Archive for September 3rd, 2008

Champagne Bottle

September 3, 2008
It's not broken, its made that way!

It's not broken, its made that way!

Sometimes we would get interesting assignments in the Model Shop. When Pirate Shores opened up at LEGOLAND California, I was asked to build a two foot tall champagne bottle that would be used to “christen” the new area for the opening ceremonies. It was quite a challenge because I had to make it so the bottle could be picked up by the neck, swung around to hit the side of the “boat”, and be able to brake into pieces – and go back together again.

Usually when we are prototyping a model, Master Model Makers design only as much of a model as we need to. In other words, we generally make only a half prototype if both sides of the model are the same. Because I needed to not only design the bottle, but also where it was going to break, I built a full prototype and then drew the “cracks” on the prototype. Yes, I said drew. That is one of the ways that we would make color changes or designs on a model. When you have a nearly unlimited brick supply, you can afford to draw on bricks. 😉

After I designed the bottle, I had to make the glued version. As I glued each section, I put plastic sheets between them, and kept building. That way, the sections dried together and would all fit with each other well. If you’ll notice, some of the knobs were chopped off. As I was building it, I didn’t know how many knobs I needed to make sure that the model would stay together, but come apart when I designed it to, so I cut knobs as I went.

The bottle was designed to break on the front face, where the pirate flag was. As I cut knobs, I “broke” the bottle several times to see if it was working right. Even after I had the model completed, I “broke” it several more times (at least 50 or so) just because it was so to see it “break” and then go back together again.

The really ironic thing about me building this model is that I was the only person in the Model Shop that doesn’t drink.