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April 2008
Giant Yellow Castle
Bruce N. H. 26 IV '08

Did you ever wish you could live the life of a minifig? Well, until someone invents a shrinking ray, your next best bet is to check out Duncan Titmarsh's Giant Yellow Castle. Last year Duncan attended the Brickish Association's Annual General Meeting and was impressed by the 6-scale bricks built by others. These are six-times larger scale model sculptures of existing LEGO elements built out of normal bricks. He decided to take this concept to its ultimate conclusion and build a whole set at 6-scale -- not just recreating the final set at this size, but actually building every brick in the set at 6-scale and then assembling them into one gigantic MOC. He quickly decided on set 375, the famous Yellow Castle. It's a set he wanted as a kid and is immediately recognizable to the community. It took about a year to bring this project together, mostly acquiring the bricks but the last three months building. He said the most difficult thing to find was this Technic liftarm, as he needed 360 of those in yellow to make the six 1x1 rounds for the set. The most difficult building challenge was the hinge bricks, as he wanted to ensure that they would function. Once all of the giant bricks were assembled, he boxed them up and brought them to the Brickish Association's Annual General Meeting, held April 5 and 6 in Sheffield. There the attendees got to join in the fun as everyone helped build the castle from the original set instructions. He plans to bring his giant bricks to future events, and maybe next time they'll try to put together one of the alternate models from the back of the box. Duncan also recruited James Sutton, who built all of the minifigs and their accessories at the same scale.

As a kid Duncan was into Technic. After a four-year dark age, he found Technic again and started collecting. He lives in Aldershot, which is about 40 minutes outside of London, and is a member of the Brickish Association. His work can be found in his Brickshelf gallery.

Weekly Set Review: Knight's Kingdom Chess Set
Ben E. 20 IV 08

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is G678 Knight's Kingdom Chess Set.

Knight's Kingdom Chess Set was released in 2005 for Knight's Kingdom II. This game has 32 chess pieces and 24 armed minifigures, the most for any castle set. Figures exclusive to this set include the rooks, knights, and good and evil queens.

There are atleast three board variations of this set. The first production run had versions with 4x4 black and white plates glued to a white 32x32 baseplate. Some versions were only partially glued or not glued at all. While making the second production run, LEGO had a shortage of 4x4 plates. Four 2x2 white plates were substituted for each white 4x4 plate. Two 2x4 black plates were substituted for each 4x4 black plate.

St Mirton Cathedral
Bruce N. H. 12 IV '08

Milán Bikics has been a LEGO Castle fan literally from the cradel, as his parents bought him the Yellow Castle when he was a baby. Three years ago he came out of his Dark Age and embarked on a project that may last his lifetime. He's designed the medieval city of St Mirton, setting forth its history, legends, geography and planning out its locations. While the city is wholly fictional, the designs reflect existing architectural styles appropriate to medieval Hungary. Thus far he's built a number of structures, including the city gate, the Fountain of the Dragon Healer (which will be a centerpiece of the town square) and a portion of what will become a huge cathedral. His cathedral is inspired by the parish churches of Kassa (modern day Kosice in Slovakia), Kolozsvár, Buda, Brassó, etc. and also the cathedral of Vienna. He wrote:

"The cathedral has a remarkable history of its own. As for the tombs, they're there because cathedrals and parish churches were typically surrounded by graveyards. They're mostly richly decorated tombs of noblemen and archbishops who had the privilige to have themselves buried close to the church apse. There're some memorials too, like the Heavenly Kingdom (a smaller white one), the Temptation of Christ (tan), a Xenotaph of all Saints (large white Baroque) and the Pains of Christ (in the centre) they're outdoors altars, donations by rich families. The crests are crests of noble families and cities who donated the colourful rooftiles."

Be sure to go through all of the photos to see great architectural details, amazing windows and clever ideas like a baby made with a Scala shoe. After he's saved up the money to buy more bricks, his next plans are to build the main altar for the church interior and the northwestern spire with a pendulum clock inside.

Milán lives in Budapest, Hungary, where he is a member of MALUG. All of his LEGO creations can be found in his Brickshelf gallery.

Castle Elements on LEGO Factory
Ben E. 7 IV 08

LEGO Factory has added several castle elements to their online pick-a-brick service. You can now purchase black armor, silver armor, red-brown crossbows, and a knight torso.

Discuss this new improved service here.

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