Mark Kelso is kung fu fighting

And his kicks will split you in half. Mark Kelso (Amhakia) made this vignette using lots of brilliant techniques and 100% unmodified Lego parts. Did you know that stickers can be used to connect pieces? Find out how he used them and more in the descriptions!

8 comments on “Mark Kelso is kung fu fighting

  1. Creative Anarchy

    Two things to say
    Awesome. This looks great, cool sense of motion in the vig, great color and modelling and most impressively, uses not one buyt two handcarts! Which makes the second part of what I wanted to bring up all the more uncomfortable.

    Is using sticker scrap to glue pieces that would otherwise not connect together unethical building? As we move from SNOT to part-pinching techniques, modding bricks, and painting or shopping brick colors, are we moving into an anything goes building ethic? Will someone ever incorperate a method to build that we’ll say isn’t technically a Lego MoC? Is there a point to drawing a line to using parts of the lego box or the reciept from the purchase in the MoC or is the creativity and modelling really what’s important? obviously if the ends justify the means this vig is proof of concept. I’d still feel badly if I lost a contest to a technique like this.

  2. Andrew

    As much as I admire the overall, finished vignette (and respect Mark as a talented builder), I’m going to have to agree with Creative Anarchy. I even think rubber bands are “cheating”, and using stickers as connections really doesn’t work for me.

  3. Catsy

    Eh. I don’t know that we really benefit from going over this ground again. Everyone seems to draw the purity line at a different point, and it’s entirely arbitrary.

    What I will say is that I’m inclined to regard any object created by TLC, along with any technique used in an official set, as being inherently “legal”. Rubber bands have been used as a structural connection by TLC in official sets (UCS AT-ST, f’rex), so that raises no eyebrows for me. Nor do stickers, so long as they came in a Lego set. For that matter, I’ve experimented with using packaging in models, and I’ve seen it used to good effect.

    That being said, it’s a fact that Lego has spanned parts with stickers in official sets. Is connecting two parts with stickers okay when there is a third part holding them together independent of the sticker, but not okay when there isn’t? Is it cheating to use cut sprue as a cell phone, or to cut up official stickers to suit a specific MOC? The former was featured in another vig here recently, and I used the latter on one of the buildings in Bird’s Eye.

    Like I said, I don’t know how much value there is retreading this very well-traveled ground, but I do think it benefits people to think not only about where they draw those sorts of lines, but–more importantly–why they draw them there.

  4. Andrew

    ^ Very well said. To clarify what I wrote earlier, that’s where I draw my line, and I have to admit that it affects what I like from other builders (and therefore what I choose to blog here).

    But yes, there’s definitely a lot of miles behind us in the Great Purity Debate, and at this point we each draw the line in slightly different places.

  5. Brad

    No sense in going over the line again, we say. But you know what they say about opinions, right? :) Here is mine:

    Using a sticker to hold pieces together is the same as using tape. That the stickers are official LEGO doesn’t make a difference, IMO. If a builder wants to do this, that’s their prerogative – its their stuff! However, I won’t do it and I don’t get too excited about it. That said, I don’t think it is or will ever be the end of the world. People have been modding their pieces for a long time. It will cause occasional issues with community sites and contests, but I don’t think it will ever be much concern for individuals.

  6. Josh

    What follows is my own opinion and can be safely disregarded…

    I think the technique is hysterical. The technique appeals to my sense of the absurd and it appears to thumb its nose at the ultra-purists, by screaming “I am a pure product of The Lego Group!”. Therefore, I like the irony and the vig is gorgeous. That said, I hope the technique doesn’t catch on…its a one time gag.

  7. Catsy

    ^ Admittedly, there are times when my thought process going into a particular idea or technique is something along the lines of “just how far can I push the envelope of legality within the rules I’ve set for myself?” Where said rules basically amount to “must have been manufactured by TLC”. But it’s important to recognize that we do impose those rules on ourselves: there is nothing objectively authoritative about what is “legal” and what is not.

    Or rather, there is: one can choose to adhere to the same rules of legality that govern the creation of official sets. This is probably the only objectively defensible “purist” position–but it is one which I, personally, find far too stifling and restrictive, albeit restrictive in ways which make perfect sense in official sets.

    One question with which I’ve been wrangling lately is scene-building, particularly positioning and basing. Bird’s Eye was built on a bog-standard baseplate; a follow-up that I’ve been working on is not. In order to create the correct perspective, I’m using at least four or five unconnected builds arranged freely on a non-Lego flat surface such that a low-angle shot makes them all look connected. Put simply, it’s a macro equivalent of setting up a stage with one-sided props arranged to create the illusion of a coherent scene from the perspective of the audience.

    At what point do the camera and scene become as much a part of what creates the visual impact of the build as the Lego parts themselves? Must all Lego elements in a scene be connected in some way?

  8. Daedalus

    ^ Interesting thought, Catsy. I would say that at the point you’re talking about, it’s a photography technique, not a building one. I find it more interesting to see otherwise impossible effects created with perspective rather than “illegal” solutions. “Simply an Illusion” is a great example of this:

    I’d personally be interested to see something like (or what you’re describing) that more than other less traditional builds such as this one. Don’t get me wrong; this vignette is clever, and I really enjoyed it, but like Josh said, it’s more of a one time trick for me that something I want to see repeated.

    But, as many have said, hooray for personal preference and diversity in building. It’s what makes LEGO so friggin awesome.

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