Odds & Ends

I've always noticed the discrepancy in color and wondered; "Which one came first, and why the difference?"

While building my ZombieTron ship, I was fooling around with skeleton arms and discovered these two ways that they can be employed beyond just dangling from bony torsos. The fit inside the 1x1 cylinder varies, but the fit inside the Technic shaft is very snug.

I remembered seeing Eric Harshbarger's MINI version of the Classic Space set #487 Space Cruiser on his website as a scale comparison to the sculpture he built that was three times larger than the original set! I loved his MINI verson and while taking a break from a larger project I built my own. I was motivated mainly by the new 1x1 angled brick, now available in trans-yellow, which I thought would make a perfect canopy.

Here a few pictures to give you an idea of what the newer, more smooth slope texture looks like. In each photo, the original is on the left, the new on the right. Hopefully, this is just temporary.

After I built my first BayLTC-spec display table, I thought: "How can I fill up all this space?!" After a quick glance at the bags and bags of Space mini-figs I've amassed over the years, the answer was obvious: ROLL CALL!! All of my mini-figs from all the Space themes I have were lined up row after row. How many Space mini-figs do you have? Do you dare to muster them ALL?

I was really surprised by the amount of work involved in staging such a display. As it progressed, I tried to think of a justification for all this formality. Of course, an Imperial inspection knows no limit when it comes to pomposity and the Emperor and his Royal Guards with Vader (just for a little extra motivation!) scrutinize the troops.

Every now and then I run across homemade "modifications" of Lego pieces that just make me want to cry. Here's a superlative example. This piece (# 2409) in this color has only appeared in one set waaaay back in 1988. The legendary Blacktron I set; # 6987 Message-Intercept Base. Because of it's very high desirability to Classic Space fans and it's rarity (only one piece per set) the price that this piece can fetch on Bricklink (from those who are crazy enough to sell them!) ranges from 12 to 25 bucks! I hoped against hope that I would be able to clean the paint off and still have something usable, but you know how fickle fate can be . . .

My hopes were insta-dashed by a youngster's X-acto wielding, ham-fisted attempt to channel the coolness of the ubiquitous catch phrase from "The Terminator." Damn you, Ah-nuld!!

When I first encountered both of these bricks I knew that they were old. Not just old, but OLD. The one on the left, Slope Brick 45 1 x 2 Double / Inverted (# 3049), was first released in blue the year I was born! However, it's more likely that the piece I have came from actual sets released in 1976. The piece has been redesigned since then, and no longer has the tube on the bottom. Still, the neatest discovery was that underneath the double-angled roof lay the text "Pat. pend." How cool is that?! This probably refers to the piece itself as I'm sure that most of the Lego bricks were were already patented, but it's still a groovy snapshot of a point in time. The piece on the right, Fabuland Brick, Bellshaped 1 x 4 x 2 (# x608), is an interesting early variant on a piece that would later have the hollow studs removed from the lower level and reduce the two studs on top to one.

"What will you scrounge in the dirt for?" October 10-12, 2003

Baylug got invited to be a participant in the Lego "What Will You Make?" Truck Tour, that came to Sacramento. The location in Old Town seemed like the right choice given the central location and tourist traffic, but the pervasive dust that got kicked up from the dry soil was a NIGHTMARE to clean from all the MOC's that we displayed. Despite that, we had a grand time and as the show was packing up to leave I noticed the abundance of pieces that had been trampled into the ground by overly excited feet. I quickly seized a cardboard box and began loading it up in the hopes of rescuing a few useable pieces from certain oblivion.

Here I've begun the extremely laborious process of separating the bricks from all the natural refuse that accumulated as a result of my scrounging in the dirt. I probably could've filled the box if I'd had more time, but my sweet wife had already had her fill of Lego-related activities and was eager to leave the suffocating heat of the central valley!

In my fervent foraging, I picked a lot of stuff, much of which was wedged into the bricks.

All the bricks have finally been separated from the flotsam and jetsam, and are ready for cleaning. But how best to accomplish this?

Aaah, the good old reliable sock bag! I thought that this would work out rather well, but I miscalculated the tensile strength of the bag compared to the weight of the bricks. The bag broke *GASP!* during some part of the wash cycle, and I had to do quite a bit of cherry picking out of the bowels of the washing machine. Not fun!

Cleaned and ready for drying! Most of the pieces were remarkably undamaged, which was surprising given that the dust of Old Town Sacramento has a particularly gritty texture, due I believe to a high iron oxide content.

Landing Gear design

The new droid arm pieces have lots of great applications, and while toying around with them, I came up with something that allowed me to have stable landing gear that folds up very compactly to the underside.

Stowed when in flight.

It's easy enought to show how this works in person, but when you have to rely on still pictures it can be difficult. I had to throw together a suspension rig so I wouldn't have to photograph the model upside down and then flip the pictures. I tried that, but it looked weird.

The legs come down about 90 degrees and the feet rotate around to make contact with the ground.

Ta-da! Luckily, the ship is small enough and doesn't weigh so much that the legs buckle.

Bots and bots and 'bots and BOTS!

I messed around with the Life On Mars/Battle Droid torsos and made these little soldierbots. I remembered how pistols and spearguns had angles that were about 45 degrees, and then I had the legs and the head finished. I see them as kin to the Battle Droid, mass produced cannon fodder yet with powerful energy blades of some kind (what they do, I leave to your imagination!).

I decided to build a police version because I thought that the color contrast would help show what pieces were used. This bot is perfect for riot submission as the energy blades have been converted to stun guns. I like the triangular piece on the back as armor plating since it doesn't bulk up the design too much.

One hour fighter

'cause I built it in about an hour!

I don't have much Dark Red or Sand Blue, but I like the color contrast in this model. Though one color is "dark" and the other "light", they seem to have the same "tone."

In playing around with the droid bodies and arms I made some large, three-fingered hands. This tread-driven heavy cargo droid can handle even your heaviest items!

I bought six of the Harry Potter set #4711 Flying Lesson mainly for the trans-clear minifig head Remembrall. On this scout droid I think it looks like a large, spherical eye under glass. I think it would also fit perfectly with lamp posts because the decoration on the head has an 18th century flair.

Pictures of Polaroids!

In this photo montage you can see an two-headed Insectoid craft I threw together, a haunted ghost ship, and a diorama expressing an idea for a scene from a stop-motion Super 8mm Lego movie that I hope to make someday. In my head, I'm planning a very large-scale space outpost where the aliens will make first contact. I'll have all my Space minifigs lined up parade-style to greet the alien diplomats.

Some of my very first Lego pictures

Here's the King and Queen for the castle I hope to build someday. I like the white epaulets on the queen to enhance the appearance of a fancy dress. The king has his royal scepter, the queen has a magical silver staff (she apprenticed under the wizard), and the wizard has a wand and a special shield. Because I'd been playing a lot of Dialbo II at the time, I named the shield to reflect the usage of adjectives to define the magical properties of an item. So the shield is properly referred to as a: "Crystal Shield of Fiery Deflection."

I was lucky to acquire this lovely glass display case for a really good price and it first was filled with all my sets from Ice Planet 2002, Space Police II, Space Police I, and Blacktron I (except for the Message-Intercept Base, which I could probably build even though I've never bought one!

I managed to take a few photos of this Space Bus before I took it apart. I wanted to build a transport that would hold one representative of every Space theme. It got pretty long!

The sun was too low to show off all the passengers, but you can kinda get an idea of how many there are. I exhausted all my trans-dark blue 4x4 hinge plates on the roof.

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