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Banging My Head Against A Brick Wall... . Bricks By The Bay 2012 was both my first convention and the first public display for VirtuaLUG. Taking place the weekend of Saint Patrick's Day and with a convention theme of 'Green', Mister Bones and I conceived the idea of a Saint Patty's parade, featuring buildings and floats from members of VirtuaLUG. Here is one of the sections I contributed. . The corner building marks the third incarnation of the Hard Knocks Bar and was the first one built for the layout. The adjoining building, featuring the tattoo shop, was the second one built. Although the interior is tiled, I did not bother going beyond that, for reasons I'll explain later... After seeing the building that Dave Kaleta was contributing, featuring a SNOT mosaic of the municipal flag of Chicago on the side, I designed the second building with an alleyway, so as to not cover up his terrific work. This left me with the opportunity to create my own mural as well, another Banksy. Not knowing how easily the back would be seen, I still wanted to add as many interesting details as possible, just in case. I did not have enough pieces to make two separate fire-escapes, so I modified my design to span both buildings. This led to complications with opening up the building to show the interior, as the fire-escape design connected the levels. Fudge. This is why the only floor that is fully detailed is the bar, being that it was the first. I still tiled all the floors, since that could be seen through the windows, but figured anything else would be wasted effort. Since I ended up having to do a third building (getting it's own posting) at (somewhat) the last minute, it turned out to be a good call. Here is a close-up of some of the detail work on the corner building, featuring the new masonry bricks (72 in total). I can't wait for the bley ones to hit the market! The roof-top garden. The roof of building 2, complete with sunbathers. A shot of the Hard Knocks Bar interior. This was the only floor in either building that was fully detailed, for the reasons mentioned earlier. I had plans to do a story with it, but that's out the window. You'll just have to use your imagination as to the debauchery that may (or may not) have taken place there... Besides, with a motley crew such as this, there are things that once seen cannot be unseen! (Pictures of the VirtuaLUG layout courtesy of Bill Ward) Buildings by: (left to right) Me, Dave Kaleta and me again. Floats by: (left to right) Chris Phipson (MOCPages float), Leda Kat (monster movie float), Tyler Halliwell (steampunk float), Mr. Xenomurphy (zombie float), Dennis Price (Glomshire float), Heath Flor (pirate float) and Mister Bones (green skull and coffin float). Mini-cars designed and built by Dennis Price and myself. Buidlings by: (left to right) Mister Bones and Adam Stasiek, with a bit of mine on the end. SNOT street designed by me and built by me, Bones, Tyler, Batman and Adam. VirtuaLUG Logo, MOCPages and crosswalk decals by Mr. Xenomurphy. Fourth Dimension Commentary: Whew, what a ride! The title serves a dual purpose: a play on the title of a Banksy book and the feeling one gets when trying to coordinate a collaboration who's contributors just happen to span the globe! LMAO Ok, it wasn't really that bad, but it certainly had it's complications, not the least of which was the frantic reconstruction of Kaleta's building, of which we had only 4 picture to work from; hopefully we did it the justice it deserved. I can't thank my LUG-mates enough for the effort put into their respective contributions. Whether it was a building, a float, a section of street, lending of parts, exchange of ideas or simply cheering from the sidelines, it was a fantastic group effort that I am extremely proud to have been a part of! Stay tuned for the post of building number three...~H

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