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A Guide to building a Medieval Village

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#1 Derfel Cadarn

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:57 PM

Hello there!

Ive been asked many a time to do a tutorial on landscaping. Well, Im going to go one better than that and do a guide for a whole village. I will build a village from scratch, showing you each step and how its all done. My aim is to provide help and tips on creating realistic landscaping, buildings and techniques which will allow you to build your perfect village. I will try and be as in-depth as I can, and look into the more extreme detail that no one else bothers about. Imagine a detailed landscape with lots of buildings similar to my Forge but better :) I plan to update the progress as regularly as I can, hopefully every other day! I am currently sorting out the first step, which I will post in the next few days. I hope this will be useful to anyone thinking of building something lke this.

Thanks, step one is on its way!


See the whole guide as it gets updated here

Edited by I Scream Clone, 10 October 2011 - 09:43 AM.
Added link to guide topic

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#2 Niku


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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:06 PM

That would be great.
Thanks for the tutorial guide.
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#3 llb


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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:11 PM

would really appreciate this, in the middle of building a medieval house so any other techniques/tips would be great!

#4 Captain Green Hair

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:28 PM

Oh, I'm really going to enjoy following this topic.
I thank you in advance!  :thumbup:

 Derfel Cardarn, on 04 October 2011 - 08:57 PM, said:

and look into the more extreme detail that no one else bothers about.

That is so not true!  :devil:
Why do you need TLC to make sets for you, all you really need is parts...be creative!

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#5 Watchman


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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:26 PM

Brilliant.  Can't wait.

Have been planning, and acquiring parts, for ages now.  Have 10 buildings, 8 based on the MMV ones (though all different colours) plus the Daniel Siskind Blacksmiths and Crossroads Tavern, plus his windmill on the hill for the fields.  have some fields (wheat, barley, maize, cabbages, etc) and plenty of ideas, but not enough time, and probably lack of confidence that it'll look awesome - though I suspect that with what Maydayartist has been up to, and now this offering from your fine creative genius, may just make that final push !

Onward ! And upward.

#6 Etzel


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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:32 PM

Very interesting! I will follow this closely and hopefully pick up some ideas.
Great initiative, Derfel Cardarn! :thumbup:

#7 MCNwakeboard


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Posted 04 October 2011 - 10:46 PM

Just a question on acquiring parts for use in your MOCs. Do you use Bricklink, Lego PAB, and Mint Lego sets to acquire the parts you use or a combination of these? What have you found to be the most economical and or convenient way to purchase Lego pieces.

#8 weltall1028


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:18 AM

I'm also looking forward to this, I love Medieval builds. :sweet:

#9 Hiawatha


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:22 AM

This is a great idea! I can't wait to learn from this! :thumbup:

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View Postefullner, on 06 October 2011 - 12:28 AM, said:

I can figure what Dey will say when he meets with Hiawatha.

Hiya, Watha!

#10 AussieJimbo


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:30 AM

Good one, DC.

I really look forward to following this.

:classic: :classic:

#11 Vindicare


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:45 AM

All you have to do is watch member, 'mayday artist'. :tongue: I'll be looking forward to yours as well. Your MOCs are always a step up.
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#12 Yucca Patrol

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:51 AM

Although I am not exactly into historical themes, I am very interested in realistic depictions of rural life and landscaping. I've found that the medieval and castle people do the very best landscapes, so I'll definitely be following this thread.

#13 UCSProductions1


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:06 AM

Very nice mocs I'm looking forward to seeing more excellent designs and settings in the lego Knights genre

Edited by UCSProductions1, 05 October 2011 - 05:06 AM.

#14 de Gothia

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:54 AM

This is going to be very intresting! Your buildings are one of my favourites! CanĀ“t wait for the first post!  :classic:

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#15 Gabe


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 09:11 AM

Ooh, awesome. I've been a big admirer of yr moc's for a while now, and i can't wait to pick up some tips from the master.  :sweet:
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#16 I Scream Clone

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:29 AM

Bring it on mate, I look forward to an insight into how your mind approaches MOCing.

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#17 Mr. Gray

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:07 AM

Can't wait. While I've got the rest of the main staples for villages down (I think.  :laugh:) I could never get landscaping the way I'd like to.

I'll be sure to check back on this thread for your views on such a difficult (at least for me) part of the MOC.

#18 Matn


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 11:20 AM

What a great gesture of you to do this, I'm looking forward to it! Your creations are always mind blowing, especially the amount of detailing, the landscaping and the plants and trees are always impressive. Together with maydayartist's topic, your guide will serve as great inspiration for me as I'm building my own medieval styled village.

#19 dragunov


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 03:46 PM

Index it, this could be very useful to many castle builders.  :thumbup:  :classic:

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#20 Albero - BEL

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 04:37 PM

Looking forward!

#21 Yucca Patrol

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 05:04 PM

Now I'm getting impatient after reading 2 pages of "looking forward to it" comments. . . . . .

#22 Mr. Elijah Timms

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:00 PM

Great!  Looking forward to it. Hehe.


#23 Derfel Cadarn

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:31 PM

Thanks for your interest, it makes it all the more worth while.

Now, before I start, i will go over a few things that we will be looking into with this guide. If i were to ask you to go and build a medieval house, its more than likely that you would build a ground floor out of light and dark grey bricks and an upper floor using tan and reddish brown woodwork. Its the tried and trusted formular and we all do it. The main probable reason is that these are the colours that we have lots of, as they a cheap and easy to get hold of and Lego likes to use a lot in their sets. Lets be honest, if we could all do are woodwork in dark brown we would. Dark brown is king! Unfortunatly dark brown is not a common colour and its not availible in many elements, which makes things difficult. However, dark brown 1x4 and 1x2 tiles are availible, and they are now not to expensive and easy to pick up. That is all you need. During this guide I can show you how you can do all those woodwork sections using just those two types of tiles. For a more realistic medieval village, we need to look more at dark earth tones, so bright medium blue houses are out! Of course, don't worry if you dont have a lot of certain colours, as you can always use what you have and update any of your buildings in the future. We can also look at using what rare colours you have got in subtle ways that will really make an impact.
For example, here is a small moc I made the other day, its not medieval as such, but its a good example of how to bring a small area and building to life.

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As you can see, I have used mainly darker tones here, and of course, i've used the infamous 1x1 round plate attack! This is the kind of look we are aiming for. Now, if I were to build this same scene using normal bricks, bright greens and reddish brown, then we would get a completely different feel. Ive used sand green for grass here, and if could build a whole landscape with that colour I would, but its expensive and would take an age to get hold of. Most of us will have standard green, so we can use that as a starting point and from there I will show how and where we can mix in dark green, sand green, browns etc, to form a realistic landscape. Paying attention to the fact that the grass and mud will be darker under trees and by the banks of the stream and other circumstances. I will explain more during the main guide.

Now, if we look at a more close up pick of that moc, you will notice how i've used dark green only for the doors and gables of the roof. I would usually also use it on window shutters, but this house has none. Using just a subtle bit of that colour this way, gives a much better effect than over doing it, plus it allows us to use a nice rarer colour in a good way without having to use many parts.

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The 1x1 round technique is very easy and they are cheap to buy, and give a great effect. You don't have to build using them during this guide, its clearly up to you. I will show you the construction latter on in the guide. I have also made 2 little sacks, these where made from a piece of cotton dyed with tea to give it a tan colour. I then wrapped it round a minifig head and used a bit of brown string to tie the top. Simple yet effective, a great detail thats easy to make yourself. Other things to note are that medieval villages were not clean and perfect, so we have to come up with a way of portraying this realisticly. Also, they did not have garden centers to buy pretty arrays of flowers for their front lawns, so we will be looking at creating small subtle wild flowers which can be be made with 1x1 rounds like in the picture. Riverbanks and the village would have a lot of overgrown areas.

Right, thats all that needs to be said for now. I will begin working on the first step, which will be starting the base and building the stream. From there we will go onto our first building, which will be the water mill and how to build one. I Will hopefully post the first step tomorro or friday.

Thanks for reading

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#24 badboytje88


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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:49 PM

Very interesting, I'll just follow this track and hope to learn a bit or two.

#25 Captain BeerBeard

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 07:56 PM

Derfel, could you post a pic of the building  with the roof off so we can see the inside and under the roof?
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