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Tower of Orthanc at Isengard (version 2)
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8 foot high model of the Tower of Orthanc at Isengard in Middle Earth.
About this creation
Tower of Orthanc at Isengard
J.R.R.Tolkien's Middle Earth featured many wonders and the Tower of Orthanc at Isengard was surely one of them. Built by the Númenórean men of the region later known as Gondor long ago using a now lost technique, the tower rose 500 feet to the platform between the four spikes at the top. Late in the Third Age of the Sun, the Istari Saruman gained permission to reside at Isengard from the then reigning Steward of Gondor. After a while Saruman became corrupted by the desire to control the One Ring and he turned Isengard into a fortress from which he sent Orc search parties out to find the One Ring before the Dark Lord Sauron (the creator and original owner of the One RIng) could retrieve it for himself.

The LEGO Model
Not long after I saw Peter Jackson's movie version of the Lord of the Rings, I built a 4.5 foot model of Isengard. That model was my first AFOL LEGO creation. I thought it was fairly good at the time. After seeing some more recent LEGO Orthanc models by other builders, I realized it was not very good; so down it came in ruin. I have replaced it with a nearly 8 foot high model. This new Orthanc is more closely modeled after the one in the Peter Jackson movies which in turn is based on the art work of noted artist Alan Lee. I also have to credit the OneLUG people with inspiring this rebuild with their excellent diorama "Last March of the Ents".

I displayed the new Orthanc for the first time at Brickbash 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I depicted the scene from Fellowship of the Ring when Gandalf travels to Isengard to meet with Saruman to discuss the fate of the ring.

1. Gandalf the Grey arrives at Isengard to consult with Saruman the White about the One Ring.


2. The two wizards approach the only entrance to the tower, a long stair case leading to a nearly indestructible door. Once inside Gandalf will discover just how much interest Saruman has in the One Ring.


3. A view of the Orthanc model at Brickbash 2012. Several other Lord of the Rings creations by Sharon Vance are displayed near the tower.


4. Looking up toward the four sharp spikes at the top. While artist Alan Lee had depicted the base of the tower many years ago for a book cover of "The Two Towers", he did not design the top until Peter Jackson asked him to for the movie version.





Comments

 I like it 
  March 8, 2014
I love it. Should have more trees though.
 I like it 
  December 2, 2013
This deserves way more recognition!
  May 29, 2013
wow that's incredible. Is it mini figure scale?
 I like it 
  October 23, 2012
soooo.....very....beautiful.....itssss.....myyy.....preciousssss
 I like it 
  October 12, 2012
seriously epic! that is so big i can say it is minifigure sized! wow , love it! if lego made this i would buy it!(though at this current price per piece of 12 cents it would be 10,000$)
 I like it 
  October 2, 2012
Wooow, this is as good as this can get. Do you have instructions for this or tips on how to begin on something of that size?
 I like it 
  August 28, 2012
Around 8 feat tall holy crab cakes that's around 2 feat taller than I am, and all that detail you are the man. I wish I could be that good someday.
 I like it 
  August 23, 2012
.....How in the world did this only get 23 likes? This is amazing.
 I like it 
  May 9, 2012
Wow. Superb proportions and textures. A Keeper!
 I like it 
  May 8, 2012
Very impressive. I've got a desktop micro-build of Orthanc that I did a while back, but this masterpiece is bigger than my whole desk. I love the layering of detail, as the viewer gets closer they're rewarded by discovering new depths of form and texture. Absolutely great work. I'd love to build one of these at this scale but I'm not sure the ceiling in my apartment is high enough.
 I made it 
  May 7, 2012
Thanks! To answer your questions, the bricks do all the work. I have not used any glue or interior non-LEGO supports for this or any other tall structures I have built such as my 11 foot high Penobscot Building LEGO model. -Jim
Quoting Daniel Brilliant That is one amazing piece of work! The details are incredible and the commitment to scale is awesome. Do the bricks hold up on their own or do you use some kind of supporting structure or glue to keep it together? How many bricks did that take?
 I made it 
  May 7, 2012
Thanks for the comments. 1. I am indeed aware of the LEGO LOTR (and Hobbit) sets. I saw the spy photos online in January or February 2012. I will probably buy all of the sets and then make my own versions of each scene. 2. I believe that the Pirates of the Caribbean was also done by MegaBloks first and later by the LEGO company. -Jim
Quoting Jesse Long (O_O) Wow, now THAT is one big LEGO tower! Anyway, nice job with the details there, Jim. By the way, did you know that TLG is going to release an actual LOTR theme later this year? It looks promising. I really thought that TLG wouldn't do it when the LOTR franchise was first made by Mega Bloks but now that TLG IS going forward to it and it seems to look good, well, there might be some hope to this after all. Also, I think that this is the first time that TLG has covered a theme that had been covered previously by a competitor and that it is the only time that a franchise has been around in both Mega Bloks and LEGO forms. Keep up the good work, Jim.
 I like it 
  May 7, 2012
As a fan of all the LOTR movies, I have to say this model is really top-notch. The taper is fantastic as well as the tremendous increase in total detail over your earlier version. Nice to see you posting again!
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
That is one amazing piece of work! The details are incredible and the commitment to scale is awesome. Do the bricks hold up on their own or do you use some kind of supporting structure or glue to keep it together? How many bricks did that take?
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
(O_O) Wow, now THAT is one big LEGO tower! Anyway, nice job with the details there, Jim. By the way, did you know that TLG is going to release an actual LOTR theme later this year? It looks promising. I really thought that TLG wouldn't do it when the LOTR franchise was first made by Mega Bloks but now that TLG IS going forward to it and it seems to look good, well, there might be some hope to this after all. Also, I think that this is the first time that TLG has covered a theme that had been covered previously by a competitor and that it is the only time that a franchise has been around in both Mega Bloks and LEGO forms. Keep up the good work, Jim.
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
I love the tiny details and all the greebles. Instantly recognizable as LOTR.
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
8foot tall? Dang that is big. I think you perfected this lego model of the tower. I like the picture of it on the table towering over all the other creations. It looks menacing. 5/5
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
That's huge! It's impressive that you managed to keep the entire surface interesting and detailed, and don't have any plain flat areas.
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
You should put this in the Fellowship of the Brick, Phenomenal model
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
Absolutely amazing! The base looks exactly like the "Two Towers" book cover!
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
Phenomenal!
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
Wonderful!
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
Ooooh. Marvellous, and all the better for being monochromatic.
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
Stunning!
 I like it 
  May 6, 2012
This is so incredibly awesome. What a wonderful construction. Congratulations!
 
By Jim Garrett
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Tower of Orthanc at Isengard (version 2)Lord of the Rings


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