Tuesday, 30 January 2007

I wish I was a Spaceman...

With my exams coming to an end, I've got the whole next week off! This gives me time to enter the numerous contests running at the moment. Of course, nothing is more enjoyable then enjoying a cup of coffee at 10am whilst watching a works crew tear up your snow covered lawn.

Today I turn not to a single MOC, but a single MOCer. His name, well I never knew his real name, but he went by Spongey (short for Spongebob SquarePants). He was the first Curator of the BZP .Space topic, and thus I owe him a lot of gratitude for pulling me back into space. About a year or so after he started up the .Space topic on BZP however, he fell into his darkages. Never heard from him since, and that was about two years ago. He was (among others, Tom) the very first exposure I had to space building, minus the 'Cool Creations' page in the Lego Club Magazine. Does that count? Anyways, I've never forgotten the guy - he was a very likeable character and I'm sure he'd had loved CSF (or just CS, as it is now).

He was a pretty good builder, definitely carried influences of the 'famous' AFOLS of the time. I say of the time, because being a member on CS for a few years has really made me realise that there are far too many great builders out there and the field is ever expanding. At the time I also didn't know of CSF, and it probably didn't exist at the beginning, thus there was a major gap between a kiddy forum like BZP and the AFOL realm of Lugnet. To summarize: the world of AFOL space building seemed a lot more foreign to me back then. Where was I? Oh yes. He was a good builder, I look back at his various models now (stuff like: the Chimera, his Courier Ship, his Steampunk, and the White Knight) and realise that although they aren't perfect, they are really good. Especially for a member of BZP with no CS to get real reviews and criticisms. It only makes me wish more and more that maybe one day he'll be back, and begin to hone his skills once again. There really was something about his building, prehaps his versatility - I can't count the number of individual themes he built for, and seemingly mastering the feeling of their colours and motifs - at times better than the theme creators themselves.

He was, if you will, the Ideal Space Builder. He was versatile, as I've said. He also wasn't perfect. What? Everbody loves a builder that churns out perfect models, but then what's the point, if they can't really better themselves? Perhaps its more that he showed promise to be a much better builder, given time and support. He also wasn't a dick. Being a great builder doesn't simply revolve around actual building skills, Spongey was a great way for me to be introduced into Space Building because I wasn't slapped around and called a moron. He was really someone I aspired to be, in the MOCing world that is.

As I mentioned, about a year after he started the .Space topic, he left and fell into his darkages. A shame. I volunteered to continue the .Space topic, and he accepted, and I've been running the place for just over two years now. It's a lot quieter these days, it seems that a lot of the raw space talent that had been floating around the BZP gene pool has since moved on to better environments and there's no new talent coming in. My only theory on this is that many of the builders from the earlier days were around before the advent of Lego Star Wars, and thus to them there was space without a license; this fan-base is dried up now, a lot of the younger kids these days are sheltered inside a Star Wars box or are following SaberScorp in the mediocre-to-bad Halo Lego Crusade.

Anyways, this post is really dragging on. The moral? There's nothing bad about thinking back to the classics, whatever they might be. I wish I was a Spaceman, the fastest guy alive...

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Safety, Fun, and Learning (In That Order)

Todays gimmicky spacey thing of the day is the Cyborg Name Decoder. Go ahead, go nuts and find your inner Cyborg self or something.
S.T.I.N.G.R.A.Y: "Synthetic Transforming Individual Normally for Galactic Repair and Accurate Yelling"
Time for me to get to the point and do some accurate yelling about Mocs and stuff then.

Big X's F-220 Claymore is a big modern-near-future jet with cool guns and intakes and stuff all over and a cool name, seriously what more do you need to know? Click the link all ready! It lives up to its awesome name thats for sure. The overall shape and modeling is really good, oh yeah and its got some sweet lookin' intakes. (Dear reader, you might have noticed that your author is starting to develop some kind of twisted intake fetish, your author fears for his own mental well being and is scared.. help..)
And just look at those thrusters they're beautiful, nice use of taps. The angled and jaggered back fins look good too. The neon-green rockets under the wings are a bit meh, I like the idea of weapons being a different colour to the body but in this case I think the green might be a bit too strong. Perhaps some white rockets with red stripes instead? Speaking of weapons, I really like the smooth transition where the gun barrels meet the wings surface.
All though it reminds me more of a futuristic Russian jet than something from the American F-series of jets. The nose and cockpit area reminds me of a Mig and the little bumpy rough bits over the topside surface give it that strong, lasting and easily serviceable characteristic that all good Russian jets have. You know what they say about em 'able to be repaired by a small child with a basic toolbox in the middle of the Siberian tundra'

Through a recent post on Snoikle I became aware of hermit-Keith's courtyard diorama, this Moc is new to me cause missed it when it was first put up whenever that was.
Don Rubeen goes to court! Control the action! Exciting courtroom paperwork action! 12 yrs and up! Come on Goldman, you haven't gone soft in the head have you? I'm disturbed by the lack of trademark violence, Hippies and grill tiles. Well actually there's one hippie in it if you count Dan Rubin's cameo appearance I guess. It is actually pretty good, there's some nice detail going on and there's the usual monotonous grey pallet and over-use of a billion plants and stone ninja wall bits to keep ones eyes happy.

Mike Yoder brings us a few awesome Aliens themed interiors. He has done a really good job at capturing the dark foreboding industrial atmosphere of the Aliens universe. Dark lighting is used to good effect in this. Then theres the awesome details, the ribbed tubes that run down the shadowy corridors bring to mind a sinister Xenomorph that could be hiding in the darkness. The ominous skeleton in the control room chair and all the little greebs around the place, oh yeah and those windows above him. And I love the custom skull sticker on the Marine armour, it looks spot on.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


Exams are drawing close. Why did I take yearbook? So besides some yearbook deadlines, an art piece, and a presentation on Homer for english, I'm free until formal exams start. Not really free. Bought Serenity on DVD the other day, been meaning to for a while but finally got around to it - now I guess I'm on the hunt for Firefly DVDs.

Today's feature is stolen wholesale from Lukas: Best of 2006, Space.

Mike Yoder pulls down the award on this one. Mike came onto the scene in late 2005, and his continued micro works stole 2006. I'd been building micro for a while, but it wasn't until Mike came around and created something for me to challenge myself against that I started trying. He's really been a boom to the 'genre', and his work has helped me improve mine.
Honourable mentions: Horvatits, Jerac

Minifig Space:
Definitely a harder genre to award, many more builders. I'm gonna hand this one to Nick Dean (Kcaster). He came on the scene just as another builder, but he's built up quite the reputation by now. This award goes specifically for his "krestel", his first SHIP and amazingly one of the best I've seen.
Honourable mentions: Chuck, Linus

Misc. Space:
This one is hands down for me. Arpy. He tinkers, and he shows, and he tinkers, and shows. It's because of this tinkering that he's really earned my respect as a builder. I've known him online for a few years, and he's definitely matured as a builder - this year is a great example.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Gravity Won't Get You High..

And so 2007 is already among us already, where did the years go?
And with the new year comes Triple J's Hottest 100! Huzzah!

Anywho, this week we were of course introduced to the first pics of the new Space sets. I'm neutral, I don't hate em and I don't love em, I just see em as just another Lego theme. I think the problem most people have with them is that the majority got their hopes up and expected some kind of exact follow on in style and concept from the original 70's & 80's Classic Space. Kids today don't want the grey-block star-ships of yester-year. When I was about 11 and just getting into Lego again Insectoids were the big Space sets at the time. At that age if if I was given a choice, 9 times out of 10 I would have picked Insectoids over Classic Space back then. Why? Because they were exciting and bright too my 11 year old brain, "spaceships disguised as alien-insects? Awesome!" I still love Insectoid's cause of that little old thing called Nostalgia..

Now onto the Mocs..
Great to see a newie from Paul Brassington, in this case a groovy Aliens style APC. I've always wanted to build an Aliens APC but I could never work out how exactly to build it's mysterious Tardis like interior. It's probably the best looking Aliens APC out there. Gotta love the twin cannons on the back, that Alien looks pretty wicked too.
The only thing that bugs me is the little wimpy unprotected looking window at the front.

Also this week, Jmlizard brings us his nifty looking Spyrus VTOL Space Cat. It's got a really pleasing semi-organic shape and form to it. Those triple curvy engine struts look great. And I really like the trans-blue antennas at the front, they fit in quite well there. Nice interior work too.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

"He had lots of guts"

Christmas has come and past, but the snow has yet to arrive! So much for living in Canada, my polar bear is burning up! I received the 007 collectors' edition as a present(s) this year, and they're pretty much the only thing I've been watching - aside from Enemy At The Gates, awesome movie - and I've gotten through about 16-17 now, with only some of the Roger Moore movies left. Brosan is my favourite Bond; with Moore being my least, too many bad sex jokes and not enough being a spy. I think my favourite film of all is Goldeneye, the first Bond film I ever saw and the one I know most about due to the infamous Nintendo 64 game. I've also now seen Casino Royale, and holy crap, Bond is actually a secret agent with a license to kill! Craig is ruthless, and brings a definitive seriousness to the role that Dalton never fully achieved.

Today we have a double feature special. First is Spook, member of CS and Flickr. Two of his recent microscale creations have caught my eye. His style is vaguely similar to Soren's, although much less Japanese looking in technique. The first feature is his Medical Freighter. The hottest part of this ship is without a doubt the bridge section; the use of multi-decked windows and more greebs than one can throw a stick at come together to produce a bridge with an aircraft carrier vibe to it. The design also uses several practicalities that one might find on a future spacecraft: cylindrical fuel tanks, radar, red/green wing lights(bonus points), and large cargo holds. The use of a simply duotone colour scheme with single small splotches of colour is pulled off perfectly. Still a little rough around the edges. Also see his Orbital Platform + booster, same style.

Now an announcement many have been waiting for, many have hoped for, dreamed for even. Its been years since the Life On Mars LEGO Space line.

LEGO SPACE IS BACK! Picking up essentially where the LOM line left off, this time with clear villians and heroes. I'll dodge out the commentary at this time, and leave you to ponder among your own thoughts.