M.O. Round 1 - The Hound of the Baskervilles . Category 'Hound Dog.' Or possibly 'Thriller?' . An entry in the first round of the 2012 MOC Olympics. Let the games begin!
"Holmes and I had been engaged by Henry, newly Lord Baskerville, to investigate the death of his father Sir Charles Baskerville under mysterious circumstances. At Holmes' behest I travelled ahead of him to Dartmoor while he tied up loose ends in London. On arrival I found that Baskerville Hall was a house bleak in aspect and full of foreboding."
"Sir Charles had been found dead on the moors just outside the walls of the estate, having gone out late one night without telling the servants where he was going.
There were no marks on the body, but his face was fixed in a mask of terror. According to his family physician Sir Charles had a weak heart; it seems that he was quite literally frightened to death."
"A dark legend surrounds the Baskerville family, that some two centuries ago Lord Hugo Baskerville had sold his soul to the devil in order to seduce a farmer's beautiful daughter. Both the Lord and the girl were found dead out on the moor; according to the legend, a great black Hound, glowing hellishly from within, stood over their corpses. Some of the more superstitious moorfolk hold that this devilish creature still stalks the Baskerville line, and that its appearance on the moors heralds the death of each Lord Baskerville."
"As a man of science I know that such a creature cannot possibly exist, and yet I find myself discomfited by the eeriness of this place and the obvious tension and fear among the staff. Footprints of a great hound were found near Sir Charles' body, and rumours abound of a spectral creature being sighted. Even I have been woken from my sleep by spine chilling howls from somewhere out on the moor. There must be a rational explanation, but I cannot fathom it. I hope that Holmes arrives soon."
- Excerpt from the journals of Dr. John H. Watson
I toyed with ideas for several different categories before settling on this one - and it turns out someone else had the same idea! I recommend you check out LB Junior's really nice entry if you haven't already; it turns out that we've built complementary parts of the story, which is cool.
My basic idea was to try and create a scene a bit like a movie poster or book cover, with the macro-scale hound in the foreground and the microscale Hall in the background. I then decided that it needed the strip of moor in the middle distance to unite the scene. If I'd had enough green plates to put the hound on them as well, it might have helped to create the illusion of depth.
I spent ages playing with camera and lighting setups to try and create a spooky night-time shot where you could still actually see the MOC - the black-on-black hound in particular was a nightmare! Apologies for the grainy images, and any advice on this will be much appreciated.
As shown here, the light brick in the Hound is activated by squeezing the jaws together, so I had to paste the glowing mouth into the previous pictures.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a friend of the real-world Baskerville family, and visited their home at Clythro Court in Herefordshire on several occasions. It was one of the inspirations for Baskerville Hall, so I used it as a visual reference for my version as well.
Building this has given me new respect for people who do micro-scale buildings all the time - it's a lot trickier than it looks!
Baskerville Hall is basically hollow with a light brick inside which is activated by pushing down on the chimney. Two studs inside connect to hold the light on for photographic purposes. I didn't have time or parts to do a detailed back for the Hall, but hey, it's only Round 1!
The angled strip of moorland.
Poor old Sir Charles! Doomed to be written out of the story in the second chapter.
Now for my favourite part of the build - the Hound. Building animals is challenging, but fun.
Thanks for taking a look and good luck to everyone else in the contest!