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Team J.A.F.


BrickCon Mosaic

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, MOCs Aug 18 2013 · 250 views
Eh, trying to organize this with other's input hasn't worked out yet, so I'm just pushing this forward solo:
Potential BrickCon BZPower Bionicle Mosaic

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[01] [02] [03] [04]
[05] [06] [07] [08]
[09] [10] [11] [12]


Piece 1: Xccj
Piece 2: Chocolate Frogs
Piece 3: Kakaru
Piece 4: Brickthing
Piece 5: Swert (Maybe?)
Piece 6: Brickthing (Potentially?)
Piece 7: Xccj
Piece 8: Kakaru
Piece 9: Mylo Xyloto (Razlak)
Piece 10: Kakaru
Piece 11: Kopakanui
Piece 12: Kopakanui
Okay, now we should be all set unless somebody drops the ball.
Details: So we need peeps to contribute 32x32 baseplates for this.  (Baseplates outlines in red)  The standard stuff for mosaics apply: you can use stacked plates, you should use newer dark and light bleys instead of old style grays, and don't even think about using bricks with hollow studs (like technic bricks).
There are some rareish colors like dark green and dark blue in use here.  (And orange... and lime.)  There's also dark red / brown (the program doesn't know the difference between the two) and for this mosaic that color could go either direction.  I think I have enough pieces on my own that I could pull off any particular baseplates, but definately not all of this.  I do have a stand that should hold the full thing.
And if you decide to build one but come to a point where just one stud is throwing you off... well, I'll allow for little tweaks like that, as long as it doesn't mess with the full flow of the thing.  (I've done that in that past, so yeah.)
Oh, and just to be clear, this is for BrickCon attendees only.  Few reasons for that: A: BrickCon leadership is more stringent about people shipping stuff in compared to BrickFair or other conventions, B: I'm deciding this late in the game so we really don't have time to play with shipping dates, and C: This isn't the official BZPower mosaic thingy, that's reserved for BrickFair.  :P  But it's hard enough to get all ye BrickConees to talk in one place, so I'm just kinda keeping track of it here.
So, if you're qualified, claimy a piece!
(And if there's not enough interest... better to know now than later) Well, there should be enough interest now, hope it works out!


If You Really Want To Mess With Me

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jun 24 2013 · 134 views

You could go to this poll and vote for my Penguin in the BBC Contest. Cause then I'd be forced to somehow find a way to ship it, and it's kinda big and bulky and heavy, which all adds to the cost.

Or you could vote for Terror Bird, which is my favorite in the poll. (But I wanted to give myself one vote so I did cause that's just how I roll.)



Everybody Loves Penguins

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jun 17 2013 · 112 views

If you say you don't, then you're lying, both to us and to yourself. :P

I love penguins so much, that I made a MOC of one and entered it into the latest BBC Contest.

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MOC Topics Here. Or you can comment on it in this blog, in case you're too embarassed to be associated with my work in the BBC Forum. (THEY MIGHT JUDGE YOU)

So comments and stuff appreciated. And if you really want to mess with me, vote for it in the contest so that I'll have to actually send this bulky thing to Virginia!



Improved Toa Figs

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Nov 25 2012 · 577 views

Search back through my blog, you're probably find plenty of entries where I talked about my plans to make Toa minifigures.

Here's the basic idea. In 2001, they released Lego pens that came with mini Toa masks. It's possible to attach the masks (via a bead) to the top of a standard minifig torso. It's a little bulky, but it works.

However, while I was able to get the colors of the minifig parts relatively right, the plain torsos looked a bit off. So I wanted to fix that.

So I made a deal with Nuju Metru, who has famously created custom decal torsos for his LotR minifigs. I designed a Toa torso decal, send him the torsos, and he applied them for me! (It was a fair trade, since I gave him some other rare Collectible Minifig parts that he wanted.)

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So here's Gali, Lewa, and Onua. Sadly, those are the only pen masks I own. Swert owns all six, and I bought Gali off him and then borrowed Tahu, Kopaka, and Pohatu to make a fig scene for BricksCascade, but that was before I got the torsos decal-ed.

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I had Nuju make some torsos for Tahu, Kopaka, and Pohatu anyway, just in case I can get ahold of their pen masks in the future. Overall, Tahu, Gali, Lewa, and Pohatu's colors are a bit off, and Onua's turned out a little too dark. However, Kopaka's looks excelent, and I can't wait to use it on a fig! (And I can't really complain; Nuju warned me that bright colors like these don't always turn out well.)

And since he was making torso decals, I had another project for him. :evilgrin:

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Basically, I had this super-hero team kinda-based on minifig designs. I've had it around for a while, and these guys have even worked their way into my blog before. I've made real minifigs out of them before, but none with my star-themed torso design. So I had Nuju make custom torsos!!

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Oh man, these turned out really cool! I'm so excited to see these minifigs IRL. The one problem with the green fig is that I used a cheap Pharoah's Quest Battle Pack mummy torso, which is the kind made in China. As such, the arm and neck connections turned out too loose. But if I just keep him on display, it shouldn't be a problem.

So yes, this is basically showing off these cool new figs that I have, and showing why Nuju Metru deserves the Side Block in my blog. ;) (And Aaron, I hope you make good use out of the minifig parts I sent you!)



New BrickCon MOCs

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, MOCs Sep 28 2012 · 239 views

Okay, I want to show off some of the things I've been working on for BrickCon next week.

Angled Mosaic

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Okay, I've blogged about this one a lot. I don't have enough cheese slopes to create something big enough to fit a 32x32 baseplate. (Much less a really massive one.) So I've made a deal with Dan Parker (thru Swert) to use his collection of cheese slopes to produce a 32x32 mosaic in this style. However, he wasn't as enthusiastic about the Hau / Krana idea, so instead I'm doing a classic Pirate / Ninja mosaic, featuring current Lego figs. It's not Bionicle, but it should be pretty cool. Besides, we don't want the first Bionicle angled mosaic to be a puny 32x32... ;) And yeah, the other challenge is I'll be building this AT the event... to which I saw, bring it on. I can put mosaics together moderately quickly.

The Dark Side

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Last year, they introduced a new theme called the Dark Side at BrickCon. If was for MOCs that wanted to utilize light, so it was a covered area to provide darkness to better enjoy the MOCs. I wanted to make something for the display this year, but I never really got the chance to play around with wiring up a lighting system in a MOC. Instead, I decided to go with their second option: black lights.

I knew that trans neon green and trans neon orange looked good under a black light, so I went to build some MOCs in those colors. To practise, I got a small black light and used it to view my collection. Man, Lego sure looks different under black lights. In particular, I noticed that parts known to be made in china (Collectible Minifigures) look very different... especially the red paints. As mentioned, both neon orange and neon green look awesome under it. However, trans medium blue also looks exceptionally cool, but none of the other trans colors do. It's kind of sad that trans medium blue isn't as widespread in system, but practically all the trans blue Bionicle elements are of this color.

So I made a couple of models for this. First is one I've been thinking of for a while: BZP Laser Tag. Basically, a recreation of the fun times had with BZP members at the Laser Tag arena next to the BrickFair convention. I also tried to makes some glowy Bionicle creatures, which at the very least will look cool under a black light. Sorry, I don't have the technology / patience to photograph these models under a black light, so I guess you'll need to come to BrickCon to see them. :D

Rainbow Spaceship

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Dang, Ben, you got me thinking about building a SHIP and now I can't stop! Last year I attempted this with a couple of submarines based off the old AquaZone themes, and they were cool but the building styles were too similiar. For Bricks Cascade this year, I built a handful of smaller space ships, but nothing extra large. So it was time for something new.

I've had this basic idea for a while. It's always a pain to choose a color scheme, because then you're stuck building the whole thing in that color. And I like to have variety in my colors. So why not have a ship with compartments that are in different colors? Like a rainbow ship! When thinking about it, I thought I might have trouble covering the color purple since I don't have a ton of elements in that color... but then I realized I was also fairly low on orange too!

After getting a small parts order with some orange elements, I decided to utilize what I had in my collection and try something out. And this is what I ended up with. There are some design features in there that were forced due to my limited pieces. But overall I'm fairly satisfied with the overall flow of the thing. It's still short of SHIP standards... only about 80 studs long instead of 100. And I didn't compartmentalize it like I did with my subs last year, so it might be tricky to transport. But it should be slightly visible in the BrickCon Space Display. :D


Um yeah I'm bringing about two dozen Bionicle Rahi and such, but nothing that hasn't appeared at Bricks Cascade or BrickFair (or both) so nothing really exciting to blog about. Also have a few more mosaic-type creations that'll show up, as well as two mechs and a couple of steampunk MOCs. Even though I want to contribute to Bricks of Character, I don't have any decent ideas for something to make, so it'll have to wait until next year.

Well, that's it for now. But I had to bring something new. I mean, if I'm going to a Lego convention, I need to bring some of my MOCs with me. Even if I'm not recognized as a great builder, I wanna show that I can still build. (Besides, I could fill in some blank categories and win trophies by default again!! Or not since BrickCon is much more packed than Bricks Cascade, which was only on its first year.)



Angled Mosaics

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Sep 21 2012 · 165 views

Man, this concept is just too cool. I'm not exactly treading new ground here: I only know about this technique because of Arthur Gugick's Anakin/Darth Vader and Batman/Joker mosaics. But although the idea seems basic enough, I haven't seen anybody else do this, but I want to experiment with new methods. So far he's covered the whole two-opposite-people-in-one-mosaic deal, but there are other things you could do. Day/Night. Before and After. Any two images that would juxtapose each other would work well in this method. The possibilities are endless... well, pretty high anyway.

The biggest factor is the construction methods; you need to use cheese slopes. Standard slope bricks probably wouldn't work at all. And since cheese slopes only cover a 1x1 area, you need a lot of them. And although lots of sets come with cheese slopes nowadays, it's still pretty expensive to go buy over a hundred of them for any particular mosaic. (A 32x32 mosaic alone requires 1024 cheese slopes... basic math dictates that as the dimensions double, the area... and thus required cheese slopes... quadruple. And where standard brick mosaics allow you to use different sized bricks and/or stacked plates, there's no way to switch out cheese slopes. I suppose you could utilize the 1x2 cheese slope elements, but those are even more rare and thus more expensive. So the required building material is more restrictive with these types of mosaics. That's why I'm aiming at a smaller mosaic size, just so that I don't max out how many cheese slopes I need.

But enough text; time for some concept pictures. Click on the thumbnails for the full sized images. (Since they're too big individually for a blog, and I don't want to upload resized versions, so you can deal with Bricklinks auto-thumbnails.) First image is the combined one, and the second shows the two distinct images side by side.

Hau - Krana Mosaic

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This is the mosaic I'm hoping to make at BrickCon. (Yes, not for, at... Steven would get me the pieces when I arrive at the convention and I'd build it up before the public convention and take it apart after closing.) I originally wanted a full Hau and a full Xa Krana, but size limitations ruined the quality, so I shrunk it to a half-mask and half-krana. It might be a little obscure to most of the public, but we could always provide an actual Hau mask and Krana for show. (Also, the krana's going to be lime instead of plain green because there are more lime cheese slopes... but that didn't show up in the original pict.) Anyway, this is designed to be a 32x32 mosaic.

Beach Mosaic

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This is a basic change-in-time-of-day image. It's not quite as complicated as the others; mostly the scene is just a recolor, with darker elements showing off the night image and brighter ones showing the day. It would be cool to expand upon the idea; maybe have something going on during the day (beach volleyball?) and then something at night (bonfire?) to add some variety. This one is designed to be a 64x64 mosaic, and I slimmed down the two images a little bit more, because the angled views with expand them out. (Something I didn't quite do with the others.)

Mt. St. Helens Mosaic

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Here's another change-over-time idea, and this one shows off some of the major differences. And when I was thinking of what would be a neat change-over-time idea, Mt. St. Helens came to mind. There's a before image, showing the full mountain, and an after image, showing the remains of the volcano after the eruption. So far I think this is one of my neatest designs, because the two images blend in but are still rather different. This one is designed to be a 96x48 mosaic, which might be too wide for a mosaic, but those dimensions best fit with the mountains. This would be a fun one to make, but many would it cost a lot to get those colors.

Anyway, those are three designs I've worked on. I have a few more ideas that would be cool (including some Bionicle ones), but the process of making the two images and then combining them is rather time consuming, so I haven't done more. So I'll save those for later.



For a Future Project

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Sep 19 2012 · 152 views

It may or may not get off the ground, and kinda depends on things outside my control. But here's some concept work. Props to those who can figure out exactly what I'm planning to do with this. (And go ahead and complain about it if you like, it might just fall on deaf ears)

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Mosaic WIP

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Sep 13 2012 · 139 views

Can you guess what it is?

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Okay, so I'm borrowing this idea from Arthur Gugick. He's made those really cool Anakin/Darth Vader and Batman/Joker mosaics, where if you look at it from one direction you see one character, and from the other direction you see someone else. The concept is just too cool, and it's made using those nifty little cheese slopes.

So I wanted to try something like this.

My main problem is that I don't have the quantity of cheese slopes to really make something cool. This uses the bulk of my collection right here. (I knew I had a ton of yellow cheese slopes, but was a bit surprised by how many I had in dark green.) But anyway, I went with some really basic designs and tried this out. Have you figured out the designs? Here's the side images.

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Yeah, not super complex. But it was fun making the technique work. Ideally, I'd like to make something bigger and maybe Bionicle related... but gosh this sure takes up a lot of cheese slopes and those things are kinda pricey. Plus, you can't substitute them with different sized bricks or plates. Oh well, future project / dream, I guess.



MOCs Sent to BrickFair

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Jul 19 2012 · 164 views

I'm really sad that I can't attend BrickFair this year, especially after chatting with Sisen a while ago about Laser Tag plans. The smaller-ish west coast events are fun and all with a closer-knit group of people, but gosh it would be fun to storm the whole laser tag area with BZPers and Lego fans. I'm jealous of everybody who can go, but I also know they'll have a great time.

And although I have no doubt that the Bionicle display will be awesome, I sent in a few of my MOCs too. Gosh, it's pricey to ship stuff to DC, and my box was still smaller than others I've seen sent in. Craziness.

Anyway, the stuff I sent in:

Fire Dragon + Rider: Basically my losing BBC Contest entry, but hey it can still help flesh out the Bionicle Ta-Koro diorama.

Fire Bird: A mini dragon thing that I threw together after building the larger one. hey, it was easy to fit into the package.

Lava Tarakava: I had this on display at Cascade, but I thought it would be appropriate for the display too.

Green Moose: Totally not for the Ta-Koro diorama, but it was one of my favorite Rahi designs.

My whole Toa Mata Team: Yeah, my remakes that I showed off at Cascade. I had to take apart all their limbs for shipping, so have fun rebuilding them guys! (It shouldn't be that difficult.)

Also, two Matoran: Nuparu and Kapura. Because Matoran are awesome, and I liked the gun I gave Nuparu.

Plus, I contributed a hot-air-balloon for Ben's Steampunk display. It'll probably look pathetic next to everything else, but hey it's something. ;)

Of course, there was a bunch of stuff I wanted to do last year that I wasn't able to send in. No xkcd MOCs this year from me. And we were also planning on building Warehouse 13... not like a scene, but the actual warehouse! Plans for that kinda fell thru. Also, no Bionicle Mosaic this year that I'm aware of... maybe they're gonna make it a surprise?




Posted by xccj , in MOCs, News Jun 21 2012 · 139 views

It stings more when you think you had a chance. :P

But, yeah, BBC Contest Polls. I'm in this one. Vote for me... or y'know, one of the decent MOCs. (I'm not even going to bother linking to the single Flash Fiction poll I made it into because I'm not doing well in it anyway and besides it wasn't even that great a story to begin with.

But yeah, my dragon moc is in 4th place, with some actual votes to it besides my own! Woot! It's too far gone to really advance unless they take half the entries and bring them to the finals, but I'm hoping to keep a hold of 4th place. :P I'll probably send it to BFair anyway. I have a couple of fiery Rahi MOCs that could fit in, as well as some that I think are just cool in general.

Also, even though I don't have a job, I've kept busy. I have a whole number of personal story projects that I've been putting off because of school and such, so I've been working on them. Parents want me to do more yard work tho. :(


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Aaron Is Awesome

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He Totally Is.



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