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Team J.A.F.


Gali Masters Mosaic: Final

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Mar 18 2015 · 126 views

This past weekend at Bricks Cascade, the collaborative Gali Masters Mosaic finally came together. (A little last minute too, with the ones being sent in arriving just in the nick of time and another one requiring some last minute updates.) I haven't got pictures for everything else yet, but time to present this mosaic in its full glory!

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And it wouldn't be a BZPower mosaic without a group pict of all the builders. (Yes, ALL of them, even the ones that weren't physically there.)

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From left to right: Trisha, Andrew*, Jason, Ben, Dan*, Riley.

Thanks again to everybody who contributed. And fret not if you weren't able to see this one; it's on the BZPower Convention MOC circuit, so it'll be showing up at a few east coast conventions, including BrickFair!


*photoshopped into pict :P


Animorphs in Animal-Mechs

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Feb 22 2015 · 131 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 · 128 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 · 134 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.



More Thoughts on BBC Contest 69

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, MOCs Feb 14 2015 · 154 views

Oh man, this has got to be my favorite contest in a while. It's so awesome to see all the entries of classic characters reimagined. I mean, there were some neat builds in the BFTGM, but this is just an awesome revamp nostalgia trip with some swell designs of characters big and small! I mean, I always appreciated a good revamp, and this contest is littered with em. I have a feeling the polls are going to be REALLY tough!

I also don't know how well my entry will do in comparison. I haven't see my chosen character pop up yet, but he undoubtedly will. Still waiting on my Bricklink order... I think it arrived in the mail today, but I won't be able to retrieve the package until Tuesday. :( (Stupid tiny mailboxes and having them hand it to my apartment manager who has really bad hours.)



Working on my BBC Contest Entry

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, MOCs Feb 10 2015 · 113 views

Sorry, no picts, but I can at least talk about it and the contest in general.

I was already planning a project that would require me to rebuild a Toa Metru (I won't tell which one yet). I was thinking about designing it akin to my Toa Mata revamps, in that I would build a custom torso and then use my basic and unarmored limb design. But this contest gave me an excuse to try it out a little more CCBS style. Unfortunately, the finished model ended up being too big for my original project, so I need to make another scale character for that one. But I'm overall pleased with the design, although as always there are parts I wish I could fix, but color and CCBS restrictions don't really allow for it. And strangely enough, only one Toa Masters was sacrificed for parts; the other five are still on display. (Sorry Pohatu!)

Anyway, I'm awaiting on a Bricklink order to get a part in the right color. When that comes in, I'll enter my MOC. If it doesn't come in before the deadline... well then that part just becomes black and I'll call it good. (I'm not too worried, since most BrickLink orders arrive within a week. But I have one that I ordered back at the beginning of the year and the seller STILL hasn't shipped it out yet, and they haven't been very polite about it either. They're not going to get a negative review from me, but the odds of them getting a positive review are dropping sharply. So, y'know, a neutral review.)

Anyway, reading through the BBC Contest topic has been interesting. There've been other BBC Contests since Bionicle ended, but I think this might be one of the bigger BZP-only MOC ones in a long time. And as such, there has been a lot of nit-picking about the rules. I mean, there used to be a fair amount of that in every BBC Contest, but I'm seeing that a lot of them are asking for clarification on rules that are now kind of irrelevant, but were put into place years earlier when it was an issue. It's interesting to see how things have changed in the decade or so that I've been following BBC Contests. (Or haven't changed... I now integrate a lot more System pieces into my builds, and that often puts me in conflict with the 75-25 ratio. But hey, it's their contests.)

But the biggest change seems to be the new form system for entering your models in. On one hand, that's an excellent idea. Instead of cluttering the topic with entry posts, they're all entered in differently, and I assume it's also easier to track and grab links from the new system. But what I find interesting is how little discussion there is of it in the topic. Every once in a while there's a vague "Make sure you read everything" statement, which you know is referring to all the members entering the old way. Why not just downright say "Enter via the form, that's the new way we're doing things, entries via post will be ignored." It just seems odd to me, like the new form is a secret only to those who read the full text entirely; like one of those trick assignments in elementary school that tricks you to doing stupid stuff unless you read to the bottom where it then tells you not to do any of it. I get that it's a way to get people to READ all the rules first, which I'm sure a lot of people don't do, but it just seems in contrast to the usual IN YOUR FACE reminders of the rules I've come to expect. :P (And to be fair, I missed this on my first few readings of the topic, maybe just because of change-blindness cause the old way of entering just seems second nature to me. :shrugs: ) (Also, if you're concerns that I'm "giving away the secret" in my blog, tis okay, nobody really reads this anyway!)

Anyway, yeah, it's been an interesting contest so far, and I can't wait to see more of the various entries!



Bionicle Double-Decker Couch

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Feb 05 2015 · 137 views

I haven't blogged much lately, so I'm gonna start out with a new MOC I've been working on for a while...

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I have yet to see a Double-Decker Couch built out of Bionicle elements yet, so I went ahead and built one myself. Granted, it's a little messy and not very stable, especially since the characters are just barely attached to it. But I think it comes off well.

That is a new Matoran design, and while I'd like to say it's mostly Bionicle, that's kinda untrue. The torsos are primarily system built, with lots of curved slope action going on. The hips are that one Hero Factory piece that just managed to fit into some technic bricks, and then of course the limbs are just HF CCBS elements. Still, I was able to make it work in a variety of colors to get the Bionicle characters I wanted.

If you've followed my stories in the past, you might recognize these characters. And since probably none of you have, I'll just name em off. Top row is Kulagi (Kanoka Maker), Sufina (Chemist) and Triki (Eccentric crazy peron.) Kulagi and Sufina are a pair, BTW. Bottom is Gragu (Gang Matoran, technically a baddie), Tuili (Okay, he never actually made it into my stories), Vakama (Mask Maker... you might know of him), and Huaju (Traveler).

The TV is also mostly system with a frame of CCBS pieces. Yes, I'm aware that TVs don't actually operate by having little piece inside of them act out the shows, but that seems a decent way to pull off the model. Later I might also add some accessories for the Matoran, like food and drinks and a remote control.

I have more pictures, but I'm too lazy to edit them, so I'll upload em later. And then I'll post like an actual topic for this, with more shots of the Matoran in poses. (I'm actually really happy with the design.) But wanted to share something, so here it is!



Okoto Socket Mosaic

Posted by xccj , in MOCs Jan 20 2015 · 92 views

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Okoto Socket Mosaic by Xccj, on Flickr

Not going to talk much about this; it's a concept idea I had, a mix between a sculpture and a mosaic of the new Okoto island. Maybe it's just me, but the shape just doesn't seem iconic or anything, so it's kinda hard to tell if I matched it well enough? Now I want to do the Mata Nui island in the same style... but all my sockets got used here, for the most part.

I tried some new things here. I flipped every other column to mix things up, although this made it a huge pain when I tried to take sections apart to adjust coloring. I also have it fully secured in the back using liftarms, so this one won't just be held together by duct tape. (It's still slightly warped. I dunno how these socket mosaics get so warped, must be some design aspect of the piece.) Finally, I added some layering effects, where the sockets are stacked two or three high, in the mountainous regions. This also allowed for the creation of some pits in the earth region and some trans orange parts with an orange backing in the fire region.

Anyway, yeah, here it is.



Final Gali Masters Mosaic Design

Posted by xccj , in Lego Conventions, MOCs Jan 18 2015 · 230 views
So I made some changes based on suggestions by some members (ironically ones who probably won't participate) and now we have this design:

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People who've remarked interest:

Xccj: Pieces 05, 08, and 09
Chocolate Frogs: 10
Black Six: 01, 02
Letagi: 03, 06
Kayru: 07
Based Goomy: 12
Danny316p: 11

List of sections with difficulty and color requirements:

Piece 01: (Medium) Black Six Claimed. Requires dark green, lime, black, lgt gray, white
Piece 02: (Easy) Black Six Claimed. Little bit of dark green and green, then black, white, lgt gray.
Piece 03: (Medium) Letagi Claimed. Blue, Dark Blue, dk gray, lgt Gray, Tan, lots of White
Piece 04: (Easy) Dark green, Lime, Green, lots of white and lgt gray, Pending Xccj Claim
Piece 05: (Hard) Xccj Claimed. (Yellow, orange, dk tan, sand blue, dk azure, dk blue)
Piece 06: (Medium) Letagi Claimed. A few medium blue, one purple, some tan, redish-brown, dark blue, blue, black, both grays, white
Piece 07: (Medium) Kayr Claimed. A few dark azure and medium blue, some dark blue, blue, black, dk gray, lots of white and lgt gray
Piece 8: (Hard) Xccj Claimed. (Dk Azure, Dk Blue, Med. Blue, Sand Blue, Purple, Blue, Black)
Piece 9: (Hard) Xccj Claimed. (Dk Azure, Dk Blue, Blue, Med Blue, Yellow)
Piece 10: (Easy) CF Claimed. (Dk Blue, blue, Dk Gray, Lgt Gray, White)
Piece 11: (Hard) Dany316p Claimed. Dk Azure, Medium Blue, Blue, Dark Blue, Tan, Black, Dk Gray, Lgt Gray, White
Piece 12: (Easy) Based Goomy Claimed. Some medium blue, dark blue, tan, dk gray, black, then lgt gray, blue, lots of white.

Claim your piece now and bring it to Bricks Cascade!

(And if we can't make it to twelve baseplates, we might need to tweak this down to a 96x96 stud mosaic. But hopefully we can pull it off!)

We would have some standards. This is going to be a studs up mosaic, with a brick's depth. (This means you can stack three plates and only the top one has to be the right color!) We want solid studs on top, so any regular plate or brick will work, but bricks with hollow studs, like technic bricks, are out. Let me know if you have any questions about colors or whatnot; I'm not against making small tweaks here and there. I also claimed most of the pieces with rare colors, which I'm pretty sure I can cover with my collection. If you feel you can cover one of the pieces I've claimed, I'll be happy to give it up, but I figured most people who'd want to participate might not have been collecting as much dark azure, dark purple, or sand blue as me. :P

This is meant for Bricks Cascade, but since that convention is on the official BZP MOC Convention Circuit, pieces could theoretically be sent in too.

Thanks again, and claim your piece(s) today!



Potential Toa Masters Mosaics?

Posted by xccj , in MOCs, Lego Conventions Jan 12 2015 · 124 views
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These are, of course, raw versions that I just threw through Pic-to-Brick's mosaic generator once. (Oh, I got that to work for me again, turns out I didn't have Java installed. Huh.) Anyway, things would definitely get tweaked to stay with more consistent coloring. Particularly, the backgrounds would probably get changed to grayscale, although I'd probably keep the styling instead of making it a solid background. Adds some extra flair, if just for shades of gray.

I myself am partial to the Gali pose (which is 96x128 studs, the other two being 96x96) however Pohatu's did turn out to be the sharpest. I looked at Kopaka and Lewa and didn't really see any nice action scenes that would translate to mosaics well. Tahu might have some, yes, but he moves too fast and I don't like the video device they have on Bionicle.com, makes it hard to go frame-by-frame. :shrugs:

Opinions? I'd consider other suggestions too.


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