This scene by RMingTW depicts a group of soldiers destroying ships at sea, with a remarkable explosion.

LEGO explosion

Very cool, right? Nice use of elements from the new Toy Story set 7595 Army Men on Patrol. Forced perspective through microscale in the background is rapidly becoming a key factor in differentiating good LEGO scenes from excellent ones.

Now, what if the soldiers were citizens of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the ships were an invading fleet from the People’s Republic of China?

How much does context influence our perception of a LEGO creation?

Via The Living Brick, who I’ll blame if this turns into the Fourth Taiwan Strait Crisis and gets blocked in the PRC.

18 comments on “Escalation

  1. Starwars4J

    Was that actually the case regarding the MOC? I didn’t see anything on the Brickshelf, but you may have information I can’t see. If not, I’m not sure why this would need to be made political, last thing anyone needs is another flame war.

    That being said, this is a beautiful presentation. It looks like a plane was actually hit or something along those lines, given the focus of the blast. That soldier had good aim!

  2. Fred

    forcing controversy doesn’t work well but, if it WAS the sort of world changing event I’d be like:

    ZOMG Taiwanese people have backward feet!!!

  3. Andrew Post author

    Not forcing controversy at all, though I’ll admit feeling a little cheeky when I posted this. ;-)

    More seriously, it’s clear from the builder’s user name and other items in his Brickshelf folders that he’s from Taiwan. He never says exactly what (if any) real-world conflict the image is depicting. My questions were hypothetical, but I think it’s worth examining one’s own differences in reaction to this and the previous photo we were discussing.

  4. Fred

    Hmm, Then I guess for me it’s not
    “How much does context influence our perception of a LEGO creation?”
    “How much does a LEGO creation influence our perception of a context?”

    Success, in my mind, is bringing the observer to a place or situation. Where is this builder bringing us? I didn’t know until you lead me a little with the question. So I guess the question IS the context now which is why I suggested “forcing”. The controversy part was in light of all the fun this week which can be a bit additive on the boards.

  5. Fred

    ‘addictive’ rather… I just can’t wait to make another ise crack which is really going to get me in trouble one day here

  6. Daedalus

    My interpretation of the situation being depicted is “a guy blasting a ship with a bazooka”. If pressed further, I speculate “Royal Danish Navy vs. a cargo ship carrying Best-lock products”. Take that, soulless clones.

  7. Creative Anarchy

    Admit it Andrew, you’re baiting the PRC into blocking Brothers Brick aren’t you? Crazy like a fox.

  8. Ruben R.

    It’s just a really well made vig of some general looking soldiers destroying some general looking ships. It is all. No Taiwan or China.

  9. Thanel

    ^ Indeed it is. I had it on my hit-list for the same reason.

    @ Starwars4J: I don’t think any of the arguments and discussions earlier in the week were flame wars. I was impressed with the tone that people took, even when strongly disagreeing with each other. It was interesting for me to read comments by people I disagree with that were very well-reasoned and insightful, and also comments by people who I agreed with about their conclusions, but I didn’t like how they got there.

  10. Magnus

    The forced perspective stuff has all sorts of possibilities for those who are comfortable with getting to grips with microscale. And the explosion is terrific! The ships being targeted look kind of civilian to me – it might be interesting to hear what the builder had in mind – or perhaps it’s more interesting to hear what viewers are taking away from it, without being “told” what it is meant to represent…

    I’ve always like TBB for not being afraid to discuss important real world themes – to me it isn’t about hijacking a LEGO blog with a political agenda, so much as discussing how our hobby interacts with the world around us. And the last few long discussions have been great, with respectful and intelligent contributions from all sides. So I say keep it up!

  11. Bunbrick

    *spell check* We’re not talking politics, we’re talking perceptions! :-D

    “Now, what if the soldiers were citizens of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the ships were an invading fleet from the People‚Äôs Republic of China?”
    – I’d say good on Taiwan for defending themselves. :-p

    Here’s an interesting observation for you… when I imagined the soldiers to instead be from -China-… I actually found myself literally wondering if those ships were perhaps civilian instead of military(and now that i go post this, i see Magnus had a similar itch too)… and being shot at for, say, coming to close near restricted coastal areas.

    Apparently i have a certain preconception of China(‘s military) doing ‘bad things’ (invade; shoot civies) sooner than ‘good things’. – To be fair though, that bias hasn’t been built up entirely on fiction…

    i’ll also say, one thing that makes this a lot more palpatable than the previous image, is that this seems much more like a clear-cut war image. There’s ‘warring going on’. The other, you question if the event is even starting out as a genuine war-situation, let alone continuing as one.

    But. But… after having now had my above ‘China-switch’ revelation, i find myself re-examining the above image oncemore, wondering how I even know for sure there’s true symmetrical warring going on there (as in army vs army (more specifically navy)), since all i see is two blurry ships, one tan/red, the other grey/black – and i’m just -assuming- that the grey/black is probably a naval ship, since those tend to be grey with perhaps black markings… But that still doesn’t answer what the tan/red ship is… what exactly got hit in the explosion… simply put ‘what happened here, actually?’

    So i guess in the end, you really can see anything you want in this, including a ‘flame war’. And someone already did. ;-)

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