The Tundra Bull support campaign

The Tundra Bull support campaign
I currently have my Tundra Bull moc running on Lego Ideas, please click on the picture and cast your vote to help it reach the 10.000 mark!

vrijdag 24 oktober 2014

Inspirational Lego: a castle foosball table

A few weeks ago, the Skaersbaek weekend was held for the maybe the last time, though we all hope there will be next editions as the levels of builds seen there are bordering on the impressive.

Of course, strolling on the web for the `after` reports, I came about some awesome builds, and definitly a lot of inspiration is to be found amongst those.

One thing I tend to notice though compared to my old hobby of wargaming, is that Lego event `after action` reports are harder to come by then they are from even smaller wargame shows, though they have attendance levels even the biggest shows can only dream about.  For example, the first edition and relatively small BrickMania Limburg past august drew more paying attendees then Crisis, europe`s mainland biggest wargame show and one I helped out with for years when still a member of TSA.

BTW, for those intrested, Crisis is this year the 1st year of November...

But back to the Lego builds...

Perhaps the biggest and impressive build for me is this Castle style foosball table.  Smurf, you better start building matey!



This is one mightily selection of very impressive medieval castles.


I like penguins.  Penguins are my most visited animal in the Zoo of Antwerp, and when I still worked behind the corner of the Zoo, I could be found every day in their icy cold retreat during heat waves...


The Sagrade Familia in Barcelona, the worldfamous building by Gaudi, in Architecture scal.

Tin-Tin`s Rocket to the Moon.

Luke is making his run for the final moments of the Death Star...

Red Panda sculpture.

A big Roman camp


The waterfall effects on this rock is pretty well executed

Modern chinese city life.

Something is going horribly wrong at the temple of Petra...





Keep supporting the weekend, it would be a real shame to see this event disappear!






donderdag 23 oktober 2014

AoM Mill Phase 2: Down by the (Icky) River

After I deliberatly placed my phase 1 in Kaliphlim as a trade relationship to Mitgardia and linking it that way to our noble icy lands, I went for phase 2 with a Nocturnus influenced build.

This is a nice way to break up the building of wooden houses and snowy landscapes, yet allows me to connect the dots all to the village of Merak and other cities in Mitgardia, giving the idea behind the build`s fluff some substance and explanation.  And i still have a lot of purple bricks to do something with from an earlier PAB wall visit this year ;-)

In the southern regions of Mitgardia, where the lands of the Northmen border the dark swamps of Nocturnus, the waters are tainted.

Filled with the dirt and foul sorceries that come out of these dark lands, the region might not be to suitable for the local population to work with, but as in any good economy, a solution is often simple.

Hence when a traveller goes that far south, he will often encounter workers from the Dark Lands there, trying to earn a bit of coin in exchange for their labour.  Due to their higher resistance for the influences of their homelands, these workers are sought after to man the watermills and other places of `industry`.

Szzzz`tik and Skrat are two such Nocturnus workers, manning a small watermill on a southern bystream.  Even though the waters a foul, dirty and slightly noxious, their resistance to this make them highly treasured workers of the Mitgardian way of life.

Though their are voices in the Nocturnus government implying they are actually enslaved and forced labourers, not a single expat has returned to his himeland yet to confirm these vile rumours!


woensdag 22 oktober 2014

Snow White and the Huntsman movie review

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall,
Who is the Fairest of them All?

The past weekend me and the GF sat down to watch a movie together, something we actually don`t do often, but she wanted to see this one and I still needed to see this one, so with this common ground covered we tackled this interpretation of the tale of Snow White.

Now, the reason we don`t watch movies together often is because of the fact our intrests lie far and abroad.  She likes to watch modern horror movies like Paranormal Activity, chick flicks you get on `female` channerls, drama, and her intrest in fantasy and the likes is Harry Potter.  I on the other hand am the lover of scifi, fantasy and adventure, and while she hasn`t seen any of Star Wars movies and fell asleep during the Avengers, I still haven`t seen (nor ever will see) Twilight for example.

And we never go to the same movie in the cinema except The Hobbit.  She takes along a friend and is counting down to 50 Shades, I go with Nemesis and Age of Ultron is high on the anticipation list...

But back to Snow White.  Influenced by the classic, dark and moody Grimm story and not the Disney version, the movie features some known names like Thor the God of Thunder, that silly broad loving a sparkling vampire vegetarian and Charlize Theron.  Who keeps her bubs out of sight for once in this movie btw.
The rest is made up of mostly british actors, something I always cheer for in `high fantasy` movies as in my opinion traditional english still sounds better for a royal knight then the harsher american english, better suited imho to curse with at aliens.

Synopsis:

The intro of the movie immediatly sets the pace and tone for the movie.  The King`s grief over loosing his wife only a few years after Snow White was born leads him to war against a mysterious and dark army.  This results in a Gladiator style cavalry run into the midst of the enemy, odd creatures that fall apart when hit in glass like shards.  He frees a captive, Ravenna, and is immediatly enamoured by her beauty wedding her swiftly.  But unfortunatly for the King and the people of the Kingdom, she is a man-hating, evil sorceress who kills the king on the wedding night, and locks up Snow White away in the northern tower.

We also get to see the `face in the mirror` now, and to be honest, that looks more like a T-1000 then it does like a magical mirror, being a bronze shield that `flows` into a draped shape when `activated`.  And only she can see the apparition to boot.

Ravenna is afraid of growing old and ugly, and for that end, aided by her brother Finn, she requires the lifeforce of youthfull people.  She drains their energy, making her young again while leaving them dried out old husks, sometimes barely alive. 

The mirror teaches her that Snow White however will become fairer then her when she hits 18, so she decides to drain her on that day.  Unfortunatly, Snow White looks out of her window and sees a rusted nail portruding from the wall (so, she hasn`t then for 12 years????) and uses this to escape into the Dark Swamp.  She becomes hunted here by a creature looking like a Dementor, but I actually expected gollum to appear here (to just give an impression of the decent CGI levels used in the movie).

Ravenna summons one of the few survivors that have travelled into the Dark Forest and survived, a drunk and washed out Huntsman.  Promising him to reunite him with his deceased wife, he sets out to find Snow and quickly captures her, but as Finn tells him that she couldn`t do that and it was all a lure, he escapes with Snow White, promissing to bring her to Duke Hammond as word gets out that the princess is not only still alive, but also has escaped from the evil queen.

We get to see a troll under the bridge battle here, really looks like Thor fighting the Ice Giants again ;-)

After running into a river patrol, they are both taken to an amazionian river settlement, where women scar their faces in order to be uglier then, and as such safe from, the queen.  They reveal to the Huntsman who his burden actually is, and as he wants to take his leave, the village comes under attack by Finn and his men.  he know also has Snow`s childhood friend and love intrest in his ranks, William, son of the duke, who set out to look for her when word came out and hopes to be led to her this way.  The Huntsman takes Snow away from harm before William can find her however.

At this point, we also learn about how Ravenna became the tortured man-hating woman that she is today as it is revealed she had been taken and forcefully wedded to another king before, and it was through her brother Finn and his dark magic she managed to overcome him.

Fleeing, the Huntsmand and Snow are captured in a trap set by the 7 Dwarves.  Goldminers by trade, they decide to follow her as they see who she is and that she is the one with the power to overcome the queen.  They decide to take her to the forest of the Faeries, Sanctuary, where she sis summoned before the White Heart, a manifestation of nature in the form of a great stag.  He blesses Snow White and reveals to her that way that she is `life itself` that will heal the land and the people. 
Right at that moment, Finn decides to attack and wounds the White Heart.  He beats up the Huntsman, but as he starts mocking his deceased wife, the Huntsman enrages and kills Finn on the roots of an old tree, a pain felt by Ravenna as well.  Gus, one of the 7 dwarves, is mortally wounded when protecting Snow, but the other 6 now vow eternal loyalty to avenge their fallen brother.

On their way to the castle of the Duke, William poisons Snow with an apple, but is revealed to be Ravenna instead.  Snow lies dead and the duke`s son, the real William, kisses her... and nothing happens.  Only later, after her corpse is born to the Duke`s castle and laid bare, the Huntsman makes a heartdeep confession of her being the first person he trusts since his wife died, and he kisses her corpse on the lips in farewell.  This causes Snow to return from the dead though!
She raises the army of the duke and his loyalists, and under the tattered banner of her father they ride out to overthrow Ravenna once and for all.

As the Dwarves infiltrate the castle to open the gates, the army rides in and Snow seperates herself from the rest to face off Ravenna.  They engage in an epic battle, and as her friends are held back by obsidian glass golems by Ravenna, the queen nearly overpowers Snow until she drives a dagger right through the heart of Ravenna, and braking the spell over the land.  Snow White is now crowned the new queen... and the movie ends.

Conclusion

Not at all that bad a movie actually.  Sure, it takes some real visual copies of Lord of the Rings (the swamp, the sweeping landscape as this fellowship travels the world, the ride of the cavalry) but the CGI levels of the movie are on excellent level.

In that latter part, the enchanted forest in particular stands out, with it`s exotic wildlife.

On acting performances, not much can be said wrong from the two lead heroes, though I found Charlize Theron rather weakly cast.  She is more of a forced hysterical screamqueen then a brooding, evil malice.

Okay, some details where rather silly if you think of it, the rusted nail out of the window the absolute winner of this, and how come certain youths that where drained are young again at the end?  If Snow could bring life back, then Gus wouldn`t have had to be burned now had he?

But it is an enjoyable movie, not the greatest of fantasy flicks out there, but for a quiet afternoon it is a good one to watch, don`t spend to much on it for a DVD, but if they give it on television and you have the time, grab a bag of crisps and sit down to watch.



And it`s CGI is very Legospiring btw... ;-)


Inspirational Lego: Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Don`t we all love this hilarious movie?

Well, this MoC builder has taken it one step further.  Not only did he build MOC`s for a lot of scenes of the movies, he also photoshopped a series of set boxes for them.

It really is a pity they won`t be appearing in the shelves for real, I definilty would have gotten me the bunny set.  Heck, I probably would have gotten the whole line ;-)









dinsdag 21 oktober 2014

Building the Witch King

Okay, I couldn`t wait.  While the Smaug issue I posted about earlier this week is getting resolved (they will send me a new one once they have stock again beginning of november, while I`m returning the SW set in the meantime), those other boxes kept looking at me all puppy eyed and the Ring called me.

The Ring wants to be with his master, it WANTS to be build...

So I decided today to already put together the smallest of the new wave of The Hobbit sets, 79015 the Witch-King Battle.  It`s as well a spoiler for the third instalment, as we got Galadriel (whom we saw appear in a movie poster with Gandalf at Dol Guldur last week), the Witch King and Elrond in the set, which is compatible with the Dol Guldur set.  Okay, taking book liberties here Mr Jackson, but I can bring it from my heart to forgive you ;-)

Opening the box, the smallest of the new wave, we get two bags and the instruction booklet.

The first things we put together are some EXCELLENT minifigures.  There is the Witch King of Angmar in his spectral form.  He has a glow in the dark head, a ragged cape and a very awesome crown.  Elrond comes with a `stern` and a `slightly even more stern` face as we all know Hugo Weaving for, while Galadriel has a `glitter cape`, as well as a normal gentle face and this one that I used, the `big whoopass powerful being` face.


Starting the build is the base for the first part of the ruins where this set is taking place in.  The elevated part with the handle is for the Witch King to stand on and so he can rotate about 60 degrees on top of the build when finished.



The front window has a I think new part, as the iron bars are knitted in the centre.

Next we start the process of building the tree and add some grisly skeletal decorations.  the set actually has a fourth minifigure if you put the whole skeleton together...


Once the tree is completed, we can move on to the second part of the build, the fireball catapult.


For this, we also start with the base of course, and build up from there


The catapult itself is build and held in balance by a skeletal body, and goes on top of the base structure.


Adding some additional detailing, and the sole thing remaining is to connect it to the first part, and we are all done in this little set, and we have the traditional few parts left over. 


As you can see on the side under the feet of the Witch King, there are the holes to connect it with the Dol Guldur sets to make it one elongated building.

It`s definitly not a bad little set.  Surely, the Riddles of the Ring from the first wave was perhaps a bit more atmospheric in build, but this set comes with three totally excellent minifigs, a recommendation to pick it up, because I guess that once you want the figs loose, it`s going to cost as much as the little set, and then at least you now have the pleasure of the build like I have, or some handy parts for your collection otherwise.