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 March 20, 2004


Neptune's Moon Lagoon
Purple_Dave:


This is Neptune's Moon Lagoon, my first Moonbase module. It only has a single connection point, but things are packed so tight that there really wasn't room for another without sacrificing something else. The idea behind this came to me at Motor City Comic-Con last October, when I had the sudden idea of how hilarious it would be to have a small beach with palm trees and sunbathers wearing swimsuits and bubble helmets. Originally, they were all supposed to have bright red bodies due to getting sunburned from the extremely high level of UV that you get when you don't have an atmosphere, but there's one tiny little problem with that. All the torsos with female swimsuit tops are yellow. So I had to scrap the sunburn idea (I might see about adding one burn-victim in at a later date), but I still went with the bubble helmets.

The other idea (which didn't work out so well) was to make this look like a skeezy run-down municipal swimming pool (there's a green baseplate under all of the "water" to make it look scummy, but the trans-blue is so dark you can't see the green through it). In keeping with that theme, I wanted it to look like it had been designed to look nicer than it was, so a cheesy color scheme was clearly a must. Yoda sculptures were hitting the clearance rack around this time, so two of them bravely sacrificed themselves to build up the vast majority of this module.

The main portion of the module is actually hollow, and has about a dozen of POHATU's rocks sandwiched between two large green baseplates to help stabilize the pool and beach section. The boardwalk section pops off the side, and then the corridor connection pops off the front, just in case I ended up needing to rebuild it to the old 8-high Moonbase standard. That no longer appears to be a concern (MichLUG has fully switched over to the 10-high standard that was introduced last summer), but it's nice to know that I don't have to rebuild the entire module if if does end up being necessary.



Since this module is exposed to the local atmosphere, or lack thereof, there needs to be an airlock. I didn't really feel like getting super complicated about it, so I just built a sliding panel airlock door. It looks a bit goofy from the sides, but it works pretty well, and it fully retracts into the wall so it doesn't get in the way of the tourists.




And there are owls. Lots of owls. Mutant owls (hey, they can survive without helmets on the moon!), and they all appear to be glaring at something. Hmm, I wonder what it could be... Oops, the last owl isn't glaring at anyone anymore, since it's fallen victim to one of those dangerous space-spiders (yes, I cheated and used fishing line to strap the owl to the spiderweb, but there really wasn't a way of doing securing it with just transparent LEGO pieces). Included in the shot of the white owl, you can see some Monorail track laid down. The underside of this module has clearance for a Moonbase standard straight pass-thru at ground level, which was actually incorporated into the Monorail layout at its debut show.



Sunbathers are a common sight at beaches, and moon beaches are no exception. On the left is Matt Groening's head in a jar, sitting next to a young couple (switch the legs out, and the Slave Leia body makes for an excellent 2-piece bikini). On the right is the lifeguard, on his hover-chair (with a life preserver on one side and a loud-speaker on the other), dutifully keeping an eye on those brave souls who are in perilous danger of drowning {cue "echo" sound effect}.



Nearby is a poor kid whose sandcastle has just been kicked over by the local beach bully. Yup, can't have a beach without one of those, too. By pure accident of pose, the kid's shovel is about to trip a guy who's carrying a nice, refreshing mug of water.



Another thing that you can't have a beach with is water. Otherwise it's just a desert. This pool isn't very deep (as demonstrated by the woman who's standing only waist deep), but that doesn't keep the dedicated swimmer from doing laps. The pool consists of a whopping 653 trans-dark blue pieces (279 1x2 tiles, 194 1x2 bricks, and 180 1x1 plates), as the beach sand actually does slope all the way down to the upper baseplate, and the entire pool is filled in with trans-dark blue pieces (well, except for the "water" that's displaced by the two swimmers).



The lifeguard isn't the only person keeping an eye on the swimmers. There's also some creepy guy in a sinister black helmet staring at the woman.



Passing him is a grumpy old man who came early to get his laps in before all the "youngsters" showed up. He's not going to be very happy when he has to pass...



...the skateboarder. Hey, you're nearly weightless on the moon. You think skaters could pass that up?



There's a beach cop stationed here to keep an eye on things, and he's smiling because he's about to catch someone committing a crime red-handed.



Yup, that's right. Fishing from the boardwalk is strictly prohibited, and this old guy is seconds away from casting his last hook (hopefully he doesn't snag one of those swimmers when he does so).



The boardwalk is wood-planked and leads from the cement stairwell to the nice, sandy beach.



Neptune's Moon Lagoon is managed by a trio of brothers. The smartest one operates a small concession stand next to the entrance, where he charges exhorbitant fees for mugs of water. At least you know it's good spring water, as it's imported in fancy wooden casks.



Underneath the pool are six large reservoir tanks that are used to replenish the water as it gets splashed out. After building this entire structure I realized I'd forgotten to include any BIONICLE pieces, but I figured POHATU NUVA toes would look nice as some sort of pump devices. Here you can see the goof-off brother filling a barrel from the reservoir for some purpose or another.



There's something that's not quite right about the third brother, but he certainly knows how to fix broken stuff. One of the palm trees was damaged recently, so he's using a drill to replace some of the metal plating(what, you didn't think they could keep live plants with no atmosphere, did you?), and when the pool closes down for the night he'll paint the repaired section.

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Items Related To This Story
Neptune's Moon Lagoon, MOC By Purple Dave

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