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Journey of the Fellowship 2011 . . Welcome everyone to the MOCpages collaborative build that was displayed at BrickWorld 2011 in Wheeling Illinois. While mine is not the only post focusing on the collaborative what I'm going to try to do is give a little background and insite into what brought each build to the table... so to speak. The concept was born at BrickWorld 2010. Kelso and I were talking and we thought "hey, wouldn't it be fun to do a collaborative?" Sure it would. So after a little thought (and some other concepts that will remain nameless as they may be future projects) I said to him "Hey, I got it... let's do Lord of the Rings." He says to me "You mean like... a few of us build Minas Tirith or Barad Dur?" "No, no, no..." I replied "Let's do Middle Earth... ALL of it." Of course the reaction was "You're nuts" (or something to that effect... explitives deleted) but after a little probing and prodding the plan was put into action! What you see here is the realization of a year's worth of planning, building and more than a little blood, sweat and tears. Little did we know that our final product would span about 200 square feet! Maybe I was nuts... Let's get started shall we? First off, we have Hobbiton created by Tyler Halliwell. Hobbiton was originally assigned to another builder here on MOCpages. That builder even sent us pictures of his work in progress on the build but when it came time for Brickworld... he was a "no call, no show." No emails, no comments in the group... nothing. So, young master Halliwell here went with his father to the Lego store on Thursday (I think, the days all blend together) and raided the pick a brick. Upon his return he and his dad cranked out hobbiton here and the chase scene with the Ringwraiths! Way to step up Tyler! As others have said in other places, the kid has earned his way! Thanks Tyler! Next on the list is the town of Bree and the Inn at the Prancing Pony by Leda Kat. There was a lot of uncertainty about whether or not Leda was going to even make it this year. But all the cards fell into their right places and here's the end result. And what an AWESOME result it is! This little baby took home the trophy for best small building! Congrats Leda! You deserve it girl! Ahhh, Rivendell. In our original line up of builds, Mister Kaleta was supposed to collaborate with Kelso on Minas Tirith. After a few conversations he decided that he'd rather try his hand at Rivendell and let me tell you, that decision couldn't have been better! While it didn't win, it WAS nominated for best large building (which is a big deal on it's own. Remember, this is a HUGE convention). Dave did take home another trophy for his disected frog moc so he didn't go empty handed. He's the only one in the group that's won awards two years in a row! Congrats there Dave! Dr. Jones and the Mines of Moria... where to begin? Just look at the SIZE of this build! No, Lee's not trying to overcompensate for anything is he? Noooo, of course not. Seriously though, when Lee started talking dimensions of this thing we all thought he was nuts... well he IS of course but that doesn't mean he didn't turn out some beautiful work! Isengard with the Tower of Orthanc. One of my little contributions to our collaborative. This puppy stands about 4ft 8 inches tall and used over 5,000 bricks. I couldn't tell ya the exact number because I stopped "counting" after a while. I actually had this tower (not the surrounding land) built by last October. I wanted to get it done early so that if needed I could assist in some of the other locations for the layout. A good choice on my part as you'll see in a little further down... The Golden Hall of Edoras by Dennis Price. If I had a nickle for everytime Dennis said he wasn't going to be able to be there or he was just going to scrap the whole thing.... well, I'd have about 35 cents, but that's not the point. The point is that Dennis overcame a few speedbumps in his path and was able to bring this beautiful moc to join in the collaborative. Now stop your whinning Dennis! Here are a couple of the beacon towers that were also built by Tyler Halliwell. Did I mention this dude poured his heart and soul into this project? Helm's Deep. The one portion of this collaborative that Tyler was ACTUALLY assigned to! And he did not disappoint! I've already given Tyler enough credit here so we're not going to mention him again ok... (Well, at least until the Minas Tirith pics) Welcome to Minas Tirith. A collaboration within a collaboration. This was the demonic spawn of Mark Kelso and myself. Let me just tell you... the logistics involved of building a single moc between two builders who don't live anywhere NEAR each other. Yeah, nightmare! So, hard part done (the building) and then Mark's plan was to bring it with him for the event and we assemble it here. Yeah... didn't exactly happen that way. Mark ran into some issues at home and wasn't able to leave. So he packed up his portion of the build (including the AWESOME map that he painted) and shipped em off to my house. I recieved four boxes that looked (and sounded) pretty much intact. Imagine our surprise when we open the boxes to find... well... piles of white brick. The entire group pitched in here to get the building and the entire build itself put back together in time. Again my thanks go out to Tyler, Shannon Ocean and George Kemper especially who pretty much rebuilt the entire rockwall from scratch! You guys rock!... pun intended. The battering ram "Grond" was built by me as a last minute addition. Well, not last MINUTE like Tyler's work on Hobbiton but it was done in late May give or take. Just one of those things that could have been overlooked but NEEDED to be there. I wish I woulda' taken more pics of the little things like this. You can't even see the flames shooting out of his mouth (they're there, I promise). Here's the armies of Mordor during the battle of Pellinor Fields... you get three guesses who's army this is and the first two don't count. Now, Lee INSISTS that I was the one that came up with the "10,000" final count (and I'm sure he has proof to back it up) but I seriously don't remember saying that at all (Notice I didn't say that I DIDN'T say it... just that I don't remember saying it. I've learned not to question Lee in things like this). At any rate, the final count on the table was closer to two thousand as we simply ran out of room and time to get more put together and set up. Osgiliath by Mister Bones. Bones was all set to join us for Brickworld this year and then had a job transfer (or something like that) and his new office wouldn't allow him time off!... ... DANGIT! Bones of course was kind enough to ship his build to me so it could still be part of our layout. Thank you so much Bones! (of course Dennis and Kaleta are probably cursing your packing skills but hey, I don't think ANYTHING arrived 100% intact) Minas Morgul. So the story goes... it's about 6 weeks till Brickworld and I'm on the phone with Dave Sterling. He says that he'd LOVE to be part of the collab but most of the locations had been taken and there wasn't really enough time. Well, one thing led to another and I suggest Minas Morgul. A couple google searches later and he's in. This beautifull build is what happens when you put that man in a pressure cooker to get something built in time. Better late than never right? The Black Gate of Mordor built by our own drunken pirate, Heath Flor. Originally Heath was assigned to do Barad Dur but there was some complications that arose and Kevin took that one over. Heath though, not wanting to wuss out of the project started searching desperately for something to add. He settled on the Black Gate. Then of course he had to mess with Tyler in the emails by sending him pics of a "to scale with Kevin's Barad Dur" (about 3 inches tall by three inches long) gate and INSISTING that that was the finished build. Good times... good times. Mount Doom by Anthony Dunne. Those that know Anthony know he's a car builder so this was REALLY stepping outside his comfort zone. The light up features were a great addition to this build and I think his cut-away interior is really well done. Nothing really "story worthy" (read: bad) happened to this one so... just enjoy the pics. And now we come to it... the tower of Barad Dur by Kevin Walker.... I mean Walter (inside joke there). Truly the centerpiece (even though it was on the end) of our collaboration. Don't get me wrong, everyone's builds were STELLAR but this was the "eyecatcher" that brought people in. I'm sure you've all seen and heard by now what Kevin went through with this thing but words really can't do justice to what that man accomplished. He COMPLETELY rebuilt that thing in two days... TWO DAYS PEOPLE! It was nominated for best large building but didn't win. We have a theory on why it didn't. There was another large tower in one of the other rooms that was named "The Black Tower" and we're pretty sure that most people just saw "Black Tower" on the voting ballot and thought "Oh yeah, that's the Lord of the Rings tower. I'll vote for that." Needless to say the "other" black tower won the award. Now... it wasn't a 'bad" build by any stretch but... it was NO Barad Dur. Kevin's two mocs (Barad Dur and his Cuckoo Clock) won the "Judges Choice Award" so that's something but... yeah, he shoulda won best large building. Fourth Wall Commentary: And that's it every one! Thanks for joining us on our journey through Middle Earth. As for my fellow conspirators from 5 different countries. We banded together from across the globe to make this happen and created our own fellowship in the process. I really, REALLY can't thank everyone enough for all the effort they ALL put in to making this vision come to life. I'm so proud of all of you. You all ROCK! As you all know Dr. Jones has our trophy for "Best Group Display" and will be making copies so that all of us get one. Thanks for doing that Lee! Alright, that's enough congrats. It's time to get to work on next year's collaborative! See you all again in 2012! Till next time true believers! ~Chris. Note: This post surpassed one hundred thousand hits on July 15th, 2011! A scant 3 weeks after it's premiere! Thank you everyone!

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