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It wasn't until I went to university and only came home in the weekends, I realized how much I love the sight of my hometown of Temse in Belgium. I always try to have a seat to the left of the train, near a big window, especially near sunset. Because when my train crosses the Temse Bridge over the Schelde river, the view is just magnificent and then I know I'm home. [MOC] Temse Skyline by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr You can imagine that on reading the assignment of Rebrick's "Dream Skylines" competition, "Build a Skyline of somewhere close to your heart", I didn't hesitate for a moment on what to build. But I think that choice might have been the only easy part about this contest! Since the creation has to be in the style of the existing LEGO Architecture skylines, I had to come up with several ways to add enough detail and texture at the small scale, and at the same time had to adhere to the maximum size requirements that didn't allow for any overhang. Personally, I also wanted to create something that's completely buildable in real life with solid connections and only existing part/color combinations - because who knows, maybe one day my town will be interested to have one of these for real? - which caused me a lot of headaches. All of that made for a build time of nearly a month for this seemingly small creation (that still contains close to 800 bricks). After all that building, I managed to cram in most (though not everything) of what I wanted to represent. From left to right, you have the Boelwerf Crane, the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church, the Old Town Hall and the Temse Bridge. If you're interested in more information about those individual buildings, just keep reading! [MOC] Temse Skyline - Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr The Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church is the defining building of the Temse skyline, and rightfully so. The original dates back to the 770's, erected by the holy Amelberga, the patron saint of the parish. It is believed that she fled her suitor, a powerful man, because she wanted to dedicate her life to God. And when she was cut of by the Schelde river, a giant sturgeon appeared from the water to lead her safely to the other side, where she erected the church out of gratitude. To this day, we have a yearly procession to celebrate her. Of course the church was rebuilt several times, and I depicted it as it appears today,the way I know her inside and out because this is the building where I go to mass and have gotten to know a lot of wonderful people. I love this building so much that I actually tried to build it several times before this contest. However, i always got stuck on the iconic but hard to capture shape of the clocktower. However, having to work at this small scale forced a certain size of the tower on me, which enabled me to have a more focused problem. When eventually I found out that the classic medieval helmet worked perfectly to capture the bell shape of the bottom part of the roof, and that's what really kicked of this entire creation. Since I couldn't connect anything to the helmet, I had to work with an external support, but luckily it doesn't get in the way of appreciating the creation too much. I also had a lot of variations for the rest of the tower, but in the end this version with the notches nicely corresponding to features on the actual building made it, also thanks to the input of my family on this issue! From there on, it was mostly a lot of complicated SNOT work to let the windows and the buttresses work, but it gave a nicely textured result. To top it all of, I included the statue of the Blessed Priest Poppe, who is also a central figure in our community. [MOC] Temse Skyline - Old Town Hall by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr Up until a couple of years ago, this was the administrative heart of Temse, but now everything apart from some ceremonies has moved to the new administrative center in a modern building for which I didn't have enough space to include... Still, it's a beautiful building from the beginning of the twentieth century that actually stands on the place where once the home of my ancestors stood. One of the ceremonies being held here, is the memorial of two of my ancestors, who became famous after allegedly dying in each other's arms during the first World War, becoming a symbol for love between brothers. This year, it was exactly 100 years ago that happened, so there was a ceremony on this very fitting location, where my sister and I also read some poems one of the two brothers wrote. Truly a special experience! Building this also was a special experience if you can call it like that, because of all of the tricky SNOT fitted into a really tiny package. I'm really happy with how the roof turned out. And while it's a pity that the spires of the main tower have to be held in place by a rubber band, at least the official LEGO rubber band with the right size had the right color as well. [MOC] Temse Skyline - Boelwerf Crane by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I was born just half a year too late... If I would have been born sooner, I would have seen the Boelwerf working with my own eyes. It was a big shipyard along the Schelde river just outside of the town which was the economic heart of Temse for quite some time, with the biggest ship of the world at that time being build there. My grandfather was one of the employees there working among the docks, the cranes, the machine shops... Whenever I see pictures of those periods, I begin drooling and dreaming about that time that I sadly never knew. Because right now, where once the Boelwerf was, now a lot of new apartment buildings, houses, shops like my hairdresser and the new administrative building stand. The only thing that remembers the glory days is a beautiful and huge crane that never actually belonged to the Boelwerf but became an essential part of our skyline, and a couple of poles in the water and a hidden dry dock. Building this one actually went surprisingly easy when compared to the previous two buildings, and I'm pretty satisfied with how I managed to maintain the spindly look of the construction and the realistic angles of the supports, realized by putting technic pints over minifig antennas. The difficult part about this build actually was keeping it within the prescribed size limits of the build without overhang. That's why I had to sacrifice one of the three wrenches in the back, but luckily it isn't as noticeable. And nice to know: the crane can actually swivel around! [MOC] Temse Skyline - Back of the Box by Bert Van Raemdonck, on Flickr I really had a lot of fun making the renders for this creation, trying to match the box art from the official skyline sets as well as possible, and I'm very happy with the results that accomplish my goal. Just ask if you want to know more about the rendering process. This is also a place to discuss the final building: the Temse Bridge on the far right. Although it doesn't look like it from the build, this was with its 365 meter for a long time the longest bridge over water in Belgium, and also one of the prettiest, in my opinion! The original actually was designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, thát Eiffel!), but that one was deliberately blown up during the second World War. In 2009, a second bridge next to it opened to allow for more traffic to pass because it was getting a bit problematic. That bridge is actually nine meters longer than the original one, so in Temse we have just one, but the two longest bridges over water in Belgium! Giving the bridge the skeletal look was impossible to do on this scale, but the bottom of the plates actually still gives a nice texture to it. I couldn't make it as long as I wanted, and I had to place it at an angle, just to stay within the size requirements, so in reality it is of course way longer. Also, the 2009 bridge didn't fit on even though I created a model for it. But then again, that bridge pales in comparison to the older one. In the end, I'm very pleased with the result, so it was worth all of the work. It gives me the same feeling as when I see the real skyline from the train on a Friday evening, the feeling of coming home. Which is really nice that I'm on a two month internship in South-Korea! Thanks for looking, and I hope you enjoy your home as much as I do! _________________ The digital file (LDD)