On Hiatus

A hundred posts in seems like a good time to take a break, so I’ll be stepping away from the Manifesto for a while to recharge the batteries.  The statistics for the site continue to trend downwards so perhaps this will be a good opportunity to think about the direction of the blog, what works and what doesn’t.  Thanks for your continued interest, constant reader, I especially appreciate all the comments the Manifesto has generated to this point, the conversation has been the most rewarding aspect of the endeavor. I’m not sure how long the hiatus will be, but I’ll keep you updated.

 

 

As Cold as Ice

Grab your little conductor’s cap and a red bandanna, it’s train time!  The latest effort by Hungarian builder Gabor Horvath is impossibly cool, with inspired windows, striping and one of the most complex examples of a driver’s cab that I’ve ever seen.  The model is a recreation of the German Intercity-Express 3 train, which has a distinctive nose that must have been very challenging to capture in the brick.  The final result may not be quite as rounded as the real thing, but it’s no less stunning.  I think I like the slightly angular treatment better anyway, it looks like it cuts through the air with ease.  Being inclined to see things through the lens of Science Fiction, I couldn’t help but wonder how the nose would look on a spaceship or a train that was more stylized for the future. It’s all about that nose.

For some people it is unfathomable to spend a year on a model of this size, or any size for that matter, but the result is such perfection that I can’t fault Gabor in the slightest.  When I blogged for TBB I made it a point to diversify my interests as broadly as possible and that meant seeking out interesting trains to talk about.  Even though I don’t often build trains and I’m not really that interested in the subject matter, over the course of a year my appreciation slowly increased.  And while I can’t honestly claim to be a ‘train guy’, I still find myself looking for the next great iron horse.

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Beyond the build itself, I really enjoyed the way  Gabor enthusiastically describes his build process on Flickr, it’s both genuine and insightful.  The personal anecdote he provides is more evidence that you’re not really a builder/junkie until you wake up in the middle of the night with the perfect solution for a model and start building when you should be sleeping. Gabor also has all the technical stats and train-speak on Flickr, so if you’re interested follow the link at the top of the article and check out the full presentation.

I’m really happy, that it is ready! It took me almost a year to build and become satisfied with the result. You may know, if someone build a train, the front is the most important thing. If it’s not good, it’s unnecessary to build the other sections. Everything started with an LDD model from a front-idea. I built something in the program, but I didn’t like it. Later it came always into my mind and didn’t allow me to be calm. So I started to develope the construction. Some month later it looked nice enough to order some parts and make it in real life. It contained so many interesting and strange techniques, that it was a real challenge to put the bricks together in the program, and with real bricks it was hard, too. And the real 3D model was ugly! But I said, that it has to be possible to find out something, which makes the model better. So I made some changes, and some more, and some more, and finally I liked it, and I thought that I found the maximum! I stored the train (only the front section) and some other parts on the table in the middle of our house. And one night, I couldn’t sleep. I woke up and went out to the table to do something. And I don’t know why, but I put an element into the middle of the front. And I said ‘wow’! It was perfect (for me of course, for you, I still don’t know, but I will read the comments 🙂 )! Some gaps disappeared, some sections got new positions. That element made so big changes on the overall look, that it was incredible! I felt high, but next day I was very sleepy. 😀

I included the video because this train demands some dramatic music and it’s cool to see the ICE in action.  It’s also easier to appreciate all the SNOT work that went into the brilliant nose.  Gabor has a nice Catamaran Sailboat too, if you’re a catamaran kind of person, not everyone is…you have to have a real sense of style.

Sunday Comics: Thule’s Gold

The Manifesto is proud to present the third volume of a highly irregular series by legendary builder Karf Oohlu, created exclusively for the blog.  If you’re not familiar with Karf’s work, slap yourself twice…really hard and then educate yourself immediately.

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And the Winner of SHIPtember 2016 is…

Brama!, by Mr. Zac Lowing.  The rest of you losers can go home now, try harder next year!

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Believe it or not, this is the 100th post in the brief history of the Manifesto.  Thank you for all your views and comments, constant reader!

 

 

Friday Night Fights [Round 12]

Welcome back fight fans, to Sin City Nevada for another Jeet Kune Do edition of Friday Night Fights!  This week’s bout is an Ian Mcque inspired battle of the sky-boats, with control of international salvage rights on the line.   Without further preamble, let’s go to the tale of the tape.

Fighting out of the red corner, from beautiful Lagoa Santa, Brasil, it’s Felipe “O Touro” Avelar and his “Mestiço“.

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And fighting out of the blue corner, from fascinating Taipei, Taiwan, it’s “Jackhammer” JPascal and his “Ramona“.

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As usual, constant reader, you are tasked with deciding the outcome of this pugilistic endeavor and determine who will receive a week’s worth of bragging rights.  Simply leave a comment below and vote for the MOC that best suits your individual taste. I will tally up the votes next Friday and declare a winner before announcing the next bout.

Last Week, on Friday Night Fights….

It was the battle of SHIPtember, with the control of the outer rim planets on the line.  In the end,  Anders “The Sledgehammer” Sinding  and his “World_Eater “ scored a  10-4 victory over  Cecilie “The Samurai” Fritzvold and her “Zea’x Dauphyz“.  Anders Sinding records his first win and improves his record to (1-0) while Cecile Fritzvold falls to (0-1).

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Seven Words

If you haven’t notice, this week’s theme is a profane one.  From nasty attacks on sweet innocent cosplayers, to salacious mosaics, to profanity, the Manifesto is comfortable embracing the A in AFOL.  The late great George Carlin had a great standup routine he debuted in 1972, a riff on a Lenny Bruce routine from the previous decade, where he explored the seven dirty words you can’t use on American TV.  Back in 2008, noted builder Alex Eylar (a.k.a Profound Whatever) interpreted the famous rant in Lego and the results were quite compelling.  I only recently discovered them, while searching through Eylar’s extensive back catalog for material for a different article and I was immediately captivated. I enjoy profanity, not as much as say Rutherford but I think no great vocabulary is complete without some choice gutter-talk in your arsenal.   The designs are simple, but I don’t care, it’s the beauty of each message that appeals to me.  Get used to these images, constant reader, because I intend to use them from time to time on the Manifesto when more refined and civilized palaver fails me.  Thank you Alex, this was like finding an unexpected 20 dollar bill in your pocket when the wife and kids are not around to tell you how to spend it.

 

 

A Little T&A (NSFW)

I have mixed feelings about mixing Lego and erotic themes, which is nothing new under the sun, people have been combining the two since the phallic space-ships of Bonktron debuted over eleven years ago.   It probably goes back even further but that’s the first ‘adult’ series of models I can remember.  Even MOCpages, went through a prolonged stretch in the mid 2000’s when the height of humor was sig-figs sodomizing each other with hotdogs…I’m sure you can imagine the sheer hilarity of it all…  It’s not just the guys who get in on the erotic action, Janey Gunning showed us some in whips and chains back in 2006.  As long as adults have been building with Lego, there have been sexual themes.

I don’t object to the adult stuff based on any moral objections or hand-wringing over what the “children” might see.  I admit that I get a little squeamish when I see minifigs engaging in sexual situations, because of the stigma attached to us by the outside world about  men (primarily) who play with a children’s toy.  Showing minifigs boning just throws fuel on that fire and more often than not it doesn’t serve any larger scene or idea, it exists purely to be provocative. This is one of the worst examples, I can’t endorse this image in any way, it’s skeevy, and barely qualifies as a build.  In a stereotypically American way, I don’t have a problem with minifig violence, but showing little dolls having sex is not something I’m want to see. To me, minifig-sex works best when the action is more suggestive than overt.

Once you get away from the minifigs though, I don’t have any reservations at all.  I enjoy watching builders struggle with the human form and the challenge of turning plastic parts into something sexy.  My final objection is that most erotically themed builds are terrible, there is often little thought put into their construction because the builder is too busy giggling about boners or trying to decide which porno to watch next.  I’ve never seen a Bonktron ship that wasn’t absolute crap and all that sausage humor on MOCpages was mediocre at best, it was the same basic idea repeated over and over. For every Letranger Absurde, Ian Heath or Bricks Noir, there are a hundred hacks who don’t really try to make something compelling, just provocative.

All that is a long-winded way to work my way around to a builder who should be familiar to most of you, Bricks Noir.  What separates the builder from the crowd who indulge in erotica is the skill level.  This kind of SNOT work has a high degree of difficulty whether it’s built in the brick or in this case, digitally.  In Bricks Noir’s latest impressive work, “Classic Curves“, it isn’t the anatomy that interests me so much as the Mustang badge on the grill and the subtle curves of the fenders and mirrors.  Sure the lady is attractive, the legs are extremely well done, but everywhere you look in the image you’ll find some delightful detail.   If you slapped a frame on this one and hung it in a coffee joint people wouldn’t know it was Lego, even when they got up close. Sexy and scary are two of the most difficult themes to capture in the brick I can’t commend the builder enough for capturing sexy like no other.29345890883_4c3d0467fc_o

Bricks Noir is one of those rare builders who seemed to spring to life fully formed (like a Greek god) with advanced skills and no awkward initial builds.  Such instant success tends breed suspicion, especially when the builder in question is relatively quiet and provides no information in their profile.  The most clever blogger on TBB, Ian Heath, speculated last year that  Bricks Noir is a pseudonym for an “established builder” but as usual, the big blog would rather play coy about it than make a statement or even an educated guess.  I’m a conspiracy theory guy, so that makes me think it’s probably the clever blogger himself.  Heath certainly has the skill-level to pull it off, and he likes mixing butt cheeks and Lego, so until proven otherwise, I’ll go with Mr. clever.  I would love to hear your take on the true identity of Bricks Noir in the comments, or if you think there is no conspiracy at all.

I can’t help but wonder how far Bricks Noir  will push the envelope in a genre he basically owns.  Will we be looking at blow-jobs and golden showers by this time next year?  Is uncensored erotica something you want to see more of, constant reader?  Is there a line that shouldn’t be crossed?  I kind of hope he or she goes in that direction because the pearl-clutching and moral outrage by the true-believer Lego cultists and the general public would be a wonderful spectacle to behold.

I went down some nasty rabbit-holes while exploring the topic for this article and it almost turned into a long-form Omnibus post because there is so much content.  In the end though, as I complained above, very little of the content was quality building and I thought it would be better to leave the focus on the incredible work of Bricks Noir.  I will leave you with two links, the first is a group (NSFW) on Flickr that specializes in all things erotica, and the second link is to perhaps the strangest thing I found in my research, a customizable Lego butt-plug (very NSFW) which may be the strangest Lego related aftermarket product that I’ve seen.