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Build Your Own Battlemech

michael posted about 12 years ago | from the autocannon-20-always-a-good-choice dept.

Toys 145

Jodrell writes "Hot on the heels of the Back Yard Millenium Falcon comes this: a BattleMech Tree House. Using a couple of packing crates and some angle iron, a very dedicated Dad built a tree house around a Madcat 'mech (or a Timberwolf to those in the know) that stands about 25 feet tall. I want one :-)" And in a related story, BoomZilla points out that you can pick up a Rebel Blockade Runner on Ebay. Of course.

cancel ×

145 comments

woot (0)

I Have a Hard (538104) | about 12 years ago | (#3957463)

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Reason: Your subject looks too much like ascii art.

This is my bag, baby (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957464)

FP, claimed for ACs

Re:This is my bag, baby (-1)

I Have a Hard (538104) | about 12 years ago | (#3957472)


Oh, sorry baby. The 1st post belongs to the CLiT.

FIST post . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957466)

right up your mothafuckin, taco snottin, ASS!

Sigh.. (4, Funny)

ruszka (456169) | about 12 years ago | (#3957468)

Why couldn't my parents have been geeks and built me a treehouse like that :( Instead my dad has spent his life inspecting submarines, inspecting nuclear plants.. oh wait.. that's geekie enough :D

Re:Sigh.. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957928)

Your nick sounds russian, but as we all know russians dont inspect nuke plants or subs. Just look at K19 or chernoble.

Re:Sigh.. (0, Offtopic)

Buck2 (50253) | about 12 years ago | (#3958417)

What was the point of THAT comment?

Shameless link to an old joke... (5, Funny)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | about 12 years ago | (#3957477)

...but it had to be done. [userfriendly.org]

Re:Shameless link to an old joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957611)

Ah yes, but that was "user friendly". Nothing by Iliad can be classed as a joke.

Re:Shameless link to an old joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958622)

That wasn't funny.

After math (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957482)

Did you see the mess after the thunderstorm ?? My mom would make clean everything ... oh boy.

Re:After math: He Deserves It (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957517)

Poor design. He doesn't deserve to be featured on a geek/nerd-site with poor design like that.

Good Design / Bad Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957488)

Cool Looking Treehouse - Good Design
Building a website with 15 pictures on one page - Bad Design.

Is it really that hard to break things up like the millenium falcon guy did?

Don't slashdot users/story posters read fark.com? (-1, Offtopic)

Squeezer (132342) | about 12 years ago | (#3957512)

This is old news, it was posted on fark.com yesterday.

OF COURSE THEY DO, THAT'S WHERE THEY GOT THE LINK. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957552)



Re:Don't slashdot users/story posters read fark.co (3, Funny)

cecil36 (104730) | about 12 years ago | (#3957596)

I tried viewing the site from fark's link, but discovered that the site was "farked". I'm sure the farking will pale in comparison to the slashdot effect.

Mirrors? (1)

Tall Rob Mc (579885) | about 12 years ago | (#3957516)

Are there any mirrors where the pictures aren't on a games site? "Games" is a blocked category for my internet access at work.

Re:Mirrors? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957551)

please my workie blockie too

err wait a sec I control the filtering here

(yes, I realy had a brain fart just now)

Re:Mirrors? (3)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 12 years ago | (#3957911)

MIRROR

I got most of the images before the other mirrors fried.

Here ya go [drirc.net]

Re:Mirrors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958520)

i'd hate to be someone on dialup waiting for this page to load. i'm on cable, very few problems with speed. this site is still loading 3 minutes later sitting around 2 mb of data coming in so far...

Impressive.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957518)

But I must admit, I'm a Daishi whore. ;p

I've actually considered getting some engineers/mechanics drunk enough to build me a nice small lightweight, maybe an Osiris or something. I figure that without weapons and armor, and lightweight materials, maybe I could get it roadworthy. (Now, whether or not physics and such would allow it to actually walk/run and remain upright..)

C'mon, how cool would it be to run through traffic in a mech? :)

Re:Impressive.. (1)

SB5 (165464) | about 12 years ago | (#3957985)

hehe going through downtown during lunch hour would be a thrill, oh you want that hot dog hot? PPC Flame....

But to be serious, I am guessing most mechs wouldn't make past most underpasses, well at least the unarmed mechs....

Re:Impressive.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958701)

Dude...a mech weighs tens of tons...just walk through the damned overpass;)

first goatse.cx shill (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957521)

Score: -1, Funny, Troll, Flamebait

g to the oatse

c to the izzex

week's almost over! I take time off from trolling on the weekend. [goatse.cx]

good base structure? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957530)

Why, for the Falcon, does it say "the key is a good base structure"... for which the photo on that page is some guys ass, bent over directly in front of the camera?

Re:good base structure? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957699)

Well, the guy that is bent over has a good base structure. :p

BattleTech in recent times (1)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#3957535)

I don't believe it, the one time I actually want to read the article, and it's slashdotted...

Anyway. I was a big BT fan for some time (my collection of BT sourcebooks and novels is only now being overtaken by my anime collection), but I dropped out of the loop after FASA died off. So, what's happening? Have wizkids released new stuff now, and if so, what's it like and how does it compare to the original? How far ahead of 306X are we now? I'd look at the wizkids site, but that seems to be down ^^;

Maran

Re:BattleTech in recent times (2, Informative)

Clanner (24684) | about 12 years ago | (#3957602)

WizKids has licensed out battletech stuff to Fantasy Productions, at least for "classic battletech". WizKids will be releasing a click-base version of the game called MechWarrior: Dark Age next month. Fanpro has put out a few products, and Ral Partha has been more-or-less ressurected in Iron Wind Metals, which released a handful of new mini's before a WizKids-imposed blackout period (I guess WizKids doesn't want any competition for MW:DA- can't say I blame them, it'll need all the help it can get). More new mini's are scheduled for release in October, and there should be more CBT book products out after GenCon. The game year is 3067, by the way.

Re:BattleTech in recent times (1)

Turbyne (563535) | about 12 years ago | (#3957622)

I was a big BT fan

Watch out with that abbreviation. There's also a music artist by the name of BT.

Re:BattleTech in recent times (1)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#3957670)

"Watch out with that abbreviation. There's also a music artist by the name of BT."

That's also the abbreviation used for British Telecom, which can be even more confusing...

^_^

Maran

Re:BattleTech in recent times (0)

Android robot head (575836) | about 12 years ago | (#3958550)

True, but no-one is a fan of British Telecom....

Re:BattleTech in recent times (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957682)

Check out Michael Stackpole's site. He's answered all questions I had about the universe progression.

http://www.stormwolf.com/essays/btechret.html [stormwolf.com]

http://www.stormwolf.com/essays/btechret2.html [stormwolf.com]

And here's a piece of fiction he's written for the new era, but it's on wizkids so I'm not sure if the link still works...

http://www.wizkidsgames.com/battletech/bt_fiction. htm [wizkidsgames.com]

The first novel based in the new era should be available later this year, IIRC.

Re:BattleTech in recent times (4, Informative)

mskfisher (22425) | about 12 years ago | (#3957923)

here's a mirror [grabualsa.net] ... the CSS didn't copy completely, so it's jacked in a couple places, but i got all the pictures.

Admission... (2, Funny)

Mulletproof (513805) | about 12 years ago | (#3957539)

Now all he needs are a few more of these and he could start charging admission... Heck, he's probably getting offers from other people to build him as we speak...

"Heatsinks!? This is the 25th Century for cryin out loud!"

Best Dad EVER!! (2, Insightful)

TonyZahn (534930) | about 12 years ago | (#3957571)

All I have to say is that those kids damn well better love their Dad. I know, a lot of it was just because it's a fun thing to do, but the amount of time, effort, and money that this guy shelled out for this overblown treehouse (minus the tree) better be appreciated.

That is, without a doubt, one of the coolest garage projects I've ever seen.

Re:Best Dad EVER!! (5, Funny)

tb3 (313150) | about 12 years ago | (#3958085)

Yeah, but he's going to pay for it in the end. He obviously hasn't watched enough anime to realize what happens to fathers who build giant robots for their kids ...

Re:Best Dad EVER!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958253)

But...Evas aren't robots. ^_^
Assuming you reference Eva that is...

Re:Best Dad EVER!! (1)

Zathrus (232140) | about 12 years ago | (#3958607)

Very much agreed on the Best Dad EVER! bit -- although I have to wonder what his wife thought of the whole thing :)

Oh, and there is a tree associated with it. The rear left corner (if looking at it from the front) appears to be resting against a pine tree. It's not 100% clear though, and I hope he knows that pine trees only live about 30-40 years before coming down one way or another (well, that particular kind of pine does -- grew up with them and have a ton in my yard).

Rebel Blockade Runner on Ebay (2, Funny)

chobee (555901) | about 12 years ago | (#3957582)

Boy this is the best thing that could have possibly happened to the Ebay auction of The Rebel Blockade Runner. Its funny as hell watching the counter go up on his ebay add. Thousands of geeks browsing through his ebay and... he just might have a Rebel's chance at selling it!

double standard? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957588)

Let's see if Rob "the Torch" Torricelli gets evicted from the Senate like James Trafficant did from the house!

As the Senate Ethics Committee weighs charges that Senator Robert G. Torricelli improperly accepted gifts and cash from a political contributor, a government official involved in the inquiry said the panel had received sales receipts, witness testimony and other corroboration of at least two such gifts.

Mr. Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat, appeared before the six members of the committee yesterday afternoon, testifying in closed session at what an adviser said was the senator's own initiative. He testified before the committee staff earlier in the week. The acting chairman of the committee, Senator Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, said afterward that he hoped to conclude the inquiry by next week. But he said the members were too tired to make any decision last night on what action, if any, to take against Mr. Torricelli.

Mr. Torricelli told reporters after testifying that he should have used better judgment in his relationship with the contributor, David Chang, but that he hoped to be fully vindicated. "All I can do is apologize for the errors in judgment and also make clear that rules were not violated," he said. "There were never inappropriate gifts."

The evidence before the committee includes a November 1998 receipt for $1,877.90 for a Toshiba projection television set, indicating that it was paid for by Mr. Chang. The delivery address listed for the television is 116 Walnut Street in Englewood, N.J., which investigators believe was a typographical error. Mr. Torricelli's address at the time was 161 Walnut Street. A copy of the receipt was obtained by The New York Times.

The ethics committee also has financial records and witness testimony suggesting that Mr. Chang gave Mr. Torricelli cash to pay for a $3,816 Scottish grandfather clock he bought in September 1997, the official said.

Both the large-screen television set -- which had its serial number peeled off -- and the grandfather clock were seized by federal agents when they executed a search warrant last year at Mr. Torricelli's former home in Englewood, one official said.

Mr. Torricelli has repeatedly denied accepting any gifts from Mr. Chang. "Those recycled allegations that David Chang made gifts of a TV and a clock are false," said Debra DeShong, Mr. Torricelli's spokeswoman. "Senator Torricelli has provided a complete response to these allegations to the ethics committee, and when the committee's review is completed, the facts will become public."

Senate rules generally prohibit senators from accepting gifts worth more than $50 and require that all gifts be reported on disclosure forms. Mr. Torricelli has never reported any gifts from Mr. Chang.

In 1999, about six months after Mr. Torricelli took delivery of the television set, he gave Mr. Chang an $800 check, made out to cash, an official involved in the inquiry said. He later gave Mr. Chang a second check for $200. It was not clear whether the money was intended as partial repayment for the gifts.

Mr. Chang was jailed in May after pleading guilty to federal charges of obstructing justice and making $53,700 in illegal contributions to Mr. Torricelli's 1996 Senate campaign.

At his sentencing hearing, Mr. Chang described a long and close relationship with Mr. Torricelli and asserted that he lavished the senator with gifts and tens of thousands of dollars in cash in exchange for help with his various business deals.

Mr. Torricelli has denied ever extending any special help to Mr. Chang. But in 1999, Mr. Chang attended meetings Mr. Torricelli had scheduled with the South Korean finance minister and prime minister. The United States ambassador to Korea and the Korean finance minister have both said publicly that Mr. Torricelli used the meetings to promote Mr. Chang's bid to buy a troubled life insurance company from the South Korean government.

The handwritten notes of a U.S. diplomat who attended both meetings, obtained by the New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act, also indicate that Mr. Torricelli used the meetings to lobby on Mr. Chang's behalf.

After nearly four years of investigation, federal prosecutors announced in January that they would not seek criminal charges against Mr. Torricelli. Officials later said that Mr. Chang's credibility problems as a potential witness -- he had repeatedly misrepresented his business activities and his personal relationships -- were central to the decision.

Several government officials said prosecutors had then turned over to the Senate Ethics Committee considerable information that directly or indirectly corroborated Mr. Chang's assertions to investigators that he gave Mr. Torricelli tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and cash.

Mr. Chang's lawyer, Bradley D. Simon, said that the television set, the grandfather clock and an Oriental rug were among various gifts and cash payments that his client told investigators that he had given to Mr. Torricelli.

According to Mr. Chang, he made the gift of the television on his own initiative. An employee of Gorman's Appliances, the store that sold the television set, said yesterday that the store's owner, James Gorman, would not comment on the sale.

In the case of the grandfather clock, an official involved in the inquiry said, Mr. Chang told investigators he gave Mr. Torricelli cash to pay for it at the senator's request and even drove him in Mr. Chang's convertible Rolls-Royce sedan to pick up the clock from an antique store in Lambertville, N.J.

An official involved in the inquiry said that account was largely corroborated by telephone records showing calls from the senator to Mr. Chang and the cashing of a check by Mr. Chang that would have covered the cost of the clock.

Two people familiar with statements to the F.B.I. by the antique-store owner, Charles Buttaci, said he told agents that Mr. Torricelli came into the store one summer weekend and bargained with him for the clock, a signed Scottish tall-case clock with an elaborate painted design on the face. Mr. Buttaci and Mr. Torricelli agreed on a price of $3,600. Mr. Buttaci told investigators that the senator returned to the store several days later with a small Asian man fitting Mr. Chang's description, these two people said.

While the Asian man browsed in the store and smoked cigarettes on its covered wooden porch, Mr. Torricelli paid for the clock and arranged to have it delivered to his Englewood home. A third reported gift from Mr. Chang, a handmade Oriental rug worth $1,590, was bought on Nov. 17, 1997, and delivered to Mr. Torricelli's former wife, Susan Holloway Torricelli, a Democratic fund-raiser who is one of his closest confidants.

Copies of two receipts for the rug indicate it was bought by Mr. Chang at a store a few blocks from the senator's home and delivered to "Susan Torricelli" of Washington. The owner of the store, Shahram Nazar, said yesterday that he could not remember who picked out the carpet but that Mr. Chang had picked it up.

According to Mr. Chang's account, he made the gift at Mr. Torricelli's request. One person involved in the inquiry said that the senator and his former wife said Mr. Chang gave the gift without discussing it beforehand with Mr. Torricelli. Ms. Torricelli later surrendered the carpet to federal investigators, one person involved in the inquiry said.

Mr. Inouye said he believed that Mr. Torricelli's appearance before the ethics committee, which lasted nearly three hours, would be his last, and he added that he did not expect the panel to hear from other witnesses. The senator from Hawaii is acting as the committee's chairman in the place of Senator Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, who recused himself because of his close relationship to Mr. Torricelli.

"I don't want to be on this committee any longer," Mr. Inouye said.

well, it's slashdotted (1)

tps12 (105590) | about 12 years ago | (#3957605)

I will say, however, that Battletech was the single most confusing game I ever had on my Apple //e. I never had any idea what the point of the game was, how I was doing, or sometimes even whether or not I was playing. However, I loved it based on the sheer coolness of the box and instruction manual.

Game companies today could learn a thing or two. People will buy the most boring- or stupid-ass shit as long as the box looks cool, and if the instruction manual delivers, they will not be upset. I think this is how SuSe works.

That does it! (4, Funny)

JBMcB (73720) | about 12 years ago | (#3957607)

I'm turning my Sunbird into the Knight 2000... Anyone know where to get kevlar and titanium cheap?

Use duct tape. (0)

locutus2k (103517) | about 12 years ago | (#3957765)

Duct tape is your friend and can be used for anything. Though I've never seen anyone try it, it might make a decent armor plating if it's thick enough :)

Re:Use duct tape. (1)

SB5 (165464) | about 12 years ago | (#3957914)

Naw, duct tape is good for keeping things together, 3M probably has some tape that prevents armor-piercing bullets... it may not be at your local army surplus... but you could always check

Re:That does it! (2, Informative)

jmoriarty (179788) | about 12 years ago | (#3958489)

If you want your very own KITT you might want to contact the fellow who sells the upgrade parts [knighton-line.com] .

I didn't see any prices on making it bulletproof, but you could always drop him a note and see if he can hook you up.

Slashdotted already... (1)

Whispers_in_the_dark (560817) | about 12 years ago | (#3957614)

Site's starting to report connection refused already. Wow.

Makes me wonder though, since it seems that just about every site that's linked to by the italic bit of a Slashdot article goes down shortly, would an article that directly cites slashdot.org slashdot slashdot? ;)

Mirror (2, Troll)

tweakt (325224) | about 12 years ago | (#3957616)

"Connection Refused"... it's slowly dying under load So.... http://www.tweakt.net/mwdarkage/ *cringe* please mirror off this too, so my server doesn't melt...

AHHH! (2)

tweakt (325224) | about 12 years ago | (#3957719)


I said someone else mirror this too! Yikes!
My upstream is now completely saturated. Woo-hoo!

It's going down in about 30min, so someone better make another mirror.

Here is a Mirror (5, Informative)

legomad (596194) | about 12 years ago | (#3957623)

www.mektek.net Scroll halfway down the mainpage.

hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957639)

Now there's a guy who really knows where his towel is.

Re:hmm. (1)

Nintendork (411169) | about 12 years ago | (#3958110)

Telling by your posting score, somebody hasn't read any Douglas Adams.

Free time.... (1)

zoobaby (583075) | about 12 years ago | (#3957647)

Where do people/geeks find the free time to make stuff like this. No wonder they (we) rarely get laid.

Re:Free time.... (1)

yatest5 (455123) | about 12 years ago | (#3957669)

Where do people/geeks find the free time to make stuff like this. No wonder they (we) rarely get laid.

Spot children in article and pictures. What was it, the immaculate conception?

Has anyone seen Spot? (2, Funny)

rustycage (550599) | about 12 years ago | (#3957652)

Put some real rockets in there and quiet down that barking dog next door!

Poor Tree (1)

LUDO54 (169911) | about 12 years ago | (#3957664)

That's what I kept thinking in the back of my mind when i read this. First it gets its roots smashed during the leg installation. Then used as a makeshift crane for the body. And it will most likely have to go when its size and root structure begin to threaten the mech itself. Hey this suddenly reminds me of an old mech game where you got points for taking out trees. Terra Firma or something like that.

Great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957679)

I'm sure it would be really interesting, if the site wasn't built by a bunch of ass-fucking morons who have managed to have a bunch of broken Javascript on the site someplace that just sits there and opens a bunch of windows. If the ass munchers who run the site would kindly slit their throats and die, it would save us all a lot of time. Thanks.

What a dilema.... (5, Funny)

ivrcti (535150) | about 12 years ago | (#3957686)

I want sooooo badly to show this site to my kids, but absolutely cringe at what will surely be the next words out of their mouths....

Re:What a dilema.... (2, Interesting)

Maran (151221) | about 12 years ago | (#3957809)

Depending on how old they are (and assuming you have space available) tell them "Ok, as long as you help". Obviously heavy metalwork is a bit risky, but they can do things like cut wood, paint, or screw things together.

This way, they get a 'Mech, you get a 'Mech, you find a productive use for youghful energy, and they learn useful DIY skills that will come in handy during adult life.

Maran

Re:What a dilema.... (1)

SB5 (165464) | about 12 years ago | (#3957850)

Like what do you do when you are stuck in Suburbia and all you got is glass of Kool-Aid and a Timberwolf....

Re:What a dilema.... (2)

Toraz Chryx (467835) | about 12 years ago | (#3957930)

The obvious answer is to ramraid^H^H^H^H^H^stamp on the local convenience store with the Timberwolf.

YOU SAID IT! (1)

freejamesbrown (566022) | about 12 years ago | (#3958449)

that guy is raising the bar pretty high for the rest of us! good god! m. http://www.pataphysics-lab.com

wow (0)

RestonVA (593792) | about 12 years ago | (#3957694)

Wish my ebay auctions would get hits like its getting

I love mechs (4, Funny)

foo fighter (151863) | about 12 years ago | (#3957707)

Man I love mechs.

What is it that makes 'em so wicked? The massive firepower? The vaguely human-like form? The juvenile fantasy of blowing shit up in a big way for the fun of it? The sharp angles and "future" look they sport?

Damn they're cool. Who hasn't seen one and wished they could be piloting one of those things.

They'd make a great commuter vehicle. I wouldn't have to worry about pricks cutting me off and sideswiping me anymore. No parking spots? Just vaporize a couple lowly cars to make a space.

And how amazing is it his young daughters find it cool, and he games with other women? There is hope for humanity, and this is proof.

Re:I love mechs (1, Offtopic)

gwizah (236406) | about 12 years ago | (#3957722)

You mean "There is hope for my sex life" don't you?

Plug for free PC mech game (off-topic) (1)

autohost (136852) | about 12 years ago | (#3958114)

Titans of Steel http://www.titansofsteel.de/
v1.4 is freeware

It is a tactical turn based mech game made for Windows 9x/ME. It's an offspring of Mechforce, the brilliant Amiga classic by Ralph Reed.

Two screenshots at http://www.titansofsteel.de/download.html

More screenshots of v1.4 and new version in beta at http://www.matrixgames.com/games/titansofsteel2/sc reenshots.asp

Re:Plug for free PC mech game (off-topic) (1)

autohost (136852) | about 12 years ago | (#3958180)

Sigh, correction for second screenshots URL
I don't know why there was a space inserted in the URL, but below is the correct last part.
screenshots.asp

Re:I love mechs (1)

TonyZahn (534930) | about 12 years ago | (#3958556)

They'd make a great commuter vehicle. I wouldn't have to worry about pricks cutting me off and sideswiping me anymore. No parking spots? Just vaporize a couple lowly cars to make a space.

That's my dream, right there. The image I love the best is climbing down from my 50-ton death machine, and as I'm walking to the office buy the little button on the key-chain thingie and hear the mech emit that tiny little "chirp" when the alarm activates :-)

sigh (1, Offtopic)

Megane (129182) | about 12 years ago | (#3957729)

Maybe we need an "alt.binaries.slashdot" newsgroup to put up graphics from slashdotted sites?

possible additions? (0)

locutus2k (103517) | about 12 years ago | (#3957739)

I wonder if there is a possible addition of heat synce, perhaps some laser pointers for effect, and of course... the really cool paint job :)
I have ot agree with everyone else... why couldn't my parents have been geeks and done something like this?

That's nice but..... (1)

Angus McNitt (542101) | about 12 years ago | (#3957772)

Now I will truly be impressed when somebody converts his/her Piper Cub or Gulfstream IV into a Valkrie or YF-19.

Re:That's nice but..... (1)

Lord_Pain (165272) | about 12 years ago | (#3957851)

Did you just make an Escape Velocity reference?
Hehe! Ilove that game.

Re:That's nice but..... (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 12 years ago | (#3958082)

No, it's a Macross/Robotech reference.

Congratulations Sir (1)

doublem (118724) | about 12 years ago | (#3957820)

Congratulations Sir, you just won the official "World's Coolest Dad" award.

OH NO! MY CLAN got slashdotted! (1)

CSG_SurferDude (96615) | about 12 years ago | (#3957849)

(Disclaimer: This is MY clan, note my /. name;-)

This project of his has been going on for many months now, and he is (rightfully) the envy of the entire league.

To get an idea of what our little crowd is like, you should really check out our (soon to be /.ed ) server [comstarguard.com]

Blockade Runner? (2)

JahToasted (517101) | about 12 years ago | (#3957866)

Screw that, I'm gonna wait for someone to build a Star Destroyer. Of course as soon as I get that someone else will already have a Death Star, but they're vulnerable to starfighter attack anyway.

ITS OFFICIAL MECHWAR IS FOR FAGGOTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3957919)

Re:ITS OFFICIAL MECHWAR IS FOR FAGGOTS (0, Offtopic)

legomad (596194) | about 12 years ago | (#3958003)

Mechwarior is played mostly by adults and involves musch more skill.

Re:ITS OFFICIAL MECHWAR IS FOR FAGGOTS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958069)

Ok, so it's for adult faggots. Do they have to be paedophiles too?

Re:ITS OFFICIAL MECHWAR IS FOR FAGGOTS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958170)

and involves musch more skill

So you are a LISPING faggot, eh?

Doesn't this Violate MS Copyrights? (0, Troll)

RhettLivingston (544140) | about 12 years ago | (#3957991)

With all the publicity from Slashdot, I wonder if MS will file a copyright infringement lawsuit against the guy? I'm sure they have plans for a line of treehouses that this guy has just trampled all over :o)

SLASHDOTTED! (2)

DigitalSorceress (156609) | about 12 years ago | (#3958002)

Site slashdotted... yada yada... Couldn't get all the images before it timed out, but I put a semi decent mirror of the page here [digitalsorceress.com]

Perhaps a new Slashdot category... (1)

CommieLib (468883) | about 12 years ago | (#3958010)

"White-knuckled Geek obsession"

Heavily Slashdotted (2, Informative)

CommieLib (468883) | about 12 years ago | (#3958033)

I know it's no fun without pics, but here goes:

The Making of a BattleMech
By Com Star Guard (CSG)
Free Universe Mechwarrior League (FUML)

One January evening Jim arrived home from work early and there were two pickup trucks in the driveway with him. Oh yeah, he had said something about getting a couple of old shipping crates for the kids to play with. He and his friends unloaded the crates and dragged them into the garage. Little did either of us know then that these crates would take over our garage for many months to come and keep Jim very busy for the next seven months.

At first it was going to be a simple little fort, nail the crates together cut a door and a couple windows, throw on some paint and voila the kids have a playhouse. But change had already set in; the girls started talking about a tree house so the design evolved "upwards" to a fort on stilts. Over the next week as the "air fort" design was coming together a shift in paradigm occurred. When looking at the crates, Jim's Mech-riddled brain now saw two LRM racks. So the question was posed to the children.... How about a "Mech tree house"? They love watching Daddy play the game with his team the ComStar Guard (http://www.comstarguard.com) as part of the Free Universe Mechwarriors League (http://www.fuml.net), and they each have their favorite Mech so the idea was an instant hit. The type of Mech was obvious, a Madcat, the two LRM racks sealed its fate (plus the fact that it is really one of the simplest chassis with more interior room for the playhouse). And so, with some screen shots from the game, the MW4 game manual, a caliper, and a pile of paper, the sketching began. The scale was set by the size of the crates and the height of the garage door resulting in an overall average of approximately 38%. To tell the truth there really aren't any plans for the thing... more like scrapes of papers with small working sketches and calculations, most of which were scattered around the yard and garage.

So now it was off to Lowes to get plywood, 2 x 4's, and other assorted hardware. Over the next couple months working on and off during the evenings and on some weekends the Mech slowly took form. It started as a rectangular fort with the crates (LRM racks) mounted on the sides; neighbors would come by and look inquisitively. The kids had already taken to it, climbing all over it during the construction, spawning the idea to put several hatches on top - the kids could now climb into the LRM racks from above or below (these would later be screwed closed when the roof was towering 12 ft up). As part of the playhouse aspect of the layout there is also a large back door, which will one day open onto some sort of a little deck (still to be built) allowing easier access and a place for the kids to stage their toys. The Front - Before the Nose Cone
The Hatches on Top
The Back Door

Now it really needed the cockpit/nose so how to make the curved parts? Several attempts were made with plywood (scoring the backside) and bending it over the frame, but the radius was too tight and Jim's patience way too short. So it was back to Lowes and to Standard Steel for some aluminum and Plexiglas sheets and lots of pop rivets. The nose cone was still a question - Wal-Mart didn't sell a steel salad bowl big enough so the search continued. Leave that for later.

The cockpit begins to take shape

Wouldn't it look good if it were painted? The kids looked at all sorts of paint schemes from the game Mechlab and the voting began. Lets just leave it at Dad having to override all the popular votes (for red, purple etc) for a nice subdued camouflage pattern that wouldn't draw protests from the neighbors. So off to Wal-Mart for exterior paint, lots of sealant, and spray-paint for the details. The computer and MS PowerPoint came in handy for making a whole range of templates to do the detailed painting. The first was the hexagonal missile ports on the LRM racks. After completing painting on the first rack (one heck of a difficult job) Jim looked back at one of the color screen shots... the background should have been gray not green... well, that wouldn't do! It was too difficult to repaint the background around the hexagons so an entirely new plan was hatched. Instead of painting, the hexagons would be cut from plywood, painted, and screwed into place on the rack (much easier, right?!). My son now wants to replace these with real tubes to launch fireworks (thanking CSG_Mhowatt for his rocket post)! So an assembly line was setup to construct and paint hexagons and another trip scheduled back to Wal-Mart for gray paint (I know Wal-Mart loves me). The Hexagons in Progress
Adding Some Camouflage and Details
More Camouflage

Well now comes a decision point ... should we downscale to a pseudo Catapult and minimize additional work???? No lets go for it, its time to start working the arms... back to Lowes for more wood (I know Lowes loves me too).

Nearly completed Body.... Still looking for that nose cone!!

Well, it is starting to look pretty good now so it might as well get a set of real legs... right! The initial design started with wood construction for the legs using a lot of 2x10s. They were pretty sturdy and very heavy, however, with the body weighing something like 700 lbs and the thought of our kids playing on it way up in the air, the legs were being reconsidered. The credit goes to CSG_Gator for his comments regarding the use of steel for the new direction in leg construction. The steel would allow for the correct look (angles) and provide more than enough rigidity for an equivalent weight. After a few calculations, overkill was decided as the best course and the order went into Standard Steel for 30 feet of 4" x 6" steel box beam with a 0.25" wall thickness. The steel legs would look like "chick legs" under it so the 2x10s from the original legs would be cut up to encase the steel... giving them that right "look".

The steel arrived and was it ever heavy!! The only time AutoCad was used on this project was to layout the steel legs (make sure of all the angles and lengths). So started the job of cutting it up and laying the pieces out (now that was a workout). A saws-all was used for all cutting jobs; kudos to Milwaukee for their 9" metal cutting blades called "The Torch", they really worked well! The time finally came to weld; the neighbors had to wonder what was going on with all the light coming from the driveway and around the side of the house late into the night. Now there are a lot of hours worth of welding in those legs, the bad part was Jim made the mistake of wearing cloths with holes in them (not thinking) his first long day - he got some pretty bad "sun burn" spots! Total weight of the steel leg assembly is around 500 lbs... that sure is going to make it fun to move and setup!!! Original Wood Leg - Scrapped for Steel
Welding Steel Leg
Steel Belly Support
Final assembly of the legs to belly support

Meanwhile, the nose cone was finally finished off in an act of desperation using strips of aluminum flashing and lots of aluminized tape (didn't look too bad). It was now time to get the Mech out of the garage so that the wife's car could once again be parked inside. So a good friend was invited over and asked bring his truck (kind of knew what he was getting into) and the towing began... the first question, would it fit through the garage door? It looks taller than the door opening, but measurements confirmed that there was one inch to spare. The trek begins...

The next obstacle was the gate through our side fence. It's 8 ft wide and plenty big for a car but not for a 38% scale BattleMech so one of the arms was removed (it hadn't been fully secured in anticipation of this event). But even after the arm was removed the Mech just barely made it through the gate (left some paint behind). Will it fit through the gate????
Just pull really hard!!!
Finally made it to the back yard!!!!
With the garage once again cleared it was time to set the legs and figure out how in the heck the body was going to get up on top (we will worry about that later). First on the agenda was to select where to put the thing in the backyard, a strategic position was selected to minimize visibility from the road and surrounding houses. To maximize stability two holes were dug at over three-feet of depth (measured to account for the slope in our yard). It was another few weeks before I could convince that same friend to come back and help set up the legs. Well, it required a lot of brute force, but eventually the legs were in the holes and the thing was up - and crooked! What the heck, I accounted for everything!!!!
Up Up and away
It's in but man is it crooked...
does Jim know how to measure??

Later, with the help of a friend's come-along the assembly was pulled back out and leaned against the tree. The root of the tilt problem was a root that got lodged in the beam as it slid into the hole. After some pounding with a shovel and post hole digger the root problem was taken care of and the legs dumped back into the hole - much easier this time. They were leveled, secured, and 15 bags (80lb each) of concrete dumped into the holes... these things aren't going anywhere!!!! The next job was to begin encasing the steel legs in wood (and continue thinking about how to get the Mech up onto its legs).
Slowly encasing the legs

Finally the big day arrived. Arrangements had been made with several friends to come over one weekend and help get the Mech up on its legs. How was it going to be done? Well, the general idea was to hook a chain hoist up high on the tree right behind the legs and then pull. The angle was pretty bad so two 4x4 skids were set up for the thing to ride up along and keep it moving in the correct direction. Other than that, it was really pretty much figured it out as we went. Our trailer worked out good for a first stopping point. As it got higher Jim convinced his friend to put his truck under it for another stopping point (he did it reluctantly after Jim promised to pay for damages if the thing fell on it). Even the old lawn mower got into the action putting tension on all the cables. In just a couple of hours the Mech was on its legs and the big kids were climbing on top!!

Up it goes!!!!

To provide temporary access to the mech (keep the kids happy) a large wood ladder up to the rear door was built from scrapes. The plans are to build a small deck outback for the kids to have better access and to put all their stuff on. The Mrs. climbed up, then through the center hatch, and stood out on top of it - and decided that the kids shouldn't! She declared that it "sure seems a lot taller from up there", and "it has a great view over the top of our house". On July 4th the kids sat up there with their Aunt and said they could see fireworks from "everywhere". The last jobs included finishing up the legs, adding the 3 toed feet, and going all over the thing to do the final sealing. The final touches were to add some more trim paint and of course to add my unit, the Comstar Guard, logo. I consider it one of the finest units around and have teamed with these gentlemen and ladies for three years check us out at http://www.comstarguard.com. I still need to add a logo for a great growing league that we play in, the Free Universe Mechwarrior League (FUML), which is all about hard hitting action check out http://www.fuml.net. It seems to take forever to get all the little stuff added and I'm sure there will be a few extras (like substituting real pipe for some of the painted gun ports) but for the most part this project is finally complete. The back door and temp ladder
Some last work painting/sealing.
The finished product...Finally!

Just about every kid who has seen it has either asked Jim to build them one or gone home to ask their dad to build one. One neighborhood dad (not willing to build one) told his kids that they were very lucky to have a dad like him - one who was smart enough to move to a neighborhood where another dad would build a BattleMech that they could play on. After seven months the BattleMech is finally completed (minus the deck and stairs). It is quite a "fort / tree house" and definitely a conversation piece! Now maybe some of the real home projects like screening in the deck can get started... but then again the kids are never satisfied. One wants a Raven, and the little guy wants either an Atlas or a BattleMech that moves! Some of the kids comments include: "I think it is very, very big and I am scared of heights", "It is beautiful!", "If we put batteries in it, it will move it has metal legs", and "It's very nice and the feet are nice. Daddy's going to make a walking Mech.".

That's all for now, Enjoy! CSG_Starfury

Cowboys and indians (1)

kyoko21 (198413) | about 12 years ago | (#3958050)

Oh man...

If I only had this to play cowboys and indians with.

St. Pat's sweatshirt? (1)

fiber_halo (307531) | about 12 years ago | (#3958068)

Hey! That looks like a 1986 St. Pat's sweatshirt (from UMR [umr.edu] ) he's wearing in some of those shots. Really cool!

Go to Dave and Busters right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958098)

Dave and Busters, a franchise entertainment mecca, has a networked Battletech center.

They have relatively sound proof pods that make the experience quite real and entertaining. As you gain experience with the game, you can get more and more powerful, and complex mechs. There are several displays, banks of buttons that actually do serve different purposes, etc.

It is a FPS type game. You pay for about a 10 minute game, and when it is over, there is a play by play write up that is actually pretty good. Each person gets a stat sheet with their kills/deaths for themselves, and a generic overview of the whole battle that does a decent job of being conversational.

If you have to get your ass in a plane and fly to America (or Japan, I think there used to be one in Japan), do it... OK, it isn't that great, but if you are in a city that has a D&B, check and see if they have a Battle Tech game (they don't all have one), and check it out.

Dave and Busters is a great place to check out at any rate. An arcade for the whole family, and then they kick the kids out after 10.

Re:Go to Dave and Busters right now (1)

jtharpla (531787) | about 12 years ago | (#3958746)

Of course you'll need to trade in one of your vehicles to pay for the $$$ arcades, but hey, fun's fun, right? :-P

Mech designation (3, Informative)

Shinobi (19308) | about 12 years ago | (#3958117)

Clueless editors.... *Grumbles and swears*
Both Mad Cat and Timber Wolf are correct designations. Mad Cat is the Inner Sphere designation, while Timber Wolf is the Clan designation for that particular Omnimech.

Re:Mech designation (1)

Crimson Midget (41436) | about 12 years ago | (#3958729)

The editor didn't make that comment, Jodrell the submitter did. Notice the use of italics.

Just wait.... (1)

h4mmer5tein (589994) | about 12 years ago | (#3958125)

.. a few months and the kits will turn up on www.iwantoneofthose.com [iwantoneofthose.com]

Poor bastard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958174)

Farked one day, slashdotted the next...

Yard work (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | about 12 years ago | (#3958334)

And I struggle to find the time just to weed! This has got to be the only thing this family did for months. Hats offto their enthusiasm and fortitude!

Let's hope it stands! (1)

AshTaylor (590156) | about 12 years ago | (#3958432)

Since the kids will be playing with it, let's hope it doesn't meet the same fate as the Backyard Millenium Falcon did!

DIAL UP CONNECTION BEWARE!!! (1)

DraKKon (7117) | about 12 years ago | (#3958437)

The page comes out to over 2.7 MEGS! Come on, you're using JPEG.. USE THE COMPRESSION OPTION DAMNIT! That and the pages doesn't render well in opera... bastards..

Bragging rights (1)

phrostie (121428) | about 12 years ago | (#3958474)

in 1970 or 71 my dad built me a Apollo lunar modual out of plywood. it was cool. i guess i need to keep up the tradution. :-)

While I would have loved this... (3, Insightful)

tsangc (177574) | about 12 years ago | (#3958537)

Shouldn't the treehouse be a bit more generic to inspire open ended play? Kids make up all sorts of games, roleplaying (not THAT kind of roleplaying) and play situations: For example, a generic treehouse could be a fort, a pirate ship, a space ship, a storefront, etc.

Obviously someone spent a great deal of effort here, but this treehouse can only be a giant mech...

Calum

Re:While I would have loved this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#3958666)

I think the mech design is more for him to play in than the kids...who knows? Put an internet connection and a computer up there, and it would be the ultimate simulator!

Re:While I would have loved this... (2)

Rupert (28001) | about 12 years ago | (#3958744)

It's probably something else already. My children seem to have no problems pretending that the massively over-specific toys their aunts buy them are something they only vaguely resemble.

Unfortunately the trees in our yard are not conducive to supporting any kind of treehouse.

Blowin in the wind. (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | about 12 years ago | (#3958639)

I hope doesn't come apart in a thunder boomer.

Happy happy Joy joy it's FRIDAY.

Build materials for the Starship (1)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | about 12 years ago | (#3958679)

The project began with a 20ft long, 3ft round sewer tube as it's backbone and everything else was made out of wood and other assorted items. Examples: The 11 thrusters seen on the back of the engine were actually built from two seperate trashcans each

So theoretically we could build a replica in orbit with all that shit floating around.
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