This last week (and a few prior) had me scrambling while my priorities were shifted. Not only was I getting a lot of real work but I took on this commission as well. This one was different than my other two in that the deadline was strict. The commission was to be done for an auction event that was going to benefit their youth group. I was to deliver the model on the afternoon of the event. I had to rely on pictures and the power of Google since the church itself is in Longview, WA, a good hour north of me. The subject? The church building.
Longview Community Church is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a beautiful old building in the shape of a cross with several newer additions. Most of the original building is intact. I chose to focus on the original building only and pretend the additions never happened. There were a lot of beautiful features to choose from. Given the scale, I had to focus on a few and let the others be implied.
The first and biggest feature is the stained glass windows. There are two very large and prominent ones on each of the wings of the sanctuary. Both are approximately 18'x30' and arched at the top. Gothic arch mind you. I had to settle for a continuous curve. My opening was 6 studs wide which matched each section. I broke it into 14 plates and began stacking. It was a very abstract interpretation but I tried to make it as true as possible. Most of the outer portion was stacked transparent light blue plates. I used a couple of red round ones for the lozenges. In the Nativity, Mary's robe was represented by 2 transparent dark blue plates. The sheep's heads were transparent yellow and orange round plates. I was pleased with the overall result.
A third large stained glass window is in one end of the building. The youth pastor had never seen the whole thing since it is partially obscured. He tried taking a cell phone photo but it was not the greatest. I found a plastic waterfall piece from a Lone Ranger set in my store inventory. Since I knew it would never sell and it was the right size, it was a perfect match for that window!
(Unfortunately in my rush I never got any good photos of my stained glass windows).
Next was the bell tower and smaller turrets. I ordered a bunch of the older 2x2x3-1/3 octagonal bricks. Unfortunately I was short by three but one of my fellow PortLUGgers was able to loan me a few with only hours until the event! The bell tower was easy. It looked about 8x8 to me. That scale worked out perfectly with the rest of the building as well.
Finally, the bell tower is home to some gargoyle water spouts. Some droid arms sufficed for this though I think the skeleton arms would have been better.
For the roof I had what I thought was a genius idea. On the front and rear gables are some very faint crosses embossed (or raised!) from the side of the brick with more brick. I used a 1x2 technic brick with cross hole and pushed a dark tan 3L axle with stud into it. The remainder of the axle stuck to the inside of the church and was used to hang the roof on. In order to save on pieces (and budget) I chose to do the roof in plates instead of hundreds of slope pieces.
I finished up the model with a little landscaping and some lettering to note the scale and the artist. Final scale came out to about 1:125.
I was invited to join the auction night and say a few words. It was a very amazing evening of fundraising with some very generous folks participating. An older couple at my table bid on the candy filled centerpiece for my kids to take home. Thanks Rich and Roberta!
(All photos with the actual church and photo of the church model on the red tablecloth courtesy the Longview Church Community. )