Saturday, May 02, 2009

Seeking the imperfect

The biggest challenge of building something in miniature is usually the choice of what to omit. It is simply not possible to build an exact replica in miniature - especially with simple construction toys. How much can you leave out and still have a satisfactory model of the original?

I can get stuck in the planning phase forever, trying to figure out how to make a model better. This is one of the reasons I mostly build from plans, not freelance. And I am always on the lookout for new plans.

This week Andy Harris's Lott's Bricks Gallery added a page on Lott's Kindergarten Blocks, which I immediately scanned for plans, zooming in on the image at right.

Now what was cool, and the impetus to my building and blogging today, is that I immediately recognized that top & center in the plan sheet is an easily recognizable model of London's Tower Bridge. Okay, I was looking at the larger versions, not the thumbnails, but still ...

The point is, at the detail level this doesn't look at all like Tower Bridge (do a Google image search), but it doesn't matter. Maybe I am more bridge oriented than most people, but I still think some of my readers will have recognized my model, and even more would agree that it is an acceptable representation after looking at the pictures.

I don't have any Lott's Kindergarten Blocks, but Ankerstein fans will recognize them as being reasonably close to the simpler Ankerstein sets (more obvious in the Lott's Set 2 at left than the Box 1 above).

So I built my Tower Bridge out of Ankerstein rather than Lott's. And out of perversity, I built it out of Ankerstein Set 4A rather than choosing a set or combination of sets more able to replicate the Lott's Box 1 contents.

My model is roughly the same size as that on the Lott's plan, but I have had to use different colors and multiple smaller blocks to represent larger blocks not in the 4A assortment.

Successfully achieving the imperfect is good block play.

1 comment:

releppes said...

I agree with your comments on designing models. Even the simple models take me a long time to create. When I finish something, I always look back and think, "Now what was so hard about that?" Then I remind myself how long it took. It's not uncommon for me to spend several days to create a single #6 model. Even the HM designs took me a long time. I'm just that slow.