Monday, March 11, 2013

The Space Needle Fell Over :(

Ugh, not again!  The Lego Space Needle crashed, time to play 7,000 piece pickup...

LL protecting herself from falling pieces
It's 10:30 PM on Thursday Feb 28th.  Too bad there's not a Feb 29th, 'cause Comicon opens on the 1st @ noon.  That's not a lot of time to put 7,000 pieces back together :(

It's ironic, I keep telling people how stable this thing is, then, once every 4 years or so, this happens.  Worse, the move from work to ECCC went great, very little damage (it always breaks a bit when I move it, but apparently I'm getting better, took only 30 min to put back up when I took it back to work).  Apparently I shouldn't have mentioned that an hour ago.

Worser, I was filming putting it up... and the camera died about 30 min ago.... :( 

Worsest, there're no instructions.

We fumbled around for a bit, but then they turned out the lights and we called it a day.  In the morning my sister & I spent some time fixing some of the critical spots.  We were back at ECCC around noon to begin reconstructing it.  With the rest of SEALUG's help, it was back on it's feet by 6.  For some reason, RC relegated me to the back table.  (Something to do with insurance premiums and the guests or something).

What happened?  I mean, this thing's been standing for over 3 years.  I've always figured another Nisqually Earthquake would be it's doom, but nothing was going on.

Well, for ECCC, I figured that it should be "Emerald" in honor for the "Emerald" in "Emerald City Comicon's" name.  That, and the real space needle's green on top with a painting of trees, so I was gonna do that anyway.

So we rebuilt all of the white leg pieces in green.  At the same time we went from ~4500 pieces to ~5500 or so, primarily because the white legs are 2x2 wide by 3 bricks tall.  Lime green doesn't come in 3 brick tall forms, so the plan was 3 times as many bricks one tall.  (In practice I ran out, so I had to use 4 1x1x1 bricks for every 2x2x1 brick, so we ended up at ~7000 bricks).

Once the bottom legs got rebuilt, up to where they hit the tower in the middle,  something wasn't right.  The top half of the tower wouldn't fit on!  It's like the green legs were longer.  So I padded the tower with a plate (a plate is 1/3 of a normal brick).  Apparently that wasn't a great plan because it crashed.

On rebuilding we were more careful, and, indeed, the legs were too long.  We ended up removing a plate from each of the lower three legs.  Additionally the same error happened with the top struts, and they were also shortened by a plate. 

When I mentioned my observation that the bricks weren't the right heights, Dan Parker belatedly confirmed that sometimes the tolerances creep in and things that seem like they should work in Lego, don't.  I'll blog a bit more about that later.

The Emerald Lego Space Needle made it up for the rest of Comicon, where people queued up to see it.  (Well, maybe they were looking for Hogwarts, but they had to get past me first.)  I even think I saw a Unicorn.

Now it's back at work.  Took a bit to get all the green out, but only 30 minutes to unload the car and put it up, with the green roof representing the real needle's trees.

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