As I have built more and more Micropolis modules, I have found that often, it’s one or two seed pieces which give me an idea. These can be far-removed from their original intent or use in sets they came with. A prime example is the Star Wars Jedi Interceptor (75038) which I dismantled in early November last year.
I have already used one of its four solar panels on my Micropolis MOC, Butterfly Batteries & Solar. But in that model, its purpose was the same.
However, I looked at the bubble canopy (10312pb01) from this set, plus the printed transparent black dishes (3960pb013) from this and Yoda’s Jedi Starfighter (75168) and thought, I must be able to use them somehow…
On 7th November I built my first Micropolis module, NE:ON Mall, which was effectively constructed from a load of table scraps. But the Micropolis bug had bitten. The next day I received the excellent Women of NASA set, complete with a tiny Space Shuttle. That looks about the right scale for Micropolis, I thought. I put it next to the canopy to see what their relative sizes were.
Soon after, I saw Magnus The Great’s super Pluppsala Science Block. I loved the classic space colours and those transparent yellow Brick, Modified 2 x 4 No Studs, Curved Top (6192) he used for skylights.
In my head, an idea was forming… and all those things were suddenly coming together. How would the canopy look for the entrance to my Air & Space Museum? I set to work with LEGO Digital Designer and noodled about with the building for a few days before I arrived at a structure I was happy with.
The downside was the cost… When I parted out the design on Bricklink it was suggesting I needed to spend a fortune on three elements – trans yellow bricks, blue grille profile bricks and those skylights I so admired. So I left the design on the electronic drawing board for several months.
Having acquired a pot with loads of regular blue 1×2 bricks in my Watford haul a few weeks ago, my thoughts returned to this design. I’m now a bit more savvy about ordering stuff from Bricklink, and realised I was better off making several orders (even accounting for postage costs) for the most expensive parts, rather than bankrupting myself by taking the algorithm’s suggested stores – which often work out much more expensive. Even so, I had to order the skylights from Germany and some of the blue grille bricks from the Netherlands. I slowly gathered the remaining parts and waited for postie to deliver the bulk orders. And today the last pieces came!
I have refined a few details here and there while building it for real, but the basic structure and design were mostly ironed out digitally, a first for me working this way. I’m more likely to fiddle about with a load of bricks from my drawers and see what I can come up with. But I am delighted with the way this has turned out.
That canopy makes a striking entrance space, complete with rocket, telescope and real space suit exhibits underneath. The Micropolis visitors are then encouraged to tour the three floors of exhibits in the main hall.
Those skylights make the space inside bright and airy, I’m sure!
The visitor is then lead across the bridge to the Annex where there are more exhibits about the future of Space travel, before they come down to the ground floor restaurant with access to the Rocket Garden where they can see the Shuttle, boosters, Apollo Command Module and Astronauts’ Memorial up close before returning to the exit via the Gift Shop in the main hall.
Museum entrance details…
The Astronauts’ Memorial in the Rocket Garden, where the Eternal Flame never dies.
The Shuttle nose points towards this fine example of one of the Apollo Mission Command Capsules which brought the astronauts safely back to Earth… [No, I don’t have a headless Star Wars droid in my Minifig collection. Honest.]
Shuttle Endeavor has pride of place in the Rocket Garden.
It’s been an interesting journey for me, remembering how all these disparate things came together. I would be so excited to visit the Museum if I was small enough to fit inside! And it seems to be popular with bigger folks too – my pictures on Flickr were blogged by ArchBrick – I’m in very esteemed company, as I’m usually in awe of things I see on that!
Watch the video on this Block by Blockhead: