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About Traditional Art / Hobbyist Senior Member Aiden20/Male/United Kingdom Groups :iconbrotherhoodofmakuta: BrotherhoodOfMakuta
Creatures of Shadows and Science
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Deviant for 7 Years
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Statistics 573 Deviations 9,905 Comments 119,921 Pageviews

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The blog log

Aside from MOCing, I heartily enjoy writing blog posts. Here are some of my highlights.

:bulletred: Discussions: Generally longer journals in which I talk extensively about a particular topic.
:tea: A spot of English: A screenplay about grammar and correctness.
:lightbulb: Glorified rearrangement: The effect that my Lego pastime has had on me.
:meow: The Hero Faffory journal: Reflect: About my webcomic, Hero Faffory: how it began, how it changed, and how it began to change me.
:earth: A deviant's Guide to the Chinese Language: My longest journal to date, about the peculiarities of Chinese.
:beer: That alcohol journal: A rant about alcohol.
:target: The nerd speaks up: A journal about my work ethic, and how you can't really talk about intelligence these days.
:lock: Swordfish in showbusiness: A short blog post about how important an artist's personality is to their artwork.
:flame: Smoke and mirrors: Cigarettes and self-reflection.
:email: Four and the same: Writing about myself as a person, for a change.
:unimpressed: A Spirit Day monologue: Musings about crime and punishment.
:+fav: Flight of the faverunners: A discussion about statistics, popularity, and the motives behind my MOCing.
:heart: Our superficial society: A rant about relationships.
:blackrose: Roses are grey, violets are also grey...: A look at the many ways in which my colour blindness affects my life.
:magnify: Reflections and predictions: Things have changed over the years, but so has our perception of them.
:groups: The BML Standard: Something I wrote for the BionicleMOCersleague, to hopefully define what makes a 'good MOC'.
:pray: My thoughts on religion: Perhaps one of the most unstable topics that I could've chosen for my first blog post.

:bulletblue: Accounts: Generally shorter journals; either updates about me, or events that I've been to.
:eye: A Rooster's Eye View: John Hughes Arts Festival: The Jesus College Rooster's weekend in the limelight!
:depressed: Bullets '14: A look back over 2014. 'Stressful' is an understatement.
:note: Cantablogger Part 8: Read all about it: Writing about writing? How meta.
:spidey: Cantablogger Part 7: MOCer Diaries: A summary of my MOCing activities at university, including a photo gallery!
:dead: Cantablogger Part 6: Time for another entry: Oh time, thou art a heartless bitch.
:cd: Cantablogger Part 5: A soberman's night out: Me, clubbing? Absurd!
:brainless: Cantablogger Part 4: "Aiden's still working!": The work ethic revisited.
:house: Cantablogger Part 3: The city of cycles: Miscellaneous.
:pencil: Cantablogger Part 2: Trust me, I'm an engineer: A sample of the first term of my engineering course!
:megaphone: Cantablogger Part 1: Introductions: The first instalment about my new life at university.
:cheese: Chalk and cheese sandwiches: A silly blog entry about dairy products and maths.
:pokeball: A bright start to 2013: A happy update journal to break up the monotony.
:snowflake: An arbitrary time of the year: 2012 words looking back at 2012.
:nuu: Parties, pieces, 'pocalypses: A short entry on a pretty pink background.
:camera: An elephant goes to China: Something I wrote after taking one of my MOCs with me on holiday.
:lol: Liquid nitrogen, Lego Mindstorms and lots of mud: A diary about an engineering course I went on at Cambridge University.
:B Work experience at Rolls-Royce: My personal insight into one of the largest engineering companies in the world.
:peace: Get me a pizza. Stat.: Comments after a holiday in Hong Kong.

:bulletgreen: Reference: Generally deviantArt-related stuff.
:trophy: TC101: Completion: A blog entry about the 100 Themes Challenge!
:O_o: Occasionally Asked Questions: FAQs.
:giggle: Hero Faffory: Everything you don't need to know about my comic series!

Which system of units do you prefer? 

58%
82 deviants said Metric (metres, kilograms, litres etc.)
26%
37 deviants said A mixture of both
16%
23 deviants said Imperial (inches, pounds, gallons etc.)

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Profile | Gallery | Journals

:bulletwhite: Greetings all! Another standard bullety update journal this time round – I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. While you’re reading, why not have this playing in the background? It’s an app that generates sounds based on Wikipedia edits, and I like having it on while I’m working!

:bulletorange: Late things first: I am now twenty! Gone are the teenage years! I spent my birthday watching the Boat Race down in London with friends from college, and even though Cambridge lost (as predicted), it was a great day out. One of my presents was a new camera lens: it’s a fixed 50mm Canon lens with aperture f1.8, and I love it! The depth of field is incredibly narrow, so I can get really arty portrait shots with beautifully blurred backgrounds even in low lighting. Admittedly it probably won’t see much use in the still life shots that I use for my MOCs, though I did test it out in Stator’s recent photos.

:bulletred: Speaking of MOCs, my Jesus College Rooster has been in the public eye once again, and it’s even managed to one-up the Arts Festival that it represented earlier this year! This time around, the proud little bird has found himself on the front cover of the Jesuan News, which is the Jesus College newsletter that goes out to ten thousand people! Terribly exciting. There’s a picture of the front cover here, or instead you may view the recent MOC review that I’ve posted on YouTube.

:bulletgreen: I thought I’d talk about my long-term MOCing plans. See, in the past, my inspiration for new builds came from different places: originally it would come from the piece shapes, trying to use unusual pieces in innovative ways. After that (mostly in the post-HF era, since the new pieces had generally uninteresting shapes) I focused instead on colour, trying to distribute colours in different ways or simply showcasing one particular colour in order to exhaust my piece supply for it. In fact, the Wheelmouse is a perfect example of that – my reasoning is that if I use up all of my brownish pieces in one go then I won’t have to worry about it later.

:bulletpink: Now, however, I’m becoming increasingly aware of how similar my MOCs are to each other. Of course I’d like them to have a wide variation of body shapes and styles (which is why I build relatively few humanoids these days), but with over 70 of them being currently assembled, I have to make sure not to repeat myself too much, you know? For example, I’ve toyed with the idea of creating the animals of the Chinese Zodiac in MOC form - with a bit of imagination, you could argue that I have most of them already - but surely I have enough quadruped animals as it is? An ox might be fun to build if I really exaggerate the proportions, but a goat, tiger, and pig wouldn’t really offer much in the way of new shaping challenges. The astrological zodiac is even worse, since Aries, Taurus, Sagittarius, and Capricorn all have pretty similar body styles.

:bulletblue: That said, I could probably cover the traditional six Bionicle elements with my current Rahi alone. Let’s see: Fire Jellyfish, Ice Bunny, Water Swordfish, Stone Chinese Lion Statue, Air Chameleon, Earth Stego. I could do something similar with my Titan humanoids too. Easy!

:bulletyellow: Anyway, back to the long-term MOCing plans. A shrimp-shaped mech and a peacock have been pencilled in right now, but as term has just started they are unlikely to appear any time soon; I think the next one I actually do will focus around the pretty trans-colour pieces from the recent Bionicle sets, though I shan’t spoil things too soon. A more general plan is that I want to revisit a couple of old MOCs that really need the work: the Unicorn is the main one here, though Toa Pirral and Cancer could do with a lookover too.

:bulletpurple: And with that I think I should wrap this up. Thanks for reading and all!

Bionicle MOC: Wheelmouse by Rahiden
Bionicle MOC: Wheelmouse
This is a cutesy little MOC based on computer mice and wind-up toys that you might give to a cat. Rather than legs, the Wheelmouse has one large wheel at the back and two small ones at the front, giving it about a millimetre of ground clearance; the silver key is connected to the back wheel, so it spins when the mouse rolls along!

I'm rather fond of this MOC - it makes for a nice desk toy, and I used up almost all of my brownish pieces, which I thought would look best if I concentrated them in a stripe down its back. I've also played around with rubber bands in an attempt to make it into an actual wind-up toy, but sadly it didn't work out: the gears skip after the slightest bit of tension, and it dissipates energy far too quickly (making the wheel slip rather than gripping the ground). The name 'Wheelmouse' is a play on both meanings of the word 'mouse wheel' :) Hope you like it!
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Bionicle MOC: Stator by Rahiden
Bionicle MOC: Stator
Stator is a large mechnical being with the ability to generate intense rotating magnetic fields using the rotor on his right arm.

No prizes for guessing that Stator was based on the triangular star pattern on the many Rhotuka discs spread around his body! In fact, the design was heavily influenced by (of all things) the three-phase induction motors that we've been studying in Electrical Power lectures, as I quite liked the idea of the stator being a solid, immovable mass while the rotor spins freely. As such, the Rhotuka disc on his arm is capable of spinning in the conventional way (and yes, Stator can take up the top-left pose without needing to take off his arm or anything like that).

The other discs can't spin, obviously, but I'm quite pleased with how they're distributed. Note that the ones on his feet do stay on, surprisingly enough, even if the connection looks dodgy, as you can see here: Foot Rhotuka Connection
Additionally there are the Gali Nuva fan pieces and the Kolhii sticks, which both fit the pattern too. I like to think of the Kohli sticks on his back like the coils in a power station or something. Hope you like him!

Update 15/04/2015: Changed the design pretty significantly: removed all Avak-brown pieces (the spiky Piraka feet didn't match the texture anyway); lengthened the right arm; minor change to chest armour; removed the third back-coil thing (because having a voltage difference between three coils symmetrically doesn't really make sense). The new piston design is also much sturdier! The old version (about which the two critiques were written) can be seen here: Stator (old)
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Bionicle MOC: Taiyatama by Rahiden
Bionicle MOC: Taiyatama
Happy April Fools'! To celebrate, here's a non-serious MOC named Taiyatama ('Tyre head'), whom I built as part of my Japanese oral presentation last month. We were tasked with providing a picture of a robot and then describing its features, and so I designed Taiyatama here to be particularly geometric: "The head is oval-shaped and black. The feet are also black. The body is red and square...".

Despite only taking an hour to build, I've grown rather fond of Taiyatama, so he'll be sticking around for a while. Hope you like him!
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Today I’m going to write about the inaugural John Hughes Arts Festival and the part that my Jesus College Rooster MOC played in it! Relevant gallery here: sta.sh/21klybxbguxs

Jesus College Cambridge played host to the festival from the 23rd to the 25th of January 2015, held in memory of the late Chaplain, John Hughes, who tragically died in a car crash in summer 2014. He’d always wanted to promote the artistic side of the college, and so the student body thought it would be fitting to hold a weekend-long display of art, music, and performance in his honour.

The most significant part for me is that my rooster was chosen to be the festival’s icon! Bear in mind that I didn’t build the rooster with that purpose: in November last year, I received an email saying that there was an arts festival coming up, and I replied saying that I had a Jesus-related art piece that they could feature in the art gallery if they wanted. It was quite a pleasant surprise when I was told what role they intended it to play – the rooster, now nicknamed Johannes (a name which never quite grew on me, really), was to act as a symbol of student-made art within the college and be a mascot for the entire festival.

I found myself as part of the Publicity duo on the JHAF committee. My job was to take photographs of the rooster in and around college so that my partner could then turn them into advertisements and Facebook plugs for the various events that would be going on. A picture of the rooster against a white background was used as both the cover photos for all the Facebook events and for the hundred A3 posters that were put up all around Cambridge, and you’ll be glad to know that I kept one copy for my own safekeeping! Perhaps one slight regret is that I didn’t insist that my deviantArt profile be mentioned on the posters amongst the fine print; I sometimes (selfishly) wonder if my pageview count would’ve increased at all as a result. Ah well. Anyway, by early January the festival had had an article written about it in the local paper, using direct quotes from both of us on Publicity, and that was the first sign that the news was spreading!

The first event occurred a week before the official start date: an art session held in Jesus College Chapel, where the idea was to turn up with whatever art tools you saw fit and spend the afternoon drawing or writing, using the chapel as inspiration. It was a really chilled two hours spent in near silence, broken only by whispered comments about each other’s sketches and the piercing clicks of my camera’s shutter. I roamed around a little looking for objects that took my fancy, but in the end I decided to do a biro drawing of the rooster, which was the first large-scale Bionicle drawing I’d done in almost two years.

Oh, and I might mention that Stephen Fry gave us a shoutout on his Twitter feed. Just saying.

Fast-forward to the evening of Friday 23rd, where the festival was given an official opening speech by ex-Jesuan and playwright David Hare. This was followed by a Masquerade Formal Hall, which was definitely the one of the more memorable formal dinners I’ve been to: at regular intervals during the meal a group of student actors would burst into the room, re-enacting a Tudor play called Mankind that I didn’t quite follow (which wasn’t helped by the fact that my glasses didn’t quite stay on over my mask), jumping between tables and making mischief with the diners. Of course, the rooster and my camera stayed by my side for the whole thing – as they did for the entire weekend, in fact – and I’d even fashioned a little mask for the rooster made out of a post-it note!

The final event on Friday (and also the most relevant to this blog entry) was the Art Gallery, also held within college grounds. People had contributed paintings, sculptures, poems, and all sorts of other artworks to decorate the expanse, and for much of the evening there was life drawing taking place so that anyone could come in and start sketching. I was pleasantly surprised at how packed the place was. It was really interesting talking to the other artists; one in particular, another engineer no less, specialised in intricate ink drawings of landscapes and buildings. We conversed about what it meant for something to be called art, as it seemed that artwork had to carry some sort of hidden message to merit the title... and yet, neither of our art had any intrinsic meaning! It took skill to develop, of course, but there were no underlying themes or subliminal messages. The art appeals to us visually, and that’s what matters most.

The rooster stood guard at the entrance, next to the visitor’s book and a framed picture of John Hughes, while four other MOCs of mine resided on a small table next to a sofa. I intentionally brought four of the sturdiest ones to encourage people to pick them up and move them around, so it’s quite fortunate that nothing went missing.

Unsurprisingly, what I found most enjoyable about the art gallery (and the whole weekend as well, in fact, but at the art gallery in particular) was the fact that people would ask so many questions about the rooster and more general questions about Lego MOCing as a hobby, and I could really open up and talk about it at length. Here are some of the most common questions that I received over the course of the weekend, plus a couple of lines that were particularly memorable:

“Did you have to buy special pieces for it?” – at this point I would point out the Skrall weaponry dotted around the body, and for the eager ones I’d talk about Bricklink and how it was just the best thing, like, ever.
“How long did it take?” – “Bit-by-bit over the course of several weeks. I don’t build during term-time, with the exception of a wedding ring I built in the Michaelmas of first year...”
“Did you visualise the whole thing beforehand, or did you just make it up as you went along?” – “You see that red comb piece on top of the head? That was originally a weapon piece, like, a claw or something. Once I’d found a white beak, I used that to set the overall dimensions, so I just worked down from there.”
“How did you... build it?” – [long pause] “I’m afraid you’re going to have to be more specific. Usually I start by collecting together the black, red, and white pieces, then I make a plastic nest in my room and sit cross-legged in it for several hours on end.”
“Where did you get instructions for this?” – “I think you’re missing the point here...”
“I didn’t realise it actually existed! I thought the rooster on the poster was computer generated!” – I think the person who said this was John Hughes’ mother, bless her. I let her hold the rooster and showed her the wing articulation, and she was rather impressed.
“Do you make plans for these? You could sell them and make loads!” – “I’d rather keep it as a hobby, really. Everything I build is purely for my own pleasure, and I’d like to keep it that way.”
“How does it stand up like that? Is there, like, glue or blu-tack?” - This was probably my favourite question because then I had an excuse to show off the adjustable toes which make the sculpture so stable. Often I’d tell people about the toes anyway because I like them so much.
“So is this just a one-off thing, or are there more?” – “Oh, I brought five of them with me to Cambridge. The other 65 or so are at home.” On second thought, maybe this was my favourite question. I always accompanied my answer with a kind of cheeky grin.

Of course, the point of the festival was to showcase creativity within the college, and there was no shortage of that! We had a jazz group made up of students performing at brunch on Saturday, which was followed by a tour of the various sculptures in and around the college. The rest of the weekend was filled with musical recitals, film showings, cabaret, and a grand finale in the form of student stand-up comedy held in the Jesus Chapel. I met a lot of new people through the festival, and it’s always nice to have Lego in the public eye for a little while! Truly a fitting send-off. Thanks for reading!

Journal Skin by Celvas

deviantID

Rahiden
Aiden
Artist | Hobbyist | Traditional Art
United Kingdom
Hello there, and welcome to my deviantArt page. My name is Aiden.

My gallery mainly consists of things I've created using Lego Bionicle and Hero Factory, known as MOCs. You'll also find satellite projects like my webcomic Hero Faffory, stopmotion animations, and the occasional biro drawing too.
I enjoy writing blog entries, for which you can find a directory further down this page.

:bulletred: What is a MOC?
MOC stands for My Own Creation; it is a term used to describe models made using Lego pieces but designed by the owner, so it is not an official Lego set.

:bulletred: Can you make instructions for your MOCs please?
I don't do instructions, sorry. This is partly because instructions take a lot of time and effort, and partly because I have learned that work on the Internet is all too easily stolen.

Other Occasionally Asked Questions
Profile | Gallery | Journals

:bulletwhite: Greetings all! Another standard bullety update journal this time round – I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. While you’re reading, why not have this playing in the background? It’s an app that generates sounds based on Wikipedia edits, and I like having it on while I’m working!

:bulletorange: Late things first: I am now twenty! Gone are the teenage years! I spent my birthday watching the Boat Race down in London with friends from college, and even though Cambridge lost (as predicted), it was a great day out. One of my presents was a new camera lens: it’s a fixed 50mm Canon lens with aperture f1.8, and I love it! The depth of field is incredibly narrow, so I can get really arty portrait shots with beautifully blurred backgrounds even in low lighting. Admittedly it probably won’t see much use in the still life shots that I use for my MOCs, though I did test it out in Stator’s recent photos.

:bulletred: Speaking of MOCs, my Jesus College Rooster has been in the public eye once again, and it’s even managed to one-up the Arts Festival that it represented earlier this year! This time around, the proud little bird has found himself on the front cover of the Jesuan News, which is the Jesus College newsletter that goes out to ten thousand people! Terribly exciting. There’s a picture of the front cover here, or instead you may view the recent MOC review that I’ve posted on YouTube.

:bulletgreen: I thought I’d talk about my long-term MOCing plans. See, in the past, my inspiration for new builds came from different places: originally it would come from the piece shapes, trying to use unusual pieces in innovative ways. After that (mostly in the post-HF era, since the new pieces had generally uninteresting shapes) I focused instead on colour, trying to distribute colours in different ways or simply showcasing one particular colour in order to exhaust my piece supply for it. In fact, the Wheelmouse is a perfect example of that – my reasoning is that if I use up all of my brownish pieces in one go then I won’t have to worry about it later.

:bulletpink: Now, however, I’m becoming increasingly aware of how similar my MOCs are to each other. Of course I’d like them to have a wide variation of body shapes and styles (which is why I build relatively few humanoids these days), but with over 70 of them being currently assembled, I have to make sure not to repeat myself too much, you know? For example, I’ve toyed with the idea of creating the animals of the Chinese Zodiac in MOC form - with a bit of imagination, you could argue that I have most of them already - but surely I have enough quadruped animals as it is? An ox might be fun to build if I really exaggerate the proportions, but a goat, tiger, and pig wouldn’t really offer much in the way of new shaping challenges. The astrological zodiac is even worse, since Aries, Taurus, Sagittarius, and Capricorn all have pretty similar body styles.

:bulletblue: That said, I could probably cover the traditional six Bionicle elements with my current Rahi alone. Let’s see: Fire Jellyfish, Ice Bunny, Water Swordfish, Stone Chinese Lion Statue, Air Chameleon, Earth Stego. I could do something similar with my Titan humanoids too. Easy!

:bulletyellow: Anyway, back to the long-term MOCing plans. A shrimp-shaped mech and a peacock have been pencilled in right now, but as term has just started they are unlikely to appear any time soon; I think the next one I actually do will focus around the pretty trans-colour pieces from the recent Bionicle sets, though I shan’t spoil things too soon. A more general plan is that I want to revisit a couple of old MOCs that really need the work: the Unicorn is the main one here, though Toa Pirral and Cancer could do with a lookover too.

:bulletpurple: And with that I think I should wrap this up. Thanks for reading and all!

Webcam

Journal History

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Add a Comment:
 
:iconmata4nuistudios:
Mata4NuiStudios Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Whoops... I missed a birthday... again... *sigh* Happy birthday, Aiden. :| :iconcakeplz:
Reply
:iconlexi247:
Lexi247 Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
Just stopping by to say hello :hug: Have a wonderful day~!
Reply
:iconrahiden:
Rahiden Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Why thank you! You have a nice day too! :D
Reply
:iconqwakattak:
QwakAttak Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi rahiden!
It's always nice to see another british moccist!

I would like to upload some of my mocs, and maybe connect over Skype or something. I have no good camera and i have no place for my mocs, so i would like you to see them!
Reply
:iconrahiden:
Rahiden Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'd be happy to have a quick look, but as term is starting very soon I'm afraid I won't be able to devote too much time! I'll send you my details in a private message.
Reply
:iconqwakattak:
QwakAttak Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Alright!
Reply
:iconmegaherofactory:
megaherofactory Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy (One day late) birthday to Aiden! Happy birthday to you! Free Birthday Icon birthday cake Super Fantastic Golden Platter Cake 3D :happy birthday: Birthday cake  icon Happy Birthday Grin Fella Birthday Dance (I know I'm one day late)
Reply
:iconratchetex:
Ratchetex Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy birth day!
Reply
:iconlordofthevillains:
LordoftheVillains Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday!!!AirborneHave your cake and eat it too
Reply
:iconskyfiredragon:
SkyfireDragon Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015   Artisan Crafter
Party Happy Birthday, Aiden!
Reply
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