Welcome, Guest.
Sign In | Register

Who is your favorite Toa?


 January 18, 2004
Novi Toy & Hobby Expo Report
Purple_Dave: This event was originally intended to have a 20'x20' MichLTC train layout and nothing else, but we had just enough tables (and MOCs) for the rest of MichLUG to set up a 5'x10' Space layout and a 3/4 5'x5' Large Creations table. I also ended up giving out close to 100 of the rare CHRONICLER TOOLS that were provided to by LEGO Systems, Inc.

For those who are longtime MaskofDestiny readers, my portion of the Large Creations table should all be pretty familiar, but for those who are finding their way here for the first time, the images show a wraparound view of my layout, featuring the three BOHROK Christmas ornaments, the three BioCycles (with classic MATORAN drivers), the Nui-Kapowai dragonfly (18" wingspan), the 24" long oriental Dragon of Fire, the Noaoke BOHROK (inspired by the "Alien" movie series), George Lucas as a minifig, and the entire BioniWars series (combining Star Wars characters with BIONICLE constructions). At my first show I underestimated how much space it would take to adequately display my stuff, but this time I had twice as much table space and only a handful of extra MOCs to place. I wouldn't have minded spreading them out even more, but this offered the minimum space required to give a clear view of nearly everything, and table space was at a premium for this show (every other table owned by MichLUG was being stored just outside of Michigan at the time).

Unlike at MCCC in October, I ended up sharing table space with another Club member. It worked out pretty nicely for us, as neither of the other two tables were really appropriate for our MOCs, and the larger display appeared to draw interest more easily than two smaller displays could have.

Steve Ringe brought a pair of gigantic vehicles (yellow Chevy truck, and red '66? Chevelle). They both have opening doors, hoods, and trunk/tailgate, as well as fully detailed engines (yes, the pistons work, and the truck has a 2-speed transmission). The Chevelle's trunk has two big speakers and the car battery. The steering does work on these, but they're so heavy that the wheels don't turn very easily unless you lift the front end up.

On the Space table (starting from left), we had Trevor's dutiful crewmember chasing those pesky Fleebnorks (as well as some sort of alien spider) and scorching them to ash, the Neptune's Moon Lagoon Moonbase module (gee, I wonder whose twisted imagination thought up that one...), and the not-quite-finished Delta Rocket in Trevor's large hanger. Next, the Blacktronicle pilots were innocently raiding a crystal stripmine when Rick's mean ol' Sentinel interrupted their fun. On the far right is my nameless Blacktron hoversled flying to the rescue, thanks to the transparent #3 angle-connector found in the Apollo Moon Mission set.

Trevor set up a Space Train to service the crystal mine and ferry the harvested crystals to awating cargo haulers. He had to remove a handful of greeblage to allow it to pass underneath a free Moonbase connection on the side of the hanger. This probably helped out a bit with the Monorail layout. After all of the modules had been set up, and the larger ships had been placed, Trevor walked up and handed me a huge tub full of Chris' Monorail track. I'd had fun helping to cram a bare-bones Monorail track into the layout for MCCC in October, but the layout was too constricted, so the results weren't very satisfying (I think it was even smaller than this show's Space Train setup). This time, there was just enough clearance in the right places to run the Monorail from one end of the table to the other, and I love challenges, especially those involving spatial geometry. This was only my second show (and my second experience with Monorail), so I was totally geeked about having this opportunity, so I ended up doing a photo-documentary of the entire Monorail run shortly before the show closed. Starting just a little ways from the crystal mine and the smaller of two large crystal-hauling cargo vessels, the elevated track crossed over the center of the Space Train track. Next, it made a wide turn around a large landing field and the larger cargo vessel. Then, it turned to wind its way around the front of the large hanger, getting right up next to the sneeze-guards.

On the other side of the hanger, it turned again to head around Trevor's massive capital ship. Once clear of the landing fields, it dropped down to ground level and passed by an APC and two mecha. In the far corner from where it started, it did a tight loop and headed under Neptune's Moon Lagoon (this ended up being the only Monorail-compliant module in the entire layout, so being able to work that into the run was a neat bonus...and being able to work the run into the rest of the layout was a neat challange). Emerging on the other side, it made a tight turn inside a crater plate, and did a little sidestep to clear the back of the hanger, passing by Steve Weiser's geothermal power plant with blinking lights (he mentioned plans to turn it into a 4-plate uber-module before the May MCCC, so that should make for a very interesting piece).

In the next photo, you can just barely make out the Monorail train as it reaches the far side of Rick's suspended 4-way corridor connection (this was an accident caused by confusion about which Moonbase standard we were using, but the resulting open ground-level space is a rather enjoyable result) just barely clearing the back of the hanger (the nose of the train missed by less than 1/8") and passing by Trevor's solar-powered living quarters. Rounding the layout, you can see the Monorail passing between Trevor's Space-KFC (I saw what they're serving, and it's most definitely not chicken...) and a large tower. Just underneath the free corridor connection on the edge of the layout, the Monorail hits the up-ramp next to Trevor's greenhouse (clearing the underside of the tower corridor by about 1/8"), and just barely reaching full height before overlapping the Space Train track. Just barely making a turn in the corner of the layout, it heads back to where the whole trip started.

I'm still fairly unfamiliar with most of the Train layout components, and I didn't start taking photos until the layout was being deforrested just prior to the end of the show, but I did get some decent general shots of the whole layout (which was a bit of a miracle, since I set my camera on Close-up to get the Blacktronicle shot, and forgot to switch it back before doing the Monorail and Train photos).

The one side of the layout was fairly rural, with Larry's mountain, Ken's armory, Larry's tractor dealership, and a small medieval-esque village, leading into the switchyard at one end. I'm not sure if Larry noticed, but someone (I honestly don't know who) placed a Jar-Jar on the side of the mountain with a "lit bundle of dynamite" tile to throw down on the mining equipment below.

On the other side of the layout was the "downtown" section, largely filled in with Chris' huge skyscrapers (the only one that I recognize is the Flatiron building from NYC, but I know at least the multi-tiered oval tower is based on an actual landmark) and some brownstone blocks, heading into a suburban neighborhood at the other end. Just to the left of the skyscrapers was Chris' MOC of a construction site complete with a motorized boom-crane. The crane ended up shattering an 8-tooth gear into three nearly-equal pieces about halfway through the show, and Rick lent him a temporary replacement from the underside of his missile-boat, which seems to have been the only MOC in the entire show that featured 8-tooth gears in a purely decorative manner.

Forum Link

Items Related To This Story
Novi Toy & Hobby Expo, 12-03

Click here for more news

Cannister front