One more from the "cool uncle" files, MoCasSys came about to entertain my niece when she visited. She likes my Lego, but she doesn't play like I used to and still do -- for me the joy is and always has been in the building process, not looking at or swooshing around the finished product. She treats minifigs like dolls and the buildings I make as their dollhouse. On the occasions she came to visit and I had nothing built, she was disappointed.
My goal was to make a modular castle wall standard, which could be quickly set up as a fairly large structure, and break down for easy storage. I ended up with...
Eight basic wall panels. I put a technic brick in the bottom to fasten panels together, but in practice they were never used. We just pushed the walls together and called it good, so when you notice walls not lining up in later pictures, that is why.
A main gate and a side gate.
And the guard tower.
A small keep to illustrate the concept, and to show off those misaligned wall sections.
When I initially dove into the project, my ideas for it were much grander than my collection would allow (isn't it always the way?). I envisioned a whole medieval village within my walls, and set out to build some houses. I made this one. Why no others were ever made I shall explain in a bit.
The "stable." My niece really likes my herd of Lego horses. Every time I broke MoCasSys out I had to bring out the bag of horses so she could dump all twenty or so on the table, dress them in their barding and battle helmets and saddles, and arrange them in formation in the courtyard formed by the walls.
The dutch door is ugly but effective.
Would have made some furniture if my whole modular standard wasn't flawed from the beginning.
With wall sections 16 studs long and 8 wide, I planned on filling interior space with 16x16 modules for houses and shops and such, and smaller 8- or even 4-wide bases as needed or desired, for trees, shrubs, a well, etc. But that left such a small footprint for the structures, especially since I needed to keep a walkway space all around the edge (which as you can see I was not even able to do with the horse stall). Narrow alleys and buildings pressed right up against walls may be more historically accurate; but for a playset we needed plenty of space to get our hands in between stuff without knocking it over.
Here you see me trying to turn this negative into a positive by adding a trapdoor on the second floor of the house that makes a bridge over to the parapet.
To combat the overcrowdedness would have meant more and larger wall sections -- as it was it already tied up a lot of light gray and blue for something that was only used for a few hours every several weeks. And in practice my niece usually claimed the house by itself anyway, completely disregarding the castle walls.
The most simple and pleasing setup in my opinion, a fortified house. Too bad the door bangs against the outer wall if you open it all the way. The chick in the sunglasses is my niece's sig-fig, or at least her favorite minifig, who began life as a villain in an Agents set with an ugly red bowl cut, if I remember correctly. Long since improved with more stylish hair, she has, at my niece's behest, been promoted to the ranks of the Immortals -- those Skunk Works cast members who may never be dismantled, like my own sig-fig and Rory here.
Yep, I hope TLG is watching, because they just got schooled on how to build Lego Castle sets that are 'F'.'U'.'N': FUN! This is a great moc mate and even more fun in real life. And I remember how much I miss your commentary too, always thoughtful and witty. Thanks for sharing mate!