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The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

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

The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby bps7772000 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:45 am

Hello,

I am mostly a lurker here. I am currently building a large scale modular castle. It will encompass 9 or 12 (haven't decided yet) 32x32 base plates when I am finished and have well over 10,000 pieces.

I don't have a lot of experience, but it seems there are variations on castle builds with regard to how much the castle interior is built if any is at all. My main issue is in regards to displaying a castle you built to the layman to show that this was a serious endeavor whilst being realistic about rewards/efforts/diminishing returns.

I am an adult and don't "play" with the legos. Display them? Absolutely. That is what I am shooting for. But I've been to Brickfair twice the last few years. It seems that most large builds were probably hollow shells with no playability/interior. And that is fine. I'm not judging, just trying to get a pulse on what is the norm here. A large scale castle on display at brickfair might be able to show some interior to show the depth of the build but building everything interior-wise down to the last brick makes no sense from an economic nor playability standard.

Looking at Bob Carney's castles it is obvious he is not big on interiors. But his architecture stands on it's own. Should I feel a little self conscious about having different colored bricks like 1x4s in my castle as support to the massive structure above?

Filling out a lego castle on a large scale from top to bottom would be massively expensive, and time consuming. I guess I am answering my own question in that a little attention to detail on interiors can go a long way but too much would just not be necessary and too expensive.

I would appreciate your thoughts.
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby AK_Brickster » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:49 am

If you are building for a convention, my advice is to not build an interior at all. You aren't goin to be able to show it off, so why waste time and parts (and $$!) that could otherwise be dedicated to Mali g the exterior look even better?

Personally, I enjoy building an interior, but I only do that if I'm just building for myself and am not up against a convention deadline.

Have you thought about power functions for things like the drawbridge? I've seen a few castles lately with more working parts, but have yet to try my hand at it yet :)
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby bps7772000 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:46 pm

I'm not just building this for the convention in August. But I do plan to complete it by then. I loved castle legos as a kid and always dreamed of a massive lego castle that I could never afford at that age. Some of the interior will be hollow but not all of it.

I've never really built much of interiors and I've already hinged part of towers so it will swing open large enough to put your hand in it and show the interior.

I have no expirience with power functions with legos and hadn't thought about that. I hope to get some ideas at Brickfair too.
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby SSchmidt » Thu Feb 13, 2014 4:29 am

When it is concerned with smaller scale MOC's (castle's on a baseplate of 32x32 for example) I would suggest an interior is needed to really show off the build. However if I am building a large scale castle on 10 baseplates, not only am I NOT going to build any interior, I am going to use all of my pieces for fillers. That may mean one wall of gray with a wall of purple behind it for support. If it saves me money, time, and energy, then I think it is definitely the smarter choice.

When I am bulking up my landscape, I always use my yellows, reds, and blues before covering them in a layer of plates in the landscapes color. They never ever get used other than this, so why not give them a little love then? :)

These are just my thoughts. Then again, I have yet to build a castle, but have built a few small interiors inside of buildings.
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby Bruce N H » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:50 pm

Hey,

A few thoughts:

-I haven't been to any big fests, so I pretty much build for the camera. As such, my creations are a lot like movie studios. For exterior scenes my buildings are empty shells (or even just facades), for interiors I do three walls and no ceilings.

-If you're going to build a large castle for exterior only, another good option on the inside is DUPLO bricks. You can sometimes get great deals at garage sales etc since people usually only want them for a couple of years. My neighbor's kids are a few years older than mine, and he was going to give a bunch of stuff to GoodWill, and asked me if I wanted any of it for my kids. We doubled our DUPLO collection that day. :D To interface from DUPLO to System, just put a System 2x4 brick over top of two studs of DUPLO. (Or, shhh, you could use clone brand bricks on the interior.)

-One suggestion is for your large castle to have cut-away walls at a few points so you can see in to a few rooms. That way you can do a little bit of interior work, and have it on display for visitors to peek in, but won't be obliged to fully furnish the whole thing.

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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby ffilz » Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:32 pm

My personal aesthetic is to provide for interiors even if I haven't gotten to them yet. I build my buildings in what I call "wedding cake" style (building comes apart in layers - which has been adopted by LEGO for the Cafe Corner module building style) rather than the "Fisher Price Dollhouse" style (building hinges open - used by some of the other LEGO sets) or the incomplete "open back" style (used by even more LEGO sets).

The result is interiors that only a few people get to experience, but I build for me, but my results definitely attract attention at conventions even if no one ever gets to see the insides. Once nice thing about Wedding Cake style over Fisher Price Dollhouse style is that is a bit easier to open up a building in situ in a large display. I do appreciate some folks who will build a large castle with a few hinged walls that allow visibility into some of the interior, said designs are typically visible in situ, though the back side may not be so visible. My wedding cake modules can be brought to where the viewers are (except maybe the ground floor). One thing that IS nice, it's easy to re-work a module with an interior after the fact because there is a limit to the amount of structure that needs rebuild.

If you EVER are at a convention I am at, PLEASE feel free to ask me for a tour...

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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby Buurli » Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:24 am

I'm building right now a castle for a convention and I built interiors in the towers and let them open on the back and the left side, so you can see a major part of it, if you look from the right angle. I mostly did them because I ran out of lbg bricks... but now I run out of rbrown tiles :lol: .

So from a personal experience, I can say that I love building interiors, even if it consumes much parts and time. But as AK noted, if you don't have enough parts for the castle yet, I wouldn't do them. The build will already get enough expensive!
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby bps7772000 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:30 pm

Some wonderful input here, thanks everyone. Bruce, the duplo to fill out hollow interior is an amazing idea, thank you. Unfortunately I already purchased 1200 1x4 bricks on bricklink at .03 per brick so no big deal. I've been using the 1x4 method for structural support in the hollow parts of the castle.

Frank, I don't travel much but will be at brickfair Chantilly in August. I like the wedding cake comparison. I'm using the fischer price method right now though.

I'm weird about leaving part of the castle open because it has an unfinished feel to me. In addition to the hinges I will probably have a few breakaway pieces to show more interior.

This really is amazing to build something like this but it is starting to hit the wallet, don't ask. This might be the single coolest most enjoyable thing I've ever done.
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby SEdmison » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:19 am

Other ideas to consider:
If you want to hold up a particularly tall section, there are a number of variations of LEGO girders that are 2 bricks wide x 2 bricks long x 10 bricks high. They're designed to be supports, and they do that task quite well.

I agree with the sentiments put forward by others that how you build a particular creation is very likely going to be a function of how we're intending it to be used/viewed/displayed:
- Toy: If I'm building something to give to a kid, I focus on playability over all else. I don't spend much effort on historical accuracy or detail, and I focus more on having enough structure so as not to come apart in a kids hands and enough interesting bells and whistles to spark imagination and play.
- Model: If I'm building something as a replica or model, I focus on geometric, architectural, and/or historical accuracy over most everything else. If the creation needs to have moving parts (opening doors, hood, engine compartment, etc.), I let the mechanisms for those dictate the scale, and then build the rest of the model from there.
- Set/stage: If I'm building something to be the "set" on which I'm going to stage multiple scenes, photo shoots, or builds, then I build it the way Hollywood set designers build a Hollywood set. I focus on making the areas that will be camera-facing or audience-facing as photogenic and detailed as they need to be (based on the anticipated viewing or camera angles, how close the camera or viewer can get, etc.). Everything that's not "in the shot" can be a god-awful mix of colors and textures for all I care.

This is by no means a complete taxonomy of how someone might use LEGO, but it does tend to inform how I do things, so I hope it helps.

Cheers,
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby SEdmison » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:22 am

ffilz wrote:If you EVER are at a convention I am at, PLEASE feel free to ask me for a tour...
Frank


I can attest to the fact that the interiors of Frank's buildings are at least as well thought out and impressive as the exteriors. I got to see a number of them at Bricks Cascade last year, though we ended up running out of time before I could finish the tour. :)
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby AK_Brickster » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:39 pm

bps7772000 wrote:This really is amazing to build something like this but it is starting to hit the wallet, don't ask. This might be the single coolest most enjoyable thing I've ever done.

You just defined Lego as a hobby, lol!
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Re: The hollow part of the castle on large scale build?

Postby Lil_Curt » Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:54 pm

With as many hobbies as I am involved in you learn to ignore the wallet after some time. I have many friends in the automotive hobby and we have a saying,

"your first car or truck you build keep all receipts, at the end tally it up and be shocked and disgusted. From then on out build because you love it and have fun, not because you try to spend the most. At the end of the day it dosent really mater how much you spent so long as it was enjoyable. And if you want to budget your build always add an additional $5000-10,000 to the end of your projected total"

Fyi, most guys dont keep tally on how much is spent on a hobby cause its something you dont want to think about, lol.

Have fun and keep building.
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