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Ivory Tower [NL]

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Time to talk a bit about the ride and why I just suddenly made it...


Many old attempts were made at tall tower-based Arrow-tracked (but not styled) looping compacts that were to be situated on a fake mountain like Matterhorn. However, those tracks were back in the days of "3 years ago" and were Newton trash. I got inspired to try again with fresh knowledge and my favorite challenge of taking FVD's to stupid tight spaces. It's certainly a challenge to even put the track where you want it when you're playing with hundredths of a roll degrees and forces 90% of the time at low speed in compact scenarios.


The idea for this ride is a combination of two things: what was said above, and K'nex ball tower sets. I had something like those when I was a kid (but less expensive) and I was fascinated at how the ball moved smoothly across sets of freeform-shaped track. The pacing was always very abrupt with the low momentum of the little marbles, but when it picked up speed it flied down big hills and simply glided across long stretches of smooth track effortlessly. This coaster was created to almost replicate the feeling of being in a giant ball tower - only this time, with coaster cars.


Ivory Tower's track is very banked (because heavy banks were necessary in marble runs), so Newton was very appropriate. The trains are short and of low heartline (3 corkscrew cars), giving a rail-hugging feel and rapid pace & speed changes. The track is corkscrew style also to reflect the railings of marble runs that keep the vehicle pinned inside. The supports are complex, semi-artistic, a tad random, and necessary because of the confusing mess below similar to any ball tower structure. The airtime does not go below floater so that the cars feel like they are on the edge of "flying off" the track as if they were not secured to the rails.


I think when you notice these parallels, you'll find Ivory Tower highly entertaining to not only ride but watch from afar. It has this "whimsical machine" feel to it that I didn't expect it to have and I've grown surprisingly fond of it. While the technical prowess of this track may not be a strong suit because I'm not a master builder, I think people will have a lot of fun with it.


Pretty much zero video effects were used because I wanted to get back to the clean and simple styles I had long before. It's a bit different, but I hope you enjoy it just as much!





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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess the song had some inspiration factor as well. The album cover (and name) inspired the ride's visual presence. (Look up "Chilly Gonzales Ivory Tower" in Google image search and you'll see the album art.) I wanted the support and ride structure to look very similar to that cover. The colors are similar as well, there's that too lol.


I wasn't for sure whether I was going to use the song or not, but I thought it fitting because it was playful and quirky just like the ride. I guess in the end, things came full circle!

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^It wasn't really designed as an Arrow coaster. I just used the track and train style because of the low-slung heartline and the outward track ties which allow the cars to sit very low. Those attributes allow you to get shorter height clearances and less distorted heartline shapes to let you roll more coaxially (see TOGO Heartline Twister).

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