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Guide to building a LEGO Castle village

by admin on August 4, 2012

in Building Techniques

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:

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

nace10 [Noah M.] A.K.A. Link Of Hyrule August 4, 2012 at 10:12 AM

cool so detailed

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DX ZX KENDO NRG PWR JAY-MOUTH OF LIGHTNING-NINJA....GOOOOOOOOOOOOO August 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

yes they are very detailed! i love those! 🙂

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legolotr August 4, 2012 at 11:17 AM

AWESOME!!!!!!

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studless August 4, 2012 at 11:32 AM

What can I say but WOW!!!

I need to get more Legos.

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nace10 (Noah M.) A.K.A. Link Of Hyrule (Zelda rocks and so does Ninjago & LOTR & SW & Kirby! & LEGOS!) August 4, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Guysi have annunced the minifigs in my minifig spins. It’s at the bottom of the page.
http://nace10.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/nace10-blog-minifig-spin-3/

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Chris of Yoda Archives August 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM

That is amazing, The castles look realistic. He took a lot of work to tell how he builds. Learning the concept behind how it’s built is more beneficial than just instructions on how to build a certain model.
I think the Master Builder Academy does something similar. Teaching the Why not just the How.

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admin August 4, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Chris, good point about the MBA program. It would be great if they would also do a similar program for adults with really advanced techniques like the ones Luke shares here. 🙂

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legostuff71 August 4, 2012 at 1:04 PM

very cool. I look at my lego sets that I”ve created myself and realize I can do better. But, sometimes you have to make do with what you have and make the best of it. (or what you can get your hands on.)

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admin August 4, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Yes, sometimes we just have to work with what we have. That kind of limitation may be a good thing in fact, as it forces us to be creative and come up with amazing, never-before-seen techniques! 😉

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gid617 August 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Yeah, sometimes you missing some piece. but by being creative, I’ve come up with solutions several times that (I thought 😉 ) turned out even better!

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gid617 August 4, 2012 at 1:06 PM

I think I saw some of these – I love the way he uses round studs to make walls! I might be able to do a house like that – but I never do seem to have as many studs as I think! 😉 AWESOME (I’ll get in trouble if I don’t put caps. . . 😉 ) creations (I especially love the well 😀 )

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admin August 4, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Yes, the wall-technique is very effective. It does take a lot of round plates, but usually those are not very expensive, and often available at the PAB wall. 😉

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Micho August 4, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Very cool article Anna, I think this is my favorite as of yet… thanks for writing this.

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admin August 4, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Micho, I thought you would like it. In fact, I was thinking of you when I wrote it, as you were just talking about expanding on your castles the other day. 😉

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

Well in that case, a double thank you is owed… so, thank you thank you sooooo much! 🙂 … I had seen some of his work but you posted more that I hadn’t seen and the article is very well written, I have read it 3 times already =D …. In fact, when I go to Long Beach at the end of this month I’m gonna stop by the Disneyland and San Diego LEGO stores and LEGO Land (I’ll get a shopping pass 😉 )to see if I can find some pick a brick elements to build that little well, since my village needs one… if not there’s always Bricklink… hey I’ma see if you have some of the elements in your store 😀

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admin August 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Micho, nice to know someone actually reads my posts! Most people just browse through them, look at the pictures and videos and then ask a question about something that was explained in the post already. 😉

That’s okay. I don’t mind. I know people have busy lives and all, and we live in a very fast world where people don’t have the time to read any more. It’s just amuzing at times. :roll:

He-he… I don’t think you will find any of those little round plates in my store. I only sell stuff I don’t need, and I definitely like those little buggers. Very useful for many things! 😀

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Well I do learn a lot of stuff from reading the posts on your blog.

LOL, yeah I usually use all the little rounds too and the little cheese pieces, whenever I get a new set there’s always at least 5 extra of those things and I use them to landscape my Medieval Village LOL

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Anna, how can I get an avatar here???

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admin August 6, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Micho, you can go to gravatar.com to set up your avatar. It’s simple to set up and very safe. Gravatar is owned and operated by WordPress, so once you set it up it will automatically show up here (along with all other WP sites where avatars are allowed and you comment with the same email address). Your avatar is recognized by your email address, so make sure that you use the same email address on gravatar as the one you use here. If I remember correctly once you set up you will receive a confirmation email that you need to follow thru with. As soon as you set it up your avatar will appear here, and if you use the same email address as before, all your previous comments will also show up with the new avatar. 😉

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 1:06 PM

cool! thanks

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 1:23 PM

testing

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I guess it might take a while

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admin August 6, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Hm… it should be showing up right away. Did you get the confirmation email and followed the directions there? 😕

gid617 August 6, 2012 at 3:19 PM

LOL. . . Admin, I read most of them too. . . 😉 (Not the Star Wars ones or other themes that don’t interest me, but the rest! 😀 )
I love the round pieces too 😉 and the cheeze slopes – once I got all the different colors I had out and found I had about 20 different colors, I think 😀

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admin August 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Well, you are a contributor, so that’s a different thing. You know how much work goes into writing a post. 😉

Yes, cheese-slopes, round 1×1 tiles and rular 1×1 tiles are awesome! 😀

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gid617 August 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Yeah, I love all those small pieces. . . 😉

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legolotr August 7, 2012 at 9:39 AM

I read all the posts, and I’m not a contributor.

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admin August 7, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Thanks for sharing that! If you ever have any suggestions on what you would like to hear about just let me know. 😉

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Claus Schioldann von Eyben August 4, 2012 at 3:11 PM

When will the book be out?

Cheers

😀

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE ( THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE ) August 4, 2012 at 5:02 PM

buildin the lego grand emporium im on the roof

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE August 5, 2012 at 12:33 AM

admin not tryin to be pushy but when are you goin to do a star wars post

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admin August 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Hm… I could do one about #9525, I guess, or is there any other request? I’m getting ready for my test in a couple of weeks so I don’t have that much time to write. And of course you can write too! 😉

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE ) :D August 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

ok can you give me a link please to make a post

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admin August 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

If you would like to write a post just email it to me at admin@theBrickBlogger.com. Posts should be at least 500 word, written and edited suitable for publication, and include related pictures and/or video. You can include your own pictures/video, or if you are using someone else’s links should be provided to give them proper credit. Please send article as plain text, attach pictures, and make notes in the article where each picture/video goes. That’s about it! 😉

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE August 5, 2012 at 12:35 AM

9 days till i see skylar in concert YAAAAAAY

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE August 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

SO PUMPED IF YOU WANT TO HEAR HER VOICE GO ON AMERICAN IDOL .COM CLICK ON CONTESTENTS

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE August 5, 2012 at 12:40 AM

:DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE August 5, 2012 at 12:40 AM

😀

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SKOUTLAW FOR LIFE (THAT MEANS I AM A FAN OF SKYLAR LAINE ) :D August 5, 2012 at 12:43 AM

SUP YAL

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aubseywaubsey-ninja of Elfs August 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM

i can hardly believe those are LEGOS!!!! 😯 their SO detailed! 😀

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Eric August 5, 2012 at 5:55 PM

I watched that thread everyday as this guide was developed. Incredible detail, and talent. Taught me a LOT about building!

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admin August 6, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Eric, yeah, it is one of the best LEGO guides I have seen. Luke is truly generous to share his secrets. I know how much work goes into creating even a short guide, not to speak of something extensive like this! 🙂

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Eric August 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM

For sure. Tutorial creation is tedious at best. Lego tutorial creation would be more so!

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM

FYI: Wal-Mart Clearance…

Went to Wal-Mart and just got back with 4 POTC Black Pearls at $69.00 each, 3 POTC Cannibal Escapes at $21.00 each, and 1 POTC Fountain of Youth at $15 (not a big discount, but I believe it’s the last one I have seen in Yuma and San Diego and I didn’t own it so yeah)… I believe all were at 30% off.

I also saw , SW Anakin’s and Sebulba’s Podracers for $69.00, and SW Republic Frigate for $79.00. Talked to the Toy Department’s pricing guy there and he said he does not know if another markdown is coming or not, and that they are making room for new stock. LET THE RACES BEGIN!!!!!

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admin August 6, 2012 at 1:57 PM

LOL! That’s a great catch! :roll:

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Chris of Yoda Archives August 7, 2012 at 12:01 AM

My wal-mart had some POTC but not the Black Pearl. That would be a nice set to get.

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Micho August 7, 2012 at 11:12 AM

This is actually the last Wal-Mart I had seen with BPs, and I’ve looked in about 15 total from Phoenix to Yuma to San Diego, so I just had to snatch up these four and left two for someone else… two weeks ago I found teh Queen Anne’s Revenge for $80 in a San Diego Wal-Mart

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Micho August 6, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Allright!!!! My Avatar is up, gotta make it larger though LOL

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Quad August 11, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Luke sure has an eye for castles. I’m just amazed at all the detail he put’s in them.

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joey November 26, 2012 at 12:01 PM

hello i just know if you the purchased or not?
Thank you

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AndyVee November 20, 2013 at 10:56 AM

This is so very pretty but there is something here not right, I mean, how many thousands of pieces are needed to built these models, how much money does it take to get this huge amount of pieces (considering that usually each piece will cost 10 cents of dollar at least), how do you get the big plates that I can’t see available to sell at Lego’s.

Your models are really beautiful but I look at them and see them as something not feasible for a “normal person”. You must have a way to get Lego pieces that “normal person” does not have and also a lot of money, I mean, thousands of dollars, to spend or some sponsor…

Anyway, congrats for the models.

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admin November 20, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Andy, LEGO is a very popular hobby with many adults. Many of us grew up with LEGO, and now that we have the money, we do spend on the hobby. These are actually very small models compared to what some LEGO fans create. If you have a chance, check out a LEGO convention! 😉

You can buy LEGO elements, minifigures, baseplates, etc. individually or in bulk, either directly from LEGO or at BrickLink.com, which is the largest online LEGO marketplace. LEGO is not a cheap hobby, but you can definitely get better than 10 cents/piece prices. And LEGO as a hobby is still cheaper than golf… well, mostly… 😀

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JayVendetta March 1, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Well hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been on since the summer. I’ve seen Luke’s original post and I can’t seem to find that 16×16 (or something like that) translucent blue plate. Would be very grateful if someone would keep an eye out for one 😉 Glad to be back.
-Jay

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admin March 1, 2014 at 1:01 PM

Jay, nice to have you back! You can find all LEGO elements on BrickLink, so just look for the plate there. 😉

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JayVendetta March 1, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I went to my local LEGO store(not telling where :P) with a shopper’s pass and they didn’t have any good bricks and absolutely NO grey or black or brown studs. I found the only grey one lol. I’m going to buy some stuff off eBay probably. Btw I made a small medieval “village”. It’s definitely not finished, but I might send some pictures.
-Jay

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admin March 1, 2014 at 1:03 PM

LEGO stores have different PAB walls and they also change them, so it is worth going back every once in a while. I got a good selection of tan and light-gray bricks at the Orlando store sometime back. But eBay is a good resource too, and of course BrickLink. Have fun with our castle! 😛

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JayVendetta March 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Sorry for the need of many posts, but my aunt dropped by on New Year’s Eve, and she brought two bins of Legos with a bunch of old castle pieces. That’s sorta where some of the bricks I’m using g are from, but I’m not sure if she wants them back =P.

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admin March 1, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Well, if she dropped them off she probably won’t need them, but it won’t hurt to ask. 😉

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JayVendetta March 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Idk when she’s coming back. But you’re right, it never hurts.

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phoenixkeene8 June 17, 2014 at 10:44 AM

this looks really cool

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peter October 19, 2014 at 3:55 PM

just awesome. great work! you should try to make “bran castle”, it would definitely be worth it.

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admin October 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

That castle is awesome! And very cute too – just like LEGO! 😀

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peter October 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

thats exactly what i mean. it would be so great to build with the techniques above!

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admin October 20, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Yeah! It’s a big project though, especially when using the detailed techniques mentioned above. I’m waiting to win the lottery. :roll:

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peter October 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

yeah, true… hope you win 😉

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admin October 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Yeah, me too. It would help if I would actually buy a ticket! :roll:

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