14 October 2017

PdC Parts Festival: "Oops, Wrong Portal"

Posted by Admin
At the Paredes de Coura (PdC) Fan Weekend in Portugal we ran a live 'parts festival' workshop and afterwards, some participants took the new LEGO® parts home to continue experimenting. Alexandre Campos (the Ambassador for PLUG, the Portuguese LEGO User Group) is usually a LEGO Technic builder, so it's a good thing that our parts festivals are all about challenging people! Alexandre sent us this build using the parts and explains how the parts inspired him.

"Guys, I think we got the wrong address. Could you open the portal back home? Uh, guys? Guys?..."

This MOC resulted from experimenting with the elements: seeing how they connected with each other and how they looked. Since I'm more of a Technic guy, I don't have an abundance of System stuff to use the elements with, and that, combined with their colours (mainly greys and blues), provided an interesting challenge. I think the stairway and portal came out all right, the Poncho Crabagator not so much.

The stairs were the first to be created. I was playing with the car mudguards (Element ID 6178912 | Design ID 28326), seeing if they could attach to each other, when I noticed they could form some nice Sci-Fi-ish stairs. The stairs had to lead somewhere, and a catwalk was a natural choice.

Initially I wanted to use the boomerangs (6153574 | 25892) as multiple legs for the Poncho Grabagator, but if a boomerang could clip to an element by one of its wings, why not clip by both? Then I tried to see if the boomerang's geometry could form a closed shape by joining several of them, and yes it does! There's a peculiarity with the boomerang's clip connections, though: they're quite snug and hard to adjust once clipped, and the clipped element tends do droop slightly. In the case of this scene, it means the portal tends to tilt backwards, and it wasn't easy to have it perfectly vertical, with all the projected "illuminated" segments straight.

I was thinking how could I use the car spoilers (6192787 | 30925) which are, in my opinion, too vertical to be effective spoilers. I found out they serve quite well as very, very short handrails for the catwalk. Still not OSHA-compliant, but at least they offer some (little) protection and look cool.

Then came the Poncho Crabagator: I wanted to use two cockpit elements (6166852 | 27262) for jaws and the rest of the body went from there, with the orange eyes' shape matching well the openings of the jaws.

The "poncho" started as an exercise to see how several of the small "half-slopes" (6172414 | 29120 Left Plate 1X2, W/ Bow, 45 Deg. Cut and 6172411 | 29119 Right Plate 1X2, W/ Bow, 45 Deg. Cut) could form a wedge, Then, FOR SCIENCE!, I decided to check how would the slopes looked if I swapped the left-handed and right-handed ones. They looked nice and unusual, so the Crabagator gained a poncho.

Finally, the Poncho Crabagator needed some legs. I wanted to use the versatile lipsticks (6189137 | 25866) and Nexo Shoulders (6175554 | 22392), and the arrangement I liked the most involved four plates with handles, for a total of eight legs.

With the scenery (and a very ugly actor) in place, all I needed was a story, and the unfortunate astronaut got volunteered to provide it.

This was an interesting exercise in finding alternate uses for elements I wasn't familiar with, and I hope I was successful in that regard. At least I had some fun thinking outside my "comfort zone".

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1 comment:

  1. 1. On the subject of the "actor", I guess now we know how Benny's emblem got so scratched up and his helmet got broken. And he's clearly suffering some PTSD-related effects that hearken back to Howling Mad Murdoch. His obsession with spaceships is clearly all about feeling a compulsive need to have a means of escape handy at all times.

    2. I suspect that the issue with having the clip lean towards the bottom side of the boomerang may be affected by exactly _which_ type of clip you use. It appears you used the older clip tiles that have the straight-sided fingers. I think the newer C-clip tiles will produce an even stronger resistance than what you used because of the changes to the internal shape of the clip.