Oscar up the Gog

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Rob the Duplo Uncle
jawapro
Sun 02/07/2017 04:05 PM


 
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I'm getting ready for this whole "Being an Uncle" malarky.

Congrats to Em and Turks - it's officialy public news now, so I don't have to keep secrets anymore.

I can't wait to be a crazy Uncle.

Already starting my Duplo collection. :)
 


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The Lego StarGate Command
jawapro
Tue 24/01/2017 10:53 PM


 
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Good Morning Campers,

So - this was my main MOC for Brickvention 2017.

It’s not overly large, but I’m quite proud of it.

For anyone who is unfamiliar, that’s the gate-room from StarGate Command (from the tv show Stargate).

 
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The story of this MOC (which is LEGO for My Own Creation - it means  a creation that wasn’t built from instructions) starts at Brickvention last year. 

I was doing my check of the sellers stalls before I decided where to spend my money, and I saw a group of custom SG-1 minifigs. I decided to buy them, but did another lap of the stalls first, and by the time I got back, they were gone.

So that would have been the end of the story, except the guy behind the stall was the guy who’d actually painted the figs, and he offered to do me a set on commission. Brilliant.

So a couple of months later, my minifigs arrived, custom painted by Terry Jeffries. Awesome job mate, thanks again!

All I had was the SG-1 team at this point, but they were awesome. They made a brief appearance in Brendon’s Endor layout at one of the Tassie shows (very few people noticed them - the camouflage uniforms were working) - but I had bigger plans.

You can’t have SG-1 without a Stargate!

So I did a heap of Googling to see how other people have done Stargates in Lego. 

There are many different approaches that people have taken. Some very awesome ones actually spin, but those are in totally the wrong scale for minifigs. In the end, mine is based on an idea by a guy called Yatkuu. It’s not identical,  but it’s pretty close.

So that gave me the team and a stargate - the next time they appeared on Endor they had a stargate, and suddenly people were pointing them out.

But I wanted more than a gate - I wanted to do a display of Stargate Command. 

That’s not an original idea either - quite a few people have done gaterooms, to better or lesser results. No one had done quite what I wanted to do.

I wanted to look up through the gate towards the briefing room. This is backwards to the most common angles from the TV show, and backwards to all the MOCs I could find.

 
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I started prototyping. I wanted to save money by using baseplates for the walls and supporting it all with timber. I wanted the walls to have texture though rather than just being flat - so it took quite a while to get it all sorted.

In the initial prototypes, the briefing room was much lower than it ended up. 

 
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I didn’t have any minifigs for General Hammond and the technicians, so they were scrounged together. General Hammond is wearing a train conductors uniform, but it looks enough like an airforce uniform that I think it works.

I also installed some lights from lightmybricks (https://www.lightmybricks.com.au/) to light up the computer panels and give the control room some light. This makes the guys inside visible, and I think it gives a nice effect.

 
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I also wanted to build the door to the corridor open - so although it’s next to impossible to see in that photo, the door is open and there’s a small section of corridor inside. I should probably add some lights in there too...

 
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The timber frame had to be solid enough to protect the display during transport and storage, and the wings had to be large enough to include the hidden corridor on the left side. Determining just how large to make them took a surprisingly long time and a number of prototypes before the final timber construction project.

It wouldn’t have been too bad - but when I was finishing this MOC off ready for Brickvention, Emma and Turks were renovating their house and had custody of most of my tools - so I had to do a couple of trips to Burnie to finish off my project (amongst the other trips to help them - I was in Burnie a lot for a few weeks!)

 
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So that’s my Stargate. 

It was on display in Brickvention in Melbourne and got a lot of positive comments and had it’s photo taken MANY times.

I’ve discovered that kids have no idea what Stargate is and all assumed it was something from Big Hero 6 or the Flash, but 90% of parents knew what it was. Even Luke McGregor (from Rosehaven and Utopia) came to check it out.

Dial the gate - I’m out of here!
 


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The Final Flight of the Impreza
jawapro
Wed 28/12/2016 03:16 PM


 
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Well, flight isn’t exactly true, but the final drive of the Impreza doesn’t sound as good.

Back in 2005 I got the old girl to replace my even older Subaru. And she’s been a great car ever since.

Mechanically I’ve barely had an issue. The paint may have fallen off (as did the muffler) and the driver’s seat is partially collapsed, but I’ve spent many a mile in the old girl.

Since getting the Forester, the Impreza has had very little use. When Chris was working down the West Coast he did a bit of work on her and was using her as a get-about. The bits he’d tacked on are probably worth as much as the rest of the car, so in return for some work he did on Oscar, I said he could have the old girl.

So this Christmas I took the old girl for her final trip with me. Down to the Tasman Peninsula where Chris can take ownership.

It’s slightly odd - I’ve done an awful lot of travelling in the old Impreza, and as much as I loved driving it, I’m not that attached when it comes to letting her go.

I’d love to get my old Subaru back (my first car) - and Oscar the Pajero means a lot to me, but the daily drives just aren’t that special. Same with the Forester - if it was replaced with an equally good vehicle, I wouldn’t mind all that much. It’s odd which cars you get attached to, and which are just tools.

That said, I still have fond memories of her - I hope Chris gets her back to some of her former glory and gets some use out of the old girl. She’s a bit rough, but her heart is still strong. Farewell old friend. 




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Lego Score
jawapro
Wed 28/12/2016 03:13 PM


 
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So - I recently got a score from Lego.com.

For those who don’t know, Lego Dimensions is a console game (xbox, playstation etc) where you can use certain Lego figures and models to play the actual game.

For people that don’t have the game itself, it’s basically a way to collect Lego minifigs. You see, Lego gets some licenses especially for the Dimensions game, and that’s the only way to get those minifigs.

Unfortunately it’s an expensive way to get the minifigs.

The "Fun Packs" which contain one minifig and a small build (ET, Mr T, and Tina Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts in the photo above) generally sell for around $25 each. That makes for an expensive minifig, but it can be the only way to get them.

The "Team Packs" with two minifigs (ie the Gremlins one above) are around $40.

The Level packs (like Sonic) are $50 as they contain more game content even though it only has one minifig.

The Story Packs are the biggest of the lot and contain only a single minifig, but a lot of in-game content and a model that goes on the actual gameboard device when you are playing. They’d set you back a whopping $70. 

So if you want both available characters from Fantastic Beasts, that’s almost $100 for two minifigs (and a few small models you may or may not want).

Essentially you’d have to be a major fan of the figures in question to even consider it, and even then it’s only worth it if you also play the game, and maybe not even then.

Now that’s a lot of explanation just to set the stage.

You see - something went wonky on the Lego.com Australian shop. I don’t know if it was an error or if it was some massive discounting that they didn’t really advertise or what - but the prices for the newest sets were massively lower than normal.

I checked some of the other Lego.com sites - and it seemed to only be the Australian version of the store that had the discounted prices. The Yanks must have been kicking themselves.

The $70 Story Packs I mentioned earlier, well they were down to $16!

That’s insane - especially for a brand new product - it had only just been released.

The older sets were still their normal prices, only the new ones were crazy cheap.

In addition, the team packs which are normally $40 were down to $13, and the Level Packs which are normally $50 were down to $10. That doesn’t even make sense.

The $25 fun packs were down to $7, which doesn’t seem like much of a markdown in comparison to the others.

This all coincided with my workmate wanting to place a Christmas order - so we easily reached the free shipping threshold - twice! That meant we could split the order in two and get two of the free gifts (they actually had two promotions so that was 4 free gifts in total).

I just wanted to take a photo of them all together before I break open the boxes. 

For anyone who missed out, sorry - but the prices are all back to normal now.





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I have aircon!
jawapro
Wed 28/12/2016 02:31 PM


 
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Time to rejoice, as I finally have a proper aircon unit in my house.

And not just any aircon, but a fully ducted system!

Of course, since installation the only really warm day was when I wasn’t home - but this thing should be awesome when the heat rolls in (or equally the cold).

 
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Look at the size of that thing! The unit that went in the roof was far larger than I expected - those things on top are rolls of duct tape for scale.

 
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The installers had to remove part of the roof to get it in - took them from 8:30 in the morning until approaching 7 in the evening - was a big job!

 
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This is the outside section. She’s not small either.

Now I just need to wait and see how much the power bill is impacted...




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