Monday, November 28, 2005

A Belated Appraisal


I will admit: It's been a full ten days since our favorite monosyllabic builder, Ry, finished his first foray into floating rock-building. Kevoh, in the interests of integrity, was unable to comment on this fine creation. So the only feeble defense I can offer you, gentle readers, is that I was "on vacation". Kevoh's excuse on my behalf was well-intentioned, but false: I never liked Interpol much.

As for the rock! The odd shape is appealing, and the surface is interestingly (if a bit perilously) sloped. I'm not sold on the bamboo shoot bricks on the lawn, but there's so few options for underbrush that I can hardly blame Ry for using them. I like the way they've grown up around the disused orrey, though. The secret space-y basement (spacement?) is a cute thumb-bite at the Castle contingent, but a bit ironic as the Floating Rock meme is more popular with people in the Space crowd. Oh, and the gyrocopter is gold.


The house is charmingly top-heavy. When Ry was building it, he was initially at a loss as to a roof for such odd-shaped walls. The mushroom-inspired roof is striking, distinctive, and sure to achieve notoriety. Perhaps it's better he didn't follow my suggestion of making it a Mansard roof. The door is nice for a brick-built, but looks like it would withstand a full-scale siege. Seems to me Ry doesn't buy many Castle-type sets. Somebody send him a Harry Potter door!

Floating Rocks have a long and storied history. Their humble beginnings reside in a MOC of mine from back in '02, complete with fly-through fast-victuals shack and a teleport pad. How quaint! But Brickfest '04 was when it became firmy lodged in the collective consciousness. I re-imagined the village for Brickfest '04, but it suffered from being rushed: I'd completed it the night before I left. I was in such a hurry, I didn't even have time to make villagers, but scooped up some Final Fantasy-ish mages I had lying around. Imagining I'd quickly build a better one, I never did take pictures of it, so the only evidence of its existence lies in others' Brickfest photo albums. Lenny brought his famous moonbase non-module to that same Fest and coined the term. And so the destiny of the genre-orphan Rocks was forged.

There've been a few uninhabited rocks built: Soren built one, Tim built two, and "Watkins" made one with a (nostalgic!) teleport pad. Our own Kevoh built a rock for BF05, with attendant floating house. Nathan Proudlove raised the stakes with his waterfall-endowed castle in the air, and the indefatigable Lenny made two more excellent rocks, home to those wizard-types I'm secretly ambivalent about.

I meant to bring a new village to BF05, and even filled out a MOC Card for it, but last summer was kinda dark-agey for me and it never had a chance of being finished in time. I've recently begun working on it again, and I'll share with you (as reward for suffering through my pompous and treacly prose) a secret in-progress pic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Miss Fat Booty

Here's a striking specimen from the presumably-new-to-the-scene Brickshelfer modelgal. Would you look at the shleim on that thing! I hate to think how many tiles and jumper plates went into it. The only bit I'm not thrilled with is the head, but I know it's pretty damned hard to make a decent dragon head with Lego.

This dragon looks like it's been sitting on its hoard of gold watching "All My Hatchlings" a bit too long. That awkward-looking knight doesn't look like it'll be good for much exercise as much as another high-cal snack. It's high time our not-so-mini dragon friend changed the channel to one of those aerobics shows, and I don't mean Sit and Be Fit.

BimP my Ride?

Looks like Tom "Dr. Cranium" McDonald has been building again. My first impression was, "It's a hovership gussied up for a night on the town!" You know, because of the orange antenna bits.

The hip thing about it is, like all the cool RC racers, it can drive upside-down. The driver's seat flips over, too. It's super-toytastic, but I imagine I'd get a bit queasy driving the thing.

Construction-wise, I really like the wheels. The car is a tad too wide for my tastes. The addition of white to the colorscheme seems like a token gesture, like he wanted it to be all orange but didn't have the right parts. And I don't like the dragging antennae, unless they're designed to shower the car behind it in sparks. Which would be awesome.

If you're reading this on ILENN, by the way, drop by and leave us a note! Propriety demands it!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Renovate!


Why build a new building when you can renovate? See, this may be news to us Americans, but over in Europe they have something called "architectural history". This means that they have old buildings. It can be hard to imagine for us in The Land of Opportunity and Big-Box Retail Stores, but some buildings in Europe are older than your moms! Some are even older than your grandma!

Reinhard "Ben" Beneke, a known European, has the benefit of all that "architectural history" they have across the pond, and makes MOCs of these ineffable old buildings. His new gas station is a renovation of an older building, invoking a double dose of nostalgia.

The building flaunts it: lots of gray tiles for the timbering look, light yellow walls on the second floor, a weirdly small 70's door, macaroni bricks, old-school printed bricks, garage door bits, shleimy doors in back, and checkerboard floors. And yet I feel like something's missing. Perhaps he's saving some things, like cars filling their gas tanks, for its train layout debut.

Oh yeah, and if you're not familiar with Ben's work, I command you to peruse his gallery. Even though he's a train guy.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Gingerbread House... for Pandas


Here we have a modest bamboo cottage by Taiwanese Brickshelfer echao. The first bamboo building I've seen, and sure to be the definitive for quite some time. I wonder if a tan version of this would pass muster?

I like this MOC. It's chic, it's understated, but I would have put in a few more details. Something in the courtyard, perhaps, if I couldn't wheedle a bit of landscape. I like the tree, but the trunk needs to be its own color. And maybe a couple more figs; the Lenny analogue inside just isn't enough. But perhaps I'm too hard on him. Not everyone can have a wealth of parts, yes?

Furthermore, don't be shy about mucking around in the rest of his Shelf gallery. You never know when you'll stumble across some hidden gems.

On a site-related note, it looks like I'm falling behind in this posting thing. I would like to say Kevoh keeps beating me to the punch, but I fear I've been shirking my duties a bit. But do not fret, Gentle Readers, because you have my word that I will approach this blog with a renewed zeal. Or something.