M. Giant's
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Thursday, March 11, 2010  

Set Up, Episode V

It's the paradox of Legos that the more you have, the harder it becomes to find the one you want.

Last summer, when I found myself becoming overwhelmed with how hard it was to find anything in the two-gallon bin M. Edium's birth mom had given us, I enthusiastically signed on to help himbuild a Death Star. The end result was a very low-resolution plastic orb a little smaller than a basketball that kept collapsing in on itself, and a Lego bin with barely enough useless little pieces to cover the bottom. I was in the process of shoring up the roof by seeing how many usless little pieces I could drop through the holes in it, when Trash pointed out that maybe tying up all of M. Edium's Lego pieces into one crappy project was not an entirely laudable goal.

And that was before the advent of the many Star Wars sets he's gotten since. But this week, three elements have aligned to give me hope. And no, it's not the resurrection of the V-19 Torrent. I'm on like, the fourth step of step twelve on that thing.

The first is my new project of sorting the Legos by color. I've been robbing bowls, Tupperware, and empty cottage cheese bins from the kitchen (something else that, fortunately, we have way too much of) and have started containers of white, black, gray, dark gray, yellow (young Anakin Skywalker's favorite color, evidently, and I assume the only reason he didn't wear a Jedi robe that color is because he would have looked like Brother Dick Tracy), brown/tan, and Republic maroon/Separatist blue. Those just happen to be the colors with the highest proportion of weird shapes in them, so now it's easier to find, say, a flat piece with two bumps and a funny little claw at the end if I know what color it is.

The second is a book he bought for himself using a gift card: Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary. It sounds dorky, but it's even more so in practice. M. Edium uses it for inspiration, because it contains photos of every Lego Star Wars set ever. Until recently, it has usually led to frustration, because he doesn't have the giant curved angle pieces needed to build, say, Jabba's sail barge. But last weekend he discovered the page with all the minisets: smaller versions of the ships that you need special pieces to build in the larger scale. The nice thing is that the minisets seem to be made exclusively of pieces he already has -- at least in shape. He doesn't care about the color of anything he builds. Or, more accurately, "colors." Which is why that Death Star came out looking like a giant ball of solid plastic hurl.

Item the third is this. The book includes the number for each set. M. Edium reads me the number and I punch it into this page to pull up the instructions on the laptop, and he goes to town.

Left to right: AT-ST (scout walker), Republic Gunship, the builder. It's a shame Clone Wars-era spacecraft are so ass-fugly.

How adorable is that little antenna dish? Don't you just want to scritch it like the ear of a one-eared gerbil?

Background: the AT-TE that took us both two full days to build. Foreground: the min-scale version, which M. Edium built by himself in twenty minutes.

The Rebel Blockade Runner in its docking bay is actually a grain of rice.

Pretty much my only role in these projects is to run the laptop and help him find the pieces he needs. During my downtime, I busy myself hunting up the next piece for the V-19 Torrent (only 8,326 to go!) and keeping the chaos from devolving. We're both having a great time. And when he has to cannibalize one of his minkits to build the next one, I have no problem with it.

And he has no problem with the fact that this time the V-19 is going back together with Super-Glue. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure he knows.

posted by M. Giant 9:33 PM 0 comments


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