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Gandalf Escapes Orthanc (Using Tensegrity)


Gandalf escapes Orthanc (Using Tensegrity)

This scene portrays Gandalf’s escape from the pinnacle of Orthanc, where he was imprisoned by Saruman, by flying on Gwaihir the Windlord, an eagle. This was my first attempt to build something using tensegrity. I was challenged by a friend to build a tensegrity model in one week, and this is what I came up with. The tower of Orthanc starts out at a micro scale, but has an enlarged minifigure scale top, so you can play with it. If you haven’t noticed yet, this model has an extra chain in the back. This is because Gwaihir’s head kept making him fall forward, so I had to secure him in the back. Overall, this took me 3 days to build and uses about 150 pieces and includes one minifigure-Gandalf.

Favorite parts/challenges

My favorite part of this model is purely the fact that it uses tensegrity. I spent many long hours attempting to figure out how to connect my pieces perfectly to make it work. Despite the fact that that was my favorite part, it was also the most challenging thing. One other thing I like is how the base of Orthanc turned out-I tried a lot of ways of building it until I built this one that I liked. 

Other Notes

  • This model does use tensegrity, it is not a photoshopped trick :)
  • All bricks are already produced in existing colors and shapes.
  • Be sure to check out my other builds!

Thanks for your support and please spread the word,

Math Whiz

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