Hans Langseth

 Hans Langseth had a beard. He was American farmer, originally from Norway, and didn't shave. He lived from 1846 to 1927 and still holds the Guinness World Record of the longest beard, measured being 5,33 meters (17 and half feet). He also spent some time in circus showing his handsome facial hair, but eventually got tired of people checking if the beard was really real. His matted beard shows kind of gradient of his life, from dark brown hair of his young days to silvery beard of an old man. The beard, which is preserved in Smithsonian Institute, still has grains in it from sowing a century ago.

Hans was built to Late Summer contest of my LUG Palikkatakomo Ry. I became fifth. The subject was Record (ennätys; as a world record, national record and so on, not LPs or anything like that). I actually came up with the subject of the contest, as it was already July and nobody had come up with anything - there has to be a summer contest!

I took a month or so to come up with an interesting record enough. Limits were 32x32 studs, no heigh limited. I though about some biggest-ever catfish, as I'd like to build a catfish some day, but it didn't fly (they weren't that big) as "biggest ever" seemed a bit dull. But it dawned to me: Longest beard! I like beards (and have one). Don't know why. They're just good. Simply good.

There was an iconic picture of Hans Langseth sitting in an ornate chair, taken in 1912 or 1913. I took it as a straight reference, as making a sitting figure felt nice anomaly to my masses of standing characters. I began with the head, as usual (there's some odd mathematics in the neck, and the became problematic later on) and then concentrated on the beard. There are no fancy piece uses here, just plates, that capture the feel of beard quite nicely, as well as its natural, tattered shape. There's also shift to dark bley before the beard divides into two thinner streaks (he tried to cut the beard but didn't manage, or dare) that curl around, being simply 1x2 plates connected, in similar way to older build named Agatha of Four Colours. Then there's the gradient, from dark bley to dark grey, then to dark tan, reddish brown, old brown and finally to dark brown.

It's impossible to tell the actual colour of Hans's suit from the black-and-white photo, but I went with dull black suit to emphasize the beard. There are no interesting tricks there; the legs are based on ones designed for drummer Tomi Leppänen in Circle project, and the shoe type has been used before in Porco Rosso and Terry Pratchett. I have to mention that boat stud kneecaps make me happy, though.

Hans sits on ornate chair, which is made of dark red and reddish brown bricks; dark brown might have looked better, but I might not have had the needed pieces in it. It looks alright to me, I like the red padding on the back rest and reddish brown horn details somewhat hidden behind the head here. It's just a bit fragile, as the legs connect only with one studs and there is no base. It was rather surprising; I though model on six legs would be pleasantly sturdy. Well, not mine.

As a note on another topic, The Brothers Brick recently blogged my previous creation RADIANT EXERT IV and said that I build these humans in inhuman speed. Ha! I have currently six finished characters builds not yet posted. One of them is more like a mushroom, though. But a character all the same.



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