Guy spends 3 years building Minas Tirith out of 420,000 matches

I don't think a matchstick model has ever had me in lust before, but the painstaking Patrick Acton has pulled it off, by building Middle-earth's Minas Tirith out of 420,000 matches. Just look at that thing!

It took Acton, who's been supplying Ripley's Believe It or Not with such models since 1994, almost three years to complete this particular model, which contains hundreds of city buildings and is topped with the Citadel, the Tree of Gondor and the White Tower of Ecthelion.

If you want to see it in person, it will be on display at the Matchstick Marvels museum through 2011.

But even if you can't make it to Gladbrook, Iowa, be sure to check out matchstickmarvels for more photos.

(BTW, if you think 420,000 matches is the record for a sci-fi or fantasy matchstick model, it's not. Last year, we told you about Brian Croucher, who built himself a full-sized Dalek out of 480,000 matches.)

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