Following from my build of Nellie, the forgetful elephant, I realised two things:
1) that I hadn’t posted the address of the Cubeecraft website
2) the format was simple enough to try other things!
So, first things first and to direct you to the website – http://www.cubeecraft.com/ I used the general structure format of these paper characters to scale for my LEGO characters. This also means that once you have built your basic LEGO Cubeecraft figure, you could then use that as a box base to affix your own paper designs to the outside! (Note: I don’t know if the measurements from the Cubeecraft site match the LEGO sizing – but there’s another crafting challenge!)
So, here’s the Cubeecraft Mini-Me… in my pants of course…
The basic format (width x depth x height) is:
Legs – 2 x 2 x 2.3
Body – 3 x 3 x 2
Arms – 2 x 1 x 0.6
Head – 6 x 4 x 3
(the 0.3 and 0.6 is because 3 plates stacked = one brick height)
The legs are quite simple – 2 short bricks side by side to make two legs. I’ve found that you do need one of these single stud plates to join the body to the legs and make it sit “right”.
BODY AND ARMS
The body is a simple construction, but open to a little variance depending on what LEGO you have available. For Nellie, for example, I had two 1×1 bricks that had a side jumper, so her arms are a little more forward. However, this works as the mini-me does have a slight belly (not like the real thing… cough, cough :) ) so by setting the arms back a little it does reflect the … err… fuel tank (as someone once said, why go for the six-pack when you can own the barrel). You will need that top plate construction to give a little gap between the body and arm joint so that they can move. The only snag I’ve found is that the use of the technic brick approach means that the arms are a little loose, which is why there is a little Blu-Tack in some of the pictures.
The head is also a simple construction – you can use a 4 x 6 plate on the base and build up from there. I used the flat plates on top as I think that (in small scale, anyway), builds look better when the studs are hidden – unless you want to explicitly show them. Again, I’ve used standard blocks in this. When I built Nellie, I used the single side 1×1 studs to fix the eyes and 1×2 plates to lower the eyes a little so it centralised them on the head and made them look better.
JOINING THE PARTS
Starting “ground up”, the legs fit to the centre of the bottom of the body. I’ve marked the point, but it’s fairly straightforward.
The Body to the head is a little more of a challenge as you will use the circles rather than the usual connecting points. If you’ve used a 4×6 plate on the base of the head, then the central location is pretty straightforward – and you can just build your body using a 1×3 and 2×3 plates. Because I had added a beard to my figure (so used two 2×6 plates) I had to make the middle plates of the body as shown.
There you go!
I was looking through Google at Cubeecraft characters – free, downloadable patterns that you can download. printout, fold and create – when I thought, “I wonder if I could create something like that in LEGO?”
The format seemed simple enough – 2×2 for the legs, 3×3 for the body, 6X4 for the head. Getting the right bits for the 2×1 arms was a fun little challenge, as was ensuring that the eyes were “right” on the head. Once I’d finished, I realised that having created it in grey, it should really be a trunk!
I have no idea if someone has already created one or not (google didn’t show up anything), but it was a fun little creation that should provide an interesting challenge in getting everything to fit together!
So, here is Nellie, my forgetful elephant.
After my recent Open Day at the House and the opportunity to tell the tale of Tynk, I couldn’t help but feel confused that with the exception of the notes that provided my tale, there was little information about the Fairy that I had introduced as “Tynk”. The fact that my great-grandfather had chosen to keep the little sanctuary, with the door open, implied that there was a further tale here; yet, in all the volumes of journals that existed in the library there was no mention of this strange creature. To be clear, and to detour from this tale a little, I have not read all the journals in the library – I have flicked through each of them enough to allow words and tales to present themselves, and I now have a very good idea of which journal I need to refer to in research of some tale or story, but I have avoided focusing on the detail. There are far too many interesting things in life to spend just sat in a comfortable leather chair reading history past.
Anyway, I was perusing the various items which are not on public display and which I am either storing or maintaining in a second wing of the house, when I inadvertently kicked a travelling chest. I began to curse my misplacement of my foot – what would my Ninja master think! – When I heard a faint “click”. Instinctively I was on the defensive, ready to deal with whatever booby trap I had just charged – you would be surprised how many of my great-grandfather’s trinkets are still “live” and how many times only my training has prevented certain injury – when I realised that the side panel of the travelling chest had opened slightly. I carefully peered into the opening and saw what looked like an envelope.
Not wishing to find out that this was in fact a movement triggered device, I immediately ensured that everything surrounding the chest was moved or protected before carefully suiting up and returning my attention to the chest. After careful prodding, I discovered that it was a secret compartment that had been sealed all this while. I was surprised that a small kick had been the trigger to release it, but it was possible that because of where I had put it that my kick had in fact caused the chest to connect against other stored artefacts which, by an improbable sequence, had released the chest. Or it could be that the trigger mechanism had just failed. Anyway, I opened the compartment and saw that there were a number of large envelopes and I withdrew them carefully and took them across to my large desk, before removing the heavy blast suit.
Opening the first and second envelopes, I discovered a number of rough drawn maps. I immediately recognised them as tracings from the maps that hung in the Adventures room; clearly The Black Crane had decided that having copies of maps would be a useful tool to have.
But it was the third envelope that I found useful – and pertinent to this tale. Inside were three sheets of paper – roughly torn from a journal and folded in half to offer some coy protection for their contents. There was some writing on the outside of the folded papers. It was in my great-grandfathers hand.
“I have removed these notes from the journal as I feel to retain them would do Tynk a great disservice. I would have surely burned them, save that Tynk herself felt that to do so would destroy my research and possibly even hinder future work with the juvenile Fa-Rie. To that end, I agreed that I would remove these pages and store them safely, along with a map that would enable future generations to locate and work with the Fa-Rie. They have much to teach us – and for us to teach them – however, I am pessimistic at how some of my research colleagues would exploit this and to that end I will store this information securely and pass it on myself to a worthy adventurer.”
Obviously he had not found that worthy adventurer, or that he had forgotten that he had stored this information. It was always possible that he had found a prodigy from beyond the grave…
Anyway, I opened up the papers and read them. They were about Tynk! I sat in the chair and read them thoroughly – it was so interesting, so fascinating and so enthralling that I totally forgot about lunch and almost missed my evening meal as well! Afterwards, I decided that I would store the papers safely – not within the journal from where the papers had been removed, but another safe location that would remain sealed until I was ready to pass on the secret.
Of course, dear reader, assuming that you have read this far by now you would like to know what I know about Tynk, and it is only fair that I pass on some of the information that I have learned. Of course, with the accessibility that the internet brings I will retain the information regarding the location of the Fa-Rie Island and will instead focus on what may be my great-grandfather’s smallest travelling companion, Tynk.
If you read “The Fairy Sanctuary” then you will remember that my great-grandfather, Charles de Grue (with which I share the same name) was also known as The Black Crane and that he was an Adventurer’s adventurer, happy for others to claim success for explorations and achievements and for him to remain firmly ensconced in the shadows, even if he had dragged some of those people kicking, screaming (or unconscious) to the highest, lowest, furthest points of the earth. He’d held the long hair of sailors as they emptied their lunches into the sea, mopped the fevered brows of those not used to the heat, the cold, the bite of an obscure snake – and he’d taken the pictures of the (sometimes propped up) victors.
You will also be aware of the adventure that brought him to an obscure island and a race of thumb sized creatures known as the Fa-Rie. One such creature, Tynk, had decided that she would journey with The Black Crane and her father, Orboran had wished it so. De Grue had provided Tynk with a refuge that she could call home whilst away from her family.
Now, whilst my great-grandfather called them Fa-Rie, we now know them as the more common term “fairy”. Interestingly, I understand that it was upon sighting Tynk that J.M. Barrie had the inspiration for Tinker Bell, although as a novelist and playwright he made certain amendments to the character and the creature.
Anyway, back to the story. When the boat was ready to depart, the Sanctuary was placed on the ground and an excited Tynk climbed in. She decided that she would close the door – worried that it might swing about and she might fall out. “But you can fly” said Orboran and they all had laughed. De Grue picked up the cage and looked at Tynk. “All aboard” he said. Tynk said nothing, but instead looked a very odd shade of green. He started to walk towards the ship when he heard a peculiar noise coming from the cage. Tynk was sat in the corner, looking very unhappy. De Grue stopped and said, “Are you feeling alright, Miss Tynk?” Tynk feebly waved her hands – move on, she indicated. De Grue carried on walking to the boat, with every step the cage swung and that peculiar noise was made. Within a short few strides they were away from the waving fairy family and mid stride De Grue looked at Tynk, who had tears streaming down her face as she clutched her stomach and made retching sounds.
Immediately, De Grue stopped, and put the cage down on the ground. He opened the door and held out the palm of his hand. Slowly, Tynk walked onto the hand, the tears making her eyes red.
“So, Miss Tynk, what seems to be the problem? Do you want to come with me, or would you rather stay here with your family?”
Tynk looked up sorrowfully. She sniffed and sat down. She looked at De Grue.
“I … sniff… want to come with youuuu…. “She said and tears flowed once more.
“So why the tears? Why are you being so unwell?” asked De Grue.
“It’s… sniff… because… sniff… I can’t fly!”
De Grue just looked at Tynk.
“What do you mean? I’ve seen you fly!” he replied.
“Yes, sniff, but not very far from the ground. I’ve never been up as high as you just took me – so far away from the ground. I could see the ground, so far away, so far to fall and the swinging, closer, further, closer, further, closer, further, closerrrr…. Bleerggh!”
Carefully, De Grue put Tynk down, where she curled up into a ball. He found a small nut that he could hollow out and fill it with water. Tynk slowly sat up, drank some of the water and washed her face.
“I’m not a proper fairy” she said.
“Who said that? You seem like a proper fairy to me – an unwell fairy perhaps, but still a proper fairy as far as I can tell. Who said fairies had to be able to fly high?”
“But my friends all can – they can get up to the high branches of the trees – I stay at the bottom.”
“And? Were your friends there to support you when you prodded my leg? Or my eye? Were your friends ready to come with you on this adventure? I thought not; even Orboran said you were brave. That sounds like a proper fairy to me.”
Tynk looked up at de Grue – her eyes twinkled in the dappled sun, a mixture of past sadness but sudden optimism.
“Thank you, Mr de Grue.”
“No, Miss Tynk, you should call me Charles. And I will call you Tynk. Now, how do you think we can get you on board?”
“Well, I think it’s because I can see the ground from far up. There are all these holes in the cage…”
“So, if we line the cage with leaves, then you can’t see how far away the ground is, so you won’t be scared.”
“But what if I feel unwell – at the moment it all goes through the cracks?”
“Ah” said De Grue, “That is an easy fix.”
He reached into a bag and pulled out a small journal. He tore a page from the back and then made several folds into the paper, making a small cup. He gave it back to Tynk.
“You can use that – and we can empty it when we need to. “
Tynk smiled. “I’d like to be able to fly as high as my friends” she said.
“And you will. You need to be aware that it will be a good while before we get to England, so we have plenty of time for you to overcome your fear of heights.”
Now, there are a couple of pages where I have some information on how De Grue worked with Tynk to overcome her fear – establishing how high in the room she was comfortable flying to, then strengthening her wings, and bolstering her confidence. At one point, he even gave her a small piece of chalk that she could mark on the cabin wall how high she could fly.
It also mentioned some of the less than successful attempts at surprising Tynk – such as when she was asleep in the soup spoon that was resting on the edge of the fork and de Grue catapulted Tynk into the air. Tynk’s surprise at suddenly being air born was met with a great deal of unwellness, much hampered as she sploshed down into the bowl of water that was on the table. Apparently, there was much sulking that day!
But sometimes, you don’t realise how successful your training is until you need to use it. The journal noted one day on the crossing where Tynk had been sat on the edge of the port hole looking out at the horizon, when the ship had lurched and Tynk was bounced out of the boat. Tynk squealed as she realised that the cabin was only a few feet tall, whereas the distance from the port hole window to the sea was much much further away – but getting closer quickly. After the initial panic, Tynk stiffened her wings and felt the descent stop as she began to glide. That was good, she told herself, but I need to be back in the cabin. She turned herself in the breeze and with an ever growing confidence started to flap and glide until she was much closer to the side of the boat. Then she realised the next problem – which was her cabin? Again, she felt nervous – before she decided to head up to the deck. They must know. She flew higher until she was at deck height and saw the Helmsman holding the wheel true. He must know where de Grue is, Tynk thought. She flew confidently up to the wheel and stood and stared at the Helmsman.
“Hello, do you know where de Grue is?” she asked.
“MWAAAAARRGGGHHH!!!!” Cried the Helmsman.
“What did you say?” asked Tynk.
“What was that, sailor?” asked the Captain, standing behind.
“MWAAAARRRRGGGHHHH!!!” cried the Helmsman again, releasing the grip of the wheel and pointing at Tynk. The ship, now free of control lurched to one side and the wheel spun wildly. Tynk managed to get to flight and hover above the wheel, looking at the Helmsman.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING, SAILOR?” cried the Captain. Then he saw Tynk. “MWAAAARRRGGGHH!” he cried.
De Grue was on deck almost instantly. “What is…. Oh, there you are Tynk!” he said. “You’re not frightening the sailors are you, they don’t like strange things… or bananas, or whistling apparently; it’s alright gentlemen, please regain yourselves and return the ship to its course. Come along Tynk.”
Tynk looked at the two sailors. “Sorry”, she said, “But thank you!” The two sailors stared wildly at Tynk as she flew onto De Grue’s shoulder. They looked, stared at each other to try and make sense of what just happened. Then, with unspoken words, they agreed to never mention it again, get the boat back on course, and not have second helpings of rum again.
From these notes, I can deduce that Tynk returned to England with de Grue. The notes that I discovered show that Tynk learned to write and draw – and this meant that suddenly the diagrams and images that described the various things that they found were brought to vivid life – Tynk was able to colour with remarkable and detailed accuracy.
I’ve not found anything yet that provides any information on what happened to Tynk once they had returned to London – but as I have so recently discovered, it doesn’t mean that the notes aren’t somewhere – after all, my great-grandfather wrote about everything.
Following from my day out, I decided to build my own little MOC (My Own Creation). I’d bought a Doctor Who Dalek a while back – being made by CBT (not Lego) the colours were a little off; no matter, armed with a silver Sharpie pen and a Black I set to. I added an old LEGO lighting brick and used some higher powered LED lights, and in a dark corner of my study…