12 September 2017

A Family Affair

Posted by Admin
When an additional copy of the new LEGO® Ideas set, 21310 Old Fishing Store, accidentally arrived at New Elementary Towers from Billund, I figured it was a serendipitous opportunity to do something a bit different. So I entrusted it to a new contributor, Jay Phoenix, with the open-ended and therefore challenging brief of "do something different with it". He did, and his mother Jea did too; she made the second model in this post!

Jay can be found on Flickr and Twitter

The modern world can be an overwhelming experience for some people – with such technical advancements as social media, smartphones and anti-spill bottles, some people just wanna retreat back to the good ol’ days where the best way to meet strangers was visiting the pub, phones were only used for phoning people and if you knocked over your cup of coffee the carpet below would have to live with the consequences. The Anton family largely fell into this group, and after their fishing store went bankrupt from investing in several dud products, they decided to do the most logical thing a family would do in this situation and completely rebuild their store into a small fishing boat so they could traverse the waves, away from the many trappings of today’s world.

The Anton’s fishing boat features all the essential equipment needed for extended (or in this case, pretty much indefinite) voyages out at sea, plus a few personal touches to really make themselves feel at home on what’s essentially some cobbled-together wood in the middle of a vast unforgiving ocean. It’s not much, but for them it’s home sweet home.

 Of course if you’re exploring unknown waters, it’s usually wise to bring the proper weaponry to defend yourself from the many terrors of the depths - thankfully for the Antons, they conveniently had an unsold industrial harpoon launcher lying around at the back of the old shop so naturally that was what they opted to install right at the front of the ship. It’s maintained by resident tinkerer Steven Anton, pictured here demonstrating the functionality of the harpoon launcher with a dud and definitely not aiming for a seagull in the distance or anything.

Every ship needs its captain, and who better to steer the family vessel than the oldest member of the crew, ol’ sea dog Stewart Anton. Before settling down to open the fishing store he spent his youth running a ferry between Heartlake City and Lego Island, so he’s fairly familiar with the trials and turbulence of the ocean. The Antons also have their own ship cat, Molly – they originally got her to keep the rats out, but after realising there aren’t any rats out in the middle of a vast unforgiving ocean they decided to keep her anyway. She did have a habit for meowing as loud as feasibly possible when she spotted land though, so Stuart built her a small crow’s nest to give her a better vantage point which she uses regularly… mainly as a bed, that is.

Over the many years of their endless voyage, the back of the ship’s taken a lot of damage from storms and thanks to many rushed “it’ll do” repairs, it really does show. Several sections of the roof are barely held on by whatever materials they had left over, and many of the walls feel like they could fall over at any moment from the slightest contact - what better place to call home and raise a family in, eh?

When the skies are clear and the seas are calm though, the lower edges of the ship are the perfect place for a nice spot of fishing – a favourite pastime of Jodie Anton, the second-youngest member of the family and Steven’s daughter. Her fishing tool of choice is usually her reliable ol’ fishing rod, but for today she’s trying out the net for a change - with pretty great results already by the looks of things.

Although the fishing boat is pretty well-suited as a home for the Anton family, the drawback of size and being essentially trapped on a comparatively miniscule piece of wood for a large chunk of their lives has always been an overarching issue. After a couple of months living on this glorified life raft, they decided to do something about this problem and make themselves a (somewhat) more stationary second home…

With the supplies they had left over from the boat, the Antons set about building themselves another home still as isolated from the mainland as their boat but a bit less likely to capsize and sink. The result was this, a simple wooden shack to stay in when the waters are too rough and a small pier for docking the boat. It’s also a nice spot for some fishing too, as Timothy Anton (the youngest in the family) is excitedly demonstrating – he’s got a long way to go before he gets nearly as good as his sister Jodie, but it’s a pretty good start.

Timothy gets a pretty good view of the boat as it passes by the pier too – it’s the perfect opportunity for him to tell Jodie about how many fish he’s caught and how they could have lobster and haddock for dinner tonigh-

…oh, well make that just lobster then.

He’s still pretty proud of his catch today though - even if it did get pilfered at the last minute by a rather hungry Molly. The rest of the crew was also impressed, but nowhere near as much as Molly who refused to leave Timothy’s lap for the rest of the night.

The shack itself is a small, cosy offering with just the bare essentials – it’s more of a backup plan rather than an actual regular residence for the Antons, but occasionally on relatively nice days like today they take the opportunity to take a break from the waves and just settle down for the night on dry(-ish) land. It’s a nice change of pace from constantly having to mess about with wind direction and the like.

And as they all settle down indoors for (a slightly smaller than usual) dinner, Steven Anton has a last check to make sure there’s no pesky seagulls around to nab the lobster. Little does he know that the real dinner-endangering animal has four paws, a tail and a convenient new-found taste for lobster…

That’s all from me today – thanks to Tim for giving me the opportunity to do this, and hopefully I’ll see you lot around! Or not, whatever floats your boat (pun entirely intended).

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  1. So, how does the cat actually reach the crow's nest? Does she do a bold jump from below... in the middle of a vast, unforgiving ocean?


    1. She uses Stewart's hat as a stepping stone - much to his annoyance, of course.

  2. Lovely, imaginative take on this set! Looks like it will lend itself very well to MOCing...

  3. Wow! I love these builds as well as the short story format that they are put in. Very clever. I might need to try to do something like this myself.

  4. For what it's worth I asked my boss, who is American, to place the old fishing store on the US East coast. I guess given the joking tone of the article it *is* worth reporting her analysis.

    The steep roof had been built to withstand snow, but obviously does not need to do so given the patching job. TNT also reminded her of Appalachia and West Virginia, so she settled on Maryland. However, lobsters are out of place then because they are found north (where snow is too abundant).

    My theory is that Anton is from Maine, moved to Maryland and has just bought the lobster at the supermarket.

  5. I'm loving how this has entertained and inspired people!

  6. Are there pictures of the insides of the boat and building. I would love to see them. Great job!

  7. Wow, there is possible to buy the instrunctions?