3 from 3!

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Prasad Report: LEGO CAD!

The Manifesto is proud to present the first installment of The Prasad Report, by frequent contributor Achintya Prasad.  This highly irregular series will cover anything and everthing that falls outside the scope of his (Great Debates!) feature.  Without further ado, take it away Mr. Prasad!

Hello everyone!  After the quite literal great debate over the minifigure, I thought it would be a good idea to present a more…calming review of a few LEGO CAD software programs I’ve recently used, to allow everyone a nice breather before I find something else to throw the comments section into chaos. Here we go, the first ever review, by yours truly, an enthusiast who has never built using software, ever.

Today, constant reader, I do have a special treat for you. Not only will I be bringing you a more-or-less (un)comprehensive review of Bricklink’s new program, Stud.io, and LDD, I will also be showing you sneak peaks into a massive new build I’ve been teasing on this blog and on Flickr. I assure you (or well, I mostly assure the editorial overlords of The Manifesto) that this isn’t a shameless plug for my builds, but rather, an example of taking the program to the ragged edge. Or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself. I should explain, that I have used CAD programs before, such as Microstation Powerdraft, and Model Smart. I’m actually quite good at technology, but LEGO CAD has been a mystery to me. So, while I’m not a total idiot in this field, I’m not exactly Steve Wozniak either.

So, let’s first do some background. While the traditional LEGO brick has been around for decades, the new century has brought about a new and very exciting form of building, via various CAD software. Now, while there is a debate about whether or not these electronic elements are on par with “real” LEGO creations (whatever that means), there is no doubt that there is a fair amount of skill and patience necessary to create anything meaningful in these programs.

Arguably, the most wildly known program is the LEGO group’s offering, Lego Digital Designer, or LDD for short. This program was amazing, it offered an advanced program that allowed even some more complex creations to be built within the program. While it was supported by LEGO, the program quickly became the favorite tool for LEGO’s CAD enthusiasts, from beginner-novices to advanced experts. Perhaps the most amazing feature of the program came from its Design By Me program, which allowed you to upload your creations to the LEGO website, create a box design for your creation, and have it shipped to your front door. Of course, such models weren’t cheap, and the program was often plagued with quality control issues. This eventually resulted in the company pulling the plug on the subsection, ending one of the most convenient tools in the pocket of the LEGO builder. The program, as a whole, soldiered on until 2016, when the Denmark headquarters officially terminated support for LDD. While you can still download and use the program, the elements guides are no longer updated by the LEGO company, and there are no planned bug fixes or updates.

Now, when I decided to embark on my insane nine baseplate large project, I initially turned to LDD as the method for keeping a tally of the number of elements I would have to buy. See, my idea is build an island, a complex undertaking that would require me to learn techniques in everything from rockwork to waterfall building, not to mention stretch my capabilities as microscale builder. LDD seemed like the cheapest way to try out all sorts of different ideas without having to invest time and effort into failed prototypes. Also, I was really attracted to the idea of having an instruction manual that could guide the entire building process, though the instructions I eventually generated made little sense and weren’t physically possible in our universe.

During the construction process, I did feel the program was lagging a little in features. For instance (and perhaps I’m a bit thick in figuring this sort of stuff out) I ran into massive issues when trying to duplicate rows of tiles to cover the baseplate. This was a huge problem: at the time of writing, the project consisted of 3,100 trans-light blue tiles. Every single last one of them was manually cloned and individually placed. Yes, it was as terrible as you can possibly imagine. Another issue that consistently plagued me was the camera movement. It was hopelessly difficult to try and move the viewing angle, leaving me to just guess and hope that I was placing elements in the right place.

By the time I finished with the general outline of the island, I was really starting to look for alternatives to the program. The relatively limited element cache was hampering my attempts at utilizing every possible technique and element available. Furthermore, the sheer number of elements in my project (number at over 3,000 at that moment) were blending into each other, making it difficult to differentiate between elements.

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One day, as I was scrolling through the money trap that is Bricklink, I discovered a new software: Stud.io. I decided to give it a shot, mainly because I was so woefully out of touch with the LEGO digital crowd that I actually believed that LDD and LDraw were the same thing (and to be honest, I’m still not 100% sure of all the differences). Not bothering to read any of the web page, I went straight into the download stage, completely unaware of what I was getting myself into.

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Thankfully, my LDD file imported quickly into Stud.io. Instantly, I have to say, the camera angles and flexibility was lightyears ahead of the LEGO group’s offering. The expansive Bricklink library was at my fingertips. Each element was easy to search up, and each search would result in beautiful renderings of the part, complete with 360-degree rotation. Basically, it was heaven.

Stud.io. also banked quite a bit from LDD. As far as I can work out, the placement options for elements is about the same (or again, I’m being really thick, and some smart commenter is going to telling me something that will actually enrage me) but the connections were oh so much clearer. Stud.io also showed when an element was connected impossibly, as in the element could not exist in that connection in our dimension, and when a piece had clicked with another. These two features alone saved me hours of troubleshooting and hair pulling.

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Also, unlike LDD, the program recognized that LEGO’s illegal connections aren’t actually all that awful, and usually allow such odd combination to exist. Stud.io also began to show up LDD in its model analysis. It was very easy to get a break down of the entire elements list and associated costs from the Model Info Section. These valuable information points are difficult to gain access to from LDD, and requires the model to be exported into other software, such as BrickSmith or LDraw (unless LDraw is actually LDD in which case I’ve completely lost it). This all sounds like a positive, but unfortunately, I have a very sad story to tell you.

At around the 5,200-element mark, I realized that significant portions of my build (especially the support structure) were now submerged in hundreds of detailed rocks and trees and other elements. While I was nowhere near completion, I tore a page out of the US defense industry’s playbook, and started the dangerous game of concurrency.

To those innocently unaware of what concurrency is, think of the impossible proverb “building an airplane while it’s flying.” Effectively, I started construction of the model before finishing the entire CAD file. It’s a terrible idea, but the time savings are honestly astounding. Of course, if the method didn’t work for Lockheed Martin and its F-35 program, what chance would a middling TFOL have with such an advanced concept? After all, I still didn’t know how to use Stud.io to its fullest.

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Anyways, as I began to try to ascertain some of the hidden elements in my project, I thought it would be a good idea to get a copy of the building instruction. Except for one thing: Stud.io doesn’t have that feature. See, when I didn’t bother to read the website before downloading, I didn’t realize that the program is still in BETA, and was missing some key features. I desperately attempted to contact Bricklink, who graciously never returned my emails. I attempted to export the model into the mysterious LDraw, only to have the program fail at creating instructions. At this stage, my laptop had been working extremely hard, and, after dedicating the entire processing power to running the intensive program, began to expel hot exhaust from its heatsink, very painfully burning my hands. This was especially worrisome, as my computer, a relatively new MacBook Pro, rarely behaved in such a way. Any further jaunts with the program were limited to 20 minute installments, usually ending with burned fingertips and realizations of the fruitlessness of the instruction less CAD model I had created.

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This leads us to today, where I have decided that CAD software is absolutely rubbish (for me) and the rest of my model will be built the old-fashioned way: using hands, Bricklink orders, brick separators, teeth, paper and pencil (so I can do my scaling calculations because I’m pedantic), a baseplate, various random snacks and drink, and bucket of unorganized LEGO elements.

FINAL VERDICT:

In my opinion, Stud.io has quite a bit of potential. The ability to upload creation to Bricklink and interface with its massive database is a quantum leap for the community. Recognizing the full potential of LEGO, from the expanded database, to the illegal connections, is nothing short of amazing. BUT FOR GOD’S SAKE read the directions before you begin. Anyways, there you have it, all I can think of about Stud.io. Have you used the program, or another LEGO CAD software? Tell us your experiences in the comments down below.

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.

Digital Death-Machines

Maybe it’s the hangover from the Matt Bace double-shots talking, but for this spotlight post we’re staying in the realm of the digital. It seems like we’ve been trippin’ down memory lane a lot lately so with that in mind, today’s offering is fresh as harvest day.  The builder in question is Sergey Cat, who has only been on Flickr since last month.  MOCpages is predictably down for service so I was unable to find out if he has an account over there.  Don’t ever change, MOCpages, may your unofficial motto always remain “Bonk! Smash! … Thud.”  I don’t think I could bear it if gentrification hit that ghetto…it’s mediocrity shall never tarnish or fade away.

I think Sergey Cat is a good example of the uphill battle digital builders face in the community at large.  Sure they can rise to prominence pretty easy within their genre (given a stable of good builds) but to get that much coveted wider recognition is more difficult.  I think if Sergey Cat had used brick instead of a program, he’d be enjoying a much higher degree of visibility and statistical success, even when considering the short period of time he’s been around.

We’ll start with the latest effort from Sergey Cat, that I found while stumbling around the usual haunts, looking for something new to blog.  I had two thoughts when I saw the Raider Buggy:”I want one of those” and “I hate those red hex wrenches.”  I’m not sold on the white gem or even the gun when it comes down to it, but the rest of it is money!  I want an RC version too, since I’m thinking about stuff I can’t have, and I want it available in a variety of color schemes to suit my discriminating taste.  That suspension is a monster and I love the doubled-up tires.

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You don’t see too many dioramas from digital builders, and even fewer that have a Sci-Fi theme.  Not surprisingly, I was drawn to this build called “C&C диорама”, which has some rough edges but is really compelling and definitely looks like it’s Command & Conquer RTS inspiration.  In fact, all of Sergey Cat’s models seem to be drawn from the C&C series of games, so it will be interesting to see if he branches out eventually.  I took a quick look at the source material for these models and it looks to me like he nailed the respective designs, and in the case of the Buggy perhaps even improved it a little.  If you’d like to see the individual builds from this diorama, Sergey Cat has most of them documented in his Flickrstream.  My favorite details are the defensive turrets inside the fence, they look wicked and can work as a stand-alone model as well.

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I’ll finish up with this Flame Tank, because how often do you see a good flame tank these days?  Sergey Cat has an arsenal of great war machines from mecha to giant tanks and everybody’s favorite, VTOL gunships!  Let us welcome Sergey Cat to the warm and embracing community, or at least to the ivy covered halls of the Manifesto.

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Two for Tuesday: Matt Bace

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Good evening constant reader, its happy hour and our bartender Lloyd is setting them up neat, just the way you like it. Tonight’s V.I.P. in the Manifesto lounge is an empty bar-stool, because much like Elvis, the builder in question has apparently left the building.  In doing so he has deleted all of his Lego content from the internet, which is a shame.  Matt Bace still resides on MOCpages, but only as a ghost, preserved  for the moment in the legion of comments he left behind on other people’s models.  I’ll tell you up front I have no idea why Matt left the scene, I was not able to find any final statement or even a discussion of his departure. In fact, had Christopher not mentioned it in the comments section of the recent Poland article, I never would have known he left.   Unlike the previous subjects of Two for Tuesday, I don’t know Matt Bace beyond our brief but always friendly communication on MOCpages and Flickr. I never met him in person, so there will be no personal anecdotes in this installment, just a salutary raise of the glass to a guy I wish was still around.  It seems like the assholes never leave, and the stand-up guys fade out, wander off or just disappear one day.

Obviously we’ve lost a skilled builder who raised the bar with LDD creations that ran the thematic gamut from giant battleships to this remarkable Analog Equalizer.  In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of a digital builder who stretched himself quite as far, tackling diverse subject matter and scale with such compelling results. The real loss though, was Matt’s influence on other builders and his frequent encouraging comments.  In my brief bit of research for this article, I came across a dozen example of builders citing Matt as inspiration for their own efforts.  From personal experience running the Decisive Action war games on MOCpages, and looking at hundreds of models in the process, there were two commenters whose names came up again and again, with good advice and praise: Clayton Marchetti and Matt Bace.  We go on at length here at the Manifesto, about critique and communication and I can’t think of a guy who better personifies those values.

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Tuesday means double-shots, and for our second round, I couldn’t very well pass up Matt’s masterpiece, a 1:200 scale model of the USS Kitty Hawk that would have been over 5 feet long in the brick.  I’ve included the builder’s take on the USS Missouri as well, because it was just as influential at over 4 feet, the average length of a SHIP, which we’ve been talking about so much lately.  If you’re not a digital builder, (like me), then it is difficult to understand how important these models are.  I remember seeing it when it was posted and being impressed, but again, while researching this article I saw so many references to both of these ships.  Builders from all over the globe talk about how much they learned from seeing how these warships were constructed and talking to Matt, who was apparently quite willing to offer advice and insight into the process.

I was not able to locate a photo of Matt, so we’ll depart from the format here and abandon any notion of fashion critique.  As I said in the opening I’ve never met Matt and I don’t know the circumstances of his departure, so instead I’ll conclude the proceedings with his take on Rutherford’s hero…General George S. Patton, who was also very fond of the word “attack!”  We salute you, Mr. Bace, for your compelling builds and contribution to the warm and embracing community.  If you have any information about Matt’s departure that you’re at liberty to share, hook us up in the comments.

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I’ll close with a call for suggestions how to best preserve what’s left of Matt’s work online.   You may have noticed that the majority of the photos I used for the article are quite small.  With the exception of the equalizer, I wasn’t able to find anything large to work with on Google.  I’m far from an expert in ferreting out content like this, so if there are other  resources or places I’m not aware of to find and preserve Matt’s photos, let me know.  If nothing else we could start a Flickr Group to slowly accumulate what’s left.  Beyond the technical side of things…should the builds be preserved?  Maybe Matt wanted it all gone and we should respect that wish?  What say you, constant reader?

A Modern Cure for Insomnia

Can’t stop tossing and turning?  Big day tomorrow at work and you need your precious sleep?  Well have no fear, constant reader, because Italian Builder Gabriele Zannotti has just the tonic for what ails you.  Simply press the play button below and you’ll be nodding off in no time at all.  Instead of counting sheep or pounding the hard stuff, why not drift away to the soothing sound of this minimalist printer?  David’s animation is as flawless as the build itself and I hope he continues to explore in this relatively uncharted territory.

In his Flickr profile Gabriele also offers his considerable rendering services to his fellow digital building AFOLs.  I’m not sure if it’s free or there is a charge involved, but if you’re in the market for that kind of thing you might reach out to Mr. Zannotti for more info.

The Artist Formerly Known as Lemon_Boy

When you stick around this hobby long enough one of the rewards is watching talented young builders develop into even more talented adult builders. In my jealousy  I frequently daydream about killing people like Erik and eating their hearts to steal their power, because I’m old and slow and I need the juice!  Erik used to be known as Lemon_Boy back in 2007 when he started posting on Flickr and as such I have always associated this terrible song with him. No, no, I don’t dislike Erik, I think he’s great, but a person’s theme song (much like a nick-name) is completely beyond his or her control.

Flash forward 9 years and Lemon_Boy has transformed into Adult_Boy, but fortunately for us his skill with the brick has only increased over time.   Submitted for your approval is Erik’s latest LDD effort, entitled “Red is not a color, it is a crisis“.  True, the builder is a hipster, but I urge you not to hold that against him.  Look, the spaceship has paddles!  The curves and color blocking are eye-catching and the paddles really take the build to another level of originality.  I still can’t decide if I like the purple inset in the back, but I’m no master of the color wheel so I’ll leave that up to you.  The boilerplate gray wheel-engines are perhaps the only detail I take exception with, they seem like a tumor on the ass of an otherwise unorthodox design.  The engines the job done but I wish Eric had continued the design innovation throughout the model.  I can’t forget the tail-gunner position though, it’s probably my favorite detail.28269186161_9e0ac457fe_o.png

Erik is one of the handful of guys in the hobby like Mark Kelso and Fredoichi whose artistic talent only begins with LEGO and extends well past what many of us are capable of doing.  I should probably speak for myself here, but as a guy who is unable to do anything better than stick-figure scribbles I am constantly in awe of artists like Erik who can translate their vision through any number of mediums.  In fact, If I had the ability to create the kind of images you see below, I would probably give up the hobby for good.  One of the big reasons I’ve stuck with LEGO for so long is that I have zero artistic ability beyond the brick, and even that is questionable.  Erik’s style take me back to the 1980’s and fond memories of Heavy Metal magazine, which provided me with endless entertainment in as a youth and exposed me to cool artists like Moebius (Jean Giraud), Mirko Ilic, and Grant Morrison.

Like any veteran builder who is worth his salt, Erik had a successful fad a few years ago with his series of Awfulworld models.  I have to admit that I didn’t really grasp the popularity of these builds because I find the topic of children’s armies to be anything but “twee” and the style just seems too silly.  I understand it’s purely a matter of personal preference, there is certainly more than enough room for silly under the hobby’s tent.  You may like silly, it’s a perfectly fine choice.  I recommend you fly your twee flag with abandon, constant reader.

Erik wrote one of the best blog articles I’ve ever read for the Twee Affect in 2013 that completely breaks down the Awfulworld theme and takes you through the building process that includes inspiration, influence, technique, examples from other builders and more.  Rarely has a builder been able to articulate the process so well and I wish Erik would blog more often but he’s not a Lemon_Boy anymore, he’s an Adult_Boy and probably has less time for such endeavors.  Although it’s not very flattering I think part of the reason I don’t care for the series is some of the reaction it elicited from overzealous fellow builders who called the builds “adorable” and “Heartbreaking”.  Bitch please, there is nothing heartbreaking about it, unless you find things like Pokemon or steam punk to be heartbreaking.  Also, on a fundamental level I object to the term Twee-Punk which was often applied to the model below, even by the builder himself.  It makes no god-damned sense.  Punk (as in punk rock) can be defined defined as: “a style or movement characterized by the adoption of aggressively unconventional and often bizarre or shocking clothing, hairstyles, makeup, etc., and the defiance of social norms of behavior, usually associated with punk rock musicians and fans.”  There is nothing punk about Awfulworld, when you look at the model you don’t hear Black Flag playing in your head, you probably hear Arcade Fire or perhaps Yakety Sax!  Now let’s examine the definition of twee: “affectedly dainty or quaint“.  I wouldn’t describe the image below as dainty, I guess I can understand quaint but that’s not the first word that comes to mind.  I guess the flags make it affectedly dainty?  Mostly I want to rip the flags off of what is otherwise a rad little model.  The door gunner is a great detail and the scale is interesting.  As many people point out when commenting on Erik’s builds, he’s really good at incorporating studs into his models.  While I tend towards studless building I always appreciate it when a builder is able to incorporate studs in a natural way.

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Erik seems to build more with LDD these days than with the beloved brick, but I think the ideas he’s pushing out these days are far more interesting.  I will end this examination of the artist formerly known as Lemon_Boy with a couple of my favorites .  So if you’ve got the time, take go tubin’ down Erik’s Flickrstream and enjoy more of what you’ve seen here in addition to some great Star Wars builds, SHIPs and a few mecha.  I hope that crappy U2 song is still with you, constant reader, for surely you deserve it.