When I think of all the activities and amenities I want in the perfect vacation locale, the first things that come to mind are: disease-filled swamps; crocodile-infested waters; dark, damp, and uncomfortable rooms; seminars on torture; unnecessary violence; and a complimentary continental breakfast. Fortunately for me, Patrick Massey has built exactly such a place! The dark green waters around Stormholme Castle tempt me with their malaria, West Nile, or dengue-carrying mosquitoes, and the lushness of the vegetation makes me certain that the humidity level is probably about as close to the carrying capacity of air as it can get; I love sweating profusely while being bitten by bugs, don’t you? The dark gray castle itself looks appropriately foreboding, given its swampy setting, and is, shockingly enough, Patrick’s first actual castle (he has specialized in the medieval fantasy genre for at least six years, yet never built a castle; a few towers, and small fortresses, but no castles). The wait has been worth it.
Those of us in the northwestern hemisphere have had a tough time lately, what with the polar vortex, record-shattering temperatures (as low as -63 degrees Celsius at my mom’s house in Winnipeg, Canada) and unrelenting snow and ice. Even here in southwestern Arkansas, where winter generally just means anything below 10 degrees Celsius, we were racing to buy wintry garments normally only seen in movies about Alaska. On the flip side, the nasty weather meant more time shamelessly spent in the LEGO room. I built this tropical scene while daydreaming about places where I don’t have to leave faucets running for fear of water pipes bursting inside my home.
This was a simple but fun build to throw together. There are no crazy techniques or excessively nice parts usages (NPU) to highlight here. But a dash of color, proper composition and a bit of photography know-how can just about always turn a bland build into something that really catches the eye. If you like the trees, they are easily recreated using the 4mm pneumatic hose and cylinder bricks. They can be twisted around each other and held in that position with the leaf elements. Simple and easy jungle tree!