If you are a LEGO Castle fan you have likely run across the work of Luke Watkins Hutchinson, a.k.a. Derfel Cadarn. (And if you are not familiar with them, read on – you will be inspired!) He is especially known for his incredibly detailed stone-work on LEGO buildings as well as LEGO landscaping techniques. Take a look at some of his LEGO Castle creations:
Wonderful, isn’t it? Just look at all the details! For a lot of people seeing work done like this with LEGO is amazing to see, and they wouldn’t even dream of being able to build something like this themselves. While those with some already developed LEGO building-skills may think “I would love to make something like that!”
So, if you want to build a medieval LEGO castle, or even a whole village or town, where do you start? Well, you can look at pictures that inspire you and try to figure it out from there. Or you can ask the LEGO artist for instructions. It is most likely however that the creator of such detailed and large LEGO castle MOCs will politely decline. Which is understandable; putting together instructions for even a small LEGO set takes lots of painstaking work and detailed explanation, not to speak of a big one! Who has the time and patience for something like that?
Well, Luke has in fact taken the time to put together a whole series of instructions for building a detailed LEGO medieval-village and published them at EuroBricks. Actually what he has done is more than just instructions with “put this 2×2 brick on top of that 4×10 plate”, etc. Besides showing you how he builds stuff, he also shares with you his way of thinking, planning and designing his LEGO castles, structures and landscapes. This way you are not just learning to build one thing, but also get the concept of what goes into putting together a detailed LEGO model and thereby expand and enhance your own skills.
Luke says the following about his guide to building a LEGO medieval village: “A lot of people will look at this guide and think ‘I haven’t got enough LEGO bricks to build something like this’. Well that’s not the point, as you can build some very detailed smaller MOCs on a 48×48 baseplate using this guide. If you look at a lot of my recent MOCs, you will see they were all smaller builds constructed on a 48×48 base plate. Yet they weren’t any less detailed then this one. So don’t be put off just because this is going to be a large LEGO build. I’m only making it large so I can teach you a lot more different LEGO building and landscape techniques.”
Here I will introduce you to Luke’s LEGO instructions briefly to give you a taste, then if you are interested you can follow the links to the instructions themselves at EuroBricks for all the details.
As you can see this medieval LEGO village is full of features and eye-candy; there are residential and other buildings, a river, landscaping, and of course the residents – both human and an animals. Luke takes great care to make sure that everything looks as realistic as a real village should, yet also giving it a Thomas Kinkade-like idyllic “I just want to be a minifig and live there” kind of feel.
Some of the techniques mentioned and demonstrated in the Guide to Building a LEGO Medieval Village are as follows:
- How to plan and lay out your LEGO baseplates for foundation
- How to position structures on LEGO baseplates in an angle
- How to work with LEGO elements with studs not on top
- How to build rustic and realistic LEGO stone buildings
- How to build LEGO walls with timber-framing
- How to build square and round LEGO towers
- How to build various style LEGO roofs
- How to build LEGO stone or wooden bridges
- How to make a LEGO water-mill
- How to build a LEGO village-well
- How to build LEGO stone and wooden fences
- How to make a realistic looking LEGO stream or river
- How to build a LEGO pond or lake
- How to make a LEGO waterfall
- How to work with LEGO vegetation
- How to make LEGO trees (several styles and techniques)
- How to build LEGO rock-walls and hill-sides
If you feel inspired, you can use this guide to build an entire medieval LEGO town yourself. Or you can just take some of the techniques and incorporate them in your own LEGO creations.
If you would like to check out the full guide with instructions go to Eurobricks: Guide to Building a LEGO Medieval Village by Derfel Cadarn
If you would like to see the pictures only of the guide see here: Guide to Building a LEGO Medieval Village Gallery by Derfel Cadarn
If you would like to see more of Luke’s work, see his full picture gallery here: Derfel Cadarn’s Flickr Gallery
Any questions, comments? Share your thoughts, ideas, and how do you plan on using this guide in your own LEGO Castle and other LEGO creations in the comment section below. Sharing your own LEGO castle techniques is also welcome!
And you may also like to check out these other LEGO techniques:
- LEGO Building Technique: Forced Perspective
- LEGO Building Technique: LEGO Water
- LEGO Building Technique: Inverting Studs
- Round Shapes with Square Bricks