Thursday, April 21, 2011

Varis Architect

For a number of years, I have coveted the log building sets from Varis Toys of Latvia, but was daunted by price & shipping costs.

When Varis added the Architect line, I was even more intrigued, but still held off.

But I finally broke down & ordered (via a UK seller on Ebay) the smallest set, with just 25 pieces.

It arrived yesterday, and is a delight.

The pieces are 20mm pitch (a little over 3/4 inch), like the old Ankerstein Klein Kaliber. They are very well made, so are not to small for building small structures.

These are not intended for the huge castles that advanced Anchor builders enjoy, but that is not their intent, nor does Varis offer the variety of block shapes that requires.

Yesterday I immediately built the small church illustrated on the box and diagrammed with layer plans on the excellent sheet included.

Today I pressed onward & built something freelance. Even with so few blocks, it is possible to create something interesting, especially if one has some experience building the 'facade' structures from the plan booklets of the smaller Anchor Stone sets.

This structure is about 8 1/4 inches high, or about 21 cm. Not too shabby.

The block size has been used by other makers, so I may try adding a few blocks borrowed from other sets.

But I am impressed enough that I have already ordered the next larger Varis Architect set, with 63 pieces.

Good Block Play.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Vez s balkony

Third prize in that Czech Anchor contest went to Petr Marek for this věž s balkóny, or tower with balcony, again built with favorite Ankerstein Set #6. I don't seem to have printed out the second prize winner - I vaguely recall that it wasn't shown & I haven't found the contest again on the web pages to confirm. I think the contest is now gone.

The image above may hurt your eyes, or may be the best way yet for me to post stereographs from my 3D camera. Click on it for some more 3D viewing options. Please comment here if you have an opinion about these. I'm rather curious.

The image at left is for those who want something that sits still long enough to look at. Here, the usual rule of 'click for a large view' applies. Sorry it is so similar to the above.

Whatver the image, however you look at it, the Anchor Stones gave me good block play.