I’ve been all about my new quest for Inter-City train for the past couple of weeks, but since it seems to be going nowhere fast, I took a look at my on-going quest for Lion Knights’ castle. I haven’t made any new brick acquisitions for it since last time, but I have scavenged a few more parts from my childhood collection (for example, I was able to right the stairs where I had cheated a little). When I last stopped, it was because I was missing a couple of important structural pieces, but now I thought what the hey, let’s see how far I can get if I simply skip those for now.

Turns out, after four hours of LEGO cleaning and building, I got pretty far:

Note: You can click the image for larger version.

I am missing several old grey inverted 1×2 roof tiles, which you can clearly see on the front, few yellow flags and a couple of other pieces (e.g. the jail door), but other than that I actually finished the castle. I also lack a few 2×2 and 2×3 bricks, which meant a little cheating – it mostly isn’t visible outside, but I replaced three or four of those with size equivalent multi-brick combos. I will definitely need to acquire at least the inverted roof tiles and the jail door, perhaps I will look into those flags and other details as well. But all in all, there isn’t a whole lot missing, less than I expected anyway. I think I’m one BrickLink away from finishing this beauty.

The overall building process was again fairly tedious, since the gatehouse contains a lot of small pieces and I was still washing each old brick as I built upwards. I had my brick pool in front of me, a soft toothbrush and a cloth for drying. I’ll get back to the cleaning topic in the future, but as a mental note I’d rather avoid excessive LEGO washing in my next project. Building itself is a lot of fun, but cleaning old LEGO (especially while building) not so much. I was very tempted to cheat and not clean the final pieces, but I chose to solider on. Some of the old bricks were quite dusty. By they way, I was very surprised by the amount of weapons attached to various parts of the gatehouse: two swords, two axes and two spears. Luckily my old collection of LEGO Castle weapons was large enough.

As for the minifigures, I haven’t BrickLinked any minifigures during the project, except for a couple of accessories. My childhood collection has afforded me a few new pieces during the summer and I also used minifig surgery to build myself a few new pants. Indeed, I could have done a whole lot worse, since I now built all of the 12 minifigures with only two having the wrong print on their torso (all the colors are correct though). I was also able to fix the lance colors, which David noticed. I’m missing one black saddle, two blue capes, white and blue plumes as well as some yellow flags. I might still have some of those somewhere, but no luck yet. Building all the minifigures was never my goal though, so I guess any further steps there depend on what I can reasonably find or acquire.

Obviously I also got a chance to slide the portcullis into place, which I built from new bricks back in April and which had sort of sparked the whole project. Everything should be as instructed, but both the portcullis design as well as the “rails” it runs in seem a tad bit fragile (breaking or sliding off) – maybe it is a bit poor design or there is something for me to check there. I will look into this as I eventually finish the project. On the upside, I like those brick-built side windows of the gatehouse – very 375 Castle.