Friday, May 23, 2008

The plane! The LEGO plane!

A friend of mine suggested that I should build a plane and with the rising cost of oil and uncertain future of the major airlines, this doesn't seem like the most impractical suggestion I have heard. However, considering this plane was going to be made of LEGO bricks, and constructed by Jonny the wonder builder- perhaps it would be best to consider it a representation of what might be, rather than attempt actual flight.

My build time is improving as the plane you see before you took about an hour and 15 minutes from model conception to construction. There were only a few major stopping points and one exasperating search for a steering wheel in an enormous pile of unsorted bricks. I was pleased to discover that pre-built corners exists, pieces that allow you to shape your structure around them, providing stability and instant spatial recognition.

The model is meant to be a biplane, a primary colored version of the craft featured in so many Indiana Jones escapes...The body of the plane is only four studs (the nubs that sit atop the bricks) wide. A visual trick that I'm proud of was snapping the legs off my LEGO minifig (mini figure) pilot to make it seem as though he was seated in the cockpit. I hid this with a well-placed ladder and am counting on my audience's trust that no kind-hearted man would willingly remove the bottom half of a LEGO man.

I'm slowly learning that the real challenge in building with LEGO lies in the details. The difference between an acceptable model and one that really seems special is the ability to find the right parts to represent pieces. But in the interim, the model for Bender airlines is up and ready for takeoff. We've got no baggage check fees or FAA oversight. So, who wants the first ticket?

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