Monday, February 6, 2012

Pink Rocks!

All the talk around here about buying a new house is really stressing us all out.  Hopefully the deal doesn't fall through and we're packing up Lego for a new place with LOTS more room...  but it looks shaky right now, sadly.   That said, Mia's minifig in Legotown already HAS her dream house.   It started with one of those pink Lego building sets and then became a secluded island just off the coast of the main town.

The original set was really just a facade and a stall for a horse.   We tried several other ways of putting those pink pieces together but never were able to make an attractive enough house that had a proper roof and 3 sides.   Fortunately, we always have a ready supply of other Lego around that are great for boosting our building capabilities.  Mia's house didn't get its full renovation to this design until a coworker of Matt's gave us a bucket full of even more interesting pieces to use.  Of course, one of the best sources of inspiration for making new building projects is that you have some combination of pieces that you HAVE to find some cool use for.
In this case, the pieces that really started the ball rolling were all the rock pieces and the large wood columns (that probably came from a Pirate set at some point).  The main problem with putting her house in town was that there isn't a lot of room for another whole house to go.  Another problem we've been having in town in general is parking.  So we've been experimenting for a long time with different ways of raising the structures to include and create parking underneath.   The only buildings in the town itself to ever have an integral parking garage were the harbor offices... but they've since collapsed (I'll show them to you in an upcoming post).
The abundance of the rock pieces and the wood columns made for a great opportunity to build a house on the rocks and it would give Mia's house a lot more space inside than we actually had enough pink pieces to support.   By using the rock pieces and the brown earth wall pieces we could create a large enclosed living area without using up the valuable and more rare pink pieces.  If you look carefully at the left side of the house, you'll see the rocks extend up through the second level-- there are no pink wall pieces there, from the inside it appears as a root cellar or wine cellar storage area hollowed out beside the kitchen.
All that new "basement" space provides lots of room for Mia's horses and carts to be stored on her island.  She can take them to town by boat (where she has a matching pink car stored) but they are boarded on the island.  One of the other unique pieces to this "set" are the stairs that go from the boat dock to the terrace where her outside eating area is.  These are the only stair pieces we have and they work really well here.  The two colors of pink were used to complement each other by surround the windows and roof with darker shades and then using white pieces to fill in where color changes would be less noticeable (like on the gable walls of the top floor-- which are completely white).
Here you can see what the island looks like from an approaching boat.  The dock area is let with a lantern and the stairs lead up through the rocky outcroppings to the front door of the house and the terrace for entertaining guests.  The view from the terrace would be quite relaxing.    From here you can also see how the rocky pieces are intermixed with what would be concrete piers and walls supporting the structure of the house.   We tried to be very deliberate in making those large structural elements distinct from the more random formations of rock so that it would look more realistic.

If you'd prefer to see Mia's tour of the house yourself, check out this video: Legotown Island Dream House .

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