The Diamond Hammer: Minecraft creations from the host of the Hammer Of Retribution Ogg-Cast

 

THE AWESOME ZX80 BASE

   
Project coordinates: X +359 : Y +67 : Z +128
Date completed: 20 March 2015
Minecraft day completed: 2993

To your right you will see a Sinclair ZX80. Click on the picture and see a larger version; make sure its image is burned deeply into your memory, for it relates directly to this massive project.

It is time to show off the most major Minecraft project I've ever attempted - the base of Sinclair's Foundry. I've not assigned it a project number, as it took so long and four other projects were run at the same time. It all started in early February, the outside structure was complete on the 15th, but the rooms inside took another five weeks, one in particular being horribly complicated and requiring a frightening amount of resources. Even so, the target was to complete the whole thing before the day counter clicked round to 3000 - and I made it, although not by much.

This base has been updated: see Project 18: Fixing The Holes.
For the second update: see Project 25: Tidying Up The Base.
For the third update: see Project 31: Fixing More Holes.
For the fourth update: see Project 37: Initial Forays in 1.9.
For the fifth update: see Project 44: Base Upgrades in 1.11.
For the sixth update: see Project 47: Loose Ends.



INTRODUCTION
It's all very well having a small stone hut with all the basics in it (you know, bed, workbench, furnace, chests...) but just doesn't scream ambition, does it? A while back - before starting this world, even - I'd had the idea to build my base in a giant Sinclair ZX81, as it was the first computer I ever owned. Thing is, the ZX81 had a black case, and though there are black blocks (wool and coal), there are no black stairs or slabs, and I wasn't going to cheat by modifying one of the existing blocks (Nether brick, for instance). So I turned to its predecessor, the even more primitive ZX80... because there are white blocks with accompanying stairs and slabs to build with, i.e. Nether quartz. I'd already tried building a replica ZX80 in a test world, and I found that the keys on the nasty old membrane keyboard were a near-perfect 3:2 (width:height) ratio, and if I used a 6×4 pattern of blue wool against a black wool background, the gaps between the keys and the dimensions of the keyboard itself would scale up almost perfectly to the dimensions of the real thing (it was only one block out in 60, which is fine for me).

The rest of it scaled up - and angled surfaces had to be approximated to vertical - so that the final design stretched to 107 blocks long, 86 blocks wide and 18 blocks high. And I'd already calculated how much quartz it would take just to build the outside structure... it was going to be a lot.



BASE CONSTRUCTION 1: THE KEYBOARD
Finally, it's time to start raiding those quartz chests, turning the crystals into blocks, the blocks into stairs, and any other decorative piece you might care to mention...



BASE CONSTRUCTION 2: THE MAIN HALLWAY AND LIBRARY
At this point I thought I'd make immediate use of the area under the keyboard. As I was planning to use piston doors throughout, which require three block thick walls to hide the redstone, it needed careful planning. So I made a spreadsheet, and used it as a kind of virtual sketch pad where I could colour-code the squares for various different blocks, mark out the stone walls, redstone, and room features without having to build, demolish, rebuild, demolish, rebuild again...



BASE CONSTRUCTION 3: THE MAIN BODY
The next room under the keyboard was going to be a brewing lab - but I realised that to make it look like a lab, ideally I'd be building it with quartz. I knew I'd have some left over from building the main structure, but how much was a mystery. So, the lab was put on the backburner (or the Bunsen burner?) and the next job was to build the rest of the ZX80.



BASE CONSTRUCTION 4: THE BREWING LAB
So, the giant Sinclair ZX80 is complete. Now all that remains is to fill it with useful facilities certainly more useful than the original computer was! The library has already been built, onwards to the next project...



BASE CONSTRUCTION 5: STARTING THE WAREHOUSE
I now have a large capacity for potions, some of which are more useful than others. On to the next part of the project... and this is the big one, so much that it'll have to be further split into sub-sections.



BASE CONSTRUCTION 6: THE MASTER BEDROOM
No, really, no prizes - it was always obvious. Wasn't it?



BASE CONSTRUCTION 7: MORE WORK ON THE WAREHOUSE
And now, back to the grindstone. In the words of Edd China, "I've still got loads of work to do, so I'd better crack on!"

This did at least show me what I wanted to do - prove how incredibly rich I was and that I'd beaten the Big Bad by using End stone. It's only available in The End and the chances are, if that dragon hasn't had an arrow or six shoved through its skull, you'll not survive long enough in The End to harvest enough. So the Ender Dragon had to die, and that meant breaking off the construction for the first time to get that little problem out the way...

LINK TO PROJECT 10: CHASING THE DRAGON

Is the dragon dead? Yes? Good. I'll help myself to a ton of End stone and be on my way back to the job in hand.



BASE CONSTRUCTION 8: EVEN MORE WORK ON THE WAREHOUSE
In which we get so near, and yet... actually, not quite so far, the end is in sight.

The job is nearly done... but again, I flew off on a tangent. To finish the warehouse, I needed a lot of item frames, which means a lot of leather. To break up the monotony of this hulking project, I decided now was the best time to build the cow farm where all I had to do was spam wheat at some caged cows, and the calves would be sent to a veal crate to grow up, be automatically smashed into leather and beef, and for those goods to be automatically shunted into the sorting system.

LINK TO PROJECTS 11-13: CATTLE GRID, BREAD BIN & FAST FOOD SILO

I'm no multi-tasker (generally), and those were big builds, but definitely worth it under the circumstances. Onwards!



BASE CONSTRUCTION 9: THE CARTOGRAPHY ROOM AND MINESHAFT
Marvellous! Now I've got some leather, finishing the storage area now a trivial job, and you'll see its final form in the decoration phase. Before that, I have to build the rest of the rooms underneath the keyboard, and do something with the old storage area.



BASE CONSTRUCTION 10: THE SOUTH WING OF THE KEYBOARD
There was a reason for rebuilding the mineshaft now: it's because, for the first time since the aforementioned witch farm excavation, I had to go mining again! Not for stone of any kind, or even for diamonds - it was for lapis lazuli, which I'd used a ton of for Spectrum Tower, and for a large stash in the library. I'd always wondered if anyone out there ever built anything out of lapis lazuli blocks in Survival, especially back in t'old days (pre-1.8) when it was only of use as a dye. The closest I could find was when Paul Soares Jr. took built his Beacon Shrine using lapis lazuli blocks in the 75th episode of Survive and Thrive (it had been no use to him until then); I also experimented with it in the Ice Plains outpost in Rejectland... the idea was so good then I thought I'd recycle it now.

Once I'd finished mining, the end was in sight. The area under the south wing of the keyboard had not been touched yet - so that was the next job. These would, I figured, be simple builds - these were the rooms that were more for showing off than for actual use!



BASE CONSTRUCTION 11: DECORATION
The rooms are built, the base is almost finished... and will be in one last section, apart from any tweaks I might make in the future. All I have to do now is decorate it. Send for Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen!