This is the bustling city centre of Blockerdam, a renaissance harbor city.
About this creation
This is the bustling city centre of Blockerdam, a renaissance harbor city.
edit. I don't know what is wrong (yet), but the photo's are displayed not on all computers... However, if the photo is not displayed there still is a tiny link to the full size photo. I will look into it!
edit2. I Think it may has to do with if you use Firefox or Internet Explorer... Say 'aye' if you use Ff and 'nay' for Ie! In the mean time I'll put up the url's w/o clickable thumbs :
edit3. I finally know what happens and how to fix it! The quotation marks in the HTML code were autoformatted to unknown symbols; straight (typewriter) double quotation marks turned into curly double quotation marks. (
I have seen the buildings from the medieval market set creeping up in the background of a lot of MOCs these days, or acting as place holders in WIPs; waiting to be savaged for their pretty pretty bricks… Well, here’s mine! I love the medieval market set and decided to build the buildings to fill up a decent sized circus!
Next to that great set, there is a great comeback from the pirates. Ages ago, the world was shocked – I was horrified – when LEGO abandoned the default Smilin’Joe Two Pips faces on the minifigs. From heron on a new began where minifigs would display character and personality. After the initial shock was over I came to love the pirates sets, especially the soldiers!
So I changed the plan! I figured the medieval market set would fit just as good in a renaissance age, and started the build of Blockerdam!
The mountain was easily erected. I did not quite know how big the fort on top would be, so I decided to wait and see that when I got there! I did know how I would shape it; I wanted a miniature star-shaped fortress. The colour scheme was a simple choice; yellow on white! As in the old pirate sets! I am pretty satisfied with the result, but I kind of regret I never got around to building the powder room... The access hatch is there, in a quite Spartan interior. The centre blocky tower separates between the first and second floor; revealing a comfy guardhouse.
Blockerdam city hall
After being a little conservative with bricks on the fortress, it was time to go all out in the creation of Blockerdam city hall. For the colourscheme I chose the dark red for accents, and although it looks very well with brown and bley - imao - it was not a one to be liberal with! My supply of bricks in this colour is rather limited...
I think the steps leading to the front door make the building instantly recognisable as a city hall, and the clock in the facade adds to this. A trick I would use throughout the later buildings as well, is the use of jumper tiles to create subtle jumps in the walls. The front door is set half a stud back and the width of 6 studs jumps back on different heights, extending the effect all the way to the top. On the inside this would naturally give the same half-stud jump which gave an excellent opportunity to put a statue over the door. The interior features the governor's desk, a hearth a filing cabinet and a bench on the 1st level. (Sadly, on the pic is a magic scroll hanging on the chimney... Later I have replaced this with a treasure map, but sadly these pics did not come out as good...) The basement contains a clerk's desks and more filing cabinets and is accessible from the 1st floor, but has an entrance for commoners, at street level, as well. The rafters are filled with the gears that slowly tick away the ages it takes to create Blockerdam circus.
It was time for another colour scheme, and once more all out on available bricks. And once more a poor choice of colour for the accents; the new dark brown colour. To create a city centre, and not a random collection of buildings I took the ground level of the blacksmith's building (from the medieval market set) as a template. In other words, I used four-stud-spanning arches over 66° slopes for the ground floor.
Different as in the bought set, I created an underpass where the baker displays his stock of freshly baked buns, loafs and poppy-seed rolls. A classic colour scheme of white in black forms the timberframe of the first floor. The whitewash panelling is set half a stud inside the timberframe. The interior contains a counter and an oven.
The first floor is the residence of the baker and his wife and has all comforts a 17th century household has to offer, which is precious little... In the attic stocks of flour, yeast and poppy seeds can be stored - poppy-seed rolls are very popular amongst the residents of Blockerdam!
This was a little excursion to see if I could use the new dark-blue bricks in a convincing build. I cannot, as it turned out... To introduce another colour in the scheme would make it to wild and the choice of dark blue and tan was too limited, imho. This idea for a spire was not new but a recreation of the castle Aaargh. The statue inside makes it a shrine - but to whom? - you may ask. Ask the residents of Blockerdam I'd say, because I don't know either! Could it be a goddess? A revered queen of ages past, perhaps? Or the inventor of the poppy-seed roll? My best guess is on the latter...
Long before the first two bricks were slapped together, I knew I wanted a harbour adjacent to the circus, and nothing finishes a harbour better than a big ol' ship! At the peak of my before mentioned Pirates craze, I loved to build sailing ships. After that came the dark ages and I have not build anything remotely similar to a boat ever since. Boy, it was not as easy as I remembered, or as I imagined it would be; because nowadays I have some pre-made huge chunky ship hull-bricks.
All in all, I think the resulting ship looks quite okay! Sadly no interiors here... I just could not get the decks to open properly and be sturdy enough to carry the weight of the masts, so what would be the point? I am proud to mention that the rudder functions though! Turning the steering wheel to starboard moves the rudder to the starboard-side and the ship would veer starboard as well, were it not that it is as seaworthy as a basket...
The harbour is a mod of the new pirate set 6242. I have to admit that tan on white looks far better than the classic yellow on white... Standing on the forecastle are the ever present heroes Dalv and Nomar, dressed in snappy outfits. No adventure this time; they are as set in stone as they observe the brigands robbing the distillery... Is there no hero who will save the precious lush from the greedy clutches of Blockbeard?
This is another building with the ground floor resembling the blacksmith's shop. The idea to build a brewery/winery/distillery came on a boring afternoon at work, when pining for the weekend that was still so very far off... During the build it gradually came to purpose; I built the fountain on the front and mirrored this in the interior, so, as there was access to fresh water it could not be a winery (adding water to wine is not part of the production but, in fact, a crime. Of the former I am not entirely sure...).
Putting a big kettle inside made it nearly a brewery, but, when I started fiddling with some transparent bricks and some tubes it was finally clinched: Distillery it was! Part of the buildings serves as a warehouse for grain and spices waiting to be transformed into some potent spirit, and of course the ready-made spirit waiting to transform sailors into blabbering lunatics! The first floor over the distillery itself is the living space of the master brewer and his spouse, and judging from the buste above the door they fare pretty well. All those poppy-seed rolls make the Blockerdammers a thirsty folk!
This was a surprisingly quick build! I build it in one evening! This is very exceptional for me, you must know... Most of the preceding buildings took about 25 hours to build (a piece!) and some of those were spread over maybe as much as four weeks! I can spend hours on end fiddling with a staircase, swapping bricks endlessly, looking, pondering, smashing it to individual bricks, and finally just build the ff-ing thing!
Although it was pretty quickly assembled, the purpose was struggling miles behind! What does a tower with a big bronze bell do in a sort of place like Blockerdam? Well, I finally decided, it should be something like a customs office! But how do they look? What makes a customs office look like a customs office? If you know, let me know. Please. So I just slapped a big yellow desk in it, paved the thing with some of the last sweet sweet tiles, and put it where the scaffold touches the riverbank... Done!
I was seriously low on ideas by now. And very very low on bricks... But another rainy day in the lab, a colleague was talking about a venue he visited recently. One he very much enjoyed. And then it struck me! A theatre! Why did I not think of that before?
The concept of the green roof was lying on my bench for quite some time, and when the idea of building a theatre struck, I knew it would be perfect; it would fall perfectly over the seat-design that struck me right after I decided to build the theatre. The seats are basically set on floors inside a curved wall like Professor Eggplant builds so incredibly tall, and shiny, and just smackingly beautiful!
So, this is sort of an inside out design. A tricky puzzle was how to make it look like a theatre when the typical interior is covered by a roof. An open theatre would not fit in the age I tried to capture in Blockerdam. I am not entirely sure if I succeeded... I tried a classic roman amphitheatre design and slap a roof on it, please bear in mind that my brick collection was running looooow. The steps worked out pretty well though, mostly due to the shininess of the white bricks. I am not sure whose statues are adorning the facade though...
I hoped that I would be done after the theatre, because that came out way bigger than was initially the idea, and my brick collection looked like a barren wasteland... (Btw, a smaller theatre was impossible! Those things are pretty big, even in Minifig-scale...) But I could not leave that final place of Blockerdam circus empty, neither could I resist to build an apothecary/doctor’s house. This is the place to go if you are in need of a peg-leg or a hook-hand! Nasty side effects not warranted...
The choice of colour scheme was restricted to what my brick supply would allow. Grey. Classic, beaten-up, sun bleached grey. The roof was nothing new to me, as I already built a smaller version for the bell tower. The windows on the first floor were something I was pretty satisfied with, another jumper-tile trick... The creepers on the wall started as a cover for a nearly blind wall, but turned out pretty awesome, imao.