Rocks 101 . . We've all seen some nice rocks built for castles to sit ontop of on either Brickshelf or MocPages.
Before starting, I wanted to point out some nice rocks that a builder Stone Goblin has done. Note he also has a MOC page, but I use the brickshelf one because of higher resolution. I notice that a lot of people have DarkSpawn as a favorite castle builder, yet I rarely if ever have seen Stone Goblin on these lists. In my opinion, he is one of the best. I've attached a photo of his rocks below. If my memory serves me correctly, Stone Goblin tied DarkSpawn as best overall builder in the last Classic-Castle Contest V.
Now that we've got that out of the way, I'll demo how I've been building rocks. It starts with the basic pieces below.
I like to have a whole lot of extra pieces when I build, kind of grab-bag style. Actually, for the Helm's Deep model though, I used every single Dark Grey piece shown and every light grey piece I owned.
Normally, I start by laying out the BURPS and LURPS in some type of pattern as a base.
Then I add in bricks and slopes to disquise the Ugly Rocks. The most important thing to me is not to cover every stud along the way, but to cover the hollow studs. These really stand out if you leave them uncovered. If you do leave some studs visible, you can go back later and add snow or grass if you want. I haven't done that one yet, but will probably on my next time.
When I'm about half way done adding bricks and slopes, I like to add the next level of BURPS and LURPS. Usually, I'll regress these one or two bricks backward to give the rockface a slight slope.
For those who dont know, follow these links to figure out what BURPS ard LURPS are:
For the rest, I'll let you just follow the pictures. Note that I'm spinning the model to show the different combinations available with these pieces. In my opinion, variety is important, especially as the rock gets larger. For small models, you don't need the same amount of variations.
On the top, I'll usually add some plates. This makes it easy to build a castle ontop of.
If you decide to do this, make sure to get enough pieces. This little rock took 267 bricks. It is deceptive how many pieces you'll use. With bricklink, its better to get some extras because you're already paying for shipping & handling and if you don't get enough, you'll have to pay those fee's again. I learned that one the hard way.
With these type of style things, practice makes perfect. It took roughly 15 minutes if that to build and photograph this model. Its very easy once you get the hang of it. But, that said, I've been working on this style since my first MOC (the Crown Castle) and it wasn't until Eggplant Island that I really started to get the hang of it. Having the right pieces definitely helps.