Virtual Micropolis: Progress and Upcoming Display!

I mentioned back in March that I had started working on a wiki to provide further information about our Micropolis modules and I am fairly proud to say that we’re definitely making progress on filling the site with content. It’s not complete yet, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s got a good base of content and the visual style is starting to come together as well.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at it, or you haven’t looked since last March, now is a great time to go take a peek at http://www.virtualmicropolis.com and you can get updates by subscribing to any of the RSS feeds on the site or by following the Mayor’s twitter feed @vmicropolis!

We have also been invited back to the Saint Anthony Park Library to display our layout as part of their post-renovation grand re-opening party! If you missed the display in March this is a great time to come out and have a look at our layout with some additional modules by Thomas Anderson. Plus Peter Hoh is returning with his educational models, the travelling DK Books display for their Star Wars LEGO books we be on hand, at least one stormtrooper from the local 501st, and refreshments provided by the little grocery store up the street! Mark your calendars for Wednesday August 14, 2013 from 6-8pm and be sure to tell anyone else who likes LEGO.

LibraryShowFlyer_August Saint Anthony Park Library Show - August 2013

 

(PDF Version of August Library Show Flyer)

Introducing Virtual Micropolis

Virtual Micrpolis Logo

After a few years of owning the domain name, I am finally getting off my proverbial butt and doing something with VirtualMicropolis.com. My original idea had been, as is somewhat usual for me, a bit grandiose. I was going to get the spec moved over there and make it a community for everyone who built Micropolis to come and post their stuff. Because there aren’t any other places on the Internet to build a community (like Flickr, MOCPages, Facebook, Google+, ad infinitum…), or something.

Anyway, the point really came home last weekend in Des Moines where we were displaying our little corner of Micropolis again and we also had the TwinLUG QR Code out on the table next to it. As usual we got several people who tried to use it, and mostly it worked (The lighting was a bit weird), but the overwhelming response to being sent to the TwinLUG site was one of disappointment. What people really wanted to see was lots of pictures and maybe some more stuff about what they were looking at right then. Obviously it was finally time to do something about it.

To get this really rolling though I was going to need to scale things back to just a place where we could put up information and pictures about just the modules that Jennifer and I own. Almost all of them are ones that we designed with the exceptions of some that I bought off a TwinLUG member before he moved out of the country a few years ago (Hi Gary!). Thanks to the wonderful photography skills of Alyska Bailey-Peterson we had a base of some excellent photos to go along with the drek that I manage to shoot so that we could at least get the site off the ground before having to figure out where we were going to get more good pictures.

For this project I think we really needed a Wiki. A blog or other groupware CMS system was just going to have too much overhead and complexity for the basic requirements of setting up easily linkable pages that could be simply protected from spam or other ne’er-do-wells with some file management capabilities. I finally settled on DokuWiki and I’m pretty happy with the results so far. My one small issue is that for some reason there are no simple methods of setting text alignment, but everything else is great so I’m ignoring that as much as possible. If you’re looking for a good Wiki platform you should definitely add them to your list of candidates.

As of right now I’ve got pages up for eight modules and material for a couple more before we start to run out of images, but I think it’s a decent start and hopefully we’ll be able to keep some momentum on the project for awhile.

While right now the site is all about our collection and the layouts that we have been part of but I think we would be glad to broaden the content in the not too distant future. I do have things locked down so that even if you register for an account you can not make any edits until I tweak the account so please contact me if that is your intent.

Good Display at the Library

Decent Sized Layout

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Jennifer and I put together a little display of our Micropolis modules at the library yesterday. I took the photo above just before we started to take it apart and get it home. I have no idea who the kid is, but I think the image turned out pretty well even if a solitary figure like that doesn’t given any good idea of how busy it got.

Going in yesterday afternoon we really didn’t know how many people were going to show up. We had put it together on pretty short notice so it hadn’t gotten into the Library’s regular promotional material and we had only sent it around to the neighborhood mailing list and a few groups and friends. So we were very slightly worried that very few people were going to show. Well, there were no worries about that.

We don’t really have any good way of estimating how many people came through, though the consensus appears to be that we can safely figure there were at least a hundred people who came through. From there, depending on who you ask, it was maybe as high as three hundred. The first hour was the most busy and for awhile the crowd around Micropolis was 2-3 deep.

Peter’s display got a lot of attention too and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t really hoarse given how much chatting he did with people while demonstrating his stuff. I was pretty sure he’d be a good fit when we invited him to show with us and I’m glad I was right. He really has a great way of interacting with everyone. When I asked him how well he thought it went during the display, he answered by showing me that he had handed out a third of the brochures for the Science Museum of Minnesota’s summer education series. Granted, this neighborhood is a pretty good crowd for that sort of thing and you can never tell how many of those made it home AND didn’t go immediately into the recycling bin, but it’s at least a nice anecdotal metric.

I should also publicly and sincerely thank my sister and brother-in-law who came in and monitored our free play areas for us while we were busy interacting with everyone around the main display. The library had said that having bins of parts out for general play would be absolutely fine but that they had to be closely monitored for liability reasons. Becca and Raulie arrived in plenty of time and took care of things for the full two hours. Having those areas available so that when the kids got done NOT being able to touch the city they could go and put together their own stuff worked out beautifully, and we couldn’t have done it without them.

As for the Micropolis display itself it ended up being a perfect rectangle at 5.5 by 10.5 blocks. Considering that it only included modules that the two of us own I am really proud of the size of that display. We did leave out two lesser quarter block modules and some waterfront but it wasn’t a tough choice to do so. It was also extremely gratifying to finally see a properly complete Bluff portion of the display. Up until this point my gorge module has always had to be tucked away into a corner because we didn’t have enough other bluff modules to cover two of the sides but the spurt of building in the last couple of weeks meant that finally we had a nice hill. Three of those modules are non-compliant with the spec, but in a case like this it’s easy to make that kind of exception. In a larger display with more contributors I think it still might work but we’ll have to see.

As usual one of the most common questions we got was, “How many LEGO bricks/parts are in this?” and I had taken the time to figure out an answer before we got there: About 100,000. I think we’re probably easily within 10-15% of that, but at some point I’m going to have to figure out a more accurate number. I arrived at that estimate by estimating an average of 500 parts per quarter block. If we expand that out to 5.5 x 10.5 blocks or 11 x 21 quarter blocks, which is 231 quarter blocks times 500 to get 115,500. I do think it’s possible that the average per quarter block is a bit high but I don’t see it being any lower then 400 and that still puts us in spitting distance of 100,000 so I’m just going to go with that for now.

I find it consistently interesting seeing what other people appreciate in a bigger layout like this. Living with the collection and getting the family’s opinion tends to split two, and occasionally three, ways depending on where Jennifer and I are at on particular questions. Run about a hundred people through the room though and the diversity of opinion explodes. People point out modules that maybe one of us thinks isn’t the best work, but something about it speaks to that individual. It’s a great thing to watch happen.

In any case, I think we can call the display an unqualified success. We’re vaguely discussing the possibility of doing it again next year. In many ways though, it was a good dress rehearsal for two weeks from now in Des Moines, IA.

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Little LEGO Show – March 2, 2013

LEGO Show March 2, 2013 at St Anthony Park Library
LEGO Show March 2, 2013 at St Anthony Park Library

My partner Jennifer and I are doing a little display at the local library with our friend Peter. Anyone who has been over to our house will have seen the shelves filling our living room with various parts of Micropolis. I attempted my very first module back in August of 2008 and Jennifer built her first module only a month or two later. Since then we’ve both built quite a few different contributions, but Jennifer more then most. Of the more then 40 square feet of Micropolis that we have together she has been personally responsible for probably 2/3rds of it.

One of the great features of the Micropolis standard, and part of reason for the standard, is that unlike a similarly sized model train layout each module can be moved around independently of the others for the most part and allow for a very large number of different configurations. But at a certain point it is just not easily possible to put the whole city together in one contiguous display. I’m pretty sure we passed that point over 20sq feet ago.

So this show is mostly about being able to put our Micropolis on a big set of tables and be able to see it all in one place for the first time in a long while. However, when we got to see the room on Wednesday it was pretty plan to us that despite it being a fairly decent sized display by itself, it would be somewhat dwarfed by the room we’re going to be in next Saturday. So we asked Peter if he wanted to come by with his stuff too.

Peter doesn’t build Micropolis, but instead does something completely different and very cool with LEGO: He teaches science and engineering with it. He’s been running classes locally for several years, including at Leonardo’s Basement and the Science Museum of Minnesota. He’s not there in any official capacity with either of those organizations but his passion for the subject matter and the fun variety of models that he uses will be a great fit for the library and the people in the homeschool community that Jennifer interacts with.

So it’ll be a little show for only 2 hours. Not a whole lot to see, but hopefully people will like what’s available. Maybe if it goes well we’ll see about doing something a bit bigger again some day.


View Larger Map

Small update: The flyer up top is available in PDF format too..

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It was really all about Inara?

There was a minor kerfuffle this past week about LEGO declining to produce a model based on the Serenity spaceship from the TV series Firefly. I would link to the project page but it has already been removed from the site. Suffice it to say that the project did reach 10,000 supporting votes, the minimum required for The LEGO Group to officially consider the proposal for a production release. However LEGO declined to continue the project.

I will say that I am not particularly surprised that LEGO declined to produce the set. It was a long shot in the first place, especially given that they responded similarly for the Winchester building from Shaun of the Dead and later provided a clarification of their stance on incorporating other brands into their product line. From a corporate standard it actually does make some sense: LEGO is attempting to manage their image to affiliate it with childhood, toys, and to some extent naivete. That’s their choice and it’s not an unreasonable one even if I don’t always agree with all of their decisions.

However it was this morning on Twitter that I saw what is apparently the specific reason that the Serenity model was rejected: Sex. Here’s the relevant tweets.

So it wasn’t the violence, as should be fairly obvious given their enormously successful Star Wars line of products, it was all about the sex. That Inara is un-apologetically in the sex industry means that LEGO can not associate themselves with the entire brand. Well, at least those tweets were fairly honest.

BTW – Prostitution has been legal in Denmark for over a decade.

Thoughts on a new module base

Ri Co Le Go on Flickr has proposed a new module base for Micropolis. (Composite example and Building Instructions)

I started working on a comment on the image with my reactions and analysis and it got really big very quickly, so I decided to move it here instead. Please be sure to look at those links and the associated comments first for better context.

First off, I think it’s a really interesting idea and certainly deserves discussion.

I like that it remains compatible with the existing standard and doesn’t compromise the depth of the module. Additionally it seems like there would be a lot more possibility of being able to overcome table height differences with only some small modifications.

To elaborate on Dave DuJour’s observation about pin usage in TwinLUG, we’ve pretty much given up on pins in the big layouts for a few different reasons:

  1. Laziness. :-)
  2. The size of even our medium layouts means that we almost always run into weight limitations that result in cracked or sheared pins across table edges.
  3. These days we have quite a few modules that are larger then 1 block which makes managing the connections much more complicated.
  4. Probably most importantly, we find being able to make quick changes by simply lifting a module out to be incredibly useful, especially in convention layouts where people are dropping off new modules at random times and we want to make sure we get good placement for all modules so that you can still see everything.

The proposed change resolves being able to maintain a nice and even layout while still maintaining the ability to make easy changes. The implementation seems fairly straightforward as well since it can use pretty common parts.

However I think my biggest concern is about part count for the base modules. These days my quarter block bases use exactly 14 parts at an average cost of $2.72 per base. (LDD File for reference)

Minimal Quarter Block Base Cost Breakdown
qty Part $per cost
4 8×8 Plate $0.20 $0.80
2 1×16 Technic Brick $0.57 $1.14
2 1×14 Technic Brick $0.22 $0.44
4 2×2 Corner Plate $0.03 $0.12
1 2×16 Plate $0.19 $0.19
1 2×2 Brick $0.03 $0.03
Total $2.72

I went ahead and threw together a really quick minimal implementation of the proposed module base and came up with 28 parts at an average cost of $2.28 per base. (LDD File for reference)

Minimal Proposed Quarter Block Base Cost Breakdown
qty Part $per cost
4 8×8 Plate $0.20 $0.80
8 1×4 Brick $0.04 $0.32
4 1×6 Brick $0.05 $0.20
8 2×1 Inverted Slope 45 $0.04 $0.32
4 6×6 Plate $0.16 $0.64
Total $2.28

That did NOT include the cost of each of the H connectors which I came up with several different permutations for. The most sturdy using two 1×4 Technic Bricks ($0.04) and a 2×2 Modified Brick with 2 pins ($0.03), most common parts using two 1×4 Bricks ($0.04) and one 2×2 Brick ($0.03), and your proposal with four 2×2 Corner Bricks ($0.06). If we used 1×4 Tile ($0.07) on all three of those permutations the average cost comes out to $0.31 per connector. Supplying enough connectors for a large layout could become quite expensive and even for a medium layout could be slightly prohibitive. (LDD File for reference)

Still, if you figure an average of 2 H Connectors per module that does make the price difference $0.18, which isn’t huge for the possible increase in functionality.

However I think the best place that this will be useful, and the best reason for adoption, will be with Bluff modules. There is currently a big issue with assembling Bluff modules and keeping them together plus the common need for support structures underneath standard modules arranged behind Bluff modules. If we included the H Connector (or maybe “Rico Connector”?) in the Bluff standard on the high sides of the module that would go a long way towards resolving a lot of the problems I’ve had there though not entirely obviating the need for under structure. However since I am in the minority of people working with Bluff modules I doubt that will have much sway with the rest of the community.

As for concerns about this change causing difficulty for using the depth of the module, I do not find that to be a compelling argument. Most modules that make use of the depth of the module do so towards the middle of the module and not towards the edges. The exception I can think of would be Thomas Anderson’s Construction Site, but even in that case there is an intact road on one side. So if the implementation of this change involved requiring at least one (or possibly two) connection points I think that would probably be enough.

The Robot Adventure

Last week I attended BrickWorld Chicago 2011 and had a great time. Unlike last year however, J and the kids (M and K) were not able to join me for various reasons. Disappointed that he was not able to go, M (age 7) insisted that one of his LEGO MOCs (based heavily on something from a Space Police III set) go with me on the trip to hang out in the Micropolis layout. I imagine his reasoning was that if he couldn’t attend, at least one of the creations that he imbues so abundantly with personality would be able to do so and would be the next best thing. I thought of it as M sending along an avatar and decided that “Robot”, as M called him, would get to have an adventure.

The rest of this post is a collection of the updates I sent to Twitter and TwitPic saved here primarily for later nostalgic purposes though I may insert some additional commentary along the way. A comment about the photography: I am not a great photographer and was shooting all of this on my HTC HD7 smartphone, most one-handed, in highly variable lighting. Any blurriness, odd angles, bad lighting, or general bad image quality can be explained by the preceding note.



At least it’s trying to help…
At least it's trying to be helpful...

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


When I pack the quarter block Micropolis modules I tend to take the tall spindly things off before they come off in the bag in more pieces then I would like. Most of the process of assembling the city is taking items out of their containers and doing that big of reassembly. In the case of the water tower module, it’s just easier to pop off the water tower.

Or maybe not so helpful…

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


I had already decided that Robot may not always be a nice creature. Posing him for this one was kind of fun.

I swear this was the robot honey!

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Nathan Stohlmann


The Cathedral needed more help then I was thinking it would have. This is J’s latest build, and possibly one of her best. In particular the stained glass windows are pretty spectacular. I imagine we’ll have pictures up elsewhere eventually.

The robot has an appointment at the DEA Headquarters.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


One of the best things about Micropolis is that we always exhort other people to bring their own modules to contribute to the layout. The layout is primarily populated with TwinLUG modules but only because we build the most of them so far. So it’s always nice to see stuff that other people bring. This module in particular is based on the actual DEA headquarters building which Michael Harrod brought this year. Michael hung out for quite a bit of the weekend and helped keep an eye on the layout that was much appreciated.

@ He’s taking a nap in my pocket.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


J had asked where Robot was the next day in her Twitter stream, so I kept this reply in the stream for reference. It was a good reminder to get it out again and start taking more pictures.

Robot likes the look of my almond cookie.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


The Westin Chicago North Shore has a couple of really good restaurants in it. Not too long after answering J’s question I was thankfully dragged to lunch at one of those restaurants by A and Other J. I got what turned out to be a modern western interpretation of a bento box, which came with a nice almond cookie. J’s earlier question had got Robot back in my mind so I figured it would be best to start playing around again. Later I decided that Robot probably doesn’t eat human food, but at this point I had not thought that far ahead.

Robot is sated from all the edamame.

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Nathan Stohlmann


These last two also kind of epitomize the classic kinds of photos on Twitter: food people are about to eat and weird avatars.

Robot surveys the city. Is thinking he might want to travel a bit yet this weekend.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann




Robot has always wanted to see the Eifel Tower.

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Nathan Stohlmann


FYI – That Eiffel Tower is as tall as I am. Better photo of it, along with the back of my head.

Robot wonders if it’s old enough to drive a lightcycle.

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Nathan Stohlmann


Lightcycles built by Chris Doyle of ReasonablyClever.com.

Robot finds melodrama incomprehensible.

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Nathan Stohlmann


Chris also used these MicroFigs in his Brick House web comic.

Robot thinks living underwater would be fun.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


I tried a few different shots with Robot of this one but eventually settled on this. There was really an amazing amount of activity going on, just too much to really capture it all.

Robot did not find the M:Tron people to be very friendly.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


I grew up on Classic Space and got out of LEGO just about the time that M:Tron was being introduced. Blacktron I loved, with the stark black and little bits of yellow for highlights. M:Tron always seemed too garish. That said there was a lot to like in this layout. There was some really cool parts usage and generally good building techniques. I just wish it could have been a better theme. :-)

Robot would like it known that it did not run away immediately. (It was too scared to run).

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


The best thing about this build is the color scheme. Everything is greyscale except for some very specific colors in very specific locations. It’s a fantastic build and rightfully nominated for best creature..

Robot found a spot to see many places all at once!

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


Arthur Gugick is well known for his architecture builds, and his mosaics. He is always up for one or two awards and actually got the Master Builder award this year, which was well deserved. I’ve had a chance to get to know him a bit over the last two conventions and can say that he’s great to hang out with and was one of the people involved in the late night emergency mosaic speed build.

Robot thinks the native Americans throw great parties.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


A fun build by TwinLUG member Lisa Parker. She had to mod some parts to get the La Crosse sticks to work right, but I think it might have been worth it.

Robot really enjoyed visiting the future.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


This is the amazing Utopolis by Michael Labelle. I had several great conversations with him, and hopefully he’ll have a Micropolis module built for BrickFete!

Looks like Robot got back to the room pretty late last night.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


There had been quite a bit of drinking the previous evening, some of which had inspired the previously mentioned mosaic speed build though no one involved had been drinking from what I remember. Seemed reasonable that Robot had probably imbibed as well. It’s entirely possible that this experience is what turned him off all organic foods in the future.

Robot is proving itself useful for checking the room before we leave.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


Yes, the original tweet had a typo. Thus, the advantage of editing.

Robot is taking a moment to check in with his famous new friends.

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Nathan Stohlmann


Marc-Andre Bazergui does some really amazing Mindstorms creations, though his most famous are probably his Wall-E reproductions.

Robot hopes that the good guys win.

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Nathan Stohlmann


The Lord of the Rings group layout was probably the second largest, after the Norther Illinois LEGO Train Club’s usual huge collaboration, and contained a good variety of MOCs from lots of different builders. There are better builds then Minas Tirith (The White City), but it made for a good shot with the army massed outside it. The guy who had built Khazad-dûm had apologized for being the likely reason that it had been so difficult to find the roof parts for J’s Cathedral this past spring.

Robot got a little dizzy riding the rides.

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Nathan Stohlmann




Robot found some new friends that remind him of home.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


This one was entirely for M. It’s exactly the kind of thing he builds, and these will probably be the level that he’ll be building in about 10 years.

Robot thinks he may have found a faster way home.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann




Robot got bored and decided to try skydiving.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


The crowds had started to thin out a bit and I was looking forward to the end of the public hours. In other words: Time to goof off.

Robot thinks the car is -very- full.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


I had wanted to do some pictures of Robot helping to pack up but we just didn’t have time. Public hours ended at 3pm and we had to have EVERYTHING packed and out by 4pm so that they could put in chairs for closing ceremonies. We got it done, and with time to spare, but there was absolutely no time for taking photos of the process. I was pretty amazed though that I was able to get everything into the car. I had made a few purchases (not more then a few thousand pieces. Well, not very much more then 10,000 pieces…) so the car that had been very full on the way to the convention was even more full on the way back.

Robot unfortunately agrees: Clown-Bot 6 isn’t very funny.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


This build is my Dirty Buildster entry that was titled, “ClownBot number 6 was never really very funny.” It’s not a great build, but I wanted to have at least one photo of it.

Robot is glad to going home, but is sad the convention is over.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


Taken from across the street after the traditional TwinLUG post-convention dinner. This year Buca was full so we ended up at the RAM.

Robot thinks waiting for a train is boring. Would rather be buying liquids for organic friends.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


Madison has a problem with their transit design in that a fairly busy freight rail runs right through the middle of downtown. Granted, building the city on an isthmus makes for limited options, but it can be irritating getting stuck.

Robot thinks that @‘s eyes may be bigger then his car.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann


My sister Rachel pointed out that Robot does not actually appear in this image. It was just starting to rain so I wanted to get into the car relatively quickly _and_ somehow load the soda somewhere into the relatively full vehicle, but Robot had been left in the car. Rather then risk getting soaked I just took the picture without him. Hopefully it didn’t feel too left out.
In my own defense I had not been intending to buy three cases of soda, just one. When I arrived at Cost Plus World Market in Madison is when I found out that Bundaberg had released three new flavors at which point my path was clear. I was disappointed I was not able to get a case of the Guava as well as the Blood Orange and the Pink Grapefruit.

Robot is just fine sitting around and watching @ do all of the unpacking.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann




Robot is overjoyed to be home and has decided to take a long and overdue recharge.

@Cavorter

Nathan Stohlmann

I figured this was a relatively fitting end to the adventure and would allow for me to pick it up again later if the inspiration appeared. If I do then Robot is likely to get his own blog and Twitter account. I do have some ideas of where I could go with this, and at the very least I do have BrickFete in just a month, so we’ll just have to see what happens.

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An epic Micropolis module idea

I scored big at a garage sale yesterday. Matt, a fellow TwinLUG member, had mentioned there was a huge number of sets available at a garage sale in New Brighton and that there had still been many left when he went back on Sunday. Since it was pretty close to J’s house I figured I’d take a few minutes and take a look. I came away with a large tub full of mostly LEGO monorail parts for not nearly as much money as it should have cost.

I was thinking of things I could do with my newly acquired monorail parts and ran some interesting calculations. At Micropolis scale the Vehicle Assembly Building is 58 bricks and 1 plate tall, 99.5 studs long, and 69 studs wide. The Crawler is 2 bricks to 3 bricks high (can raise and lower a bit), 17.5 studs long, and 15.2 studs wide. The tracks are 1 stud wide, and there are four pairs of tracks at the four corners of the vehicle with the motor for that corner between the pair. The Mobile Launch Platform which sits on top of the crawler is 2 bricks and 2 plates high, 21 studs long and 18 studs wide.

I’m wondering about the feasibility of putting together an oversized module with the VAB and a length of monorail track that runs a Crawler vehicle out to a launch gantry. I think if I took some liberties with the crawler design I could disguise the monorail motor as a rocket on top of the Crawler.

I think I am going to have to work on this virtually initially just to get an idea of how many parts I’m going to need for the VAB, since while I have a lot of parts these days I don’t have that many actual bricks and those will be needed most for that building. That and an awful lot of plates for the rest of the module.

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Micropolis modules on MOCPages

I’m playing around with the recently massively upgraded MOCPages site and with the exception of the total lack of RSS or Atom support have found it relatively useful. This past weekend I re-photographed a number of my Micropolis modules and posted them. If you want to see more, take a look at:

At some point hopefully the feed support will come so I can just have new entries over there automatically picked up over here.

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Pug ITTAR Vehicle

I saw a post on The Brothers Brick the other day with a new vehicle meme that looked pretty interesting and today I finally got the chance to sit down and build something and came up with “Pug”.

IATTAR - PUG (6)

The cockpit for Pug is where my design diverges from the meme spec which calls for it to be sealed. I’ve been looking for a good way to use the angled trans-blue window parts from an airport set that J and I won a few years ago in a contest and finally figured out a good use for it. It took me quite awhile to figure out the SNOT techniques required to get it mounted properly, and honestly the parts are not as secure as I would normally like them to be in a MOC, but I think it looks damned good.

I’m also quite pleased at the track design. I’ve been playing around with interesting intersecting angles with Technic lift arms and was able to put it to very good use. The combination of angles on both the exterior and interior parts lends both stability and some neat lines to an otherwise somewhat boxy look. Having the third wheel mounted lower also makes for a cool raked angle for the vehicle as whole.

All in all it’s not perfect but was quite satisfying given that I was working with J’s enormous bin of parts rather than my own neatly organized collection.