3! is a middle school teacher in Cedar Hill Texas who joined Flickr the same year I did, yet I just discovered his stuff a few weeks ago. 3! also enjoys owning gats, drawing comix and creating some very cool posters suitable for display on a Legoratory wall. The model you see below is the one that initially attracted my attention when it popped up in the “recommended” field when I was browsing. It was remarkable because the suggestions that questionable feature usually provides are the furthest thing from inspiring. I don’t care how well built your fire truck is, I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t do it. As many of you constant readers know, I’m a big fan of flying boats, both the fanciful futuristic kind and the more mundane real world variety. I loved the Yamato as a kid just as much as the Enterprise or the Falcon and the space boat sub-genre is the only kissin’ cousin of steampunk that I’m willing to get in bed with. The “Liberator” uses relatively basic shapes to great effect and comes across like a greatest hits package of WW2 boilerplate: conning tower, twin-tails, battleship turret, etc. The only thing missing is some kind of nation-state graphic, nose art or giant stenciled number. Since I’m a nitpicky bastard I will say that I don’t dig the tacked-on looking rotary engines at all, I think it would have looked better with a less anachronistic approach. A more futuristic form of propulsion might have made it less…romantic and a little more like a war machine.
I can’t really separate my appreciation of 3’s building and his sense of graphic design, and I think the best example of this creative combination might be the right side photo of the “Vindictus“. This is where I think he really hits the sweet spot and elevates what is a pretty simple model into something special, at least in comparison to most of the digital models I come across. If any of you happen to know what style of digital chicanery this is, would you please educate me in the comments? I guess this was done with LDD but it doesn’t look like the typical style, with softer edges and more cartoonish colors.
Despite some reservations I have with the name of this third model by 3!, I’m posting it anyway because I dig the old school styling and it’s a good example of the kind of work Mr. 3! is capable of with the living breathing brick. I know some narrow-minded Lego nerds don’t seem to be able to really give the digital builders their props without seeing it realized in plastic, so here you go. The hover car reminds me in the best way of the designs of long time crony Andrew Lee, with a full interior, pimped-out styling and a great use of train bogies.
3! calls it the “Gay Deceiver” and I’m gonna choose to think of it like “Zorro, the Gay Blade!” which is criminally underrated in my book. You’re welcome rountRee.
Truth be told, I find 3!’s Lego offerings to be very hit and miss, but I had a lot of fun traveling down the rabbit hole of his Flickrstream. I wish my middle school teachers were this interesting, most of them were either utterly forgettable or outright insufferable. Never fear, it is not my intention to bore you with my personal tales of middle school hell…the coach that liked to watch young boys wrestle a little too much, the wood shop teacher who liked to burn students with overheated coping saw blades or the drunken art teacher who was fond about referring to the Vietnamese kids in our class as “zipper heads”…I think you get the idea, we all went to middle school. Instead, I’ve decided to include an example of 3!’s other creative impulse as the house band plays us out. I could swear my old alarm clock bore the same message on at least one occasion.
Oh yeah…since I can’t very well write a fresh post after a layoff of several months without referencing Rutherford, here is your obligatory smack. Thanks 3!, anytime is the right time to lay down a sick burn on Mr. Fire and Forget…er…Fire for Effect.