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After a year of building, my X-Men Layout was completed and displayed at Brickworld Chicago 2015 this past weekend, and was a rousing success! Days of Bricks Past The layout covered the bulk of my display table, and featured three large scale, fully lit, brick-built Sentinels--the X-Men crew, the X-Jet, and a ruined city landscape. FYI in the background you can spot builds by our very own ZCerberus. This layout has been a long process, and I'm really happy that I'm finally able to show off all the work I put into it! The Sentinels Easily the most memorable portion of my layout, the Sentinels added a splash of rare dark purple and magenta color to an otherwise destitute landscape. Although only three Sentinels were used on the layout, I actually constructed five in total. The remaining two were slightly unique, and were given as gifts to friends. A third was sold at the Brickworld Chicago 2015 charity auction. Each of the Sentinels featured immense detailing and electronic work. Interestingly, if you were to extract all of the wiring from just one Sentinel, and lay it end to end, it would stretch over seven feet! The Sentinels, each numbered, feature four lights on their feet, two on their hands, one on their chest, and two for their eyes. They also all reach 36 bricks in height, 14 inches, and thus are very capable of squishing any mutants they come across! *From the Left, the second Sentinel features unique arm bands (that of three frogs hopping), and Sentinel five is Dr. Who themed, with a TARDIS heart and Screwdriver right hand. Sentinel Design Sentinel number one was designed first, and built over the course of a year (June 2014- June 2015). It was an immensely stressful and difficult build to complete. I meticulously designed every portion of the robot, rebuilding sections dozens of times to get the perfect look. Initially, I intended to use ball joints throughout, to allow the maximum amount of articulation, but I later switched to various forms of click joints to increase stability. A significant issue was the LifeLites battery pack, which located in the Sentinel's spine, that caused constant balance issues. Other dificulties were grip, as the Sentinels have trouble standing on smooth surfaces without starting to slide around. * Early Designs Other notable changes include the attempted use of large dark purple cylinder pieces. I had initially intended to use these parts for the Sentinel's shins and forearms, and so I actually acquired a large amount of them (some forty or something)--but soon after I found these both too troublesome (their connection points being tremendously weak) and ugly (because the purple seemed a different shade when compared to the purple of flatter less curved bricks of the same color). These early images above show some of the changes that occurred. The first image depicts my first attempt at the Sentinel boot, only days after Brickworld Chicago 2014. It was a far more detailed design that I'm happy was changed! Other alterations included the use of tubing, which initially held a more significant role, as I had (for some reason) designed it was perhaps a good idea to use it to sure up the ankles and essentially hold up the entire Sentinel...Anyways this was phased out, and the metallic tubing was later only used decoratively, in addition to housing and protecting the wiring of the robot. Another change the was heart design, which went from a small trans clear ball design to that of the Galaxy Squad trans-pink pods--incidentally one of my favorite pieces. Features: Each Sentinel was fully equipped with lights to show off their most dramatic of powers. This included flight, in which each Sentinel contained four red LED lights in their feet, to give the impression of engines. Ironically however, this lighting affect was almost moot in person, as the lighting here is not very viable when the Sentinels are simply standing, and not being held up. More noticeable however is the lighting in the eyes and hands, which act as searchlights to spot out mutant threats. Additional Views: The Sentinels were all clad in dark purple, magenta, and dark pink--and were designed as essentially large versions of the official Lego Sentinel--which while I do in fact love, is of course...not so accurate in size. The X-Men: In all actuality, the Sentinels are only half of the layout itself. The other important portion was that of the mutant X-Men, banded together not only to save the world, but their own lives as well. The layout included ten X-Men characters, all created by myself, with the majority of them being purist minifigures. *Left: Nightcrawler, Rogue, Iceman, Professor X, Magneto, Gambit, Wolverine, Bishop, Storm, Kitty Pryde In addition to the X-Men, I also included their famous X-Jet. My own version, this jet featured a light up cockpit and engines. Mutant Powers: Storm An advantage of building in the X-Men theme was that it allowed me to show off multiple power sets, all of which created sunning visuals. The most notable was that of Storm, who created a massive tornado and summoned lighting to defend herself against a Sentinel. The tornado featured Power Functions to spin, and was light by blue LED lights. This was my first time using Power Functions, and I was very impressed with the results. A video of the tornado in action can be found here. To show the lightning affect, I developed a new technique, by which I chained individual lightning pieces by weaving them together with a Lego trans-clear fiber optic cable. Storm herself is mostly official, but she utilizes a different white hair piece, that found on Quicksilver--and a custom arm, by Crazy Bricks, to allow for the sideways angled attack. Wolverine Perhaps the most simple of powers, I depicted Wolverine simply, and characteristically, jumping into the fray. His hair piece is custom, and is made by Christo for a Ra's al Ghul minifigure. The dark blue torso, which is used also on Professor X and Gambit, is new and from the Jurassic World line. Nightcrawler: One of my favorite mutants and power sets, Nightcrawler's teleportation power was depicted through the use of trans-pink flowers. He is a combination of various pieces, from Ronan's head to Ant-Man's body. His blue tail is a rare custom piece by BrickWarriors. Magneto & Professor X: The mutant Magneto, here shown working with the X-Men, uses his powers to move metal to protect himself and Professor X from a Sentinel attack. On Site Images: Admittedly, I didn't take too many pictures of my own layout on site at Brickworld Chicago...woops. Although there are already many good photos of it circulating around, to which I now show you some of: * Photo by Hinckley * Picture by Victor Fernandez *Photo by Bill Toenjes *Photo by Pete Strege Additionally, here is another photo I took--that of the Award my Sentinel won. The Sentinel was voted "Best Mech" of Brickworld 2015--an award I'm extremely excited it won. Enjoy! ~Nemo