Good morning folks! Here I am, Guy Mock,* ready to walk you through the building process for Geneva’s latest creation, a Japanese Fortress.
*MOC, often pronounced mock, stands for My Own Creation
The fortress was modeled off the official LEGO set pictured below. Likely Geneva chose this one because she figured it had nowhere to go but up.
And before we begin following the building process, here’s a shot of the final result to whet your appetite.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s get building!
First up were the minifigures. Minifigures first isn’t the typical procedure, but in this case it seemed a logical place to start.
Then next the base begins. A 16×32 baseplate provided the “foundation” and an irregular border expanded on that. At this point the second story is added with light grey tiles, but those were later switched out for black.
We started off using clip hinges to angle the stonework but gave that up as a pointless use of space and parts and simply allowed those two sections to lean back against the inside walls. For all that, they fit quite securely in place, as I learned to my cost when I kicked one (I was mad at one of the Samurais – he was insisting on posing for the construction pictures). So if you notice me limping, that’s why.
You might also notice by looking closely that the two sides are actually mirror images of each other. Why design two walls when you can get away with one? Plus this way Geneva could work on one side and I could run back and forth to copy it onto the other.
The next day witnessed more progress. Deciding upon the roof style was complicated. Well, it wouldn’t have been complicated, if Geneva had just taken my advice, but she had to try out three or four other ways – you can see one of them off to the left (it looks like a square boat!) – in the end, of course, my way was best.
The battlements were also tricky, and to be honest, Geneva got the last word there. I hadn’t thought about texturing the white, but once she added that I had to admit that it was an improvement.
The next step was another tower on the right-hand side. We decided that a bridge would be just the thing to connect towers. It wasn’t so much the thing for Geneva to make me test it out, and I tell you, keeping up appearances with my signature smile wasn’t as easy as this picture makes it look!
As the building nears completion, I am… wait… am I still standing on that flimsy bridge? Ah, the woes of minifigure life!
Get a load of those awful-looking bamboo leaves. Geneva kept casting it up to me that they – or something like them – were in the original set, but I made it very clear that that was the lamest excuse and a better solution just had to be found.
As you’ve surely noticed, there’s not much missing in these last pictures except for the middle tower. And that is the one place where, if I may say so, it really is my humble opinion that Geneva went wrong. The middle tower is too squat. All it needed was a little balcony around it, making it a bit narrower, and it would have been practically perfect. But I couldn’t catch Geneva’s ear until after she took pictures, and trying to get her to fix anything at that point is like pulling teeth. (As an aside, minifigures aren’t good at pulling teeth.)
I must say though, adding a couple of chickens was a clever touch and one that I had nothing to do with. Fact is, if there’s an animal I hate, it’s a chicken. Mostly I hate the live ones, though. LEGO chickens aren’t so bad, though I always do have the feeling that they’re watching me out of the corner of their eye.
Well, chickens to the contrary notwithstanding, the Japanese Fortress was completed. I believe Geneva intends to present it more fully in a post later on, but for now, I hope you enjoyed the walk through the process from a pile of bricks to – this!