Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Building Orthanc, Part 1

Our new Lego project comes from the Lord of the Rings set, inspired by the recent movies, which were (a bit loosely in places) inspired by the original novels. We're building the Tower of Orthanc.  It has 2,359 pieces and is recommended for ages 14+. Honestly, we've had a harder time working on this kit so far compared to the architectural kits which are rated higher. If you're shopping for someone else, pay very close attention to their dexterity and visual acuity, not just chronological age.

Double back to see our earlier Robie House project.

Skip to Building Orthanc Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.


The box shows the completed tower and figures.

Session 1 box

This kit comes with three glossy, full-color, saddle-stapled instruction books.

Session 1 books

Each bag is numbered, and the numbers match certain steps in the instruction books.  This is bag #1.

Session 1 bag 1

These two subassemblies form one leg of the ent.

Session 1 Ent A

Here is the first leg and pelvis of the ent.  This figure was a pain in the tail to assemble.  The construction is not very intuitive, and the instructions are hard to read.  We still enjoyed building it, though.

Session 1 Ent B

This is the complete lower section of the ent.  I think that cream-colored thing on one foot is supposed to be a mushroom.  The green branches are leaves.

Session 1 Ent C

This orc goes with the ent, and the grappling hook wraps around the ent's neck.

Session 1 Orc

Below is a Lego tool.  It has a narrow wedge on one end, bumps and sockets on the other, for separating Lego bricks that were placed wrong so they can be moved.  We are SO glad to have this.  There is no building Lego anything without putting something in the wrong place.

You can buy the brick separator individually.  If you know anyone who plays with Legos, make sure they have one of these.  I think all the big complicated kits should come with one, like Orthanc did.  *laugh*  But it's gonna drive some future archaeologist nuts trying to figure out what it's for.

This is the end of the first session, where we assembled an orc and half an ent.

Session 1 LEGO Tool

Here begins the second session.  This is one of the instruction books, showing the dark blobs that theoretically illustrate how to assemble the pieces.  Yeah, right.  We've spent a lot of time with our noses pressed to the page, trying to decipher the shapes and positions.  The Robie House instructions were clearer -- but the bags of parts in that kit were much more chaotically organized.

Session 2 Book

These are the pieces for Session 2, laid out in approximate order.  We'll be finishing the ent and making the eagle.

Session 2 Pieces

These two subassemblies belong to the top part of the ent.  Notice that his eyes are not symmetrical.

Session 2 Ent A

Here they are connected.  Those green and brown things are branches with leaves.

Session 2 Ent B

This subassembly forms one upper arm of the ent, with a ball joint at the shoulder and a socket joint at the elbow.

Session 2 Ent C

Here is the ent with the top half attached to the bottom half, and the upper arm attached to the shoulder.  Notice that he doesn't have a separate head and torso; it's all one top section.  The vines for the beard are pretty cool, though.

Session 1 Ent D

This subassembly is one hand and forearm of the ent.  The hand is really quite clever, with three fingers and an opposable thumb, all of which move independently.  I think this is my favorite part of the ent.  There is no wrist per se, but the forearm ends in a ball joint, so this arm is quite agile.

Session 2 Ent E

Here is the ent with the whole arm and hand in place.

Session 2 Ent F

This is the upper arm for the other side.  It is neither symmetrical nor as well-designed.  That cross shape connects to the axle at the shoulder.  I have to wonder if different teams were assigned to design different parts of the model, and didn't consult with each other, resulting in a left and right arm that are different.  0_o

Session 2 Ent G

So here is the finished ent.  See how the right arm can only rotate forward and back, not out to the side as the left arm can.  To me, he looks like a clunky brown robot.  But he was still fun to make, and he stands up pretty well and can be posed in different positions.

Session 2 Ent H

This is the completed eagle.  Two wings snap onto the body, and the back has bumps to hold a rider.  The eagle is awesome.

Session 2 Eagle


[To be continued in Part 2 ...]
Tags: entertainment, family skills, fantasy, personal, photo, photography
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