Bluesecrets wrote:But it is more than just walls and decorating. Look at the land around that castle. It's flat, and green. There are no trees, no waterfalls, etc. But now a days, the castles are getting lost in landscaping that doesn't make sense. Some builds I wonder if the person really just wanted to build landscape and just added the castle as an after thought, because that is how they look.
You have a rather narrow view on how and why someone would build a 'castle' ... so what if a person want's to build a castle and ends up building a landscape, it is supposed to be fun, not work.
It seems you base your idea of the typical castle on the ones you see on the isles, where there's a perfectly trimmed lawn around the monotonous walls and buildings and miles of flat land. All the castles in my area are either high on mountain ridges, inside or on the edge of forests or overlooking rivers. They range from the classical early medieval small fortified houses to baroque palaces (modified late medieval castles).
Also, many people think of the castles they have seen when they recreate them with LEGO, and many of those people have only seen ruins overgrown with vegetation or only moderately maintained castles - or drawings.
Additionally, there is no way to make these flat green/grey floors that would be 'realistic' to look good with lego, especially in online photos. Take your recent "New Beginnings" as an example... it is a great build, it is realistic, and it is - in my opinion - boring to look at from the outside... the big uniform walls and the flat green (the few plants and rocks don't help much) don't offer much variation, which might be realistic, but also not very interesting (again, in my opinion)
Bluesecrets wrote:I have been to many of the great Gothic cathedrals (long story, but yeah I have), I have seen the insane creativity and detail work on them. They are very busy with carvings and arches and...well the whole point is, they were built that way for a reason...worship.
Castles were built for an entirely different reason...protection. They were built to be strong, withstand battle, to keep invaders out, and to most importantly keep people safe and alive.
Gothic cathedrals were not built the way they were built for worship - they were built for the same reasons people build skyscrapers and villas today - as a demonstration of (mostly worldly) power and wealth. Most of the architects also built them for artistic reasons (or money) first, and any religious reasons second.
Bluesecrets wrote:Now I know there is a debate between historical castles and fantasy castles. And currently fantasy castles seem to be the norm.
But...how about we all take a step back, look at the creation for what it is? Does it make sense? Does it have strength? Does it protect? Could it be easily invaded upon? Is it surrounded by a bunch of landscaping that would make it easier to invade? Can you actually see the castle? Or are you looking at something that was made just to impress (filled with a ton of techniques), even though it might not make a lot of sense?
Again, maybe you build to recreate a castle as realistically as possible, but that doesn't mean other people build for these reasons - they build recreationally, to have fun and not to depict reality. This is the same discussion the art world had over Realism/Naturalism in the arts - and with the invention of photography Naturalism has basically lost this debate. LEGO is not the medium of choice to build something realistically, so while it may be fun for some, it generally isn't (based on the amount of 'fantasy' castles out there)
I could try to build a castle as true to reality as possible, and if I think that's fun it's OK, but reality is - most of the time, in my eyes - boring. Castles were made to be practical, which means you will end up with (metres thick) BGWs, small gates, small rooms, and not much to look at (I am talking mostly about central-european castles here).
To comment on the actual topic of this thread, technique vs. build: it really depends on your intentions with your MOC. Technique alone a good MOC not makes, but it can greatly enhance a build and add to it's 'interestingness'. Technique alone works for vignettes where it is the center of attention, but just putting everything you know in a single MOC most of the time doesn't work - the MOC feels unbalanced and off.
Disclaimer: these are mostly my opinions, sprinkled with some 'facts' from art history and general history - if you want to believe history.