Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Dead Flag Blues

I'm afraid I'm becoming so terribly busy this year with school, work, art and photography that I've entered what is best described as a "controlled dark age". A sad realization, but one I cannot get around. My March Break consisted of more work than any normal week, so I had no time to build what-so-ever. Fact is, my LEGO bricks have been loitering in my closet since October. With any luck, I'll have sometime in the summer - but that could be wishful thinking. I continue to browse brickshelf and flickr, so don't think I'm going anywhere. Although, I've grown a little disinterested in, and my only forms of criticism will come from either here or flickr.

So today's review is one a recent Nnenn creation, the MB-4 Vauggen. This Messerschmidt look-a-like is pretty typical of Nnenn's style -- which can usually be separated into two categories, the crazy awesome spacecraft [example], and the crazy awesome and built after a theme spacecraft [example]. This falls into the latter category. If there is one thing that Nnenn knows how to do, and there's actually several, it's shaping. The rigid forms on the MB-4 give it this retro-robust-industrial look that gives the ship an entirely different feeling than if it had been rounded with spindly antennae. This rigid look makes the airframe feel solid and strong, this fighter isn't a delicate little pansy ship, it'll kick your ass.
So another thing Nnenn does very well is decal design. Most people when they find a skill they are good at, latch on to it like a parasite and bleed it dry. Where is this going? Nnenn demonstrates here that he can still make beautifully emblazoned ships with just the brick alone. This allows an otherwise flat and boring surface to become a point of visual interest, and being brick built we can assume that a little more forethought might have gone into their placement. Another technique that breaks up the flat surfaces of the MB-4 is Nnenn's use of multiple grays. Many people were disgusted and appalled when LEGO introduced the "new" grey (or 'bley'), but I really think it's opened a great door of opportunity for builders - the look Nnenn (and many others) has created with this multi-grey affect would never have been possible before; except perhaps with extensive use of clones, which will probably never catch on with the community at large. If the MB-4 was all one grey, it would still be great, but the monochromatic variation really adds a great realism to the model.

So don't miss Nnenn's MB-4 Vauggen. Adore, study, and copy its various effects into your own repertoire.

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