Tag Archives: Christmas

Spirit of Christmas Future

…And a happy new galactic year!

Rudolph and company are all very well for Earthly Christmas travels.  All around the world on a sleigh pulled by eight to nine flying reindeer is doable when your distances are only thousands of miles.  But in the galactic future, the Big Red Guy is going to need an upgrade.

The idea of Santa calling on the aid of warp-dwelling transgalactic lifeforms such as Hyperspace Reindeer has a lot of awesome story potential but it’s difficult to build.  No, Father Christmas is going to need a spaceship.

Enter the Spirit of Christmas Future.

Santa drives a Vic Viper, obviously.  This is only my third or fourth Viper, and I’m pleased with how it’s turned out.  And this from the guy who built his first Vic Viper and said to himself “Right, done that now.  Can’t see myself building another one.”

Since in the spirit of goodwill to all men, Santa has to visit all the factions of the Classic Space universe, even the Spyrius, he can’t have a spaceship in any of those colour combinations.  White with green and red accents works great against a black background but when I combined it with my icy planetary backdrop I wished I’d gone with more green and red.

Storage compartment for presents

There’s even a storage compartment for presents in the back.  Unfortunately it won’t open any more than that because engines, but the thought is there.  I can’t rebuild to correct it because that would drastically mess up the overall profile of the ship, and I won’t change the engines for the same reason.  But there it is.

Alongside Santa’s spaceship, the scene was crying out for some Ice Planet goodness, so I built a little Krystovian Christmas scene adjunct to go with it.  Stockings hung by the reactor with care, the reactor itself having a lot of the look of a Christmas tree, presents, hot tea and Christmas cookies.  Sounds good to me, except I hope that reactor is properly shielded!

Old Obi-Wan makes a pretty good Commander Bear, and I followed through on the slight Star Wars subtext by using Rei and Finn’s heads as well.  Ice Planet needs at least a few black people, after all.

Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas from this corner of the universe!

Our household didn’t have a massively LEGO Christmas this year, but we acquired several new sets including a number of element types we didn’t have before.  I’m looking forward to the MOCmaking possibilities!

The Master Falls and Darth Vader Transformation sets were mine, and our first LEGO game (Minotaurus) and CCBS figure (Baze Malbus) were acquired by my son, also a second-round Nexo Knights set, one of the small Classic boxes and the Ninjago City Chase set.

Some of the pre-Christmas MOCs will return to this blog tomorrow or the 28th, and I may even review one or more of my sets from a MOCmaker’s perspective.

A belated Merry Christmas, friends, and a Happy New Year!

All Terrain Elf Transport

Forward the AT-ET!

In a rather different vein from my previous Christmas build with the candle and the angel, this one is pure fun and silliness.

As a Santa minifigure is still on my list of “stuff to get at some point”, my options are almost as limited for the other kind of Christmas build as they are for building some any sort of Biblical scene.

We’ve got some elves, though.

Okay, they’re the Emily Jones variety, not the Santa’s Workshop variety, but up to a point an elf is an elf is an elf. It’d be rather amusing to have Santa Claus leading a whole clan of Legolas’ kin into battle on dragons, but that’s another build. And I don’t have a Santa yet to do it with.

The words “Christmas elf mech” bounced through my mind like a rogue superball…

I’ve built an elf mech once before, but not a Christmas one (though it was posted on the old LEGO.com Galleries not here), and I thought about several options for making it Christmassy. I initially contemplated a steampunk Father Christmas mech (somehow a steampunk Santa has to go by his British name), but if I was going to use an elf for a pilot that didn’t seem quite right.

“Maybe I could make it shaped like a reindeer or something”, I thought, and the idea of a sort of chibi AT-AT popped into my head.

Of course, the All Terrain Elf Transport has antlers and a red nose, and somehow Santa Claus red seemed the only possible choice for a main colour. It’s not really in keeping with the colours of the various LEGO Elves, but that’s okay. They’re not necessarily in that world right now, and Santa’s colours overrule here anyway.

Farran’s green outfit made him the best choice to actually drive the AT-ET, but Azari wanted in as well. As hers was the only cold-weather mantle fabric element I could find I let her.

Anyway, have a rather reindeeroid AT-AT derivative, and enjoy!

Building the Advent

“Down into Darkness”. An Advent build

Bending my personal rule about not incarnating the Son of Man in plastic, I spent the afternoon of the first Sunday in Advent on this brick expression of the idea of light in darkness.

Thanks to our celebration of Christmas being set at what in the Northern Hemisphere is the darkest time of the year around the Winter Solstice, and to Scriptural metaphor about Jesus being the Light of the World, lights are a big part of what our modern Christmas looks like. And if I have personal issues about the undesirability of creating a poseable plastic Jesus, even as a baby in a manger, I can do something connected to the Scriptural story of Christmas without needing to compromise my iconoclasm.

A candle in the dark would be a possibility, and it occurred to me that those 1×1 scrollwork bricks would make a pretty good dribbly candle, especially combined with a couple of 1×1 cones in trans neon orange for the flame.

Building up a suitable dark place was a bit more of a challenge, especially with my other recent black-using build still standing, but with some dark red highlights and quite a lot of black slopes I built a fairly nice caverny chamber in which to stand my candle.

It didn’t seem like enough to just have a candle in the dark, though. My focus this Advent season is on the event of the Incarnation itself: the wonder of God stepping down out of perfect Heaven into our darkness and mess. If I was going to communicate that idea a mere candle wouldn’t do it.

I initially had the idea of something like this build but with a minifigure coming down into the cavern, but even for an ultimately symbolic build that was a little too close to a violation of my personal Plastic Jesus ban, so I thought about candles instead. But candles on their own don’t communicate the whole “coming down” idea, so I needed to work on a way to do that.

Building a plastic angel feels like less of an issue than building a minifigure Jesus, and adding the angel above looking down conveys just the right aspect of descent that I was looking for.

I don’t know whether I’ll do any more specifically Advent builds this year, bringing this year’s personal Christmas Story focus to my building, but I like the way this one turned out.

“The true light that gives life to everyone was coming into the world”.

An Introduction

I downloaded the MLCad free digital Lego building program this last summer, and in doing so opened a new chapter in my personal Lego story.

As a child, Lego was my favourite toy, and I’m old enough that one of my first prized “big” sets was the 1979 classic, 928 Space Cruiser and Moonbase. But in my teenage years, a combination of parental and peer pressure resulted in me giving away my whole mountain of bricks.

I traveled a lot in my early adulthood, and then when I did settle in one place, the house in which I lived was carpeted in an ancient, thick shag-pile carpet in which entire nations of pygmies still roam to this day. The amount of Lego which could potentially get lost in such a carpet is probably staggering.

Recreating that childhood mountain of Lego seemed like a non-starter. On the rare occasions I thought about it, I put the idea of actually becoming a builder again firmly behind me.

While we’re on the subject, let me address the perspective from which I approach Lego.

Among AFOLs (Adult Fans Of Lego), there seem to be two kinds: those who are primarily collectors and those who are primarily builders. Collectors’ aim is to obtain rare and hard-to-find sets, to have and build all of the sets in a particular theme. Builders are less concerned with set numbers and more concerned with actually making things. There’s some overlap, but in general you seem to be either a collector or a builder.

I suspect there’s some of that even in the way different children approach Lego. I had friends who would build the model shown on the box, play with it a bit and then set it on a shelf for months at a time.

Not me. I’m definitely in the second category. I seldom built the thing on the box more than once, and when I’d built it, it seldom stayed intact for more than a day. There were too many original creations in my head jostling for the use of those cool bricks.

So I’m approaching this rediscovered interest as very much still a builder. And so a digital Lego program lets me build some of the things I can imagine even when I don’t yet have the physical bricks to make it work.

I’m intending that this blog be a platform for me to share my creations, whether digital or physical.

This blog is called “Square Feet”, which has a double meaning. Not only does it refer to the shape of a standard Lego minifigure, but it also references a standard measurement of area from my day job as a construction worker. Apparently, I’m a Builder. It’s what I do.

It being still close to Christmas, I’m going to kick things off by sharing the winter village that I didn’t quite get finished in time for Christmas.

Yule Village1

The village sign. This is a private joke, because where I grew up was “Ewell village”, pronounced almost exactly the same as “Yule”

Yule Village7

A view over the back showing the military band playing carols

Yule Village6

Down the high street

Yule Village5

The church. Like in the real Ewell, it’s a St. Mary’s

Yule Village4

Aerial view

Yule Village3

General view from the north side

Yule Village2

View from the east side