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Team J.A.F.


Made Bank at Cascade

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions Mar 15 2015 · 134 views

I actually did very well at Cascade this year, probably even better than my first year there where I won a bunch of stuff. This time I've won larger stuff!! And now I'm going to brag and provide a list.

Won the large Friends shopping mall as a giveaway.
Got two free mixels in as Mixels Match game (take two Mixels and build a non-Mixel thing... but use all the pieces.)
Got the technic snowmobile in a Technic Game (where you build a non-technic thing, or at least not one that's on the box. I was one of only a few who did manage to use all the technic bits, but others made much better things and Roa won.)
Won a Friends vet set for coming in third in the Scavenger Hunt (find various items around the convention hall and photograph em.)
Bought the Friends juice bar for cheap (it was a leftover from a draft.)
Bought the Crystal Elves set, a Construction truck set, and a Lego mug at the Lego store.
Got the huge Agents headquarters truck because I was a theme coordinator. DeeVee unfortunately got the Ninjago mech dragon (because he was Bionicle coordinator), which he said he already has multiples of.
Won the Mines of Moria set and a trophy from the Super Heroes theme for my Flash Star Lab. That was unexpected.
Then got the Five Armies and Smaug set for 47% off at scratch and dent!

Plus traded a few figs around, and ended up with all 5 of the elves characters, and the Maula mammoth fig.

Oh, and you know, hung out with a bunch of cool people,. And the weekends not over yet!



Elves Joke

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Lego Conventions Mar 09 2015 · 234 views

You know the new Lego Elves theme is aimed towards girls because when the main character gets lost... she asks for directions! Ba dump dump chshshshshshshsh!

(Wonder how many people will be offended by this. I mean I don't think it's offensive but it's about a gender stereotype and people seem to get easily offended by stuff like that.)

In other news, I have 5 of the 12 baseplates completed for the mosaic, plus one extra in case somebody else doesn't get theirs in on time. (I hope it would be just one somebody, my brick supply has dwindled and I don't think I can crank out any more.) Like 5 more are in the mail (presumably) and should be arriving soon, and the other two will be brought in, so I'm fairly certain they'll all make it.

Yeah, Bricks Cascade this weekend! Otherwise known as the rare weekend where I won't be online the entire time!



Jimmy Eat World and Story Updates

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, Stories Mar 03 2015 · 123 views

I dunno how common place they are, but I've been listening to the band Jimmy Eat World lately. Also, their band name. :P

I mean, I originally had their album back in 2001, which was I guess their breakout album? (And I had it on CD! For those too young to remember, that's how we used to store our music... which was a step up from cassettes, which were a step from records, ext... okay really CDs aren't that old of a technology.) But while I was a fan of their music then, I wasn't really following much current music in the early 2000s (I was more obsessive with 80s music at that point) so I never really listened to any of their other albums.

So now I just bought two of their later albums, and man their songs are still pretty good! I feel like quoting a bunch of them on social media, but then realize it's pretty lame to be quoting decade-old songs just cause I'm now hearing them for the first time. On the other hand, my posts in general probably fall under the "lame" category so I might do it anyway. *ahem* "Can't keep safe what wants to break. I'm alone in this, I'm as I've always been: right behind what's happening. She's lost in this, she's like she'll always be; a little far for me to reach."

Um, anyway, in story news, I'm thinking about maybe reposting some of my old stories. By that, I mean I'm actively going to finish reposting Kulagi's Kanoka, which I had posted about half the chapter for in 2013. I think I may have finished reposting it, but there was a data loss, and I lost the second half of it again. :shrugs: Nobody ever did review it the second time, but I remember I had some great readers when I initially posted it, so can't ask for more than that. Just want it here to prove that, yes, I did used to write fan fiction here on BZP, even if most of it has been wiped out in data losses.

This also makes me consider reposting another one of my stories, Mystery on Keli-Nui. It was for a mystery epics contest back in the day. (The theme was mystery, not that the contest itself was mysterious.) I was really pleased with how it turned out, even if it had a few weak spots. But while it got past the initial group of judges and made it into the finals, absolutely nobody voted for it (probably cause it was the second longest story in the entire contest, but it did lose to bonesiii's story, which was like 3 times longer. Yes, I am jealous.) and only one person ever commented it on it in a brief post, so I kinda felt dejected. (Especially when the good jokes in it got overlooked.) Not really expecting anything different this time round, but would anybody be interested? (It was only 14 chapters, and if those were spaced out over a couple of weeks it wouldn't be so bad right ;) )

Might work on my BZ-Koro story soon. I know where I want to go with the next chapter (based on what the members voted for) but just need to get it in writing. And it's bad timing, because I have Bricks Cascade to prepare for.)




5002641 Bionicle Hero Pack Review

Posted by xccj , in Review Mar 02 2015 · 207 views

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(Click for Review)

Somewhat surprisingly, this is my first EVER Bionicle review posted on the BZPower front page. My first review was Ben 10, right after the higher staff had all claimed the Bionicle Stars sets in 2010, so I never got a chance to review em back then, and I got disincluded from reviewing the first Gen 2 wave this year. But I managed to sneak one in. Coolio.

Eh, it's a lengthy review for what boils down to an exclusive mask. But hey, another chance to post black light photos on the front page!



Writing Fight Scenes

Posted by xccj , in Stories Feb 28 2015 · 151 views

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I have this ongoing project of rewriting a bunch of my stories that I lost when my laptop was stolen years ago. It’s crazy, since it’s been 7-8 years since that incident, and I still have a backlog of stories I want to redo. But I’m also revisiting them, updating them, improving them, ext, so it’s a lengthy process. Add to the fact that I don’t exactly have a ton of free time anymore to write, but I get inspired in short spurts, and make a little progress here and there. (And I want to finish my backlog of stories in a series, so I can focus more on new material.)

But anyway, I just completely a lengthy fight scene from one of my stories. Back in the day, I remember this particular story standing out for the outstanding level of details I went into with the fight scenes, more than I had ever before. But my style has improved since then, and now most of my fight sequences as just as detailed. Still, I wanted to go all out on this one, so it’s required some extra effort to get it down. I’m not sure if the current version stands up or not (it doesn’t help that I’m the only one who reads these, so there’s ever only really one opinion in play) but it seems okay for now.

But when trying to make it stand out, I’m realizing how hard it is to come up with cool new ideas. I mean, I’m probably more violent-minded that most (in that I spend way too much time choreographing fight sequences in my head.) But I have like zero real world experience or training, so really it’s just my flavor of Hollywood style actions. (I’d like to think I stay realistic, but I’m sure some of the sequences are nigh physically impossible to pull off. Oh well.) But see, I like going into more detail than “he threw a punch,” ext. But I’m finding that I’m starting to exhaust my ideas. Half the ideas that jump to my mind have been done in my other stories, and I don’t want to get into some sort of rehashing situation. And I’m coming to realize that I need to be far more creative with how I orchestrate my scenes in the future, or else they’ll go stale and be boring. And since I’m the one also reading, I don’t want em to be boring. (I also want to experiment with some more characterizations; I have a few varied ones, but I keep revisiting them in multiple stories, and I feel like I need to bring in something fresh to challenge myself as a writer. Then I remember I’m not a career writer and this is merely just a pastime, not to mention one that I’m not necessarily comfortable sharing.)

Eh, sorry for the writer-rambling stuff. And all this, and I still don’t have a new update for my BZ-Koro story. Between preparing for Bricks Cascade and writing my own stories the last few nights, I haven’t touched it yet. I’ll update it eventually; I hope nobody’s too impatient about finding out what happens next.



Animorphs in Animal-Mechs

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Feb 22 2015 · 150 views

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This is for a collaboration at BricksCascade. Basically, I had Animorph figs and I wanted to show them off, so I forced them into this set.

I've had a couple ideas of how to incorporate the figs into some battle scene, and it's tricky. The characters are rarely in battle as humans, because they usually morph into animals. But even if I made minifig-scale brick build animals (or somehow used animal molds) I wouldn't have a need for the actual figs. So how would I pull this off? Well, I put my custom made figs into animal mechs! And then I set them out against various henchman. Since this is the Super Heroes theme, I decided that Red Skull was the baddies leader, and he has allied with the Yeerks, thus explaining the Hork-Bajir mech and Visser Three.

This will probably go straight over the heads of most people, since I bet they all aren't obsessed with a decade-and-a-half old book series. But I do like how some of the animal mechs turned out, so that should work, and they can ignore the backstory!



Gali Masters Mosaic Sound-Off

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, MOCs Feb 20 2015 · 152 views

Heyo! I've been trying to contact those of you who were making pieces, but for completion's sake, I'm putting together a quick blog post.

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Complete - In Progress - Assuming Progress - No Claim

Xccj: 05, 06, 08, 09 Completed
Chocolate Frogs: 10 Completed
Black Six: 01, 02, 04 In Progress
Kayru: 07 In Progress
Based Goomy: 12 Assuming Progress
Danny316p: 11 Assuming Progress

This does mean that we currently have one piece left unclaimed. I've exhausted all my baseplates and a lot of my bricks (except, surprisingly, dark azure and medium blue) so if I need to fill that last one out, it'll mean some last minute orders I'm just waiting on an order of the parts, hope it arrives on time. And it is a bit last minute, seeing as Bricks Cascade is less than three weeks away. So if you're sending in a piece, sooner than later. ;)

Another thing to consider is sending this on the BZP Convention circuit after Cascade, which means it'll go to Brick Universe, BrickFair NE, and Brickfair VA. (And then I'd prefer to have it shipped back to me for BrickCon, which would skip BrickFair NJ, but a majority of the pieces come from west-coasters who can pick up their pieces at BrickCon.) I don't mind handling shipping for the whole thing, as long as everybody else is cool with this? (Alas, I also don't expect it to have a stand for the east coast conventions, but it'll fit mine for the west coast ones.)

Thoughts, status updates appreciated. Thankee!




Matau, Master of Air

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Feb 17 2015 · 154 views
BBC COntest 69
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Topic Here!

The biggest issue is that I ordered some Rahkshi feet in dark green from Bricklink, and then when the order finally got in, it contained Metru feet in dark green. Like, I already had those, I made the order because I wanted a different style!! So I had to redo the feet. I dunno if it's for better or worse.

Also I'm remembering why I hate MOCing in dark green; it's a terrible color to photograph.

Anyway, entering the contest. And stuffs.



Fredies Comes Through Again

Posted by xccj , in News Feb 17 2015 · 100 views

After having no new sets all through January (except the Series 4 Mixels), Fred Meyers has come back strong with a bunch of new sets in store, including City, Chima, Bionicle (but only Kopaka, Onua, and LoSS), Ultra Agents, and (most excitedly) Elves and Ninjago. I'm planning to save a couple of purchases for the double VIP points from Lego stores in March, but I couldn't resist and purchased a two of the three new Ninjago sets right away. (They didn't have them all there.) Expect reviews shortly.

Also, my complaint to Kumata Nuva. I keep automatically saying "Tournament of Shadows" when I mean "Tournament of Elements" as seen in the Ninjago television series. Kumata, your Epic / RPG has got that name engrained into my head!



Review: Brainiac Attack

Posted by xccj , in Review Feb 15 2015 · 167 views
And here’s another short review. I ordered 76040 Brainiac Attack at the start of the new year, but then it got backordered and I didn’t receive it until the end of the month. But I’ve put it together and now will speak my mind on this.

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Brainiac Attack is $24.99 USD, the second cheapest DC Super Heroes set out this winter and the cheapest one to get Superman in. And you wouldn’t be amiss if you got this strictly for the figs; technically they’re all unique, although that’s slightly misleading. Superman’s head, hair, and torso are all reused from previous versions, although not necessarily all from the same fig. The only main difference is the cape, which is a new softer fabric material, unlike the paper-like capes of old. On one hand, it doesn’t fit around the necks quite as nicely, but it feels much better to touch. The new cape style is seen with the other figs too. Martian Manhunter is also not exactly new, as he showed up in a polybag last year, but he does have some more-obviously updated printing, plus the two part cape. Brainiac is completely new, with a new lime green head and tubes printed on his torso. But, honestly, he’s kind of boring. The real reason to get this set would be the unique Supergirl, who comes with a nice female torso printing, a printed skirt on her legs, and a soft fabric cape. Don’t get me wrong, the other figs are nice and certainly help build out a child’s Justice League. But since I got Sups and MM already, Kara was the one I was after.

Then there’s the actual build, because they need to include bricks with their minifigs nowadays. It appears to be some skull UFO manned by Brainiac. I confess, I’m not that deep into DC lore, so I have no idea how comic-book accurate this is. I guess it’s seen in the latest Batman game, so that makes it worthwhile. The bulk of it is pretty meh; it feels just like another standard UFO from Alien Conquest. The tentacles at the bottom are a neat touch, and I like the use of the technic beams to attach them to the craft. The most interesting design feature, however, is the skull on the front, which has some neat SNOT (studs not on top) usage, especially with the cheese slopes on the nose. Piece wise, there’s not a lot here that’s of interest. The silver tentacles elements are relatively rare, haven’t only appeared in, wouldn’t ya know it, Bionicle playsets. This is also the only set to get the 8x8x3 dome in trans neon green. Oh, and it has that new super jumper thing, which you can attach to a minifig and use to make them leap. I’m not a huge fan of it, so it’s probably not going to get used much. . . ever.

Honestly, I’m a little disappointed in this set. All on it’s own, it’s not too bad, because it comes with a good cast of character, a decent build, and all at an affordable price. But it feels too repetitive, from the UFO build to the reused figs and not enough interesting pieces. For a more dedicated fan, I might avoid this one and try for one of the others. (I mean, the Green Lantern set definitely delivers, and it’s even cheaper than this one.) Unless you want Supergirl, like I did. Since she’s currently going for $10 on Bricklink anyway, might as well get the full set with her for just a little bit more.


September 2015

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Is that the light at the far end of the tunnel, or just the train.
~ Owl City

Lisztomania, think less but see it grow. Like a riot, like a riot, Oh.
~ Phoenix

I took a sip of something poison but I'll hold on tight.
~ Foster the People

Birds sing for you, you can make this blue sky blush
~ Oh Land

On the other side of the street I knew, stood a girl that looked like you.
I guess that's Déjà vu, but I thought this can't be true
~ Train

But even the sun sets in paradise
~ Maroon 5

Crazy how that shipwreck meant my ship was coming in
~ Train (Again?)

So make now your ally, and leap before you look
~ Nothing's Carved In Stone

I'm just too much a coward to admit when I'm in need.
~ Passion Pit

Just believe in far away, ikiru tame ni sore wa
~ Song Rider

Everything that drowns me makes me want to fly.
~ One Republic

I live my life in shackles, but I'm borderline-free.
~ Tove Styrke


Ha Ha

You scrolled to the bottom.

I now control your mind.