On behalf of Tolkien Week, I bring you a replica of epic proportions.
Patrick Acton, a career counselor from Iowa, has been a lifelong fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, his books, and the world that he built within his imagination. Once he saw the movies, Acton decided to marry his love of Tolkien with his hobby of 23 years - matchstick models. He spent over 1000 hours over the next 3 years building this behemoth model of Minas Tirith.
The model of The Great White City features 23,000 small support blocks and 420,000 matchsticks.
Tolkien describes this ancient fortress as appearing to be "hewn from the rock of Mount Mindolluin" of the White Mountains. The city is said to tower 700 feet high, resting as a lookout of the Pelennor Fields.
Included in the model are more than a hundred city buildings as well as the Citadel, the White Tower of Ecthelion, and the Tree of Gondor.
The model has been featured on Ripley's Believe It or Not. Today it can be found in Matchstick Marvels, a museum that Acton founded to showcase, you guessed it - matchstick models.
The museum, located in Gladbrook, Iowa, also features several of Acton's other models, including Hogwarts, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the International Space Station, the World Trade Center, and a steampunk train-plane called "Plane Loco".
Visit his website for many more pictures and information about the museum and Pat Acton the man with "So many matchsticks! So little time!"