(You'll have to go with a little "suspension of disbelief" here. The studs are supposed to be people... stick with me.)
Welcome game fans, to “The Arena”. In an effort to boost tourism on the Coruscant moon of Suburbscant, a coalition was formed to drum up some business. Emperor Palpatine turned to the LIU as their profit margins have always been a source of inspiration. The coalition (dubbed the “Coruscant LIU Union to Stabilize Tourism and Economics Resulting From Unscrupulous Cash Keeping” amongst the inner circle of politicians that were aware of it.) was mostly a failure. The one bright spot was “The Arena” which has become universally famous for its Gladiatorial Mech Combat Games. Let’s take a look around shall we?
The grounds themselves have been known to attract tourists on their own as this is one of the few places near Coruscant that has real trees growing outside.
The designers spared no expense (it was tax money paying for it after all) adding little details like multiple fountains and expansive picnic areas. (Note: Picnicking on the grounds is illegal and punishable by immediate execution without trial.)
The front entrances are divided into three sections. Front and center is for those patrons rich enough to afford the “good seats” This entrance goes directly to the force shielded/enclosed section in blue near the top.
The side entrances are for “normal citizens” that lead to the main bleachers.
Most of these citizens still need to take out a second mortgage just to attend, but most say it's well worth it.
The far sides are for those who have scrapped just enough credits together to be allowed entrance to these prestigious events. They don't even rate seating and are coraled in these “standing room only troughs” on the sides.
We’re expecting Spacetrailerhomes like LoneStarr’s to start showing up around these seats any day now. You can take the NASCAR out of the universe, but you can't take it out of... we'll you get the idea.
Let’s move inside where today’s first match is about to get underway.
Before we get to the match, let’s take a look around the stadium. On both of the far sides are the “cheap seats”. Note the minimal protection from flying shrapnel. Each spectator is required to sign a waiver before entering exonerating the Empire from any legal repercussions due to injuries and or death sustained at the event.
The main bleachers, where the majority of the spectators enjoy the show. There is still some speculation as to which seats are the best. The tiers were designed to give everyone a great view of the action but there are some discrepancies. Some say that the better seats are up near the top as you can easily see over the obstructions placed on the field (which we’ll get to in a moment).
The problem is that you are also at a very convenient height for stray rounds, lasers, missiles or chunks of smoldering mech that come flying into the stands. The lower levels are not immune to these dangers of course, but the percentage of spectator fatalities has been lower in the front seats. Of course you lose a bit of visibility in the lower section but you have to decide what’s more important, a good view during or having any kind of view afterwards…
The blue area is actually inside and is for the rich, privileged cliental who can afford seats that are equipped with force shields (and air conditioning). This area also has bars, restaurants and souvenir stands hocking overpriced merchandise and t-shirts of the event.
The top Penthouse is reserved for the Emperor himself and his personal staff. Although the box is also shielded, the shields have never been tested. Mech Jockies would rather let themselves take a fatal hit than allow a stray shot to go anywhere near the Emperor’s Suite.
And now, on to the field. The field itself was designed to combine all the best elements of Mech Combat, Urban and Rural. The Eastern side of the field is the urban combat area, complete with buildings, a landing pad (although anyone crazy enough to land there gets exactly what they have coming) and smooth concrete grounds. All the buildings on the field are designed for quick repair and none are actually suitable to be occupied.
The Western side was designed after open field combat. A prefab waterfall feeds into a small river that actually acts as a moat in front of the stands to deter potential morons from running out onto the field during the games like they once did back on Earth during Major League Baseball games.
This of course has not stopped those in the “cheap seats” from trying. It has been agreed upon by the mech jockies however, that if some idiot actually makes it onto the field, that they stop fighting (only momentarily) and the mech closest to said fool gets a little target practice before the match resumes. Hey, they signed the waiver.
Product placement is still a major part of all sporting events and endorsement deals take care of any salary caps that have been imposed on the Jockies.
Today’s match is between Grey and Bley (kind of like Spy vs Spy only in 40 foot tall killing machines). This match is for bragging rights. The Bley team is young, brash and cocky. They think the “old guard” should retire and let the “new kids” take the reigns in this sport. The Grey team however, has experience and cool headedness on their side and they’re not gonna let these young kids push them out just yet.
Grey is piloting an older mech that has proven it’s worth time and time again. Two large pulse lasers on the arms and missile launchers on the shoulders are the tried and true weapons on this classic. The missiles themselves are the only “new” part of the mech. The warhead is designed to scramble the opponent’s radar then fragment into thousands of tiny pieces that ignite when released from the warhead, tearing the target to shreds while burning through the hull.
Using these “Ripper Incendiary Munitions/Jamming Operational Ballistic” missiles is what the Mech Jockies refer to as “Take a deep breath and just relax” due to the false sense of security before they rip you a new one. The only real drawback to the entire mech design is that the pilot and the gunner sit side by side and have to share an armrest (which has been the reason for more losses in the games than by any superior skills of the opposing teams).
Bley has decided to field its newest creation for this fight. Crewed by a pilot, a gunner and an engineer (usually two of these are female due to space issues in the cockpit), the “Mark IV” is equipped with both a large and medium laser on its right arm. The left arm has a dual claw for close quarters combat.
The shoulder missiles use the new “Offender Requisition Giggaton Yield” warheads which has been a fantasy come true for the designers. Using satalite targeting technology, once the crew gets a lock, there's sure to be some fireworks (although it usually takes all three crew members working in unison to make the system work properly). The third leg is said to provide extra stability but thus far has only really been used to brag.
Oh look, one of those fools we were just talking about earlier…
Who will win this epic match up of old vs new? You decide!
Fourth Wall Commentary: Alright, let me tell you what hell this little project was. The first week was spent in an indecisive fervor. My first thought for “Microscale” was to do a Venator Class Star Destroyer from Ep3. I actually built most of the frame work and took a half decent stab at the wings before I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it justice in two weeks. That, and I am planning on using a Venator in an upcoming MOC and didn’t want to repeat myself didn’t want to repeat myself… wait what? Never mind. My next idea was to do an Intergalactic Colonization ship that would have been big enough to carry a couple of said Venators (in a mini-micro scale of course). I built a bit of that but again decided that two weeks was not long enough to do it right. So, fast forward to Thursday of last week. I was digging through my old trunk of VHS tapes and came across the 80’s classic “Robot Jox”. While I was sitting there melting my brain on 80’s sci-fi, an epiphany came over me and this is the result. I was actually planning on making the entire thing two levels with a complete underground staging area where they get everything ready and then are raised up to the field on elevators like in the movie (I know, the Romans did it first with the lions but it looked cooler in the movie). I said I’d get to that after I built the main level if I had time. Due to heavy rains and 7 inches of standing water in my crawlspace, those plans were shot down pretty quickly. So in short, I’m not 100% satisfied with this build (I would have liked to have redone the mechs as well) but I think it came out pretty nicely over all. Hey, maybe since I’m on the 80’s sci-fi kick, I could do something from The Running Man or Krull next time?
Alright, the gauntlet has been thrown. Bring it Ian!
Classic Phipson. Always fun to review these old gems, there was a lot of style which I feel has been lost by "modern" builders. Love the write-up, the acronyms are fun little additives. Of course, awesome build too. It's funny to see the figure design, I haven't seen this scale of micro for a while.
Looking at both of these afterwards, you win, even though the blind emporer thinks otherwise. Keep in mind he voted against some of the best MOCs like mine. I'm a huge fan of imaginative parts like round plates representing fruit or people or whatever. In my book thats a win. Some people dont see it, because they're too busy play halo. Good luck in round 3. Not to toot my horn, but i have a moc that i'll post on sunday on monday. it sucks but keep an eye out anyways.
Thanks guys. I'm not sure HOW that happened. I thought Ian had me for sure. Alright, time to get round three ready. and JD, it's going to be called "Phipston Falls" if I ever get around to it... ~ Chris.
This is a microscale MOC of epic proportions. As Heather said, you don't need us to tell you how cool this is...but you probably want to hear it anyway. So here goes...this MOC possesses extreme awesomeness and I bow down to your microscale abilities. The sheer size of your MOC (noticed I specified MOC and not anything else) is impressive. So macro...yet micro at the same time. Great building techniques and a wicked back-story. Good luck in Round 3!
I like it
Heather LEGO Girl
October 12, 2008
Okay, Let's see here, where to begin. It's big, It's badazz and it won. You don't need me to tell you how awesome this is. I just crawled out of bed and my brain is still off, so this is the best you get. SigKelso kept me up all night with his stories. zzzzzzzz.
Well, I'm a little late here, it looks like you already won. But I think I'll give my vote to Ian. You had a hilarious write-up(you are the master of acronyms) and you had some good ideas, but to be honest I was disappointed with the build. I've seen you build some great microscale (i.e. your micro cityscape on that Vader moc or the forced perspective stuff on your moctag entry). I guess I was expecting a little more from you. Well, welcome to round #3!
Ooo, Mark…that was a good one. OK Chris, lets see…I have to admit, after the first several pics of just the exterior, I was a little like “Nice, but…is that it?” Once you turned it around and showed the interior with the nice water feature etc., and then then finally added a couple of neat micro mechs, I was sold. You’ve got the win, my man. I agree with Youngy that this could be taken to another level with a few less tiles and a few more details, but for the time frame you were given, this is excellent. Well done, Chris!
Fantastic, Chris! Love the concept, love the commentary (as usual), but your brick stacking gives it the win. The MOC has a nice clean look, great composition, and the color work is terrific. I might agree with Youngy on the tiles issue, but for a two-weeker this is brilliant. (luckily, cause Ian's was ten shades of cool, too!) Anyway, Ya got my vote.
Man oh man that is one brilliant MOC. IMO this is your best work yet Crispy! I love the idea, the building is excellent and the writing is hilarious (Bley vs Grey). don't worry about Youngy there, I think he's been hitting the mint Juleps too hard...
For a change I'm going to be serious (gasp!) and give honest constructive criticism. I think you tried too hard to do too much. Bigger isn't always better -- and the category IS microscale, yes? While there are obviously some structures and mechs here smaller than minifig scale, most of the space is taken up by you laying down tiles. Lots and lots of tiles. I guess I'd like to see the same MOC built without time constraints so that it might look more finished and not as rushed, or something totally different, a smaller more focused build. Some of the things you've built as backgrounds or props in previous MOCs show that you've got microskills. I just don't know that this one shows what you're really capable of.
My God. Chris, you CAN build! It seems that my cannon-fodder joking around has backfired on me. You just HAD to pair me with Stacy, didn't you! Anyway, I am VERY impressed with this colossal build; it's truly amazing! Sure, it may not be incredibly detailed, but it's sure as h*ll big. This could be a close match!
Sorry... I acctually did get the first one, but the comment got rejected by a moderator. Personaly I don't find CLUSTER bomb FiretrUCK (that's the best I could come up with) all that offensive in this case...