søndag 30. november 2014

BIONICLE: Battle For The Golden Mask

Basically, BIONICLE was my childhood, the 2 first years with the Toa/Bohrok/Nuva were the greatest in my opinion!
And now that BIONICLE is coming back, I feel the nostalgia kicking in, and learning about the Battle of the Mask competition held by LEGO across multiple sites, I just had to give it a try!

I haven't had much time, and been somewhat been restricted by parts/color shortage, so the result isn't as completed as i would want it to be.

Having to build a villain is the perfect theme for me, as I love to conceptualize and design such characters!
In this case, the initial idea was to build a character that would resemble the original Toas in their "protoform", devoid of element and color as they were until they put on their mask(referring to some of the first cg clips from 2001 where Tahu builds himself once out of the canister).

So it would in my mind have a very Toa like humanoid body, but with more details and functioning mechanics like pistons and a flexible waist.
The background story I had in mind was to have him as an ancient and powerful being, on of the very first bio-mechanical organisms to exist.
His story however would be a mystery, where did he get his powers from, why does he have a mask/face hybrid revealing teeth instead of a single mask, why are his arms different?

He may in ways be primitive, but still he has some elements that in some ways are much more sophisticated than the modern Toa, making you wonder how and why he came to be.

 The entry picture, it's the one where you get the best impression of his silhouette, however, the head may be a little hard to make out as I had poor light conditions and not enough time to prepare a proper photo shoot.

He has some stability issues in his hip, waist and shoulder area, so posing him dynamically was challenging.

I wanted him to be a decaying character, both his mind and body is falling apart, something I tried to visualize with his fully mechanical arm and use of teeth, making him look more creepy with a twisted smile.

The head was tricky, as it had to include a movable jaw, keep a more or less unique shape, and stay solid, so this is the best I could do with the frame I built.
The eyes ended up a little higher than intended, making it hard to see them unless you have a low angle.

Some rotation to give you a better idea of the build.

I really liked the back to shoulder connection, makes it feel like a more credible mechanic operating the shoulder movement.

Likewise with the legs, I was short on time and had yet to make an appealing solution for the knees or something else to cover the gap at the joint, in the end, turning out to be pistons making them look more mechanical.

That's about it, wish I had more time to justify my vision, but this'll have to do.

Wishing all entrants the best of luck, and now it's just to await the arrival of the Toa next year!


mandag 14. april 2014

Painted LEGO Boba Fett "Artifigure"

It's been about a year since I came up with the idea of "Artifigures"

Basically they are highly articulated (hence the "Artifigure" neame) yet relatively sturdy figures shaped around a base body.
They do appear somewhat bulky due to the joints, so armored characters will work out better.

So building a Boba Artifig, I realize how many parts in correct colors I lack (many not even being produced in the required colors) so I decided to round up old parts I don't use, such as the light gray, replaced by the light bluish gray in 2004, and then chose to paint it more or less realistically.

Mind that I only have these production shots, I managed to cover the model in too much sealant resulting in a far too thick layer, obscuring the color and texture.
So these are probably the best shots there will be of this one.

That said, here you are:

LEGO Boba Fett Artifig

Here he is posed after the added sealant, which as you can see leaves a thin white layer to it all

I have plenty of other characters constructed and under construction, based on other themes and characters, and some original designs.

I will probably put up one or more LEGO CUUSOO projects for Artifigs, given there is a genuine interest for it.

And for those interested in building instructions, I will come back with some soon enough!

Here are some of my physical in progress creations (I have several digitally designed ones as well).
From left: Artifigure "Proto Skeleton", Boba Fett RotJ (Existing colors), Boba Fett RotJ(Painted), Gabriel (Character from Dan LuVisi's Last Man Standing) and Metroid's heroine Samus Aran!

Additionally I have one of my most recent designs, simply a robotic drone character with great articulation, able to strike plenty of highly dynamic poses with elegance.

I hope you found this interesting, I myself am utterly amazed with articulated figures, which is the reason I even ended up creating these LEGO Artifigures.

It's a thing I would love to see being produced by LEGO themself, coming in neat palm sized boxes with appealing cover art.
These would naturally be aimed towards more mature builders, as they aren't constructed to withstand play in the same way Bionicle or Hero Factory figures have been.

The idea of Artifigures is oriented towards a new range of dynamic LEGO models, perfect for displaying your favorite characters in whatever pose you desire.

If you got any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

- Ragaru

torsdag 7. november 2013

- Giving LEGO Minecraft a Shot -

Now that LEGO has decided to increase the scale of the LEGO Minecraft line from Micro to Minifig size, and so are asking fans for help, I couldn't resist putting together something.

These following concepts, illustrates how I would like to see a larger scale LEGO Minecraft line.

Without no further ado, I present to you, My LEGO Minecraft vision:

Thinking along the lines of the Micro scale sets, I feel the modular element should be kept, as it would allow you to expand the base and block count and build larger structures, this image features 4 "Basic Sets" combined, therefore the 4 Creepers.

This set idea is the very most basic one, as it is at 134 bricks, and includes the most iconic elements of the game:
- Steve
- Creeper
- Grass/Dirt blocks

I am aware of the fact that the Steve design is so to speak identical to the Steve design made by Nachapon S.
However, I just recently discovered it,  so we've basically had the same idea independently of each other.

I saw LEGO Minecraft's Creeper designs, and found them to be lacking decent articulation, that's why I took the liberty of creating Creeper designs with articulation in both feet and neck.

I do personally prefer the second from the right, as it to me holds most of the immediately recognizable features, more so than the others.
The blocks are only there for size comparison.

This is basically the structure of the set.
We have the base with holes for the modular connections.
16 tiles in brown for the Dirt Blocks
16 tiles in green for the Grass Blocks
And 16 blocks that can be either type depending on how you build it.

I know it's not the most practical solution, as you would have to replace the top tiles to get the grass tiles to be on top and the dirt tiles underneath each time you place new blocks.
So that need some work.

I just hope I can contribute one way or another.

- Ragaru

onsdag 6. februar 2013

- Final Set Design Direction -

Now, so close to the 10,000 supporter mark, I have been spending a countless amount of hours the past weeks trying to figure out how to make an ideal set design for the - Legend of Zelda Project -.

And believe me, it has been a tricky, repetitive and tedious process.
That due to the restrictions in piece count and set size LEGO CUUSOO operate a t(based on the CUUSOO sets so far at least).

So, the designs!
 First off is the larger more detailed version of a more or less ideal set design, more detailed than what a LEGO set would be.

I tried to include an ornamental pedestal for the Master Sword, as there currently doesn't exist any visually and practically solid solution to have a sword tip attached to a brick.

Then comes the reduced version, more LEGO friendly and less detailed.

Here you have a breakdown of the modular structure I based the set design upon. 
The left pillar is connected by a single stud so it can easily be "smashed" off it's base as a little action feature.
The small decorative statues are meant to be elements that Link can pull out to find hidden items, such as a Small Key, as seen on the left one, or other items such as Rupees, Fairies or Hearts.

Continuing, by the modular structure you can rearrange the sections to alter the construction slightly.

 And in addition I posed Link and the 2 enemies, trying to get a little Zelda feeling to it.

Link fighting a Stalfos in the Dungeon area.

Link carrying the Lantern, encountering a Deku Baba.

That's all for now, but I will have more to show eventually.

Take care!

- Ragaru

søndag 30. desember 2012

CUUSOO - Final Battle - Set Layout Sketch

Closing in towards the final set idea, I've decided to include the 3 Minifigures: Link, Zelda and Ganondorf. As well Link's trusted steed Epona.
The structures are there to hint towards the gates of the Bridge of Eldin, yet staying away from that design to allow imagination to decide for what these ruins are. It could be the entrance to a Forest Temple, it could be the remains of an Ancient City, or a Mysterious monument from times long forgotten, you decide!

This is only a preliminary rendition, as I finalize the minifigure designs (Link especially) and go over the entire consistency of the project and constructions, I will be updating it with more thoroughly done renditions as well as a physical prototype.

- Ragaru

onsdag 26. desember 2012

The Dark Lord of Hyrule

Introducing a sketch of LEGO Ganondorf in his Twilight Princess appearance!

Using only existing parts I tried to carry as much of his essence into the brick format yet presenting it as realistic I can, taking into account the budget LEGO CUUSOO are operating on.

With Mingles' Zelda Project rejected, it rests heavier on mine in hope of bringing the Zelda franchise to the LEGO format.

Be sure to help and support it should you be a LEGO or Zelda fan!

- The Legend of Zelda Project -

- Ragaru

lørdag 5. mai 2012

- The Super Mario LEGO Project -


Starting up my second LEGO CUUSOO Project, still at the Nintendo license front...
I introduce LEGO Super Mario!

This idea is simply about the fun and entertainment we find in the Mario games!

And the initial idea is a tribute to the 2D side-scrolling classics, I will eventually expand it further to the 3D games as well, especially inspired by the latest addition: Super Mario 3D Land.

So here is the idea:

One single product, contains all the parts you would need to build any one of these, and more, only limited by your imagination.
And that would leave you with the option to have all the sections, and build your favorites as desired,
as well allow you to expand your Mario World by every set added to your collection.

So it's really all about sections that connect to form a the world of Mushroom Kingdom and beyond.

Each set would feature 2 bases one for the foreground level, and one for the background scenery, in  miniature scale.

Connected it could look something like this:

And trying stay true to the series, the first section would give much of a nostalgic feeling:

Floating blocks isn't the easiest, so they just have to be kept up by transparent bricks.
And much of the focus is on the Brick Blocks, which you can read more about in my previous MINECRAFT entry.

Following up with more sections:

A pipe and a Brick Block, notice the use of green buckets as miniature pipes on the background, I do at least feel they add more to it.

More floating Brick Blocks.

The Finish Line, by the Flag Pole, one of the more iconic features of the classics.

And the Castle/Fort structure at the end. I chose to use the more recent designs as it stands out more in a rounded shape than a rectangular one.

As mentioned, it's all about the Brick Blocks, here you have several sections depending on how large structures you would build, the core is still the first single block, as it allows something of an unique experience when you stack them on top of each other!
I included 3 colours, the front is the standard brown brick colour, second the "underworld" colour, and lastly the golden colour found in various games but primarily you would associate them with the deserts of Super Mario Bros 3 and the later New Super Mario Bros, exemplary.

Then there are the Unique Blocks:

The iconic "? Blocks" or "Mystery Blocks", containing an item or coins.
The "Used Block", seemingly indestructible, they are what the Mystery Blocks turn into once it's contents had been hit out.
The "Note Block", or "Jump Block" allows Mario to spring into the sky, even above the clouds!

But there is of course need for items:

Simple solutions, trying to give the best expression, with the following items:
- Coin
- Mushroom
- Fire Flower
- Super Leaf
- Star
- 1-Up Mushroom

Then I'll introduce the Pipes:

They proved to be quite tricky to build keeping the aesthetics right yet size decent.
The core is built up by using parts only featured in the new Buildable Super Heroes, more specifically The Joker, and Iron Man.
It's a barrel piece, that proves the most ideal solution in terms of diameter and connection methods.
Still not perfect though.

And lastly..

Koopa Troopas, there really isn't a good way to have articulated Koopa Troopas and keeping their appearance immediately recognizable.. at least not in the details.

But I will be working on Minifigures and enemies, as well as  new set ideas and colour/theme variations in the time forward!

Hope you find this interesting!