TomSkippy

[ENTRY] Saber Island 2023

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As I was thinking through different entries for the contest, I thought, "why not take a break and make a small moc that just clones a modern Lego Co technique?" 6265 Saber Island came to mind. I could just copy one of the tower builds from the new Disney castle. The set is 90% tower, it shouldn't take long.

Three weeks later, here we are.

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Why is it called Saber Island? Maybe it's the sheer number of sabers used in the construction...

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Maybe it's the shape of the fortress... (shout out to LetsBrick) 

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Or maybe it's something much more sinister...

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Hope you all enjoyed it!

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Final classic pic.

More pictures here

Side note: The set looks even better with physical bricks. It's nice and imposing (didn't want to spend booty on color coordinating everything, but it's solid!(. I have the instructions up on rebrickable

Let me know what you think!

Edited by TomSkippy

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This is incredible!

 I love it it, looks modern, feels in line with the new set designs and has everything I’d want in a remake!

so as per my usual reviews;

pros:

The rock work looks amazing.

the door build looks fantastic, multi texture and using the clip to look like a handle is genius.

the emblem on the front of the building looks brilliant too.

cons:

silly complaint but personally I would have preferred the dock to be black like Eldorado but that’s just opinion. 
 

id love a full sized cannon in the rounded base section. 
 

i know it’s thematic for the build but I hate the large sword on top with the flag and it’s my only genuine complaint. 
 

all up, this is a FANTASTIC build. 
 I love so much of this and the build is very detailed and complex but in the best possible way, and not just for complexity sake. 

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Wow! A great take on this classic. I love the overall look and feel.

 

I love the rockwork, but maybe try covering up a few of the exposed studes with some xheese slopes? 

 

I love the build. Good luck!

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This is another fine remake of the classic Saber Island. There's a lot more changes than in the entry by @BrickCommander9 though the proportions approach is similar. I think there's too much rockwork under and around the fort making the overall look much more different from the original. I'm not too keen on the chibby proportions of the building. I have no idea how I would feel as a kid buying a play set where the minifig can barely stand on a balcony yet alone fit through the 2 stud wide doors. I know that there's been quite some remakes of this set and it's hard to come up with something original but still I think that making the tower rounded was not the best idea. Maybe squeezing a 2 wide tiles between the curved slopes would make the tower look more square with rounded corners and the size would also be more fitting. But overall the techniques and details are very nice and I really like the built insignia above the door.

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Excellent work!  The techniques you've used here are next level.  The swords and crown surrounded by the wheel wells is perfection, my favorite bit of this build.

You've definitely taken this in a different direction than most other Sabre Island remakes I've seen, and that's a great thing.  I love that the tower is actually round; a far more interesting and unusual shape to see brick-built.  And you haven't just used rounded bricks to create the shape; the wear and tear done in dark red looks good.

As others mentioned, the rock work is phenomenal.

The shaping on the dock is also great.  I like the dark tan, although dark brown, reddish brown, or black are more popular colors for docks.

The stairs are quite nice and not a technique I've seen before.  Although, given the rest of the build, I'm surprised that you didn't go for the classic spiral staircase made from 1x4 tile + Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with Clip on End (Vertical Grip) + bar.  Still, what you have works and is original.

There are a couple of spots that stand out -- and please understand that I'm only mentioning these because the rest of the build is so excellent!

The sword flagpole is a neat idea, but it seems fragile; if the top of the flag is bumped, I'm worried that it would shear the bottom clip off.  This, and the sword as the top railing are the only places you're "trying too hard" with swords, IMHO.

The stonework around the door is nice, and it's great how it rhymes with the corbels on the tower, although it does not look very sturdy.

Finally, the doors are merely "ok" -- the main door looks great, but it doesn't open (does it?), and the upstairs arch is simplistic and too narrow for a minifigure to walk through.

The color scheme of the building itself works, but it starts to feel a bit repetitive (again, the design itself is lovely, and the texturing is amazing).  I feel like this might benefit from some yellow or dark orange detailing.

But, at the end of the day, what you have here is amazing work with some of the best build techniques in this contest, and an overall execution that's an absolute joy to look at.

BTW, your other projects on Flickr are equally impressive, I love the Europa ship and the Imperial Armada Chapel is some top-notch visual storytelling.

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First, I love the backstory and all the great images to go along with it, all the sabers look great (especially the ones that make up the railing). My only suggestions are to make the dock black and allow us to see inside the tower (if there is an inside) and lastly add some light grey bricks at the top of the rocks to make it pop. That's it, anyway Happy building :)

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Theme

This is better than most ; a canon, a load of cargo, some gold and a decent amount of space,I especially appreciate the large docks. But there is one flaw in your design.

You see, the original sabre island had 2 soldiers and an officer, your build has nearly twice as many minifigs, but no added play value for kids, adding a small merchantman's ship or a small pirate vessel equiped would do wonders for playability. I will also criticise the lack of a single animal, not even a monkey or a frog!

Build

Now this is where you spent most of your time, and it shows ; the rockwork is excellent, with its studs on side construction helping quite a bit. The docks are detailed, and the use of dark tan avoids the boredom I associate (having seen 20+ entries) with black and brown ; most of the voters will surely feel the same! The use of a rounded tower shape is really clever (again, avoids repetition with other builds), as are the stairs , the railings and the weather-battered doors.

There are some problems with your build : you sometimes cover the gaps created by vertical pieces of the rocks with tiles, and sometimes you don't, do it everywhere and it'll look much better. Also, as 2-3 other folks have said, the sword pole is silly and unstable, as well as unlikely for a well-maintained fort, the canon is too small and doesn't shoot.

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Awesome! Love Your presantation, it looks just like a real Lego set that i'd look to put my hands on right this moment. I especially love this jetty and it's rocky surroundings, designing it must have been not easy, but it's a winner for me. I wonder what in the tower tho, just like with another similar entry, are there ways to look inside, perhaprs walls that can be open? How do soldiers climb on top of this structure? or is it all left to our/kid's imagination? ;)

 

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On 8/2/2023 at 8:40 AM, TomSkippy said:

Maybe it's the shape of the fortress

Haha. I love it.

The curved tower is AMAZING. Can't believe I haven't seen it before. Think you're my number 1 vote.

Would like to try and play with the circular tower and see a bigger build with multiple towers.

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I like the round high tower with the extension and balcony. I also really like the jetty from which a semicircular staircase leads to the gate of the tower. On the left a stairway leads to a fortification wall with a cannon. I don't like the skeleton with the sword in his stomach and it's not necessary. A nicer scene would be good in the cave.

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Hey all, thanks for the comments. I'll try to respond to everyone.

Rockwork: @BrickCommander9 @Rogue Redcoat @Horation

I actually hate rockwork. It takes so much time, and I wanted to rebrickable instructions so the inside had to be better/make sense.

I got tired of cheese, I thought that the exposed studs would make it more varied and rugged. I think you're right, I cheesed the exposed studs.

The vertical gaps, the guiding principle was how much the tiles underneath stuck out. I originally thought the little gaps looked more natural, but I think you're right. I got tiles underneath.

I tried running a dark gray to light gray gradient. The issue is that the height/number of snot wedges. Too many of the wedges/slopes cover the entire height, so the color change looks too haphazard and unnatural.

Dock: 

I’m not really a fan of black docks on newer builds. It’s hard to see what’s going on. I originally wanted one of the browns, but there’s no 2x6 wedge plate in any brown.

Tower: @hikouki @Mazin @MstrOfPppts @thewatchman

@iragm Thanks for the kind words about my other builds! The red stones around the arch may not look it, but they are solid. I think the vertical part of the 1x1 bracket helps, they are easily as secure as a regular stud. With the door underneath, they aren't getting bumped either. I added some different colors to the cracks, excellent idea.

Doors don't open. The bricks framing the door prevent it from opening outward, and the inside is too cramped to open inward. The upstairs door is simply to give visual access to the overhang and I didn't like duplicating the main door.

I spent a huge amount of time trying to make the inside of the tower useable. Sadly, I couldn't make it work with these dimensions. The LARGEST size inside (excluding the entrance) was 3x3, and a shako couldn't stand anywhere inside either. Expanding the size of the tower would take a week or two of work. The support from the front entry, the length, the rockwork and cave entrance etc. 

The curved stairs are a modification on the Modular Bookstore's stairs. It fit much better in the rocks compared to the 1x4 tile plate method, and it is much more sturdy.

Play features: @NOD

Animals - I knew I forgot something! :pir-murder: Added a parrot. No model for a hermit crab, seagull moves eyes from tower, so we got a parrot!

This is more of a display piece than anything. I know even Lego displays usually have some play. I thought of a cell, but there's no good place for it, except for underneath, and I thought that the hint at a red/blue feud is more unique. I didn't have a real hook (ha!) to bring pirates into it, so I felt that sticking with the original's lack of pirates was better than something half-baked. I'm working on a small pirate boat, which might work, but we'll leave it for a different build.

A full-sized cannon barely fits and there's definitely no room to fire it. 

Unpopular opinion below:

Spoiler

I don't always like the lego cannon in mocs. Probably (ironically) for the same reason many don't like the saber flag pole... It's a little goofy.

I definitely got carried away with the sabers. I swapped the flagpole.

@LetsBrick After finishing the build, I thought: This would be AWESOME in a Trading Post or Eldorado remake! Well. The build was supposed to be fast. I can't get an interior to work. Maybe in the future, I could remove the sword crest to another building, add the new dorado crane on top, use the small pirate ship I'm working on, then we've got the genesis of IGTP. We'll see.

New pics:

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Edited by TomSkippy

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3 minutes ago, TomSkippy said:

the small pirate ship I'm working on

I can't wait to see the ship, as for the build I think we all understand that the tower does not have any interiors because its too small, still it looks perfect with the updates :) 

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18 minutes ago, TomSkippy said:

I spent a huge amount of time trying to make the inside of the tower useable. Sadly, I couldn't make it work with these dimensions. The LARGEST size inside (excluding the entrance) was 3x3, and a shako couldn't stand anywhere inside either. Expanding the size of the tower would take a week or two of work. The support from the front entry, the length, the rockwork and cave entrance etc. 

[...]

This is more of a display piece than anything. I know even Lego displays usually have some play. I thought of a cell, but there's no good place for it, except for underneath, and I thought that the hint at a red/blue feud is more unique. I didn't have a real hook (ha!) to bring pirates into it, so I felt that sticking with the original's lack of pirates was better than something half-baked. I'm working on a small pirate boat, which might work, but we'll leave it for a different build.

 

Yeah, looking at it this way, thinking of it more as a statue made out of Lego rather than a playable set makes it a lot different :) And i guess a lot of folks do buy their toys just to look at them, display, often not even trying to open them, keeping them boxed or carded like if they were still owned by the toy shop :) But then again, Lego is Lego, it's purpose is to be constantly used for building, and i'm not sure the judges will like the non-playability approach ;) Tho, it is a lovely set, even without usable tower it would still make a hell of a toy, and then anyone could just didsassemble this structure to use those bricks whatever way they want  ;) 

I mean, i'd love to have it awany and this one ust screams to use in a Lego Pirates cartoon someday, i just have this feeling looking at like if it was taken out of animation :)

Maybe that's because i've watched too much of Asterix in Britain and it reminds of the Tower of London/Londinium ;) 

And damn it, i'm not sure if i was blind the first time i've reviewed Your entry or if You've made changes, but i've just noticed that Your staircase /handrail is built out of sabres! Wow. Impressive work and what an original idea! :)

 

 

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@Rogue Redcoat thanks! I’m pretty excited for it too.

@Mazin Thanks! My boys have enjoyed playing with it, unlike a lot of my other Mocs, this one isn’t fragile.
 

Originally this was supposed to be a small side project, while I focused on one big one. That ship sailed, but I have a few other builds I think may eclipse this one. Stay tuned!

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Oh, lovely work! You did a good job using a mix of SNOT and studs-on-top building for the rocky cliffs so that neither starts to feel unnatural or repetitive.

I love what you did with the sword-shaped overhead view, while still keeping the island and dock looking fairly natural, interesting, and visually balanced from other angles! The little bartizan next to the tower also ensures the island's layout/composition still feels true to the original set, even with all the substantial changes and improvements you made.

I do wish the tower had removable floors or a removable back wall to allow for interior detail. Even if it's too small a space to actually fit fully furnished spaces for minifigures with usable floor space, there could still maybe be enough room for easter eggs like a sea chart or rack of muskets/swords against some of the walls. But you created a VERY pretty exterior, so if it truly isn't possible to include any sort of interior detail, I can at least understand why you made that sacrifice. The cave in the back also helps to make up for the lack of interior details in the tower itself.

Best of luck in the contest!

Edited by Aanchir

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1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

Oh, lovely work! You did a good job using a mix of SNOT and studs-on-top building for the rocky cliffs so that neither starts to feel unnatural or repetitive.

I love what you did with the sword-shaped overhead view, while still keeping the island and dock looking fairly natural, interesting, and visually balanced from other angles! The little bartizan next to the tower also ensures the island's layout/composition still feels true to the original set, even with all the substantial changes and improvements you made.

I do wish the tower had removable floors or a removable back wall to allow for interior detail. Even if it's too small a space to actually fit fully furnished spaces for minifigures with usable floor space, there could still maybe be enough room for easter eggs like a sea chart or rack of muskets/swords against some of the walls. But you created a VERY pretty exterior, so if it truly isn't possible to include any sort of interior detail, I can at least understand why you made that sacrifice. The cave in the back also helps to make up for the lack of interior details in the tower itself.

Best of luck in the contest!

Thanks! I tried so many different things with the interior... I even tried hiding a microbuild of Saber Island inside, just not enough space. :pir-murder:

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This is super well done. I don't have anything to add critically.

I like the colors, dimensions, foundation, rockwork, tower... all in all it's great!

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This Saber Island remake is amazing, I think my fav remake of this set I've seen ever, design wise. If you'd have time to work on it more to maybe make it a tiny bit bigger to create inside cabins and make the doors work - that would be a perfect set

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