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Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Discussion of custom parts made for the Castle Theme

Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Bluesecrets » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:19 am

This discussion spawned out of one I've been having on and off for over a year with different people around here.

Customizing...what is it?

I think there are multiple definitions. And I think maybe we can have a civil discussion about it. Now please...civil is important here. I know a lot of you customizers and I know just how passionate you are. (Says the one who won a customizing fig category and was too afraid to post it in your forum for fear of you ripping me to shreds)

So...tell me, what is customizing to you? Then maybe once we've all discussed it...we can use the info to make articles or such.

(note: I'm withholding my part of the discussion for a little while...tis better that way)
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Elephant Knight » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:29 am

To me, if there is no modification of a Lego part, then it is not Customizing. Building a purist fig, even if using some crazy parts, while it may look awesome, isn't customizing. While many third party items (Like Brickarms, Brickforge, ect..) are cool, I don't really see this as customizing. A customized minifig has to be absolutely unique, with no easy way of someone else replicating it.

Basically, no painting, no glueing, no cutting, no sharpie-ing, no puddying, and such, equals not customized.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby OverLoad » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:57 am

My definition is similar Elephant Knight outlined, but a little more lax. If it's just a purist minifigure, with no aftermarket parts or customized LEGO pieces, it is not a customized figure. However, any use of 3rd party pieces (whether it be from a custom shop, homemade, or even... blech, clone companies) is enough to be considered customized, in my opinion. And then of course, cutting, glueing, sanding, slicing, dicing, painting, spraying, molding, sculpting, melting, smelting etc... are all forms of customization, to a greater degree than just using 3rd party parts.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Purple Wolf » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:05 am

As the last two have said that's almost my idea of customization except I'm not sure if sticking counts 100% in my books of customizing. I don't know that's just me even then my opinions may change from time to time like during the CCC my idea of customization is well all of the stuff Overload had in is list.

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby andhe » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:14 am

I'd like to thrown in a couple of definitions:

Customising:

"tr.v. cus·tom·ized, cus·tom·iz·ing, cus·tom·iz·es. To make or alter to individual for personal specifications: customize a van.

"modify (something) to suit a particular individual or task."

Modify :
" make partial or minor changes to (something)."

Alter:
"change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.

So technically, any change or alteration I make to an existing minifigure could be classed as customising, and I guess this is one of the attractions and intentions of lego minifigure compatibility. I'm sure we've all changed the odd visor, or head, or weapons to make a particular figure stand-out or be recognisable as a leader among his troops for example.

However, it seems that customisation is now more linked with the cutting/painting/gluing side of the hobby (what I would like to coin 'extreme customisation') and this seems to be backed up by general acceptance and usage of the term in the AFOL community, as opposed to 'purist customisation' which is what I suggested above.

So I'd like to offer three interpretations of the term:

Purist Customisation (PUC) - the use of official lego parts in 'legal*' ways (*legal- not stressing/damaging parts. As would be used by TLG themselves) to create combinations/characters not available in a Lego set.

Non-Purist or 3rd Party Customisation (NPC/3PC) - the use of 3rd party custom pieces (eg Brickforge, BrickArms, BrickWarriors) to to create combinations/characters not available in a Lego set. Or lego pieces in non-purist ways (ie that stress/potentially damage parts).

Extreme Customisation (EXC) - The use of cutting, painting, gluing and other modelling techniques on lego pieces, 3rd part custom parts or other modelling materials to create characters based on a minifigure frame.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:52 am

Hey,

I guess I'm somewhere in between EKnight and Overload. I'm pretty purist, so I don't really use third party parts, but I don't know if I'd call something a 'custom fig' if you just took a normal fig and had him hold a BrickArms sword or whatever.

I wouldn't call using 'illegal' build techniques (where that means those techniques that aren't used in official instructions because they stress the bricks) customization. I'd just call that AFOL MOCcing.

I don't call the cutting of strings or flex tubing customization, because that's been used in official instructions in the past.

How about using official stickers in ways that weren't called for in the instructions? I've seen people add great details to MOCs (often space ships and trains) using official stickers, so they were still 'purist'.

For that matter, how about using things produced by LEGO that aren't actually bricks? I've seen people stay 'purist' but use things like parts of set boxes, the sprues that small parts are attached to, LEGO bags, gear, pens, etc.

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Elephant Knight » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:01 am

Bruce N H wrote:Hey,

I guess I'm somewhere in between EKnight and Overload. I'm pretty purist, so I don't really use third party parts, but I don't know if I'd call something a 'custom fig' if you just took a normal fig and had him hold a BrickArms sword or whatever.

I wouldn't call using 'illegal' build techniques (where that means those techniques that aren't used in official instructions because they stress the bricks) customization. I'd just call that AFOL MOCcing.

I don't call the cutting of strings or flex tubing customization, because that's been used in official instructions in the past.

How about using official stickers in ways that weren't called for in the instructions? I've seen people add great details to MOCs (often space ships and trains) using official stickers, so they were still 'purist'.

For that matter, how about using things produced by LEGO that aren't actually bricks? I've seen people stay 'purist' but use things like parts of set boxes, the sprues that small parts are attached to, LEGO bags, gear, pens, etc.

Bruce


In terms of stickers, I would only qualify it as customizing if the sticker was altered, like cutting it.

I don't know if using part of a box would count as purist. It isn't technically a Lego part, though I can see how some make the case. Bionicle canisters, I think would count as purist, as they are actually ABS in most cases, and some even have conection points. IMO, the sprues are official Lego, Lego bags aren't, pens and gears are on the fence.

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby mpoh98 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 4:37 am

Well, for me, I don't like to modify or paint my lego pieces in ANY way, so using 3rd party items is about as far as I will go.

Except for maybe a contest (for example, CCCXI), where you had to modify, I would just make a decal, and put that on. I can easily take them off.

Yeah, so I agree with the Elephant Knight, I wouldn't call myself a customizer, by using 3rd party items. Those people that cut/paint/glue/etc are the real customizers. :D
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby theboywarrior » Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:22 am

Hard. Customizing is hard. :wink:

My definition is fairly simple. If any LEGO is altered it is custom. I feel that custom weapons like Brickforge, Brickarms, Brickwarriors, etc. don't exactly warrant customization. If the minifig is altered, then it is custom.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Brickninja » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:36 pm

Hmmmm.... this is hard to say, as I'm extremely purist, I won't even use brickforge etc, I just mix and match parts to make my own figs. I guess I'd say that customizing a FIG can include just swapping torsoes arms legs heads etc, but customizing a PART is painting decaling cutting and the like. My one exception is I sometimes use a wee bit of marker on my clone troopers to represent dirt, grit, and battle damage, but nothing really heavy like you see some people do.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:54 pm

So here is my two cents:

Customizing is the changing physically of a piece of LEGO, whether it has been Brasso'ed, drilled, painted, taped, stickered, molded, melted, or whatever. Physically, it has to have been changed. This may include the attaching of things to the piece of LEGO.

Customizing is not putting existing LEGO pieces together to form a new minifigure. To me that is just building. And an area of building that is pretty darn epic if you are trying to make a recognizable figure. We have some very skilled members who do this and it is wow. But that is building to me because it is using LEGO parts.

Third party items are great. But not customizing to me. They can be included and make the figure, but they aren't altered pieces of LEGO so they don't count as customizing.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby AK_Brickster » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:31 am

I have to lean toward agreeing with Andhe.
Minifigure arms, legs, hands, helmets, etc. are all "parts". Some of them come pre-assembled for you, but rearranging them into a new configuration does not equal "customization" to me in the same way that cutting and painting does. There really need to be subcategories.

If I built a MOC, I could sell it as a "custom set" even if there were no customized or 3rd party parts, so rearranging fig parts is a legitimate form of "customizing", but it is obviously different than the kind that Blue and EK are talking about.

I think the bottom line is that there are several definitions, and it isn't fair to tell someone that what they've done isn't "customizing" just because it doesn't fit your own narrow definition.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Bluesecrets » Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:01 am

I think the bottom line is that there are several definitions, and it isn't fair to tell someone that what they've done isn't "customizing" just because it doesn't fit your own narrow definition.


Which is why we are discussing this. It's something that, as I have said has been coming up for over a year in discussions, so I figured it was time for us to actually discuss it and try to come up with our definition as a community, or our understanding, or whatever we need it to be. Better to discuss as a whole and gain understanding of what others think.

But I am waiting for some of our...well I guess the term could be...hardcore customizers to show up and add to the thread. I expected them to speak before now, but hey...life exists.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby tomcatrio » Sun Jan 05, 2014 2:31 pm

Well.. My first few posts here. I am what many will consider an outlaw Extreme customiser, who repaints minifigs, minifig animals, and has no holds barred to cut and reglue plastic and even rubbery additive plastic Lego. Heck, I even modify 3rd party parts from folks like Brickwarriors, Brickarm, and Brickforge. :lol:

That said, When i first started out customising many full moons ago, i was happy with just repainting some torsos, painting new shields etc. Soon I dabbled into 3rd party parts, and finally, making my own parts and chopping up original Lego parts. :twitch: So to me, customizing Evolves, as you pick up new skills and tricks, and willing to got out of a comfort zone and think creatively where few other AFOLs have gone before..
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby andhe » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:40 am

I'm interested to know peoples opinions, but don't think I'd ever stop using a term because of someone elses definition. Though I do agree a CC definition would help.

Currently any customisation or fig MOCing (swapping parts, using 3rd party pieces etc) ends up in the 'Castle Customs' forum, which would imply it's currently all classed as customisation?

And although the CCXI category doesn't explicitly state it, I imagine the category is looking more for the cutting/painting/gluing variety of custom fig, than the clever use and combination of existing or 3rd party parts.
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