Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Why Nnenn Cookies?

The above pic is from Nnenn's Flickr photostream. The following is the text in full describing his idea of public standard starfighter cockpit frame.

"The obvious attribute of trainhead builds are their extremely limited scope of subject matter: a box on wheels... over and over again. But they continually manage to capture our interest (usually with detail and SNOT) within this format. I love variation on a theme, especially with constraints.

I also found it interesting when Tim Gould mentioned on that trainheads regularly use each other's sub-assemblies in their models; generating a sort-of community consensus about what looks/works best... which seems at odds with the rest of us who often strive to be completely original, all the time.

But the idea of building on your predecessors (forgive the pun) has certain advantages that I don't think encroach upon creativity. And I'd like to give it a go within an imagined theme: starfighters (of course.)

Peter Morris, with his plethora of same-class ships, reoccuring core frame, and detailed instructions, has provided me a good starting point. Here, I've taken his cockpit box and inverted the trailing bracket pieces... producing studs-down underneath. The design is more compact and gives me more style options.

I'm going to build a bunch of boilerplate variations on this for a while and see where it goes... or if it improves. I'll consider anyone else's designs or iterations as well. Wish me luck. "

Nnenn is an enigma in the AFOL community. I don't know his real name (does anyone?), I've seen no pics of him (heck, he might not even be telling us any truth about himself at all, he might as well be a paraplegic transvestite for all we know (not that it should matter, but it sure would be interesting...)). He breaks all the rules and conventions that most AFOLs follow in their designs without blushing (go ahead and prove me wrong about the blushing). He dosen't care much about critiques, he's not even showing off his work for them. He's just doing it because he enjoys the build. If it ever stops being fun, he'll likely find something else to do (which might result in a change of names and the jump to a different forum/community, honestly, some people take their anonimity very seriously).

Anyway, his work caught my attention but it was his prolific output and positive energy that really grabbed me. Since most of my past influences pretty much went into retirement from the brick, I needed a new source of motivation. Someone who's skill could push me into new directions, not just the most recent flavor of the month technique or fad.

Then Nnenn decided to post one Vic Viper type of starfighter a day for one month. He succeeded. Beneath one of the daily pics, he posted these introspective words,

"I post my models simply to share... not necessarily for a critique either of them or, especially, me. Now, I don't mind feedback and welcome everyone's opinions: I read them all. However, please keep in mind the context before speaking: I am trying to imagine, construct, shoot, image, and post an original model everyday. And that within limiting visual parameters. Every. Day.

Try it yourself some time."

You would think after that even he would slow down, but he continued to be one of the most prolific builders even after the Novvember event.

Finally, he shared the above framework standard. Then for several weeks he only did starfighters utilizing that frame. He wasn't trying to push for new heights or open doors to mind-boggling designs, he was just taking it easy.

And there it was. The missing element to achieving some newfound motivation for myself. Just take it easy. A space MOC does not always have to include ubber detail and realistic functions such as opening canopies and descending landing gear. You don't have to work dozens of clever build techniques and ensure your MOC is of a new and refreshing form. Heck, you don't even have to like what you're building so long as you're having a good time doing it. Easily half of my Nnenn Cookies are utter crap in my own opinion, but I had a blast putting them all together.

So, that's how I came to the challenge.

P.S. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to research past Flickr posts/notes/photos?

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