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What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

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What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Bruce N H » Wed Dec 18, 2013 2:38 pm

Hey all,

Over in this thread some of us spoke disparagingly about the building experience of some of the new castle sets. Blue pointed out that if you go back to some of the classic sets, they also aren't such great building experiences, from our perspective as advanced MOCers. So, that sparks this questions. What official castle sets do you like to build? Not as nostalgia, because they go back to your youth. Not as starting points to modify the official set and make something more advanced. Not as parts packs that have great pieces, figs and accessories, but actual good building experiences.

I can think of three right off.

3739, Blacksmith Shop (Siskind design). To me this was an education in putting together a building, particularly the roofline. That set also sparked off a wave of variations that became almost a fan-subtheme.
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10193, Medieval Market Village. This one owed a lot to the Blacksmith Shop, and really could set in an AFOL medieval layout without modification.
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9474, Helm's Deep. The Tolkien sets are pretty advanced in general, but I don't have most of them, so I can't comment. But this one was really fun to build, and included a lot of great techniques to make those shapes and the weathered walls.
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Anyway, those are mine. How about you?

Bruce
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Dec 18, 2013 4:09 pm

You hit on my two personal favorites, Helm's Deep and MMV. Both were incredibly interesting builds, with lots of good techniques, and both took me several hours to complete. MMV in particular took a long time because it was one of the last sets that didn't have numbered bags, so you just had to dump all 1,600 pieces out and try to find what you needed in the pile.

The Kingdoms' Joust was another excellent set to build, using some of the same techniques that are found in Helm's Deep and MMV.
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Fraslund » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:16 pm

Being relatively new to Lego I have a much more limited view of past sets, but my 3 favorite sets so far:

MMV: I completely agree, this set still inspires me and the part selection was a huge jumpstart and inspiration for my first big project.

#10210 Imperial Flagship: This is probably my favorite build to date. This set felt epic to me and I really learned a lot while building it.

#79003 Unexpected Gathering: This set was a blast to put together and I learned some new techniques. This set served as an inspiration to my new Hobbiton build that I did for ECCC.

I would list helm's deep, but despite buying 3 copies and drafting a set, I did not put this together. I feel like I missed out on an opportunity, but I have so many ideas floating around in my head its hard to make time to build a set when I want to build something of my own. I have an Orthanc I need to put together, but am trying to at least put out 2 builds for CCC and I haven't even played GTAV yet....
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Lil_Curt » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:55 pm

As of right now, the MMV is in my wish list as is the blacksmith shop.

As for my favorite sets? I've only been back for a year but my top 3 currently are Kingdoms Joust, Helms Deep, and Monster Fighters Haunted Mansion. I love the joust this was my first set back into castle an I want more like it. I got helms deep thanks to AK, and my wife an I got the mansion togeather for building ideas/techniques. I really want more advanced castle sets, but love the oppertunity for what we have.

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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby SSchmidt » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:31 pm

I can't comment on the MMV, but the Kingdom's Joust set was really great. I also found that both Helm's Deep and Weathertop had some really nice building technques from the LOTR line, as did the mines of Moria. All of these had really good looking techniques and ideas one could implement.
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby ffilz » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:52 pm

I enjoy building almost every set I buy. Sure, some don't take me long, but I still enjoy the process. And sometimes I learn something from the set.

I also use some sets in my displays, sometimes with some modifications.

I should add that these days I do a LOT of my set building sitting in the lobby of some building while my wife is in a meeting. It keeps me occupied, and doesn't have to be rocket science. The other place I build sets is to take them upstairs and build them on the coffee table while my wife watches TV (and I sometimes watch also).

Ultimately I view almost every set as a parts pack (exception is the Christmas sets which these days are planned to be added to my Christmas display). That I get 30-120 minutes of building out of a set is some gravy.

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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Athos » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:24 am

I'm not sure if advanced is really what I'm looking for all the time. Sometimes, I don't want to mess around with all the advanced techniques. Like some of the Creator houses have been really nice sets, with traditional builds.

Some sets that stand out recently I'll talk about here. I really enjoyed the holiday Carousel set. Maybe it was just some Xmas nostalgia... but I thought it was a really fun set. I agree Helms Deep was very good too. One of the best castle sets. Bag End too. I sort of remember the big Kingdom's Castle to have been a nice set too. Jabbas Mosque... er I mean Palace was a cool Star Wars set. And the Ninjago Fire Temple was pretty good too. And of course the Modulars.

Oh, and surprisingly good sets: the Republic Striker Class Fighter; the Forest Police Station and the QuinJet. I thought these would be terrible, but I really enjoyed building them and their final models.

Some that have been not as good... Goblin King (it felt like a thrown together mess); LotR Pirate Ship (had some nice pieces, but the design just didn't do it for me); and Vampyre Castle.

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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Aeridian » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:39 am

The Medieval Market Village is probably my favorite Lego set to date. I got mine five years ago and it was the best thing ever. It has a great variety of pieces and accessories, so if you can find it for a good price I'd highly recommend buying it!

The Unexpected Gathering is pretty sweet set. It has a lot of great landscaping pieces. I was able to get on sale, so the price per piece was a bit better than the list price. Otherwise I usually get smaller sets for the minifigs and specific bricks I need of of Bricklink.

I also got the Goblin King set almost half-off, mostly because it has lots of slopes and smaller pieces (which I like) and I couldn't pass on such a good deal.

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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Elephant Knight » Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:57 am

I agree with MMV and the Joust set whole heartedly, but I have to mention that Tower of Orthanc was probably the most entertaining official set build that I have had in a ling time. I also really enjoyed the Ewok Village.

Bag End was a very inspiring build as well. All the LotR and Hobbit sets have been. Even the small Hobbit set, Riddles for the Ring I quite enjoyed.

I remember I built the Battle at the Black Gate, and was very impressed, then immediately after I built the new castle set Gatehouse Raid and was very underwhelmed with the build.

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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby The Syndicate » Thu Dec 19, 2013 2:36 am

My favourite building experiences revolve around the original Pirates series, and not just for nostalgia reasons. Caribbean Clipper and Black Seas Barracuda are two sets I greatly enjoy building. I rotate them on display every year of so and love rebuilding them. They're both sets I learned a lot of great techniques from. Also, as far as smaller sets go, I've always enjoyed building Lagoon Lock-Up and Sabre Island. Maybe it's the colourful pieces?
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby TeufelHund » Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:36 am

Kingdoms Joust was probably my favourite offical set build, and Arkham Asylum Breakout was also pretty good. I will have Orthanc to build over the Xmas holidays which should be fun.

We have an MMV but I foolishly gave it to my wife so she got to build that one...
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby The Syndicate » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:29 am

TeufelHund wrote:Kingdoms Joust was probably my favourite offical set build, and Arkham Asylum Breakout was also pretty good. I will have Orthanc to build over the Xmas holidays which should be fun.

We have an MMV but I foolishly gave it to my wife so she got to build that one...


There can always be an "accident" and an offer to rebuild it for her. Children or pets are suitable scapegoats if readily available.
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby rogue27 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:04 am

Bruce, those are great choices. I would probably rank those as my favorite three Castle builds.

Siskind's Blacksmith Shop was like a whack on the side of the head. It didn't become apparent how brilliant it was until I started putting it together.


I also really enjoyed some smaller sets like 6066 Camouflaged Outpost and 6067 Guarded Inn. These sets did a good job of utilizing a small space. Most modern retail lego is bigger, more open, and more airy. These sets packed a lot of detail and functionality into a small space using the much more limited mid-80s parts assortment. I always aim for similar efficiency when I build things.
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Sir Erathor » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:46 pm

Awesome picks! I loved building Helm's Deep, and the MMV looked great too :D
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Re: What official sets do you build as an advanced FOL?

Postby Sir Valiant » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:51 pm

Great question Bruce!
For myself as a TFOL, I have built every single set that I have owned up to this moment. Aside from birthday/Christmas my hobby is funded by the money that I make. This really limits the amount of sets that I buy. Unless its good for parts, (and I have the money) I probably won't buy a set.
On to answering the questions though... I would have to say that the most fun set that I put together was the 10210 Imperial Flagship. The finished product is beautiful! :) It was and still is the largest set that I have ever owned.
I would also have to say the Medieval Market Village. It's best castle set I own! Mostly because of the vast array of pieces, but also, there were so many techniques that I learned from that set, it has been my castle favourite.
Usually, when I finish building a set, I'll play with it, and then disassemble to use the pieces for MOCs.

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