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ProvenceTristram

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  1. So, I built like 4 castles before I settled on one I was really happy with (Blackwail Castle), but considering the time invested, I did want to at least share a few of them over the next few days, as they are never likely to be built. This one - which I never named, so it is simply called 'New Castle' - was based in passing on Berwartstein Castle in Germany (at least the upper portion). In the end, I decided it was too square and way too big - 5,700 pieces without a base. On the upside, it featured a lot of interior details - a full chapel (with Christ in effigy on the cross), a physicians room, wizard's room, kitchen, King's room, servant's room, and council chambers (at the top of the tower). If I ever win the lottery, it would make a nice opposing castle for Blackwail, but otherwise, it's a dead project. The other castle I wanted to share was intended to be the corner piece of a 4-part fortified manor house (in order to keep the price down, I hoped to break a full castle into pieces - what a larf :P). However, it was a bit too derivative of another MOC I had seen (it's different, just not different enough)... though I felt like the exterior scenery was some of the best I have done. These are the Pacific Northwest trees I referenced in the Blackwail thread.
  2. Well, that's another total bust. It's a shame when they release waves that have very low cross-theme potential. One of the nice things about regular waves is that a torso here, or an accessory there can at least be useful elsewhere. But here, unless you are actually planning to host a Lego in-universe costume party, there's very little good that can be gotten out of the figures. In fact, I've never purchased one of the previous "suited" characters for precisely this reason: what good are they? So my reaction to an entire series of them is: GO AWAY.
  3. [MOC] Blackwail Castle

    Situated on the fringes of the Great Flenshly Marsh, a saltwater tidal basin on Pembermile Sound famous for its thick fogs, looms the seat of the Duchy of Tiverton: Blackwail Castle. The fortress can attribute its somewhat grim name to the calls of a local seabird, whose mournful notes are often mistaken by unfamiliar travelers for the wail of a banshee (or so people tell themselves. It is Lego - you never know :P). Lacking a curtain wall, the enlarged keep nevertheless boasts fairly strong natural water defenses, and - probably owing more to its remote location than any other factor - has never been taken in a siege. The castle alone is approximately 3,800 pieces, while the base adds up another 1,300 or so - an exchange I'm not *fully* convinced it worth it (though I do like the marshy part). Exterior shots. The single tower contains a bell and functions (on the top level only) as the access point for the roof. If constructed, I would also add a 4-pole-supported cloth sun-screen to cover a portion of the roof area, but as the 4 beams would just look naked in LDD, I left them out. There's a small fishing/high tide-usable pier to give the marsh some context. As an aside, I have much grander Pacific-Northwest style pine trees that I had built intending to use with this structure, but they wound up looming over the castle (accurately; most of it is only 3 stories tall, after all), and I felt like it reduced the overall impact, so I swapped them out for dinkier specimens: As usual, even though the whole facing-left side of structure swings out dollhouse-style, I had an immense amount of trouble making bluerender cooperate with lighting. Therefore, after a single gloomy photo, I just took screenshots directly from LDD. The result is less dramatic, but at least shows off details. The first (and second) floor features a checkerboard tile base, two suits of armor, three candelabras, a raised walkway, fireplace, kitchen (not pictured, but it's below the white 'house' wing), tapestries hanging from the ceiling, grandfather clock, a spiral staircase reaching the third floor, a feasting table, and a requisite throne. The Tudor-style second-floor wing is home to the castle's resident wizard. The roof here is designed to lift out with very minor parts removal. I tried to make the space look somewhat cluttered, but the effect is lost in this screenshot, since you can hardly see the bed or the book shelf. The front of the top floor isn't really intended to be accessible, but would only require removal of a portion of the roof to get at, so I went ahead and did a (very basic) interior. This is the servants'/guards' quarters, with two bunk beds, a book shelf, and some storage. 'Fun'-unfun (for me) fact - I am so colorblind that LDD's reddish brown looks green to me the entire time I am building a model. Finally, we have the King's (or, in this case, Duchess') chamber/solar (with walk-in closet!). The room features a fireplace, English settee, canopy bed, larger bookcase, and desk (which you can't really see, but is located in the swing out). A kitten has bitten off more than it can chew by cornering a large, black rat in the closet space. I don't much like cats, but I hate rodents. Kill 'em good, Mr. Mittens. And that's pretty much it. As is typical, it is probably too grand a design for me to ever build, but I am at least finally satisfied with the end-product (I've built like 3 other castles since I last posted here that I didn't bother putting up).
  4. I, for one, cannot stand Nexo Knights, and the sooner it dies and gives us a real castle theme again (particularly for new minifigures), the better. I know others feel differently, and that's fine, but it's a line that has absolutely zero appeal for me (and I'm tired of the 'it's meant for kids argument.' Classic castle was 'meant for kids,' too, as was classic pirates - both had plenty of adult appeal. NK has none.
  5. [MOC] Wolf's Watch

    So... I'm not the world's biggest believer in enormous, Windsor-scale castles. Call me unambitious, but A) I like to design something that might be in the realm (for me) of building one day (given my finances, even small MOCs are ridiculously tough to swing), and B) I like isolated, somewhat forlorn fortresses located in the wilderness, as opposed to city-encircling mega-citadels. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to build the starter keep from the Kingdom's and Castles PC game, and while I was happy with the final result, I didn't like that it was based on someone else's IP - I wanted a "castle of my own," so to speak. So, three days ago, I started putting together Wolf's Watch. Originally, I didn't plan on doing anything nearly this ambitious, but the project kind of expanded as I built - I wanted to add a dungeon, and then once I had raised the keep up, it needed additional terrain to give the elevation context. But I am very happy with the final design - it really encompasses the heart of what I was shooting for: an English/Welsh-style small castle with heavy play features and a (relatively) low part count (okay, 5,000 isn't low, but when you're talking about projects like this, you can quickly see the numbers explode into the tens of thousands :P). First, some overview shots of the exterior: The keep itself features three floors, plus an accessible roof. The top two floors lift out over the first (which has a kitchen inside, but I didn't bother taking a picture of it since Bluerender's interior lighting is so shoddy), and are accessed via a swinging side panel. The second floor is a reception room which will showcase a few suits of armor and a throne (not going to cram the suits into the digital model); the third is the King's (and I say "King's," but I never intended this to be a full time royal residence - I am thinking more along the lines of a Baron or poor Viscount) bedroom, and features a bed, chamber pot, crown, fireplace, tea kettle, and so on. The castle has an extensive subterranean area which has limited access via the keep lifting up. Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, Bluerender's lighting for this kind of thing is downright poor. However, the left-hand side of the underground section is an area of haunted caves, with still drip pools, stalactites, stalagmites, and so on. The right side is a split scene, with two jail cells and a brick-built spiral staircase, plus the Forgotten King's Tomb. I intended for the tomb to be accessed via the caverns and not the stairs directly (some imagination is necessary), to give the basement a kind of adventurous, exploration-oriented design that hearkens back to Taran and Eilonwy mucking around under Spiral Castle in The Book of Three. The only independent non-castle-related structure within the outer wall is a blacksmith. I ripped off the mill wheel-powered auto-hammer design from 6918. The bone is part of some exterior scenicking which, along with a buried skull, is intended to represent a fossilized beast. There are hints of the caverns embedded in the sides elsewhere on the model. And that's pretty much it! As always, any questions, comments or critiques are most welcome!
  6. Western : Feeding the vultures

    Any chance you could list the parts involved in building the vultures - particularly the one with its wings folded? They're really excellent.
  7. Kingdoms & Castles Starter Keep

    So, I've been playing Kingdoms and Castles recently - a kind of SNES Sim City meets Rollercoaster Tycoon meets Banished and then they all catch the Black Death - and as soon as I booted it up the first time, I immediately fell in love with the starter keep (BEWARE IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THIS GAME - IT'S SUPER ADDICTING! XD). Now, granted, the game's goal largely revolves around upgrading this quaint structure into a grand fortress... but I've always preferred the simple, pleasant lines of the original keep. The following are some screenshots: The game at times almost feels like you're playing with Lego (at least a little), so I wanted to reproduce the structure with bricks. Unfortunately, it wound up being something of a mega-build at nearly 2,900 pieces, which likely means I will never get to experience it in real life. However, I did still want to showcase my work. First, some exterior shots: The castle was designed to be fully modular. The keep has two lift-outs and a whole side opens, and the residence portion also has two lift-outs. Unfortunately, this effect is very tedious to reproduce in LDD, so I just kind of tore the thing open to show the interiors (I don't have hours to spend to take screenshots :P [just hours to spend designing Lego I will never build, apparently XD]). First, the dungeon, which has chains (to ensnare a skeleton), spider web, cell, barrel storage, and a secret door for making escapes: Next, we have the Great Hall/Throne Room. I pulled the door open for this shot, though it wound up a little dark. The table and chairs are designed to be removable so the King can receive guests (on the nicely tiled floor and red carpet! :D), in which case the room will feature 5 suits of armor lining the walls. There is also a big fireplace, throne (for great sitting is needed to do Kingly justice), and some owl-shaped gargoyles. I agonized over the door for a long time, but there's a sticker from one of the Ninjago sets that would make it look less out of place. The roof for this scene also comes off easily: Moving along, we next have the scullery/wine storage. The's a pretty elaborate staircase that you can't see well in this screenshot, a stove, a shelf full of wine bottles, some barrels, food storage on the wall (can't be seen here), and the barred entrance to the dungeon. I used a main door with bars here even though it's kind of ugly, because I acknowledge that this is a castle and not a house, and that entrance is the weakest part of all (although in a siege this whole portion would soon be on fire, in all likelihood :P): Finally, we have the Royal Chambers. This is a relatively simple room (I ripped out the windows so we could see inside a bit better) - you've got the King's canopy bed, a fireplace, a stairwell down, and a shelf for storing the crown and imperial sword at night. There's also (again impossible to see) a ladder leading up to the parapet. No part of the castle is technically inaccessible to minifigs: And that's it! This is the first castle I've designed since my teenage years... so... it's been about two decades. A lot has changed... and mostly not for the better :P. But I think this, at least, turned out alright in the end! Questions and critiques are most welcome!
  8. What are these magnetic LEGO-like bricks???

    Space Legos. Ill-fated alien technology that was involved in the Challenger explosion. All very hush hush.
  9. [MOD/MOC] Unimog RV

    This is a very, very substantially altered 60083 set, with only the chassis being maintained from the original (the front end and rear are totally reconfigured). Still, it's not wholly my own work, so I can't really call it a MOC. Inspiration (sort of): MOC: The interior features a bed, bathroom, computer, and night stand with lantern. Obviously, this design isn't quite as low-slung as the original, but I didn't want to sacrifice the Unimog's modular advantages to better integrate the camper unit (which is fully removable, just leaving you with the truck).
  10. Put them back up - that's what I'd do. It is no business of Universal's (or any other private entity) what shape you form your Legos into. This is bizarre and flagrant overreach.
  11. Predictions for LEGO City 2018 sets

    A cargo ship of some kind. It's been a long, long time since Lego released one of these staples.
  12. [MOC] 1946 Chevy COE California Farm Truck

    Just a little MOC I threw together while watching the Red Sox tonight: Original: MOC: Obviously, it isn't perfect, but I wanted to keep it fairly close to usable minifig scale.
  13. Are we getting less "themes"?

    All I know is that LOTR got the shaft one wave too soon. We never got a Minas Tirith, a Mt. Doom set, and about 10 or so very major (re: essential) characters.
  14. There isn't a single figure in this series that I want... which is kind of frightening.
  15. I don't have any particular, specific piece in mind, but rather have a need that requires fulfilling. Simply put, I need some kind of a short-reach elevator piece, akin to a car's shocks, that allows bricks to rise and lower relative to a certain height, 'clicking' into place on both ends. I figured that was going to come out like a bunch of goobledegack, and it did, so I drew a picture: I need what's in the dotted line - something that allows the piece on the left to transit up and down relative to the piece on the right, AND, hopefully, 'click' into place on both ends. Does this or something like it exist?