Welcome to Season 6 – Round 15 of Iron Builder!
Who will take home the crown?
Our defending Iron Builder Champion Caleb Schilling or our Iron Forge challenger Jonah Schultz?
And the seed part is…
This round’s seed part is the Minecaft Trident in sand green.
Now our two contestants have 15 days to come up with amazing and inspiring creations featuring this seed part. Wish them luck! They’ll better get cracking!
Who are you rooting for? Who will take it home? Whose builds reign supreme?
Only one way to find out! ALLEZ BRICK!
Into the Unknown
And so our adventure begins! It looks like I haven’t frog-gotten how to build quickly. I hope you aren’t feeling too bogged down by the pressure, Jonah!
Work in the Rice Fields
Don’t bother waiting up, I figured I’d give you a head start to even out the playing field. Let the rice begin!
Are ya winning, son?
Oh, I see that the game is truly on now. So you can make rice, but can you craft a victory? You see, I’m something of a trid-ent true Minecraft builder, so I won’t be making this easy for you!
The Wyrm’s Treasure
Well, we’re all happy you got that one out of your system. As for me, I’ve got a hoard of ideas for this round, but sometimes you have to dig deep in order to find real gems.
No, Caleb, no. “Digging” was meant metaphorically… [Sigh] Your playdate with Steve is over, now get back to building!
The Palace Gardens
Awww, that’s such a cute little dragon! Wait – I mean, AHH! Iron Builder! GRRR It’s a nice little treasure you have there, but it’s nothing compared to the riches housed in this palace!
On second thought, I still might want that treasure of yours. I’ve sent my finest dwarves to reclaim it. Even if you find yourself short a few gold pieces, you’d have to be pretty brave to take on these unexpected guests!
Slice of Life
You seem to be in such a hurry, relax! So far this has been a walk in the park for me. I have to say though, I’m still on the fence regarding how I should feel about your company of dwarves trying to steal from me. Not cool, man.
Suggesting I slow down, eh? Well, I’m only ramping up production over here! I figure it’s best to keep this machine going. After all, slowing down might just give you the leverage you need to steal my throne!
Your factory’s contraptions are ribbiting, I’ll give you that; but I’d much rather stay outside if that’s all the same to you. You’ll have to come check it out for yourself (and touch some grass while you’re at it), it’s pretty fly.
Nice froggos, but this build is the bomb. mic drop
Happy Barbenheimer, everyone
The Sun Stone
Upon examining my Sun Stone, it appears we’re halfway through the competition! But take all the time you need to bask in the radiance of this build, Jonah. I’m sunstoppable at this point anyway!
Old Navy Pier
Such words of confidence… Too bad your little stone can’t let you pier into the future, otherwise you might not have spoken so hastily! Let me wheel in my next build, and your chances sink to the bottom of the river in Lego City – and I’m not hearing any little yellow people yelling “Hey!” and running around speed-building helicopters to come and save them.
Video of the wheel in motion:
Say what you will about my chances, but I can’t help but notice the little guy in the top left. What kind of LEGO city are you running here?!
Okay, it’s my turn to make a cute animal! He’s a smiley reminder that you’ll soon be defeeted in this competition. 🙂
Is your USB key as cool as mine?
Aww… Your lizard is so cute I saved the picture on my computer and on my favorite USB key! My PC is almost as antiquated as your building techniques, so I always make sure to backup my files :))
Eat Your Veggies!
Here you come ruining my peas and quiet! I was just sitting down to a nice homemade meal. But hey, it looks like it’s time to broc’ and roll, so let’s go! I’d like to romaine on my throne after all.
Good morning Caleb! I hope you’re well rested, because you won’t be getting much more sleep before I’m done with you – and by then I’ll have become your worst nightmare.
To the Sky
Okay woooow – our relationship is clearly a bit complicated right now. I’m going to go check in with my good friend Johnny again since he really gets me. And hey – it looks like he’s finally escaped the swamp! You might still be lost in the weeds though. Your build makes me yawn…
Speaking of complicated relationships, before you get swept away by your imagination… I hate to be the one to break it to you, but Johnny isn’t a real person, and you’re not actually in a hot air balloon – that’s just a normal balloon. Maybe it’s time to go meet some kids your age and make some real friends?
Hey, sorry to bug you. I think we’re all feeling a bit antsy after yesterday. You can call me a hop-timist, or say I’m jumping to conclusions, but I really think we have more in common than we have differences. Who else has 100 tridents after all?
Riding in Style
It’s like what they say in that movie, Taxi Driver, right? “I think you need something. And if you want to call it a friend, you can call it a friend.”
Although I think we’ve got something special here, I don’t want to speed through this relationship – let’s ride this out and see where it leads us, okay? Let’s not launch ourselves into another precarious situation.
No Pain, No Gain
Hey, it’s me again. I’ve been doing some mental gymnastics and, as much as it saddens me to say it, there is still an problem weighing on our newly formed friendship: we’re both running after the same title, yet only one may have it. I have to leave you behind as I muscle my way to victory – it’s the only way. I know you’ll be a good sport and understand the situation.
Ah, it does appear we are at an impasse. I can’t lie, your builds have really hit the mark. You definitely have a shot at the throne! But don’t expect me to bow out quite yet. I aim to have one final build that’ll nock your socks off!
The Green Knight
Our journey is coming to a close. Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration, Jonah! It’s been an honor to compete here again, and I’ve had a great deal of fun over the past two weeks. But alas, it is now time for the post-Iron Builder sort and organizing. Thanks everyone for following along with our adventure, and I hope you had a good time too!
Oh, An Airplane!
And so it ends! It was a pleasure to take part in this duel, especially against an opponent such as yourself Caleb! Sadly, one last clever rebuke evades me as my energy wanes – I fly toward the sunset on the last of my IB adrenaline, looking forward to sleep, the outside world and things not made out of tridents. Fare thee well, my opponent, and may the best builder win! Thanks for the fun and laughs 😉
Round 15 is officially over!
It is now in the hands of our judges to decide who has won this round!
Good luck to both our builders!
Firstly, I just want to say that this round was exceedingly hard to judge - two talented builders at the height of their game cranking out some of their best builds at record pace. Every entry really let each builder's personality and style shine through and clearly show, "Oh, that's definitely a Caleb build" or "Oh, that's totally a Jonah build." The Minecraft Trident as a seed part, a bit on the nose with Caleb's reputation, has 4 avenues of attack to exploit: the overall shape, the trident prongs, the ribbed handle, and the diamond shaped pommel. It was very engaging to see how our competitors approached this challenge!
To remain as objective as possible, I created a rubric with subcomponents for each category to be judged against:
Parts Usage: Vitalness, Natural/Unforced Feel, and Imaginative Use (NPU)
Build Quality: Technical Ability, Aesthetics, and Presentation
Performance: Build Variety and Inter-MOC References / "Back and Forth"
Except for Performance, each build was rated out of 10 for each subcomponent and then averaged for the category for the builder. It was extremely close!
For Caleb's best usage, I found The Palace Gardens to be his top entry: vital to the work, naturally integrated into the architecture, and imaginative in use. Overall, he was fairly consistent in making the seed part integral to the builds and finding new and imaginative use cases. I found he was a bit "hit or miss" for natural uses. This in particular stands out with finding his footing at the beginning - the draping vines in "Into the Unknown" and the bottom of the desk in "Are ya winning, son?" felt a bit shoe-horned and detracted from already quality usage in other places. For Caleb's least impressive usage, I found "Trinity" to ultimately be underwhelmingly used in the foreground and functionally equivalent with other bar elements in the background. For Jonah's best usage, "Old Navy Pier" is the best entry in the entire round and my personal favorite from this competition. The focal point of the build, used in a brilliant way, with seamless integration into the surrounding world. However, while Jonah may have had higher highs across this category, I felt he also had lower lows with "Child's Play", for example, which lacked innovation or a crucial use case. A few other weaker entries with "Oh, An Airplane!" or "Sweet Dreams" just didn't use the part to its fullest potential. While both competitors had excellent usage throughout, the more consistent performance from Caleb I believe ultimately led to the average coming out in his favor and the category going to him.
For Caleb's best build quality entry, it's a toss up between "The Sun Stone" and "To the Sky". Each are technically impressive, well detailed, and have a consummate polish as bold, cohesive models. For Caleb's least impressive build quality entry, his aesthetics dragged a bit as I found the usage of the eyes in "Lizard" and "The Green Knight", while admirable, to be distracting and drifting into the uncanny valley. Tonally just didn't match and something like muted approach could have played better. He otherwise maintained solid technical ability and consistent presentation. For Jonah's best build quality, once again, "Old Navy Pier" takes the cake. Technically impressive, thoughtfully composed, and well presented. Overall, Jonah's presentation was consistently superb and thoughtful, ahead of Caleb's, by nearly always adding little flairs to set them apart and feel special (Video for "Old Navy Pier", Blur in "Riding in Style", Layout in "No Pain, No Gain", etc.). His aesthetics remained solid and consistent. However, for Jonah's least impressive for build quality, I found there was ultimately a lack of technical chops exercised in examples like "Child’s Play", "Sweet Dreams", and "Nighttime Stories". Not to say a minimalist style is bad, but I can't help but feel there was some "wow-factor" potential left on the table, potentially due to the time crunch. These had very straight-forward construction and I would have liked to see the MOCs further fleshed out and the technical chops shown. Ultimately, for that reason I believe it brought the average down a bit for Jonah, enough for Caleb to clinch ahead.
As someone who finds pun-related humor to be unbearable, I forwent that subcategory and focused exclusively on Build Variety and any back-and-forth references between builds. While Caleb did have some direct response MOCs (the buoy and the emoji), these were not official entries. Fun none the same! However, Jonah's use of Caleb's "Lizard" is the perfect subtle detail in the spirit of the friendly, sparring tone of Iron Builder. For Build Variety, while Jonah had fewer entries, I ultimately found him switching up his style, variety, and visual appearance more, as Caleb would tend to go back to familiar themes and subjects, particularly in the last couple of entries (Castle and Adventurers). This read as Caleb playing it a bit safe, with Jonah risking a bit more. And for that reason and the one before, this category goes to Jonah.
With the categories this close, it was an awesome match to watch and wishing nothing but the best for you both! - Casey
Whew, what a round! Both builders can be proud of themselves, as this round once again kept true to the Iron Builder -brand with some truly innovative parts use and builds sure to become IB-classics.
I'm sure the trident was an interesting piece to build around, as what is basically a stick offers a huge amount of possibilities for building. Both builders managed to utilize the versatility the part offered with its simple shape combined with intricate textures. My favourite uses include Jonah´s dragon with its spikes along with the geniously crafted crown. Using the business end of the trident as an USB port is also worth mentioning.
Both contestants also managed to work around the limitations set by the uncommon colour of the piece, and mostly managed to avoid the seed parts standing out too much compared to the rest of the builds. Perfect examples of this are the aged copper decorations of Caleb´s dwarven mine, and the tongue of a hungry sand green frog. And I admit, using the Minecraft trident as a Minecraft trident got a chuckle out of me. Jonah´s use of the piece still felt slightly more varied and creative to me, and so the win for this category goes to him.
The build quality was another tight one with both contestants bringing their A-game. It was an interesting battle of two builders with quite different yet flexible styles. Jonah clearly preferred smaller models with clean presentation; his rice field was my favourite of the round in this aspect. Caleb wasn't lacking in this category either, as best demonstrated by his massive yet well lit and framed knight. Caleb also had what was possibly my favourite build of the round with his magnificent Sun Stone! I say possibly, because I´m having a very hard time deciding between that and Jonah´s motorized ferris wheel. It was a close contest, but Jonah´s overall output felt more consistent to me, and so I awarded this category to him.
Overall performance was also hard to judge. Both Jonah and Caleb built in a variety of scales, using forced perspective and other clever tricks to their advantage. However, Caleb managed to churn out a few more builds compared to his adversary. The age-old mantra ""quality over quantity"" is a bit hard to apply here, since Caleb managed to keep the quality of even his larger builds impressively high. I´ll leave rating the smack talk and puns to audience acclamation, and crown Caleb the winner of the final category.
So there we have it. Huge thanks to the two builders for delivering such an entertaining round, hoping to see more from you soon!
Congratulations to both builders for a truly entertaining round of Iron Builder - this is hands down the toughest round of Iron Builder I’ve got to judge because of how close the levels of both builders are. I would’ve called for a draw if possible, but since it’s a contest for the grand title, I have made the tough decision by considering even the smallest details in each and every entry to arrive at this conclusion.
Let’s start with parts usage. The Minecaft Trident is an interesting piece, but I would argue that it isn’t one of the most challenging ones we have seen in the contest, as it size allows it to be used as various details in various objects. There are 3 obvious features on the element to be utilized: the prongs, the handle, and the tip with the square decoration. Both builders have demonstrated excellent usage of these features on the element, but there are a few occasions when such features are used in more unexpected ways, and I think that deserves some extra points. For me, Jonah’s Ferris Wheel in “Old Navy Pier” and the USB port “Is your USB key as cool as mine?” does exactly that, the trident really blended into the build and became something else, that I could’ve easily overlooked if I wasn’t judging them for the round. Another aspect that I looked at when making the call, was how well did the seed element blend within the models, and I think in that regard, some of Caleb’s entries such as “Are ya winning, son?” and “Eat Your Veggies!” just feels slightly too deliberate with the usage of the seed element for my taste.
For Build Quality, it was another tough call but I have given it to Caleb in the end. Both builders have made some incredible models, excellent choice of colours, clean executions and lovely composition in almost every entry. In the end, it really just comes down to who got more entries that I would consider as a highlight regarding the build itself, Caleb just won my heart by a hair with “Reclaiming Erebor”, “The Factory”, “The Sun Stone” and “Grasshopper” – such wonderful models!
Last but not least, for the overall performance, I have decided to give it to Jonah. Both of you have given out some very diverse models both in subjects and scales, but Jonah won me over in the end with the overall presentations – the webpage for “No Pain, No Gain” and the closing short film really got me! Once again, kudos to both builders and I can’t wait to see more awesome builds from you guys in the future!