I wasn't sure whether to post this in the MOC's board or the general LEGO board. Went with general LEGO for now.
I got the 10237 The Tower of Orthanc set for Christmas, but I looked at the pictures on the box and thought it appeared a little short and stubby, like a dwarf version of Orthanc. So about halfway up, I started adding a few floors of my own! Here are some pictures and comments on the set:
(I couldn't be bothered to resize these, sorry)
Saruman looks down on my Uruk-Hai army of 28 soldiers.
Just 9,972 to go! Please note that the original Orthanc set only includes ONE Uruk-Hai and one regular orc, along with Saruman (with dress robes), Wormtongue, and Gandalf (no hat). Oh, and one of those crappy little sad excuses for Eagles.
Full tower shot.
Here are the floors I added, highlighted in red. The little section at the top was just me making one of the rooms an extra brick high so you could see the interior details better from the back.
Treebeard was also included with this set. Merry and Pippin were NOT. I plan to modify Treebeard later too.
A better look at the exterior detailing, including the two floors I added.
The back of the set is open for interior access.
These three floors are unchanged from the original set, except that I left off some of the stickers on the bottom floor (which depicted some wargs in a cage). The brown things are the doors, which open up. There's a trap door that drops down to the dungeon. And if the chandelier on the ceiling is pressed upward...
It activates a light brick under the Palantir seeing stone! The Palantir is one of those Bionicle balls, just resting on the table. This is the best use of a light brick in any LEGO set, ever. Nothing will ever top it unless they make Barad-Dur with a light up Eye of Sauron on top.
The mostly empty floor with Wormtongue in it and the treasure room above are the floors I added. They are NOT in the original set. Saruman's bomb preparation room with the cage-like windows, however, is unchanged from the set.
According to some LotR wiki I checked, after the War of the Ring, King Aragorn took control of Orthanc and found some long-lost magical treasures inside, including the chain on which Isildur had carried the One Ring. So I made one of the floors a treasure vault.
Any ideas for the floor below it? I'm stumped on what to put in there...
Moor of the original LEGO set floors. The uppermost one has an image of Barad-Dur, a barrel full of magic staves ("the rods of the five wizards!"?), and some stands for Uruk-Hai armor (most of which I took and put on my extra Uruk-Hai).
The floor below it is one of my favorites, featuring some bookshelves and stickers depicting the Five Wizards on the walls. Radagast the Brown, Saruman the White, and Gandalf the Grey are visible here, but the mysterious Blue Wizards are also there, off to the sides!
Here's one of them, behind this neat little fold-down ladder.
Atop Orthanc, Gandalf looks down on the workings of Saruman.
A final shot of the tower seen from below. You know, I'm actually tempted to add even MORE floors...
BONUS IMAGE: A giant monstrous feline attacks Orthanc under the Christmas Tree, becoming the new Lord of Isengard.
In conclusion: Obviously this is a pretty expensive set that will only be purchased by die hard Lord of the Rings fans and collectors, but if you fall into that category, I say go for it! But you might want to add some extra levels, if you've got enough black parts.