Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rainy Saturday

I'm not sure why, but for some reason today I couldn't put off the urge to finish the control tower I started yesterday.  At first I was telling myself that I thought it would take longer to build than I would have on the next playdate.  But a little bit I think maybe I just wanted to do it myself.

I had an idea of the geometry in my head while building the cap yesterday.  What I really wanted to do was based on an octagonal plan, but that shape and lego bricks don't really get along, at least not with the pieces I have.  So it was going to be a rectilinear base, tapering in and then out.  Most importantly it was going to have to be tall, sufficiently so as to appear to be close in scale to the plane we built last time.

Speaking of "pieces I have"...  I'm not really part of the adult brick builder community but I would lay dollars to donuts that they have slang for not having enough pieces.  Today I settled on "IBI" for insufficient brick inventory.  The number of times during this process I had to compromise or improvise to be able to work within my collection was pretty depressing.  The inside of the tower is covered with slants and reverse slants used to stretch the numbers.  As far as this model is concerned the only face that mattered was the outside, so this seemed like a reasonable fix.  I'm not sure if the observation floor at the top was about design or inventory.  But I am sure that the clear brick at the bottom of the yellow window was about not having enough pieces - I mean IBI.

Anyway, appears to have come out alright in spite of the issues:

I had to change to blue from black: IBI, same with the red windows.  Gonna be a lot of outflowing cash should I desire to resolve that issue at some time.  I didn't taper in as far as I had intended, but looking at the finished piece I think if I had come in another row it would have started to look frail.  I didn't quite get the feel of the curve I was going for.  To do so I think the middle section would have had to have been 2-3 times the height of the preceding section (rather than 1/3 as is).

Once more, without being able to identify whether the cause was design intent, IBI, or boredom I decided to put an "observation deck" directly below the control room:

The thought was something about a staircase in the core.  Looking at the implementation of the struts it occurred to me that they could have been an interesting feature at each footprint change.  I think I have the struts but I am not sure the additional height would help the overall composition.

What with the hodgepodge of colors and all the compromises in the end the most successful potion of the model might be the interior; which was actually somewhat of a throw away:

 I guess if you are going to try to work in minifig scale you might as well make the most of it.  There are four controller positions with panels and monitors as well as swivel chairs.  Those guys are working under the supervision of a fifth guy.  The top of the structure folds away to give play access to the figures, but my fingers are too fat to enjoy it much.  Thinking about it, there is a sort of ongoing conceptual "dollhouse" issue to these models - a choice between concentrating on the interior or the exterior and the ramifications and compromises necessitated by that choice.

So, we have a plane and a tower and I have a playdate tomorrow.  What's next?  Fuel truck?  Baggage train and loader cart?  Catering Truck?  Terminal?  De-icing station?  My friend likes trucks.  So I guess that's where the smart money is.

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