Although I’d been wanting to build something new on the Minecrap server, I felt I wanted to construct something which wasn’t part of Rainbow Cove, particularly since I’d been obsessing over the thing over the past couple of months or so. And then, while trying to get to sleep the other night, it hit me: I wanted a Van de Graaff generator! You know… those huge metal balls with the lethal spark jumping across them, like any self-respecting mad scientist should have…

And then… things just went nuts (sound familiar?)… I realised that I should make the entire mad-scientist lab, complete with a would-be Frankenstein’s Monster on the slab… And so, Dr. Astrastein’s Lab was born! (cue evil laughter – and yes, that is me, with no added sound effects…)

Dr. Astrastein's Wall Sign

Dr. Astrastein's Wall Sign - subtlely is not my strong point 🙂

Well, it turns out that Igor is no good at design – he can operate the evil machinery, but he’s no engineer – so my good friend Teddanator stepped up to the (non-electrified) plate, and she offered to help out with making the lab looked more polished and science-y. I had to promise not to use her in any experiments, though.

She did a great job, too, starting with making the spark look good:

Van De Graaff Generator

The Van De Graaff Generator. The world's largest *real* VDG could fit inside a single iron ball in this laboratory...

And once the VDG was created, it was on to seeing if we could bring a zombie back to life… so, out with the slab!

Zombie on the Slab

My patient. Three million volts of Minecraft's finest electricity flowing through that redstone... Live, dang it, LIVE!

The scene actually looks a little sad, a dead zombie (can undead be dead?) laid out on the slab, while we run around like headless chickens in white lab coats (the headless chickens were a failed experiment) trying to revive him…

*sigh* One mustn’t become attached to the test-subjects. Anyway, here’s his brain:

The zombie's (pink) brain.

The zombie's (pink) brain. The glass is in place to prevent looting (???)

Teddy and I had debated having either a sign saying, “THIS SPACE FOR SALE” or a huge feather, but the latter would have been tricky, considering the limited space inside Frankie’s head. (I know the original Frankenstein’s Monster didn’t have a name – mine does :P) In the end, we settled for a cartoony-pink brain, rather than actual grey cells.

With the main subject of the lab complete, there was room for more stuff, and I wanted test tubes… Dirty great big ones, naturally 🙂 I was bemoaning the fact that we couldn’t put bubbles, but the ever-resourceful Teddy adapted the idea she used for the Rainbow Cove gumball jar, and chose to use wool blocks above the level of the mysterious coloured liquids, so they look like they’re effervescing. Cool!

Gigantic Test Tubes

Gigantic test tubes, filled with mysterious liquids bearing unpronounceable names. Chemistry was always my weakest subject at school, but if it fizzes, it's got to be good, right?

Teddy had suggested creating a water ride, based on lab equipment, but it didn’t work out. So instead, I went for a huge Bunsen burner and conical flask:

Flask and Bunsen Burner

Flask and Bunsen Burner. Teddy makes with the fizzing effect again 🙂 On weekends, we take the flask off, and use the huge Bunsen burner for pig roasts 😉

… and a brain in a jar – Notch’s brain 😉

Notch's Brain

Notch's Brain, in the obligatory jar. It's made of glowstone - that explains EVERYTHING.

There was originally water in that jar, but I took it out, because between the default glass texture and the water, it was almost impossible to see the brain unless you get up really close to the glass.

Notch's Brain, with water.

Notch's Brain, version 1. Up to 45% salt water added to maintain succulence.

What I was rather surprised by is the fact that if you place portal blocks horizontally or vertically next to each other, they disappear within seconds, but placed diagonally, they don’t – hence the arrangement on the wall sign you see in the first picture, above.

There’s still some room left in the lab, so there may be a couple more things going in there. But for now, it’s back to checking up on the patient… FOR SCIENCE!

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