Thursday, 8 March 2007

Wandering past the mirrors gaze

You might remember the battle to the death between me and my computer? Well three weeks ago my motherboard, hard-drive and modem decided to sign a group suicide pact and explode in unison with a tremendous bang. The parts took ages to arrive but just last week they managed to show up. Sure the bill's a bit steep but it's great to start a fresh with a computer that doesn't overheat every five minutes. Everything backed up except three years of accumulated bookmarks, bugger..

Anywho just yesterday I finally got around to picking up one of the new Aquaraiders sets, the 7770 Deep Sea Treasure Hunter in this case. (And Josh Pyke’s new album Memories and Dust, yay for me!) Anywho It’s a nice little cheap set with a sharp lookin’ mini-fig, the sets not perfect but there’s defiantly some handy pieces such as yellow technic half brushings, black wedges and robot arms for example. Looking at all the sets in the line I’m not really impressed, the old school clunky 97 Aquaraiders could totally quick the arses of these newbie Aquaraiders any day in my honest personal opinion. All though I must admit Tiger Shark Attack looks allright, I might scrape up some funds from in-between the couch cushions and grab myself a copy. I like that little turret dealy a little bit too much me thinks.
It’s funny, it felt almost nostalgic to hold the box in my hands because it’s been so long since I last bought a set. Years ago I used to spend every penny on tons and tons of new sets every year and then came the bley invasion and I lost interest in new sets all of a sudden. Last year all I bought was two small Exo-Force sets and one creator set, Bricklink suddenly became the sole provider for all my Lego needs.

I thought I'd do something different for a change, this old crusty nineties Aquazone lover has always had a nostalgic soft spot for underwater stuff. So from the past few years here’s some of my favourite undersea Mocs.
Let’s start the party with one of the main staples of Aquatic moccing, the Sea Monkeys of course! Who or what are the Seamonkey's you may ask? The Seamonkeys are a fan created subtheme centered in the Aquazone world. Sea Monkeys are normally LoM Aliens with big flippy floppy tails commuting about the place in organic ships shaped like undersea critters. Be sure to check out the Attack Crab, Lionfish Command Vehicle and the Hammerhead fast attack vehicle. I really like the Lionfish as I just love the sheer organic-ness of the design and the unique parts usage.

On the more realistic side of undersea exploration we have Little Davey’s Abyss inspired ROV Explorer Research Sub. The Abyss is a great movie by the way, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. The attention to detail is great, my favourite bit would have to be the manoeuvring prop mounted on the arm. I love the detail in the boom mounted spotlights, how a visible bit of cable runs from the sub to the spot-light. Nice! If there’s one thing it needs though is a few more spotlights and a better design for those grabber arms.

Next up on the agenda some brick built undersea wildlife. Fishing boats, snorkelers and deep sea divers beware, Quint and the Orca aint going to be around to protect you! PepaQuin’s Opee Sea Killer is brilliant, what’s not to love about this bloated and aggrivated oversized piece of tuna? Just look at all those fabulous rows of sharp white teeth with bonus lethal Alien-esque spring-loaded tongue. The bright yellow eyes are simple yet extremely effective.
Also in the undersea wildlife category we have a nice Giant squid by Little Davey. Simple construction techniques used to good effect and that beak looks pretty darn cute.

Something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at is a cramped and aging Undersea utilitarian outpost of sorts. Doctor Device beat me to it and produced his own vision of such an installation. Sure you may look at it and call it boring and featureless but in reality, what’s an underwater base going to look like? It’s not like all the pretty decorative things and bright paintjobs are going to be useful yet alone seen in the murky depths anyway. Sure the big colourful bases associated with Aquazone are pretty awesome in their own right but it’s this kinda base that I prefer. I particularly like the defence turrets and the tank storage rooms, it’s also apparent that in this particular vision of a utilitarian undersea future that hats and hair have been outlawed.
Check out this Jellyfish vehicle from builder Azumu, or if you wish to be technical about the name ‘the underwater type inquiry machine’ hmmmm.. It’s a kind of a weird Jellyfish shaped exploration rig that can split up into two halves, one half is a cool hovering transparent can type thing with a large spotlight and inclosed pilot. I’m not sure what the other half is so I’ll let you work that out for yourself. This thing is built using some pretty nice techniques and there’s no denying the fact that it’s strangely awesome.

I know I’ve missed quite a few good ones, life without all those bookmarks is hard you know!

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