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Chess Set
Elbowing my way in to an already crowded niche.
About this creation
Made for one of this year's April Fool's Day pranks on The Brothers Brick, where you may have seen it. As Nannan put it when contacting me about being involved, he needed a collection of "expert level" MOCs by various builders, which should not be immediately recognizable as that builder's particular style. I don't know whether I have an obviously distinctive building style, and I'm quite sure I'm not an "expert level" builder, but this is what I came up with.





There are a lot of Lego chess sets out there, both official offerings from the company, and fan-built. These can easily be divided into two categories: those which feature minifigs as pieces, and those which use more "classical" brickbuilt pieces, usually approximating the Staunton style. I decided to go the classical route for two reasons. One, I find it easier to tell at a glance exactly what the pieces are that way; and two, it seemed a better way to hide whatever building signature I might have -- there would be less personality showing through.





In hunting through Brickshelf to see what had been done before in the way of chess sets, I found to my surprise that SNOTed board surfaces were nonexistent, or at least a hard-to-find rarity. The ones I saw either used tiles if the board was smooth, or they just went with studs to stick the pieces to. To further set mine apart I used a black and blue color scheme, which I had not seen done.








King - The crown on the king piece was originally designed as the queen. But it seemed somehow masculine, and then when I made the other style it definitely looked more feminine, so the spiky one became the king.







Queen - My king and queen are exactly the same height, but the queen looks slightly taller. This is just fine with me because she's the real power on the board. Pansy-ass king, hiding behind his woman!






Rook - The first version was made with cylinders (because Staunton rooks are round) but I didn't like how it looked. Then I went with stacked 1x2 bricks to square it off -- I like the square rook, it seems a good approximation of its movement in the game -- but thought the sides looked a bit boring. Using 1x1's instead added a bit more texture to the sides.





Knight - By far the hardest piece to design. The first iteration was way too big -- my rule was no piece could be taller than the king and queen. Then began the laborious process of trying to shrink it down while still looking kind of like the Staunton horsey. Eventually I got to this design I was happy with (working in light blay) and then thought: wait, do I have that hinge plate top in dark blay? Does it even exist in that color?! The answers were no, and no. This is why the knights have "collars" of black or blue. It's still the bulkiest piece on the board -- maybe I should have kept whittling it down and gotten it to a one-wide design.




Bishop - Another fair bit of trouble to design. Staunton bishops have coneheads to represent the mitre they wear. (Strangely phallic headgear for a guy who's had celibacy forced upon him -- "This is to remind you of your real phallus, which you must never, ever use. Except to urinate. And you know that if it was possible to ban you from doing that too, we would." But I digress.) Using the cone on top in my Lego piece would make it look like a rocket, or at best the tin woodsman from the Wizard of Oz. So then I thought, I'll retain the cone in the piece, but since a bishop is a church rank (if the pope is a general, cardinals are colonels, and bishops are majors or captains), I'll top them with crosses. This would also serve to disguise me as the builder, since I have made no secret of my disdain for religion elsewhere. Like just above.

Another note on the bishops: the light blay cones used here are on loan from the Sir Nadroj collection. Let me explain...

I found I had no light blay 2x2x2 cones. I used light gray ones as placeholders, but they would be noticeable and ugly in pictures. Off to Cracklink to make a small order which included the light blay cones. This was March 9th, plenty of time for a project that needed to be finished and photographed before the end of the month.

March 16th - The status on my Bricklink orders page still says "paid," not "shipped." After an email to the store owner politely asking for my stuff that I paid for a week ago, please, they deign to ship it out. So what do I find a few days later when the package finally arrives? The two cones they sent were not light blay as listed -- they were light friggin' GRAY! Miserable bastards!

Because they sat on my order for a week, I was now short on time to get the pieces in the proper color. I did not want to make another Bricklink order. It's ten or fifteen cents worth of parts, but it's a couple bucks shipping, so I'd have to order at least a few bucks worth of stuff from the store to make it seem worth my while. And then what if they were also slow to get it out to me, or colorblind as well and I got sent light gray again?

So I sent out a distress signal at Builders Lounge asking to borrow two 2x2x2 light blay cones, which I would send back after photos were taken, or send something else back if a trade was preferable and could be worked out. Jordan immediately came to my aid, and fired the pieces right out to me. Not only is he a Lego prodigy, ladies and gentlemen, he's my hero of the day, a knight in ABS armor rescuing AFOLs in distress.

Postscript: The store had no light blay cones to make it right so they refunded the cost of my entire order, all eight bucks worth. Which, since I did manage to procure the properly colored cones in time for the scheduled photo session, I was disposed to regard as more than fair restitution. Which is also why that store gets its name mercifully withheld in this writeup. I have to admit I was pretty pissed at first, though.




Pawn - It took about two seconds to come up with that pawn design. That's all I have to say about that. After reading about the epic saga of the bishop, you wouldn't want a big longwinded thing about the pawn anyway, even if there was one.












At the base in each side you can see indentations, where there are reverse slopes: fingerholds, to lift the board up. I thought about making a base to go underneath, to store the pieces in, but didn't. That might have pushed this to "expert level."





The final irony? For someone as intelligent as I like to think I am, I'm a really lousy chess player.





Comments

 I like it 
  July 30, 2010
Good work!
Shannon Young
 I like it 
Jasper Vinkenvleugel
  May 30, 2010
i like you creations, but why did you put me out of the mob rules?
 I like it 
  April 2, 2010
The blue on black looks great in my opinion...
  April 1, 2010
Good point.
 I made it 
  April 1, 2010
Quoting Ryan Durant Why use blue and black bricks when you could use white and black bricks?
Black and blue looked good together and as far as I could tell hadn't been done. There are a million Lego chess sets out there, I wanted mine to be unique in some way.
 I like it 
  March 31, 2010
SNOT effects are the answer to everything... including chess. Your designs for the figures are my favourite parts of this, but I'm wondering about something. Why use blue and black bricks when you could use white and black bricks? Otherwise, great work. ~Ryan
 I like it 
  November 4, 2009
awesome, i really need to experiment with SNOT more. i think i might make my own chess set!
 I like it 
  September 10, 2009
cool could you please comment on my microscale UT-AT?
 I like it 
  September 6, 2009
SWEET. ive been thinking of buying one of the official lego castle chess set but this has inspired me to make my own!
 I like it 
  July 24, 2009
Nice chess set.
 I like it 
  May 5, 2009
I'm sure that if you tried real hard, you could find an even more boring way to make lego chess pieces :)
 I like it 
  May 5, 2009
AWESOME!!!!!
 I like it 
  April 20, 2009
hey Shannon who built "The Proctectoron"? i would really apreciate an answer.Great job on this by the way I really enjoy playing chess. The only piece i dont like is the knight i would work on that on a little bit. ;)
 I like it 
  April 14, 2009
Chess is fun. When I was small, I used to think the game of chess was called chest. Maybe somebody will see the irony there. ~LL
 I like it 
  April 8, 2009
Beautifully done, Shan. Looks to me like all that micro work paid off in the form of those pieces. But what I particularly like is the SNOT board and your outside perimeter work. It's simple, yet functional and attractive...kind of like Lee Jones.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2009
That is really neat. I think it would be so fun to play chess with a Lego chess set. I wish I had one.
 I like it 
  April 6, 2009
OMG!!! that is amazing how long did it take u 2 build
 I like it 
  April 5, 2009
Not a bad build, come to think of it, it is pretty good...I like your chess pieces, they bring it together...
 I like it 
  April 5, 2009
I like your chess set but you shouldn't swear man!
 I like it 
  April 4, 2009
I would have expect more perversion here ;-) Nice Chess Set ! I've stopped to play chess years ago unfortunately. It take a lot of time to be good at chess, and I prefer Lego :D
 I like it 
  April 3, 2009
Nice!
 I like it 
  April 3, 2009
Say what you want about yourself, but at least you were good enough to put the queens on the right square. God, I hate when people don't! As you can imagine, I'm skilled in games like Chess. Actually, come to think of it, I'm skilled in almost every single boardgame I've ever played. Nice Chess set too. You managed to keep it clean and unmessy, unlike a lot of boards out there. The irony for me is that I had just finished disassembling my LEGO Chess set when I saw this. Good day
 I like it 
  April 3, 2009
Nice chess set! I could play with one of these!
 I like it 
  April 3, 2009
I'm pretty lousy myself; but then again, I never thought I was intelligent. Nice clean design. I am especially fond of the rooks. Lee.
Shannon Young
 I like it 
Thomas N
  April 2, 2009
Wow great work, I love the original chess piece designs, I love chess!!!!!
Shannon Young
 I like it 
George Kemper
  April 2, 2009
Yes I'm not alone on being a horrible chess player! The detail is really great.-George
Shannon Young
 I like it 
Sir Xele
  April 2, 2009
I think that this is a fabulous MOC
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Wow, really good job!!! Looks alot better than the one Lego makes *ahem*
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Fantastic work!!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Chess gives me a headache, but there's no denying the sweetness of this MOC. But why hide your signature style and keep your personality from showing? Would be cool of the board hinged on either end and pieces could be stored underneath...no?
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
That's awesome, Shan. The things people sent in for Doughnut are great, your included. I love the SNOTed floor. Well played, sir, well played.
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
That's a nice looking chess set and the black and blue go well together. That was a funny interview and just seemed too good to be true, if you know what I mean. see ya. garth
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
rad, I like the style and colors!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Very nicely done! The blue and black give it a unique touch. One thing that I don't like about it is that I can't play on it! :) Anyway, great job, can't wait to see more from ya!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Great design pulled off expertly! And congrats on working with Brothers Flickr... I mean, Brothers Brick. ~ Chris.
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Simple, yet great!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
very nicely done!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Checkmate!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Nicely done, I would love to play chess on this board... But I would lose because I would be distracted by its beauty, great job
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
Well you sure did have me fooled...Actually, this chess set was the one MOC in that post that stood out to me the most. Well done!
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
The knight looks like he is from easter island! Great moc, and knight! ~Darden | :
 I like it 
  April 2, 2009
I actually thought Donut was a real person. It looks great anyway!I like how the S.N.O.T. meets in the middle. Is the new blogger Teddy real? I thought it might be an April Fools joke, but he started in March.
 
By Shannon Young
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