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Collaborative Castle Build During an Event? -- Results!

Discussion and planning of large-scale Castle Themed displays and events

Collaborative Castle Build During an Event? -- Results!

Postby JCool » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:08 pm

Need some advice from my fellow castle builders here on CC.

My LUG (NCLUG) has an event coming up in March, but there are many of us who don't usually have time to build prior to the event with busy lives and such. So I thought a good workaround for this would be to do a large-scale collaborative build during the weekend. And being a castle guy with a good sized collection of castle parts, I figured an easy way to do this would be to bring out lots and lots of castle pieces (walls, brick, landscaping, figs, animals, accessories, etc.) and get a group of 6-10 builders together and have it be our goal of the weekend to build the largest castle layout possible (given the obvious limitations of my brick and the time allotted).

The building would be done behind stanchions to minimize greedy public hands and it could be set up such that we're building a war between two rival factions (or groups of factions more likely) as the weekend goes on... the battle gets closer and closer to one another as they build from their starting points towards the middle. Could build off of classic sets, MOCs, built-that-weekend creations, any or all of the above.

The additional thought was to involve the public by having a free-build area using our club brick and having the public build dragons, mythical creatures, etc. to populate throughout the layout.

Has anything like this been done before?? Anyone think this could actually work?

All criticism and advice welcome :)
Last edited by JCool on Tue Mar 19, 2013 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:27 pm

My first thought is that if you have other convention-type activities, then free time to build might be limited. Also, just speaking for myself, I can't build ANYTHING in just two days, never mind with only limited parts brought from home.

I'd also be worried about my bricks getting mixed up with everyone else's.

Seems like a tricky proposition. If you do it, be sure to document with photos so we can see the progress over the weekend :)

Where is this convention? I have a couple of nephews-in-law who live in NC who would be interested! (You can PM me so as not to clutter this thread)
Last edited by AK_Brickster on Mon Jan 21, 2013 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby ffilz » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:45 pm

Back in 2001 I think it was, At BrickFest, there was some collaborative castle build. I had brought a bunch of tree building parts and folks built some amazing trees to fill in the display. Of course back in those days there weren't public hours and not nearly as many activities. The display wasn't even on tables, it was on the floor. Although I brought the brick used, I didn't actually participate much since I was busing running the Pirate Game in another room.

There are a few pictures in this folder:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=5596

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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby JCool » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:49 pm

Thanks for the feedback so far!

Interesting to see something similar done way back at BrickFest 2001.

The event that we have coming up in March runs over Saturday and Sunday (this year the 16th & 17th) with Friday (15th) used for setup. It's a free show we do every year for the public in conjunction with Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, NC (who gives us the space for free). There really aren't any of the typical convention activities other than a set draft/alternate build/yard sale in the evening on Friday post dinner, so I figured it might be a decent thing to try doing.

My thought was to provide all of the brick myself and see what people can come up with. My only worry is having the right mix of bricks on hand to build with ("I need X plate or Y brick, why didn't you bring that?").

If nothing else though, it could be a lot of fun :)
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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby Bruce N H » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:16 pm

Sounds a lot of fun. I've never done such an event, but I would definitely suggest that you have one person bring the bricks - you don't want to spend hours at the end sorting and saying "was this gray 1x2 mine or yours?" One idea, if this sort of thing works for you - I've only been to a few LUG meetings (pretty much when I was in grad school - pre-kids), but at my LUG there was a guy with a huge Bricklink store, and he'd always bring these big tubs of all of the random brick he needed to sort and catalog. He'd just let us dig through them, and he'd give us pretty good deals. If you had someone like that who would be willing to bring their tubs of unsorted brick, you could make it worthwhile by promising to do a rough sort at the end of the event. Nothing too detailed, but at a minimum a breakdown into four tubs - bricks go here, plates there, slopes there, other stuff there. I'm in the middle of a big sort myself, and that was the first step before I can go back and separate things out into their separate bags. With a group, that sort of rough sort would be quite easy, and would save the person with the brick a fair amount of time.

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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby JCool » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:06 pm

So yeah... that happened!

Check out the pics from the collaborative castle build during this past weekend's LEGO Palooza event in Chapel Hill, NC!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcool21c/sets/72157633022367903/

Time spent on the build: 14 hours
Builders: 10 (though most had to come and go as they had other MOCs to setup & monitor)
# of collections: 1
Amazed fans: all 1400 that came through!

Some of the builds definitely varied as we experimented with different techniques and ideas. The bridge turned out amazing! It was built by Seth (who has previously done a TON of awesome Transformers MOCs - that actually transform - amongst other great stuff). It took him about 2 hours or so to build the bridge and it was the highlight of the display.

So the next question to everyone here... who would like to see this concept at a large-scale convention with people signed up ahead of time to participate??
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Re: Crazy Idea: Collaborative Castle Build During an Event?

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:44 pm

This actually worked out really well! You guys came up with some really fun ideas, and you obviously had a big enough collection to be able to pull it off without mixing anyone else's parts in there, which I think is a big advantage for something like this.

The problem I see with doing this at a big convention like BrickCon is twofold:

1 - Time Requirement -
There are so many events going on for convention attendees (building competitions, lectures, drafts, etc - not to mention last-minute MOC setup!) that I wonder how much time any one person would be able to spend building on this.

2 - Space Requirement - We usually are pretty squeezed for space in the public exhibition area. I guess it could be done in one of the smaller private areas that are reserved for attendees, but then the public wouldn't get to see it, which I think is what makes it so great in the first place!

3 - Collection Requirement - You obviously proved that one person can supply enough brick to make a pretty good layout, but for a bigger convention with a lot more people involved and 12,000 members of the public roaming around, I wonder if anyone would feel comfortable bringing that much Lego without worrying about a tote or handful of figs "walking away".

Anyone else? I think this would be fun, so if you think of solutions to my possible problems (particularly if you are going to BrickCon 2013), please chime in!
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