Welcome to Season 6 – Round 4 of Iron Builder!
Two new challengers for an empty throne – this will be fun!
Who will win? Our space cadet Tom Loftus or our knight in shining armor John Snyder?
And the seed part is…
This round’s seed part is the dark red Plate, Modified 2 x 3 with Bar.
Now our two contestants have 16 days to come up with amazing and inspiring creations featuring this seed part to blow us away. Wish them luck!
Who are you rooting for? Who will take it home? Whose builds reign supreme?
Only one way to find out! ALLEZ BRICK!
A Time Forgotten
“We’ve barely begun and it’s already curtains for you!”
“Prepare to be swamped! I’m ready to outpost you and fortify my victory.”
“Everything keeps comin’ up roses for me! Too bad Tom seems to have run out of words, guess I’ll have to cover for him.”
“Alright money bags, just don’t sit and read for too long eh? I’m frying on all cylinders now!”
Tank Bay #3
“Out of the frying pan and into the line of fire!
Ready, reloaded, and tanked up – you had better shield yourself or be blown away.”
“Too bad your tank hasn’t got wings, I’ll be long gone by the time it takes aim. Ski you later!”
“I’m all wired up now, better reactor else!”
“Looks as though you’ve washed up. Time to turn the tide on this round.”
Seal of Approval
“Time to stamp out the competition once and for all. Are you prepared for your inpending doom?”
“Ready? I was barn ready! This round has been a breeze, I just hope you aren’t going to chicken out while I keep blowing you away with my entries.”
Heavy Metal Soundboard
“Everything ok, Tom? Haven’t heard a sound out of you recently.
Don’t worry though, I’m still on track and will keep everyone from getting board.”
Red Sands Fort
“It seams both our builds are instrumental in one way or another. But will you be able to weather this next wave?”
“My build’s armor than capable of weathering some waves.
Can yours stand up against cold steel?”
“Game on. Better keep your headset on second place John, Eye’ve virtually won already.”
“Seemes like you’ve hit the wall John, ready to throw in the trowel?”
The ILS Dauntless
“Water you expecting me to have quit?
Hardly. I hate to showboat, but I’m paddling on by for the win. Maybe I should send up my victory toot-toot now.”
“That’s okay John, I don’t harbour a grudge. I’m just living the (recurring) dream!”
Round 4 is officially over!
It is now in the hands of the judges to decide who handled the seed part the best – results soon!
For me, this was more suspenseful than this year’s presidential election. Needless to mention that both contestants were fantastic and it was a neck-to-neck race.
When it came to ‘part usage’, Tom won with just a 1-point margin. I took into consideration how often the part was used in unique ways, but more importantly, when the part was used in a really clever way (for example ‘A Time Forgotten’ or ‘Heavy Metal Soundboard’.
The result for ‘presentation’ was similar, only this time John won with a 1-point margin. Sometimes, editing a picture by adding a background photo can enhance the presentation (for example ‘Low Tide’ or ‘Treasured Tome’), but if it’s done wrong, it can also damage it. A plain, neutral background works wonders now and then. Fitting lighting is also important, even if it’s subtle (for example ‘A Time Forgotten’ or ‘Tank Bay #3’).
‘Build quality’ was hard to judge, since all entries were top notch. I tried to ignore my personal taste (which wasn’t easy when it came to ‘Western Homestead’ or ‘VR’ for example), and base my judgement on criteria like ‘building techniques’, ‘complexity’, ‘size’, ‘originality’ and ‘color palette’.
Fantastic work by both builders! This was an interesting piece that’s commonly seen in sci-fi builds and is easily used for mechanical components or hull plating. Both of you have used the part in such ways, and more so Tom who is a more experienced sci-fi builder. However, the challenge of Iron Builder is to push the participants to build outside of their comfort zones, and in that regard both builders have delivered great results.
For parts usage, I am the most impressed when a builder uses the mystery piece in a way where I can think of no better part to be used in that instance. John’s use the piece for the samurai’s armor is a prime example of this. Tom also made an example in his seal, and creating the imprint further solidified the importance of using the part. In the end, I thought John had more examples that met what I was looking for, so he won this category.
The quality of the builds was harder to judge. Both builders are talented, which is a prerequisite for being on Iron Builder. However, building under a strict time timeline tests the proficiency of the builder, and one has to sacrifice some details to get so many creations completed in a short time. While both builders maintained a similar quality to their creations, I thought John’s creations had more weight to them like the steamboat and the barn.
I always think that presentation is a big chunk of the experience of sharing one’s creation. That’s why I made it an entire category when I conceived Iron Builder over a decade ago. You can make an average build but take a stellar photo in an immersive context and instantly the creation becomes pleasant to look at. I really like the atmosphere in Tom’s Low Tide scene and the barn by John. Both shows that the background of the creation sets the mood for enjoying it. I gave the win for this category to Tom because he went meta in his last creation and it was a fun way to finish the competition.
Thank you both for the viewing pleasure and I look forward to more of your works!
It was really tough to pick a winner. Both builders managed to use the seed part within a diverse range of creations. I particularly liked the life-sized MOCs, and Tom's stamp and John's soundboards were probably my favourite builds of this round.
In the end, I felt Tom used the seed part more creatively (I loved the stamp, the bench in the garden, and the dinosaur eye), but when it comes to the overall builds, I was more impressed by John, especially his samurai, soundboard and orc hideout. As for the presentation, while I liked how immersive John's edits were, I prefered Tom's photos, where in many cases the builds filled the frame.
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