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Arkham Asylum MOC - I need your help.

CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
Hello,

I have recently embarked on a rather ambitious project which involves constructing a Minifigure scale version of Arkham Asylum. I am hoping to base my interpretation of this fantastic building on the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game which some among you may be familiar with.

I have however hit upon a snag which you might be able to help me with. Having worked out how to configure the Asylum itself and the sheer cliffs surrounding it which form Arkham Island, and worked out what parts in what volumes I will need, I am left with just one problem. That problem is how to create the wrought iron sign which looms over the main gate which reads 'ARKHAM ASYLUM' or more simply 'ARKHAM' depending on which version you look at. It is a mainstay of all the various Arkham Asylum incarnations over the years so I really want to include it on my model, but despite an exhaustive search I have found no Lego versions of the sign which achieve what I am looking for.

Here are a couple of images of the ironwork from various sources: http://anastasiacatris.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/batman-arkham-asylum-gate.jpg
http://www.wackyowl.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/1-arkham-asylum.jpg

Any suggestions on how I might go about recreating this iconic feature in Lego would be much appreciated. If it is indeed possible that is.

Many thanks,

Chris

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,307
    It is probably easy enough to come up with a nice (but plain) wrought iron style design using black skeleton arms and black bars - much like the gates in the new set. If you want nice big curves, then some of the longer hoses in black would work well. However, the lettering is going to be difficult. You need different lengths for the sloping parts of the letters (eg in the M), then there is the problem how to attach them at an angle. You could do it in bricks, but then you've lost the wrought iron effect.

    The easy way is to take a lego hose and cut and glue it into letters, but I guess that is out of the question.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    How big are you willing to go? You might be able to get something close to the desired effect using various technic axles and connections, but I imagine it would end up being very large and block-ish. You might be able to slim down the size a little and it would probably only look proper from a certain viewing angle, but it might give you the effect you want.

    Most of the MOCs I can find online just settled for the sticker approach.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @CCC - I would prefer not to have to cut pieces, letters like A are quite easy, a couple of 4L bars and one of the newer 3L ones, but M, and S in particular are a real challenge. Good point about creating the border with the long hoses, that will get the curve in there if only I could think of a way to do the lettering.

    @iccarus - I would like to keep the height of the lettering less than 5cm if possible, but I will have a play around with parts and see what sort of size is perhaps achievable.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,307
    I had a go with some tubes last night to make a rainbow style gate top. It was just tubes held together with equally spaced skeleton arms (actually mainly the bent droid ones). I should have taken a photo. It looked OK, but I'm still not sure about lettering. I had six bows of tubes. The other thing is due to the fixed differences in the radii of the curves (due to the length of the arms) you might need to cut the tubes if you use single piece long ones, so that they all have the same overhang at the bottom. You could of course use lots of smaller ones, but they would need to be joined somehow without spoiling the continuous curve. Alternatively, let them all overhang a little to give a jagged bottom edge to the semicircular top.

    If you go for just two tubes so forming a simple arc, you might still need to cut the tubes to length, so they can be inserted into holes to attach them to the top of the gate. I guess it depends which length tubes you have got available.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    What about cut hoses (is cutting hose okay? I thought that was the only acceptable form of cutting) with minifig hands in - using this technique from Bruce Lowell:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruceywan/8161042214/in/photostream/

    The angle would be good for the As and M. Then you could use skeleton arms, robot hands an unattached minifig hands where you need them

    You could build it with straight hoses at the top and bottom and then try to bend them to see whether it still looks okay. Or using the curve might make the angles that come with the minifig hands more appropriate.

    I'd definitely only do the ARKHAM.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    I did an A as an example of using minifig hands, cut hoses/tubes with a tube at top and bottom at per CCC's idea.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8370191424/in/set-72157630657149262/

    Those minifig hands are tough to get in hoses- you'll need pliers and be ready for hurting fingers.

    I've used a bent skeleton arm for the cross bar on the A, but you could easily use robot hands/minifig hands (which are by construction at the right angle).

    This technique would work for the angled bit of the letters: uprights on the As, M, legs on the K and R. You'd need something different for the uprights on the K and R, and heaven knows what for the curve on the R.
    CapnRex101
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,307
    leemcg said:

    What about cut hoses (is cutting hose okay? I thought that was the only acceptable form of cutting) with minifig hands in - using this technique from Bruce Lowell:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruceywan/8161042214/in/photostream/

    The angle would be good for the As and M. Then you could use skeleton arms, robot hands an unattached minifig hands where you need them

    You could build it with straight hoses at the top and bottom and then try to bend them to see whether it still looks okay. Or using the curve might make the angles that come with the minifig hands more appropriate.

    I just realised I used only robot / droid arms, not skeleton ones.

    The problem with mixing tubes and rods with robot arms for the letters is that the former have a round cross section and the latter have a square cross section, and it looks a little odd when put together.

    It would probably be OK with a horizontal grip skeleton arm 93609, but you would need it in black.
    leemcg said:


    I'd definitely only do the ARKHAM.

    Yeah, it avoids the curvy S.

    It may be that you can heat a tube and deform it and let it cool for things like the R. I haven't tried it, but it might work. Again, not very lego-like, but for a one-off and a cheap piece, it might be worth a try.
  • leemcgleemcg Member Posts: 607
    I've probably been lax in my language. I just use droid/skeleton arms interchangably. MIne are all in a bag together regardless of colour.

    I've been the same with tubes/hoses.


    My feeling is that you get a load of the kind of pieces that clip on - skeleton arms, minfig hands, robot hands, maybe even skeleton legs, exoforce clips in black. Then get the top and bottom hose in place and experiment one letter at a time until you're happy.
    beegeedee
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 20,307
    I have always used them interchangeably too.

    I checked bricklink. It seems that skeletons come with both skeleton arms and mechanical ones. The mechanical ones are square cross section, some of the others have a round cross section.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @CCC - Cutting hoses is fine, I just don't want to really ruin any of my parts like I no doubt would if I were to cut bars. Many thanks for all of your suggestions guys, I had not thought of using Minifigure hands at all so that is a great idea and you achieve just about exactly what I am hoping for in your picture @leemcg, so thank you for taking that.

    Any other suggestions on what I could include in the design of the MOC as a whole are welcome, what do you imagine as being some of the main features of Arkham Asylum which I might incorporate?
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    Hey @capnrex101 this will be good to see as you go.
    If you are mixing the references a bit then I would start at the bottom and construct a basement and sewer network where Dr Crane can poor his drugs into referencing Batman Begins.
    Cells obviously and various treatment rooms, Arkham has always been shown as 'old' and I am sure in some of the Grant Morison run in the comics there are electroshock rooms and sensory deprivation chambers (Wayne subjects himself to one of these willing in part of the story)
    There would be staff facilities and specialist detainment rooms but I guess the big part will be the architecture.
    Looking forward to this though. Keep the updates coming.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    I was going to say as well that Arkham has always been a Victorian mental institute either in style or feel. To ne that is something that is important to capture. So I would look at things like victorian mannor houses to get an idea of how it looks. As well as basing it on the game shots.

    For the gate cut hoses seem a great solution. Im stealing that idea. You can buy them cheap too.
  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    Indeed, to be honest the latest set does a great job of capturing that feel, I would be tempted to use that as a starting point, obviously a lot of work needed to put a proper four walls and a roof in place and retain a level of playability to see what is going on inside, but a good starting place.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    Thanks for your suggestions everyone, I will make sure to post updates when I can. I have just made the first Bricklink order for the model this morning, a rather large helping of rock pieces (advice on that is courtesy of @Redbullgivesuwind) and greenery, for the cliffs around the asylum. I hope to make the island base in a modular style, which will hopefully be placed together in either 9 or 12 sections, depending on exactly what size I go for in the end. This will also allow the model to open up so you can see inside places like Killer Croc's lair or the main sewer junction as suggested by @monkey_roo. I am also hoping to get a small Batcave area hidden in the rock, which features in the Arkham Asylum game.

    It will likely be some time before I get on to the asylum itself, but I will make sure to keep you posted when that starts.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    Would love to see any updates and pictures. If your doing it similar to arkam asylun the game then its going to have to be quite big. That version is based over several buildings.
    @monkey_roo I completely agree. I would also suggest looking atthe haunted mansion as well. That is very similar.

  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    I must say this thread is getting me going. I have been looking at a Wayne manor MOC for a little while and inspired by the recent Jabbas Palace/Rancor fit designing it to have the bat cave under it is becoming very tempting...
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    edited January 2013
    @monkey_roo - I believe there is already an incredible MOC out there which combines both the Batcave and Wayne Manor, so it is evidently feasible. Here is a link to the model on mocpages: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/210043. Good luck if you have a go at creating your own.

  • monkey_roomonkey_roo Member Posts: 1,411
    Ha - yes I have seen those pics before. That truly is a mega model and spectacular to look at but, and I may fly in the face of public opinion here, I find it a bit too much, the scale is somewhat off and there is so much there drawn from so many inerptitations of the cave and manor that it seems un focused, if such a model can be. Don't get me wrong, what is there is done extremely well and at a skill level I can't dream of but my aspirations are somewhat more modest, I was thinking of something with real playability that fits with the new batcave and isn't out of scale with the new Arkham set. Besides if tell my wife I plan on building something as big as the Hogwarts castle again she will throw all my lego in the bin :)
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @monkey_roo - I would agree to an extent, the model is a bit chaotic in the Batcave itself, but size-wise I think it is dead on, and Wayne Manor above it is superb I think. Building over the official Batcave model could be tricky as there is nowhere to mount anything large over the top as far as I can tell.

    I am looking to get my Arkham model to a similar scale as this recent model of the Batcave (my favourite Batman MOC): http://www.brothers-brick.com/2012/10/10/epic-lego-batcave-brings-batmans-secret-lair-to-life/. I decided that if Batman's base had such a fantastic model, I would try to equal that and build an equivalent home for the villains! I am actually hoping to draw up some detailed plans for my MOC tomorrow, so I will make sure to post an image if I have time.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    @Monkey_roo if your doing a Batcave MOC I suggest you pick up Batman: Secrets of the Batcave. It contains pictures of all the bat caves up until 2005. They are all pretty detailed as well.
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Bristol, UKMember Posts: 141
    @CapnRex101 I cannot WAIT to see pics of your progress!
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @SparkyHam @Redbullgivesuwind @monkey_roo and others interested in pictures - As things stand I don't have a flickr account, or an account on any other photo sharing site for that matter. Do you think it might be worth following the example of DrDaveWatford and blogging the construction? I have been considering making a blog for some time, perhaps that would be the best way of documenting the design and building progress.
    ThezoofoxBuriedinBricks
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    Yes. Setting up a blog is super easy and worth doing if you have an ongoing project.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    @CapnRex101 it is very easy to set up a blog and can be done quickly. However the downsides is you will need to keep it updated regularly for people to keep coming back. Most people will check it once a week or so to see if its changed. If it doesn't in a long time people tend to forget. If you do flikr people can add you as a contact and it will up date peoples contacts as you post them. But you cant really describe in detail what you are doing.
  • SparkyHamSparkyHam Bristol, UKMember Posts: 141
    edited January 2013
    @CapnRex101 I'd be happy if you posted up your progress here
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @SparkyHam - This is going to be a long term project and the forum is not really intended for posting updates and the like, so I think it is best if I do a blog as that does not seem to be too difficult judging by previous comments.

    @Redbullgivesuwind - I don't think posting frequent updates will be a problem, I will no doubt be eager to document my progress :) It sounds to me like blog is the way to go.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    Good plan. Id go with blogspot or wordpress. Both are very easy to use. Post the address here when you have it.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @Redbullgivesuwind - I am in the process of setting up a blog on blogspot with the help of @DrDaveWatford on the design side of things. Once I have implemented any suggestions or advice, I will post a link here.

    Any suggestions or advice on blogging from anybody else are welcome.
    Redbullgivesuwind
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    Using a platform like Blogger/WP is the best and easiest approach. It allows people to add them to a feed and see when updates are posted.

    As for features, just take a look at blogs using the same platform and adopt widgets or styles you like. Avoid jumping right in with trying to monetize the site through stuff like ads. All that does is turn people off if they have to scroll through those to get to content.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @Redbullgivesuwind, @iccarus, @monkey_roo, @SparkyHam and anyone else interested in seeing my progress - Here is a link to the blog which I have set up over the last couple of days, I hope to be posting updates weekly if not more often: http://legomadhouse.blogspot.co.uk/. Please tell anybody else who you think might be interested. Thanks.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    Looks nice. It threw up when I clicked the Subscribe To link. I guess that isn't working yet?
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    Subscribed. I'll be interested to watch your progress on this.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @cloaked7 - I am still adding some finishing touches and I will make sure to get all the functions up and running as quickly as possible.
  • cloaked7cloaked7 Member Posts: 1,448
    edited January 2013
    ^ No rush! :-0 The error was probably my bad CapnRex101. I don't think I have an account on Blogger. A user may need to be registered to subscribe. I thought that it might ask for an email address after you clicked Subscribe, but maybe not.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @cloaked7 - No trouble, it should now be easy to subscribe by e-mail via the button on the right hand side of the page.
  • ThezoofoxThezoofox United Kingdom - EastMember Posts: 188
    All signed up for progress reports.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    If you have any suggestions, advice, or problems with the blog interface, please don't hesitate to contact me. Many thanks.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    edited January 2013
    I just posted my second article, can anybody confirm that an e-mail notification has been sent to those of you who have subscribed?
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 2,052
    Looking good. i will be very excited to see your progress.
  • ThezoofoxThezoofox United Kingdom - EastMember Posts: 188

    I just posted my second article, can anybody confirm that an e-mail notification has been sent to those of you who have subscribed?

    I didn't receive a notification.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @Thezoofox - OK, can you tell me if you went through these steps just so I can try and isolate exactly where the issue is:

    1. Type your e-mail address in the box under the title 'subscribe by e-mail.' Click 'submit.'
    2. Another window should appear entitled 'e-mail subscription request.'
    3. Correctly type in the security word in the skewed font and click 'complete subscription request.'
    4. A new message saying 'your request has been accepted' should appear in that window.
    5. Finally, go to your e-mail where you should find a message from Feedburner E-mail Subscriptions, open it and click on the link in that message. You should then receive e-mail notifications whenever a new article is posted.

    It is possible if you tried to use this feature on a tablet or phone it may not work, can you also confirm that you were using a computer when you signed up for notifications? Thanks.

    If anybody else is having problems, post a comment or contact me directly.
  • MrBerreMrBerre Member Posts: 246

    @Redbullgivesuwind, @iccarus, @monkey_roo, @SparkyHam and anyone else interested in seeing my progress - Here is a link to the blog which I have set up over the last couple of days, I hope to be posting updates weekly if not more often: http://legomadhouse.blogspot.co.uk/. Please tell anybody else who you think might be interested. Thanks.

    Isn't using "LEGO" is the name of your blog (and URL) "verboten"? I'd think you'd be safer if you'd replace it with "brick".
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @Mr Berre - I had the same thought early on, but following the example of DrDaveWatford's blog Gimme Lego, I included Lego in the title, but put an attribution at the bottom of the page: 'This site is in no way affiliated with or endorsed by the Lego Company or DC Comics.' He has had no problems over the last two years so I thought I should be safe as well. If I have any problems I will change the name as you have suggested.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    Sorry, above comment @MrBerre.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    Is anybody having any more issues? I know the e-mail subscription is working for most, albeit with a delay of an hour or so.
  • ThezoofoxThezoofox United Kingdom - EastMember Posts: 188
    @CapnRex101 I'm all good now!
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,352
    @Thezoofox - Excellent.

    I have just posted my fifth article and opened a poll on which style of Arkham is your favourite, all is going well so far I think. Nevertheless if anybody has any suggestions or advice on how to improve, any help is welcome.
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