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d363 Kanako and Ayase

[130330]

Last year I built some Lego ships for the first time in many years. They were effectively direct replacements for older ships that I no longer found satisfactory (in much the same way I do paintings) and they were quite successful at that. Between then and now, trying to capitalize on this win streak, I once again tried to replace the venerable Kagurazaka, but I only almost made it.

The Kanako would have been the 10th of my big named ships (though now that they are getting smaller, I question whether they “deserve” names anymore). I planned, designed, and built it in much the same way I did the Maehara and Konoe, and I tried very hard to stick to the plan. The layout was intentionally unconventional (for me) such that the ship could do forward broadsides, in accordance to some scenarios J and I had discussed in the past. The styling is intentionally conventional (for me again) for development simplicity and parts conservation (and because I didn’t have enough of the “art deco piece”).

In the prototypical incarnation, I think the Kanako would have been something like 80 to 90 studs long and 30 to 40 studs wide. This is actually comparable in length to the 88-stud long Maehara, but the fact that the Kanako would have been entirely enclosed means that it would have been much bigger parts commitment. The fully enclosed Konoe comes in at just 48 studs. Given these numbers the 100+ stud Kagurazaka is simply massive – and I’m pretty sure at one point I said “100 studs isn’t that many”.

So right from the start I was basically trying to pare this thing down, first with some modifications and then with some pretty drastic overhauls.

I even tried a modular construction so I could come back to the center section later. In the end I guess the design just wasn’t simple or conservative enough, and all the cutting down really hurt the proportions and aesthetics. One problem was that I kept getting stuck in this trap that an assembly in hand was worth more than the ones in the bush, and that really wasn’t the case. I eventually figured that there wasn’t any good way to shrink it without destroying what I had entirely, so that’s what I did.

Another factor is that I need to reclaim red bricks for another project.

Thus the Ayase was built on the same basic design and proportions (I was convinced those were “correct”, though the size wasn’t) as an “armed courier” instead of a battle ship. A lot of greebles also relate to the Kanako, including the cab shape, the generous number of plate grills, and the hull ribs. Furthermore, while the appearance of the Kanako hinted at some particular large interwar planes, the classic airplane/car resemblance is much stronger with the Ayase: I think it even still has that art deco flavor, even without the piece.

For the first time in a named ship, there is no interior except for the cab here as I finally decided that full interiors just weren’t worth the trouble. Despite the relatively small size (54 studs), a significant portion of the hull (structural concerns) and engines (aesthetic concerns) are basically pure brick, meaning the ship is pretty heavy. Obviously this also means that the part count isn’t all that conservative…

I also think the back might look better than the front.

The full Brickshelf folder is here, once moderated. There are some development pics along with the final set.

And so the Kagurazaka survives a second attempt to replace it. It remains the oldest ship in the “fleet”, but I realized that it is actually not my oldest MoC in existence: that distinction belongs to a truck, which has existed since basically the Before Time. You can see the original two-axle incarnation (with the white box on the bed) in this 2000 photo, but I think it was made at least a year or so before this. The third axle was added sometime between then and this 2005 photo, and here it is today:

Not really sure how this thing survived when all the other vehicles in that 2000 photo were destroyed years and years ago (though I think the beige 4-seater lasted at least until the days of the early Akamatsu ships), but I think it’s kind of cool that it did.

More Lego next time for sure…

Published by D, on March 30th, 2013 at 12:39 am. Filled under: d_othersNo Comments

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