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Weekly Set Review: Church

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Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby architect » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:02 pm

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 309/1309 Church.

The set was produced in several versions between 1957 and 1962. There are three varieties of printed bricks including "AD 1762" in blue and "1762" and "Anno 1762" in black.

Large bricks without tubes (2x3, 2x4, and 2x8) are found in some copies of the 1309 version produced in 1957. The rare flat pine tree is only found in this set and tree accessory packs.

The church features an entrance tower, nave with tall windows, and curved narthex. It includes common features of Danish churches such as dates on the front tower, a whitewashed exterior, red tile roof, and stepped gable parapet walls. These features were often Renaissance modifications of existing medieval churches.

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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby lord_of_orks » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:17 pm

it's an interesting set the tree is a plus but other than that it has very standard parts.I would give it a 7/10 for it's time. Here's a pic of the backhttp://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=447434
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Bruce N H » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:19 am

Hey,

Cool idea to include this set, Ben. Yeah, it's not so exciting as a build, but should be compared to other sets from the same era. What's significant here is that this is the only set they've ever released of an active religious building (Johnny Thunder visited some ancient ruins). I do think they're missing out, as churches etc are significant parts of society and would fit into many themes - of course the Castle era, but also Western, Town, etc. I'm sure that for the past 50 years since 309/1309 they've shied away for fear of offending anyone. The Taj Mahal set is almost a religious structure, though - the real thing is a tomb that incorporates verses from the Qur'an and the gardens are an image of a view of paradise. That suggests to me that they could do similar sets of other cultural landmarks. Notre Dame or the Cologne Cathedral are churches, of course, but also would fit alongside of sets like the Statue of liberty, the Eiffel Tower, and the Tower Bridge for their architectural significance.

BTW, does anyone know the significance of 1762?

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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Vrio » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:43 am

I like that many people wish to get (again after 50 years!) a church. A church could be usefull not only in city but also in castle theme!
Most of the ancient wars were made in the name of the religion (like the crusades). Even the religion symbols, like the cross, were everywere! On the shields, bardings, clothes, capes even on weapons! Most of the biggest and most famous churches were made in medieval ages! The size of a chuch was a demonstration of the power of a kingdom! Every nation wanted to have the biggest and most luxurious "sacred/holy" place and they spent TONS of gold to make them! I can't imagine a kingdom without a temple.
By the way i recently finished my studies in "history and archaiology" and i have read many books about the importance of religion in wars but also in life. This was the sanctuary and the "unite" force in battles or even the kings excusion in order to make a war!
As regards this set i find it very pretty for its time!
It is simple but also so much instructive that it represents a church! Also a unique tree!
For me 10/10 because it's the only church we got soooooooooooooooo far. :)

And about the date in 1762 took place many things:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1762

P.S. Sorry for my English :roflol:
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby quaraga » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:17 am

Aaah excuse me while I bask in the glory of a time when lego wouldn't make a decal for stained glass windows but rather leave them clear. :) anyway this structure is incredibly pleasing. had I been my current age when this was available I would own three or so just so I could build them and then take them apart again (there just aren't sets that appeal in such a basic way anymore.) Also does it have an interior of any kind? Lego should sell more religous buildings for all of the previously stated reasons but it'll never happen on the off chance that someone is offended (which I totally get but still annoys me) all in all I like the vibe of this set (is the word vibe still in common use? I think my fellow teenagers have ousted it but I'm never sure of these things.) Oh almost forgot(actually this is an edit) the tree looks out of place and is silly.(another good word that my counterparts look upon with scorn :( )
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Papy.G » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:23 am

I don't like those old trees that doesn't clip on studs, they feel out of place, they are not ABS, so they simply doesn't feel like Lego.
This church, while basic, capturated the essence of such a building, with interresting details, like rounded back, and the stone stairs up the roof (I love this feature, while this was not very common in early medieval times, as Ben said). In its scale, it will fit nicely with the weetabix castle, apart for its doors, to compare to the Weetabix castle's dungeon's.
The washed white was not in the trend in my area, nor the fired clay roofing, but this church structure wasn't, too, and there weren't gray bricks when Lego set it out.

The year clearly tells us this is out of time in a medieval landscape, but once again, does Lego worlds always have to be accurate?

Building it with bricks without tubes may be quite challenging!

Quaraga> Not sure those 1x1 and 1x2 windows got glass in this very set (those windows had clips inside to equip with optionnal glass). Since it is not "openable", I would say there's no interior details, just a guess. Edit from looking at peeron, there even doesn't have inside floor (plate).

It is once again an odd thing, the 309 box shows long sills on the windows, but Peeron list them as short ones. (Many sets have different parts from what's displayed on the box, as the prototype horse head in the 6061, and one soldier's arms supposed to be black from the instructions)
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby architect » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:15 pm

Bruce N H wrote:Hey,
BTW, does anyone know the significance of 1762?

Bruce


It is the year that Catherine the Great became empress of Russia. The dates seem to vary on these Danish churches. Perhaps it is the year of the church renovation work or when the church became Lutheran?

Papy.G wrote:I don't like those old trees that doesn't clip on studs, they feel out of place, they are not ABS, so they simply doesn't feel like Lego.


Actually they are made of a swirled pink plastic created from mixing the left over red and white plastic from bricks. According to Gary Istok, TLG paid housewives to paint the trees. First the entire tree was painted brown. Then the green branches were painted. I do agree that it would be better if the old trees and other "Town Plan" accessories were compatible with the stud and tube system.

The year clearly tells us this is out of time in a medieval landscape, but once again, does Lego worlds always have to be accurate?


Many of these churches are Romanesque from the 1100's and have the traditional plan found in that style. The exterior modifications listed above occurred from the 1500s to 1700s.

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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby domboy » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:50 pm

quaraga wrote: Lego should sell more religous buildings for all of the previously stated reasons but it'll never happen on the off chance that someone is offended (which I totally get but still annoys me)


Hmm... sounds like you might be offended that Lego won't see religious buildings in the off chance that they might offend somebody... :D Just kidding.

But seriously, I think it is impossible to please everybody, and the whole political correctness and can't do anything that might offend is so dumb, because even at the end of it all somewhere there will be somebody that is offended by their attempts to not offend. So Lego might as well build religious structures... if they do some from most of the common religions they should be ok... unless some religion takes offense at having one of their holy structures replicated with Lego... ok, maybe it is a bad idea. Some people should just chill a bit. Or, maybe Lego should make up their own religion for the Lego universe!

Anyway, it is very interesting to look at very old designs to see how things have changed. I agree with those that don't like the tree... I guess it got replaced with the common Lego trees for good reason. I think its problem is it looks too real... it doesn't have that Lego look to it.
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Bruce N H » Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:20 am

Hey,

Of course a lot of things happened in 1762, but I can't imagine the date on the church was referring to those. I think Ben's probably closest with thinking that is when that church was renovated, or maybe built (it seems that Denmark was pretty consolidated as Lutheran well before that, though of course there were always remaining Catholics and other Protestants). But that gets at what I was wondering about - the date seems very specific, so is it possible it refers to some specific church. Like, maybe, the church that Ole Kirk attended, or something like that?

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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Elephant Knight » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:14 am

It seems this topic has gone off topic....

As far as sets go, this is basic. Very basic, in fact. However, with those nifty windows, plus white being an everuseful color, plus that odd tree, it is a rather useful set, though I imagine no one would go out and buy this for the parts. Design wise, considering that it is almost pure basic bricks, it is very much a church, and not a half bad one.

I give it it a 6/10

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Re: Weekly Set Review: Church

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Apr 21, 2011 5:52 pm

Hey,

I've just been doing a little bit of research, trying to find if this was based on a particular church founded in 1762. No luck there, but check out Ringive Church (founded in 1200), just 15 minutes drive from Billund:

Image

Some others around denmark also have similar styles, for instance this one:
Image

So the set may just be based on a general design, but, given the high probability that a set designer working in Billund drove past that Ringive Church on a near daily basis, I'm proposing that that might be the specific inspiration for the set.

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