Latrine . Recreating the ambiance of the 80's . Design
Sometimes you're really straining; sometimes it just flows right out. This was definitely a case of the latter. I'd been typing up The Watermill and listing out the sets that might sit alongside it and out of the blue I wrote down Latrine. Sometimes the urge cannot be ignored, it's going to come out whatever you do, so I grabbed a sheet of paper and let it pour out.
As befits the smallest room in the castle it would be a small set, certainly no more than 50 bricks, roughly in line with 6035 Castle Guard. My starting point was a blue 6x6 plate to represent the stream or moat and a green 2x6 plate. A short stretch of wall would straddle the join between the two, technic bricks on either side provide the clipping points to allow attachment to the rest of the wall.
It's a task best tackled from above, a large black slope would form the roof of a small overhanging room with an open floor. I chose 1x2x3 panels to form the walls since these would allow room for minifig arms without having to push out the width of the building by an extra 2 studs. Shutters form the outer wall, airflow could be important. The room itself is supported on some inverted slopes with a step or two to climb up onto this most important perch. To the front an arch and a pair of curved castle doors provide privacy. Job done!
Later that day I have a chance to convert the paper sketches into an LDD model. Two sticking points need addressing, the connection of the 6x6 plate is somewhat flismy being attached by just a single row of studs. A quick redesign to add some buttressing to the wall means that the buttress clip onto the second row of studs on the plate. Significantly better than before, it's no longer just hanging in there.
I try to stick an LDD minifig onto my glorious throne, his head hits the roof. My original intention had been to use a Slope 33 4x3, by changing this to Slope 45 3 x 4 Double / 33 which has a cut-out on the underside the minifig fits! A bit of a squeeze but it came out right in the end!
Storyline - Minifig's going about their daily business. I can see this is sort of storyline appealing to small boys in particular, possibly more so than grinding corn.
Buildability - Nothing complex, just laying down a couple of bricks.
Playability - It does what it has to do.
Consistentcy - Good consistency a nice solid piece.
Cost - At 46 bricks it's in the same realm as 6035 Castle Guard, there are more physical bricks but that makes up for the lack of horse and second minifg. In modern terms it would probably be around the £10 mark, slightly more than the penny one would like to spend.
Would Lego create a toilet? Well, Friends have one at their 3185 Summer Riding School, so I don't see why we can't have one in a castle. Indeed, they are often key features of castles, regulary featuring in tales of daring-do, with people escaping through them so there's historical precedent.
Would it sell? Well little Johnny would probably love a toilet, although I suspect his mother might baulk at paying for such an uncouth accoutrement to the castle and instead choose something more wholesome like a jousting tournament.