Friday, February 03, 2006

You and Your Orange Sweater


There's been a good many things posted in the past week or so, and I have been adamantly putting off posting about them. But lugnet.build.mecha's Iron Mecha Contest just ended, which will need some coverage, so I figured I may as well dig in my heels and get through my backlog.

The first MOC I meant to post on the first time around, but what with one thing and another, I never got it done. Luckily FBTB's Darktide did up a second version, so I wouldn't feel lame about posting on old news. He points out the specifics of the revision here, so I won't go into them. What originally struck me about this is, of course, the wings. It's a simple enough solution, but I'm still rather enamoured of it. The beastly TIE canopy is integrated as well as it can be at this scale, so I won't begrudge him that little problem. What was a bit disappointing about the revision, for me at least, was how he got rid of the awesome obtuse angle of the wings and changed it to a safe, structurally sound 45 degree angle. As someone who also does a lot of direct-from-pop-culture MOCs, I understand the importance of accuracy, but we're talking Expanded Universe here, so there should be some aesthetic wiggle room.

Well, you knew it was going to happen: someone posts something steampunk, and it's only a matter of time until us steam fanboys here at Golden Shpleem pubicly salivate over it. This charming little omnibus is the work of Eric Druon, known to most as "that French guy who sells all his MOCs". It's mostly studs-up brick and plate construction, which gets the job done well enough. I think the cab could do with a bit of color, though. Given the many color options for those windows, I would have maybe chose red or dark purple. Or both! The undercarriage gets that spindly turn-of-last-century look down just right. The back wheels look nice with the spoked wheels in the hubs, but I'm ambivalent about the non-lego solution used for the tire. I think it's black masking tape. Be that as it may, I would have liked the front wheels to match. Perhaps it was a parts issue.

The infamous Mladen Pejic has graced us with what looks to be his biggest hexapod mecha tank yet. It is a paragon of understatement: a palette of white, grays, tan and black constitute a creation at once imposing and demure. The streamlined hammerhead is comfortable without ornament. The twin railguns, supermodel-thin, don't speak the language of limitation, but intention. Through some alchemical process, he succeds in making even these stolidly un-pretty bar fences look good. But don't think I don't have my nitpicks. The flags on the back of the main body strike me as a little weak; perhaps he hadn't yet gotten his second wind greeb-wise. This might be a little unfair, but the underside of the body could do with a bit of detail, due to the fact that ground-based enemies (tanks, minifigs, smaller mecha) would be seeing a lot of it. Aside from that, the MMP is a near-perfect culmination of years of working with large spider mechs. The prudent thing to do would be to branch out now, Mladen, before you get stuck in a monumental rut. Hopefully it's not too late.

The "other Admiral" Chris Giddens strikes a blow to spacers' core beliefs with his concept-art-inspired cargo ship, Denarius. It's yellow. It's boxy. And it's not a subtheme. It provoked a lot of soul-searching among the CSF crowd, to say the least. The consensus was, "I like the greebles". It's true, there are some really good bits in there. But I also love the shape and color. It doesn't look like a naval battleship with wings! Anyways, that recessed cockpit is nice, and the hull texture looks neither busy nor sparse. The exception is the topside, which somehow falls short of the mark. It's just a lot of stuff up there, really. It looks like Mr. Giddens was unable to resist the sinister siren song of this rubber stretcher frame thing. I can't comment on below too well, as we never got the right angle. To quote a Decemberists B-side, "All I want is a good look at your underside". But I must admit that even I have my limits when it comes to the amount of yellow. Specifically, the interior. I imagine being on a long cargo run, with all that bright sunny yellow around you... it's no wonder there's only one crew member and the captain left. Perhaps that's why the last one looks to be on a tight leash? This thing should've ideally had an interior wall in some neutral color. Between that and this quick and dirty ambulance mod used as cargo, this ship seems more like a reactionary response to the space aesthetic dialogue than a MOC he would have made in a vacuum.

Niels Bugge guilts us all about not doing our geometry homework with his new "Piranha" fighter. Done in the style of Kyle Vrieze, this slicker-than-snot ship smiles its schleim on us all. Okay, enough alliteration for me. Great form, divine color scheme, and nailed the usage of transparent green. You know, in moderation. I love the round-cornered plates as a heatsink, and I don't even mind the slope wedges on the tail. Truly, when Lego and Pythagoras team up, they hit the Aristotelian mean.

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