Friday, January 20, 2012

Nanoblock Kaminarimon

Very big tiny red lantern blesses you

Assembling the last of the three Nanoblock sets I bought back in mid November last year, after Maneki Neko and Kinkaku-ji to be exact: Kaminarimon (雷門), the Thunder Gate.

The box is exactly the same as that of Kinkaku-ji in terms of size.

Another famous heritage sites of Japan, Kaminarimon is the entrance gate to Kinryu-zan Senso-ji (金龍山浅草寺), one of the oldest temples in Japan. There's another gate in between Kaminarimon and Senso-ji, called Hozomon (宝蔵門), which is a lot bigger than its "sibling" gate. ^^

Even though its main function is a gate leading to a temple, there are four statues housed on either side of the gate, with the famous two being the Shinto god statues of Fujin (wind god) and Raijin (thunder god) in front. Of course, the huge red lantern that hangs under the gate is a very significant trademark of Kaminarimon as well. ^^

Image is from Senso-ji.

The history and design details of Kinkaku-ji can be found on Wikipedia, Senso-ji and Taito City Tourist Information Site, so I'll just be lazy here and refer you to those three sites if you want to know more about it. ^^;

Preview of the completed model and a bit of introduction about the actual heritage building in Japan. Too bad it's only in Japanese. ^^;
Also, four bricks for the difficulty level - the highest among the three sets I have. Is it indeed the hardest one to build? ^^

A small window at the bottom left corner of the box allows you to see some of the bricks for this kit.

Design on various sides of the box.

The exact same design for the back of the box as that of Kinkaku-ji

Box open.

The same dedicate compartment as seen on the box of Kinkaku-ji that holds a package of parts to be previewed through the clear window.

Package content.

Different packages of bricks and plates.

The base is 8cm by 8cm in area - exactly the same size as the base of Kinkaku-ji.

Different packages for bricks in different sizes and colors.

The sticker sheet included features the gate's name 雷門 (Kaminarimon) and its official name 風雷神門 (Furaijinmon), to be pasted in front and behind the lantern respectively.

Despite given four bricks for its difficulty level, the instruction sheet is still a one-page sheet. ^^;

A bit of organization before the assembly. ^^

The few bricks that initiated the whole assembly. ^^

Building up the two halves of the gates, with the different parts basically mirroring one another on either side.

Stacking up more layers of parts.
The four statues in front and behind either side of the gates are built from four very simple parts each, which remotely represent their bodies. ^^;

Done for the base. ^^

The roof support.

Very simple assembly for the red lantern.

Stickers applied for the gate's name in front and behind the lantern.

The lantern is attached to the bottom of the roof support, before the latter is placed on top of the two blocks of gate.

A "roofless" Kaminarimon at the moment. ^^;

Correction for a bit of mistake in placement of parts: the long red bricks on the topmost layer are moved one row inward.

More parts are added to the top before the roof comes in.

The roof is basically two blocks of staggered long black parts combined. ^^

Placing the roof on top of the entire gate completes the main structure's assembly.

A few green and brown parts to form a small tree beside the gate. ^^

More images of the completed Nanoblock Kaminarimon:

Four bricks for the difficulty level is not quite justified in my opinion. XD I think the previous set I assembled - Kinkaku-ji was more challenging than Kaminarimon. For the earlier, the part arrangement on the base is somewhat random, so there was a bit of challenge right at the start. For Kaminarimon however, you just need to get one side of the gate done and mirror the layout to the other side. ^^; It's almost like repetition of steps after the first half of the gate is done. The parts may be a lot, but building them isn't difficult at all. ^^ The roof support and roof are just arrangement and stacking of different parts, and after that, everything is done. ^^

Regardless of the difficulty in assembly, this is quite a nice-looking model. ^^ The red wall seems to match the black roof very well in terms of color combination. Minus the tree and the writing on the lantern, it's perfectly symmetric too. ^^ I really like it. ^^

Closer look at the details:

A few leftover parts from the entire assembly.

Lining it up with Maneki Neko might increase the good luck charm maybe? XD

With Figma Drossel for size comparison of the gate with a regular-sized action figure.

With Kinkaku-ji as well, which is definitely not up to scale I believe. ^^;

View full gallery:
Nanoblock Kaminarimon

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