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 October 27, 2003

Motor City Comic-Con Report
Purple_Dave: I don't know if they had to travel as far as I did, but William and his dad made a special trip just to see this display. William had on a cool BIONICLE shirt, so I had to snap a shot before they moved on to see the rest of the show.

This was my first chance to display MOCs for public viewing, so I chose to make the BioniWars series the focus of my debut. Not counting the two MATORAN or the 1:6 scale lightsaber, I had a full 25 on display, along with three Blacktron MOCs, NOAOKE BOHROK, the original EVIL TAHU, and a few other random MOCs (some of which had never been seen prior to this show). I think I underestimated how much space I should have asked for, as everything had to be packed pretty tightly.

I had one BioniWars MOC that was still missing one piece, and Dave Johann went out of his way to try to get it to me on time, but due to Columbus Day, I was about midway through the first day of the show when it arrived at my door. Fortunately, Steve Ringe from MichLUG was able to lend me one for the duration of the show, so a big thanks go out to both of them.

One of the two main feature tables was a very blue/grey Moonbase layout, including a working Monorail (you can see a blur zipping by in a few of my photos) that had to be custom tailored to navigate around the rest of the layout. Also, some of the buildings adhered to the original Moonbase specs, while others were built according to the updated specs, so a certain amount of creativity was required to figure out a layout that would accomodate both groups together. Bridges built on site were used to join the two Moonbase groups and the Monorail station into one table-spanning behemoth.

The layout experienced minor tweaks throughout the show, and by Sunday, there was a group of spacemen who had formed a conga line, while about a foot away the valiant forces of Blacktron were in a pitched battle with the evil oppressive Space Police. A truck hauling soccer balls ended up being overturned as a result of this incident.

One of the MichLUG members bought the four new Star Wars mini vehicle sets, and a few of us decided it would be amusing to slip them into the display, just to see if anyone would notice how out of scale they were with everything else.

The other main feature table was a combination Castle and Pirate display. The Castle half featured the undead warriors from a massive hill-top fortress in full battle against the human forces from a nearby medieval village, a multi-tiered BrickQuest castle/dungeon, and a deteriorated seaside tower. The Pirate half consisted of a lot of empty blue plates, and a group of pirate ships circling a massive white-walled citadel. To give you an idea of how much work has to be done on-site, in this display, the entire tan pathway between the collapsed tower plates and the large fortress had to be constructed from scratch, the pre-constructed village houses had to be laid out around the winding path, the scratch-built trees had to be assembled and arranged, and the armies had to be both equipped and placed in ranks.

As with the Moonbase display, the Castle/Pirate display experienced a few humorous changes towards the end of the show. A rock monster demonstrated a rather painful way of teaching some poor Ninja to pay attention while on guard duty, while another Ninja had an odd bit of luck while fishing from the parapets. Meanwhile, some of the undead soldiers are getting in a bit of target practice (apparently someone missed the targets at some point...) next to the ol' hangin' tree (and, as one of our visitors pointed out, in the background you can see clear proof that it's not the undead army, but the human army that is actually on the side of evil. Finally, there was one careless pirate who picked a bad time to go for a quick swim.

On yet another table was a mock setup of a BrickQuest dungeon. Three of us tried subjecting ourselves to the large multi-tiered BrickQuest castle, but in the end it proved to be too difficult to concentrate on the game while trying to help keep an eye on the rest of the display, so the game was delayed for now.

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