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Palace of a Hundred Scorpions


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#1 NiceMarmot

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:59 AM

Greetings! I bring pictures of the Palace of a Hundred Scorpions, the new embassy built in Mitgardia by the Kaliphlin Guild!

The architect, Wahandi al-Bildembig, wanted a Norse-style building with Kaliphlin elements and style worked in. He engaged a noted local Mitgardian architect, Kjefll Kjarfnesssson, to help get the northern style right. After several long years of construction, at great expense, involving ten full caravans from the Brikkus-Lynk quarries, the embassy is finally open. A huge party was thrown to celebrate and many notables from Kaliphlin, Mitgardia, and even the other two guilds attended (pics to follow). All agreed that the Palace of a Hundred Scorpions is a magnificent embassy, and that both Kaliphlin and Mitgardia should be proud.

An overview from the northeast corner. Note that the tan plates (above the first story of dark bley bricks) is actually the street level. So here you're seeing a bit of a cutaway that includes the cellar level.

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The levels are as follows:
  • The cellar has storage, a gaol, an armory, a bathing pool, and a winter kitchen.
  • Kaliphlin shopkeepers have stores on the ground level, selling fine southern wares.
  • The interior of the ground level is a trading hall and commercial offices.
  • The second floor is guild offices and guest and staff lodging.
  • The third floor is mostly banquet halls. It also has a cistern and a dovecote.
  • The top floor is the ambassador's private apartment.

North face of the embassy:
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From the southwest corner, showing a good view of the wharf and some trading materials stacked up waiting for shipment. Note the working crane; it rotates, pivots up and down, moves horizontally along its track, and the hook moves in and out the lift arm:

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Here's a closeup of the dock/wharf on the south side. You can really see the crane here. The various lines move the lift boom up and down, and move the traveler that holds the hook in and out the boom. The barrels probably have wine from Kaliphlin. Behind are some containers of Mitgardian lumber. Those wedge plates with cutouts are actually dried elk and bear hides from the Mitgardian mountains being shipped south.
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Palace of Scorpions, south wharf/docks

Here's a closeup of the west side shops. From left to right, we have Manogi's exotic animals, Tarak's weapons and armor, Ghazir's imported foods (ostrich legs and Kalifruit today). Tarak has a lot of weapons in bins behind him, which you can't really see here. Note the emblems on the second story; they represent Kaliphlin and Mitgardia.
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Here are the east side shops. From left to right: Yasmina's dragon's teeth from Cape Dahaka, Rafu the fishmonger, Hasan's fine chalices and diningware, and Sazia's and Bea's fine Kaliphlin wines.
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Palace of Scorpions, east shops 2

Here's a closeup of the north side. From left to right the shops are: Sazia's and Bea's fine Kaliphlin wines, Junifira's Gorr bananas, Wazir's fine Rakath jewels, and Manogi's exotic animals. The mummy is an embassy guard, as are the two blokes outside.
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Palace of Scorpions, north view 3

Birds-eye view of level 1 (the ground level). A major purpose of the embassy is to facilitate trade, so the entire first floor is given over to trade and commerce. The large room is the trading hall, where merchants trade goods, especially ones from Kaliphlin. It's also the best place to find a ship heading south. There is a reception desk to the left. The interior room above the entry is the guardpost, with lodgings for several guards. The two rooms at the top right and top bottom are for merchants and the trade delegation. Around the perimeter are the shops.
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Here's a detail of the trading hall, showing some southern merchants. The large blackboard against the wall is used to record the latest prices for goods and shipping rates.
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Here's a birdseye of the second floor. The two large rooms in the upper right and upper left are guild offices. These two rooms have wainscoting on the walls. The room in the upper middle is the staff lodging. An arcade wraps around the bottom of the picture. The two interior rooms at the bottom are guest lodging. There are some detailed shots of the interior on the Flickr photostream.
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Palace of Scorpions, 2nd floor birdseye 2

The banquet hall interior on the third floor, looking south.
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Palace of Scorpions, banquet hall interior 1

The ambassador's apartment on the top floor. The ambassador, Countess Persifiya Tarfazi is shown next to her four-poster bed (close up photo of the bed on Flickr). Countess Persifiya's grandmother was originally from Mitgardia, so she speaks the local language well. She's a charming but tough woman from Qarkyr, from an old mining family in the Rakath mountains, so she feels right at home in Mitgardia.
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Palace of Scorpions, ambassador's apartment 2

The southern side of the upper floors. There is a small cistern to the right.
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Palace of Scorpions, south upper floors 2

The western upper floors, so you can see a detail of the roofs and eaves. The cage at the left is a dovecote, used for holding carrier pigeons, falcons, owls, parrots, etc.
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Palace of Scorpions, west upper floors 1

Here are various views of the cellar; more pics are on Flickr.  Below, a birds-eye view of the cellar. The wharf on the right. The armory is in the lower right with the armorer's shop in the lower center, and the gaol in the lower left. The center is occupied by storage. In the upper center, there's a kitchen, with some baths in the upper left.
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Palace of Scorpions, Cellar

The baths in the cellar. Made to look somewhat like the monumental baths back home in Kaliphlin.
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Palace of Scorpions, Cellar, Baths

The kitchen.
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Palace of Scorpions, Cellar, Kitchen

The armorer's forge.
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Palace of Scorpions, Cellar, Armorer

Opening Party
Here are some pictures from the opening gala of the embassy. From left to right: Dextrus Flagg, Jarl Nibelung, Countess Persifiya Tarfazi (the ambassador), Gex Marmota, Countess Wyndifera (Gex's wife), Wahil Musca (background), Erduhalion Sansael, Steen Larsson, and Lord Darecold.
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Palace of Scorpions Opening Party

From left to right: Yakob the Red (head visible only), Semiramis the Sand Queen, Damaximus, Velethuil, Halti, Amelia Phantomhive, Rasputin Jones, Hvar Icewind, and Kcaj Nosnikta.
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Palace of Scorpions Opening Party

In the foreground on the right, from left to right: Halvard, Elon Chorian, Lord Shale, Yakob the Red, Semiramis, and Halti.
In the background, from left to right: Dextrus Flagg, Jarl Nibelung, Countess Persifiya Tarfazi (the ambassador), Gex Marmota, Countess Wyndifera (Gex's wife), Wahil Musca (background), Erduhalion Sansael, Steen Larsson, and Lord Darecold.
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Palace of Scorpions Opening Party

It was a hugely successful party! Thanks to everyone who showed up, and my apologies if the portrait artist didn't get a picture of you. Some of you showed up with slightly different clothes or expressions on your face, but hopefully everyone is recognizable. The only major change is that Halvard shaved his beard for the occasion!

Notes
This was my first LDD MOC, so it was a real learning experience. I didn't do that much terribly innovative building, although there is a bit of SNOT work here and there. I think the emblems on the second story turned out well, and the spire is nice. I really like the way the upper levels turned out, and am quite happy with the roofs and eaves. Getting the design right in LDD was challenging, but I think very useful, letting me play around with different styles and options fairly quickly, as well as figuring out how to position everything so that it all works from an engineering perspective. Although it had to be strengthened considerably in the brick-build; LDD doesn't help you figure out if it is structurally sound.

The LDD design was about 4600 pieces, but that's before structural reinforcements, the interior decorating, furniture, and general greebling. So I'm guessing it's well over 5000 pieces, and considering the amount of interior tilework, it's probably approaching 5500 pieces overall. That makes it by far my largest MOC ever. I ran the LDD file through LDD manager to produce a BrickLink wanted list XML file, then uploaded that to Basebrick where I store my part and set inventory. Basebrick then generated another BL wanted list XML with just the parts that I didn't have in it. I uploaded that, and then placed ten BL orders to fill everything (and a bit more). That was a bit expensive, but I'm pretty well set for parts now, at least for a bit.

The base is 48x48, although it cantilevers out beyond that a bit, especially with the tan plates for street level. If we use the 1 brick = 1 foot rule, then the entire embassy is about 9300 square feet. From the base to the top of the spire is about 70 bricks, so that's about 88 feet high.

The embassy's location is TBD. I'd like to put it in Valholl, if the river there is navigable to small cargo ships.

Lots more pictures to come; I wanted to get these in before the deadline. Including pics of the cellar interior. And I'll photo-edit the images a bit too.

Gex Marmota

Edited by NiceMarmot, 01 March 2012 - 07:28 AM.

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#2 Scubacarrot

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:58 AM

Very nice, the sheer size of it is impressive, and I think the building has a very good blend of the two architectual styles. I like all the merchants, and the roof and the roof decorations are my favorite part! I can't help but feel that the bottom part would have looked better if it was made in tan, though.

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#3 Gabe

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 11:44 AM

Wow, great build Gex, this thing is massive! :oh: I've been very interested to see how this turned out. It looks very faithful to the LDD images, with those wonderful upper stories and interior spaces.  :classic: The only thing that niggles at me is the plate-thin ground - it makes the whole thing seem somehow disembodied, not actually belonging to any landscape. But i guess if you built it out anymore it would take it over 48 studs... I guess you could build down on the underside of the plates though, (like stagligtites) as long as you didn't actually touch the ground! :wink:
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#4 Maxim I

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:44 PM

I wanted to reply something, but a really beautiful girl just passed by and now I lost the words...

It had something to do with amazing and epic and detailling and genius and beautiful marketstands and stuff like that :laugh:

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#5 CptMugwash

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:52 PM

Wow, this is a hundred times better then the LDD version, I love the levels, the markets, the colourful detailed interior and spire, something a bit different to the standard gold domes.  The sheer size of that thing is amazing, the bottom level reminds me of the ratways in Riften on Skyrim for some reason, and that functional crane is a great touch for extra playability.  The details and emblems are a nice touch too.  Great job  :wub:
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#6 NiceMarmot

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 04:36 PM

View Postgabe, on 16 February 2012 - 11:44 AM, said:

The only thing that niggles at me is the plate-thin ground - it makes the whole thing seem somehow disembodied, not actually belonging to any landscape. But i guess if you built it out anymore it would take it over 48 studs... I guess you could build down on the underside of the plates though, (like stagligtites) as long as you didn't actually touch the ground! :wink:
Yes, it bugs me too. I was planning on building out the whole street and running another set of walls down to the ground. Then it would be much larger than 48x48, but I'd just remove them for the 'official' pictures. But I ran out of time.
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#7 Balthasar

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:39 PM

Wow, gigantic. That must be a million bricks. And with full interior as well... Looking forward to the rest of the pictures. Very impressive!

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#8 robuko

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 12:41 AM

Wow, this is fantastic!  I agree with CptMugwah, it looks a LOT better in the brick than in LDD.  The merchants' arcade really brings it to life, and the level of interior detailing is superb!  This must be gigantic, 5 stories tall plus a spire!  I agree, a builiding of this size should be in the capital city otherwise it would overwhelm most settlements.  The roof came out beautifully, especially the Eastern side, and the subtle colour detailing on the upper walls is very nice.  The micromummies are a good solution too.  I agree the floating floor is problematic, that probably comes across better in LDD.  Great build!
:classic:
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#9 NiceMarmot

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:00 AM

View Postrobuko, on 18 February 2012 - 12:41 AM, said:

Wow, this is fantastic!  I agree with CptMugwah, it looks a LOT better in the brick than in LDD.  The merchants' arcade really brings it to life, and the level of interior detailing is superb!  This must be gigantic, 5 stories tall plus a spire!  I agree, a builiding of this size should be in the capital city otherwise it would overwhelm most settlements.  The roof came out beautifully, especially the Eastern side, and the subtle colour detailing on the upper walls is very nice.  The micromummies are a good solution too.  I agree the floating floor is problematic, that probably comes across better in LDD.  Great build!
:classic:
Thanks!  It's quite big -- it is currently occupying about half of our dining room table. Thankfully no one in the family has complained too much yet. My five year old is itching to start "customizing" it, but I've still got to take pictures of the cellar and the opening party. BTW, I hear that certain members of the PGTC are attending the opening party, along with various notables from Kaliphlin and Mitgardia!  :wink:

If I get a chance, I'll build out the street level and take a few more pictures. That might have to wait a bit, as we're on vacation next week.
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#10 Mike S

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:42 PM

All I can say is simply awesome! :sweet:  If that is your embassy, I really can't wait to see your HQ in Kaliphlin....

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#11 Kayne

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 03:41 AM

This is a beast.  I thought from LDD it would be in real bricks it is even more impressive!  This one is a tough competitor for us and may bring home the gold!

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#12 SkaForHire

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 04:26 AM

View PostKayne, on 20 February 2012 - 03:41 AM, said:

This is a beast.  I thought from LDD it would be in real bricks it is even more impressive!  This one is a tough competitor for us and may bring home the gold!


Yeah, the LDD was spectacular, and then you throw this down Gex... Not only are you the master Cartographer, but you should be our Foreign Minister. Excellent job!
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#13 Ecclesiastes

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

View PostKayne, on 20 February 2012 - 03:41 AM, said:

This is a beast.  I thought from LDD it would be in real bricks it is even more impressive!  This one is a tough competitor for us and may bring home the gold!

Indeed  an impressive building! You combined the two styles perfectly. I also like all the details, like the crane! :classic:

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#14 NiceMarmot

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:07 PM

Thanks for all the compliments!  It was a huge effort (and a bit of a financial drain).  I don't think my son will let me take it apart anytime soon; he will be busy 'customizing' it  :look:   So my next build(s) will have to be considerably smaller, as a lot of my bricks will be tied up in this one for a while.  I think LDD is the way to go for a big build like this. It's not too hard to use (once you get the hang of it), and it really helps you to be able to plan things out and make sure it all fits together. Plus it was very helpful to be able to create a big BrickLink wanted list of the missing parts.

Will post the cellar and opening party photos when I get back from vaca, probably on Sunday or so.
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#15 Flint

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Posted 23 February 2012 - 03:43 PM

As everyone else said: really impressive. What an enormous build. I am humbled...
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#16 NiceMarmot

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:55 AM

I've finally added pictures of the cellar, as well as of the opening gala. Check the first post, towards the end. More pictures on Flickr.
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#17 Palathadric

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 06:17 PM

This is fantastic. Looks like a very fun place to be. :laugh: So full of life. A little crammed, but I think it makes the scene more exciting and almost more authentic. Great stuff!
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