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Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Discussion of custom parts made for the Castle Theme

Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby royalbrickcustoms » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:58 am

To me, customizing is altering the physical appearance of a particular element or minifig.

While mix-and-matching parts to create "purist" customs, may work for some, I tend to, and prefer, to take a more traditional approach.

Just my two cents.

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby andhe » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:25 am

royalbrickcustoms wrote:To me, customizing is altering the physical appearance of a particular element or minifig.

While mix-and-matching parts to create "purist" customs, may work for some, I tend to, and prefer, to take a more traditional approach.

Just my two cents.

~RBC


I'd argue that the 'traditional' approach is in fact the simpler one (now known as 'purist' customisation) where arms/legs etc are swapped and changed with other official parts, but that's perhaps down to the individuals viewpoint.

Another way of looking at the debate, as mentioned by someone above (I couldn't immediately find what I had read in the topic review bar window) is "How far can a custom go before it is less lego and more... something else?" (ie not lego).

I ask this as I guess my tolerance may be lower. So if someone has cut/stuck/painted/added to what was a lego figure, to a point where it is more a painted/sculpted miniture, I'd be more likely to not regard it as lego. This in turn effects how far I'm happy to go with 'customising' my own lego figures, and what I regard as a custom figure.

I think Morgan190's custom's are a good example of this http://www.flickr.com/photos/morgan19/sets/
Despite him using custom or non-lego elements, (most) of his custom figures retain a 'lego-ness'.

What I'm basically asking is "Can a custom go too far?"
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:34 pm

andhe wrote:What I'm basically asking is "Can a custom go too far?"

Absolutely. I think that if you are customizing Lego (and in this case I think we're primarily discussing minifigs), you should be able to hand the finished product to a non-FOL and they should still be able to recognize it as a Lego minifigure.

If you go very much further than that, it almost becomes an entirely different hobby. If I take a minifig torso and add a custom head, custom legs, custom arms, and cover it with custom armor, is it still "customized Lego"? Or is it just a toy you've made that has a Lego torso as a frame? What if I take a Lego head and put it on a Playmobile body? Is it "custom Lego"?

I would agree with Andhe that Morgan190's customs fit the "ideal" that I have in my head when I think of what customization "should" be.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Bluesecrets » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:43 am

Which brings up some other questions.

If someone uses a 3D printer to make a custom fig part, or custom fig wear, is that customizing? It isn't modifying as some of us have said is customizing. And it isn't a third party part, so is that legit in customizing? 3D printers are getting relatively less expensive...it has happened before in a customizing area. It will happen again.

And if third party parts count, why wouldn't a clone part count? Oh yes, I know NOOOO!!!!!! no clone parts, that is blasphemy! But if it is customizing, wouldn't it be possible that it may work?

So if the answer to either of those is no, then how does the definition of "custom" when it refers to something like a car, still apply? I can custom my car if I buy part for my car that isn't a GM part or I fabricate it myself, according to what have been said. So, by that definition, putting a megablok part on my fig, would "custom" my fig. Just like some have said putting a third party part makes it "custom."

(Nothing like asking questions that may get some serious passionate responses at 6 am.)
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby the enigma that is badger » Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:07 pm

andhe wrote:What I'm basically asking is "Can a custom go too far?"

It all depends on the intent of the customizer; If the purpose of a given custom fig is to use it in a build/display (or simply fit into the LEGO aesthetic), yes, obviously the figure should try to match the overall style and level of detail found in LEGO elements. I suppose this is the assumption most would make when the term "custom LEGO figure" is used: a figure that is custom but keeps the overall feel of something designed and produced by LEGO.

However, if the customizer is simply using minifigure elements as raw material for a custom figure wherein they want to explore their own aesthetic or creative intent, I'd argue that's equally something custom and how well it matches the LEGO aesthetic is completely irrelevant. Those types of creations are certainly custom and still use LEGO elements in their construction, so I'd say they more than have a place in the community.

Bluesecrets wrote:If someone uses a 3D printer to make a custom fig part, or custom fig wear, is that customizing? . . . And if third party parts count, why wouldn't a clone part count?

Both fit my criteria (ie non-factory changes or additions to LEGO elements not explicitly or implicitly indicated by instructions or the parts themselves), so yep, the introduction of 3D printed and/or clone elements would count as customization to me.

Pirated LEGO elements (ie 1:1 copies of LEGO parts) becomes an interesting matter to consider. Assuming the parts are nearly identical in color and quality to the original LEGO part, I'd hesitate to consider their use customization. However, if the parts are radically different from their LEGO counterparts and that difference is used for aesthetic effect, I'd be inclined to think of that as customization.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:27 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:If someone uses a 3D printer to make a custom fig part, or custom fig wear, is that customizing? It isn't modifying as some of us have said is customizing. And it isn't a third party part, so is that legit in customizing?
Define "third party". Isn't a "third party" just a person or company other than TLG (excluding clone brands, for the sake of this discussion)? If so, shouldn't parts produced by you or I on a 3D printer considered "third party" parts? I don't really think there is much, if any distinction there, so yeah, I would say that definitely counts as customizing.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Lil_Curt » Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:47 am

I have been reading this the last couple weeks and Felt I would chime in Finally. What do I define as a custom??? I use the base definition As andhe pointed out;

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.

Also:

custom
adjective
: made to fit the needs or requirements of a particular person

: doing work that fits the needs or requirements of a particular person

Now by definition, Altering a piece or minifig to fit a specific need is customizing. Weather the parts are modified by cutting, painting or just swapping parts that were not originally used in the model as intended by the creator.

Now I can tell you being involved in the Auto world via clubs, organizations, shows, etc... It is extremely difficult to determine what category or class something goes in. thus the need for rules and guidelines. this is mostly due to the fact of what is playing out in this thread. Every being on this planet interprets definitions in there own way. For Example:

Person A: has a Honda Civic, lowers it and slaps some 20" rims on it tints the windows and they think they have a custom car. an Quite honestly they do because the car has been altered from the way it was delivered from the factory.

Person B: Has the same style car. They gut the car, put a Body kit on the car, Spend innumerable hours on a paint job, Puts flashy rims, installs Lambo door hinges, changes motor size and location, installs roll cage, installs a $30,000 stereo, Installs Lexan windows, Etc... Is this car a custom, Yes. By definition this car is also a custom.

Now both people go to a car show, both cars get entered into the same class, "Custom" Person B walks away with the trophy for class and best of show awards for the day. Now Person A is going to throw a fit because he didn't win, cause there was no way he could win as soon as this other car rolls off of the trailer.

This is why so many times there are classes in the Automotive world. Usually something like Stock, Mild, Wild, Extreme. this is to please the masses as much as you can. There is no pleasing everyone 100% of the time but If you can please 95-98% then your doing great!

Now all this opens up the can of worms, If it isn't bad enough already, that is known as factory Custom.

My wife owns such a beast. She has A 1968 International C-1000 pickup. It was Built at the factory as a Custom order. The original owner put a bed size on the truck that is between a short bed ( 6 foot ) and a Long Bed ( 8 foot ). They called it a bonus load Bed (7 1/4 foot ) They also Put Junior Kingsize Mirrors, and a few other things on this truck. Now is it a custom? Yes and No, Yes because it had to be ordered and built specially for the customer to fit there specific need. And No because it was delivered from the factory with these modifications so by most all governing rules the truck is considered factory stock.

So as you can see it gets just as complicated in other hobbies as well. The only way to keep most people happy is to define the limits to a set category an go from there. As jordan has pointed out at what point do we draw the line from Lego customizer and go in to the ranks of Lego sculptor? I think that, that is what we are trying to hash out here.

Rules for the categories need to be laid out because taking a jaundiced fleshy figure and changing out head and hands to a more normal, less nightmare inducing, Yellow "IS" by definition Customizing said figure. But so is taking said figure slicing, dicing, painting, sculpting, and Gluing to make a figure fit the needs of the person creating it.

So I hereby propose that we make categories similar to the auto world along the lines of;

Stock Custom, Mild Custom, Wild Custom, and Extreme Custom. And put in place a set of rules to Govern each category. Just my 2 Cents,

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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby the enigma that is badger » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:33 pm

Lil_Curt wrote:Now I can tell you being involved in the Auto world via clubs, organizations, shows, etc...

Fascinating! I've always used the auto analogy for LEGO customization knowing exceptionally little about the auto hobby itself, but that's incredible for how deep the similarities actually go. Definitely interesting to know!
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby andhe » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:52 am

Lil_Curt wrote:So I hereby propose that we make categories similar to the auto world along the lines of;

Stock Custom, Mild Custom, Wild Custom, and Extreme Custom. And put in place a set of rules to Govern each category. Just my 2 Cents,

Curt


I think this is what I was trying to suggest with my following definitions, though I've added a fourth, to correspond with your 'wild' definition:

'STOCK' or '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.

'MILD' 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.

'WILD' customisation - lego and 3rd party pieces in non-purist or 'illegal' 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.

As you also mentioned, it's impossible to please everybody, and people will always have their own definition of what is and isn't defined by certain terms. But as someone who enjoys the challenge presented by purist/stock 'customisation' I feel perhaps more inclined to defend my small part of the hobby :D
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Tedward » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:01 pm

andhe wrote:I think this is what I was trying to suggest with my following definitions, though I've added a fourth, to correspond with your 'wild' definition:

'STOCK' or 'Purist' Customisation (PUC)


I think we need to preserve the term 'stock' as it is. There has to be a word for "as found in LEGO instructions/sets".

I would think MILD is a better descriptor for parts swapping and 3rd party accessories (including decals/stickers).

WILD could be painting, cutting, sculpting - anything that permanently alters the LEGO elements.

EXTREME could then be using LEGO elements as a 'base' or for connection points but otherwise unrecognizable as LEGO.


Those categories, I think, capture the different levels of customisation we have been discussing.
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Sir Erathor » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:26 pm

I think that Tedward's definitions are great, and are quite good at summarising different aspects of LEGO customisation. I've enjoyed reading through this topic!
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Quickblade22 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:23 pm

"What is customizing to me?"

It's AWESOME!! :sly:
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Re: Discussion thread: what is customizing to you?

Postby Athos » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:46 pm

Evil, eeevvvilll, eeeeeeeevvvvvvvviiiiiiiilllll! :twisted:

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