Sunday, April 26, 2009

Part 2: Where to Begin?

Once I had gathered and sorted hundreds of pics from Flickr, and visited Google Earth to confirm the layout, placement and counts of the houses on Waveland and Sheffield Avenues, I had to determine what to build first.

It seemed apparent that I should choose one of the more detailed elements, build it, and then let it determine the scale for all of the other elements to correspond to. After a few considerations, I determined that the scoreboard in centerfield would be the perfect piece to begin with.

I attached one of the pics that I used as a guide to build the scoreboard. In its simplest form, the scoreboard is essentially a giant green rectangle with a black rectangle underneath it. The green rectangle contains white stripes that hold placement for out-of-town scores, along with an area in the center for in-game scoring details. A tall white flagpole extends from the top of the scoreboard.

I used Excel as a grid to draw out each line of bricks that would be needed, and then purchased them at the Lego store or through for the pieces I couldn't find elsewhere. In total I spent about 3-4 hours drawing out the grid in Excel, and ordering the pieces I would need. Once the pieces arrived a week later I started building.

Attached is a pic of the first attempt at the scoreboard. It will be completed with decals that will say National, Out, Strike, etc. in fine detail. Those details were too small to build with Legos - though I did try to design for that and in order to use bricks to spell out the words the scoreboard would end up being about 6 feet tall by about 10 feet wide. Granted, this thing will be big enough when finished...

This scoreboard contains approximately 2200 individual pieces and was built in about 2 hours once I had all of the right pieces. That seemed about right to me that it would take twice as long to design as it would to actually build. I was also pleased that it turned out pretty much like I expected to. Excel certainly isn't designed for Lego models - but my guesses at the cell height and width turned out to be pretty accurate. Gosh, have you ever read anything more geek-like than this last paragraph?

The cost of the pieces just for the scoreboard was around $90. I need to make the flagpole bigger - that will likely cost another $5 in pieces as well to make it taller, wider, and to add more flags blowing. I'll also have to add the small lights that run across the top of it. This is going to be expensive...

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