Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Authentic Cafe Corner

The next creation we want to spotlight is one that we built together: What we call the 'Authentic Cafe Corner'.

A few years ago LEGO released a set called the Cafe Corner. While the set is great (and chock full of good parts), it infuriated Alice (and to a lesser extent Roy) since it looked more like a New Orleans brothel than a cafe. As a result, we decided to build our own version of a Cafe Corner, based (loosely) on the Place du Molard in Geneva, Switzerland.

The first version, which won Best Town Layout at Northwest Brickcon 2007 in Seattle Washington, consisted of building facades on two sides of the street, with a mosiac in the background depicting the famous Jet D'Eau spraying up out of Lac Leman.
We tried to cram in as many details as possible. Particularly notable is the cobblestone street. A number of years back LEGO changed the formula for their grey bricks (both light and dark grey). Many fans were furious, since new bricks in these colors didn't match the older bricks in their collection, but we try to look at them as just two separate colors. In particular, mixing old and new dark grey tiles (or dark grey and dark 'bley', in aficionado terms) provides a particularly nice effect here.

In our second version, which was nominated for best building at Brickworld 2008 in Chicago (but which didn't win), we eliminated the mosaic background and replaced the facades with full buildings. This version consisted of a full block of buildings:
We were actually quite happy we didn't win this one, since we had originally planned on doing two blocks, but time caught up with us, and we didn't get the second set of buildings finished. (I was particularly happy with the brick effect I achieved on the black and white building, although Alice is right in pointing out that it doesn't really fit the neighborhood we are modeling this on. Thus, cool as it is, it might not survive into future versions). The next version will have three blocks of buildings plus a tram station at one end and some nice landscaping at the other.

Roy and Alice

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