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Orthanc - or: how the madness ran its course

Orthanc was the first large project. It began by chance. Some castle sets our kids were to small for, some kilos of cheap bulk bricks and a passion for Lord of the Rings. Some pics out of the web, a lot of phantasy and what remains is history ;-)

Start: autumn 2004
built by: 90% of Orthanc was built by Tom, Verena was involved in some details at the cladding and the construction of the hulk with the hobbits.
Some boxes of black bricks, a few pics out of the web and the DVD and here we go. We (at this stage most of all HE) built whenever there was time or mood. Without any plan. Just trial and error and to see what was possible with the bricks we had.

1. stage of expansion: Feb 2005 - 127 cm high, 42 cm wide at the basis

As you can see there are very abrupt stages, the dimensions are not quite good and tower is clumsy. You can open it at 2 positions and look inside but we were not so happy with the outcome. It should be higher, more detailed and harmonious. As we still had some bricks left we proceded to the

2. stage of expansion: March 2005 - 145 cm

We strengthend the baseplate with bricks as the tower was quite to heavy for a simple grey baseplate. The first abrupt stage ist better now, the tines on the top are broader and longer now. Looks better but not good enough to satisfy us.

3. stage of expansion: April 2005 - 166 cm

The tower is to high to take pics on the table in our living room. So we have to take it out to the staircase. The lights awfully bad and so we don't have a good pic of this stage. Sorry :-(. The tower is grown and the stages are mostly even. We added some details on the top. But there are some areas that could be better and a lot of details are still missing. Further it's time to think about some landscape around the tower. And we started to think about the transport (yes, now as the tower is 166 cm high we start to think about it! By now the tower is one heavy and bulky piece of bricks) and modifed the tower so that we could take it to some smaller pieces. They are still big and bulky. We have to consider that for further models. By now we had no more bricks and needed special pieces for some details. So it took about 10 months to reach the

4. stage of expansion and latest version (by now *g*): Feb 2006 - 193 cm

193 cm high, about 15 kg and it mostly meets our expectations. Some of the other pics show a landscape we built. It doesn't exist any more but we are planing a new and somewhat larger one ;-)


Orthanc – the tower of Isengard

Orthanc (= Mount Fang, cunning mind) is one of the mighty buildings of Middle-Earth the scene of J.R.R. Tolkiens epic fantasy “The Lord of the Rings”. The tower of pitch black stone rises in the center of Isengard and is the domicile of the wizard Saruman. According to descriptions the 500 feet (150 meter) high tower is hewn out of a not man-made stone formation. The building narrows from the bottom up and ends in a platform edged with 4 high pikes. The platform was used to observe the stars but also as prison for Sarumans opponent Gandalf.

Our design model of Lego bricks was build on the basis of pics from the film scenery of Peter Jacksons film trilogy. During a period of 1,5 years the tower with a hight of 193 cm and weight of about 15 kg was built. It took some more than 20.000 bricks and approximately 80 hours of building. It is possible to open the outer wall at two points and to look inside at the entrance hall and Sarumans study.