Friday, March 6, 2015

Some Interesting Ideas

Pick of the Month

The Phantom of the Opera

This time around I decided to celebrate one of the cornerstones of the Ideas Community: Reekardoo. Many FOLs fail to realize this but Reekardoo is one of Ideas most influential members and with over 50 quality projects they are also one of the most prolific as well. 

I picked this specific project above all the others in the last six weeks because, even though it is extremely large, it shows a lot of out of the box thinking about what an Ideas project can be while still providing an excellent display model.

I do think this model suffers a bit from that fact that the primary display elements, that being the stage and the balconies would be facing each-other rather than most viewers, but this kind of build is rather hard to accomplish otherwise.

Honorable Mentions

HMS Beagle
by LuisPG

This is a very clever approach to the vignette concept and the ship concept...adding them together to get the ship AND a story to sell the model.  Well done!

The Large Hadron Collider

This project is really doing a bang up job on campaigning.  They even have some great, dedicated pages for the project. The build is detailed enough to showcase teachable elements of the collider but simple enough to keep the part count down.

I think this project really did itself a disservice though by not rendering...of course, with the right community support, you don't need renders, but it is really going to impact the social sharing.

Beach House

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of the subject matter of this build, but the point is, you don't have to be to see respect the quality of the design and the techniques that are applied.  

It is a little hard to process the details though.  I might have done some cut-away views to get a better idea of the internals. 

Hover Scout and Recharge Dock
by iso3200
There are a lot of projects on Ideas for some "random" sci-fi craft.  This project does a great job showcasing the craft with additional set value and a quality render.

Bringing in the Ideas Green Spacemen is a clever choice as well. 

I do with the Recharge Doc had some enhanced play value a brick build robot or perhaps some mechanical gimmick, something to kick the build up a notch.

Hearthstone Bakery

Gorgeous details and a beautiful roofing technique! Not to mention, a bakery is a pretty good idea for a modular.  

The Imperial Probe Droid
I don't usually promote UCS style Star Wars projects but I respect this project's style too much.  The updates show how all the little details of the source material are recreated in this LEGO model.

The Secret of Monkey Island

A classic image from a classic game very well modeled.

Cable car

Ok, I love dark red, gold, and black together so this was an easy sell for me.  A fantastic design for a novel subject with a great rendering.  Great use of figures to bring out the quality of the model as well.

Penguins of Madagascar
by Dornbi

Not a huge fan of the Penguins of Madagascar but my son is a fan of both them and penguins in general.  The great thing this project does is takes this general form and make the penguins distinct enough that fans can name each character.   Well Done!

Homeworld Scout Ship
by Sastrei

I am not very familiar with Homewold but this looks like a very well done ship with lots of character.  The asymmetrical build and complex geometries bring out a lot great techniques.  I really like the brick integrated numbers as well.

Golden Spike Ceremony

A fun way to get two trains, and a story into a LEGO build.   Very well done title image as well that makes clear what the project is based on.

The IT Crowd
by Mibitat
I considered doing an IT Crowd project myself.  It is a fun show and popular with likely a decent overlap of fans of the show and fans of LEGO.

Besides being extremely busy, the main "project" reason I have not moved forward on an IT Crowd is Moss.  His hair is not well represented by an afro.  There is a HUGE chunk missing from the hair.  Nothing In LEGO represents this well.  Although it makes for a fun t-shirt

Alice in Wonderland (Chapter Five – Advice from
by jrbony

This is brilliant part use with the opening flower made from the hot air balloon and the Lord Garmadon torso for the caterpillar. 

Lego Mecha: Caliburn

There area  lot of Mecha on Ideas but it is always refreshing to see one that is well designed AND presented.  I think the legs could be a little more interesting but I really like the posability of this one. 


Star Wars UCS X34 Landspeeder
I can't imagine any popular UCS Star Wars vehicle is not going to be per-scheduled many years out.

This is beautiful and extremely detailed, but UCS Star Wars is such an established concept I have an extremely hard time getting behind any such project.  I would love to be proven wrong though.  
The Hobbit-Rivendell
This MOC is extremely beautiful and consisting of 120,000 elements.  The proposed project is 5000 elements...or 4.1% of the displayed LEGO.

I would appreciate it if at least one of the images showed what specifically is being proposed in the set without the "setting" LEGO.   In contradiction to this, many of the photos emphasize, or indeed, only display, elements that are not intended to be included in the offering, such as a cave or lit waterfalls.

To be certain I am fine that a setting is included, but I am extremely uncertain as to what the proposed set is intended to include.

Research Geology
I wish this build was a lot more compact and that there was a bit more variety to the characters.  Odd numbers are more appealing in general.  I would shrink the two existing builds and come up with a third to give a bit more character.  I guess in that case it would be a lot more like the Research Institute or the Science Adventures projects but there is a reason that concept worked so well...  

Most important I would get rid of the desk and chair.  Sitting minifigs are always to be avoided if possible. 1) Minifigs can stand indefinitely and 2) they have not knees!

A sitting minifig is only slightly shorter than a standing one, and they don't have knees, so they look like toddlers.  There is an impulse to get the figure's leg's under desks which always make the desks over tall, and usually two plates thick so you end up with something  

The strange device on the left appears quite specific.  I am going to assume it is the Scanning Electron Microscope  referenced in the projects.  Googling for such things I could not find anything to the scale.  Perhaps this is incredibly accurate, but we have no way of knowing without a picture of the source material. If the audience is likely to be unfamiliar with the subject, I always recommend including images.

Perhaps I am being a bit overcritical since Science Adventures also has a geologist finding minerals, I also tend to be critical of projects that use baseplates without having a strong excuse for it and a desk, box and chair don't really qualify in my book...

In summary...I want to like this idea, which is why I have written so much about it, ...but it is hitting on a lot of my pet peeves...It has done a fantastic job with promotion though and maintaining engaging updates.

Oscar Statue
This is a great build and I love Nathan's work.  He is a true artist.

That being said, I can never quite understand the attraction for this kind of project, where the intent is to recreate something "functional" but to do so in LEGO. I just can't grock it as a product. 

Sure, the functionality of this is limited, it is an Oscar, but an Oscar is an award that looks like a guy with a sword that fits in a person's, yeah, it functions just like the subject.
I am not saying there is anything inherently wrong with this kind of project, just saying its pretty much the one theme of Ideas projects I have a hard time understanding...for some reason I am cool with the Light Sabers....I guess that is due to the inherent association between LEGO and Star Wars...

This project however is looking for the cross section of people who like the Academy awards enough to want a fake Oscar and Love LEGO enough to want a fake Oscar made of LEGO.

NMR Spectrometer
This project basically has all the same issues, for me as the Research Geology project.  This is out of scale with minifigs and as I am unfamiliar with NMR Spectrometers, and no photo is included, I can't determine the accuracy of the build.

Scientists in History Collection
by Mibitat
I like the general concept of this, but I would to the scientists better represented by their MOCs...or a better explanation of the correlation.  
Brick-built Adventure Time figures
Pretty good.  Well done.  
Gothic Major Case Unit - Modular
This is the "Gotham" Major Case Unit, not a "Gothic" Major Case Unit.

You really need to emphasize your branding if you are using a licensed project to make sure it gets the attention of its fans. 
Leonardo da Vinci's flying machine
I like this project a lot, but the obvious Assassin's Creed reference can't serve the project well in the long run. 
Lunar Rover
by LuisPG
Excellent presentation and MOC
International Acrobats
Well done microbuilds.
History of Electricity
Excellent MOCs that have plenty of details.  dialog
The Attack on Grayskull
by Hobbes
These are excellent.  Like Transformers being owned by Hasbro though, He-Man is owned by Mattel and Mattel owns Mega Block.  So any He-Man construction sets are almost without a doubt going to be Mega Block.
You can't have Jeopardy without a question board!

The last Stand
An excellent display MOC.  I would like to see more play features for this many parts though. 
Castle Festival
Spider-man vs Dr Octopus
I love this as a MOC, the way the train is coming out of...well, nothing is really cool. 
The Gray Havens
This is gorgeous.  I would love to see it at a convention. 
Teleporter Room
Great production values!  I don't quite get how the "teleporter" effect is suppose to work.
Culture and Community Centre Creator Expert
by Mibitat
A well done MOC that is well presented.  This could use a bit more "wow" factor though. 
Ninja Mega Falcon Zord
Really impressive work, unfortunately Power Rangers are currently licensed to Mega Block. 
1920's Motorcar
by CeeHow
A very nice MOC.
Jack's House.
It appears that Jack Skellington has a pretty big following in the LEGO community as these projects come up with fair regularity.

Jack is however a twig!  The minifig template just does not do him justice.  He can be made of LEGO, quite well in fact, but the minifig is just to stout for my tastes.
The subject matter is not likely to get to 10K, but this is a great example of the professionalism you should target for in presenting a project. 

Speed Buggy with Tinker, Debbie, and Mark
Very accurate!

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