After building city layouts for the last few years including a theme park and motorized rides I wanted to give myself a challenge and build off my normal theme I had seen some cool fantasy LEGO® castles and it was something I thought I could take a crack at.

My initial thought was to build over four 48×48 base plates, however because I wanted a lot of height and changes of terrain, I ended up using Duplo for building height with base plates on top. This allowed for six different heights to build on.

I wanted to have a waterfall into a body of water so I focused on that. The water effect comes out from the castle and flows off of the terrain and cliff wall into the lake area.

From there the build stalled for a few months as I was dreading building the main keep section of the castle. I knew what I wanted it to look like but wondered how I was going to pull it off.

One night on a MFOL (Mega Fans of LEGO) livestream I constructed a cylindrical tower using hinge plates and 1×2 bricks as a trial and general proof of concept. By the end of the stream I had one pretty much done which remained in the final build. Topping the tower actually had me stumped but I knew the LEGO Star Wars planet elements were roughly the same diameter. I managed to find a Coruscant from the planet series which fits perfectly.  Since I had two halves of the planet I did build another cylinder with 1×4 bricks for a difference.

The main castle keep is double walled with original castle series panels for the windows and a row of bricks and plates for a distressed and damaged look.

The next step was some outbuildings. A blacksmith, boat shed, observatory and a farm cottage.  All of these were mostly created as experiment’s that actually ended up staying in the final build changing little from their original builds.  

Farm

Then onto foliage, as most people know trees are make or break and having plush leaves and greenery was always the plan.  Using sprues from the three leaf plant elements for thick vines was a great way to fill out foliage and create depth.  Now I modified the sprues with some heat to take the original shape out so they mirrored vines in real life.

My next major hurdle was actually minifigures. After years of giving away castle figs that didn’t fit my chosen theme I had to seek out and purchase some figures. My initial thoughts were a, Lord of the Rings style, but for some reason they are kind of expensive and hard to come by. I settled on the 2013 castle era minifigs for this display.

To add a but of for LEGO Shows displays I wanted some funny scenes in the build so had the soldier washing his armour and scattered a few toy story soldiers into the greenery for kids to find and a squirrel holding his nut-sack (not shown in these images)

Its maiden outing was in Hamilton in 2019 followed a week later at a show pomeria school and currently its awaiting its fate, weather I use it for the Auckland Brickshow or teardown for sorting?

Model, story and photos by Mark Hackett.