For this final round of the 2011 MocOlympics , I am competing with the impossibly awesome Leda Kat in the category of "Aesopís Fables" (The ancient Greek storyteller told many fables with a moral lesson that could be expressed explicitly by a maxim. Choose one of his fables and recreate it as a scene or story.)
This round has me extremely nervous because Leda is pretty much the MASTER of storytelling Mocs! And, of coarse, the category is based on storytelling.
So, since my thing is sci-fi, I was desperately looking for a loophole somewhere that would allow me to build something sci-fi. Sadly, the closest thing I could find was insects. In the end I decided to do "the ant and the grasshopper".
The next problem I ran into was that the original Aesop's fables are lacking in the story department. They tend to be short and to the point. I ended up choosing a rewrite of the original story by Rohini Chowdhury.
Anyway, on with the story!
Once there lived an ant...
and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow.
All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer's field far away.
She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by...
and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head.
She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.
The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. 'Why do you work so hard, dear ant?' he would say. 'Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?'
The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster.
This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. 'What a silly little ant you are!' he would call after her. 'Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!'
And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily.
Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter. The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark. It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall.
The grasshopper didn't feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer's field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. 'Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?' wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. 'Ah - I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!' declared the grasshopper, perking up.
So off he went to the ant's house and knocked at her door. 'Hello ant!' he cried cheerfully. 'Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!'
The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, 'All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!'
And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper's face.
It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.
The following pictures are detail shots of the bugs and the sets.
The meadow without the gargantuan insects. I'm not entirely happy with how the grass in the background turned out. What you see here is every 1 and 2 stud wide green plate that I own. Not quite enough to make believable looking grass unfortunately.
Here we have the farm.
the wheat field and the itty bitty ant.
The barn. I spent a solid hour looking through my collection for something I could use as a wind vane. Then I found that electric guitar, I was literally geeking out about it! Just perfect!
And every farm needs a farmer.
This is the Ant's house. I didn't have the parts to build an ant hill or even a house built into the side of a hill. So, I had to settle for an above-ground house instead. It's not too bad, but it's not really the kind of house I would imagine an ant living in.
The front of the house.
side of the house.
Another shot of the snow piled against the side of the house.
The sparse interior of the house.
It has a fireplace, though!
I don't know what happened here. The camera had a spaz of some kind and I got this photo of the ant. I uploaded it just because you can see all the parts nicely and it just looks cool!
Unfortunately, I couldn't recreate that last shot with the rest of them. I don't know!
I just love how the bugs heads turned out!
I know the story calls for a grain of wheat and not the whole thing. At this scale, a single grain of wheat would look boring. I figured that the whole head of wheat would look more interesting.
And this is obviously the grasshopper.
side of him.
and finally, his awesome head!
Well, I guess that's it. I'm kind of disappointed that the games are already over. We've all been battling it out for nearly three months now but it feels like we just started yesterday. This contest has really brought out the very best in everyone competing. The entries this year have been, in my opinion, the best they have ever been!
Also a HUGE thank you to our judges who have voted on 265 entries so far (soon to be 267)! Without them, this competition wouldn't even be happen. So, thank you for all you've done!
Last but certainly not least, I would like to congratulate Leda for all her hard work and wish her best of luck in this final round!
Excellent build Jason! The insects are perfect, but the ant is my favorite. You seemed to have captured the total essence of an ant. The shape, size, thorax....everything is perfect! As much as I love your build, if I was a judge I would have picked Leda's too, because she had a cleverness about the entire build. You both put on a fantastic fight through out the competition, and coming in second is nothing to scoff at! I hope you come back next year with guns blazing, because I think you've grown incredibly as a builder in the past few months!
Awesome work I love the insects and I swear I have heard this story before I think it was a cartoon?
I like it
December 17, 2011
Wow Jason! You are a very creative builder you should've won this contest, or at least be tied with Leda. Both of you are very excellent builders! I love the and and the grasshopper how you made them! And the ants home, the farm and the whole place! Very good! 5/5
Thanks Jason. Thank you for an excellent final round. When I first saw your post I started to sweat profusely and accepted that I had lost, but you just never know what the judges are going to do huh. Your builds throughout the contest have been excellent and you have an amazing final entry here, what a way to end the game! Two of what I am sure are two of the best ever built insects on the pages... if indeed there are any others. I can't imagine anybody having the confidence and skill to attempt insects. You are to be commended. Your attention to detail on those bugs is remarkable, the faces especially actually made me step back from my computer screen and grimace... insects that big is almost nightmarish! They look like aliens. You could use them in future mocs with minifigs and they definitely would be aliens. All the best in your future mocs, Jason and I can't wait to see what you can create with your new parts from that Atlantis prize. I can see alien bug eyes from all those large trans green half eggs. Cheers mate, thanks for a great run, and have a very merry Christmas.
Thank you for all the support everyone! Without you, I probably would have hit "The Wall" long ago and never made it as far as I did. I've really had fun competing over the last three months and as tired as I am, I've still got the itch to build.
I also want to take a second to thank the judges and organizers for all they've done and for generously donating all these fabulous prizes! And finally a HUGE congrats to Leda! I thoroughly enjoyed the beat-down you dished out !
Thanks again everyone!
*Crickets* ... Hey, where did everybody go? ... *Coyote howling* ... Helooooo? ... Okay, I'm a bit late for the party, thanks to internet problems since last Thursday. And now the MOC Olympics are over and everybody went home. Nevertheless, Jason, you did such an amazing job here and even if you didn't win, you created a remarkable MOC that viewers will remember for a long time.
If I was presented both MOCs without knowing who built it, I would have guessed they came from the same person. I swear, at first glance, I thought the builds came from the same builder. It's that freakin' good! WOW! Amazing builds here. Both are championship material in my book!
Man, this is an epic Final. You both hit it completely out of the park. With creations like these, the judges really couldn't go wrong; they are both deserving. The grasshopper and ant are really intricately detailed and complex; great parts usage on the weather-vane and mini ant as well. It's been a pleasure watching your march to the Finals and this entry did NOT disappoint! Congrats on your run, you've proven yourself as one of the great builders around here (as if there was ever any doubt =P).~H
Like Dave, I really want to thank you for making this year's competition another outstanding success. One of the unique qualities of this marathon is that a builder can't simply be a one hit wonder. They have to prove themselves over and over again - which you have certainly done. As for this final round, I feel like the call is VERY close. After a day of multiple visits to both of your pages, my vote finally goes to Leda Kat. What really did it for me was the wonderful face of the fox in her piece, and the excellent mobility and gesture of the rabbit. On your end, I really love the technique you used for the grasshopper, in particular, and the multiple scenes were also quite nice. So, though my vote was finally swayed toward Kat for this last round, please know that this was a very close one, and you certainly have my admiration and respect for not only this creation, but all of the tremendous work you did in the competition!
Leda Cat's entry was great, but yours is SPECTACULAR. I like how you payed extreme attention to detail, especially in the scenery. I also like your tecniques for the ant and the grasshopper figures. Keep up the amazing work, and good luck!!
The MocOlympics is truly a test of endurance. You've given us seven wonderful builds over the last 3+ months, and put tremendous effort into each and every one. Your burning house showcased your work with lighting and action. The status quo story gave us a glimpse into your humorous side and some nifty techniques. You were pushed to the insane task of story telling in a short period in you bank heist, and met the challenge. And in the very next round, you topped that story with an even more elaborate one that showcased your ability to mix scale. The future sport creation certainly was a personal favorite, particularly with the personal details you infused. And your forced perspective proved you could build for one shot. In this final round, you chose to stick with your sci-fi strength in the rendering of the creatures and it was well played. It was also very interesting to see you mix scales and give a more complete sense of setting. The Ant's house also was a veritable study in techniques. What I missed was the expressiveness of the characters as the parable unfolded. It was difficult to show in the style you chose to build, and made such details as the grasshopper jumping away seem detached from the overall goal. In the end, my vote goes to Ms. Kat. I know how difficult it is to get this far, and not receive my vote on a final build that you clearly labored intensely over. I really want to thank you for the amazing work you've turned out, and I really learned a lot from watch your run this year. Thank you so much for helping to make these games a success.
Well Jason, here you are, in the MO finals, in the spotlight, and performing like there is no tomorrow. This is one spectacular entry, rivaling all of your previous bests and putting every other entry in the MO to shame. The build itself was drop dead gorgeous, not to mention the refreshingly simplistic approach to this category. Bravo on whipping out a stunning entry. You and Leda are going toe-to-toe with 2 equally draw-dropping entries. The very best to ye both.
Jason, first congratulations on making the finals! No small feat sir! Now, this is just an AMAZING piece of moccing my friend! It's strange (and cool) that you both went with the same basic kind of scale for your builds. It really made my decision harder. Really my decision boiled down to the minor details and in that respect, I think Leda took it. My vote went to her. Good luck with the other judges! ~ Chris.
Stunning work yet again, Jason! The grasshopper is exceptional! It's a great story you chose as well, and especially fitting for these times. Good call on the guitar, too, who'd a thought?! However, this is a building contest, and in spite of how intricate and lifelike the insects are on their own, I think Leda's is just a smidge more consistent overall. But that's why there are seven judges, so good luck with the rest of the gang, and congrats on the many awesome creations throughout the contest!
Your building skills for insects are just perfect, the grain is fantastic, love the korn field, the use of the guitar is genius and you've stayed true to the concept and story. Only thing that -uhm- bugs me is the ants house. It kinda lets down to the quality of the rest of the MOC. Awesome entry, Jason, good luck with the judges!
Those creatures are a blast. If it where just for them it would be a really close call. I fear Leda edged you out with the scenery. But thats just my two cents. Good luck with the judges. This decision will not be an easy task.
Could it be a tie?! Both submitted brilliant pieces. I couldn't call it and I'm glad I don't have to.
I like it
December 10, 2011
This is great! This is great. This is great. This is great. This is great This really is great. This is great. This is great. This is great. Did I mention how this is great? Because it's great. The grasshopper and ant are the most amazing things, and that's not even the whole MOC. The farm is amazing, too. If I made a list of my favorite MOCs of all time, this would be there. I wish there was a way to describe how amazing this is. Lucky for Leda, I'm not a judge.
Your insects are awesome Jason! I don't have a ton of green either. Us Sci-Fi people have plenty of every other color but green. Well, at least regular green, we've got a lot of transparent greens. I guess green just doesn't look all that good in space. I like the way you approached the story. I don't know where my part is in saying this seeing as how I never entered into the MOCOlympics and am a TFOL, but great job!
Having seen both of you builds, I lie speechless on the floor, incapable of deciding which one I like more. Both of you have done some truly godly work in this competition, and in this round, things were taken to a level exemplary of all that is best in photography, building, and story-telling on this wonderful website. Excellent work to you both, and good luck with the judges!
Impressive! The insects are excellent, especially the grasshopper! The architecture of the ants house is great, and I really like the wind vane on the farm. Despite what you think, the grass is quite well done. Good luck!
O-M-G! Wow Jason. Just. WOW. I'm utterly speechless. My jaw is lying on the floor, gaping, I can't shut it and insects are flying in! The grasshopper! The ant! The sets! Wow, it is clear to me why your are in the final round. This moc is simply expert work. Well done mate. Well done.
Those bugs are great, my favourite is the ant maybe black is a more forgiving color, but it looks so realistic. Its pure genius how you have made that "head of grain". At first I thought: "Hey whats that alien doing on the back of the ant", but then it was obvious. Good luck in the contest.
Firstly congratulations on reaching the final! Secondly, a wonderful MOC. Well, it's actually about 7 wonderful MOCS, and as MortalSwordsman says below, the timing of this story is very apt. Best of luck, 5 stars : )
Quite aside from laughing at George's interpretation of the moral of the story, I thouroughly enjoyed that Jason. The bugs are very cool builds in their own right, but the scenery is great too (I like the background grass despite your protests). It's very well presented and I congratulate you on your run to the final and wish you the best of luck against Leda.
Wow this is an excellent collection of mocs. A very apt story considering the current financial crisis the world is facing. I love the grasshopper and the head of wheat. The guitar wind vain is hilarious and looks great too. Good luck to you both :)
This is great! And your're story telling skills are really good! In fact, after 3 slides, I was able to remember the whole story, which I read in second grade! The bugs are phenomenal and the barn is stupendous! Best of luck to you in the contest!
Wow Jason! What a superb entry - anything better than I could have come up with. I have some extreme love going on with your grasshopper too!
The moral of this story is a brilliant one for kids:- if your friends don't help you, let them die :) Once again, super entry and good luck!