Monthly Archives: February 2020

Superman Lego Shield Update #5

Superman Lego Shield Update #5

We are in home stretch of #LegoSupermanShield build!
With both the center and left hand sections complete, all that was remaining was the right hand side of the LEGO Super Shield.
Taking a slightly different approach than the left side, I started building the right connecting it along the way to the existing structure as I went.
This is where taking a little extra time to fortify those two earlier sections before starting this remaining part paid off. That now solid large part of the S allowed me to follow farther along the curvature of the shield without the need of the main 4×4 back support as with the first two sections.

This actually cut a lot of the building time in half…

And once I reached the location of the back 4×4 support post and locked that in place it was just a matter of finishing off the top and securing all three sections via connection points across the back and the front of the model.

I’ll be honest with you Grey-Ghosters, seeing it at this point of construction was very exciting. While this isn’t close to the largest model I’ve designed or built, it definitely was the most challenging because of the size verse shape aspect.

Now that the main construction is complete, come back next time Grey-Ghosters to see the final SUPER little details!

Same Super LEGO Time… Same Super LEGO Channel!

QuarterPenny

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Superman Lego Shield Update #4

Superman Lego Shield Update #4
The holiday weekend pushed back our #LegoSupermanShield update but construction has progressed!
With the center section complete, it was time to move over to the left section of the Super Shield. As with the center piece, I started layering the left side on the stand until it became too top/back heavy for the simple front supports. However, as soon as I connected the 4×4 brace in the back this section came together very nicely.
This of course gave me a lot of hope on how its mate on the right hand side was going to go but we’ll talk about that on the next update.
Once fully upright I slowed down construction to fortify the rows themselves across the left and center sections with longer plates. This took a little time but really locked everything into place for these two sections (fingers crossed). I also took stock after this section to make sure I had ordered the correct number of LEGO to finish the project off.

Sadly my count was a bit off but nothing I couldn’t make up for with the small (but color coded) stockpile of LEGO I’ve put together over the years.
Come back next time Grey-Ghosters to see the finishing steps!

Same Super LEGO Time… Same Super LEGO Channel!

QuarterPenny

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Superman Lego Shield Update #3

Superman Lego Shield Update #3

Returning from last Friday’s SUPER news about the Best Article Nomination for my article ‘A Super Walk Down the Street of Steel’ by the Rondo Awards (You can still vote! Please check out Friday’s FB post or the link here for more information – http://www.nicholascara.com/…/rondo-article-year-nomination/ )

It is time to get back to the construction of #LegoSupermanShield for the Superman Celebration!
I remember a while ago Morgan at the Super Museum told me she didn’t want to see the colors red, yellow and blue for a month after they finished painting the exterior of the Super Museum. Well I think I know the feeling! It took a few weeks for all of the shipments of LEGO to come in but once they did and I was able to sort them well let’s just say ~3800 red, blue and yellow bricks takes up a lot of room!
Needless to say my next LEGO project is going to have to be green or something to get all of the primary colors spots out of my eyes LOL

One of the key parts to this shield that I might not have mentioned was it originally was design into three separate sections. This was key to its foundation because of the length and support system I came up with to give a “floating” look to the shield. If I had tried to build the entire piece in one big section it more than likely would fallen apart under its own weight before I finished all of the needed supports. But as the saying goes a broken clock is correct twice a day and luckily this three part concept and the additional supports by the connections between the parts really worked out for this design.
The first thing to do in the construction process was to build the three bases so once I started each section I could attach them to their individual supports and base. The largest (per number of LEGO pieces) section of course was the center so that’s where I decided to start construction. Brick by brick and single layer by layer the center of the Super Shield rose until it was actually too top heavy for the front supports to individually hold it up. Happily it really is a relatively solid build so I was able to continue and finish the section off horizontally and then attach it upright to the front 2×2 supports and the rear 4×4 support in the middle.
Now that center section is finished it was time to start work on the left hand side and hope that it fits perfectly…
But that is a tale for our next update Grey-Ghosters, so come back here next Monday…
Same Super LEGO Time… Same Super LEGO Channel!
QuarterPenny

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Super Lego Shield Update #2

Super Lego Shield Update #2:

Now that I worked out the dimensions of the #LegoSupermanShield through all of my many many photos of the Metropolis, Illinois marvel it was time to actually design it digitally.

The first thing I needed to do was measure how tall and wide (roughly) a Lego brick was. Deciding on a standard 2×2 brick as my baseline, I used the measured width to locate major location points on the shield. Then using the brick’s measured height, I raised those major points to their actual 3-dimensional locations.

This actually was the easy part.

The hard part came when I tried to fill in the shape of the shield within those major locations. That took a lot of time. The curvature of the chest and how the shield follows Superman’s form started off easily with standard bricks however quickly broke down into smaller and then even smaller plates as the curvature continued. However through trial and error I was able to finally figure it out.

BUT once that was finally worked out, those bricks and plates were then later modified into even smaller pieces so I could change the color scheme from a flat green to the iconic red over yellow Superman Shield and give that shape a 3-dimensional outline.

As you can guess this process really relies on being able to digitally design the Lego project which allows you to easily change bricks on the fly without actually purchasing anything.

But happily after all of the super digital tweaking was done it was time to order all of the Lego for this 2020 Superman Celebration project and get building!

Check out our next update for giant piles of red, yellow and blue Lego AND the start of construction!

QuarterPenny!

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Super LEGO Shield Update #1

Super LEGO Shield Update #1:

Good Morning Grey-Ghosters
Since I announced the #LegoSupermanShield Project last week a number of people have asked me how I came up with the dimensions of the Lego project. So, I thought that might be a great place to start with the weekly updates on the construction of the Shield.
I originally tried contacting City Hall and the Metropolis Chamber of Commerce to find either plans or historical records of the statue’s full dimensions. Sadly even though I had the help of some great people, no one was able to find any information on the statue other than the common knowledge that it is a 15 foot tall painted bronze statue.

Now I could’ve driven 4.5 hours to the street of steel in Metropolis, Illinois and nicely asked the Super Museum to borrow a ladder to reach the shield and actually measure the bronze shield but… that seemed a little extreme.

So, I went with an analytical approach to figuring out the dimensions.
Over the past 11 years of visiting Metropolis I have amassed a large number of digital photographs of the statue. Using the photo of me holding a copy of the Grey Ghost novel as shown below I was able to back out how many pixels in this image an inch contained (using the known dimensions of the novel!).

With that knowledge I was able to back out a rough series of dimensions for the Superman Shield. Correlating those with side and top views (taken by Rick Sare’s drone- Thanks Rick!) and the same pixel/inch technique I was able to verify and collect other needed dimensions (depth, angle, etc.) of the Shield.

Now taking those calculated dimensions and building a Lego version of a Superman Shield for the Superman Celebration that is nearly 3 feet long and 2 feet tall was another matter.

Find out about that in next week’s update!

QuarterPenny!

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Super Lego Shield Announcement!

Good Morning Grey-Ghosters!
It is my privilege to announce both our yearly charity event for 2020 and my next really big LEGO project!
Have you ever seen the 15 foot tall Superman Statue in Metropolis, Illinois and said “Wow I wish I could have something like that in my yard?”

Well now you can… sort of 😄

In conjunction with the 2020 Superman Celebration, The Super Museum and the Save the Massac Theatre Program I have developed a FULL SCALED SIZE Superman Shield matching the dimensions of Metropolis’s Bronze Statue.
The piece is nearly 30 inches long and over 15 inches tall matching the shield and chest curvature of the 15 foot tall Man of Steel Statue. It consists of nearly 3800 bricks!

And the coolest part is… you can win it this June at the 2020 Superman Celebration!

This creation will be revealed at the Superman Celebration AND will be RAFFLED OFF over the weekend to some lucky Superman Fan with the proceeds benefiting the Celebration, Super Museum and Save the Massac Theatre Program.
The finer details are still being worked out by the Celebration organizers but the bricks have been ordered and the SUPER construction has already begun!

Look for weekly updates on the design and construction of this piece on the Nicholas Cara Facebook page and NicholasCara.com!

QuarterPenny and Up Up and Away!
Announcement

Rondo Article of the Year Nomination!!!

Good Morning Grey-Ghosters!
I’m going to take a break from the #LegoSupermanShield updates for a moment (but check back on Monday for another exciting update!) to announce some amazing and still SUPER news!
Last year I wrote an article named ‘A Super Walk Down the Street of Steel’ that was amazingly published in bookstores nationwide by Scary Monsters Magazine – The Real Monster Magazine in their Monster Memories issue #27. The article is a fun take on my adventures and surprises over the past nine years of attending the Superman Celebration and visiting the Super Museum in Metropolis, Illinois.
Being published nationally in Monster Memories was exciting enough for this humble author however the feedback on that article was some of the best I’ve received from my readers and amazingly the good news hasn’t stopped there…

I was informed this week that my article ‘A Super Walk Down the Street of Steel’ has been nominated for ARTICLE OF THE YEAR in the 18th Annual Rondo Awards!

The Rondo Awards (www.RondoAward.com) are one of the top Classic Horror Awards honoring the best in classic research creativity and film preservation – in case you were wondering they have branched out into classic Science Fiction slightly which is how I think I got in :-). This is a true honor and I could not be happier to be included with the other amazing writers on the ballot.

So how do we take this little SUPER article and run it to the finish line? That’s where I need your help Grey-Ghosters!
The Rondos are a fan awarded honor so if #TeamGreyGhost can get rolling like I know we can then we might have a chance!

To vote, please send an email to taraco@aol.com with the title ‘18TH ANNUAL RONDO HATTON CLASSIC HORROR AWARDS VOTE’
and paste the following into the body of the email:
14) BEST ARTICLE
— ‘A Super Walk Down the Street of Steel,’ by Nicholas Cara, MONSTER MEMORIES #27. The not-so-mean streets of Metropolis, Illinois.

If you would like you can go to the Rondo Website and include the full ballot (it’s pretty long) and vote in as many categories as you’d like (you don’t have to vote in all of them to count)

And while you are voting let’s congratulate and help out a couple friends of #TeamGreyGhost by voting for them as well:

13) BEST MAGAZINE OF 2019
— Scary Monsters
18) BEST WEBSITE
— Terror From Beyond The Dave A singular version of horror madness.
20) FAVORITE HORROR HOST OF 2019
— Svengoolie (Berwyn)
22) TOP EVENT OF 2019
— Svengoolie honored by City of Chicago on 40th anniversary.
25. BEST WRITER OF 2019 (includes reviewers)
– Nicholas Cara

Voting has already started and will remain open until March 29th so let’s get voting Grey-Ghosters!
Thank you so much
QuarterPenny!
As a treat if you didn’t get a chance to read the article Monsters Magazine has given me permission to include a digital copy of the article for your enjoyment! (Attached!)
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