LegonardoWatching the border
First, realize that this is an honorable mention, so it scored really highly. I really like the color scheme, and the mixing in a few brick-bricks into the wall to give some subtle texture. The rocks and snow-scaping are very well done. I did think the curved supports at the corners of the wooden structure atop the tower looked wrong - those should be concave curves rather than convex if they're going to give any actual support. I thought the wooden part extended a little too much beyond the stone part - it seems a little rickety to me. I was curious to see the other side of the wall. One other suggestion would have been to add another element - perhaps a traveler leading a horse and the guard stepping out to ask them who they were.
Again, this is another honorable mention winner, so scored very well. There was a lot to love in this MOC - all of the different mosaic patterns, the details on the shelves, the little table where the generals were planning their battles. I did think all of the patterning got to be a little much. Perhaps the portion on the right-hand side of the back wall should have just had simple arches with the dark gray background, like on the right-hand wall, instead of the mosaic pattern. I did think the proportions of the room seemed a little off. You've got this huge room, and all of the shelves and the generals' map/table are shoved over onto one side, with this big empty open dance floor. I know, you wanted to show off your mosaic floor, but it ends up looking odd. I think it would have been better if you'd spread the bookshelves and the generals more evenly through the room. Oh, that little stairway going off in the arch on the right-hand side is really great.
Again, this was another outstanding entry. I loved the way you referenced the panel walls from the original, but actually gave the wall some realistic thickness. The trick of having it fold up into a keep was particularly nice - I could imagine that being a great feature of a real set. It's a little odd that the base extends out one stud for an eight-wide section. It's obvious why you ended up having to add that, but it seems that you should have then gone back and just extended the whole thing forward by one stud so it was all even. In this case we had a direct comparison, as Eklund did the same set
, and I just gave the slight edge to his since I liked his more-rounded tower and the way he made the windows into arrow slits with beveled edges, but I really liked both versions.
Gid617,Life in the City of the Canals
I have to say, looking at the complete set of MOCs you entered this year, you ran a little hot and cold. Some I liked much more, like the priest, the printing press, the Akbri Bridge, and the inn, but this one left me a little cold. I wasn't a huge fan of some of the different color schemes, like the little section of street that's blue and black tiles, or the wild splashes of red around the door of the white building. And then you had some nice detail, like the shutters on the white building, where you did them in white against a white wall and you could hardly see them - here some color would have been nice. I liked the roof on the white building a lot, but it looks a little crooked. My favorite portions were the bridge, and the little close-up shot of the guy carrying a barrel - there you really achieved some realism in the posing and head/hair-choice.