Sunday, November 12, 2006

"Give Me Something to Chew On," She Said

It's been a while, blogsketeers! I've been too busy conspicuously not building to update, and this is the first chance I've had to come up for air from my busy schedule of internet surfing, online RPGs and sleeping in until sunset. Sure I may be neglecting the blog, but it's not like I'm Tim Deering or anything.

Anyways I'm thinking about entering this year's Classic Castle contest, though I didn't manage to eke anything out for last year. The competition is never that stiff, so it's relatively easy to "prize-snipe", but I'm up against my monumental lack of motivation. And even if I did manage to build a little something-something, there's no guarantee the radical anti-fantasy contingent over there would find it acceptable. So we'll see.

The first offering for today is an Amsterdam canal house by Lowlug member Patrick Bosman. It strikes me as a very uneven MOC: some of the details are exquisitely rendered, but others are lacking. For example, the baroque frosting on top of the front fa├žade is well-done, except for the baroque curlicues in the middle. Now the belville plate serves well though it's not an oval, and the balustrades are spot-on, but the sparsely placed white plumes don't do the original justice. I do appreciate the half-stud offset, and the two-tone parquet floors are a nice touch, but the greater part of the baroque detail is bafflingly unreadable. Given that it was in a recent Lowlug show, I'm going to guess it was rushed. I can certainly sympathize, as every year before Brickfest I half-assedly scramble to (almost) finish everything that's been lying around incomplete for months. He seems to be leveling up though, so I'll have to keep an eye on him.

The worryingly prolific izzo has done up an excellent steampunk train engine, which has single-handedly given me an inferiority complex. Just look at that cow catcher. It's a little slick and black for my tastes, but damned if it doesn't have style. Concerning izzo himself, I'm a little concerned. He's been churning out MOCs at a dizzying pace, and it leads me to wonder if he's just lost a job, or become a hikikomori. Don't lose hope, izzo! Be sure to get proper nutrition!

Okay, am I the only one thoroughly creeped out by this town MOC? Tile siding, geometrically perfect roof trim, rectangular flower bed where they buried the leftover limbs? Seriously though, the flat baseplate landscape and the way the driveway just sort of ends makes you think that the world stops along with it. Like in The Others. So "matija", if that is your real name, stop kidding yourself and put a knife in that classic smiley fig chick's hand. We won't feel bad for her Gilderoy-Lockhart-coiffed hubby, who's clearly cheating on her with his secretary, never mind the fact that he takes the convertible to work and she's stuck bringing the groceries home on a bicycle.

This train by Lowlugger Rene Kok has been skulking around the Brickshelf recent pages lately, and I was waffling on blogging it, but I guess I'll put it in after all. Not that I encourage updating folders just to keep them recent; it's obnoxious and smacks of attention-whoring. About the MOC: where the hemorrhaging fuck are the driver wheels? For those not familiar with steam engines, a train without driver wheels is like the zombie you don't realize is a zombie until you see the chest cavity gaping open, all entrails dragging on the pavement. I know it's supposed to be like that, but it still gives me the willies. It seems most of the effort went into the pneumatic drive, with little left over for looks (for instance, a wing plate would have been excellent on the boiler here). And somebody please tell me he's using this Explorien sticker ironically. I hate to say it, but this is what happens when you let Technic guys out of their box.

This new train-car-I-mean-engine by Japanese Brickshelfer mumu nicely triangulates peachtree and sekiyama to form a triumvirate of Japanese town-themed bizarreness. Despite its name, nobody actually lives on the "house of train"; it merely looks "house-y". Points for incorporating that damnable Belville arch, and I really like the "spine" on the roof. I'm going to let the doors used as windows slide, but the simple slopes on the undercarriage strike me as a cop-out. I do love the engineer in front of this thing: it has no room for a diesel engine, and it doesn't have the pantograph to be a trolley, so it's clear he's not going anywhere. But he's grinning like a fool nonetheless.

Lomero (known as "sir" on Classic-castle) did up a Civil-War-era-looking steamship not too long ago, and it's cool, but got all the details wrong. First off: the green crenellations. Is it because he's a castler and instinctively put them along the edge? It would have been much easier to make it look like a proper ship hull by continuing the 1x2 curved-wall technique through to the green layer. The paddlewheel doesn't seem to be actually connected to anything, though it's a good rendition of a paddlewheel. Also, the firebox is in the pilot house instead of deep down in the ass-end of the ship where it should be, which means the poor helm was relegated to the roof. I do however have to give Lomero props for making the tile deck match up to the curved hull, and for the understated smokestacks, and for that nice little flag. Its heart was in the right place, just not its boiler. Also: why is it hauling rubble?