And now for something completely different! A Lego Dragon, set 3724 from 2001! After a few buildings, a couple attempts at the Death Star and even a vehicle, I thought I’d aim for something a little simpler. Actually, I did a search for 1000+ piece sets from prior to 2005 and there’s not a ton to choose from that aren’t big bins of bricks. There’s a creepy Darth Maul set that is probably built similarly to this guy, but I have zero interest in building him. but this fella looked like a fun distraction, and at 1,538 pieces, fit my search criteria quite well!
The building experience was certainly different than the highly-detailed sets I’ve been doing lately. Made almost entirely of unmodified plates and bricks and a few slopes, this critter has character, a friendly wave, and posable wings and mouth! What really surprised me was how the instructions were laid out. A few call-outs were normal 3d-perspective, but the primary method was throwing an entire “layer” of parts (….many parts in the case of some steps) out in a top-down approach with only the previous layer as a guide for positioning. I quickly learned that my best bet was to use Studio’s “hide” feature and hide everything but the most recent layer, because at top-down view…. the sea of green looks the same whether it’s one layer down or 5!
Beyond the unique layout there wasn’t much difficulty in this model. I do claim that technically according to the instructions, the red tip of the tail was one brick separated from the green, but obviously it wasn’t magically floating. (Though you can make things magically float in Studio; technically the tail is supported by 2 trans-clear bricks, but
I removed them for the images on this page or not…apparently). When I finished and was showing him off to my kids, they pointed out that I forgot the eye-bricks – my goodness! I then noticed a missing spike on the back and a few bricks missing from a layer around the belly. In fact, I rendered these screenshots at least 3 times… and I still have 8 pieces left in the inventory. Even so, I think this fellow looks pretty cute and complete – and he was a joy to build (and honestly, once again, would probably have been tough to create from one’s own stock….unless you had a massive collection of green bricks!). Looks like there aren’t a ton of similar sets, but I may have a Giant Fig, Yoda, and Statue of Liberty in my future….