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GETS 2002 - Hill House and Apartments

For GETS 2002, we wanted to do a raised town over lower tracks. I designed a "module base" that could be used for that purpose, allowing a LEGO structure with lots of space underneath it to be strong enough to support quite a bit of weight (needed because skyscrapers were going on top of them). One thing we learned is that Technic pins don't work for connecting things this large. I built a few of them from my Megabloks, and this picture shows one of them:

Hill House

With only part of the layout raised, we needed some hill scenery on the ends of the raised part. The front (towards the spectators) was designed to have large viewing holes in it. That was done using my grey Megabloks. I volunteered to do one end of the hills. I did it using a lot of grey Megabloks for the hills themselves, but all of the detailing was done using LEGO. I called the result "Gray Manor", but "Hill House" works too.

Hill House in the GETS layout
James & Raven's park to the left, sidewalk ends in lookout
Looking uphill towards the park
Looking downhill - cutout into tunnel is visible

As can be seen in the pictures, the Hill House modules included the house itself, its yard, the tunnel portals, a viewing cutout into the tunnel, stony hills, a canyon leading from a dried-up waterfall to a horse pasture, a tourist lookout over the canyon, and a small private bridge from the road to the house.

Some views
Perspective view
Long view up valley
Back door
Flowers and pond

Hill House had complete interior detailing, but I somehow never managed to get any pictures of it. Down in the basement was a rumpus room with a pool table, a home theatre room, a washroom, a storage area with shelves and a utility room. The main floor had a kitchen (with fridge, stove, cupboards, sink), a dining room (with wooden table and chairs, and a sideboard), living room (with couch and chairs) and a den (with desk, shelves, chairs, pole lamp). The second floor had a washroom (with bathtub, sink, toilet and cupboards), two bedrooms with beds and other furniture, and a small library. The small third floor, in the dormers and central area, was a LEGO room, with a worktable and lots of stacked up tubs and buckets.

I'm a castle fan, and a geek. So, I simply had to have a bunch of secret stuff in these modules. Down in the basement, beside the hot water heater, there is a secret panel in the wall. It leads to a passage heading both towards the front of the module (where the tunnel portals are) and back towards the raised town. The frontwards tunnel turns right and ends in a small tunnel chamber with a secret door in the stone ridge. The backwards tunnel leads to a deep pit with a wooden ladder. Down that ladder and a bit further on is a lower secret door opening out beside the pond.

At the bottom of the hillside beside the pasture is a hidden dragon's lair, complete with dragon. At the back of the pond, behind where a waterfall would be if it were flowing, is another chamber with a secret door. This is where the Troll King hangs out. He has a throne, tiled stone floor, tall lamps, and various treasures. The final touch is that there is a skeleton underneath the lookout platform. Once again, I mostly do not have pictures, so you'll mostly have to take my word for all of this.

Entrances to secret passages
Upper entrance closed
Upper entrance open
Lower passage open

Places to keep out of
Dragon lair closed
Dragon lair open
Dragon Lair closeup
Closed entrance to Troll King's chamber
Troll King's chamber closed
Troll King's chamber open

Apartment Highrise

This was the first year for showing John's office tower with working glass elevator. He wanted something that would cover up the back of it, and show up over top of it. I volunteered for that, and so built an apartment tower. It too used a lot of Megabloks (red ones). John and I co-ordinated on how high the buildings were, so that only the top 4 floors (and the ends) of mine needed the fancy decorations, which used parts I didn't have many of. The result worked fine when viewed from the front, but when you looked across the layout from the other side, the back of my building was pretty ugly!

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