TwinLUG was at the local comic con this last weekend. We had six tables and several hundred people stopped by to see what was there. Several members of the club brought lots of different things to look at and there was even a game to play. There was some Micropolis, a large castle and forest scene, some houses, some micro moonbase, a mural, and several dioramas. I have some more pictures on my Photostream. I haven't made a set yet. Flickr has changed and it's not very attractive anymore. Max has some more pics on his Flicker photostream.
That's the Spaceport, one of our two displays at the 2012 SpringCon. Brian built a three ring circus in a a huge tent with additional bits of business around it. The Spaceport is 45 32x32 baseplates in size. That's 50 by 90 inches. Just guessing but I figure there are over 25,000 pieces on the table. I built most of it. Daniel made a powersuit, Max the ATOMZ Diner and several great cars and spaceships. Michael made the blue billboard, the Doctor, the Tardis and the Daleks. Other TwinLUGers were going to contribute but they never showed up. No matter there wasn't that much room for them anyway. I managed to keep building up until a few days before. I started building around December after a meeting where it was decided to build a Spaceport based on Firefly. No one actually built anything remotely from the series. I did toss in some cows but that's become more of a TwinLUG joke tradition than a reference to Firefly.
I got the inspiration for that truck from a Crimso Gieger design. He's a guy in France that used to be active on MOCpages and Flickr. Haven't heard from him in a while. Mind you I'm not active on MOC pages much anymore. Not many people got the joke in the truck's name and we were at a comic con. Sad, huh. Max built the ATOMZ Diner and that police car. You can see better pictures of his cars and more shots of both layouts on his Flickr Photostream. Worth A look. Pascal, a German fan, created the blue and grey robots and I copied his instructions and built 4 for the layout. I have them having trouble getting the cows into the truck.I tried to toss some humor in everthing I build.
That's a the landing field side of the Spaceport. I brought the Hulk minifig along because it was a comic con and he sure was a hit with kids and adults. Max built the truck with the white boxes, the black spaceship, the blue and white spaceship and the black spidery vehicle with the canon on it. Daniel's powersuit is holding a cow. Michael built Stephanie's spaceship. I recycled a couple of land vehicles and tossed in the little undersea bots that I used in the Undersea layout a couple of years ago. Sometimes it's worth keeping stuff you've built so you can use it again. I reused the yellow and red Duplo fuel tanks and put them into the back of the layout near the tube. I had used that with a red top in the Undersea layout. There's a small Duplo car body in there somewhere. You can see more pictures on my Flickr photostream. I haven't gotten the pictures of Brian's Circus Tent up on Flickr yet. I will do that tonight and post links on a second post.
We had 10 today. Me, Steve S, Gary, Steve D, Charles, Peter, Erik, Mark, and Mike. Max was taking the pictures. We have a photo of Max below, courtesy of his nice wife. Gary brought yummy home made brownies. I brought Circus Peanuts and the LEGO Hogwarts game. It has new pieces and old pieces in new colors. More on that later. Charles brought a nice facade and some vehicles. Steve D brought a nice European Ice Cream Shop in sand green. Love that color. Mark brought a copy of the San Diego Comic Con LEGO Star Wars Cube Dude box set and broke the seal right in front of everyone. I like the Cube Dudes but have little or no interest in making any. Nothing was planned for the meeting so we yakked about LEGO and stuff like that.
Then a bunch of us went over to the Mall Of America to say good bye to the LEGO store. It's going to be remodeled over the next two months. We hear rumors of what it going to be like but nothing concrete. We'll know in a couple of months. Right now the store is setting up temporary shop in the old SpongeBob store. I took a few more picture to add to the growing number I already have posted on Flickr. We wandered around the store a bit and joked with Asst Manager Randy (pic on right) about stealing stuff from the old displays. He reminded me that I come in so often he knows my name, where I live and where I work. Damn! I bought a couple of the small Kingdom's sets to appease him. I got the last of the dark green Wizard impulse set on the shelf. They weren't restocking anything as they were planning to move everything over to the new location after they close at 7pm. That's me, Max, Gary's profile and Charles below.
We had some dinner in the food court above the store. We could see the space station and shuttle very well. We sat and gabbed about LEGO and other silly things. Then it was one last walk through the store to catch a few more pictures. Eventually most everyone drifted off to home and such. Me too. I'll be curious to see the new store in October, especially the Pick-A-Brick wall. It's rumored to that there will be upwards of a thousand bins, climbing two stories in a massive multicolored wall of PAB goodness. There will be dozens of helper monkeys to climb up and throw your bricks down to you. No matter how big the display of bins it won't matter unless LEGO gets the different parts to pick from. Those bins could all be filled with 2x4 brick. In 5 colors. Well, you know what you say when they world hands you 2x4 bricks? Build bigger.
It was a small meeting this month. That's Matt in the grey t, Roy on his right, Erik pointing to his mouth, me pointing at some part on the new Kingdom tower set, Tom sensibly keeping his hands under the table, Gary pointing to his minifigs and a new guy also named Tom. Max is pointing the camera. Gary brought his stack of minifigs for sale, some pink bricks for Roy and cup cakes. Yummm! I bought some more minifigs from Gary, a buck each is cheap. There's still quite a few left and he has several horses. Good accessories too. I got some white skis. I hadn't had any of those.
I brought the Kingdom's impulse sets I recently blogged about, the new damsel in distress Kingdom set which I will blog about soon, a set of the Collectible Minifigs that are hitting the streets as we speak and some Spangler Circus Peanuts. They're my favorite and sadly not always available around here. You can buy a twenty pound box from their online store. In mixed flavors. I've considered it.
Mostly we talked about the parts we want for the LEGO LUGBULK program and ate up all the snacks. We can pick about 80 parts and the company tells us which we can have and the cost. We have to put on two displays for the public and write up some stuff and have a website etc to take part in this program. I have pigs and some headlight bricks and some green plates coming in the first batch which isn't here yet. It can take up to 3 months to get your parts but they are fairly cheap compared to Bricklink. The big appeal is getting a lot of one part. We can't resell them, that's part of the deal, but that doesn't seem to be a problem, most everyone keeps their parts anyway. The hardcore LEGO nerdiness might have scared the second Tom away, he left abruptly and never came back. Maybe he'll come back. Many haven't.
That's the TwinLUG Micropolis display at the local comic con last weekend. The picture is by Max Braun, it's from his Bisonfuehrer Flickr Photostream. You can see more pictures of the con there. The MCBA has moved their two day con to the spring because some other bigger comic con moved to MCBA's old October time slot and getting guests was going to be a problem. They didn't have any problem getting us as guests, just wave some free sandwhich's around, we'll come a runnin'. We were guests at the con the last couple of years, we got free memberships and free food for the chance of showing off our LEGO, and another public display notch which let's us participate in the LEGO LUG BULK program. Matt said he was very happy to get some food as he had no food in his house and he'd been out half the night. I was nearly the same way, I didn't bother to shop for the weekend figuring I would chow down a fistfull of free sandwich's from Aesop's Table. They cattered the con. I was happy to see the van full of subs being unloaded as I was unpacking my car saturday morning about 9 am. The con opened at 10. It was much warmer than last years Oct con. Last years 40's and 50's were really nasty in the old State Fair Grandstand building.
The three pics above are from my photostream. The con gave us two 5 foot by 8 foot tables to fill up and we had more than enough stuff. I didn't bring much old stuff for Micropolis but I didn't bring much new stuff either. I had three new blocks worth of stuff. We couldn't have fit everything that everyone has made, even if they could have brought it all. Much of this is going to take a trip to BrickWorld next month.
That's Max and his son Maverick, photo by Matt Holland. I got that from Matt's Flicker photostream where he hangs out under the Pbpancho handle. Below you can see Eric Knopp manning the other non-micropolis table in a Matt photo. That's Brian Kasprzyk's Catherdral. People sure liked that building, especially looking inside at the interior where a wedding is going on. Matt took a nice picture of the scene and you can go look for it over at Flickr. Max took the picture of Roy, Nathan Stohlmann, and Matt putting the puzzle that is Micropolis together. I didn't help with that any. I was trying to set up and finish the Undersea layout that covered part of the other 5 by 8 table. That last picture is by Max and it's me and Brian Kasprzyk behind the other table set up for the TwinLUG undersea display. What the hell's he doing there? I have no idea. Life's full of mysteries.
The undersea display is based on the recent Atlantis sets. I didn't care that much for the vehicles in those sets but the idea of under the sea is a cool one. LEGO has made several undersea themed sets over the years. Here's some pics from our display. You can see more pics on my Flickr photstream above. Brian and I each built in a different direction. I had all the modern buildings and Brian had all the ancient stuff going on. They work quite well together.
Another meeting come and gone. Besides me there were Nathan, Roger, Gary, Max, Dylan, Erik, Steve, a new person named Mark, and visitors from Detroit, Chris and Jennifer. Chris has a blog. Gary brought cookies and a ton of minifigs for a buck each. I bought a bunch of minifigs and ate some of his mom's homemade molassas cookies. I'm sure he'll bring them back in the future. Minifigs that is, no promises on the cookies. Make sure to bring some cash or your checkbbook, there are still plenty of good ones left. TwinLUGer's are always encouraged to bring stuff to the meetings for trade or sale. Got some stuff you don't need? Roger brought his award winning train. You can see more pics of the train and the 2001 contest at Max's Flickr page. There are a few pictures of the work other people brought, like Dylan's Micropolis modules, Nathan's Micropolis Bridge WIP, Max's gang of Power Miner variants. You can see close ups of the bunch of them at Max's Flicker page. I've been trying to finish the undersea diorama for the comic con next month. Not getting too far. Here's the latest.
I hope to have nine 32 by 48 stud modules when this part is done. I might rework that tower but time is short and I need to fill up real estate or give up trying to finish. I found that Duplo tanker truck on sale at the LEGO Imagination Center and thought it worked into the scene quite well. Adds a bit of color. The monolith is the scale of the monolith in the movie - 1x4x9. I used the red plastic LEGO measuring tool to make sure it was accurate. That's the ruler below and that's an interesting package that I hadn't seen before. The ruler and the brick separator at $6.99 is more than the ruler and the separator when sold separately. I use the brick separator all the time, I wore one out already. Great for taking plates apart.
I'm late getting this posted for some reason. Been busy, I hope. Not as big a crowd as the last couple of meetings but there wasn't so big a draw as a parts draw. Besides me there was Max and Erik and Dean and Matt and Nathan and Charles and Gary and Tom and Roger. Everyone one is in those pictures above but Max. He's taking the photos. Matt brought the hour long special about James May building the LEGO house. He didn't actually build much, mostly bossing people around. Sometimes with a hand held loud speaker. He's a right old grinch making people work in the rain.
If you hadn't heard the story here's a bit about it. May, a regular on the Top Gear show, has been doing a series of shows called James May Toy Stories, in which he builds large objects with small toys. A 20 foot high house with LEGO bricks, a human size bridge using MECCANO, a large floral display sculpted out of 2.5 tons of plasticine, a giant road race set, a giant train set with 10 miles of track and a giant model air plane kit. I hadn't seen any of them. Matt downloaded the LEGO show and brought it to the meeting. It ran an hour and we used the pc projector in the ceiling. The Rondo Library where we meet each month lets us use the conference room and the projector. Where I work we have several of them installed in the conference rooms. People are starting to call them overhead projectors, perhaps forgetting overhead projectors had that name first.
May got a donation of 3.3 million bricks from LEGO and with the help of a 1000 volunteers and some probably paid designers, engineers and builders he put up a house on an open space in a vineyard in Dorking, Surrey UK. Unfortunately he didn't have a concrete plan for the house after he stayed the night. LEGO wouldn't let him sell the bricks and the Windsor LEGOLAND did not want the house because of the high cost of moving it. So it got smashed apart and the rubble donated to charity. Someone stole that cat. There's been a fair bit of coverage of the story but there just aren't that many good pictures from the demolition. I heard they were using chainsaws to cut it apart but couldn't find any pictures. The people seem to be smashing the bricks with rubber mallets. Probably they used a Saw-all type saw to cut the wood parts apart. That's how rumors get started.
I don't find the place all that attractive. Some of the furniture looks pretty fun but it's too hard and uncomfortable to be useful. The outer wall stripes are ugly to these eyes. It's not a practical medium for a house. It doesn't keep the rain out, I'm sure it would be super cold in the winter too.
Matt brought some new Micropolis modules. I like the bus shelter. I brought the lab I made for the Atlantis build we are working on for the May Comic Con. Roger brought his micro hockey rink, built after he bought a whole cup of 1x1 trans plates from the Pick-A-Brick at the LEGO Imagination Center at the Mall of America. Luckily no one has started to call the place the LIC-MOA. Don't take that as a hint to start. Sounds like a Bionicle. Nathan brought some samples of the new Micropolis Bluff standard. He's working on the specs and will post them up along with the new water edge standard. You can see more pics over at Max's Flickr page above.
Brian K has been knocking out the 32 x 32 baseplates full of deep sea goodness. Here's a couple of pics of his work so far. You can see more on MOCpages. That's Max's Manta ship for the display. It's all cool stuff and it should make a neat display.
TwinLUG was a buzz with the big parts draw today. We had 20 people in the draw and 2 more helping out. Max, Charles, Tom, Nathan, Roger, Alice, Roy, Steve D, David, Peter, Alyska, Dean, Gary, Judy, Bill, Matt, Garry and daughter, Erik, Michael, Mark and me. It was pretty crowded in that small meeting room, but things went pretty well and we sorted and picked all the parts in 2 hours, which you'll see is quite a good bit of work. Judy picked up 63 different small sets in the post Christmas clearance sale at the LEGO store. Here's a list of sets:
15 of Cool Santa 152 pcs
4 of River Heist 203 pcs
6 of Gold Tooth's Getaway 68 pcs
7 of Power Miner Mine Mech 67 pcs
4 of Power Miner Stone Chopper 31 pcs
6 of Castle Creator 137 pcs
6 of Power Miner Granite Grinder 94 pcs
6 of Race Rig 104 pcs
2 of Racers Desert Challenge 144 pcs
3 of Racers Ice Rally 170 pcs
2 of Racers Ferrari F1 Racers 139 pcs
2 of Racers Thunder Raceway 160 pcs
It's a big pile of parts, 7499 of them, and there's monsterous load of different parts in that mix, around 500 of them. A 1 x 2 plate in two different colors is two different parts. Since there were so many different parts some of the part totals were small, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 see, small amounts. Many picks.
We drew numbers for picking order. I got number 6. Hmmm, there was a level of unreality going on and we were locked in. We went down the people pick list on the odd rounds and up the ppl on the even rounds. I got 25 picks. I don't know if we got to the end of the 25th round there was too much going on at the same time. The picks were coming every few seconds. I was exhausted and had to sit down.
With 20 people that should average just under 325 parts per person. I wound up with 347 parts and 4 completed minifigs. I got 4 of the red headed criminal lady from the Agents Boat Heist set. The rest of the parts I got were mostly dark blay plates and bricks, some bit of light blay and some red and black sloped bricks. My average price per part was about a nickel each. Not too bad. Minifigs were assembled completely, including their hair. The Rock monsters got their jewel. Those consolidations screw up the part average but it seems like the sensible thing to do with minifigs and it really puts the angst in picking for some people.
I still prefer the larger sets for a parts draw, you can wind up with larger quantities of the same piece. That's more appealing to me. The Indiana Jones Temple Escape set we did last time and that Batman Arkam Asylum set from a year or so ago were both good ones.
Max brought his skyscraper based on the St Paul City Hall. If you haven't seen it you should when you're in town. There's a cool statue in the middle of the building. You can read more here and see a short video here. It doesn't show it in the video but the statue rotates. Very slowly so the earth doesn't go off it's axis. Tom brought his Prometheus. It's got a monkey on it's flight deck. I never asked but maybe it's a flying monkey. People just love those, almost as much as the group loved Gary's Spice cookies. He had some other flatter cookies. I brought sliced Fuji apples and Twizzlers.
Several people brought stuff to sell or trade. I sold a bunch of stuff and spent all that money and more on Gary's minifigs. Gary is getting rid of his minifigs. I wound up with more than 30 at a buck and a half each. I traded some minifigs with Judy for some green and dark red plates. There were an even dozen at Pizza Luce for dinner. Largest crowd yet. Thanks to Max for the pictures.