31045 Stingray

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Proverbially, this is a tale that started about a tail. It was the starting point for this build and would, pretty much, decide if I would continue. I already knew that it would not be easy to make clearly recognizable ray-like wings so it would depend on other details and the complete picture to make the model convincing. The tail was an issue because I only had a few movable parts and these were not continuous in different ways. The only way I could do it was to make it jagged, like it was moving, or wide, to hide the mismatch. A wide form would also decrease the movability so I decided for jagged. Setting the stingers in the continuous position would also decrease the offset. In the end I decided to extend the second part of the tail to make two stingers. This would make the tail odd again but one can say odd plus odd makes even and that is where I stuck it.

Not being dissatisfied with the tail there was still the issue on how to attach it to the body. The best way forward was to outline the shape so I could at least see if it would be convincing enough. I thought it would do. Next was the central body. I started at the front, the most important section, and looked for a setup that would strengthen the shape as well. I tried a few things until I found what worked best and made the outline with the curved and normal slopes. Now I could see how I could connect the tail and fill things up. While it was not spectacular of any sorts it did look good. The stingray was now clearly visible. I finished it up by strengthening the wings.

Essentially the model was done but I had not used any of the bricks with the sideways studs, unusual for this set, and I still had plenty of bricks and a number of slopes. I did lack enough plates to strengthen the body and wings from the underside so I decided I should try it using the sideways bricks. This proved to be quite a puzzle because the spacing between the sideways bricks requires one or two layers of plates depending on their position from each other. I did not have many plates left so I had to use them economically so I could make a nice shape and use them to strengthen the bottom layer as well. In the end it all fitted just where I needed it to. It could have failed pretty easily.

The model is overall a fairly straightforward build with few complexities. Only the bottom side will require some careful build-up and placement. I quite like it, despite the oddities. It does not require much imagination to see the stingray and the color scheme isn't bad either. It has sufficient consistency despite the odd color sections. But that is always the challenge when making an alternate with only the parts of a single set.
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MOC-29089

Name 31045 Stingray
Designer drosse
Designed 2019
Inventory 164
Theme Creator > Creator 3-in-1
Alternate Build of 31045-1 Ocean Explorer
Disney Train and Station
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