I have FINALLY gotten around to posting this. I finished this build based on Washington Irving's short story in early January of 2012, and by February it was photographed. One reason for the late post was the daunting video that is embedded below.
About this creation
Please watch this video for an overview of the MOC:
In Washington Irving's classic, Rip Van Winkle, an old geezer in a small, Dutch town in the New World, falls asleep in the woods for 20 years. I split my MOC in half, the right side representing the 1769 part of Rip's memory, the left side representing the 1789 part.
Here are Rip and his dog Wolf, who dies in the twenty years that Rip sleeps during. Rip is an absent minded sort of fellow. He does no work, but galavants around, playing with the village's children, gossiping in the local tavern, and, for the most part, doing nothing.
Here is Rip Van Winkle's house. Irving describes every house in the town being made of, "...small yellow bricks brought from Holland." This didn't really work with my color scheme, but I added a few yellow spots.
This is Dame Van Winkle, Rip's cranky wife. "Dame Van Winkle regarded [Rip and his dog] as companions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf with an evil eye." She feels responsible that her husband is lazy, and in trying to scold him, often makes him afraid to come home at a godly hour.
This is Rip Van Winkle Jr. He learns from his father, and does nothing worth mentioning besides playing with Rip Sr. and lounging about.
Here is my chicken coop, of which I am quite proud. Throughout this MOC, I tried to put an emphasis on the natural world as Irving did in his writing. Irving was a romanticist, and therefore, focused on a few major points. More on this below.
One pillar of romanticist writing was nature. Romanticists looked to nature as a model of order and beauty, and believed it was a moral teacher for society, and the individual. Because of this, I added as much flora and fauna as I was able, so keep an eye out for small details resembling the natural world.
Here is the Old tavern, where Rip goes to gossip and drink healths to his friends.
The tavern's interior. The barrels were extremely fun to add.
A closeup of the interior.
Here are Rip's cronies: (from left) Nicholas Vedder and Derrick Van Bummel. The former was, "...a patriarch of the village, and landlord of the inn..." and the latter, "...the schoolmaster, a dapper, learned little man, who was not to be daunted by the most gigantic word in the dictionary."
Bob Barttle, the town drunk. Take note of the portrait of George III behind him.
We now jump forward 20 years to a completely new era: post American Revolution. "The very character of the people seemed changed. There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquillity. He looked in vain for the sage Nicholas Vedder, with his broad face, double chin, and fair long pipe, uttering clouds of tobacco smoke instead of idle speeches; or Van Bummel, the schoolmaster, doling forth the contents of an ancient newspaper. In place of these, a lean, bilious-looking fellow, with his pockets full of handbills, was haranguing vehemently about rights of citizens—election—members of Congress—liberty—Bunker’s Hill—heroes of ’76—and other words, that were a perfect Babylonish jargon to the bewildered Van Winkle."
Here stands the new inn. This is not owned by Vedder, who died two years after Rip's departure. It is now The Union Hotel. This was an experiment with siding. I always loved Matija Grguric's siding, specifically on some of his western builds, so I decided to experiment. There are more pictures of my technique below.
The bar beneath the hotel: one of my favorite parts of the MOC.
Above, in a small storage room, sits Diedrich Knickerbocker, a historian of Dutch history in the new world and east coast urban legends. The whole story is actually told as though Knickerbocker were writing it, although, he too is fictional.
The entire hotel including the attic space.
Here is my simple siding technique. One advantage is that the walls behind can be colored.
Directly opposite from the portrait of George III of England on the 1769 side is a portrait of General George Washington. Just another of the many contrasts between the sides.
Another contrast: "Instead of the great tree which used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there now was reared a tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red nightcap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes." You can also see the older Rip Van Winkle Jr. idling about.
MINIFIGS & TECHNIQUES
1769 Minifigs: (from left) Van Bummel, Vedder, Peter Vudd, Maggie Waddum, Bob Barttle, Rip Van Winkle Jr., Dame Van Winkle, John Fletcher, and Pieter Vestoy.
1789 Minifigs: (from left) Gabriel Betteredge, Lawrence Simth, Peter Vudd, John Fletcher, Fred Staunch, Bar-Tender Bob, Francis Haddock Jr., Charles Crow, Beth Prist, Robert Jenkens, Rip Van Winkle Jr., desk, and Diedrich Knickerbocker.
Here is my latest cork technique. It is not purist. Sorry.
The wicker chair technique.
The pipe technique.
My new American Flag technique.
And a final picture of Rip Van Winkle and Wolf.
I have tried to capture the spirit of Washington Irving's immortal story in ways apart from factual and written details. I mentioned above that Irving's romanticist touches were one of my major concerns. There were four pillars of romanticism: the individual, nature, the distant, and imagination. Unfortunately, I was only able to capture the first two here, as "the distant" factor would require a 1000x1000 stud baseplate, and, because I did not make up the story, "the imagination" factor would also be difficult to portray.
To show the individualistic part of naturalism, I focused the entire MOC on the character of Rip Van Winkle. He is the focal point, he marks the dividing line between the two sides, and each side emphasizes the differences between the two sides that he would have picked up (for example, I only subtly included the pictures of the two Georges because Rip was relatively uninterested in politics).
I pointed out before the amount of foliage I included in the MOC. It was almost a landscape. I tried to add as many Lego animals as I could as well. I actually purchased one of those new, painted, lego owls for $2 from a Bricklink store. Not the best use of two bucks, but it is too late now.
man Max! This is totally AMAZING! I love your dog, actually, Rip Van Winkle's dog, but you get the picture. The houses are amazing! The detail is great! How did you do the house with the blue outside? It looks great! Keep up the great work Max!
Awesome, awesome job! The minifigs are excellent and there are a plethora of sensational techniques spattered throughout, namely the siding, chair, and the stump. The figs are great too. One of your best MOCs so far!
Sheer genius Max! It was cool seeing the different pieces of this in progress, but having it all together...it's a real treat! Eye candy, one might say. And in the notorious words of a certain Frankish Uncle: "Ah Brilliant!" Looks like you're off to good start with the "likes" too! Allow me to add to the flow.
Oh my Max, this really is amazing. It's sorta is funny that it looks better when you post it and write about it then when it is just sitting on the table. Now, although the siding is not your own it is still brilliant! and so is the inside of the hotel! The two different sides of the MOC are very well done. REALLY!!! Although most of the minifigs are mine they are awesome too. I can't say enough about this but I will say this. Well done.
Wow, Max! This is spectacular. I love all the little nature details, especially the tree stump. So many nice techniques in here. I have been wondering how to do that siding with interiors for a while now, and that technique is ingenious! The insides of the building are very nice as well, and speaking from experience it is hard to make a detailed interior and exterior work together. You successfully did it though! Great work!