Spying Peeron, I found out that the 6080 King’s Castle requires three green baseplates (the thin kind): two 16×22 and one 16×32. Peeron even suggests other sets which have these parts, although first I preferred to dig in without assistance. The latter plate is required to have “square corners”, but in fact both baseplate types have tiny rounded corners – the reference, I learned, is just to avoid confusion with a different 16×32 baseplate with large rounded corners. Luckily I had been doing some excavation recently and noticed that my 6392 Airport has just the requisite 16×32 baseplate with “square corners”. Off it came. For the rest, I had been hoping to use the baseplates from the 375 Castle but, alas, they are only 8×16. The yellow castle did also have a 16×32 plate, though.
The 16×22 turned out to be my first significant challenge, already this early in the game. No wonder building this castle stumped me as a child. I found one more 16×32 under a completed 6370 Weekend Home – I seem to have had plenty of those plates – and token square green baseplates in different sizes, but no luck with the 16×22. Indeed, the Peeron listing suggests it might be quite rare. I don’t think I have one, let alone the two I need. LEGO’s own Pick a Brick online store was useless, as they haven’t used these kinds of baseplates for a long time. So, off I go to BrickLink and search for 16×22 and easily find a few dozen used specimens ready for order. The site definitely seems to be worth the recommendations and reputation. I will look into sourcing the plates soon. (I understand that the best strategy would be to carefully check the set’s part list against my own supply and then optimize an order, but I won’t – I want to keep this a journey.)
I was kind of bummed I couldn’t start building immediately (the building instructions start from the rear of the castle where those 16×22’s are needed), but in a hopeful gesture I did place two grey hinges in the corners of the 16×32 green baseplate. I will add to this and also look into doing some of the horses and minifigures soon. Below is what the baseplate looks next to the new 7946 King’s Castle. You can see how the old castle is holding up quite well sizewise. It is almost as wide, and when I get the rear baseplates I don’t think the difference in footprint will be all that significant. The new 7946 King’s Castle will remain taller though, and the 6080 King’s Castle does “waste” some of its large baseplate for a front lawn.
Before further assembly, I plan to take my old castle LEGO apart for cleaning. Any recommendations on how to clean LEGO?