d360 121016 Maehara and Konoe


Wow, a post about Lego. How many years has it been?

According to d188 it’s been more than four years, though I know there is at least a mention of my Technic clock somewhat more recently.

I had a pretty bad run leading up to my Lego hiatus; I didn’t finish the Sakurazaki (because it was ugly), and I did finish, but never liked the Curran (because it was ugly). Heck, I don’t even have a Brickshelf gallery of the Curran, even though I do recall taking it to a BayLUG meeting, if only because I had not finished anything else. Whether or not these “failed” ships contributed to the hiatus is debatable.

That being said, the Maehara, seventh in my line of “Akamatsu Ships”, is really everything the Curran wanted to be. After building the monstrous Aoyama and turning her into the much smaller Tsuruka, I was pretty set on getting away from the modular ships that defined Lego in high school. I’m not sure if I had begun to consider unified styling or overall form for the Curran as well, I definitely wasn’t able to implement either if I did.

I was really happy with the Maehara when I finished. To me the overall form and the Art Deco accents suggest something between a WW2 fighter plane and a classic car, and I really liked that. The styling isn’t totally consistent, but I did plan out the basic layout in advance, and I followed it fairly closely. Furthermore, the unified construction gives the ship a relatively sleek and sturdy core structure, which definitely was not the case for most ships of the past.

Also unlike the ships of the past there are very few greebles on the Maehara. The first gen ships in high school, the Urashima and Springfield are basically simple shells covered in greebles for “visual interest”. But because greebling is kind of a local thing, the ships are also disjoint and really messy. As such, I made it a point to limit the amount of greebling on the Maehara so they wouldn’t distract from the rest of the ship. I do have my signature greeble, though, which is floodlights.

… and the complete Brickshelf gallery, though there aren’t really that many more pics.

Moving on to the Konoe. I do realize that my naming scheme is about to get messed up if I don’t want to use “Su” or “Konno” as ship names; I do have a couple more ships to go before I decide though.

If the Maehara is everything the Curran wanted to be, the Konoe is everything that my (sadly) never named executive cruiser wanted to be. The Konoe considers all construction and styling stuff implemented in the Maehara and takes it a step further; as a small ship with few protrusions, it’s still more sturdy and put together, and the Art Deco accents become more of a dialect.

While the Konoe is nominally an “executive cruiser”, like the ship before her, the shape definitely says “bus”, and the small bow pods and twin tails don’t do that much to suggest otherwise. I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing; I’m convinced the shape only speaks bus because there were a lot of buses that took this kind of shape. In minifig scale, the Konoe is definitely larger than your average train car, and still larger than something like a private jet, which would definitely constitute “executive cruiser”.

In fact the functional proportions are basically on par with the preceding ship, but the preceding ship has that huge decorative bow, which goes a long way to saying “ship”.

The full Brickshelf gallery.

Anyway, I think we’ve come a long way from the bulky (though not necessarily ugly) Kagurazaka (celebrating her seventh birthday soon) and the god-knows-whats-going-on Narusegawa. I would also, at this point, like to point out the much improved picture quality of today. My photographic theory is “more light fixes everything”, and I think it works okay considering that I’m using the cell phone camera on my two-year old phone as well. The high school pics were all taken with a dedicated camera(!).

When I build another ship, which may be soon, it will probably be everything the Sakurazaki wanted to be. We shall see.

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