Thursday, February 20, 2014

Axis 2

Look at my last post, axis 1, for background information for this post.

Anyways, here's axis number 2, standard and custom.

Standard building is what you will probably start out on if you're reading this volume in hopes of starting MOCing. Building standard is building using parts for what they are meant for. A piece mean to be an arm or head or torso is used accordingly, making a build that turns out to be a lot like what the Lego Corporation sells. This is the easiest way to build and contrary to what others say, it is possible to make a good model using only pieces for their intended purposes. The problem is that after so long it begins to seem like everything you build is the same, especially if you are using the Inika torso or Hero Factory frame. The standard build, using every piece in its intended way, eventually becomes limiting in terms of size and shape, which is where custom building becomes useful.

Custom building is just the opposite of standard, using pieces for their unintended uses. This would be almost impossible if you could only use pieces that were meant to be on a different part of the body, but luckily there are tons of pieces that aren't necessarily for one part of the body or the other, especially Technic pieces. If you want to build something custom but are short on pieces, I suggest getting at least one Technic set with the right color scheme. It's surprising how much even a small, ten dollar set can help with building custom.

Hardly anyone, even really experienced builders, only build entirely custom MOCs. Most use at least a foot or arm piece for its intended purpose. Plus, fully custom MOCs can look messy, with too many little parts distracting the eye. Unless you have a huge piece collection or are really ambitious, I suggest that you start out with only making one or two parts custom.

One of the hardest parts to make custom is the torso, but most people also start out with it because a custom torso can mean unique sizes and proportions for models. It's also easy to make a custom upper arm or leg, just use two old Bionicle hand pieces and connect them using technique pins and such. Lowers arms are harder because they usually require Glatorian necks and a lot of technique pieces. Personally I find custom lower legs the hardest because they usually contain a lot of pieces but also need to support some weight without breaking. Custom hands have almost become a cliche. Most builders use the tried-and-true technique of using an old Bionicle hand with exo-force arms and T-joints. Custom feet can be simple or hard, depending on what technique you use. Custom weapons can range in difficulty, depending on what kind of a weapon it is. Hammers and bows are almost exclusively standard, but swords are rarely standard, mostly since its hard to make something that looks sharp with pieces meant not to. However, some MOCers have found a way by using Ninjago dragon wing pieces. I won't even go into doing custom heads, partially because people usually forgive a standard one, partially because I haven't even tried to figure out how to do one yet?

Like last time, I saved the pictures for the end. This is an earlier, mostly standard MOC by Gringat:

It's called Briar. I think that this pretty well demonstrates that MOCs can be creative while still working inside the outlines of what an arm or leg should be as set by Lego. The reptilian leg design with three portions, as seen on this MOC, is a pretty popular way (Both with MOCs and official sets) to make a model look more original. Although this should have been mentioned last post, this is a good example of a mix of hero factory and bionicle parts (It's actually a combiner model with Toxic Repa, Rocka, and Matau Hordika). It isn't the best of examples of a standard model since it was made by a MOCer who mostly does custom stuff, but I couldn't get permission to use any of my other ideas for a standard MOC and I had waited for a response for around a month.

Here's a fully custom MOC by Toa Phosphorus named Megaliki Nuva.
 Megaliki Nuva: The Colossus
As you can see, the use of custom allows the builder to make much larger limbs, heads, and weapons than standard. Also, see how the model uses pieces meant to be placed elsewhere on the body, Visohrak heads on the thighs and shoulder armour on the ankles. The hand design, with a Toa Metru body used as a wrist and hand piece with Hordika inner-head pieces for fingers is a common hand design for custom titans since normal hands are often too small.

Now for a mix of custom and standard, Elisara, also by Gringat.

The use of a custom torso with standard limbs is a good technique sine it's harder to build limbs than a torso and there are a wider variety of limb pieces than torso ones. Also, see how even though the lower legs and lower arms are standard, they're adorned with little pieces of armour. These add color and variety to limbs that would other-wise be a pretty big stretch of monochrome. Armour is built up around the chest to give it more of a bulky feel while on the inside it's probably mostly Technic parts and other small things.

Before I end with the challenges, I want to set a few things straight. First: Sorry for not posting in a month or so, but since I don't seem to have any followers yet (I have a grand total of 33 page views) I'm probably in the clear for long stretches of no posts for now.

Secondly, before anyone chimes in with this, yes, I have realized that my 9-part building axis does have a flaw. Since most Hero Factory parts are meant to be bones for arms and legs, it would be pretty much impossible to make a custom Hero Factory model without using a lot of inter-connecting armour or a torso or something for the limbs (Or I guess it could be a non-humanoid MOC, but that's beside the point). So, yes the system I created has a pretty big hole in it. Luckily, as I mentioned above, I don't have any fact-checkers yet so I can get away with factual inaccuracies all I want and no one can stop me!


Beginner: Build a basic standard model, then add on something (A tail, wings, a third arm, .etc) that's custom.

Intermediate: Make a custom weapon using only your own designs, not borrowing from anything else on the internet.

Experienced: Make a fully custom MOC (I know that this is something most builders who have been at it awhile can do, my definition of experienced is different from yours, probably).

Boss: Build a custom copy of a standard creation, using identical color scheme and similar limb proportions.