MOCpages : Share your LEGO® creations
LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop MOC-Making Thoughts
Welcome to the world's greatest LEGO fan community!
Explore cool creations, share your own, and have lots of fun together.  ~  It's all free!
MOC-Making Thoughts
Rate it  12345       Add a comment Add a comment    
This is just a long load of drivvel which basically sums up that I have bog-all knowlwedge of moc-making. If you can suffer through it long enough, I await your complaints.
About this creation
MOC-Making Thoughts
By
Fenrek

Hello there fellow moc-makers or perhaps you’re just thinking of becoming one. This isn't going to be a professional guide at all where I try and tell you what makes a good moc and what makes a bad one. This is just my own personal views on different aspects of the mocing world which may give you a little help with your own moc making.
I'll be talking about general information in the main areas and make note of my own experiences with the heading (*Fenrek*) under each main body of text. At the end of this piece will be images relating to various parts of text which will be marked with [?]. The '?' will be a number relating to an image below.

Beginnings

First of I'd like to talk about getting into moc making. If you’re just looking for an everyday hobby, It's a nice little way to be creative and get your ideas down into a physical form. As a full time hobby that you wish to do to increase your skills and become well known within the Lego community, it can be costing but also fun.
Most moc makers start out as everyday collectors of Lego. You may become interested in a Lego line or series that you decide to buy for the actual sets and keep them made for display. Over time, the reasons that you bought for (to get the characters) seems unimportant and you may find yourself looking at the sets for the individual pieces rather than for the whole model. This is when the 'creative-juices' start to get to work and this is when the moc maker within you begins to reveal itself.

Structures

To begin with, a good moc starts with a good under-structure. This is the framework that all the armour and external designs will be placed upon. A lot of moc makers start out by experimenting with standard Toa bodies[1] and mix around armours to create new characters. I don't really view this as moc making as the armour alterations are usually very minor and the moc is seen as uncreative but it's a starting position at least.
Higher level under-structures[2] usually consist of many, many parts that are interlinked to create a form that could be humanoid or perhaps animalistic.

*Fenrek*
I personally started moc making with larger body styles[3]. My first under-structure was made by fusing the centre design of Sidoraks' body with the torso/shoulder parts of Roodaka. This made my first moc larger than most and many people contemplate on how my mocs are quite large when they are actually seen as standard by me. This gave me a slight edge against other people at my level as I started out large and so had a different perspective than those who were busy rearranging Toa armours.

Colour

Now most amateur moc makers trend to grab a handful of the pieces they need without care for a specific colour scheme. They just want to get their ideas down and get the moc made. To be taken seriously and to avoid offense, it's always best to establish a colour scheme while you build as nobody appreciates a 'rainbow' moc[4]. This is when a creation is made with an array of colours that follows no pattern or style at all and is often frowned on by other moc makers. The sooner you are able to create mocs with appealing colour schemes, the better for you.
Most moc makers will understand that black[5] has become the foundation of most moc makers' pieces as it is the most abundant colour that encompasses the majority of different pieces present in lego sets. For an example, the majority of Bionicle connectors come in the shiny black colour. It's good to start of with black if you just want to utilize the most pieces that you can into a moc. It can be slightly deterring when black becomes a constant though as it's not entirely easy to hide and it takes time and skill to be able to cover and entire under-structure whiles still looking good and to the design that the creator wants.
The over-layer (armour, details, mask ect.) can be whatever colour that the creator wishes to use and it's always good to experiment with different colour schemes to find something that's striking, eye-catching or simply beautiful. Here are some colour schemes that appear to work well together but I'm sure you'll find a multitude of others once you get experimenting yourself.
blue/orange
black/orange[6]
red/orange
black/red
white/blue
green/yellow
black/yellow[7]
black/green[8]
silver/blue
It's surprising what can happen when you experiment enough. Break out of what you already know that works and try for something different that no-ones seen before. This is how you'll get more attention.

*Fenrek*
I usually use black for under-structures as it's the most abundant colour and I can usually get good results out of it so I'm not deterred by my constant use of it.
I used to think that silver was my weak-point as I used it the least but I found out that some of my best mocs came out of those rare occasions when I used silver as a base colour[9].

Design

Designing a moc can sometimes take ages to come up with an initial idea or it can take no time at all. For some people that are already moc making, they can come across 'blocks' now and then which is like writers block where they can't think of anything but for moc makers where they can't make anything. Sometimes this leads the moc maker to just trying to make something but due to being un-enthused, the creation is doomed and is dismantled while the creator tries to think their way out of the block.

*Fenrek*

My longest block lasted me just over 3 weeks and then I had an idea and was back in the game again, but I still get blocks now and then which do infuriate me but after them I usually come up with a good idea that I'm enthused about doing. A lot of my designs can get repetitive and I've been subject to many peoples complaints but I can shrug them off easily because I know as long as I've achieved something through the creation, such as a new set of skills, and that the majority of people can enjoy it, I can be happy with my work.

Custom

Designing mocs from scratch is a step forward in anyone’s book but the end result determines if it was a good or bad move.
Custom mocs are when the entire creation has been made without showing any designs form pre-released sets. These custom mocs usually take a bit more time and whereas a regular Toa sized moc may have 3 pieces to make an upper limb[10], (bone/limb piece with sockets on the ends, a small connector and an armour piece) a custom moc may have up to around 20 in a single upper limb[11,12]. This applies to the lower parts of limbs as well[13,14]. It may seem hard at first and coming up with techniques that work may take time but once you get the hang of it, the resulting moc can be very rewarding in terms of how much new knowledge you've gained in skills and how much more people will appreciate your efforts.
Custom bodies usually come with limbs but are far harder. Whereas limb designs can be commonly reused to great effect, body designs really determine the overall shape of the moc. They determine whether the end moc will be large, small, straight up[7] or hunched over[8] or maybe a few concepts from thousands of variables. The body style also effects the location of the head which can be seen as crucial to character. One body may put the head on the top in the general area whereas another may have the head protruding from the chest area due to armour covering the original head placement. This head style is more common in hunched over mocs where the back is enlarged and gives the moc a more of a sinister look.

*Fenrek*
It took me years to get to the stage where fully custom body/limb styles have become common for me so I don't think I'm really best to tell you about these. I have however had great success with the few that I do have and my audience has increased to include more professional mocers. This is what happens when your skills get better, so does your class of audience and the amount of respect you receive for your new ideas.

Painting

Painting Bionicle/Lego pieces isn't entirely advised by most as it usually leads to disastrous results with chipped/peeling paint and bad paint jobs.
If you are attempting to paint pieces, practice on some that you have no interest at all in as it will give you an idea of how the substance will react to the material and also how it acts against contours (grooves, curves ect.).
For the best results, using spray paints are best advised as they give even layers and usually give the best covering for what they are being applied to. Brushes leave marks and can even leave fibers behind whereas sprays just add even amounts of paint and if used correctly, will have no run offs or application marks.
Unique paint jobs are usually done so that a certain piece such as a mask is specifically done for one single moc. This isn't advisable unless you never intend to dismantle the moc in question but for people who regularly take apart creations, choosing a singly colour for a Lego/Bionicle piece is best as it can then be used again for other creations. Unique masks may look great and are best suited to display but their actual use within moc making is vastly diminished due to them becoming incompatible with many colour schemes and moc designs.
In most cases, painted pieces should be kept separate from the usual collection and when they are put onto a moc, not made to rub/scrape against anything. This is because if they put with the general collection that you have, the other pieces will rub and scrape against the pieces and tear off all of the paint. That's always the main issue, how long will the paint last? It won't last forever but if you keep it safe and away from damage it should go for a long time.

*Fenrek*
A delicate subject, especially to the purists but recent events and circumstances have turned many negative views around on this. Painting mocs isn't really recommended if it's with a brush, if you have very little painting skills, or have no sense of colour.
I personally didn't even dream about painting mocs until I found that there were pieces I liked but not in the colours I wanted. I only had a few cans of black and white spray paint so I thought 'what the hell'. Pieces like the glowy blue Takadox heads were a pain because I had 2 of them but very little in the amount of other glowy blue pieces; so I sprayed them black[15] and they look beautiful. Same with Brutaka heads and the lack of gold but they were done white[16].
For the real artist who can get amazing results and even do patterns, colour merge and highlights painting masks can be quite rewarding and bring out unique and stunning results.
Any-who, if you can get the results you want out of them and it looks quite good, then by all means give it a try. It makes use of otherwise boring/disused pieces and creates more diversity for your audience who may have not seen you using those pieces before.

Representation

When displaying your moc to the public, it's great to have varied form to show it. Online, this kind of restricts you to just images and videos but they can both be quite effective is executed properly. Most moc makers take images of their mocs in different poses to show off articulation and to also capture viewers' eyes with action shots.
Backgrounds usually consist of whatever’s behind the creation at the time the image was taken. This can be anything from a pattern on a wall to a family member passing by. As a start, it's good to make sure that you shots are of good quality so that they are clear and detailed. This will allow people to zoom into larger images and pinpoint on their favored details without the image becoming pixilated to the point where the image is unidentifiable.
Once good images can be produced, it's time to get a studio/blank area to work with. Mini studios[17] can be purchased that fold out into blank space that the creation can be put inside of. The blank background of these studios draws peoples' attention to the moc and more detail can be seen when there's no distracting images in the background. An equally good technique is to get a large area that's empty and up against a wall. This way, whether it be using a large piece of fabric or perhaps covering the area in another item, you can create a blank area where you could also put your moc for photos.
(A completely flat surface is recommended as fabric curls and gives way to the mocs support so it may be harder to gain balance.)
Once the images are taken, they can either be shown as they are or manipulated using editing software such as Photoshop. Programmes such as Photoshop allow for compilation images to be formed where many aspects of one moc can be shown in one image. This is a more professional way of displaying the creation and usually receives positive feedback.
Videos can be equally effective at portraying your creation and in most cases is far more entertaining. Again, a blank area would be far better to work with than one that has a distracting background. Videos of your mocs can either be shown as still images in a slideshow format or perhaps a video review where you yourself display the creation and give your own, personal views on it.
A slideshow video is the most common form of displaying the moc in video format because it simply shows the images that you've taken. Including music isn't necessary but has become common as it gives the viewer both visual and auditory entertainment and heightens the enjoyment of viewing the video if you can also be listening to preferable music.
Reviews allow the creator to give their own opinions on their creation as well as show active functions of the moc such as firing weapons and displaying articulation. Performing reviews also allows the viewers to get to know the kind of moc maker that you are by your general behavior and even your humour style. On the whole, it develops a performer/viewer relationship and people can get to know a bit more about the moc maker. You'll be surprised at how many people gain support just by revealing a little bit about themselves. It makes them more relatable as an identifiable person rather than just a mystery moc maker that is never heard from.

*Fenrek*
Displaying your images against any old background is a good way to start but I do think now that more moc makers should use blank areas to display their work for better visual effects. Compilation images[18] are superior to single ones as they display much more in a smaller space and appears more professional as well.
I personally found that slideshow videos are more common than reviews but not necessarily more effective. They weigh up at about the same for general entertainment as slideshows have music but reviews may have preferable humour.
My voice is terrible and so I've only done a few reviews in the past and they weren't that good so I stuck to slideshows which my viewers prefer more anyway.

Self Mocs

A self-moc is a creation (usually associated with Bionicle mocers) that represents their creator throughout their publishes which can be anything from being displayed in their intro on movies to turning up on their profile page for various sites.

Why Do We Make Them?

Self-mocs are extremely common in the mocing world and they provide viewers with a number of different facts about the creator.
For one, depending on how old the moc is or how well it's built, it can show people the level of skill that the creator is working at and how they are able to use pieces to achieve their desired results.
It can show everyone what colour schemes or overall style of build that the creator prefers as a self-moc shouldn't be a hassle to make or cause a lot of frustration for the creator, but rather should be a fun and enjoyable time and which a creator can cover a lot of ground by pushing themselves to make something better than they ever have before to show everyone else their skills.
Originality is expected among self-mocs as they come in a number of different shapes, sizes, styles and colours. Making a self-moc requires one to be unique and to create something that hasn't been seen before. As this is usually known among normal mocs and that diversity is greatly encouraged, a self-moc should be held in a higher opinion of both the creator and it's desired audience.

*Fenrek*
I've had a total of 2 self-mocs for my time with Bionicle. My first was simply named Fenrek to represent me and was upgraded once to a standing of MkII[6].
My second self moc was made not too long ago and held the unusual title of Krozienne[9]. I have made a chibi[19] form of him and re-designed him with my newer/custom style of building making him into Neo-Krozienne[18].
I really feel that a self-moc should be held in high regard by the creator as it holds sense of pride within itself and it should do. I was once asked by someone if they could use my self-moc as their own and I was like "HELL NO!!!". Self-mocs should be original and unique and none should be the same. You may not have a self-moc right away, as soon as you start creating. Those that do usually end up displaying something of bad quality and just want something to be shown with themselves or to represent them. It may take some time to come up with a self-moc that you can be really proud to show but they are definitely worth it.

Conclusion
Well this was rather rushed and all I really did was ramble about nonsense that couldn't help anyone with half a brain. I hope at least someone appreciates what I tried to do here. If this didn't help you, I'm sure personal experience will fill in all the gaps. So get out there, grab some lego and make something magnificent.
Fenrek ^_^

Images:
[1]


[2]


[3]


[4]


[5]


[6]


[7]


[8]


[9]


[10]


[11]


[12]


[13]


[14]


[15]


[16]


[17]


[18]


[19]



Comments

 I made it 
  June 24, 2012
Quoting J6 Crash A little late to the party but I would like to comment on something you wrote here. You said a good MOC starts with a good understructure, but in my experience that's untrue. My MOCs tend to begin with the external armor layout and I then build the understructure to accommodate the the armor. The insides of my MOCs are often as much holding the armor together as the armor friction holds it together. I rarely have an sturdy connected understructure because a lot of it comes apart when the armor is removed. This also means that I have no frames that can be used for multiple MOCs because everything I build is dependent on particular armor combinations. Other than that I thought it was an interesting read, if unnecessary for me.
Whatever floats your boat mate, this is just general ok I'm not writing a book. Everyone will take this differently.
  June 22, 2012
A little late to the party but I would like to comment on something you wrote here. You said a good MOC starts with a good understructure, but in my experience that's untrue. My MOCs tend to begin with the external armor layout and I then build the understructure to accommodate the the armor. The insides of my MOCs are often as much holding the armor together as the armor friction holds it together. I rarely have an sturdy connected understructure because a lot of it comes apart when the armor is removed. This also means that I have no frames that can be used for multiple MOCs because everything I build is dependent on particular armor combinations. Other than that I thought it was an interesting read, if unnecessary for me.
 I made it 
  June 12, 2012
Quoting Deimos MOF you forgot to mention demon. anyway, most of the things are true. and i totally agree that self moc should be a creation that your proud of. like my self moc was my first creation with a custom body. Ended up changing his color scheme and completely redoing the top.
What do you mean I forgot 'Demon'. What's that?
 I like it 
  June 11, 2012
you forgot to mention demon. anyway, most of the things are true. and i totally agree that self moc should be a creation that your proud of. like my self moc was my first creation with a custom body. Ended up changing his color scheme and completely redoing the top.
 I like it 
  June 11, 2012
Great advice!
 I like it 
  June 11, 2012
Once I painted a 2008 lewa mask red. Now it looks likes blood spattered all over him.
 I made it 
  June 11, 2012
Quoting Gale Winthrope Very interesting ideas. I now feel inspired to go build something, thank you!
No probs. Glad someone found it usefull
 I like it 
  June 11, 2012
Very interesting ideas. I now feel inspired to go build something, thank you!
 
By Fenrek ~
Add to my favorite builders

5
people like this. See who.

698 visitors
8 comments
Added June 11, 2012
 


LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop MOC-Making Thoughts


You Your home page | LEGO creations | Favorite builders
Activity Activity | Comments | Creations
Explore Explore | Recent | Groups
MOCpages is an unofficial, fan-created website. LEGO® and the brick configuration are property of The LEGO Group, which does not sponsor, own, or endorse this site.
©2002-2014 Sean Kenney Design Inc | Privacy policy | Terms of use