Just having hailed the professional standards of ↵artefacts stemming from the mod world, I now feel like presenting analogues from the ↵moc world. Just recently SAS voiced the opinion that, despite of their ingenuity and fabulous looks, mocs always are recognizable as mocs. Meaning, that they somehow lack a quality commercial Lego sets do feature. What this quality exactly constitutes remained elusive, even after further probing enquiry from my side. My opinion is that this may stand true for some mocs, but ain’t an absolute rule. Quite to the contrary. Here is the moc-version of the ↑TIE/In Interceptor, which first appeared in ‘↑Return of the Jedi‘ (Marquand 1983), ↑designed and built by IMPERIAL FLEET:
To my eye IMPERIAL FLEET’s version looks better than the Lego ↑set 6206, released in 2006 (on the left), and even better than the 2000 UCS (Ultimate Collector’s Series) ↑set 7181 (on the right). It may well be that I get carried away a bit now, but I think it looks even better than the models used in the movies ;-)
In principle IMPERIAL FLEET’s moc could be marketed as a set by TLG (The Lego Group)—it is at minifigure scale and although I don’t know the pieces-count, I assume that it still is sensible. This can not be said of the huge display-only models commissioned by TLG and created by its own inhouse Lego Master Builders. Like the famous ↵Venator by Erik Varszegi. Beasts like that, consisting of 35,000 Lego-pieces or more, clearly are beyond the resources of private individuals—so it seems. Allow me to teach you differently.
With all those dark-side imperial crafts, we for a change turn to the spaceships of the rebel alliance. In particular to the ‘Home One,’ like the Interceptor for the first time seen in ‘Return of the Jedi.’ ↑Wookieepedia knows:
Home One, also known as the Headquarters Frigate, was an MC80 Star Cruiser in the Alliance to Restore the Republic’s fleet, famous for its role at the Battle of Endor and as one of Admiral Ackbar’s flagships. It was the namesake of the Home One type subclass and was noted as being the largest and most advanced of the Rebel Star Cruisers.
And here is what master moc-builder ↑Thomas Benedikt has to say on the ship:
For ages, well since episode VI came out, the rebel command ship was deemed by many, well, me, as the Impossible Ship. A ship with no right angles, no straight lines, just curves, bubbles, and obscure cylinders. Certainly such a ship could never be built out of Lego pieces and look good. But that day (conditional on the fact that people actually think it looks good) has arrived!
This hulk of a behemoth consists of 30,500 Lego-pieces and measures 208cm in length. The overall material cost was 5500,- US-$. Just to give you a visual idea of the scale of Thomas’ creation, ↑have some detail:
Over at my Facebook account—which I almost exclusively use for advertising my blog entries here—BL posted the following comment (I haven’t asked, but I guess it’s ok to repost it here … where it belongs ;-):
‘I could imagine there are certain “building guidelines” for sets that are to be sold and not for display only. Aesthetic rules and how sturdy models must be. Maybe models not only have to look recognizable, but very “legoish” also for marketing reasons. Clearly the moc TIE looks more detailed and accurate, but the way the grey pieces on the tip of the wings overlap looks very unLego in my humble noobish eyes…’
All right, now we’re getting somewhere. Interestingly enough SAS’s comment on the moc TIE/In was the same: ‘Those overlapping pieces at the wingtips, TLG wouldn’t do that in a marketed set—they’d have a custom piece constructed and manufactured, fitting perfectly. The moc Home One in turn looks so perfect that it doesn’t look at all like Lego anymore.’