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I want to build something with you!

Started: 2013-11-18 20:41:46

Submitted: 2013-11-18 21:02:41

Visibility: World-readable

In which the intrepid narrator indulges Calvin's Lego obsession

Calvin seems to spend much of his weekends scheming to get me to play Legos with him, which usually involves telling me what he wants to build and then complaining when I don't do it right. He'll say, "I want to build something with you!" and I'll try to set aside however much time I need to build something interesting that I can claim meet his requirements. (Often times I'll have a specific building technique in mind that I'd like to try and he'll tell me what he wants to build, and I'll go build whatever I wanted to build and tell him it was what he wanted to build. That was how my first Mughal palace implemented in Duplos came to be known as the "police motorcycle house".)

Last weekend, Calvin asked me to build a Coast Guard helicopter using the small rotor assembly he built. I decided to build a Seahawk helicopter in US Coast Guard colors like the ones I see flying up and down the cost while I'm visiting San Diego. I searched the Internet for inspiration and came up with the design. Two or three hours later I ended up with a foot-long model crewed by four minifigs (two flight crew and two rescue crew next to the main winch above the rear doors), complete with a winch for rescuing distressed mariners.

Front view of a Lego Seahawk helicopter
Front view of a Lego Seahawk helicopter
Side door open on a Lego Seahawk helicopter
Side door open on a Lego Seahawk helicopter

I am not positive I got the taper right at the back of the fuselage but I think it's a worthy implementation. While searching for a sinking ship the helicopter could rescue I found what looked like the front half of a boat, and quickly decided that was more than enough, since it was easier to make the boat look like it was sinking that way. I staged a rescue at sea:

Lego Seahawk helicopter performing a rescue at sea
Lego Seahawk helicopter performing a rescue at sea

Calvin thought it was great.

Calvin plays with the Lego Seahawk helicopter
Calvin plays with the Lego Seahawk helicopter

This weekend, Calvin asked for a police car, and ended up with an orbital shuttlecraft first before I got around to building the police car. On Sunday I built him a police station, putting a sizable dent in the white pieces, then found the bin of red Legos on the dining room table and decided to build something triumphant. I was inspired by the idea of the India Gate but also by other triumphant archway monuments built by European powers to show their importance. I used up most of the red pieces building a perfect minfig-scale gate, but Calvin was a little confused when I did not put an actual gate inside the opening; I tried to explain exactly what I really meant to build.

Lego arch monument, with its minifig builders
Lego arch monument, with its minifig builders

Before I started building the gate, I raided the minifig collection to find a suitable English gentleman to serve as the supervising engineer to build the monument. (I believe this is an Edwardian engineer, not a Victorian engineer, since he has only a two-piece suit.) I wanted a bowler hat but we didn't seem to have one in Lego (and I managed to restrain myself when I found one on eBay), so I settled for a black cap. He's carrying a pick that's supposed to be some sort of construction tool. Calvin provided the other builders, clad in more contemporary attire.

Lego arch monument, with its minifig builders
Lego arch monument, with its minifig builders
We reject kings, presidents, and voting.
We believe in rough consensus and running code.
- Dave Clark, 1992