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 May 20, 2004

May MCCC Show Report
Purple_Dave: I decided to give the BioniWars series some time off, but looking back on how much more foot-traffic we saw, I'm thinking I'll definitely have to bring them back for a May MCCC in the future. Instead, I took the entire TMNT series, the two Borg, Kiki the ferret, and a minifig-scale Plymouth Prowler for the BIONICLE display (hey, the Prowler does use a pair of black BORHOK eyes).

My biggest contribution to this event was designing the Moonbase layout, which also involved making a bunch of custom Track Designer tiles for every module included in the display, plus generic Space baseplate tiles (the crater plate, the various Space landing pad plates, and every size of official light-grey baseplate except the 48x48 X-Large that was already included). The large 18-plate building in the lower left is Scott Sanburn's hanger complex, and the building in the upper right that's on 9 regular road-plates is Trevor Pruden's arboretum (hey, minifigs need a food-source).

For single-plate modules, starting from the left the top row is a spaceship/landing pad combo built by Ken Koleda and his son, my pool module, Trevor's elevated landing pad, Stefan Garcia's colony HQ, and one of my modular corridors. The second row is Trevor's KFC restaurant, Jason Spears' landing pad tower, Trevor's housing module, Steve Weiser's power plant, and Trevor's speeder parking tower. The third row is my nanoscale module, Jason's Commons (something like a gift-shop/food-court combo, I believe), and (on the other side of the hanger control building) another one of my modular corridors. Running next to the main hanger and across the bottom edge are five raised landing plates that Scott designed.

I was originally planning to have the upper loop of the Monorail at ground level, with a raised section over the landing field, but the last-minute addition of two modules in the upper row pretty much made that impossible, so I had to run it entirely elevated. Fortunately, Chris Leach has about 4000 light-grey 4x4 round bricks for making custom Monorail track stanchions, so we were able to run it just high enough to clear the corridor connections. The plus side of this was that the ramps were no longer necessary, so the 9v batteries running the monorail motors would last longer.

The white walls around the main hanger were actually built during the show, but that wasn't a big problem because the major rush of attendees didn't show up until about the time they were all in place.

This was a popular view for photography within the club, so I figured I'd throw in a shot of my own. This is the interior of the "mini" hanger in the very bottom left corner of the layout plan.

One of my more recent projects is a series of Sam-Bots and Ninja-Bots. Currently I've got four vehicles and a bunch of minifigs put together, but I'm already thinking about building a Moonbase module for one of the three factions. In the second pic, you can see just how little clearance the Monorail has running down the gaps between modules. Most of the clearance issues were my fault, for building that oversized monorail train (most cars are 4x20-22 studs, but mine are 6x25) that's zipping past the white Ninja-Bot, but I'm happy to say that no changes to the track layout were necessary.

The power plant has a major Fleebnork infestation, so the future of this spaceport is highly uncertain. Two poorly-equipped Fleeb-hunters have already fallen prey to the queen and her brood. Nearby, in the middle of a small skirmish, a lone astronaut is out playing a round of golf, and someone can be seen hauling barrels of toxic waste out of the arboretum (that can't be good). Meanwhile, a small squad of Space Police are about to interupt some illicit dealings over by the local swimming pool.

The Castle display was largely assembled from three collections. Peter Guenther build the large castle wall and the invading army on that side, Jason built the breached seaside wall, most of that invading army, and the white citadel and tower on the small islands. The town in between the two walls was a combination of buildings supplied by Peter, Jason, and Ken. The way the village was built up is pretty interesting. First the tan plates are placed on the green baseplates to build up the village pathways. Then they're populated with minifigs, and finally the buildings are just set on the baseplates without being firmly attached to them.

Since I was tied up with the Space display, I know I missed some of the hidden gags in the Castle display, but I did catch the secret entrance that opens up behind the church, which a couple of the invaders are about to make use of. You can't really make it out in any of my pics, but I did just remember that one of the two guards outside the gate is standing his ground, but the other one threw down his spear and shield and started climbing the portcullis (fat lot of good that'll do him when that battering ram gets there). My small contribution was a pair of wizards. The evil wizard is flying on the black dragon (I only included the flame coming out of the dragon's mouth, and later noticed that someone had torched the tree right behind the wall), and the good wizard is rushing to the top of the stairs to stop him. It's pretty hard to tell from my photo, but the good wizard is actually a very old Harry Potter (purely by intention, to see if anyone noticed), but I didn't really think about the fact that the evil wizard uses Voldemort's head until partway through the show.

And in the "LEGO bricks can solve anything" category, we had a little trouble with our club banner. It had been rolled up for storage, and it was just hung from the backdrop, so the bottom corners were curling up. I had a leftover green Ninja rope which was used to secure one grommet to the support post behind it. The left grommet was about two feet away from the next support post, but I had the string from the Alpha Team helicopter and a couple spare grappling hooks, so that took care of the other corner.

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