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Thursday, January 31, 2013

LEGO Galaxy Squad Wave 1 ALL sets summary & wrap-up

I figured I'd do one video where I tried to squeeze all of the wave 1 Galaxy Squad sets on screen before I took them all apart :)  Here they are with my final thoughts!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Roundup for the week!

Another big week of LEGO content from me!  Let's sum it all up:
  • Things kicked off with a Hero Factory MOC called X-OR, built with no particular rhyme or reason.
  • Next came Rachnox, a spider-derived Hero Factory Brain Attack MOC using part of the core of my Cuboid Snowflake creation.
  • The Weekend Off-Roader was my first System MOC in years.
  • Years after capturing the footage, I released my before & after video of the Guardians of Zemai-4, following the earlier story relayed by Zeyek.
  • It's not proper DNA, but the Double Helix MOC from my Hero Factory GEO series certainly looks like it from afar.
  • After watching too many episodes of the 1980s GI Joe series on Netflix, I made a couple of small tanks, one very small and one just sorta small.
  • The Pick-A-Brick portion of my last LEGO Shop order finally arrived.
  • I continued my Galaxy Squad series reviews with the Vermin Vaporizer.
  • Hero Factory GEO continued with the unveiling of a small pyramid.
  • What do you know, yet another System MOC, already!  This one's a wheeled vehicle, but with only one wheel!
  • I proudly showed a new-to-me 2001 Metroliner series train from eBay.
  • The GEO experiment bore still more fruit, this time with a proper cube.
  • With all of this new stuff, it was time to disassemble another old Bionicle MOC.
  • Okay, one small thing disassembled, time to replace it with a gigantic lot of new (and old) parts!
Whew!  What a week indeed!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bricklink Haul Jan. 24 2013

Moar parts.  How many? How about 1029?

Old Bionicle MOC - royal pet cat

Now here's an oldie. This was one of my earliest LEGO action figure building system MOCs and as of this writing it would be the oldest surviving MOC of mine, period.  I say "would be" because I've already taken it apart, but I did get a final look at it on video for all of y'all and for all of posterity, for what it's worth.

Hero Factory GEO MOC - Cube

Here's yet another chapter in my ongoing Hero Factory GEO series of geometric shape explorations.  The similarities between this and the pyramid I did last surprised me quite a bit.  Who knows what's next.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

LEGO Metroliner / club car mix & match

Now here's one nice eBay haul.  After looking up every single LEGO train set ever made, I found that there were only a handful I wanted to the point of need.  Atop the list is Metroliner, released in 1991 as set 4558, and re-released in 2001 as set 10001.  It's styled after the "Phase III" paint scheme of Amtrak trains in the United States, the engine being apparently inspired by a GE GenesisP42DC.  This all has significance to me because I used to watch Amtrak trains go by from my home when I was a kid.

At any rate, what I ended up getting is actually better for me than a full Metroliner set.  I got the powered engine, one passenger car, and a double-decker "dome car" (its real life name), sold separately in LEGO form as set #4547, the Club Car, which was re-released in 2001 as set #10002.  Check out this photo of the real thing!  And now for the little one...

Friday, January 25, 2013

LEGO Experimental Monobike - custom MOC

Here's a minifig-scale experimental single-wheel vehicle that's still in testing!  Always fun to try something out of the ordinary.  This one didn't turn out quite as well as I would have hoped form, but I'm still just low on System parts.  I need more Bricklink hauls, and more importantly, I need to do more set reviews to collect a wider variety of new pieces!

Hero Factory GEO MOC - Pyramid (small)

Another GEO series MOC, extremely simple once again, yet useful, with a new realization!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

LEGO Medium Assault Tank - custom space MOC

Created a couple of days after the LPAT, posted right after it by coincidence.  The next step up in size for the human ground defense forces!

LEGO Light Personal Assault Tank

Ah, space, the final frontier & all that.  Always been a LEGO Space fan, I have, though I never had the good fortune of getting my hands on one of the original late 1970s early 1980s sets that were in stores when I first fell under the theme's spell.  Whelp, here we are in 2013, and I'm bringing last century's spaceyness to my future LEGO city!  Humble beginnings, but watch it all grow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hero Factory GEO MOC - Double Helix

This is not an attempt to perfectly replicate DNA.  It is not a DNA replica.  It is just me continuing to play around with parts & shapes to discover new possibilities with the Hero Factory bone pieces.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Guardians of Zemai-4

In this archival footage (most recent clips in this video are from August 2011), you get to see the seven members of the Dark Order who stayed behind to guard Zemai-4 for all of eternity.  For some unknown reason, their most recently known forms do not precisely match those of the historical record.  Zeyek passed along no explanation.
If you didn't follow the Crystals of Zemai-4 story, now's a good time to get caught up.

Custom LEGO - Weekend Off-Roader

Well, will ya look at that?!  About thirteen years after swearing off LEGO altogether to focus on a single other hobby, I'm putting some of my old bricks from that era back to work, along with a lot of new stuff!  This is the beginning of something very big and exciting for me!

Hero Factory Brain Attack MOC - Rachnox

My Hero Factory GEO explorations bear more fruit, this time in the form of a pretty normal, current storyline villain MOC that's inspired by spiders and built around the core of my Cuboid Snowflake.

Hero Factory MOC - X-OR

Well folks, this MOC is.. just a MOC.  No backstory, no particular purpose, just a figure made for the sake of making a figure!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Roundup for the week!

January 14-20, 2013

I've been going wild publishing new LEGO stuff this week, so I thought it would be useful to sum up the new posts for folks who don't visit on a daily basis. There's so much new stuff that some of these things have already fallen off the first page of the blog!
  1. Bricklink Haul (recorded Jan. 11)
  2. Hero Factory Dragon Bolt MOC update for Brain Attack wave 2 with new parts to make it far more accurate
  3. Polyhydrastocyst HF Brain Attack MOC, 32" long with two heads!
  4. Hero Factory GEO series kicked off with a simple Ball (sphere)
  5. Galaxy Squad series Star Slicer set review
  6. My final Faceless One Hero Factory MOC, gladiator-style this time
  7. Chima series Ewar's Acro Fighter set build & review, a LEGO Shop exclusive bonus
  8. Iris-inspired alien flower made using Hero Factory parts, part of my GEO series
  9. LEGO City High Speed Chase set build & review featuring three vehicles & three minifigs
  10. Another Bricklink Haul, this one from Jan. 16
  11. Lucient Larva, a pretty old, tiny little thing
  12. Cuboid Snowflake, yet another GEO series MOC
With all of this stuff published, I still ended the week with a backlog of completed MOCs that have already been filmed, plus another that's yet to be filmed, plus two new hauls to share!  This coming week I will attempt to get caught up by publishing multiple videos per day. Be sure to keep up, if you can!

Update: I got the three additional lots filmed, so now at least I'm caught up on recording videos, and just need to work on catching up with publishing them :)

Hero Factory GEO MOC - Cuboid Snowflake

Not perfect, not pretty, but very interesting and educational for me.  I've already created a new non-GEO MOC using one of the techniques I discovered while building this thing. More on that later!

Lucient Larva MOC

This tiny translucent curiosity follow s the theme of my Lucient Sprite and Lucient Hydra MOCs. If I remember correctly, though, this little guy was actually made before even the Sprite. Why it took me so long to publish this is of no concern, though.  What matters is that it's here now, and by the time you're reading this, these parts are back in circulation for use in more new MOCs!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bricklink Haul January 16

Moar parts!  MOAR PARTS!!!  Still more to come, too!

LEGO City High Speed Chase 60007 build & review!

Unboxing, speed build, and review of the LEGO City High Speed Chase set 60007 featuring Chase McCain of the Elite Police.  Three vehicles & three minifigs in this one $20 set.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Bionicle MOC (old) - Gelaeus' quadriped walker

Here's an oldie, but goodie, used in the old Rilovians story, though made even earlier than that.  I've kept this one on display for nearly four years, and now it is finally meeting the fate of the vast majority of my MOCs!

Hero Factory GEO MOC: Flower #1

Following up on my ball MOC which used a hexagonal template, this colorful thing uses a completely different 6-sided building style.

LEGO Chima Ewar's Acro Fighter 30250 build & review!

Unpacking, speed build, and review of LEGO Chima Ewar's Acro Fighter set #30250, a LEGO Shop at Home exclusive given as a bonus for orders over $75 in early 2013.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hero Factory GEO MOC: Ball

Introducing Hero Factory GEO, a new series of exploratory & experimental MOCs based upon simple geometric designs.  Each creation in this series will focus on a single shape and seek to either accurately realize that shape using primarily standard ball & socket connections, or use that basic shape to create something interesting & new.

I begin with... a sphere!

Hero Factory MOC - Polyhydrastocyst (Brain Attack)

Here's a Hero Factory Brain Attack series MOC for ya with a bit of warning regarding what can occur when the brain parasite infestation process goes wrong!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Brain Attack Hero Factory Dragon Bolt MOC Updated!

My first attempt at this build was severely limited by parts on hand.  Thanks to my latest Bricklink haul, I was able to update the wings, and most importantly, the head!  Much better now.  I still haven't bothered trying to add a brain parasite as blue brains haven't been released and other colors really ruin the look of the figure, in my opinion.

Bricklink Haul Jan. 11 2013

More stuff again!  Another minifig-skewed mix, though with some other important parts as well.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bricklink haul Jan. 10 2013

Mostly minifigs in this single-seller haul from a couple days ago.  More on the way!

LEGO City 4202 Mining Truck build & review!

Unboxing, speed build, and review of the LEGO City 4202 Mining Truck (oversized dump truck). By the time you're reading this, it has already been disassembled for parts!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bricklink haul Jan. 9, 2013

Tons of stuff has came in yesterday, but there's a lot more still on the way!

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 7

Just when doom seemed absolute and inescapable, the very most unlikely allies emerged from the shadows...

The in rapid succession, the members of the Brotherhood met their violent ends before the glowing energy swords of the Dark Order.  Soon even Lecius himself was disarmed and facing his demise. One Rokkun miner, cowering behind a lifter, overheard some sort of final offer being extended to the fallen villain, but the offer was evidently refused, as quickly thereafter, Lecius was relieved of his head.

The same member of the Dark Order who had delivered the ominous warning so long ago now summoned the Rokkun out of hiding, for yet another proclamation.
"The sacred crystals beneath your feet, shall bring you pain and despair for so long as you covet them. When you depart this time, remove this system from your navigational databases. Spread word to your people that swift death will greet any who set foot upon this planet. We MAINTAIN protection of this land. DO NOT return."

Nothing further was said.  The seven warriors stood their ground silently as the weakened Rokkun liberated their transports and departed Zemai-4 for the very last time.

Members of the Dark Order number in the hundreds, but they tend to matters covering many galaxies, ensuring their own rarity.  These seven, however, took a sacred vow to remain upon the desolate surface of the planet for the remainder of their existence, to protect Zemai-4 and its crystals from all invaders, at any cost...
Or, should I say, to protect all invaders, from Zemai-4, and its crystals...
So ends this cautionary tale from the master chronicler himself, Zeyekti-Iiloptinous Mazzourel, a.k.a. Zeyek.

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 6

It was a dark time for the Rokkun miners of Zemai-4.  Their leaders had been murdered and their former esteemed guardian had become their slave master.  All hope was lost, as Zeyek picked up where he left off in this now-tragic story...

With nothing further to hide, Lecius allowed his grotesque minions to walk about Zemai-4 freely to intimidate the miners and enforce the conditions of his oppressive rule.  Morale among the Rokkun workers had hit rock bottom; pardon the reference.  Sustenance was provided in only the quantity required to maintain operation of the mining equipment.  Shifts were long, and breaks were not tolerated. 
Crystal masses were separated by hand for temporary storage while a refinery was hastily constructed using materials captured from neutral freighters passing through nearby systems.  The Brotherhood controlled the land and the skies as far as the eye could see.  The Rokkun were doomed to spend the remainder of their existence serving a murderer and his monsters.
How ironic, it was, that the saviors of Rokkun would become their worst enemies.  How ironic, it was, that the once worst enemies of the Rokkun, would become their saviors.  Ah yes, the Dark Order seven returned, and oh, how ready they were, for battle.

(to be continued...)

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 5

All good things eventually come to an end, and such was certainly the case on Zemai-4.  Zeyek continues his account...
Angry Rokkun miners of all ranks and duties slowly and intimidatingly encircled Lecius.  Lecius broke the silence:
"Consider this, a negotiation..."
A miner interrupted,
"No!  No negotiation, we want you g..."
Lecius drew his spear-like energy staff weapon with his left hand and pointed it at the two mine managers who were standing together on the opposite side of the circle.  Slowly closing upon them, he continued...

"This, is a negotiation. I will give you two chances to increase my share to fifty percent of all material drawn from the mines."
The crowd gasped in unison.  The Rokkun who had interrupted earlier, did so again:
"To Xhin with you, ruffian!"
Without breaking his slow and deliberate stride, without breaking his gaze upon the mangers, Lecius drew his second weapon with his right hand, aimed at the boisterous Rokkun, and shot him through one of his shins, collapsing him to the ground.
"You now have, one, final chance, to increase my share, to fifty percent."
By now he had reached the edge of the circle and the point of his glowing, activated spear was nearly brushing the chins of the mine managers as it was slowly swung from side to side.  Defiantly, the site leaders stood their ground.
"You are a filthy, greedy criminal! We will make no further deals with you!"

Lecius raised his eyebrows with a bit of contrived surprise.

"Very well, then."

Quickly, he spun to face the center of the circle, but not before extending his spear ever so slightly further.  He sliced the throats of both mine managers, and they immediately fell dead.  Lecius looked around at the rocky terrain and the tallest mining machinery about the site as he retraced his previous steps. The living circle of Rokkun widened and parted before him.
"This mine, and all of its Sangrys, its Quaza, its Imbolan, its Khlorydar, its Leptul, and its Cymbis, is now property of the Brotherhood of the Light. You all work for me. You will no longer transport a single crystal off this planet.  You will no longer leave, this planet, for any reason. You will no longer make contact with any one or any thing, off this planet.  You will assist in the construction of a refinery in the valley, there [pointing]. You will follow my instructions to the letter and without complaint, or I and my brethren... will relieve you of your breath."
The morning Zemai sun had just begun to peek over the far ridge, and on that ridge, dozens of menacing silhouettes appeared.

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 4

Finally, the tide of fortune turns in favor of the Rokkun miners with the emergence of a powerful savior...
For months, mining on Zemai-4 proceeded without incident. Members of the Dark Order did attempt to return, but Lecius consistently intercepted and dispatched them a safe distance from the mine. I say Lecius, and not "Lecius and company," as the miners only ever saw this one, lone warrior. He became quite the celebrity to the Rokkun, a super-hero of sorts. Whether he was truly acting alone or simply keeping his aides well hidden was neither here nor there.  The results spoke for themselves, and the crystalline riches flowed forth freely.
As time passed, more equipment was brought in, the mining site grew, and production gradually expanded. With this progress came an increasing haul of raw crystals for Lecius, but the seeds of greed to grow within him. He became dissatisfied with the agreed-upon share, and requested that it be doubled. Mine managers feigned shock and dismay, but eventually gave in, quietly happy to reward their soul savior & protector whose original take had been quite inconsequential.
All things continued along smoothly until one warm night, there was a sucessful attack upon the site.  A conveyance was slashed apart and several containers of freshly-mined material, awaiting transport off the planet, were destroyed.  The monetary damage was modest, but the psychological impact was severe.  Once again, the Rokkun and their mine were vulnerable and unsafe.  Lecius was most regretful for failing to prevent the incident, but he submitted that the expanse of the mining site had become so great that his resources were stretched too thin, and he needed to bring in more help. More help would require more supplies and more pay, which meant a larger profit share.  The mine managers rejected the notion, this time with absolute sincerity, countering that Lecius was simply... slacking off... and needed to re-focus and do his job properly.

The very following night, there was another attack, and more equipment was disabled.  This time, suspicion ran rampant through the site. The Rokkun did not believe for a moment that the timing was a coincidence. They believed the "attack" was staged, the equipment destroyed by Lecius himself as part of a greedy, treacherous scheme of extortion.
(to be continued...) 

LEGO Galaxy Squad Swarm Interceptor 70701 build & review!

Unboxing, speed build, and review of LEGO Galaxy Squad Swarm Interceptor set 70701.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Crystals of Zemai-4, part 3

The Zemai-4 saga continues after the second devastating attack on the crystal mining site by members of the mysterious Dark Order.
The Rokkun miners were dazed and terrified, all of them. None had heard of this Dark Order, and all feared that the next attack could bring even greater losses, possibly involving loss of life.  Evacuation began immediately. Most of the expensive mining equipment was abandoned where it lay. For the time being, all was considered lost.

Back on the miners' home planet, news of the attacks & attackers spread fast.  Most of the population agreed that permanent abandonment of the Zemai-4 dig was the only option. Most. The mine managers were a bit too proud to give up so quickly, and investors were eager to collect more of the tremendous profits of refining and selling the six valuable minerals.
Pleas to the government for military support fell on deaf ears.  Rokkun political leaders wanted nothing further to do with what had turned into a heavily publicized diaster. With the most exhalted potential source of help off the table, some lower elements of society were sought out.  Word was sent out through back channels that the assistance of mercenaries would be entertained. To the dismay of the mining magnates, even these unsavory groups knew better than to challenge the Dark Order, and the call for help went unanswered for weeks on end.
Near the end of the Rokkun solar year, a meeting was called to discuss whether to finally give up hope of reclaiming the Zemai-4 site.  As the meeting commenced, an uninvited guest made an appearance.
Shod in brilliant white armor, this tall, proud character almost appeared to emit an angelic glow.  He introduced himself as Lecius ("lee-see-us") Olujean ("oh-loo-zyawn"), a high lieutenant of the secretive Brotherhood of the Light.  He was prepared to accept the task of retaking Zemai-4 from the Dark Order and providng long-term protection for the mine.  He would require no monetary payment up front, merely sustenance & supplies for himself and a company of compatriots, plus an infinitesemally small, fixed percentage of whatever crystals were pulled from the ground. 

Well, one thing lead to to another, background checks, planning, paperwork, collection of supplies, etcetera. Soon enough, Lecius was off to collect some of his "brethren" and liberate the Rokkun mine.  Two days after landing on Zemai-4, the Brotherhood encountered two members of the Dark Order and drove them off after a fierce, but brief battle.  After completing a comprehensive sweep of the entire planet, Lecius sent word to the Rokkun that the mine had been liberated, and it was safe to return.
(to be continued...)

Halo 4 Promethean Crawler MOC

Here's a a Promethean Crawler MOC made using primarily LEGO Hero Factory action figure parts. Nothing too involved, a pretty quick build. Just something fun.

The Crystals of Zemai-4, Part 2

We pick up Zeyek's Zemai-4 chronicle with the mining site fully repaired and back in operation.  As night fell, so did misfortune...
Without warning, not one, but both of the dig site's large and well-secured battery banks shorted out, dramatic showers of sparks & all. Backup generators failed to start -- they had been, sliced, open. Four security guards lay unconscious, though apparently uninjured. Atop a ridge that lined the back edge of the site, seven figures appeared, with the night sky behind them.

They wielded what appeared to be melee weapons, with blades made of pure energy. The individual in the middle, spoke in a grand, menacing, projected voice for all to hear:

"You may know of us as the Dark Order. We claim protection of this land. You know not the power of these 'crystals' you seek, nor the danger they bring to the uninitiated."
The miners stirred and whispered to each other. A squad of security personnel had drawn their weapons and snuck up the ridge in a flanking maneuver. As they emerged from cover to demand surrender, the nearest and only the nearest of the intruders snapped his head in their direction, relaxed, and slowly raised both hands above his head. Suddenly, he lowered his free hand and extended it towards the guards. He made a motion as if grabbing a handful of air, then quickly bringing it to his chest. The guards began to tremble where they stood. Their weapon hands were outstretched, though now empty, their former contents coming to rest at the intruder's feet as if yanked across the way by an invisible force.

The proclamation resumed.

"Leave this place. Quickly. And do not return. This is not a request."

With that, the "Dark Order" seven deactivated their swords and retreated into the rocky landscape.

Then things got... interesting...
(to be continued...)

The Crystals of Zemai-4, Part 1

Master chronicler Zeyek today brings us the beginning of a historical tale of dark and light in an alternate universe.

Imbolan, Cymbis, Leptul, Quaza, Sangrys, Khlorydar. All incredibly powerful, energy-rich, and rare substances. All found in abundance on the dusty, rocky planet called Zemai-4. Rokkun explorers landed on Zemai-4 roughly 7,200 of your Earth years ago, and it took but four months for a vigorous mining operation to begin. A single month later, came the first attack.

In the middle of a shift, someone sabotaged an important piece of equipment. A pump, it was, if I recall correctly.  Yes, it is coming back to me, a cooling fluid pump, used to prevent a particularly large drill from... melting... itself.   

A peculiarly small hole was made in the housing of the primary filter, but through this hole the attacker was able to inflict a massive amount of internal damage; just to the filter, though, nothing else.  After another hour of continued use, increasingly dense particulate matter decimated the pump from the inside, ruined the main cooling lines, oh, and clogged the mine's largest drill, causing it to seize up quite irreparably. Forgive the obvious reference, but the entire operation ground to a halt. Hmph. Not a single soul caught a glimpse of the culprit.  
It was two weeks before mining could resume, as a significant amount of equipment required replacement, and new shipments came from the far-away industrial Santrell system.  Along with a new drill, countless hoses & fittings, several new cooling pumps and quite a complement of spare filters, a civilian security team was brought to the site.  A state-of-the-art network of surveillance cameras was erected, too. Mine operators were absolutely determined to prevent another shutdown incident.

The new equipment was installed, checked, and re-checked. The security team went on high alert. Drilling resumed. All was well -- until night settled in. 

(to be continued...)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

LEGO Galaxy Squad Space Swarmer 70700 build & review

Unboxing, speed build, and review of LEGO Galaxy Squad Space Swarmer set 70700!

Aggghh! Make it stop!

In the year 2000 I made the decision to quit my recently-rekindled LEGO hobby to focus solely upon RC car stuff.  Just after Christmas 2012, with one of the most enduring & successful RC websites and one of the most popular RC-related YouTube channels, I turned a corner and resolved to allow LEGO System back into my life while slightly dialing back my work in the RC field.

Here we are just eight days into 2013, and LEGO has sucked me in fully & completely!  I have made eight Bricklink and two S@H LEGO store orders since New Year's Eve!  I have enough videos recorded to last until the middle of next week if I keep uploading them regularly, and I just made yet another Hero Factory MOC today on a whim!  It's out of control! I'm going to be crushed by LEGO!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Brain Attack MOC: Dragon Bolt

A quick attempt using parts on hand and the glimpses of Dragon Bolt in the second TV trailer plus what we can see in the CGI rendering from Kevin Huang.

Dragon Bolt & Stormer renderings from Brain Attack wave 2!

High-res, clear CG pictures of Dragon Bolt and Stormer from the upcoming Brain Attack animation.

Original source:  Kevin Huang's blog.

Credit to Jouster at Eurobricks for the find.

Edit: Not Surge. Stormer. The other S guy.  5am, no sleep yet, still working, brain failing.