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Team J.A.F.


Ordering a Rare Color

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Aug 02 2014 · 310 views

Isn't it great to spend a hefty amount (in two different orders) on Bricklink to get some useful pieces in a rare color... only to finally receive the packages and realize that it's actually a different color.

See, I saw that they had 2x2 dishes, ribbed tubing, and some clickits elements in trans medium blue, the kind that glows under a black light. The tubing and dishes turned out to be in light blue. (Well, the dishes, anyway. The tubing appears to be some unique color between trans medium and light blue, but in the end it doesn't glow under a black light.) The clickits pieces do glow, fortunately. However, that's still $15 that I thought was going to be spent on a rare color only to realize that it was not the color I thought it would be. (Again, the tubing wasn't a complete rip... it seems that bricklink in general has misclassified that color. The dishes... I have sent my complaint to that store owner.)

And this isn't the first time this has happened to me with this color. :annoyed: Next time, I'm asking the stores to look at their parts under a black light BEFORE shipping them to me to confirm.



Posted My Lenticular Mt St Helens Mosaic

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jul 28 2014 · 165 views

Posted Image

Lookie here, a topic in SBC!

So I guess the phrase "lenticular" is the one to use, since "cheese slope mosaic," besides being a mouthful, can also refer to some other styles of mosaic-ing.

I do need to take some better pictures, but my issue is A: bad lighting in my apartment and B: no backdrop large enough to fit the full mosaic. I also need to get a stand for it, and maybe somehow reinforce the back because it's rather flimsy, especially compared to classic brick mosaics, which hold up remarkably well. This will probably show up at a few conventions, cause I'm not planning to take it apart any time soon.

Also, anybody know a decent was to advertise this? :P I put it in a mosaic flickr group that, apparently, turns out to be dead. So fail there on my part. (Maybe the whole "take better pictures" thing also needs to come into play here.)



Cheese Mosaic Update

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jul 20 2014 · 283 views

Okay, so posting this week means even less likely for somebody to read it with all the traffic... but like that's not a huge change from 1 to 0 on the grand scale of things, so I'll ramble along anyway.

I got my mosaic completed... mostly. I was fretting over if I would have enough elements in white, light gray, black, blue, dark tan... and then the color I ended up coming up short on was dark gray. >.< I'm only a few short, so I'm thinking of replacing te empty bits with dark brown, which legitimizes my purchase of the brown Mixels just for those slopes! I also ordered some dark tan slopes (apparently a lot came with the Sydney Opera House, so someone was selling them for not-super-expensive) and it makes a good color replacement for gold. I did use some medium lavender... because I sent in a set for a draft specifically for that element. It's not the best shade (a little too bright compared to the rest of the model) but it works. Also, my purchases of the Grevious Bike and GotG $20 set were worth if for the sand blue and dark blue cheese slopes, respectively.

I only have the one half with me, so I haven't seen what the whole thing looks like together. Hopefully it'll be of a decent enough size that it'll stand out at conventions. (I dunno if I'm ever going to take this one apart, even if it does take up a majority of my cheese slopes. So it might make it to multiple conventions.) I'm excited to take pictures of it tho. It did end up being a rather expensive project; based on just the individual parts I ordered (including the baseplates) I would say it cost about $300. And that's not taking into account various sets that I picked up primarily for the cheese slope elements. I know my submarine project from a few years ago clocked in around $150, and that produced two and a half SHIP length subs. This just proves that, once again, cheese slopes are extremely expensive for their size.

Anyway, picts to come soon.



Mosaic 50% Completed

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jul 14 2014 · 238 views
And 50% incomplete
Some things I've learned for working on this cheese slope mosaic so far:
  • Cheese slopes are expensive for their size. Especially ones in rare colors that I just HAVE to have in bulk.
  • LEGO Pick-a-Brick walls have never had any opaque colored cheese slopes besides the olive green ones.
  • When a BrickLink store says there's probably going to be a delay, that should be a red flag. Took over three weeks to get the order (even if it was kinda large) but can't really complain cause he posted a warning. :shrugs:
  • Putting on thousands of cheese slopes onto a baseplate can give you a hand cramp something fierce. Not an issue I've had with brick mosaics, but the cheese slopes are smaller and require a bit more dexterity to get on correctly... I dunno, but it got painful after a while.
  • I underestimated my need for 1x1 light grays. I had this brilliant idea that I could save time, money, and overall piece count by purchasing a bunch of 1x2 cheese slopes in light gray, but I didn't pay close enough attention to my design. While there have been plenty of areas where these 1x2s help, there's still too many 1x1s I need to use, and I've run through my collection, so I need to order even more. *sigh*
  • (And because of the restrictions in the build, 1x2 sections can only go vertically, not horizontally.)
  • I might have also underestimated how many black 1x1s I need? I originally made the design two years ago using a mosaic program, but I have since to reinstall it on my new computer, so I've counted all the colors I need manually... which gives potential for error.
  • Having five shades of blue is nice...
  • But gold doesn't really stand in for dark tan. Olive green does, so I was planning to do a gradient from olive green to gold in the dark tan areas, but the gold might be too bright. Don't know if I want to fill it in with more olive green or actually try to find dark tan in bulk?
  • 48x96 is a decent size. It's still quite small compared to some of the iconic slope mosaics (Batman/Joker, Anakin/Darth Vader) but I think it's big enough to get some attention at shows. The last one I did was a meager 32x32 and it got completely overlooked.)
Don't quite know when I'll have time to finish it, because I'm definitely going to have to make another order, at least for the light gray, maybe for some purple, black, and dark tan elements too. The build today only took me... 6 ish hours, maybe 7 if you count doing an inventory of the orders I received. Won't have time this weekend, maybe next.




Cheesy Count

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jun 05 2014 · 229 views

So for the last two hours or so, I sorted and tallied how many 1x1 and 1x2 cheese slopes I have. I've been separating them for a while from the rest of my collection, and I've done a count years ago, but this is in need of updating. And I thought I'd post my statistics, just because.

This isn't quite everything I own. I have a bucket full of MOCs and sets that are using a fair amount, including models like Helms Deep and Temple of Doom. Plus, I used most of my dark green cheese slopes on my jungle mosaic that I sent to BrickFair (seen the pictures of that 2x3 baseplate jungle mosaic... I made 4x of em!) I'm also not counting my trans cheese slopes; solid colors only.

(First number is for 1x1 slopes; if there's a second number, it's for 1x2 cheese slopes)

Dark Blue - 3
Blue - 8 - 6
Medium Blue - 3
Medium Azure - 15
Light Pink - 2 - 16
Medium Lavender - 0 - 16
Purple - 17 - 4
Green - 7
Bright Green - 1
Dark Green - 8
Lime - 27 - 4
Yellow - 32 - 4
Keetongu Yellow - 35 - 3
Orange - 20
Gold - 98
Tan - 32 - 7
Brown - 32
Dark Brown - 7
Red - 35 - 3
Dark Red - 22
White - 84 - 29
Light Gray - 77 - 11
Dark Gray - 84 - 16
Black - 50 - 29
Olive Green - 306

That's 1005 of the 1x1s and 148 of the 1x2s, or a total of 1301 studs that can be covered by cheese slopes. This is still quite shy of the 4608 I would need if I want to create this cheese slope mosaic I have in mind, and that's nothing to say of getting the colors right. (The mosaic is here. It's a before-and-after of Mt. St. Helens. I initially wanted to keep quiet about this design, but it's not gonna get built any time soon, so might as well show it off. Besides, this rough concept has been live on my brickshelf for two years now.)

I have a good supply of blacks, whites, and grays, which will be added to since I know I have more in those colors elsewhere. Olive green is a fake-out because that's the one solid-color cheese slope you can find in pick a brick walls in Lego stores, and my collection is probably minor compared to what others have taken. I also have a surprising amount of gold... I don't quite know why? I also have a healthy amount of dark green, but as I mentioned earlier, a bunch are on the mosaic I sent (roughly 50).

For my mosaic, I'll need more earthy colors. Ideally tan and/or dark tan, but I think I can substitute in gold and olive green to help it out. I also require a lot of dark green, more than I currently have. There are some purple high lights, and I got a bunch of medium lavender out of a draft that could prove useful. I'll probably need some more white for the sky, but what I really need more of is blue; my mosaic will require a ton of it, and I hardly have any. I might pick up some more of the Mixel Flurr to get more of the medium azure, but I'm gonna need a lot more if I want to complete this.

So if you're looking to get rid of cheese slopes, you can dump them off on me! :D (What, nobody interested?)



So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Apr 08 2014 · 226 views

Posted Image


MOCing Spree

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Feb 27 2014 · 418 views
BRICKSCASCADE and 1 more...
So with the convention looming in the near future, I had to think about what models I was bringing.
For Bionicle, I don't have a lot of new stuff.  I've got the remnants of my Rahi project and Takanuva.  I also built a few Bionicle trees for the BioniLug display, and I have this new Pohatu Phantoka model that I've been working on for a while, but not a lot new.
For Space, I have my modular ships (which I'm keeping track of in a sidebar.)  I have 8 completed, but six more colors that I want to make... in theory.  Each ship is only about 10 studs long, but I've been working in rare colors and experimenting with odd designs, so each section has taken a lot of time to put together, and I don't know if I'll have the chance to finish any more before the convention.
But what I did finish today was an actual SHIP model.  I dunno if I've posted it here or not (I showed it off at PortLug once) but I built a long octagonal nose for the ship (60 studs) in black and trans neon green.  Well, today I built up the engine to make it full SHIP length.  (Well, to my annoyance, the body measured to like 96 studs... and it's too interlocked to take it apart and add the extra lengths... so I put an extra beam on the nose to lengthen it instead.)  And since it's all black and trans neon green, it looks ultra rad under a black light, and will do great in BrickCon's Dark Side this year.
I also took the chance and built another mini ship using all my trans medium blue elements, including some of the Bionicle socket and visor pieces.  The rest of it is black, and IMO it looks even cooler under a black light!  (Maybe it's because trans medium blue is rarer than neon green that I say this.  I am, however, continuously disappointed that all the trans blue elements this year are seemingly trans light blue, which doesn't do anything with a black light.)
For art, I have this nifty little sculpture from the Lego Movie that I'm gonna show off.  Also, hopefully we can redisplay the Hau/Krana mosaic this year?  Maybe.
For Mecha, I have three Lego Movie models; a Hero Factory built Micro Manager, a Wyldstyle Mech, and an Emmet Mech.  (I think I posted these here, or at least WIPs)  I was going to display them opening weekend for the movie, but then Portland got snowed it, so that didn't happen.  Now they'll show up at BricksCascade.  Also, I have a crazy bunny mech that I keep bringing back.
I also built something for steampunk!  And it's piloted by a Pohatu Minifig!  (Cause I just secured a Pohatu pen, so now I have mini masks for all the Toa!)  But even if it has some Bionicle flavoring, it's still steampunk-y.  With gears.
I also have a list of other models I want to build... but now I'm back to work (on the weekends now) so I won't really have time to build.  I'll get some days off next weekend before the con, but I'll probably be busy with other stuff.  I'm planning to move into an apartment closer to Portland soon, so there's lots of details to work out with that.  Meanwhile, I also want to photograph some of my models too... so much to do, so little time.
And yet I still wrote this lengthy blog entry that nobody will read... kay, night all!


Emmet and Wyldstyle Mechs

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jan 29 2014 · 1,005 views

Posted Image
So here are some MOCs I'm working on.  These are WIPs at the moment, for the most part.  Theoretically, they might go in a display at a movie theater that Port Lug might put up, but I don't know if they'll make it to that, so instead maybe I'll aim for Bricks Cascade.
The Wyldstyle mech is supposed to be based on her outfit color, but instead of dark purple and dark azure, I went old school Nui Jaga and utilized purple and medium blue, mixed in over a solid black design.  A majority of it is technic, but it's not super advanced or anything.  The Stronius Mace might be a little over the top, but in terms of size it's a good fit for the mech.
Emmet's mech is more System-built body with Hero Factory arms and legs.  Is it bad to say that I kind of designed the whole mech around the utility belt?  The above picture doesn't really show off the detail there, but I liked it.  :P
Finally, the one I've worked the most on (and is also the one that's most incomplete) is the massive Micro Manager.  The inner body is entirely built using HF joint elements, and I used those pieces to also make the limbs and zamor launcher, in place of a flick fire missile.  The feet, however, are stand ins, as I made an order for some black slopes to use there.  (And apparently the seller is extremely slow at shipping and in retrospect the prices were way too high... but I should have my parts sometime within the next month??)  Abe Lincoln on the top of it can mean two things; Either ol' Abe is actually a secret ally of Lord Business, or he's pulling a Chewbacca on this thing. 
I might upload some better pictures later, especially of the Micro Manager once I get all the pieces in.


MOCs From the Last Few Weeks

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Nov 05 2013 · 388 views

Kay Kay, MOC time.  I have a couple of new WIPs to post up, and they're all related to Space, really.
First one is the modular SHIP.  Backstory, since the original post got lost in the data purge of 2013: I want to make small, colorful ships that can be connected to each other to make a longer SHIP.  So without further ado...
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Each one is ten studs long, has three holes in the front and three axles in the back so they all fit together.  (It's a snug fit for these three ships when putting them together, but as it gets longer the connection gets weaker.  I don't think it would be an issue for display, but just for swooshing.)
In particular, these mini ships are colored dark purple, medium lavender, and dark azure, which are all fairly rare colors.  I have a decent supply of dark purple, so I had plenty to work with as I tried to make a bow-like shape.  For the second one, I got a bunch of 1x2 medium lavender plates from the pic-a-brick wall.  And then I bought a Friends set and learned the difference between lavender and medium lavender, which is why that ship has a lighter colored elements on it.  Otherwise, the whole texture is made using 1x2 plates.  Similarly, I scored a bunch of 1x2 dark azure plates in a draft at BrickCon (as well as 1x2 bricks and 1x3 curved slopes in that same color).  I wanted that ship to have orbs on either end, so each orb is colored by those 1x2 plates again in dark azure.  (IMO, I like the flow of that one best.)
I plan to make more of these in other colors.  (Including some rare ones, like pink, sand green, and dark tan.  Now, just because I plan to do that doesn't mean I can pull it off, because I don't have good selections of any of those colors.)  I'm kind of building them for this minifig team I've come up with, but it would be cool if others wanted to combine their own ships like this at conventions.  Maybe.
One idea to push this forward: said ships can be of a familiar theme.  Which leads to my next WIPs
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These two ships are for Tahu and Gali.  Specifically, the Tahu and Gali minifigs I've made using the pen masks.  They're longer than the other ships (Tahu is 18 studs long and Gali is 14, I believe)  Tahu's has a better flow to it, and I like how some of the Hero Factory elements worked out, but the mask just looks added on.  (Which it kinda was.)  The mask placement on Gali's is much smoother, but the rest of her's is kinda blocky.  I dunno, they're experimentations at this point.  And I can do some for the other Toa Mata as well, since I have full figs for Kopaka, Lewa, and Onua.  (Still need a Pohatu pen mask.)
But if others want to create Bionicle themed system ships, from the Metru to the Inika to the Glatorian... I think it might be a neat idea for a convention, even if it wouldn't necessarily fall within the Bionicle category.
And finally, a different type of SHIP.
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This is supposed to be the nose for an actual 100 stud long SHIP.  I used hinge bricks to form an octagon and then extended it out and plated it using pretty much my entire supply of minifig stands.  And then I added the trans neon green for coloring.  So far, this is only 60 studs long, so I would need to make a 40 stud long engine block to connect it to.  And besides being an interesting (and single colored) SHIP, the trans neon green would also look rad under a blacklight.  (There need to be more legit MOCs for the Dark Side black light display at BrickCon next year.  I've made some bleh models the last few years, but next year I want to make something BIG.)
And, um, that's it.  Yay.  Further buildings been halted because we're having work done on our house, and that meant my Lego station had to get packed up and put into storage, so I won't have access to it for a week or so.  :(


BrickCon Mosaic

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, MOCs Aug 18 2013 · 517 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!

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