Thursday, May 15, 2014

MOCs: Building my own Sith Pawn for a "Jedi versus Sith chess" exhibit

This marks my first post that will be about Lego creations that I'm actually working on.  I am a proud member of the Philippine Lego User Group (PhLUG), Lego's officially recognized club in the Philippines.

Every month members meet-up for Brick-fast, a breakfast event that of course involves all things Lego.  At Brickfast there's a whole ton of Lego resellers and buyers.  You can get complete sets or that little part you've always been looking for.

Aside from the Lego bazaar, members also look forward to the exhibit of MOCs by other members.  all sorts of castles, buildings, spaceships and robots pop up during the monthly exhibits.

With this brickfast happening on May 3, the day before May the 4th it was decided that the major theme for the exhibit would be all things Star Wars.

I volunteered to join the team setting up a Jedi vs. Sith chess exhibit.

Below are pictures of the various builds I tried to flesh out my pawn piece. 

The initial build

Everyone agreed to put the minifigs on 8x8 platforms that will serve as the actual pieces of the chess board.

My first order of business was picking a minifigure to customize my sith with.

Unfortunately I was unable to take pictures of the initial selection process.  I have an actual Darth Maul and Luke in black that became the base for my Sith pawn.

The picture below is the initial build I cam up with.  The head of the minifig was taken from the Mr. Freeze minifigure from Lego set 76000:  Arctic Batman versus Mr. Freeze.

That faces totally screamed Sith, especially after the hood was put on.

Since I was already looking at Mr. Freeze's minifig I also thought of making use of Freeze's minifigure torso for some test builds of alternate Sith pawns.  Here's the result a rocket launcher pack with Darth Maul's face.

The colors didn't feel to Sith-life for my tastes.  The initial build shown below still felt like the better choice.  And I was growing enamored with the look of his armored flight pack.

Here they are side by side.

Tried changing the torso for some other pieces and I still couldn't feel a more sith-like vibe from it.  Maybe I'll just use this in another MOC someday.

How about swapping Darth Maul's head in.  Oh looks sinister!

Some other test builds:

A pawn in every sense of the word.  No weapons pack to augment his pawn like stature.  This one makes use of a Chima minifigure head, Wolverine's hair piece and a pirate captain's body.

So I kinda liked the effect of Wolverine's hair on a chima head.  Gave it a strange Samurai feel.

But Darth Maul still looks more sinister.

Here's the back of that armored flight pack.

Luke want's to see them.

Swapped in the Egyptian queen's hair piece on the Chima head.

And here's tomahawk guy as a sith.  Definitely gives off a Sith vibe but still not as good as Mr. Freeze or Darth Maul.

Using a female hair piece here.

And donning the evil robot's helmet.

Okay now this Winter Soldier type hair gives a great Sith/Boy band mash up feel!  Definitely looking fierce and sinister!

I've adjusted the minifigure's flight pack to reflect a simpler and more pawn looking pack.  Despite my like for the armored flight pack I assembled I kept thinking it was too much for a pawn piece.

Side by side now with the original armored flight pack.

Darth Maul looks like intergalactic Bieber here!

At this point I was beginning to sell myself on the much smaller flight pack.  Next time I'll volunteer for a knight or bishop piece so I can make a bigger MOC hehehe.

Here's the back of the smaller flight pack.

A final look at the armored flight pack.

The board
So exhibit day came and I decided finally to use the smaller flight pack.

Here's the board laid out with the other  chess pieces.

And here's my own Sith pawn at the end of the board.

This was my first time to actually volunteer to do a piece and at first I had my apprehensions about making a piece that was worthy of the other builders.  After this one I'll gladly volunteer to do bigger MOCs.

As usual the Brickfast was an awesome experience and the PhLUG members were all great.

Leg Godt!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: Sluban Pirate Raft

So I got this  in 2013 as a gift from my brother Robert.  THANKS BRO!  The review has been sitting in the back burner for the longest time.

I've always considered Sluban as one of my preferred alternative brick brands to Lego.  They have a good line-up of themes and the bricks connect well for the most part to each other.

They have nice sets for space, castles and pirates!

The Box:
Nice little box with a pirate peeking on the side.  Or wait is that a viking?  I'm confused now. Hehe.

Well the raft does look good and that sail is big and printed well.  Inside the box we get 1 polybag of parts and the manual.

Here's the polybag made of really thick plastic.  The bricks have a nice color to them that is every evident even through the thick plastic bag.


Such shiny shiny silver weapons!  Decidedly looking more dangerous than Lego weapons (might be even cause injuries to younger kids who will be given this)

The mini-viking/pirate
He's supposed to be a pirate wearing a vest I think.  I like the facial expression and the gap toothed grin.  The helmet though throws me off and makes me think he's a viking.

Here's a closer look at his facial expression.

Building the raft
The bricks are somewhat more slippery to the feel than Lego bricks.  The clutch is almost near Lego in the sense that no pieces fall of.  Some of the bricks do exhibit resistance when putting them together.  The color is bright enough but not close to the Lego color palette.

There are stickers to represent the treasure in the chest.  I would have appreciated real brick gold pieces here.

Here is Viking-Pirate guy looking at his treasure chest.

The finished raft

The finished model does look cool after building.  It feels solid and the minifig looks good from afar.  The shiny weapons are a plus.

The good old skull and cross guns?

That silver gun and sword look awesome!

Yep so this kit wasn't so bad after all.  The building wasn't as smooth as a Lego kit of course and you can feel some rough edges on some of the bricks.

It was a great gift and for people on a tight budget its not a bad option at all.