique, wedding favours that, despite that, were not terribly expensive for us. They're also, in my opinion, rather cute. The individual guest doesn't get the pair of them, I'm afraid. Instead, the grooms and brides will be dispersed singly. The set was fairly easy to design. I suppose, more than anything else, they owe their design to some of the Christmas sets I've seen over the years, as well as maybe a touch of the LEGOLAND theme park "Miniland scale" creations (though this is a bit smaller). The chief interest in designing them was to keep them simple: simple instructions would be easier to make, and simple parts would be easier to accrue in lots of 75. The finished project makes it one of the "cutest" polybags ever (cuteness would be my wife's touch much more than mine). We'll see how the guests like them later today.
Friday, June 22, 2012
With the wedding taking place this weekend and the honeymoon all of next week, this post and the next couple posts are being preloaded. Having never done this before, let's hope it works as planned... The guests in today's strip are in anticipation of that same wedding.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
It continues to be slow-going between chapters of Grandfather's Tale, but Chapter XIII is finished! Hopefully, with no more wedding or grad school over the summer I'll get to the next couple/few chapters somewhat more quickly, but I make no promises... In the meantime, here is the link to the Brickshelf folder (which isn't moderated as of posting.) ...and the rest of the chapter: 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I've mentioned before that I like to "repaint" LEGO sets now and again. It's one of the simplest forms of MOC-making, and often it's a way to recapture the attraction of an old LEGO set in a new way. Normally, repainting is a rather simple task, but it can be taken to extreme lengths. A few years ago, as a Christmas present for my brother, I did just that: Some LEGO fans will recognise that this fake set is a repaint of one of the original Star Wars sets from 1999: 7140 X-wing Fighter. Although this original model has been superceded by shinier, curvier, more recent attempts, the original X-wing still has a certain "wow" factor. By the standards of the time it is well-designed, an excellent source of basic parts, and eminently--swooshably--playable. My younger brother did not own the set, though he is a Star Wars fan, and he is a major Blacktron fan (in particular a fan of Blacktron's second incarnation)--to the point of running a blog about Blacktron. In addition to having to find all the parts to make a Blacktron(ii)-coloured X-wing, I also had to make a couple minor adjustments for the canopy--and decide how I wanted to shift the minifigs from Rebel Alliance uniforms to Blacktron II. I ended up keeping the original minifig's faces but otherwise playing it straight with the Blacktron uniforms--though I went a bit further with the mechanic/ground crewman, who gets to wear a white version of his Star Wars counterpart. The astromech ("R2-unit") was similarly blanched: The REAL challenge to making this set, however, was not finding the parts (though that was my first real Bricklink-based parts-hunting venture), nor modifying the original LEGO set's designs, but putting together instructions. Fortunately, I'd tinkered around a lot as a teenager making MSPaint-based LEGO instructions, and still had the templates. Nonetheless, it was a time-consuming process--and made me wish I'd learned to use LDraw or a similar program. Below is a sample page of the instructions, to give an idea of the finished product: Though overly pixellated for some tastes, the end result is sharp enough--and was certainly something my brother could follow. Add in a fully-recovered box in the style of the first image, and you had one very happy younger brother that Christmas, as he received his first brand-new Blacktron (ii) set ever... and one rather exhausted older brother who decided not to tackle such a labour-intensive Christmas present again. He succeeded... mostly.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
As mentioned a couple days ago, I acquired my first Lord of the Rings LEGO set last weekend, set 9472 Attack on Weathertop. I have to say that I'm impressed. Like Bruce, I never really wanted an official Lord of the Rings set line, not least because it would be based off the movies--and I am a diehard favourer of the books. That said, I've been liking what I've been seeing so far, and Attack on Weathertop really blew me away as a well-done set. What's more, in hindsight, I've come to the conclusion that one of the things Peter Jackson's movie did best was the visuals, and this is where the LEGO sets are mostly drawing from--so we'll see how it goes, set by set. 2002 Episode II sets to replace Frodo's peach head, and the current yellow-fig smirking face from this guy for Pippin*. Pippin is a particularly good match, I think, Frodo a bit less. The chief problem with Frodo is that his eyebrow colour is a bit lighter than his hair, whereas Pippin's is roughly a perfect match. Frodo shares this problem with the face I picked for Aragorn, but it doesn't bother me too much. In both Frodo and Aragorn's case, I'm also somewhat pleased that they look a bit less like the movies and bit more like my imagination's book versions. Aragorn could be even better if his face came in scruffy and not-scruffy versions, so that I could use this for "King Elessar" and the scruffy version for "Strider," but I'll survive. All told, Attack on Weathertop has already become one of my favourite LEGO sets and I think that LEGO really outdid themselves in general. The few quibbles I have are more with the movies than with LEGO, and as far as Weathertop is concerned, they are minor indeed. *EDIT: So, after reading the review of this set on FBTB, I realise that the minifig I have dubbed Pippin is actually Merry (which comes, I suppose, of not keeping the box handy for doing this review). Well... maybe he's supposed to be, but I just can't see it. Bearing in mind, of course, that I'm a fan far more of the original books than the movies, and that I don't have a visual memory welding the movie versions irrevocably to my mental images of the Hobbits, this little fellow will continue being Pippin for me. It's all about the face--that smirk (which I have managed to replicate in yellow) just doesn't say "good planner/more subdued humour/older cousin" Merry so much as Pippin to me.