NRC Modern Times 5

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    Modern Times (1936)
    "A cog in the Lego machine"

    244 pieces; time to build: most of a Saturday

    Modern Times is full of classic Chaplin moments: roller skating on the brink of a chasm, the automatic feeding maching, the gibberish song. But the most enduring image from the film is when Chaplin's factory worker falls into the machine and becomes ensnared by the massive gears and wheels.

    When I started designing a 16x16 Lego vignette of this scene, I thought it would be quick 'n easy. But as I studied the movie scene, I saw how many layers of gears and wheels Chaplin's set had. And translating that into Lego meant that the vignette grew much more three-dimensional than I'd expected. I enjoyed the building tremendously, as forcing depth perspective is the most intriguing part of vignette building for me.

    The minifigure, to fit into the Toys N Bricks contest this month, is mostly the CMS Mechanic--almost the right job to match Chaplin's factory worker, even down to the wrench (Chaplin brings two wrenches down to the machine with him). I used CMS Astronaut arms.

    After building the set, I added an art deco-inspired base design. This was a surprisingly fun vignette, and I'm pleased with the final product.

    For this picture, I changed to mode to grayscale (only necessary because of the minifigure; the actual 'set' is all grayscale already), and upped the contrast, to try to match the look of the screenshot.

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