MOC: Thráin

 And once again it's the time of the year when the bearded old man in red clothes travels around the lands. But this time the sack full of toys is replaced with a huge brutal warhammer... And instead of "ho ho ho" loud "Baruk Khazad! Khazad-Ai-Menu" can be heard, when Thrain son of Thror rages around the valley of Azanulbizar killing orcs.

Building this MOC wasn't an ordinary experience. I had built the head and beard a few weeks ago, but everything else was done yesterday (with some tweaks today). The thing was, the sad thing, that our dog, Maikki, died yesterday at the age of 9 for a brain tumour. Probably building this was sort of therapy for me, I don't know. There isn't any deeper truth on this, as I'm pretty much down-to-earth type guy, but at least I had something to do.

As a creation, this is sort of a spin-off to my Company of Thorin Oakenshield project. Thráin, played by Michael Mizrahi, is unfortunately almost cut of from the theatrical version of the Hobbit movies, and is only barely seen in the prologue of The Unexpected Journey. In this MOC he wears the suit of armor he used in the Battle of Azanulbizar near the gates of Moria. It is seen in the extended prologue of Desolation of Smaug, and there are great photos of it in Weta Workshop's Hobbit Chronicles book Cloaks and Daggers. It also features crimson fur-rimmed cloak and his huge warhammer.

As usual, I began with the head and beard. The dark grey parts where black are first, but changing them to grey gave Thrain some deserved aging. Wings as a sideburns on his twin-color beard where there from the beginning, as wee the golden fez beard ornaments. Nose and brow tattoos are there too, with the lost left eye.
The armor was easy and pleasing. I got an order from Bricklink store ChromeBricks yesterday, and it had these dark red curved sloped, wedges and wedge plates, with some gold grill pieces (they were very cheap). I'm very happu with the overall shaping of the armor, with its raven motif chestplate and chain mail bits (they are dark red in the movies but TLG doesn't make dark red short chains obviously). The clean studless surfaces with the chain parts and studdy fur trim create the look of different materials, which is always pleasure to achieve. And I finally had a change to use those pearl gold 2x2 rooftop slopes which come in masses in Fantasy Era Castle sets!

And finally, to anybody and everybody alike, merry Christmas, no matter how good or bad it is.



MOC: Tawa (Well, that was a surprise, right)

 Yes, it's Toa Tawa, the leader and founder of Bio-Klaani on Klaanon project again. Of all Klaanon characters, Tawa is the one I have built most versions of; all of then can be found on Brickshelf if you want to look for them (I don't remove my work from Brickshelf no matter how bad it looks today), and even this blog has F O U R different version. Oh my. The reasons are simple - The color scheme, yellow and purple (old good energic purple, not the current dark and boring one), is damn hard to work with, especially on elegant character like Tawa here. But this version is different, I think. You can see why.

It's the head, if you didn't notice. One of Tawa's most iconic features is her special Hau with trans-blue lens. The previous versions used old basic Hau in yellow, and it might have looked alright for people not familiar with Klaanon (so that's pretty much everyone who doesn't speak Finnish, because Klaanon, huge multi-author novel project, is entirely in Finnish), but for Klaanon writers and artists (All of whom are close friends of mine) it just never looked right. Plus the orgulous and somewhat masculine look on Hau never worked with Tawa's (usually) gentle personality.

So I built the mask. And even though proudness is pretty much a deadly sin in Finnish culture, I can say that I'm pretty darn happy with it. Look, I even got the grills on the cheeks.

The legs are taken from the old version, as they evolved with every revamp and ended up quite nice (but too long for the torso back then) on the latest one, posted in last summer. The last version felt quite good when I posted it, but seeing it on daily basis on my shelf just fed me up with the oddly-shaped torso (very thick from back to stomach and way too short and with the neck joint way too back) and destroyed it and tried to fiddle with the new one. It wasn't easy, but I think it turned out well. I'm glad I bought lots of yellow HF sets when those were common (well, they are not rare in the latest waves neither, but hey).

The arms are very SYSTEM-heavy. The tan skeleton arm fingers stand out a bit, but they are lot better than the droid arms on the last one, and these SYSTEM arms are more realistic and hold the weapons more naturally. The lower arm armor keeps falling of, but I quite like it, and at least it's purple.

Tawa also has a little friend here, Nöpö, the mascot dwarf Ussal crab of Bio-Klaani. I've build Nöpö before, and won the second (and the second last) building contest on Bio-Klaani forum with it. This new version is in the right scale with most of my current creations. Definitely adds play value.

The weapons have been featured before, but the lew arms and hands allow more dynamic posing. The old arms, especially the shoulders, were horrible; I can't think how I managed with them for years. Anyway, here's plenty of shots with action posing, photographed couple of weeks ago at our back yard with 1 degree celcius (still not enough for season) and very cold and stiff fingers. Enjoy.



Oh boy Steampunk Figbarf!

 Here's the second SPFB for this early December. These gentlefolk are a bit more adventurous than the ones on the previous barf!
Esk Ommanuel is a mechanic who has taken part on many expeditions to south, including savannas of Africa, uplands of  India and mountains of Argentina. She is widely knows of her coarse sense of humour.
Colonel Crabbel Smatherton used to be a decent blue-collar worker in a factory that makes wheels for trains, but once he got a decrease of salary and lost his two-week annual holiday, he rose to a rebellion a built himself a suit or armour using the machinery in the factory. He had a massive brawl with his bosses and got his vacation and old salary back.
Miss Ellen Hyderland is an avenger girl fighting for justice. She is deeply inspired by work of Miss Evelin Sharley, the original Rapier-For-Bastards fightress. Hyderland is not getting the grasp of the job yet, though. She has problems on sniffing the dirty money, and her skirts keeps getting between the doors ans stuff. And the brass sword, despite how good it looks, isn't quite as sharp as one made of cold steel would be.
Unlike Esk Ommanuel, Edwin Arvondsen likes the northern hemisphere better. He has discovered many arctic regions from his hot air balloon. His very warm clothed and accessories (Bear skin cape, reindeer fur and leather hat, wool coat, bushy moustache) protect him from wind and snowfall.
"Jump-Kick" Maingermund is one of the champions in "Shoot 'n' Run", an extreme sport combining show wrestling and biathlon. It consist of three armor-clad teams shooting each other with weak ray guns in diverse environments. The skeptics say that the sport is only the government's plan to train a special elite unit for military use, though.



And then there was a Steampunk Figbarf

 Yep, this is what I call steampunk figbarf, and I bet it needs no another explanation.

Captain William F. Scandalburg is the leader of "Home Security Guard", which is  not at all about home security, but about overly patriotic plans  including building a new dictatorship, tearing a few enemy flags with remarkably big cannons and settling the state a bit further to east, north, west and south. He's a very brisk and active man.
 Albert Tingelton is and inventor. Not of the mad type, though he has a attic room in an old manor, he uses lightning rods to power up his creations and he often tries to create new races of mechanical humanoid beings. But he's very punctual and likes to have a cup of tea and some biscuit with his friends and he never laughs madly, not even when winning a backgammon match.
 The Lady in Red, name unknown is a mystical and very rich woman who often donates decent sums of money to art galleries, promising painters and other intellectual activities. She has a disruptive sort of laugh and so much red clothes on that they say there must be an air conditioner inside.
 David Ernest Carriage is a passionate automobile hobbyist. He buys the latest replacement parts for his steam-powered rides from mailorder catalogues and cruises around the town with his driving goggles and waxed moustache. Likes good bread, by the way.
Marie-Ann Homburgton is one of these housemaids that could have put something of that old baron's drink before he passed out unexpectedly, or somehow let the boa into the duke's bedroom shortly before hes was turned into a glump of organic mass inside the giant reptile monster. But there has not been any evidence, so we can not suppose to much.



MOC: Alina

 Here's a MOC that have been on the building table for quite a some time. As you can see, it's another steampunk lady, this time in remarkably large size, standing 42 cm tall, not counting the base. The MOC can stand without the stand, but it makes posing very challenging.

Origins of this MOC have nothing too interesting. I wanted to use some costume ideas I hadn't used with my previous steampunk girls. I began with the legs, as usually with female models. The lower legs are very similar to Samus's, with those beautiful Chima printed armors as kneeguards. The upper legs don't surprisingly use Rahkshi back guards, as I wanted to show some bare skin there. I also used tan as the skin color. It's harder to use than tan due to limited part array, but looks a lot more natural. I'm very happy with the legs overall.

The skirt was hard. It's more rigid than intended, but it looks quite good in my opinion, and makes the MOC sturdier. It uses one of those net pieces as the frame, and long brown plates are connected to it using 1x1 round plates. Dark brown 1x2 plates add some detail, and the front has shorter and more mobile skirt.

The upper body is actually connected via one stud connected to a pin hole, but it is surprisingly sturdy and rarely falls off.

The dark red corset it similar in design to Alice Nautia's, but of course a lot bigger. The upper torso is pretty basic stuff, but I'm happy with the color blocking there. The arms are very similar to Qwena's, with a bit shorter sleeves and lower arm guards. The tan bits balance the color scheme.

The head was challenging. The head is always challenging. I wanted to make a bit more detailed face than in the most of my steampunk ladies, but it's very hard to build realistic faces that are not humorous. I simply took different shaped tan bits and fiddled around with them. I build another version with goggles earlier, but it was too tapering and tall. This one uses old good batarang eyelashes, but the head it a bit more shaped in general than before. The hat was originally sort of a pie hat, but turned into a cap because the ponytail blocked the back trim.

The photographing was hard as I haven't seen the sun for around two weeks. It's quite dark even in the midday this north, so I had Alina finished on table for a couple of weeks. Today I just went out and took the photos, and the light was somewhat enough. I have currently some new stuff to post already photographed, so I believe I can post stuff a bit more often than during this November (Three MOCs).