Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A keyhole door

I have a half-finished Wedgits blog entry that mentions the importance of how something builds, not just what the end result looks like. Once you have built with a construction set a few times, your appreciation of the set's vocabulary & syntax can make it possible to look at a design and anticipate the special enjoyments in building it.

When you look at this structure, perhaps the finest William Seppeler has shared with us in his Anchor Stone Constructions blog yet, the first thing that catches your eye is the Keyhole shaped doorway - and it is a charmer, and well worth remarking.

But for the builder, beyond the esthetic visual charm of the opening - the artist's "white space - there is an anticipatory tingling in one's fingers at the idea of setting a large arch to span a separated and inverted pair of a split small arch ...

Then one's eyes move to the second diagram, and sees the (un-split) small arch open to the back ...

It is not uncommon for arches lying on their sides to serve as structural non-arch elements of Ankerstein structures, but usually the hollow is hidden within the structure and only visible in layer plans and in construction - a secret pleasure for the builder. But open to the viewing audience, even if only "backstage"? What fun!

The clincher is the sudden realization that the "sandstone" blocks straddling that arch are in fact #4 stones. extending the full length from front to back, at right angles to the facade.


What a fun and original opening gambit!

I was hooked, and had to begin building as soon as I saw that.

So we have another Anchor post, pushing Wedgits and fischer technik back yet again.

Set 4 comes with 16 pages of designs for this set, with three designs per page. Plus a couple of pages of smaller plans for learning and quicker play, similar to those I shared here the other day.

Here are nine more design pages, which with the developing ASC series, make quite an extensive and happy selection for this set. Over 80 designs so far, not even counting the Set 2 designs, which can also be built with this set (I find it a bit of a hassle to draw the Set 4 stones from a Set 6 box, but much less of a problem to draw the Set 2 stones from either box).

If you haven't got a Set 4, you should feel encouraged to order one from The ToyHouse right now. Mention this blog.

Very, very good Block Play.

[Addendum -- after building & blogging today's structure, I realized that by just taking the stones from Set 6 as I needed them, I had inadvertently used two #1G stones that aren't actually in Set 4. I decided I would do the job right this morning, by pulling the entire Set 4 from Set 6, and building with that. Before I did, Mr Seppeler posted an alternate version in his original post. And by the time I got to the roof area of my second try, I was ready to try something new there too. Replacing the two #1G stones with pairs of #19G would not have changed the appearance other than a vertical parting line along the ends, and would have left several stones unused. My revision uses all the Set 4 stones except the steeple, and has a hidden trick to confound and amuse those who attempt to replicate my version.]

1 comment:

releppes said...

Very nice photo, and thank you for the compliments.