Skunk Base N . N is for... .
Note to self -- no more trying to build and photograph large constructions until I have a lighting system that can accommodate them. A build table that can fit the entire thing on it with no overhang would help too.
So mister-constantly-changes-his-user-name-but-it-always-has-something-to-do-with-eggs says the hollow studs of BURPs and LURPs should be covered, and generally I have to agree. Here I covered some and left some exposed because... it adds a bit of different texture. Yeah, we'll go with that. Definitely not because I'm too lazy to do them all.
"All right, 28 millidemisemiquavers. Enter it in the pad."
"What do you mean why? Because it's your job."
"For one, it's always 28, it never changes. For another, if it ever did change, the computer would record it automatically. For yet another, even assuming this was necessary, how in the world is this a two man job?"
I keep thinking of this as a monorail, despite the fact that it clearly has two rails.
"I don't know what it is, but every time I have to go outside, I just get this feeling that something terrible is going to happen to me."
"Oh, that's ridiculous. You're being paranoid, red shirt."
"Quit calling me that! I have a name, you know!"
"I don't want to know it. I can't get too attached, in case --"
"In case WHAT?!"
"Nothing, never mind..."
The near-vacuum outside makes for a perfect natural refrigerator. As Dave prepares to wheel in yet another 50-gallon drum of ranch dressing, he wonders how the boss manages to stay so thin at the rate he consumes the stuff. "He dips his bacon in it, for god's sake!"
Sam, a fierce individualist who prefers to rock the Futuron style, never quite fit in at this pseudo-classic base. Having decided to see how far he can push it before getting fired, he figures parking on the boss's private landing pad is guaranteed to blow his co-workers' weak little buttoned-down conformist minds.
However, his employee access code doesn't work at the boss's door. Sam can only shake his head in rueful admiration. "Bastard! He may be a pompous blowhard, but he's always thinking two moves ahead!"
"Do you think we can get the boss to eat a vegetable every now and then? I mean, we have to pump out the septic system on a weekly basis! The guy's killing us!"
"I'll dance on his grave. He's a heart attack waiting to happen. Over-under in the office pool is two years -- I took the under."
In a rare move of planning ahead, I build the "refrigerator" ceiling with trans-clear bricks, to let in more light for picture-taking. And it was still a bitch getting decent shots in here.
When he gets to really hating his boring desk job, Fred has to remind himself that working outdoors involves wearing a stuffy spacesuit -- and that his embarrassing gastrointestinal disorder makes that a pretty unsavory proposition.
"Uh-oh, looks like we got another native going all Tiananmen Square on us."
"Native? That's a Martian. We're not on Mars."
"Whatever, these aliens all look the same to me."
"Technically on this planet, we're the aliens."
"Oh, for Christ's sake -- I think someone's watched Avatar a few too many times. I'm calling in the Space Police to crack some non-human skull!"
"What's your problem, anyway? We're faux-classic space -- you know, the guys who are into peaceful exploration and living in harmony with the native population."
"Ha! Classic Space never had to deal with a native population! I guess it's pretty easy to live in harmony with hypothetical beings... Serve some time with the Mars Mission like I did, hippie. Then you'd know these things for the filthy animals they are."
"Um, that's a Life on Mars Martians, not a Mars Mission Martian..."
"Quiet, hippie! The Space Police aren't above whomping alien-lovers too!"
May the legend live on forever.
"Hmm, Substation A is registering 27.99989 millidemisemiquavers. Make a note of that."
"Oh you better believe I will! Hot damn! This is the most exciting thing we've seen all week!"
"Knock it off. In this economy, just be glad you still have a job."
The only reason the diorama was built was so I'd have a backdrop for the MGS mk II. Yes, really.
The original MGS lacked a bit in the style department, so the crew got an upgrade.
Gotta have room for a Speedy unit.
Because of course, Speedy needs no upgrade. It was a perfect design from the get-go.
A fourth man was added so that on those long missions away from the base, the crew could at least play a proper game of Hearts.
"There has to be a toilet in one of these cupboards..."
Time to build the rover -- two or three days.
Time to build the diorama -- five or six weeks.
For some reason I started documenting what music I listened to during construction. Eschewing personal mixes, I went with original albums to provide the soundtrack for this build. I'm a persnickety old man who glares with suspicion at you kids and your newfangled gadgets with digital playlist whatsits -- I spent thousands of dollars over the years amassing my CD library, and by gum and by gosh I'm going to play those discs! So as you enjoy some random detail shots, I present, in chronological order, the soundtrack to the creation of Skunk Base N:
The Who - Who's Next
Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
Yes - The Yes Album
Pink Floyd - Meddle
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Dr. Dre - The Chronic
Beatles - Abbey Road
Rolling Stones - Exile on Main St.
Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold as Love
AC/DC - High Voltage
Deep Purple - Machine Head
Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti
Rush - Caress of Steel
Traffic - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Big Brother & the Holding Company - Cheap Thrills
Sublime - 40 oz. to Freedom
Santana - Abraxas
Scorpions - Animal Magnetism
Beethoven - 5th and 6th Symphonies
Led Zeppelin - IV
Bob Marley - Rastaman Vibration
Metallica - Master of Puppets
James Brown - JB40: 40th Anniversary Collection
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
Grateful Dead - Workingman's Dead
Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison
Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping
Bach - Brandenburg Concertos 1-6
Nirvana - Unplugged in New York
The Doors - L.A. Woman
Cream - Disraeli Gears
Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow
Beatles - White Album
Van Halen - II
Stevie Ray Vaughan - The Sky is Crying
Depeche Mode - Violator
Aerosmith - Toys in the Attic
The Guess Who - American Woman
Steve Miller - Fly Like an Eagle
Heart - Dreamboat Annie
Thoth - Maiden Flight
ZZ Top - Fandango!
Fugees - The Score
AC/DC - Highway to Hell
I really wanted to do a cutaway with some sort of interior hangar scene behind those bay doors. It was not a lack of parts that kept me from doing that, though I'm sure that would eventually have become an issue. No, the reason is because the dio as it is now already takes up my entire build table -- about 2 x 4 feet.
For some reason, red shirt feels no vindication whatsoever when his gut feeling is proven correct...