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Death Valley Tributaries
My first MOC in far too long!
About this creation
First: I'M SORRY for the ridiculous hiatus.

I've been busy sorting my entire collection of bricks (which, shortly before the sorting began, saw massive growth with the donation of a friend of a friend's old collection), and am still not finished, so don't expect anything else from me until the fall. So what lured me to a new project? Well, it actually took a school assignment in which I saw a building opportunity to get me building again.

The assignment involved making a 3-D topographical map of a North American location, with a focus on geology. We could use any materials we wanted, so I chose Lego, of course, and Death Valley, California. Even though my classmates and teacher were universally super-impressed with the model, I'm only moderately satisfied with it. Why? Well, maybe I'm just rusty after so long, but it seems to me that the diorama lacks... life somehow. Microscale landscapes just aren't for me. Perhaps you disagree, but does anyone have an idea on how to avoid this?

Oh, and just so you know, this model is based upon an actual Google Earth photo of an actual dry river leading into Death Valley. Unfortunately, as the model progressed it looked less and less like that photo as I added visual embellishments that make for a more interesting MOC, and has reached the point of resembling it and no more. Call it an "artist's interpretation". Anyhow, it's not supposed to be the whole valley; rather, it is just one group of rivulets that runs down into it. They're dry, as they are 99.999% of the time in real life, because the valley is the driest place in North America. The brooks only run during rare flash floods.

Criticism is welcome!

A view of the 3D sign. I know it's not original or innovative but it impressed my teacher and added some much-needed variety to the landscape.

A side view, in which the rock lying underneath Death Valley is clearly visible. Death Valley sits on top of sedimentary rock (the stripes) with plentiful borax deposits (hence the white patch) and traces of gold (represented by the gold studs). On the right we have a nonexistent, out-of-scale defunct borax mine. The last borax mine in Death Valley closed in 2005, by the way.

A view of one of the dry brooks, which I like to call "Mane Street". The entire diorama pretty much became a quest to use as many weird techniques as possible to create visual interest and get some practice with SNOT, and that was one of them.

The lowest point of the river. On the top left, you can see my least favourite part of the model: the awkwardly built creek. I would have fixed it were it not for the deadline. Just... just move on, please.

The entrance to the mine.

The interior of the mine.

Detail of the layered stone and a borax deposit.

(I don't have much to say here)

(Nor here)

And finally, we have a view of the diagonally mounted section next to the main stream.

Adios! See y'all in the fall, when I will resume MOCing whether I'm done sorting or not!

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By Andrew Rose
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Added June 5, 2012

LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Death Valley TributariesMicro-scale

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