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Space Ninjas 3: Smog Factory Gamma-C . Because you know any franchise that merits a sequel can and will be milked for a trilogy. . The planet Lithia is dotted with innumerable automated terraforming plants (commonly known as "smog factories"), whose sole purpose is to manufacture and pump tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In a decade or two they will have warmed the planet enough to maintain liquid water on the surface, the crucial first step toward introducing plants and animals, and eventually, human settlers. Built into the side of a mountain, Smog Factory Gamma-C taps into what little geothermal energy Lithia can provide to produce its cocktail of atmospheric conditioners. And like all smog factories, apart from periodic visits by a technician to check on things, Gamma-C is completely deserted. Perfect for a Space Ninja battle... This is the most massive Lego structure I have built to date; at its maximum points, the footprint measures 109 studs wide by 36 studs deep; the tallest smokestack tops out at 60 and 1/3 bricks high. If only it flew I could say I'd built a SHIP and finally passed that manhood test -- although this is a Seriously Huge Investment in Parts in its own right. We need an acronym for large ground-based constructions. I took a proto-version of this to Northwest BrickCon in October of '07 (there's a picture or two here somewhere if you want to compare it to the final product) Even though it was only half-complete I still thought it was good enough to display, but I had bigger plans for it. The problem is, I'm always building several different things at once, and usually -- stupidly -- at least two of those things are fighting for the same parts. In this case the Tetricus was also taking up a lot of my old gray bricks and plates, and I liked it and the smog factory both well enough that I didn't want to sacrifice one for the other. Well, I finally did give up on the Tetricus a while ago, but the smog factory sat in a box, broken down into its component parts, out of sight and out of mind. Judging that I now had the available parts on hand to finish this thing without having to resort to Cracklink, I was half right (I did run out of old gray plates in certain sizes, notably 2x2 and 2x4 -- you can see the blay in places -- but I did not order any parts for it since making the decision to finish it). Now I can tear the thing apart and build something really cool! I'll have so much Lego I won't know what to do with it. I knew it was tying up a lot of my old gray brick and most of my light gray LURPs and BURPs, but it was a revelation to pull the originally built modules out of the box, look at the mess of support structure in back, and say, "Hey, there's all my long technic bricks! There's all my 11-high round pillars! There's all my 2x10 plates! There's all my black basic brick! There's all my..." Details: "Aw, sh**!" moment: A miscalculation results in this part of a black plate being visible after I snapped everything together. I thought it would be hidden, otherwise it would have been dark gray. It would take hours of blood, sweat, and toil to fix it at this point. Dammit! Because I know you're wondering... that is not a backwards 7. It is not an F or a T missing a limb. It is not weird alien writing. It is the Greek letter gamma. Yes. Don't they teach you kids anything in school anymore? Why, back in my day...


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