In my review of the Wizard Chess set posted last month, I mentioned that I wasn’t too impressed by the horse pieces, which are in fact one of the most important pieces in the story. So I’ve set out to create an improved version. Here is what I did…
The chess battle in the movie
In the first movie, when Harry, Ron and Hermione had overcome the third challenge, in their attempt to stop Lord Voldemort in getting to the philosopher’s stone, they next entered a large room in Hogwarts, leaving the sound of the fluttering wings behind the closed door.
“They were standing on the edge of a huge chessboard, behind the black chessmen, which were all taller than they were and carved from what looked like black stone. Facing them, way across the chamber, were white pieces — the towering white chessmen had no faces.”
Trying to pass, they were blocked by the white side. Realising, they were to be part of the Wizard Chess game, Ron took command of the black pieces. Riding on one of the black horses while Harry and Hermione replaced other missing pieces on the board, Ron played the game to a win, allowing Hermione and Harry to pass.
The horse piece
Dumbledore, commended Ron for “the best played game of chess that Hogwarts has seen these many years”. So he deserves a good horse to ride on. But of all the chess pieces in the Wizard Chess game (set 76392), the horse was probably the weakest in execution. You could guess it was to be the horse, but it wasn’t as well done as the other pieces.
Also, a key part of the movie was Ron riding a horse while playing the game. While you can make Ron ride the horse, it does require a bit of deconstruction, and it doesn’t look that great – as he is basically standing at the back of the horse as seen below.
So I thought I would try to come up with an alternative, which improved the visual and also would let Ron ride the horse in a more “natural” way than standing on the back of a horse.
Here is my model (left) next to the original (right).
To be fair, my model is a lot bigger, but as seen below, it doesn’t look out of scale compared with the other pieces on the chessboard.
Here, you can see it from more angles.
Here you can see the chess piece with Ron, Harry and Hermione for scale.
The “rider” sits on a jumper plate, you can carefully lift off, and put Ron it his place.
Now Ron can take command of the troops.
I have created instructions for how to build the horses. The part list at the back is for a single horse – you’ll obviously need two in each black and white if you want to replace all four, or you can choose just to do one for Ron. You can find the instructions and part list here.
Other minor chess game improvements
While I was at it, I found some white and black 1×1 round plates with open studs I had as spares from previous builds.
I used those to replace the light bluish grey pieces used on some of the chess pieces (they are used with the bishops, horses (unless you replace them as above) and the queen. If you redo the horses as above, you may want to source three of those bricks in each of white and black to fix up the bishops and queens (or five if you don’t plan to update the horses).
Here are the pieces before the replacement.
And here you can see them after. Just a minor thing, but easily done.
That’s all for now. I hope this may have given some inspiration.
I’ve been procrastinating my review of the Harry and Hermione maxifigures for about a month now, so I better get that out first thing in the new year…
Till then, Build the Magic…
… and Happy New Year!