It has taken 534 days and 285 new bricks, we even got to celebrate an anniversary, but would you believe it – my Quest for Lion Knights’ castle is finally done. Back on March 10, 2012 I promised you it would take a while and that there’d be frequent breaks. Well you could certainly say I kept that promise… It has been a long and circuitous journey, taking me on diversions like LEGOLAND, Middle Earth and blog extensions, but also containing many lessons learned.
The most important lesson has been getting to know many of the modern resources available to LEGO enthusiasts. I’m sure I have barely scratched the surface, but I have been able to gather at least cursory knowledge of essential links, pick-a-brick stores, bley issues, online catalogs, building instructions and parts databases, brick washing, collection management, part evolution, computer aided design, LEGO history and things like LEGO in Japan and CUUSOO, SNOT and SNIR. Most of this was completely new to me, yet after a year and a half properly out of the dark, I think I can hold a (brief) conversation in AFOL. I have also formed some opinions and written commentary on the LEGO past, why adults build LEGO and the nostalgia factor in this hobby.
Here it is, my re-creation of the 6080 King’s Castle, with the final missing castle pieces in place – standing on the brown/yellow cardboard base I built all those months ago for this:
Note: You can click the images for larger versions.
It was great to see the castle completed. The castle is full as far as I know (this was the goal), minifigures (merely a bonus) are surprisingly full too, only two missing capes and a saddle – I will probably replace those with other colors eventually. Although the castle’s shape had already become quite familiar to me – it had been mostly completed since last September and spent the year in storage – there was still something a little magical in seeing those Lion Knight shields go up on the gatehouse as a finishing touch. Also, most concerns about the portcullis tracks I voiced previously were, as I suspected, corrected once I had the full complement of bricks in place inside the gatehouse.
What will become of the castle, then? A Christmas present. You may recall one of my motivations for this project was to find a way to share and pass on some of my old LEGO collection to my son, in a manageable, meaningful way (as opposed to just dumping him a decades worth of bricks without context). He has been showing more and more interest in my old LEGO this year, even once commenting how the old LEGO Castle in a picture seemed much cooler than the new ones (wishing TLG would still make them), so hopefully I picked a good time.
I have deliberately kept the castle project a surprise, so he shouldn’t have a clue. I will dismantle the castle, get a bunch of plastic bags and a cardboard box and make a set of it. After Christmas a new generation will get to play with it and make its fate. By the way, we – me and my son – have, for a few years now, had the tradition of building his LEGO presents together on Christmas day. A few years back, the first big sets, we did the 7897 Passenger Train and 7997 Train Station, then there was the year with 7498 Police Station and 3368 Space Centre, last year 7641 City Corner and 4204 The Mine. Who knew, 2013 would be the year of 6080 King’s Castle… That’s, like, so, 1984.
And that’s it for the Quest for Lion Knights’ castle! Thank you for following.
Hopefully I have managed to document this journey here in a way that helps other aspiring AFOLs as well – and maybe entertained a few old-timers in the process. For those of you interested in what I’m doing next, do follow my Quest for Inter-City train. There I’m taking a little different tack on the whole re-create an old LEGO set premise and am still trying to learn new things.