(Written by Sarah)
In my last blog, I talked about how I was going to challenge myself by building with pieces from 2 Blacksmith Attack #6918 sets, 1 Captain’s Cabin #4191 and some pieces from an Outpost Attack #7948 draft. Almost immediately after writing the blog, I sorted the pieces. But that was it. I put off actually sitting down and building. I was still afraid – afraid of failing. 🙁
A week later, we met up with our LEGO Club to plan the train layout for the NMRA 2011 National Train Show. Will and I took several of our MOCs to create a little medieval section among the predominately city layout. When we laid it all out, we realized that we needed another MOC to fill up some empty space.
So off I went to build my own blacksmith. First, I found a drawing of a blacksmith and left it open on my laptop on the table as I built.
I also wrote a small list of aspects that I wanted in my blacksmith:
- Display for weapons
Then I sat down, spread out my tubs in front of me and… immediately hesitated. I have the picture, but I where do I start building? After a moment, I hit upon the idea to open the building instructions for the Blacksmith Attack.
And that was my biggest mistake. The rest of the build flowed easily enough, but it was because I was looking at what LEGO built and modifying it. In the end, I had something completed, but I wasn’t happy with it. 😐
I almost gave up, but hesitantly I asked Will to sit down with me to give me some advice. Almost immediately, we abandoned using just the limited pieces and dug into our own collection including the extra copy of the Mill Village Raid we had picked up recently.
Let me just say that being married to another AFOL has its ups and downs. It’s great to have someone to share the hobby with. However, there are downsides like when you butt heads. Or it may just be that I’m not a good student. Thankfully, Will is a very patient man. 😀
The first challenge was the back wall. I had made it all out of log-bricks and the light-gray arch. He gave me advice to break it up with plates and also to use larger plates to stabilize the wall. While he advised me, I picked out what I wanted and built it.
The anvil design is the same as from the Blacksmith Attack, but it is such a perfect design that I didn’t mind using it. As for the forge, I did a simple circle of black with a single flame. I knew how I wanted the chimney-flute to look, but again wasn’t exactly sure how to do it so Will gave me some advice.
I did pretty much the rest of the designing and decorating except that Will made the two decorative pieces at the top of the front two pillars and he made the rooftop. I had done the flat light-tan roof, but it looked incomplete. So Will added some height it with his build. It looks better, but it’s certainly nothing I would have ever thought to do or figured out how to do.
To finish accessorizing, I stuck with my modified weapons-rack, but Will devised a different display based on the hinge-sign display that was in the Diagon Alley set.
At this point, I looked through my list of desired LEGO elements and realized we hadn’t done a trough. Rather than building something out of LEGO elements, I grabbed the big half-barrel. I wasn’t sure how to do water, Will suggested filling it with 1X1 round plates in trans-light-blue.
All in all, I’m very proud of what we built. I felt a little disappointed that I hadn’t been able to make it on my own, but collaboration goes a long way to make something better than if built by just one person.
And that’s what I need to remember; that I am important when Will builds a MOC and hands it over to me to detail and decorate. If I didn’t do that last step, it wouldn’t ever be a finished MOC.
My skills are important and they are slowly expanding. I’ve learned some new things from this build and, hopefully, I’ll be able to use them in the next build – maybe without as much advice from Will. 😉
So now a few questions, dear readers! Have you ever struggled with a build and then gotten advice from someone that really made the difference? Have you ever built a MOC with someone else? Did you find it challenging to work together?
Please post your responses in the comment section below. I’d love to hear other peoples’ stories about collaborative building! 🙂