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Ten days to go... it's time to say farewell and goodbye!
The three Elven rings of power Narya, Nenya and Vilya - and their bearers are ready to leave Middle Earth and LEGO Ideas. The wings are raised to leave the boundaries of this Earth and to sail to the Undying Lands.
Thanks a lot to my supporters - it has been my most successful project so far. It might still reach 2.5% of 10.000, if I'm lucky! ;-)
So here is the final model! The pics give you different points of view and also show how the wings are raised. Now I can focus on designing the minifigures! Enjoy! ;-) And by the way - this is more what I would call "a swan of great size" - it definitely is not a rowing boat (like in the movie).
How to bring a digital model to life
Every builder has his/her own method; therefore I can only tell you what works for me.
1.) Create a digital model and try to build it with LEGO parts without changes. The good thing is that you can't cheat gravity; you will exactly see were the "fault lines" of your model are. If it can break, it will - and fall to the ground and be shattered into 1000 peaces, if your design was too fragile. However, that is good for the building process - you can think of solutions that counteract your "fault lines" and make sure that your model shatters into fewer pieces the next time the same thing happens. ;-)
2.) When I start using actual LEGO pieces, I don't care about the digital model anymore; I just build in "real life". This also means that I do not have "valid" building instructions until I have finished the model and that I have to do some "reverse-engineering" to get those instructions.
When I built this model, I didn't want to compromise on the design too much - so this meant that I had to spend quite some time to make the whole thing work. I think I spent about 90% of that time improving the front section as it is the most complicated section of the ship. I don't want to bore you with details but instead show you how I dealt with it.
1.) What I call the "uneven-even-row-discrepancy": the hull section has a row of studs in its middle - so one has to build in "uneven rows"; 1-3-5 and so on; the rest of the head is build in "even rows"- so 2-4-6, etc.; the difficulty was to connect both "rows" in such a way that one doesn't create too many new "fault lines". I think I managed to do so decently; when the whole section fell to the floor two days ago, it broke into two parts only. ;-)
"Uneven row" in the middle of the hull section:
Connection to "even rows":
2.) As the S-shape worked out much better in terms of weight distribution than I initially feared, I only had an horizontal "fault line" (red). Therefore I used a quite massive 4x6 plate mounted vertically (green; connections yellow).
3.) The whole model is not massive - instead I used lightweight construction and tried to screen the "holes".
Head section with side panels removed:
Re-worked the head section again. A few parts didn't fit together in the last version; it wasn't easy but I managed to make them fit this time.
In the meantime I'm almost finished building the rest of the ship. The wings worked out very well (including the "raising"-mechanism).
I'm working on the easiest part of the model - the stern. However, I still lack some more parts - so I will only be able to show you the complete model in the next update.
Elrond himself has come by to offer a helping hand!
A few spots need some minor work and some peaces have to be set in place - but the head section is almost finished. I'm happy the eyes worked out as a wanted them to.
Improved wing design
Reworked the wing section; current part count: approx. 650 pieces.
Galadriel inspecting the work of the Elven shipwrights
Since I might not be able to build a complete model before this project expires, I have desided to start with its most critical part - the neck. So far I'm surprised myself; it is lightweight yet sturdy and the S-shape distributes the weight so well that I don't even need a baseplate.
Swan Ship & the hythe of Egladil
Celeborn's Swan Ship anchors at the hythe of Egladil.
The crew is ready and has manned the ship! The design of the minifigure(s) is just for illustration and not yet final, of course.
This update also shows how an all-white version could look like (I'm still playing with colours, though); I think a black deck would add a bit of contrast to a white hull.
Thank you very much for your strong support in the last days and let's set a course for 100+ supporters!
Stay tuned - there will be more updates coming!
Swan Ship - side view
My computer has been busy in the meantime - so here is one more picture.
A big thank you to all the "early birds" supporting my project!