A MOC that could have been a set from the late 1980's Castle range.
About this creation
The fourth set in a series of MOCs in which I'm trying to create MOC's that look as if they could have been part of the Lego castle product lineup from the late 80's.
The stables was born out of the fact that I had a 6040 Blacksmith for shoeing my horses, a 6041 Armourers Shop for arming my knights, but nowhere for the horses themselves to live. Given that a good horse was worth a small fortune in the medieval period, horses were always well looked after.
I knew that I needed another piece of hinged wall rather than a straight section so that it would be possible to form a curtain wall of my castle / walled village. The hard part of any hinged structure is working out where to place the hinges so that the structure can be fold whilst still retaining any protrusions and surfaces that were originally envisaged. My intention with hinged section of wall was to allow it to fold to 90degrees to lie flat against the stable structure. I also wanted the standard projecting parapet on the outside which complicated the positioning of the upper hinge, eventually I opted to use a plate hinge seated in floor of the parapet rather than bringing the parapet back in to accomodate a brick hinge. When fully folded this does leave a gap in the parapet, but nothing that a competent soldier on the wall couldn't defend.
The stable structure itself is fairly simple, a couple of 1x6 arches on pillars of 1x1 rounds give some texture to the building. By offsetting the central pillar by half a stud and ensuring that it's only a single brick in width I think I've kept the structure open. Whereas if I'd opted for a column 2 bricks wide in the front it would have had the opposite effect and closed off much of the interior.
Upon building the model I realised that the dark-tan plate I was using for the base of the stables just wasn't long enough to adequately clip down the horses, a problem you can't see in LDD as it assumes every connection is perfect and doesn't account for gravity and leverage. The 6x12 plate that I'd originally utilised for the base was replaced with a pair of 6x8 plates in an 8x12 arrangement. This chnage also necessitated a slight remodelling of the wall structure to provide adequate support for the baseplates given that they now had a split running through the middle. Thankfully the split lines up with the central structure that divides the two stalls so there was a jumper plate at the front that can act to secure the joint.
For minifigs the key items are the horses, a pair of which are supplied, but I also added a soldier on the wall and a derivative of the blacksmith to act as the stableman. For props a broom and shovel are present for mucking out, spare clips on the wall gained mini-swords. From a collection of small black pieces I put together a saddle stand and the entire lot was finished off with a couple of yellow bricks for hay.
Story: Not much really. It fits into the same category as 6067 Guarded Inn; there's no direct story it just adds to the castle.
Playability: No difficult areas to get minifigs into, with the baseplate redesign the horses clip in properly. The props all sit neatly on the floor and have large enough bases that they wouldn't topple over if the floor was carpet rather than something solid.
Build-ability: Fairly easy, nothing too complex. The transition from offset back to on-stud alignment at the top of the central column might need a two step cutout illustration, but the rest is all fairly standard.
Consistency: I believe the overall design still fits with the 80's ambiance. The only anachronism is the use of Dark Tan for the base, a colour which didn't appear until after the turn of the millenium, however I believe it fits and provides a useful colour variantion in the set that wouldn't have happened if I'd used the standard green or gery for the baseplate. As usual the proof is how it looks when clipped into existing sets, the photo's below show the domestic corner of my castle, with the stables clipped in between 6041 Armourer Shop and 6040 Blacksmith Shop with my own Maidens Tower on one extreme and 6067 Guarded Inn at the other. I think it fits, but feel free to draw your own conclusion and post comment.
It's a nice little addition to a Castle, it fits in with the rest of the sets but I do worry that there's no immediate storyline behind it that drives it. This isn't necessarily a problem, neither 6067 Guarded Inn nor 6040 Blacksmith have an obvious storyline beyond things that Knights need in a castle. Perhaps the inclusion of a knight would add a bit more, but would push the cost up by another £1.