The Horse The Boy The Fox & The Mole Lego Tribute

If I’d been on the ball they’d now be nearly 50 individual blog posts for each of the weekly Stuck In Plastic Challenges that have been taking place during 2023. Unfortunately I’ve only done a couple of posts and really slacked when it comes to blogging about my photography. Anyway it’s time to make up some lost ground and for this post the focus is on authors. This was quite a tough challenge as the aim was to come up with a scene from a favourite (or not so favourite) book. The tendancy here, in my view, is look to the big sets such as Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings. You could even argue that Star Wars, Marvel and DC are in story/author form. Anyway it’s good to get away from the obvious choices and look elsewhere. I’m not a big reader and much prefer movies so trying to think of a book wasn’t easy. In a previous challenge I produced a pic for Animal Farm so that was struck off the ideas list.

Charles Mackesy

Last Christmas I watched The Horse The Boy The Fox & The Mole and have a couple of sketches from the book hanging on the wall. The story by Charles Mackesy is about a boy who meets a horse, fox and mole and there are a boatload of affirmations or inspirational quotes (for want of a phrase) entwined through this beautiful story. So that was my inspiration but how could I do it with Lego? Firstly I needed the figures so found the horse from Series 22 (Horse & Groom), the fox from series 19 and just a random boy figure. There isn’t a lego mole figure and for that I had to choose Mr Moleman from one of The Simpsons collections. My current Lego style is quite zoomed in and colourful but that wouldn’t work for this particular shot. It simply looked like a collection of figures that didn’t fit the style of Mackesy’s sketches. There was also an issue with respect to sizing. Whilst the boy and the horse felt right perspectively, the mole(man) and fox were too big. This meant it was going to be composite image.

Creating The Image

The final shot comprises of three images – with the fox and mole(man) shot individually, added to the shot of the horse and boy and then resized. Perspectively I think they look pretty decent. To give the image a more Mackesy feel I played around with some Photoshop suggestions with regards to creating a pencil sketch. If I ever remember the tutorial I followed then I’ll link it up but there are plenty online that are easy to do. The final image was then reduced in size so that text could be added. The text “Always remember you matter. You’re important and you are loved and you bring to this world things no one else can”. It’s a lovely affirmation! The font isn’t quite in the same style as Mackesy but it’s a free handwritten one that’s as close to the original that I could find. Overall I’m happy with the effect.

It Could Be Better

Whilst I’m happy with the image with respect to the challenge (i.e. I got it done) there are things I’m not 100% happy about. The pencil effect is OK and could be better. Mackesy’s style is a lot more sketchy in my opinion whilst this is a bit too photo negative. I like the sizing of all the assemble but the mole(man) is too sharp and would be better being slightly blurred to give a sense of depth. The framed prints I have are on a cream background and they look good but I’m less keen on it with the final shot. I’d have preferred the overall background colour and main image colours to integrate so it looks one and the same. I also wished I’d not jumped at the idea and perhaps looked at some of the colour versions as they may have worked better. But these are things for another day or challenge. What’s important here is to recognise where you could potentially improve an image – even if (as I am) – pretty happy with the current result.