First, my apologies to all who have expected more progress in building the actual 6080 King’s Castle since the Bricks on plate! post three and a half weeks ago. While I was always going to document my AFOL journey beyond the actual building, with all sorts of complementary blog posts, my main target here is building the castle. So far, I have not done as much of that as I had hoped. The simple answer being that I still haven’t received the requisite baseplates and first extra bricks I ordered via BrickLink three weeks ago. Here’s hoping that will change next week.

Second, I am happy to report that I have started the actual castle building today. I got tired of waiting for the baseplates, so I jumped straight to the fabled portcullis. As you may recall, I received new parts for it from TLG’s Pick a Brick online store two weeks ago. So, I sat myself down with my brand spanking orange brick separators (just in case), a can of Coca Cola and the Pick a Brick bag. I must admit, it felt kind of strange in many ways: I hadn’t really built LEGO without my son around since childhood. Now, here I was alone with the bricks, as the rest of the family was out. It felt a little guilty pleasure for sure. Also, I was finally building, from fresh bricks no less, the portcullis that had so eluded me as a child due to lack of instructions and parts. Now the Internet-age had delivered me both. Strange.

But mostly it was just good kind of strange. Although actually playing with LEGO is not something that comes naturally to me as an adult, and I’m not expecting – or even wanting – that to change, the building part is still as much fun as it used to be. There is an instant reward in seeing the object take shape and that is the part of the hobby that arouses my AFOL curiosities. It feels good to make things. Building the portcullis didn’t take long, even though I took moments to savor it, less than five minutes. Myself and Pick a Brick had counted the parts right, no missing pieces. The end-result is a thing of beauty, although a little flimsier than I expected. The portcullis flexes a bit and especially the 1×3 plates on the top could use more locking, but those are just minor design gripes. Loving it.

Here is the completed 6080 King’s Castle portcullis (left) next to my son’s modern 7946 King’s Castle portcullis (right):

For those keeping count, there was a grand total of 31 black plates: two 1×10, two 1×6, five 1×4, 10 1×3, 11 1×1 and one hook for the string (aka a lamp holder plate). I didn’t need the brick separators. Next up… the minifigures.