LEGO 76038 Attack on Avengers Tower Modified with Two Extra Floors: Arc Reactor, Hall of Armor, and More!


Recently, I decided to rebuild LEGO set 76038 Attack on Avengers Tower from the Avengers 2: Age of Ultra line. The trouble was that the elements for the set were strewn throughout my boxes of bricks and sorted drawers. I used some of the bricks in an Iron Man Hall of Armor MOC, which had to be disassembled for this project. A 511 piece set like this might normally take me a couple of hours to complete. As I had to sort and find the bricks while looking at the downloaded PDF instructions on my computer screen, it took the better part of a day to complete the impressive playset. Then, I started thinking about how to make this good set even better. One aspect that bothered me about it is how short it is. While I understand that LEGO considers cost, playability, and profitability in designing their sets, I thought that Avengers Tower should stand above the Manhattan skyline, which according to the logic of minifigure playsets would put this two or three levels higher. I decided to add two floors, because where the bottom floor extends to–following the slope established in the original set–is about as far out as the edge of platform at the top of the tower. To my mind, this seemed to work out well for a taller and proportionate LEGO Avengers Tower.

LEGO 76038 Attack on Avengers Tower Unmodified


Barring the additional minifigures (and four Iron Legion instead of the stock two), the photo above is of the unmodified LEGO 76038 Attack on Avengers Tower. On the lower level, it has the Iron Legion docking area and medical bay. The middle level has the Iron Legion repair bay/Ultron’s first embodiment and the diagnostic bay with scanner for studying Loki’s scepter. The top level features the platform, entertaining space, and computer station. The tower’s pinnacle is a drone deployment system.

I like the design work that went into the overall design of LEGO 76038. The angular front of the tower and the curve flowing down the side from the platform is spot-on with the design from the film. Of course, LEGO’s designers embellished the design for playability, but the thought that went into what elements should be included such as the Iron Legion bays and the scepter scanner reveal how dedicated their designers are to creating a model that balances play with realism.

Planning Additional Levels 


To begin my modification to Avengers Tower, I had to plan out how to extend the slope of the front part of the tower. Following the slope provided in the original model, I saw that the next level–if it were the same height as the previous level–would need to extend two studs past the previous level. This allowed me to plan how much area in studs I would have to work with for the new first or bottom most level, and the new second level. The rear part of each level–with curved, translucent windows would remain the same for the new fourth and fifth levels. The new first level features an interactive Arc Reactor and Computer Server Room. The new second level features Tony Stark’s workshop and the Iron Man Hall of Armor.

Arc Reactor


I started building my addition to Avengers Tower on the bottom most, or new first level. Thinking back to the first Avengers film, I wanted the tower to have its own Arc Reactor. The first challenge was to think about what that would look like as it is only seen in the film as a 3D schematic on Pepper Potts’ computer monitor, and the second challenge was to integrate some interactivity into this part of the model. While the Arc Reactor doesn’t spin (just the plasma within its torus moves within its magnetic confinement rings), I thought a geared spinning mechanism might be fun to engineer. Due to the placement of the window, I added a series of three gears to move the work where it was needed to spin the reactor. A small knob on the right side of the tower is used to spin the reactor. I added gauges, pipes, valves, and supports to frame the Arc Reactor within its space.

Computer Server Room


Opposite the Arc Reactor on the first level is the computer server room. I built the 19″ computer racks four bricks high, but I might make these higher later. I staggered their placement to imply depth to the space. In the back corner, Ant-Man is hiding out to see what Stark might be up to.

Tony’s Workshop


I focused the new second level on Iron Man. In the front, sloped space, I created Tony Stark’s workshop. It has a desk with computer, parts, coffee mug. Next to the desk is a set of drawers with tools, and on top are two containers and Stark’s Mark V or Suitcase Armor from 76007 Iron Man: Malibu Mansion Attack. In the foreground, Tony Stark has a wrench, and a set of Iron Man armor is on the rotating work platform. Below are some false starts that I made while trying out different designs for this space, including a movable robot arm, which looked very nice but overcrowded the small area available.

Hall of Armor


On the rear side of the second level is Tony Stark’s Iron Man Hall of Armor. I was able to fit six different Iron Man armors in this tight space by building two tiers for the armor–one lower and in the foreground, and one higher and in the background.

New Avengers Tower Assembled!

After completing the new first and second levels, I connected them to the bottom of the original Avengers Tower model. This took some time and massaging to get full clutch without accidentally breaking the model. I’m happy with the new, taller version of Avengers Tower. I wonder what role, if any, it might play in the upcoming Avengers 4 film.

The Avengers are down, but not out.

Avengers Assemble!

Recovered Writing: The Project So Far

This is the twenty-fifth post in a series that I call, “Recovered Writing.” I am going through my personal archive of undergraduate and graduate school writing, recovering those essays I consider interesting but that I am unlikely to revise for traditional publication, and posting those essays as-is on my blog in the hope of engaging others with these ideas that played a formative role in my development as a scholar and teacher. Because this and the other essays in the Recovered Writing series are posted as-is and edited only for web-readability, I hope that readers will accept them for what they are–undergraduate and graduate school essays conveying varying degrees of argumentation, rigor, idea development, and research. Furthermore, I dislike the idea of these essays languishing in a digital tomb, so I offer them here to excite your curiosity and encourage your conversation.

This is a post written in the present about my Recovered Writing project after twenty-four posts. Normal Recovered Writing posts will resume on Wednesday.

In this first phase of my Recovered Writing project, which I began with this post and collected all of the posts on this page, I focused on writing from my years as an undergraduate and masters student. I published 24 posts, of which 16 are undergraduate writing and 8 are masters writing. I did not publish them in any particular order, because it took time to find some files and properly attribute them to specific classes and dates. I wanted to move ahead with the project without imposing an order up front. With that said, I did try to balance the interestingness of the posts instead of posting what I thought were the very best or most likely read essays all at the very beginning of the project.

As I have been finding, formatting, and posting my writing for the Recovered Writing project, I have been struck by how much of the writing seems completely foreign to me. For some of the writing, even some of the writing that I feel is very important to my personal development, I feel only the faintest recall of having written it. For other essays, I have no memory of having written those words. The writing in all cases seem familiar to me as indicative of my continuously evolving style, but the ideas, arguments, and research in many cases are forgotten in the depths of my memory. I need to do more reading about memory and the brain to determine if I should or should not be worried about this. Nevertheless, it is fascinating and somewhat alarming to me that so much writing that I would have spent a considerable amount of time writing have lost the thread of connection to my memory.

Since I began the Recovered Writing project, I have noticed that my daily readership has increased slightly with occasional spikes. However, the spikes were always regarding older writing (like my “On Deep-throat in Aliens vs. Predator: Requium post,” various tech posts such as this one about installing Linux on MacBook Pro retina, and Lego posts such as this one on the vintage Launch Command set). The Recovered Writing posts have not led any readers to engage with me directly, but it is my hope that readers are taking away something from the posts or citing my words in their own research. As Google indexes my writing, perhaps it will lead to more readers finding their way to my words.

The biggest questions that I had about the Recovered Writing project are unanswerable: What effect would publicly posting this writing on my blog or elsewhere have had on my academic and professional development had I done this in real time? Would I have received and responded to feedback by readers of my writing, and what effect might this engaged interaction have had on my thinking, research foci, and professionalization?

In today’s more open world of public or semi-public writing, I think that sharing writing is an essential and necessary part of one’s development. Instead of simply working in one’s monk’s cell and occasionally venturing out to lecture about your thinking, writing, sharing, talking (in its many forms), interacting, collaborating, remixing, transforming, and all-around escaping the cell to be a contributing part of a social world is an essential part of professional practice and development.

Of course, not everyone thinks this way, but I believe that the trend is in that direction and finding ways to make interaction fulfill your research and pedagogical interests while energizing those of others without also unnecessarily distracting us from our work should be something we all aspire to do. For many kinds of writing, research, and pedagogy, we should be lowering barriers to sharing our research, evaluating different kinds of writing on their arguments/evidence despite where they appear, and working better together online. We are the street and we should be finding our own use for these tools, words, and ideas.

In the next phase of my Recovered Writing project, I will continue posting some undergraduate writing that remains in my personal archive while transitioning to conference presentations and PhD writing. After I complete posting these things, I will begin connecting the dots chronologically and thematically. I will build these lists on the Recovered Writing project main page. I want to complete all posting before doing this.

Another element of this phase of the project will be to perform textual analysis over my writing. I am interested in the way my writing and research have changed over time, and I believe that visually exploring these things will help me reflect on my writing over the past and improve my writing for the future.

I want to encourage others to perform their own Recovered Writing projects. A Recovered Writing project can be small or large. It can focus on everything or trends. It can be whatever you want to make it, but it should recover your writing and communications from the prison of our personal digital archives. Let your writing, ideas, and arguments see the light of LCD screens and the eyes of readers who you otherwise never would have had, met, or interacted.