Medieval castle in a digital age

Castle was one of the earliest themes introduced by LEGO back in 1978. The theme no longer continues, but fan builders have maintained a strong alliance with this favourite topic to display their creative talents. Sunder59 has built a microscale castle complete with gatehouse and stone fortifications surrounding the town. This is a digital model and has the advantage of using parts that are not officially LEGO parts at present. Despite this, I really like this model and it could easily be built in real bricks with a few small changes.

Mirtrum castle

A closer look at the castle reveals some of the parts that are not currently part of LEGO’s inventory. I spotted three parts in colours that don’t exist yet; dark blue lipstick on the top of one tower, the reddish brown 1 x 1 bricks with studs on 2 adjacent sides and the Technic sprocket on the main tower.

Mirtrum castle

How do you feel about us highlighting digital builds and renders?  In a digital age, more and more people share their work online and the renders are improving all the time – is it cheating to use parts that don’t exist yet in those colours, or just part of the advantages of building this way?

12 comments on “Medieval castle in a digital age

  1. Ed

    As long as builds featuring nonexistent parts/colors are not being entered in competitions then I have no problem with them (though I’d prefer if they’re mentioned in the post, such as in this case). And digital builds/renders are perfectly acceptable features. They still take time and skill – not everyone has the cash or space for bricks.

  2. Flip

    I really like the build. Although I like builds made from real bricks more, I don’t really mind if someone uses digital designer because bricks don’t exist yet (in certain colours) or are not available to the builder. What makes a build a good build is how well it is executed, what kind of (new) techniques are used and how problems are solved. One can argue that in LDD, one needs not think too much about structural integrity, but I don’t think that is a problem for this build in particular. If a build is only doable in LDD because of structural problems that would occur with real bricks, then I would consider it less.

  3. TheMugbearer

    I would very much love to see more digital works on the Brothers Brick. There is a lot of amazing and creative digital artist’s out there who just never see the spotlight.

  4. Purple Dave

    1. It’s all digital at this point. While there’s nothing like seeing something in the brick, few of these are models that I ever will see or have seen in person.

    2. I’m one of those weirdos who does most of his design in LDraw (and therefore a lot of my designs exist only as LDraw files). For cars, I prefer to design from the outside in so I can figure out how to attach everything after I know what I need to attach.

  5. Purple Dave

    BTW, the dark-red R5 head comes in one iteration of Luke’s Landspeeder, but the dark-blue on on the tower doesn’t exist either. There appears to be an upside-down dark-blue barbell weight on the lipstick tower. The tall tower’s flagpole has a black 3/4 pin. And behind the R5 tower is a building with your dark-brown parts in light-bley (ironically, they’re not used to hold the grille tiles on the wall towers). So that’s four more phantom elements.

  6. Rich

    It’d be great to know *from the builder* what the fictional (or forthcoming) parts are, and whether or not the model can be built with existing parts. I.e., are they purely decorative, or are they structural?

  7. Elspeth De Montes Post author

    @Rich between Purple Dave and I, you pretty much have the full list already. I believe that most of the bricks that are not currently in LEGO’s parts inventory could be replaced with minimal change to the overall model. Perhaps this would be a good comparison build!

  8. Purple Dave

    I’d actually be surprised if we exhausted the list. I didn’t check any of the slopes, 1×1 corner panels, 1×3 panels, 4×4 round brick w/o Technic pin holes, 2×2 bricks w/ garage door slots, or 1×4 masonry bricks. And realizing there’s a 3×3 dk-brown plate in front of the building with the medium-blue roof, there could easily be a host of Q-elements buried in the base where you can’t even identify them.

  9. Hobby Hearse

    Part of the challenge of Lego is building to the existing palette with available parts.That said, calling out these exceptional examples of digital Lego rendering is completely fine. I too would like to see this rendered in actual brick colors. I imagine it would look just as good.

  10. Harry Vermeersch

    Can’t care less if it’s digital or real life. It’s about creativity, nothing more, nothing less.

  11. Cheefachi

    That rendering is so good I would imagine most people wouldn’t know it was digital so its good that you call it out. What tool was that rendered in to get such good lighting and the textures?

  12. Elspeth De Montes Post author

    @Cheefachi Built in Mecabricks and then rendered using Blender 3D according to the builder.

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