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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LEGO Hero Factory MOC: Xarath

In the LEGO Hero Factory universe, two names are feared more than any other:  Von Nebula, and Xarath.  Each time he appears, he wreaks horrific destruction and causes a major disruption to life in the region he targets.  The last time he visited the outskirts of Makuhero City, he surgically disrupted a key fiber optic communications hub by fusing several fiber bundles together with his shoulder-mounted Modulated Fusion Cannon (MFC), scrambling the flow of data and causing overloads at dozens of regional routing stations.  Over 240,000 citizens were left without connectivity to the Ultranet for over a week.  After repairs were completed, the entire Ultranet infrastructure was audited, and only the one physical location Xarath attacked was found to have been able to create such a devastating chain reaction.  Xarath knew exactly where and how to strike.


Xarath's ultimate motivations are not yet clear, but it is believed that he is a rival of Von Nebula and looking to usurp the power of our most well-known super-foe.


Xarath also carries a double-tipped lance, and by removing the blade head it becomes a tripod for the MFC, allowing more precise long-ranged attacks.


LEGO Bionicle MOC: Taroah


Taroah was a Rock Tribe agori in the Bionicle world of Bara Magna.  He vehemently opposed Tuma's rule, and paid the price in the form of a viscious nighttime ambush that damaged one of his legs and one of his arms beyond repair.  Abandoned in his crippled state far from any village or trading route, Taroah was astonishingly rescued by none other than Zeyek himself.  Why Zeyek chose to intervene on this lone agori's behalf remains a mystery. 

Taroah was flown to a far, distant, highly advanced planet, where he was given free medical attention and fully robotic replacements for his damaged limbs.  He found work on the planet and saved up his money to purchase custom-fitted weapons, including a double-barrelled blaster that would attatch directly to his right arm, as well as a rocket-propelled mortar launcher.  A patron at a tavern he began to frequent has said that Taroah was preparing to journey back to Bara Magna, just days before the planet was reunited into Spherus Magna.

He has not been heard of since.

Friday, September 24, 2010

LEGO Bionicle MOCs video preview

Here's a quick camera pass over all of my Lego Bionicle MOCs (and Hero Factory too!) as of September 9, 2010.  Most of them have been published here and on Zeyek's site, but some remain to be fully revealed.  No worries, as I continue to transition to doing purely Hero Factory work, I'm in a hurry to finally publicize all of the remainder of my Bionicle creations.  Slow video overviews of each shelf worth of MOCs will be coming, along with some spotlight videos on individual creations I particularly like.

LEGO Hero Factory MOC: Narec monster


Now this is one ugly creature.  Its composition is estimated to be 70% organic, 30% inorganic.  It does not appear to possess the ability to communicate in any way.  Its main food source?  Tree roots.  Bizarre, to say the least.  For some reason, there is something about the way decorative trees are grown in cities that makes them more appetizing to the Narec monster, and it has been making ever deeper incursions into populated areas, terrorizing citizens.  It must be captured and taken back to the wild, far away from developed zones!




LEGO Hero Factory MOC: Ryan Fissure


Fissure is a rookie who's being trained to handle an experimental extended-range melee weapon currently called the the WPL-45H.  The weapon features a bladed "stinger" on a tether that connects to a fuel-cell charged crystal capacitor on the wielder's back.  The stinger is whirled in a circular motion on a short length of tether to build up kinetic energy, then it is released directly at the target.  On impact, the tip triggers a pulsed electrical discharge down the tether and directly into the point of impact.  This can almost instantly disable a robotic target, stun a biological one without causing any actual injury, or disrupt an inorganic surface or structure at the molecular level, causing it to weaken and crack along the lines of electrical discharge.


LEGO Hero Factory villain set review videos

You've seen my LEGO Hero Factory heroes videos, and because of your requests, I've now gone ahead and reviewed the villains as well:

Please be sure to subscribe to my LEGO YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/LEGOJANG for future Hero Factory and Bionicle MOC videos!


Speaking of MOCs, it's been too long since I posted some.  Time to change that!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LEGO Bionicle Moc: Green and white

Green and white!  That's all I can really say about this Lego Bionicle MOC!  I wanted to make something Toa-like that was green and white.  So I did.  Yay.

LEGO Bionicle MOC: Ptah assassin & rahi mount

My favorite creation from the Ptah series is this Assassin class warrior with a crossbow-like weapon, combined with an unnamed rahi that started out much smaller & with a completely different head, but ended up looking a little bit like a "Dewback" from the Star Wars universe.





LEGO Bionicle MOCs: The Ptah

The newest Bionicle Untold posts introduce a species called the Ptah. This finishes off the  discovery story about the origin of the Vorox and Zesk started back in August 2009.  The MOCs were finished long before that, I just procrastinated a lot in posting them while also trying to figure out how the story would come together and also hopefully be plausible in the context of the canon background on the Great Beings and Bara Magna alike.

I really liked the Zesk mask when I first built the normal set and used it in my posing & photographing Bionicles post, and I decided to see what else I could make of it.  This Ptah Guardian was the first creation to come out of those experiments:


The desert regions of Bara Magna made me think of ancient Egypt, so from there came the inspiration to create a tall, proud, gilded warrior.  I liked the colors, so I then just tried out different ways to make similar characters.  The backstory & names all came later.



After these I was running low on dark gold parts, so I tried what I then called a "commando" style with a larger figure, and then put bright gold pieces to use for my very first time for the Royal Elite.



Though I was left with almost no gold parts after these, buying all of those Zesk for their masks produced a surplus of tan one-piece arms/legs, and I had to put those to use too!  The result was this pill bug-inspired desert Rahi covered with "scales" of minifig-scale Visorak from the Visorak's Gate set:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Ptah, part 3

The devolution of the Ptah has occurred far, far more slowly than expected.  In fact, the blast of electromagnetic energy released during the Shattering slowed the process nearly to a halt.  Nearly.

The Vorox and the Zesk, are today's remnants of partly-devoled Ptah.  The Zesk are made up of the Guardians, the Brawlers, and the Assassains.  The Vorox are what have become of the Elites and Royals.  These vile, repulsive creatures are the result of the betrayal of their creators, the Great Beings.  The Great Beings devised a life-form on a whim, they encountered an unexpected problem with them, they devised a solution, and then they decided the solution was too costly, and abandoned an entire civilized population in the process.


Today, what are left of the Ptah, the Vorox and Zesk on re-united Spherus Magnus, remain unwanted outcasts of society, a tormented in-between form of what was once great and proud, and will one day be merely mindless pests again, if the survivors aren't all hunted and destroyed by another of the Great Beings' creations.

There is much beauty and wonder in existance thanks directly and indirectly to the actions of the Great Beings, and yet, there is also so much evil, and so much pain.  One can only hope that in their new homeworld they will reflect upon the grave mistakes of their storied pasts, learn from them, and not repeat them!  Let it be understood, that life is not an object to be played with like a toy or experimented with like a selection of chemical compounds!

The Ptah, part 2

The Ptah were a most fascinating species!  So, so dramatically different from their original form.  Every single Ptah was a warrior, though they never, ever warred.  They retained the stoic, fearless nature of the Sa, as well as the silence.  It was silence to others, at least -- the Ptah communicated amongst themselves telepathically.  They developed a social class system that directly correlated to their various martial disciplines.  There was a Guardian class:


A Brawler class:


My favorite were the Assassin class, who would sometimes ride Rahi mounts:




Then there were the larger, even more serious and dedicated Elite class:


And finally, among the Elites there were the most shining (literally and figuratively) examples of Ptah culture, honor, and values, the Royals:


Make no mistake, though.  The Royals were not kings or leaders of any sort.  They served no higher purpose in Ptah society than any other class.  They simply had to take their lives quite a bit more seriously (as if that were possible).

The Ptah formed orderly societal communes -- towns, if you will.  Still Sa at heart, they continued to scavenge, though with much more pride.  However, instead of multiplying so readily after reaching a certain physical size, a Ptah would continue to grow for many years, and then he (she? it?) would suddenly stop injesting raw materials, except as needed for fuel and bodily repairs.  The Ptah would never create offspring, and thus, their numbers no longer increased.

The Great Beings had successfully transformed an uncapped population of nuisances into a proud, honorable, respectful and respectable, planet-wide peacekeeping force.  Oh, but there was a catch.  Always a catch, there, is.  The electromagnetic "treatments" the Great Beings had employed, somewhat of a digital genetic therapy, had to be continually re-administered, else the Ptah would slowly begin to devolve back into Sa.  To lessen the burden, the Great Beings had treatment transmitters created at regular distances in a grid around the entire planet.  Each had a fixed range of effectiveness, and they were arranged such that there wasn't a footprint worth of land where a Ptah could stand and not receive the treatment.  Each transmitter required only a modest amount of energy to power it, but with an enormous global network of them in operation, the cost in resources was prohibitive.  The Great Beings together decided the experiment was no longer worth their effort, and they took the transmitters offline, vowing to figure out some other way to deal with the Sa population problem, whenever it became a problem again.

The Ptah, part 1

Untold generations ago, the Great Beings thrived in their desert oasis on Spherus Magnus.  In vast, sprawling laboratory complexes, they experimented -- no, played -- with life itself.  Played with it like children do simple toys.  Their imaginations ran wild as they sought out new ways to use their powers of creation, and simultaneously learned of new powers that they possessed. Most of their experiments were what you and I would call, simply, "failures."  In this age of wonder and possibilities, the Great Beings showed no remorse for the disfigured creatures and faulty digital intelligences they spawned.  All that they made, could simply be unmade and converted back into raw materials.  For that which could not so easily be recycled, a new creation could be formed to do the task.

After countless years this "playing," the Great Beings found themselves surrounded by life.  Their backyard was all of Spherus Magnus and about it roamed hundreds of thousands of robotic and organic things -- things that had escaped being recycled after millions of individual experiments.  Among these things, was a species of small, semi-robotic, scorpion-like creatures called simply, "Sa."



Legend has it, this name is nothing more than a sound uttered by a Great Being upon first seeing the creature completed.  The Sa were scavengers, much like what you would know as "ants," and they generally helped keep the planet clean by collecting and devouring waste and scraps and shavings of unused materials cast out from the Great Beings' labs.  The one problem with the Sa, was that they were able to multiply quite readily.  Upon collecting sufficient raw material, a Sa would simply spawn a clone of itself.  Soon, they were everywhere.  They were not harmful, but nor were they shy.  They knew no fear, and would never scatter and flee, not even when a Great Being approached.  As such, they became quite a physical nuisance, as they would always get in the way.

A few of the Great Beings decided that to counter this nuisance, rather than developing a natural predator (that would be too simple, and sensible), they would attempt to evolve the Sa population into something more intelligent and deliberate, a species that would, perhaps, form social groups, and well-defined dwellings, instead of randomly roaming everywhere with little purpose other than to feed and multiply.  A treatment was devised that could be delivered through electromagnetic pulses to the Sa.  It would slowly alter their metabolism and cause them to evolve over time into higher-level beings that could think for themselves, communicate, and eventually form societies.  The creatures they would become, would be known as the Ptah.