Lego Valkyrie: The Vote

Posted by MattAlt 
The thing is though.. the modern pieces really just replace what would be a few smaller pieces that make the same shape, but with just a more visually appealing smooth/curved edge..

Comparing a lego version to say buying a 'chogokin' version is silly.

If you wanted a proper toy valk you wouldn't buy the lego version, you'd get a Yamato.
But like all lego sets, it isn't limited to being that one thing. It just gives you the necessary pieces to build that set. Sure you could just release the instructions.. but unless you own a LOT of lego, what are the chances that you'll have all the pieces to build the valk, let alone pieces in the correct colour.

Also that real Yamato is pretty spectacular..
Sanjeev (Admin)
Well, I respect the old-school Lego-er opinion that's generally anti-specialty pieces...but I personally don't mind them. For larger, more complex kits, their effect is usually minimal. They're just dress-up bits, for the most part--they just add to the aesthetics of the finished model, rather than make up its foundation.

Some of the earlier, simpler Star Wars Lego kits featured a much higher percentage of specialty pieces, but I guess that's gonna happen with smaller kits. What can ya do?

Anyway, I think the allure of something like this is the fact that you're building a fully-functional Valkyrie toy...not just playing with one. Like, I dig tanks. Who doesn't? But I just don't collect tank toys. BUT I've built Lego tanks...and that's funner'n hell.

And releasing just instructions is fine (in fact, it'd be GREAT for this Lego Valk...because we all know there's never going to be an officially released kit). Like I mentioned before, there are sites like Bricklink where you can order whatever pieces you need, in whatever color and quantity, based on catalog number. Of course, the process takes a while to track down each bit...but hell...you can consider that part of the fun.
I think this whole prescriptive practice of claiming that certain Lego pieces are out-of-bounds for "real" Lego building is silly. If you want to set rules for your own models, that's great. Restrictions are the fuel of inspiration.

But it doesn't seem like anyone even has a specific dividing line for what pieces they consider to be defying the purity of the Lego aesthetic. Is it any non-circular piece that has a curved edge? That might be a fair restriction, to maintain the angular, blocky silhouette that many consider characteristic of Lego.

Other aspects characteristic of modern Lego, though, like broad, flat areas without studs or indentations (on fins, thrusters and the like), are just new special cases of aesthetics that were present in Lego for pretty much ever. There are also lots of new antennas and such, but antennas in general have been around for as long as minifigs.

Many other parts introduced since the mid-90s are very simple, structural, and open up the options for building in huge ways. Here are some examples:
[www.peeron.com]
[www.peeron.com]
[www.peeron.com]
[www.peeron.com]
[www.peeron.com]
[www.peeron.com]
None of them are really doing anything that older Lego parts with rods and clips didn't do - they're just arranging the elements in a diferent way, that makes the whole Lego system more versatile.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
No...I am right...and anyone who thinks I am wrong is only making themselves wrongerer. To keep arguing with my purist, Utopian Lego vision of the world makes you all like confused Diplodocusus thrashing and sinking even deeper into the tar pits of your own ignorance and futility.
Aw, c'mon, man, give us a sincere constraint for Lego-building! For instance, I think "no pieces with curved edges" is actually a really good rule to preserve the blocky look that many people like.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Also a big factor is the size of the kit. The smaller the kit, the more it relies on curved pieces as there is only so much detail you can get out of a square.

Just take a look at pixel art. Its basically the same principle. To make a circular object, it would need to be 4 times the size just to replicate a curved edge.

Just take a look at Nathan Sawaya's work. The majority of the pieces are fairly huge, consisting of thousands of bricks.. and his pieces don't move. They're static sculptures because he almost limits himself to just the conventional bricks.
See, now you're finally getting it. Do you think you can call this Nathan friend of yours up and see if he can try his hand at a transforming Valk?

Looking at these other warm-up pieces, should be a piece of cake...

[www.boredpanda.com]

If he could have at least one or two ready by next weekend, tell him that would be awesome!
I'm so confused.
Nathan Sawaya is an overrated hack. His "subject matter" is stuff that most "artists" get out of their systems in sophomore year of "art school". He only gets attention because his hackneyed crap is made out of Lego brand building block toys.

As far as limitations on Lego building, I find it fun and challenging to limit myself not by the nature of the bricks, but by the availability. By that I mean, using only the pieces from a given lot and not supplementing them in any way.

For the past few years there has been a fundraiser for some disease or another at the Lego North American headquarters. (about 30 minutes from my house) Part of the deal is that attendees get access to the employee store. In there they have bins full of pieces and you can fill a bag for $4.50. I'll take the pieces from these bags and spend months building as many cool robots as I can. It's really hard to resist temptation to grab pieces from elsewhere, but it forces one to find new ways to build.

Thank you

P.S. They stopped doing the fundraiser last year
Jake...embracing the harsh with Mr. Sawaya? Hey, I knew senior art students at a private university who would have been hard pressed to duplicate those pieces.

Any pics of the robots?
Sawaya has skill in "life drawing with Lego", sure. He can replicate a human form with bricks, which is impressive. But that's really the only thing that's impressive about it - the subject matter of his work is shallow and insipid.

But I'm not really sure how that relates to this discussion, anyway. Sawaya's work certainly doesn't resemble the way that most people play with their Legos, or the actual builds we've been discussing in this thread.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
MattAlt (Admin)
Yeah, can we please get back on track with the crack!?

CRACK!!!!



[kopio-pen.at.webry.info]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/15/2012 09:54PM by MattAlt.
Attachments:
open | download - chunkvalk.jpg (172.7 KB)
Probbaly should go here.. but yeah:
[www.flickr.com]
Love that use of chrome trumpets and a samurai helmet crest to make the Voltron chest emblem.

Other than that I like how classic and smooth it is, with that solid, cartoonish look. But then, that's easier to achieve when you're building it FREAKIN' HUGE!

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
...whoa...



drool...



How tall is that thing anyway?
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> But it doesn't seem like anyone even has a
> specific dividing line for what pieces they
> consider to be defying the purity of the Lego
> aesthetic. Is it any non-circular piece that has a
> curved edge? That might be a fair restriction, to
> maintain the angular, blocky silhouette that many
> consider characteristic of Lego.
>
Even with 1980s Lego this wouldn't work, because such pieces existed back then (pretty rare though).

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Since this is now the general Lego thread, check this out:
[www.thestar.com]

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
That is awesome!

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Sanjeev (Admin)
When I was 17, I was doing...other...less productive...things.

Good for these kids! And no specialty parts, either! ;)
Hey, so, when did all Lego minifigures get asymmetrical smartass grins instead of the traditional : ) ? I guess it happened so gradually I didn't notice.


Look at that cocky asshole! I wanna punch him in the face.


NO ONE IS THIS HAPPY AT THE AIRPORT


what a freakin douchebrick

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Some years ago. Some figures also have two-faced heads: one more or less normal on one side, a freaked out one on the other. It's an alien invasion!

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Yeah, but most of the two-faced ones are in the "action" series - and they generally have a serious, "heroic" face on the regular side, not a cocky asshole face. It seems like the faces I find obnoxious are largely confined to the City sets. Even the firemen have them! A smirking Lego fireman with a chainsaw is sort of creepy.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Sanjeev (Admin)
Caught an episode of Ninjago last weekend. Pretty bad. They're like smarmy sorta-not-really-ninja...

Yes, they all sport asymmetrical smirk-faces.
So, it's not often that I see a "special" Lego part that really makes me mad. Though the old-school "castle wall" pieces are so dull, and it's always disappointing when a boat hull or airplane cockpit is one huge brick with hardly any studs, I'm not bothered by all the little component curve and angle pieces that are used to build up more interesting shapes in many contemporary Lego sets. But here, here is an example of some "special" Legos that I hate:
[www.brickset.com]
See those crinkly brown rock pieces? One-brick-high/four-studs-wide tapering down to one-plate-high/two-studs-wide, like the typical angled piece that's so common in modern sets, except these ones have a rock texture on them. This just seems totally unnecessary. I get that Lego wants to make the sets simpler and cheaper to manufacture in some ways, but the visual effect here is jarring. Building that texture up from smaller angled pieces would look so much better.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But here, here is an
> example of some "special" Legos that I hate:
> [www.brickset.com]
> See those crinkly brown rock pieces?
> One-brick-high/four-studs-wide tapering down to
> one-plate-high/two-studs-wide, like the typical
> angled piece that's so common in modern sets,
> except these ones have a rock texture on them.
> This just seems totally unnecessary. I get that
> Lego wants to make the sets simpler and cheaper to
> manufacture in some ways, but the visual effect
> here is jarring. Building that texture up from
> smaller angled pieces would look so much better.

To me, this speaks of the age-range they're going for with these Ninjago sets. It's for kids who probably lack the skill to build a set with that much intricacy.

I know I have to help my 6 1/2 year old to build pretty much ANY Lego set. Granted, he seems to not have inherited any of my own manual dexterity, but still...

Me, I really don't appreciate the whole idea of a large, built of pieces, ANIMAL. You see a lot of these now from Lego. I like the animal figures to be made up in a similar fashion to the minifigures. Some good examples are the Wampa and Tauntaun figures they made. Still, I suppose you can't realistically create such a large creature in that fashion.

More serious than thou
fujikuro Wrote:
>
> Me, I really don't appreciate the whole idea of a
> large, built of pieces, ANIMAL. You see a lot of
> these now from Lego. I like the animal figures to
> be made up in a similar fashion to the
> minifigures.

Oh, I love brick-built animals. I wish they did more! Like, this Space Policeman with robot dog:
[www.brickset.com]

Or all the animals from the Atlantis line.

EDIT:
It occurs to me that this is really a question of what Lego blocks really "are" in the universe of Lego. Certainly bricks represent rock and wood, metal and glass, all manner of nonbiological materials. But using them as part of an animal does seem like it would cross a line that was more firmly demarcated at an earlier point in Lego's history. Nevertheless, they always used a brick in the back of a horse minifigure from the classic Castle line to represent an unsaddled horse. More recently, they've used a tall sloped brick in place of the legs of a female minifigure to represent a long dress. Building a whole animal from bricks doesn't seem like THAT much of a stretch to me, structurally and representationally. In my opinion, the bigger issue is whether brick-built animals are convincing within the cartoonish minifigure context that they inhabit. Even many of the most clever animals tend to look very robotic:
[www.brickset.com]
I like that Fenris set a lot, but I can't deny that they're using the wrong selection of pieces to make a living creature fit in with the smooth, rounded minifigures.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2012 03:26PM by asterphage.
director Michel Gondry's whimsical musing on Lego:

"In evolutionary history, species' hands transformed the most efficient way to interact with the environment. The dolphins, which are mammals, went back to the sea, still having hand-like structures in their flippers. Kangaroos' hands are like dinosaurs, regressed and shrunken down because they were not used much. Birds invented feathers. Moles developed shoveled hands. Human hands evolved to adapt to Lego blocks."

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/01/2012 03:33PM by asterphage.
Attachments:
open | download - 0201120120_edit2.jpg (440 KB)
<insert peg-and-hole joke here>

--
SilhouetteFormula.Net
Sanjeev (Admin)

Thats impressive and all, but is it just me or does it look more like some sort of upgraded mutant turret from the Portal games...?
Sanjeev (Admin)
Fuck me, this is intense:
[thechive.com]
MattAlt (Admin)
The Batcave is really impressive, but this is just insane:

[www.flickr.com]





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2012 09:50PM by MattAlt.
Attachments:
open | download - tomahawk.jpg (77.3 KB)
Sanjeev (Admin)
Oooh...a Warhammer mech! LOL

Well, I'm guessing Macross fandom beats out Batman fandom any day around here...but I still think that cave is just about the coolest Lego thing I've ever seen. We just need to get those dudes to make a giant, transforming SDF-1 or something! ;)
Wow these Lego builds are just insane, I could care less about the subject matter or if they used specialty pieces. Just the sheer imagination and perseverance to come up with these is something to be applauded.
MattAlt (Admin)
Lego Itano!





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/21/2012 08:46PM by MattAlt.
Attachments:
open | download - armored.jpg (95.5 KB)
Sanjeev (Admin)
Love it! Even if it doesn't transform...
MattAlt (Admin)
Another Gimlet custom. This needs to get made. ARE YOU LISTENING, LEGO?



P.S. His Gerwalk Iskick is pretty sexy, too.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/22/2012 06:25AM by MattAlt.
Attachments:
open | download - gimlet.jpg (65.4 KB)
Sanjeev (Admin)
That Robby in the background's no sloucher, either. If you swing both ways, that is.

Man...if only I hadn't burnt out my imagination in my teens...I might not suck at Lego today and actually be able to make cool shit like this...
Love the over-scale aesthetic for that Warhammer / Tomahawk... Like an eBoy illustration come to life :-)
MattAlt (Admin)
Speaking of Dangard...!!

[www.flickr.com]
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