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!


torsdag 3. mai 2012

- LEGO Minecraft Blocks -

The Ideal LEGO Minecraft Block concept?

I've been having this idea for a while, and thought it would be worth sharing.

Basically you'd only need a 2x2 plate, 2 brick surfaced 2x1 bricks, and a 2x2 tile with centered stud.
The construction is simple and works brilliantly!
Holding such bricks/blocks in your hands just gives you an unique feeling, I don't know if it's nostalgia or what.. but it's there.
if you have these pieces you should try just to get the feeling.
Stacking several on top just ads more to it! 

Is this the ideal LEGO Minecraft solution?

- Ragaru

tirsdag 1. mai 2012

- Textured LEGO Zelda Prototypes -

Bringing realism to LEGO bricks

A collection of some LEGO Zelda based "Textured" prototypes.

It's basically the idea of applying a feeling of more realistic materials and thus textures to LEGO pieces, using a variety of paints, I've simply termed it "Textured LEGO" as it has grown to become it's own art form in my eyes.

Painting LEGO pieces is a very unnatural way to work with the medium, and every brick subjected to the painting process, feels like a sacrifice, therefore I chose parts I am less likely to be using in the future, or parts with noticeable scratches, dents or other imperfections.

It all started out when painting some LEGO prototypes in the desired colour, due to the lack of correctly coloured parts.
Eventually, as an artist and sculptor/painter, I felt the urge to test out the potential of LEGO parts as a base for realistic elements.
And so it began:

First off, an ancient chest inspired by the ones found in the depths of the Great Sea in the Wind Waker.
I tried to get the feeling of corroded iron, weathered trough ages it's been forgotten at the bottom of the sea, as indicated by marine organisms attached.
By it's side is a rusty iron key as well.
I'll be getting back to the Boss Key Chest further down.

Although not LEGO, the increased use of fabric in LEGO products made me see the potential applied to an reoccurring item of the Zelda franchise, so the result ended up as a fabric "Dungeon Map".
With the right density/fabric type, it does easily fold itself and stick well in the hand of a minifig.
I could really see this applied to other items such as, newspapers and parchment scrolls.

Concerning the use of scrolls, I figured some kind of container concealing a scroll/Dungeon Map would be suitable.
The result was simply two 1x1 cylindrical bricks at each end of the scroll.

And here you see how well it fits into the ancient iron chest.

Visually I've always loved the compass design of Wind Waker.. the golden/brass like edge at the top just compliments the blue colour so well.

Some corroded weapon tests, including the "Ordon Sword" or "Hero's Sword" if you'd like.
Again the compass, and an Octorock whom I ended up giving an uneven white paint application, as it had almost dried out at the time I was to paint it

My personal favorite has to be the Lantern it's so simply built yet it radiates so much of an iconic feeling.
The handle is made by reducing the length of a standard LEGO key.

Wooden Crate and two 3x1 tiles, painted with several layers of drying paint to get the rough wooden panel feeling.

Four 3x1 tiles with a darker tint to get the feeling of a wooden stain effect.
I could imagine applying such tiles to an entire LEGO ship deck to see the amount of realism it would cause to the iconic bricks.

A metal container and Boss Key Lock, mostly inspired by the ones found in OoT and WW.

The stained wood effect grew on me so I applied it to several other objects such as the barrel and the "islander mask".

A Deku Baba, it's lacking it's tongue as I was in the middle off applying a gloss coating when I took the shot.

My own LEGO Epona prototype, I was working on it until it was revealed that LEGO would introduce new horse figures by the introduction of the LOTR line.
The past 2 1/2 months it has been stored away in wait for me to find time to complete it.

Although not textured yet, I would like to introduce my Medium Scaled Figures or simply "Medifig" as I've decided to term them.
Here is an Iron Knuckle, first introduced in The Adventure of Link, they have marked themselves as the elite of enemies, along with the Darknuts, these may be among the most interesting armoured humanoid enemies in the franchise.
Although the construction is very weak and unpractical, it does allow great articulation for a figure of this scale and construction.
In total it holds about 24 points of articulation if you are to include the axes of rotation per connected brick.

Following up is a Stalfos, among my favorite enemies of the entire franchise, topping skeletal warriors is a tough challenge.
The final design needs a more consistent rib cage design, but this will have to do for now.
And yes, the construction of this one is even more fragile an unpractical than the Iron Knuckle.

One of the first prototypes, trying to portray a rough impression of the Zora armoured Link.
The Hylian Shield is one of Mingles wonderful constructions, printed by Shapeways
Be sure to check out: Mingles Shop

That Shield is marvelous!
I'll be returning with the painted version along with many more, later when I am closer to complete my Zelda Project.

The Boss Key Chest, unique as it looked in OoT, I had to make a more TP inspired rendition of it.

And then you Open up to reveal the Boss Key/Big Key.

Now then, off you go to fight the boss!

I will be returning with more LEGO Zelda and other LEGO related ideas in the time forward.

- Ragaru