Your Own" Smaller 'Starter' Castles
A Guide to Fairly Easy Medieval Castle Projects
This is NOT an official Lego site
numerous requests from novice but enthusiastic potential
castle builders for information and suggestions about
smaller castles on which they would like to hone their
skills while they are slowly gathering the Lego® bricks
necessary for larger projects. When I started building
model castles in 1986, I had relatively few gray Lego
bricks, not a clue about how to build a castle, and
pretty limited research information - but my enthusiasm
resulted in 23 castles the first three years. Even today
my mind boggles at the notion that I began by building a
little model of the triangular Caerlaverock in southern
Scotland out of square and rectangular Legos.
Many of my subsequent castles were fairly small and easy to build - I'd have had to retire to build 8 castles a year nowadays! But my earlier projects gave me wonderful experience, and I heartily recommend a few small castles for 'practice'. Many of the castles I love the most, and therefore built early, I have redone on a larger and often more accurate scale, with only a 'number' and one photo of the "First Try" available on the castle's page...
So in this section I'm going to try to provide more pictures of my early castles, and the plans for them, to assist new builders. Remember that my early plans were often primitive, and side elevations often non-existant or done on a squatty 1:1 scale, as compared to my current and more accurate 1:1 1/5th scale [5/16th inch wide versus 3/8th inch tall]. Please email me if you have any specific problems or questions...AND I'll be happy to post a picture of any of your completed castle projects on a new Castle Builders' Page, yet to be created since I have no pictures from anyone to date!
possibilites are listed below. Remember to see the Main
Page for photos and plans of the actual castles. And also
don't forget the several other small castles and towers
on the Main Page in addition to Provins. They are Etampes
& Houdan (also in France), Castell Coch (Wales),
Chipchase, Appleby & Clifford's Tower (England),
Clara & Ballytarsna (Ireland) and Claypotts,
Amisfield, Elphinstone & Levan (Scotland). Good luck!!
Château de Provins This castle
is available from the main page under 'France'. I have
not been able to design a larger version in Lego that's
any better than the original. The roofs of my model are
cut from heavy file folder paper, magic-markered to look
like a roof, and taped into an octagonal "cone".
The tower roofs I made for Muiderslot [The Netherlands]
are the next step in roof design.
|#5 Castle Rising You'll notice a significant difference between this first model of the Keep and the second, located on the Main Page (in addition to the neat detail on the larger version). In the model here the height of the forebuilding, reached by the protected stairway, matches that of the Keep - also matching the photograph to the right. A reference, which I now cannot locate, stated that the third floor of the forebuilding was a later addition, and plain and ugly to boot, so I left it out of the later model.|
|#6 Newcastle-upon-Tyne This castle is so classic I couldn't help building it again when I had more Legos, but I always liked this little model. It could be built to split in half, revealing all the floors, but that would take a lot more bricks (and defeat the purpose of building a small starter castle?) I would now use 45º 2x2 double convex bricks for the outer corners of the turrets - I had none in light gray when I first built this model.|
|#7 Nunney Tower This castle, like #4 Provins, was also capped with cardboard roofs magic-markered red in an attempt to match the red of the Lego roof bricks. Note that the second model used black sloped bricks, then more readily available.|
|#8 Rochester Keep This castle has always been one of my favorites, with its tall turrets and impressive forebuilding, entered by a drawbridge. The first model (see below) incorporated more than three dozen gray wall sections, allowing construction of a tower which did not overwhelm my then moderate supply of gray bricks. It also allowed "stones" to appear on the walls of the Keep here and there.|
|#10 Hermitage Castle This castle is so impressive, both in person and on the printed page, that I was pleased to build it a second time - but my first effort was one of my best early castles. A model built by you should probably utilize black roof tiles. Only red slopes were available in large numbers in lots of different sizes and shapes in 1987.|
|#14 Dover Keep My only regret about this early model is that I didn't own the gray 75 degree 2x3x2 double convex slopes necessary for the batter around the base of the tower. I substituted black, which I had, and it just looked dorky...|
|#22 Bolton Castle This castle is pretty massive for the beginners section, even though the second attempt was on a really magnificent scale. However, Bolton is a powerful and enticing project in any size, and might work really well as a third or fourth castle.|
|#31 Bunratty Castle This castle was visited a couple years ago by my sister-in-law Elaine and her daughter Kim. They were kind enough to bring me not only snapshots of the castle, but the cutaway placemat (heavily "doctored" by me) which is on the Main Page. There are medieval banquets here "knightly" as well as many weddings at the castle. I apologize for two puns in one paragraph!|
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Castles created by Robert Carney
Page created & maintained by Robert Carney