I would not have started my little AFOL project to build the 6080 King’s Castle, had it not been for the Internet and the vibrant LEGO communities online. I can only begin to imagine the difference this level of access to information and brick sources would have made to my LEGO hobby in the 1980s, at the very least I’m sure I would have finished that portcullis in no time (instead of using catalog pictures as my only guide). Today I have merely scratched the surface of what is out there, but already I have found several essential websites to start exploring…
There are many great LEGO forums, one of which is Eurobricks.com where I started a thread about my project and already received friendly encouragement and advice. Thank you. AndyC there pointed me towards the BrickLink, an unofficial marketplace for new, used and vintage LEGO sets and parts. It looks very promising, just the kind of thing I expect to need in my project. I do consider myself warned, though, it all looks very addictive too. TLG (the LEGO Group, as in the company) also has an official Pick a Brick section in their online store. While I expect the latter to be useless for older speciality pieces, it does offer many of the regular bricks I may need.
In my previous post I already mentioned Brickset, a comprehensive guide to pretty much all LEGO sets manufactured by TLG. In addition to providing pictures, reviews and various kinds of set information, Brickset can be useful in acquiring pieces as well since it offers links to relevant Ebay auctions, BrickLink pages and more. As for building instructions, just Google the set number followed by the words “building instructions” and you’ll be good to go. There are numerous sites offering instructions and information for LEGO sets. For example, Peeron has a list of the parts required for the 6080 King’s Castle. TLG also has a Customer Service page for downloading building instructions, but unfortunately it only goes back to 2002.
What essential links did I miss? Feel free to sound back in the comments below.