“Big fan of fiery whips and eternal suffering.”

These are the words used by Russian builder Leonid An to describe his latest diabolical effort, “Lungorthin the devil“.  There is much to appreciate in Leonid’s design that fuses Bionicle and System parts seamlessly to create a dynamic figure that threatens to leap off the monitor and drag you straight to hell…where you belong frankly.  The Bionicle elements allow for the typically interesting range of motion and the system parts are used perfectly to shape the monstrous head that drew my attention immediately.  There is some pretty complex technique going on in that cranium, packed in a very small space.  The minifig arms and spiky black claws form a very effective eye-orbit to house the trans-orange spheres.  I do think the trans-orange breast is a little odd (especially so close to the same saucer piece used on the left bicep), but you need a little strangeness to make a demon worth his salt.  The trans-orange chain around Lungorthin’s midsection is a difficult part to integrate into most models but it’s just the right answer here.

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Leonid has tried his hand with demonic action before, like 2014’s “Cepheus“, which came complete with one of the scariest Bionicle based weapons I’ve ever seen.  The photo really enhances the model and I love how the builder was willing to sacrifice half of his work to get this killer image.  It looks like a Norwegian death metal CD cover.  Many builders wouldn’t consider using an image that omitted half of the model but I wish they would, the results can be stunning.  I also happen to think the legs were the biggest weakness  of this hulking figure and maybe the builder was trying to get a photograph that obscured them.  Whatever the motivation I love this menacing, off-center shot.  15296042814_9a5ce95a7b_o

Gloom doesn’t always have to be demonic with Leonid, I’ve included the charming “EmOgirl” at no extra charge to you, the viewing public.  The figure reminds me of Tina from Bob’s Burgers, mostly because of that ingenious technique for the hair and the open-mouthed expression.  I can almost hear that groaning sound Tina frequently makes.  The purse is spot-on as well, which is not something I thought I’d be saying in a post about the devil and the rubber-band laces on the shoes are a great touch. Rubber bands are a difficult part to use effectively because they are just so very un-LEGO-like.26868146902_f9e08579c4_o

While we’re chatting about all things satanic, I would be remiss if I didn’t offer up another anecdote from Bricks West 03′.  Not only did I meet the great Dan Jassim at the rinky-dink gathering of LEGO nerds, I also had the chance to talk with Bryce McGlone, who is one of the early innovators of Bionicle and occasional purveyor of the demonic.  I was lucky enough to be displaying my pathetic gray wall wall next to Mr. McGlone’s masterpiece entitled “Beelzebub”, a ground breaking model during it’s time that elicited one of the single greatest reactions I’ve ever seen on public day.  You’ll have to excuse the wrinkled sheet for a backdrop, as I’ve said before, 2003 was a simpler time when people didn’t care as much about presentation.  It was more important to share the art in some ways, than optimizing the image with custom watermark logos and Photoshoppery.  So I’m watching the crowd on public day, fielding the same 3 eternal questions (how long? how many? how did you do it?) when a single mom and her rotund son stopped dead in their tracks when confronted with mighty Beelzebub.  The kid’s mouth dropped to the floor, a perfectly normal reaction that I had succumbed to earlier in the day, but the mother uttered a sentence that has stuck with me for 13 years: “Look away Daniel it’s Satanic!”.  She had a look of pure, unadulterated revulsion on her face as she physically put her hand over her sons wide eyes and ushered him towards the exit.  Up until then I didn’t think it was possible for a model to elicit that kind of visceral reaction from the viewing audience, it was kind of an eye-opener as were so many things at my first convention.  Way to go Bryce and way to go Satan!

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Finally, constant reader, I can’t discuss the topic of Old Scratch without mentioning my favorite depiction of the dark one in LEGO, Jordan Schwartz’s classic from 2010 with over 40k views to its name: “The Devil Went Down to Georgia“.  If you don’t understand why this model is superb, you just don’t get it and you likely never will.  While it can’t compete with McGlone’s Beelzebub in crazy technique or texture, it does show the fun side of Satan, which is important in understanding his appeal.  5245690990_01a6855146_o

 

15 thoughts on ““Big fan of fiery whips and eternal suffering.”

  1. I can’t read this, it’s Satanic.

    Let me just say that Jordan’s is EXACTLY how you build character into a figure. Now I must avert my eyes.

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  2. Young Daniel has surely grown up to a life of crime from seeing that bundle of sin parts.
    I’m not a big fan of Bionicle but I like how “Lungorthin the devil“ end result is smooth and alive. That tail has attitude.
    Being a Bob’s Burgers fan, the Tina reference is great. I’m certain she is looking at Jimmy Jr’s butt. Butts, butts, butts….

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    1. Bionicle builds have come a long way, there is a guy named Mike Nieves who does really interesting things, I’ll get around to blogging him one of these days.
      Tiger v2
      Tina does love buts…and horses, but mostly butts.

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      1. Mike Nieves is one of my top 5 favorite/most personally influential builders of all time. I love how he breaks the system with wacky connections that result in such organic shapes.

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  3. Jordan’s build is my fave as well, perfect in simplicity and pose… or should I say poise? The others don’t do much for me (it takes a lot to make me interested in bionicle related builds), although the face of the first one is nothing short of fantastic.

    That being said, I can definitely appreciate the madness and complexity that went into Beelzebub, especially considering when it was made, even though aesthetically speaking the model doesn’t capture my interest.

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    1. Beelzebub was much more impressive in person, but I agree that it’s not one of Bryce’s best models, I included it more as an excuse to insert my anecdote about the satanic panic at the convention. Having the chains under tension was a neat trick and I still think the face looks suitably horrific, but I can completely see where you’re coming from. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Hadn’t seen Jordan’s devil, but man, it is great. I agree with Mr. Absurde…the poise it exudes is fantastic. As to Leonid’s work, again, face sculpting is beautiful. I like Keith that you are blogging individuals that I’m not familiar with…you’re bolstering my Flickr contacts.

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  5. El diablo! It’s Spanish for The devil! El Camino… it’s Spanish for The Road! Excellent collection, the devil right on the heels of CPT America.

    Atacque!

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