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Comment on M.O. Round 2 P. Voranc vs. James Mckinnon 'Wild West Town Brickmine'
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M.O. Round 2 P. Voranc vs. James Mckinnon 'Wild West Town Brickmine' . . Category: Wild West: Give us a scene from the old west. It could be a shootout at high noon, a prospector in the woods by the river, a saloon complete with a drunken brawl... your choice, just set it in the old American western style. Link to my opponent's entry: jamesmckinnon When I first saw the category I was quite pleased, because I knew I had some wooden parts and quite a lot of typical cowboy hats, so I thought to myself: 'Hey, this could be fun!' But then it struck me- the last time I built anything connected to Wild West was some 15 years ago, when the Western sets came out. As you have probably already found out, I build mostly military/historical things, so this was a sort of 'out-of-my-comfort-zone' build. But the moment I finished the locomotive and the stagecoach, I just couldn't stop. I made a plan in my head of how my town should look like, and spent the next few days realizing it. So, after a long and hard work, I can finally say: 'Welcome to the busy Wild West town of Brickmine!' What would a Western town be without a saloon? It was the last building of my project, so I was afraid that I might run out of properly colored pieces. I printed the 'Saloon' plate and I hope it has turned out fine. Have you noticed that the Saloon has two nice balconies but no access to them? Well, its owner just did. And meeting the architect on the stairs was not a very happy moment. At least for the latter one. 'I used the clown's torso and those crazy red eyes found on the dark knights' minifigures, to portray the odd appearance of this wealthy, but slightly 'special' man. There is a lively bar in the ground floor and beautiful waitress is surely quite popular I especially focused on the interior and produced two 'furniture' pieces I like very much. I am sure you have seen many pia(ni)nos by now, so I tried to enhance the build with some little details and most importantly, at least in my opinion, a pleasing crimson-red color. The pool table is surely a place where local folks spend a lot of time. Here you can see a gold mine that is not really in the best condition anymore, but it still represents hope for a small group of weary miners. A group of Union soldiers is passing by, minding their own business. The wagon is my own design; I only used the original LEGO cover. Well, a lot of BURPs (‘Big Ugly Rock Pieces’ for those not familiar with this term) you could say… Majority of my grey bricks is still in the Kiev class aircraft carrier, so they were a sort of a savior for me. But I still had to use a lot of other bricks to fill the gaps between them and improve their looks. On the top is a small Indian camp where the legendary Karl May’s Winnetou and Old Shatterhand with his Winchester are standing. I hope I’ve managed to capture the looks of Lex Barker properly… Over 200 million copies of Karl May’s works had been sold worldwide, but Winnetou is still not so well known across the Atlantic. One of the reasons why I have included these two figures here, is the fact that movies were filmed at various locations in Yugoslavia- some attractive settings in Slovenia included. A vulture on top of the ‘mountain’ is a design I’ve seen a few times and I liked it very much, but I don’t really know anymore who deserves credit for it. Wyatt Earp and his darling Clementine are standing in front of the Sheriff’s office. Henry Fonda surely left his mark when playing this role. The sheriff’s office is the building that local villains are very much afraid of. And when Will Kane is helping the local sheriff, their fear is even more justified. Gary Cooper played this character in the famous movie ‘High Noon’. I had quite a lot of fun designing this armchair and Blondie on the right seems quite pleased with it. I am sure you all know the famous movie ‘The Good, Bad and the Ugly’, starring Clint Eastwood. Money makes the world go round- we won’t discuss this saying, but the bank is without a doubt essential for any larger settlement in the Old West. You can see a soldier standing by the main entrance, guarding the riches hidden in the bank’s treasury, but the guy coming out of the building is even more important. He is Will Lockhart, a ‘Man from Laramie’. I hope that James Stewart would approve his LEGO looks… To emphasize the bank’s global importance, the interior designers did not forget to include a small globe. On the ground floor you'll see a little guy- I just had to use the original LEGO banker; he is still one of my favorite minifigures found in LEGO sets. Farmers from the nearby villages are bringing the cattle, hoping to make a good deal in the town. This angle hopefully gives you the feeling of how busy the main street is. John Wayne, or should I say, Ringo Kid, is standing proudly in front of the ‘Stagecoach’. Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid as they were portrayed by Robert Redford and Paul Newman, are riding proudly through the town. Dragon’s lair tunnel (look at the shields on top of it) is not exactly a monumental piece of engineering, but it still helps trains to reach their destination faster. Here you can see another group of Indians. But these are not Native Americans. The number of Asian Indians living in USA in 19th was not very large, but I still wanted to portray one of the Asian minorities, and I didn’t really feel like building Chinese immigrants... The General Store is well supplied; you’ll find everything here, from food to books, from weapons to equipment for travelers. It was very funny to build this totem; I picked more unusual colors and had fun experimenting with different shapes. I hope you like the final result (the shaman seems to be quite happy). The train station is full of passengers, but they will have to wait for another train, because this one apparently doesn’t have any Pullmans… I am not sure if the gang of Mexicans will be happy to wait; they earned quite a lot playing poker and are afraid of getting robbed. And now probably the most important part of the build: 4-4-0 American and the stagecoach. Hopefully, my entire build still fits into category of ‘scene’ despite its size, but just in case, I decided to give the judges something smaller and more compact in order to better compare my MOC and the opponent’s one. Building the locomotive was definitely the most demanding task I faced in the last couple of days. There are numerous LEGO 4-4-0 locomotives out there, and I wanted to build something original. Instead of using the BigBen drivers I chose those ‘satellite’ pieces and I really liked the way they turned out. Cow catcher is also my design, it could have been better, but I didn’t want to copy from the others and I don’t have the one from the Toy Story sets. I used the golden dishes on top of the boiler, golden cups at front and experimented with the design of drive rods quite a lot. The tender is filled up with logs; this was also interesting to build. This is a typical 19th century stagecoach. Notice the rounded shape of the cabin on the sides, a pack of luggage on the top and if you look carefully you’ll see the brake on the right-hand side. The front wheel should be slightly smaller than the rear one, but the proportions of the medium and the small wheels that I have are not suitable for this scale, so I used only the medium ones. The very last part of my creation is: the fact that there is no tumbleweed. Not a single one is hiding behind any of the corners. The thing is that a few years ago in the senior year of high school, one of my schoolmates suggested to film a scene with tumbleweed rolling across the empty classroom for the final ceremony. I didn’t like the idea back then and I still don’t like it now (even though the actual choice was even worse and less original) :D Tumbleweed represents something deserted, forgotten, but we always want to leave a permanent mark. Not emptiness, but life and our achievements that still enhance it, must stay behind us, always. And this Western town is full of life! (no bison skulls with meat hanging from them, that vulture must be very unhappy...) Have fun, thank you for your attention!

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