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.

Bangsar Village's Lego Movie Showcase

Took these pics earlier this year (around March) but just got around to archiving them. Earlier this year we had the debut of Lego Movie, so BV2 took the opportunity to showcase Lego Movie merch, along with stuff from Friends and Chima line.

At that point it was just the 1st wave of Movie Lego sets, so to beef up the display modular sets were used as backdrop/diorama for the new toys. You'll note some MOC modular amongst the official ones:

The display for Friends was even bigger featuring a lot of landscape, with a lake as the centerpiece:

The Chima display was mostly a battlefield display, anchored by a MOC fortress:

Also, they had a full scale figure of ol' goldenrod in the store's window display, complete with light up eyes:

Monday, September 01, 2014

Lego Ghostbusters (and a couple'o MOCs)

Been looking forward to this set (released couple'o weeks back but i opted to wait for the best local price) and Jon (little Lego shop) - same place I got the BTTF set - comes thru yet again!

Bigger and with more figures than the BTTF set, exto-1 comes in a similar package design-wise, including the thick stock booklet and minimalist graphics to give that premium look and feel.

Assembly was fun and engaging - about an hour in a single sitting - and features the usual techniques and tricks associated for these relatively more complex build - I particular like how the side windows are put together and fixed, sideways and on posts. After building it, I've still no idea what all the gimmicky looking doodads on the roof are, but that was certainly a fun bit of greebling work.

Last but not least the set wouldn't be complete without the minifigs. Too bad they opted for initials instead of their surnames (space limitation, likely) but this makes up for my lack of The Real Ghostbusters merch, the mego scaled real action hero line in particular, which I've been putting off for forever. But now I'm really starting to miss out on that Lego store exclusive haunted house...

Also built a few MOCs over the weekend. First up is a biker scout. Had intended it as a compliment piece to a speeder bike I did some time ago, but looks like he came up a bit 'short'. BAZINGA.

Next up is Finn and Jake from adventure time. This is actually retooled a bit from the initial build, and even then I still find something off about em, with Jake in particular. But they'll do for now.

I do these builds while tending to my kids, and seeing Finn and Jake, my older daughter asked me to build her in Lego - so I obliged. Once I finished I passed it to her and she looked it over incredulously, finally commenting that it didn't look like her because she recently loss a tooth - pointing to her front upper row. So I took out the 2x1 tile that was originally there and replaced it with a 1x1. 'Oh! Now it looks like me!' After the several MOCs I've done around her, she seemed most impressed I improvised that little detail.

(later I added her younger sister to the mix of aaliya, Finn and jake's adventure time, but she didn't look too pleased honestly, heh.)

Also, here's a shot of mixels series 1, which I completed some time ago but didn't feel like updating since I'm now in the middle of completing series 2. Series 3 is out on the shelves too, so I might just do the round up once I get em all.

600th TF: Generations Jetfire

I've kept a purchase list to track the number of robits I've accumulated over the years, ever since my 100th TF (book reissue cosmos) and my latest purchase happens to be my 600th: Generations jetfire.

(a couple'o side notes: Almost picked up one o them lil playskool Dino robits to lock in no. 600 as a joke - like my 300th, which was cyber slammer brawl. Also, this year with AoE coming out, my 500th bot was in 2011 when the previous movie, DotM, was released.)

We got a pretty decent version of him in voyager scale (back when classics 1st came out) so its a nice surprise hasbro found him worthy of another shot, this time at leader scale.

And it so happens that jetfire, along with recent releases whirl and roadbuster, were part of a collection of larger scale and more complex toys dubbed deluxe autobots way back in G1 - actually, I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't a coincidence at all.

On the same day I also got nightbeat - a personal fave - I was hoping I'd find him first to commemorate my 600th. He was featured prominently in the old marvel comics, and the idea of a robit Sherlock is pretty cool in itself. I passed on bumblebee and goldbug from the earlier waves, otherwise I might've been more prepared - this mold is a dud despite what appears to be a good looking design...but, it is nightbeat after all, and the head sculpt is pretty sweet.