And I know a good chicken when I see one

“Oh, put that thing away, Samurai. We all know what’s going to happen. You’ll swing your sword, I’ll fly away, and probably say something like, “I’ll be back, Samurai!” And then I’ll flutter over the horizon and we probably won’t see each for… about a week. And then we’ll do the same thing again.”

While I could live the rest of my life without seeing another Star Wars or Marvel inspired Lego creation, I just can’t get enough Jack and Aku. Many thanks to Brick Brickolson for adding something new to the woefully short list of good models inspired by the Tartakovsky cartoon.  The builder has managed to capture the essence of the show in a single image, and the face on Aku is one of the best I’ve seen.  The use of the lime-green fenders is fantastic, although I kind of wish the eye-flames shot just a little higher.  It also reminds me of Absurde’s work, and that’s never a bad thing.

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I’m gonna cut this post short and go watch the “Chicken Jack” episode, which happens to be my kids favorite, it’s one of the few things that will get them to look up from their phones.  Karate and general mayhem will no doubt ensue, a perfect distraction for a Saturday morning.  Have a good weekend.

 

29 thoughts on “And I know a good chicken when I see one

  1. Fantastic model, perfectly executed. For some reason I really like the feel the background texture gives the whole thing.

    That being said, I still need to get around to watching Samurai Jack. Please don’t ban me.

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    1. Agreed on the background texture, it’s the rare example of a background that enhances the MOC rather than taking away from it. The color was a great choice too.

      Absurde, even if you hated Samurai Jack I would not banish you. I would certainly question your judgment, your very heritage and call you unflattering names, but banish?….no, never banish. It will still be there when you get around to it, and the show has actually returned for a new season after 13 years so maybe by the time you get around to watching it there will be an ending. I think you would enjoy the art, although there is a pattern of mindless violence to the story, the show has aspirations to be more and it frequently succeeds.

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    1. I can’t recommend the show highly enough if you’re into cartoons, it’s a very entertaining mix of Star Wars / spaghetti westerns / Conan / Cyberpunk and more. The sound design is really interesting too, now that I”m thinking about it. You should check it out!

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  2. I have to assume that Brickolson was completely inspired by those green fenders, they’re just too perfect here. This would be a legendary top shelf IB entry IMO if those ever were the seed piece.

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    1. Better that it’s not though, because as I’ve been ranting in the comments for a week now, IB has become like the Big Bang Theory. It’s now the Iron Bazinga, and I won’t brook any of it’s nonsense anymore. I don’t think I need to explain that comment, and I won’t if pressed. Bazinga Rountree, Bazinga!

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  3. I’ve watched a ton of Samurai Jack but I never saw him get turned into a chicken. What’s even more delightful about this clip is the extended view of the cybercity street we get teased with every time we watch the opening credits — and at the clip’s end is a vehicle I must reproduce in Lego as soon as I can.

    To my shame I must agree with Rowntree, Brickolson discovered a perfect marriage of Lego piece and expression, in this case a literal expression. And the shaping on Jack’s sleeve is perfect.

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    1. I can totally see you building that rig at the end, and the orange number you built for Bucharest would fit right in that scene. You should go for it! You should watch the rest of the episode, he has to fight a dozen opponents in an arena of death that get more ridiculous with each encounter. There is some good dialogue too.

      I agree that we don’t get enough of the cyberpunk action in the series, but when it does show up it never fails to delight. I love all the digital wanted posters and Aku-shaped spires. Good stuff, and as people talk about below, it would be a nice departure from the Samurai jack models that people typically build. It actually sounds like a decent collaborative idea.

      I also agree that the shaping of Jack’s sleeve is money, I hadn’t noticed that.

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  4. You’re all making me want to watch Samurai Jack, but it’s not on any of the German video streaming services that I use. But we got Rick and Morty a short while ago, so maybe there is hope…

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    1. Can’t go wrong with Rick and Morty, so all is not lost. If you get the chance you should check out Jack, I can see it inspiring some builds if you really got into it. It would be fun to watch it with a German dub, might give the show a whole new flavor.

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  5. True, there aren’t many Samurai Jack mocs out there, and they’re almost always those two characters. The art style lends itself very well to Lego, but I wonder if that’s actually a reason for there not being much out there. We’ve all seen it done before and it seems not much new can be done. That said, this one is an exception as that silhouette is perfect.

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    1. I think you might be on to something here. There’s a few other recognizable characters from Samurai Jack, but none as iconic as Jack and Aku, and for pretty much all of them I’m sort of having trouble imagining how you’d build them “in 3D” while staying faithful to the source material.

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      1. You can make a decent Jack as a minifig, and Aku is the perfect foil because he can be basically any size or shape you need him too. As long as you keep the key colors and design elements it can work. Good food for thought!

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      2. I think the thing that keeps me from seeing Jack as a minifig is the difficulty you’d have capturing the loose fitting sleeves of his gi, which feels like an important detail to capture since Jack doesn’t have much in the way of ornamentation. There’s also the fact that using a minifig puts some pretty big restrictions on the posing of the arms. And I can’t think of too many distinctive environments from the series I’d want to see done up in Lego, I think I’d rather see more builds like this one and look elsewhere for my post apocalyptic cyberpunk fix rather then see someone try to mash the two together.

        Not that all my nay-saying should stop anyone from trying, of course. The more Samurai Jack builds the better.

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      3. I think a minifig series could work, but I came across these guys the other day and the scale might be better, with the added bonus that you can still use minifig accessories. That might give you the sleeve you crave, or at least a closer approximation than minifigs. I disagree with you about the environments though, there are all kinds of cities, castles, ruins, towers, villages caves…to choose from. I think the trick would be translating the animation style, having it look relatively simple and bold without being low-resolution. The kids are back into the show again so I’ll have to re-watch a few episodes and get back to you, maybe it’s not as much of a natural match with Lego as I remember.

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      4. Hmm, I definitely like those guys more than minifigs. Having given it some more thought, I can think of at least one location from the new season that would make a sweet diorama, so maybe there’s more from the earlier seasons that I just don’t remember.

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    2. Great point! I succumbed to the same temptation myself, I think most builders gravitate to the central theme of Aku/Jack and the endless struggle. It’s too bad, because you’re absolutely right, the art does lend itself to translation with the brick and there are certainly enough odd characters and locations to choose from. I think there is plenty of room for innovation within the theme and maybe with the resurgence of the series with new episodes we’ll see some of that. You’ve got the gears turning, there is so much material to mine.

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  6. My love for that show is bottomless. Every single damn time I watch an episode, I discover something new. What is even more fun is when I watch other classic films and discover the inspiration that Tartakovsky drew on. His visual storytelling is second to none, as well as his dogged dedication to ‘show, not tell’. I even love the Clone Wars run he did.

    As you mentioned, the shaping of the mouth on this is nigh-perfect, and the crescent curve of Jack from shoulder to ankle is instantly recognizable as one of his signature stances. So, so good.

    Just this weekend past I watched the episode where Jack gets infected with Aku’s cold. In the opening moments, Aku and Jack are squaring off, but the former is obviously sick as a dog. I love how he turns into a sniffling, sneezing, moaning bird and goes flying off…

    ‘No, samurai (sniff), I will not fight you today. Ugh….I don’t feel good……’

    Cracks me up every time. Bless you Mako…nobody could nail a character like you could.

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    1. Oh man, I should have slipped in a reference to Mako, he makes every movie at least 52% better. I mean he was AKU, Uncle Iroh and the wizard from Conan…each one the role of a lifetime.

      I completely agree about the Clone Wars deal too, Tartakovsky’s seasons were the only watchable ones, the rest was crap.

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