31 January 2020

2019 Parts Fest #2: Eero Okkonen's trio of characters

Posted by Admin
Well it's been our biggest, longest Parts Festival to date but today our LEGO® building fiesta comes to an end with not one, not two but three incredible characters designed by Eero Okkonen featuring the new 2019 pieces we sent him. You can also see his earlier parts fest builds here and follow his builds on his blog.

Gwathlo of Order of Morning Star

At the beginning of the Parts Festival I made several tablescraps using Bat, W/ 3.2 Shaft in Earth Blue/ Dark Blue (51450 |6267507). The most interesting was one that connected six bats to a Travis brick (Brick 1X1 W. 4 Knobs
– 4733).

The bat has a pin instead of head – to connect a minidoll vampire head on – but a Travis has hollow studs on only five of the six sides, as one has the anti-stud. How to connect the final one? Fortunately, this wasn’t a problem, as it is held securely between the wings of the two bats on its sides. The result is a somewhat dangerous-looking sphere.

I’m foremost a character builder, so  it ended up being a brutal medieval weapon - a morning star.

Earth Blue also defined the colour scheme for the model – I purchased some 1x2 cut-out slopes in Earth Blue (6186683|15672) from the LEGO House Pick a Brick wall so my reserves of Earth Blue curved slopes looked pretty substantial. I also got those rounded 1x1 plate modified with handle in Warm Gold/Pearl Gold (6212377|26047) and used them to make a chest plate with ridges. Earth Blue works beautifully with Warm Gold.

The wielder of the bat mace turned to be a female knight in full armour. I used some polygonal Nexo Knight pieces I had wanted to put to use for a while. Warm Gold upper leg armour makes a nice contrast with the Earth Blue skirt; its 1x2 “fin” bricks (6114676|47458) are again from the LEGO House PaB. The knees have full articulation and I like the bulkiness 4x4 dishes give to it. The arms, in other hand, are very basic and quite plain. I’m not the biggest fan of battle droid arm fingers, but when skeleton arms are not a choice, there's some compromising to be done.

The head was among the last sections to be made. The first version of the helmet was more open, as it’s quite hard to fit a helmet around my usual stylised “elegant” head design.  I used 1x2 brick hinges to angle the cheek guards over the face without covering it. Golden leaf is used again as a detail and sort of a nose guard... if only there was a nose! I also slapped some shepherd staves (Tool, No. 10 in Medium Azure – 6256157 |49492) on to the helmet to act as a vibrant plume. One of them connects to the helmet and the others are held by the tire.

And, finally, one of the interesting facts about this build is that it was completed in one day. I began in the morning and finished around midnight. Great times.

Delfte Solflare and the Azure Mayfly

This model dates a month prior to the beginning of the parts festival. I wanted to make something different from a motorcycle-like riding vehicle. I’m a bit fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s work, and thought about something similar to the Air Pirates’ flying speeders from Laputa, Castle in the Sky. They had a bulky engine in the front, four vibrating insect-like wings and little platform for the rider the stand on, hanging on the speeder with a belt.

I made the big radiator thing that looks a bit like an old car’s front grille turned 90 degrees. I like Medium Azure and used some interesting rounded panels  (Wall Element W. Curve 3X4X6 - 4625548|2571) that had been lying around for some years. Combined with 45 degree “A-frames” in Medium Azure (6124250|15706) they formed a cool shell for the mechanics. With some Technic parts I made the platform for the rider, in about a 40-degree angle with the radiator block.

Next, I began making the engines. At this point, the seed parts jumped in. Fabuland Ship Wheel in Medium Stone Grey (6278555 52395) made an interesting turbine section with macaroni tube pieces connecting two. The discs from Mini Accessory, No. 10 in Silver Metallic/ Flat Silver (626615540598) made the radiators, and 90 degree bar connectors from Mini Accessory, No. 11 also in Silver Metallic (626697750018) were stuck to pneumatic hoses.

But the section I like the most are those chessboard-like sections near the end of the engines, connecting Batman greeble 'capsules' – both the big and small variants – into 4-knobbed Technic gears in Black (4248204|32072). Also, a Batman greeble 'bowl' piece is used inside the wheel hub near the tip.

At this point, Flame Yellowish Orange/ Bright Light Orange was added into the colour scheme, as I needed something to cap the engines, and the speeder felt like it was needing another bright colour. I’m very happy with the gauge panel, situated behind the radiator. It uses several printed tiles, some of them connected with Batman greeble seed parts, some with ball joints.

With the engines stuck on, I began to work with the figure. A starting point was usage of upside-down 2x4x4 half-cone pieces as upper legs, above the knee joint.  I also made a turning joint in the middle torso. It offered some new posing possibilities, but also made connecting the belt easier; I could just tear the figure in half rather than open the chain links of the belt.

Connecting the figure was a challenge in itself. The pulling forces are quite big in this creation. The rider hangs over nothing, only held by the strap and the belt. The strap consists of small chain links, connected securely to the control panel on the radiator block. A black rubber band connects it to the belt, which is a hoop of those links.

For the final touches, I needed control sticks and some meters and gauges.  The handles that use the shepherd staff seed part were in there quite early on. Some blue ribbed hoses were drawn over them. I thought of using those hose pieces on the sticks. Trans-Medium Blue ones were the longest I had, and they looked more futuristic than the silver ones.

I was also positively surprised that I managed to make the supporting stand with only two beams: one Technic liftarm taking the pulling forces (the front part of the stand block practically floats) and an axle, furbished with 1x1 liftarms, taking the pressing forces. It really pushed my boundaries as a builder.

Amunna, Harbringer of Thebes

This is one of my later creations for the parts fest. By this point I had used the vast majority of the pieces, but not the coral (Plant, W/ 3.2 Shaft, No. 2 in Bright Bluish Green/ Dark Turquoise – 6262134| 49577) even though they were among the most interesting ones! 

I feel that they’d be cooler if they had more hollow studs to connect into the bars sticking in random directions but there’s hollow studs in only two directions, and as they’re set at a 90-degree angle the possibilities for interesting geometries using only this piece are scarce.

I ended up using the coral elements as a collar of some sort.  Something similar is used by some British queens in famous portraits, Elizabeth I, I think.  I find it a fitting addition to the rather extravagant uniform (in a good way).

I made some hair with 1x2 rounded plates, used some more Dark Turquoise on the clothes to balance the corals, and incorporated a cool printed piece from the Orient Expedition line into the chest.

Another interesting technique is the skirt, even though it doesn’t use any seed parts. Big Chima feather pieces are connected to 1x2 round plates, making a layered design. It limits the movement of legs, but has enough space inside for realistic legs, and gives the stomach section an interesting triangular shape.

I'd thought about using the shepherd staff as gaiters. They fitted the colour scheme and Egyptian fantasy aesthetics. Each one has ten staves and they’re simply connected to 1x1 vertical clip plates.

And that's a wrap! Our immense thanks to the incredible LEGO artists who built so many beautiful models for everyone's enjoyment and inspiration, in no particular order: Mansur Soeleman, Kevin Levell, Tim Goddard, Peter Reid, Yvonne Doyle, Andreas Lenander, Alice and Thorin and Hadrian Finch, Paulo Carreira, Oscar Cederwall, Peter Ilmrud, Pierre-E. Fieschi and of course Eero Okkonen. Want to see all their creations? Follow the 'Read More' link below and then at the bottom of every subsequent article, and it will take you backwards in time through all our parts festival submissions.

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  1. Amazing stuff!

  2. Lovely use of the bats on those swinging diablo balls.

  3. Definitely some gorgeous gals! And with so much personality, both due to the creative use of part shapes/textures and the various clothing and accessories that set them apart.

    The morningstar is definitely the most unconventional use of a recent new part that I've seen in some time!

    I appreciate the insights about the structural challenges presented when building the hoverbike and rider, since these sorts of physical obstacles and the work it takes to overcome them are often harder to recognize from photos than the various other problem-solving skills that MOCing entails.

    I certainly know from experience how even a model that seems plenty sturdy at a glance might actually need a lot more finessing to ensure that their weight remains balanced and all their weak points are reinforced!

    A lot of my best MOCs have been planned out at least in part using LEGO digital designer, but the final model usually requires a lot of physical experimentation after the fact to strengthen or even completely reconstruct weak points I hadn't even noticed prior to having the parts in hand!

    1. Thanks all!

      I haven't used LDD in ten years, for I enjoy the physical building process and try to finish my builds with the parts I have already. Even so, there's always trial and error with the stability, especially in models like this. For exaple, how long the safety harness needs to be with legs of certain lenght? I assumed it to be maybe half of what it turned out to be - The speeder turned out lot smaller compared to the rider than I expected. I've already finished the last speeder of the series and this time I built the rider first. It made the speeder lot easier, especially as it's very different from the others.