dinsdag 15 juli 2014

Building the Tower of Orthanc

Well, as I said, I had a lot of gift vouchers and sponsorship money for my birthday, and combined with my pot of small change, I was way over the amount needed to get this `little` set from Lord of the Rings.  Set 10237, standing at 230 euros, is the `exclusive` set from Lego in this franchise, available through webstore and brandstore alone (in theory).

With the finished build measuring almost 75cm in height, this is one big thing to do, and the biggest set build (or even MoC build for that matter) I`ve undertaken so far.  I also received a 10% discount because there was some shelf wear at the bottom of the box... I hadn`t even noticed, I had just grabbed the first one I saw in the store... but hey, I`m not complaining.  It was a `no brainer` to get this set before it would rotate out anyways, as I can see that price hike up big time afterwards and I didn`t want to pay the extra like I had to to get the Pearl.

So yesterday afternoon, I sat down and started the build.  As you might notice, about halfway the picture quality is dropping in light quality, due to daylight having gone by and I didn`t think of using the flash, oopsie. 

Opening the box, I was greeted by a heap of plastic bags (18 to be precise), a sticker sheet and 3 booklets of instructions, which filled up the table quite nicely...

Now, the first two bags are all about the ent Treebeard, and he could have been a set in his own actually, measuring even a mighty 20+ cm in height

And he has his arm swing mechancs build in and hidden nicely into the body...

The ent in his finished glory

Now, afterwards all the bags are almost all the time a combination of two bags per `level`, the first one usually puts down the outlines, the second then dresses it up on the outside, and adds in the extra details.

The bottom floor is the cellar / kennel for the Wargs, and comes with a trapdoor and some rather grisly decals...

After that we move to the next level, which is the entrance hall and it`s "angled" doors.  The set uses a multitude of advanced techniques like SNOT to attach the wallspines, and tubes to bring the stairs in under the angle of the building.

The third level is Saruman`s throne room, where he keeps the Palanthir.  the throne is similar to the one from the wizards duel set, and things like the books in the shelves also use SNOT intead of regular bricks often used in smaller, normal sets.  And it comes with a light brick to be build in into the pedestal of the Palanthir.

Pushing gently upwards at the chandelier on the floor bellow the pedestal, makes the Palanthir glow red like it did when Saruman conversed with Sauron.

After the throne room, we`re tackling the alchemy lab (okay, I called it a kitchen), one of the now smaller levels in the tower as we are over halfway it`s height and starting to work to the spire.  This is the place Saruman`s experiments resulted in the bomb that blew up the wall of the Deep, and the device is even represented.

The tower is full of those kind of details, and that is what makes it one of the big sets...

Because after the lab, we come to my favorite level, the study.  Great looking decals here really make the books and documents come to live, while covering the walls are `paintings` of all 5 Ishtarii.

With the study and alchemy lab now completed, we ae attaching that to the tower as well.  By now, I was building seated, but had to stand up to do these things as it started to get higher and higher.  By the end step, I even had to build stabding straight as I couldn`t reach the top from a seated position anymore...

The next level is the armoury, a small room displaying various Uruk-hai equipment as well as the fold up siege ladder, as Isengard prepares for the invasion of Rohan... and that was the final of the interior levels.

Next was the start of the spiretop, with the platform where Gandalf had been held prisoner after he discovered the treasury of Saruman.

And ending with the iconic black fins of the tower top, Orthanc had been build.

Of course, this once again left me with a lot of left over pieces, but these are actually useable thingies.  The white legs are from the option of having Saruman either in walking clothes or his elegant robes.  Of course I picked the latter...

... which brings us to the minifigures.  The set contains 5 regular minifigs with Saruman, Grima Wormtongue, Gandalf the Grey, a regular orc with a grappling hook and an armoured fighting Uruk-hai.

As well as the great eagle Gwaihir, who flew to the rescue of Gandalf in the movies.

I decided to have the regular orc play it out with Treebeard (hmm, if Unikitty or Groot or all those small droids in Star Wars are considered Minifigs even though they are build from regular bricks, does the venerable Ent count too?).

Gandalf and Gwaihir where posted atop the spire, to recreate the moment Gandalf escapes the clutches of Isengard.

And the dark servants walk the halls of Orthanc as Saruman concorts with his new master.

All things done and build, the Tower now takes his place on the display shelves (I had it change places of where I intended to place it with the Pearl, I wouldn`t survive it should this beast be tipped over by accident), but after building Orthanc yesterday and the Pearl past sunday, I`m steering away for a few weeks from all things consisting of mainly black bricks...


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