Some 30 years later, I built a #Lego #SpaceCruiser!

Weeks ago I wrote a rant about Lego inwhich I questioned why the Lego Friends line is so drastically different from the standard Lego toys.  I also shared how I didn’t know Lego came in kits until I was in middle school.  The reason for my ignorance being the Legos in my household were almost entirely hand-me-downs from my brother who had long since mislaid the instructions for the the 1980s era Space Cruiser Warner Bros. recently reminded us of in The Lego Movie.

My brother, clever young man that he is, found the instructions on the Internet and shared them with me challenging me to build the Space Cruiser.

My first challenge was finding our old Lego collection.  As stated in my earlier post, a time came when my mother took the remaining Lego bricks and tossed them all into a plastic bin that previously had been used for transporting cupcakes, mixing and commingling what was left from all the kits that had ever entered her children’s lives.

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Finding it turned out to be easier than I thought it would be.  Since all the grandbaby moved out of their house, my parents have relegated all the toys to one corner of the family room.  The bin was under a table chest in the corner along with the puzzles, blocks, and Lincoln Logs.

Challenge Two: Uncover what’s left of the figures.

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The Spacemen have long since lost their faces.  One of them used to have a mark where a face once was, but now they are entirely missing.  (The Policeman was from a kit I got as a child, therefore has been handled the least and still has his face.)  The Spaceman logos on their chests are all but entirely gone.  Out of five figures there are four hands between them; one head and helmet are long gone; and the figure not pictured, in my memory, has always had only one leg.

Once I determined I had most of the pieces I’d need to build the Space Cruiser,

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it was time to get down to business.

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The Instructions were really sort of difficult to follow some of the time.  It certainly didn’t help they were smallish images on the computer rather than a paper I could handle and get close to without feeling like I’d done something terrible to my eyes.

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Slowly it started to come together.

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Despite the pieces being a minimum thirty years old a surprising number of them in very good condition.  The thrusters, for example, still look great!

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(I used these pieces as lampshades.)

The pieces in poor condition are primarily the pieces you’d expect to be in shambles after cycling through five children and a couple of grandbabies.  The pieces that attach the thrusters to the back of the ship, for example, look like this:

wpid-20150318_215252.jpgHinged pieces, they were meant to attach to the top of the back with these bits hanging down, onto which the thrusters would attach.  Alas, they’ve been broken most of my life.  Therefore, the Space Cruiser must go without it’s thrusters.

Quite frankly, I had to get real creative with multiple parts of the ship.  I borrowed from other parts and substituted many pieces where I could get away with it.  I had to rebuild various parts more than once, and get creative with broken parts.

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In the end, it didn’t turn out so badly.

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Still had plenty of missing pieces; I couldn’t get around not having one entire section of that windscreen.  I’m afraid it wouldn’t be a very effective Space Cruiser, but as it doesn’t have any thrusters, it’s not like it’s going anywhere anyway!

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Cover Art: A Discussion

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Cover Art: A Discussion

Time, I think, to discuss cover art.

Romance novels, especially Harlequin Romances, Silhouette Romances, and Zebra Books, tend to feature a shirtless, well-muscled man towering over a busty gal whose top is about to fall off her bosoms while she clings to the man, or he is attempting to mount her. People are not embarrassed to be caught reading Romance Novels because it’s a Romance Novel, I think they’re embarrassed by the covers. (Perhaps this is why there are so many of these smutty, embarrassingly jacketed novels for free on Amazon Kindle?) The couple is inevitably sitting in a field surrounded by unicorns and rainbows; or on a the deck of a ship, her back pressed into the hard, wooden stairs up to the helm; or in the woods with birds flocking around them.  Not comfortable places to be making the sexy times.

Now, while these covers are awkward and embarrassing, they are so because they are a ridiculous extreme of Sexual Fantasy.  No one is ever going to actually sit in a dew covered meadow at dawn with her blouse falling down around her breasts while she clings to the very muscular leg of a shirtless man who is holding a spear in one hand to show that he is a Protector, and has a bird alighting in the other to show that he is Gentle.  But someone might very well get thrown against a wall and have mind blowing sex.

The cover art chosen for Wallbanger is as shocking as it’s title with it’s suggestion of actual intercourse rather than the overt expression of heightened arousal that the campy covers portray.  It might even be more embarrassing than the others.  The others are ridiculous enough that even though they are embarrassing they’re also funny.  But Wallbanger is just realistic enough that I almost feel like I’ve walked into a couple’s bedroom by accident, catching them in the act.

That being said, the cover art is appropriate.  Everyone who has ever woken up in the nighttime to hear a couple going at it in the next room knows exactly this sort of awkwardness.  Especially when it’s too late to text a friend or you cannot wake up the person sleeping next to you so they can experience it with you (because it is either just too funny, or, sometimes, too much pressure to be the only person in the know).  Therefore the shocking nature of the cover art precisely mimics the shocking way Caroline discovers that her neighbor is a passionate lover.

This was originally posted on Literary Bex (the Tumblr) as a part of the Wallbanger by Alice Clayton run.  To see the original post (and the poster my friend C made once while I wasn’t home) click on the above picture.