Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Transformers Masterpiece #22: Ultra Magnus

Managed to sneak in 1 last robit for the year and its this guy:

Ultra magnus has always been a cool looking design but everybody shits on him in no small part thanks to that immortal line from the movie: "I can't deal with that now!" What an asshole.

(Plus, Haskatomy keeps insisting on repainting prime molds white and calling it a day. Magnus gets no respect, i tell ya.)

That said, he's had decent versions before like in Car Robots/RiD (but even then he just comes apart to become prime's armor), the Animated version was pretty badass. And i hear good things about the Prime version too.

But i can safely say this one blows em all away.

1st impressions: he's huge. The last 12-incher since MP rodimus, but this time with some heft too. Another plus is that he's pretty easy to transform. I read somewhere a comparison to MP grimlock in terms being fun to transform and thats a good way of putting it.

Only nitpick i have is on mine you can see the red paint apps bleed a bit along the bottom edge of his torso (the other side of the panel is white - part of the truck's cab in car carrier mode) but otherwise he's worth the price tag - and if your the type to wait for the hasbro version - even worth the little bit extra to import.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

TF Update: MP Bee and Generations Scoop

Just a quick update on the robits side of things:

MP BUMBLEBEE (and Spike with Exo-Suit)

Everybody's gushing about our favourite li'l yellow robit, and deservedly so. Preview pics made me wary of the messy looking backpack design but in hand this figure feels just perfect. He's always been a sort of little brother amongst the Autobots and for whatever reason it's made his toys, including this, just easy to like and fun to fiddle around with.

You're alright too, Spike.


Hard to get excited for this guy on account of the latest addition to the Masterpiece lineup - and the fact I only caught him now thanks to a refresh assortment. He's actually quite solid - simple and good looking design without any glaring flaws (if you can get past the Cheetos colour scheme) and the double targetmaster figures are pretty decent too - but at this point I'm just playing catch up with the Generations line.

Legofan of Malaysia (LOM) Exhibit, Kidz Expo at Midvalley Megamall (December 2014)

Earlier this month, Mid Valley Exhibition Centre hosted Kidz Expo, a school holiday event. One of the exhibit was this Lego diorama put together by local FB-based LUG, LOM (Legofan of Malaysia). The builds displayed included both official sets and MOCs. I didn't make it to the event myself but luckily guys like Bruce Lee - no, not THAT Bruce Lee. This guy:


- was on hand to share nice pics like these for us to enjoy.

Couple'o official modulars. From left: Palace Cinema, Parisian Cafe, Town Hall, Pet Store...

...Fire Station and Grand Emporium.

Couple'o MOC modulars...

...a modern looking hospital MOC...

...couple'o MOC shops, the one on the right appears to be a surf shop...

...an MOC of a Ferrari showroom - check out the Racers-scaled cars from Shell's last Lego promotion...

...some close ups of more MOC modulars, modernist designs of an architect's office and timepiece showroom, i think (which is just a fancy way of saying this shop sells watches)...

...a different angle of the watch shop: cool looking wall clock and clockwork-like detailing...

...close up of a bullock cart, part of a street made up of old-town shophouses...

...there was also a Castle/medieval-era diorama, here's a close up of a tavern, i'm guessing...

...and lastly, back to the city diorama, a cool shot of a sax-blowing bluesman on top of a modular.

There's a lot more pics of all the cool looking MOCS from the event:


And you can really see the effort and creativity put out by these bunch of guys (and girls) into their builds. Lego diorama's are cool; Lego diorama made up of original fan designs even more so.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

MYAH! Masters Of The Universe Baddies MOCs

Transformers may be my main thing, but as a kid MOTU was right up there with robits and bricks. Between me and my brothers we had almost 3 dozen figures and unlike Transformers, MOTU figures were quite robust i.e. i actually let my brothers play with the figures they're supposed to 'own'. MYAH AH AH.


Skeletor's here the leader of the bad guys. This was the character that inspired me to have a go at these. I've seen a bunch of MOCs of skull designs and wanted to give it a go. I had these pair of 2x1 bricks with the circular holes and thought they were a good starting point for his eyes (well, eye-sockets really). I wanted to utilize wedges to form a triangular shape for his, uh, nose, so the whole head is built with studs on the bottom and just rest on his shoulders but kept in place by opposing studs.


Trap-jaw's here my fave character design amongst the bad guys. He's like frankenstein's monster but that metal jaw is what i really like about him: BA CHOMP BA CHEWY CHOMP. Also, interchangeable limbs are always cool - the toy's robotic right hand could be swapped between gun, hook and claw accessories. This design started with the jaw design - the jaw and helmet forms a single piece with the face portion (built with studs facing down) wedged in between.


Most of the henchmen are useless but Beast-man here is pretty much Skeletor's bitch. With this build i wanted to express his beard/mane, which in turn frame his ugly mug. And with his colours being largely homogeneous in red and orange i wanted to be sure his blue accents (the rings below his eyes, his chest medallion) were picked up.

I'm pumped to do the good guys now. But with the human-based designs being relatively bland in comparison, the selection won't be as obvious as with the bad guys, which variety in look and colors make em visually pop more.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Lego Tron Cycle, Wall-E & Sandcrawler

Another productive weekend of MOCing sci-fi related builds. Coincidentally, they're also all Disney properties.


I had these red drums from an Atlantis Brickmaster set for quite awhile and never had a use for em. Then I saw a MOC using em for a tron light cycle (as part of an Area 51 themed diorama) - this is my own build, and it just so happened that my latest kid's set comes with those medium sized 'umbrella' discs. The grey bits along the bottom of the bike are in no way accurate and was just me winging it.


I just noticed the tires i used for the wheels on my bike MOCs could actually be used as tank treads, so i used Wall-E to test this out. Quite happy with how this turned out - way better than i expected. His eyes, neck, arms and wrist are all articulated. Just short of giving him a working front compartment.


This is my 3rd take on this vehicle. Where the 1st 2 i cheated - they were put together so you could only take a picture from a particular angle for the build to work - this one is proper. The loading hatch opens, the front panels are tapered and the rear of the vehicle is detailed out. Plus, thanks to the Wall-E build: working tracks! I had to cut and split a truck tire into halves tho - i only had a pair of the motorcycle tires.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lego MOC: Family Bungalow

Been working on this MOC (its for my kids, i swear!) on and off for the past week and i think i'm about done tinkering with the damn thing. The set is comprised of my daughters' sets that include mostly from lego's blue and pink small tub sets, and also some sets from the 'friends' series.

Front view of the 2 modules aligned together: a pink house with pool and BBQ setup, and a yellow house with a treehouse and a doghouse.

Interior view where i swing the yellow house so that both modules are parallel to each other. The treehouse area now becomes a backyard.

Interiors of pink house: kitchen, ground floor study, attic bedroom and roof deck.

Interior of yellow house has the living and dining area that compliments pink house ground floor functions.

Attic space of yellow house is a bathroom, complete with a WC, a basin and a tub.

Close up of yellow house yard, with its treehouse and the doghouse.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Masterpiece Wheeljack, 'Rumah Kampung' MOC


Wheeljack was probably my fave G1 character. I say character, because while Sideswipe was my fave toy (robot design, alt mode), i always dug Wheeljack's kooky 'accident prone scientist with penchant for stunt driving' bio. Wheeljack also turned into a bitchin' lancia stratos, which if you played Top Deck game back in the day, was a killer card to have.

I got the japness amazon version with the toolbox. I think it really helps nail Wheeljack's look as far as making him distinct as a science guy, compared to the rest of the good guys with more generic functions - warriors, gunners - basically military roles (althought to be fair the Autobots were quite varied in terms of function - Skids was a theoretician, which i had to look up in the dictionary as a kid). I just picture Wheeljack in a huff in between tests and experiments, being called up by Optimus with scientific queries like 'are you sure its a good idea to make robit dinosaurs?'


In the last post i MOCd a modern house. From the other end of that spectrum, here's my take on something traditional - a malay village 'rumah kampung'. The type is based around the 'ibu rumah' - the central portion of the house, with the other components connected to it according to hierarchy. The entrance of the house is an 'anjung' - a raised terrace with decorative steps in cement with tiles finish (most notably seen in houses from the state of Melaka). The kitchen and dining of the house is usually at ground level, and in post colonial times would be built with masonry base, to reduce threat of termites.

The best part of this build is greebling out the details of the yard. Kampung house yards tend to be very neat and tidy actually, but i chose give it an organic/natural look to give more richness in terms of detail to the build.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mini MOCs: Architecture

Quite happy with my last micro build exercise (town street) and decided to revisit a type that i initially tested building at this scale: the shophouse.


I'm familiar with straits (as in, of malacca) settlement architecture - i did my student measured drawing study on a taiping shophouse and an urban study on kampung cina, kuala terengganu - so i've always been fond of this type of building. I wanted to make new variations based on my previous build while working with similarly colorful palette. Similar to the previous build, i staggered the individual shops to make them look less homogenous.

The street market is represented by a bunch stalls, the canopies formed by slopes of varying colors. And using minifigure bases - with studs along the centre of the plate - i can arrange the stalls diagonal to the shophouses, giving the street market its cluttered look.


Being an architect actually works against me as far as working up the motivation to create something looking designed in lego - its like, i already look enough at this sort of crap at the workplace so the last thing i wanna do is bring that home.

Anyways, i thought i'd give a proper shot at doing something clean and articulate - trickier to do at this size in terms suggesting scale and detail. Two elements that provide granular effect here are the grille tiles and grooved bricks.

I use the grille tiles to suggest trellis detailing at the terrace area roof. On the front facade i use the grooved bricks as wall texture that gives a sense of scale.

You can also see grille tiles used as louvres at the windows beneath the pitched roof. Quite pleased with how the terrace stairs turned out actually, the angle produced using a hinge plate.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lego 60s Batmobile and other MOCs


The recent SDCC put out an exclusive lego set of batman and robin from the 60s show featuring the batmobile. Its hella limited, so when i saw MOCs of it popping up on flickr i thought, hey, i can do that!

So lo and behold, i came up with this 6 stud wide version (the official is 8 stud wide) so it cant accomodate both driver and passenger. In fact, bats head - from my TDKR the bat and bane's tumblr set - is fixed on a post because his body cant clear the canopy arch thingie.

But i like the overall, chibi-ized proportions and i dig how they interpret the front grille and hood - i say interpret here because as you can see from the real deal, theres a lot more going on in front of the car - and i just found it neat how they reduced that detail to the point where it looks familiar yet different. It just really works in terms of evoking the retro look and despite the size, still intricate enough to look very detail.


The micro scale build scene is one of the the reason i got back to lego and i havent done any in a really long while - i guess that mini modular set i reviewed awhile back really scratched that micro build itch. But the upcoming TRU promotion in October (US exclusive for now) for micro scale buildings reminded me how fun it is to build at this scale.

So here we have a town street scene with 3 building types, a street and a park. I started with the double storey shop first, which was based around using slope for canopies and that 2x1 bar frame thingie as a shop window.

Next came the middle block, which is a restaurant/diner, with the 3x1 arch as a base for the little portico.

Lastly came the municipal looking building, which started out with the fence part to form an entry collonade - which considering the other 2 buildings, makes this one look undersized - and 2 stud wide porthole parts to form a sort of bell tower.

Rest of the street/landscape is quite straightforward, with the trees in particular taking after how i built a minifig scales treehouse for my oldest daughter - i'll come around to showing that soon. I had put in some vehicles and figures but opted to omit em at the last minute for clarity sake.


Was fiddling with the curved parts and having recently messed around with the mini camper build, it just occurred to me that i've never tried putting together a VW beetle. In fact, the classic beetle is actually one of my fave evergreen designs - i've sneaked a bug or two, here and there in my architectural illustrations.


I saw somebody post this mini kitten christmas tree ornament - its an official product - at LOM's FB page and thought, hey! I've been putting off that lego creator cat and mouse set for ages - seems like a good time to take a crack at it. I particularly like how the legs are formed and assembled. Theyre even articulated!

After getting the kitten done i took a look at the hinge element and thought, hey! This would make good puppy dog ears. So, yeah.


Thursday, September 04, 2014

Lego Cubedudes at Bangsar Village

More pics i dug up from my FB feed. These were actually part of the showcase (late 2010) from previous post. I didn't know what these were at the time but after joining flickr MOC groups i learned about Cubedudes - based on a template by a popular MOC designer, its a type of character design highlighting the head sculpt of a given character. The head sculpt is comprised 3x3 stud horizontally and about 3 bricks high but the main feature of this design is the corner of the cube (hence, cubedudes) which forms the front of the characters face. The 3 bricks height of the head allows elements to be broken down to tiles to form eyes, mouth, etc. and the overall size of the cube head allows for quite a bit or articulation of the features.

The display was actually part of a competition - i forget the prize - to name all the characters in the display. See if you can name them all:

More Lego Showcase at Bangsar Village

Was going through my FB album and just noticed there's a bunch of pics from years ago that never made it onto the blog. The pics below are actually from 2 different events, 1st up is this collection of pics (late 2012) from middle age village display:

entirely original creations, its a fairly large diorama (comparable to the POTC display at Mid Valley in my previous post), comprised of town market scene, a town square and the whole things anchored by a large castle. The POTC one maybe be more impressive (since it's bigger and even has caves as interior spaces) but where the POTC display used official sets, i believe this is all original design and its nicely put together.

The market scene looks very lively and the structures are varied in scale and design.

Even the centre court of the castle is spacious and nicely detailed.

And you can see from this view (and the 1st image in this set) just how big it is overall based based on the scale of the town square; they certainly didn't skimp on base plates.

There were a few smaller, superhero based dioramas too, notably this batcave design (this is from around the time The Dark Knight Returns came out).

This set of images is from an even older event (evident from the non-cellphone pictures), around late 2010. Several setpieces were displayed based on different themes, these are the few noteworthy ones that i liked:

Cool native american diorama, if not mistaken these are comprised by official sets.

A very cool (not to mention huge) MOC cafe.

And a nicely detailed fairground carousel - i could be wrong but i believe this was from an official set.