Thursday, July 3, 2008

Clever Cafe Corner-Style Bank

Name of Model: Corner Bank
Created by: Dave Sterling
Found at: and
The links above do a very good job of explaining this building's background and even providing entertaining commentary - so I'll stick to discussing the building techniques. Café Corner fans have much to enjoy here - the perfectly-matching proportions are the first thing to stick out. It looks like those floors could be directly swapped out for the ones in the Cafe Corner.

On the first floor, the terrace makes great use of tan, dark tan and dark red tiles to give the grounds a distinctive look. I love the use of official stickers for the studs-not-on-top sign over the door. If you've ever tried building in this style, you know how it easy it us to run out of windows, so the method used for stretching them out here is worth noting - Green Grocer wall segments are put in the middle, and the windows themselves are at a half-stud offset from the rest of the wall. I agree with the builder about that helping to capture the Gothic look. Finally, the row on the top makes use of 1x1 studs-not-on-top headlight bricks to make a row of plates face outward. My first reaction was that this must take a ridiculously large amount of parts. However, if you look more closely, you can see that there are actually four 1x4 plates and one 1x3 plate on each side - and those only have the headlight bricks on each end. I've always hesitated to try this because of the gaps it can cause, but I think that using this technique at equal intervals and with black bricks behind them actually makes a great effect here.

The second floor has more of the same excellent techniques - offset windows, CC- and GG- styled wall sections, and studs-not-on-top detailing. The wheels in particular were hard to figure out - note how there are no visible Technic pins there. I believe that the wheels have been attached to round 1x1-plates that are connected to large studs-not-on-top brackets (by placing the round plate in between the studs on the bracket). The decorative elements on the angled portion are great, too - I generally think of the bars as a fence piece, but that really works here. On the top of the second floor, I'm loving the railing - the technique is nothing new, but it's more widely used on trains than on town buildings.

Don't ask me what's under the windows on the third floor - I'm still not sure what I'm seeing there (I'd love higher-res photos, but I'd take a good explanation for what that part is too - for now I'm guessing that they're some sort of hinge part). The window offset is a bit deeper, but it works pretty well. I think that using angled parts instead of angling parts was a wise choice for the front corner - not to mention a good excuse to use an odd space part in a town building. The Basic 3+ windows might just be my favorite feature, though - they're pulled off here just as well as they are in the Cafe Corner, and the slope bricks used here are much more readily available then those wheel-well elements are. The roof line is classy and very similar to the Cafe Corner, but there are some new details there too (and of course, they're all excellent).

Long story short: my kind of town building. Of course, if you're really into crazy town techniques and working Technic and Space elements into "normal" buildings, it's worth taking a look at my DGXPO photos where you can see a few crazy ideas I've tried out but not blogged about yet. I love seeing these sorts of techniques, because it requires a good deal of cleverness and imagination, and also gives an explanation of why various bizarre LEGO® sets are worth buying. My parents are always asking me why I buy some of these things, but they're usually impressed when they see how many bizarre parts can be used in fairly "normal" contexts. Of course, that's a topic for another day...

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