Thursday, 1 November 2018

A little update, a little sidetracked

Obviously it's been a while since I've posted an update here. No, I'm not dead. I've just been a little focused elsewhere. 

In gaming terms, I have played a few games of Warhammer 8th edition with my 8 year old son, who persists in wanting to play despite not really yet having the attention span to make it work properly (and refusing to let me dumb most of it down in ways that I know would be helpful). He also won't try Kings of War for some reason, despite that being a clearly easier game for him to grasp. I think he picked up somewhere that the armies were originally Warhammer armies, and decided that anything else would just not be the same. I'll keep working on it. As a priority I'm trying to get some pre-made army lists set up with the armies ready to go on trays in the cupboards. That way when he decides he wants to play, we won't waste so much of his precious attention span on mundane setup concerns.

I haven't played a game of Kings of War in a little while, and have missed a couple of recent events that I would quite like to have attended. There's just been too much going on. I have made very slow progress on a few additions to my Dwarf army, however I don't have a huge amount of motivation for that army at the moment because there seem to have been a glut of Dwarf armies at local events, and I hate feeling like part of "the problem" (the problem in this case just being too many players using the same thing).
Some Earth Elementals using MOM Miniatures. They're still a work in progress. They need another wash, probably some cleaner highlights, and they need some runes and gemstones picked out before finishing the basing. As I say, a work in progress. But they look just about usable now, even if they're not how I want them to stay.

Fair warning: what follows has absolutely nothing to do with wargaming. It just explains what I've been up to recently. If you don't like Lego, you might want to stop reading...

One of the things that has distracted me was our recent overseas trip, during which time we visited (among other things) Legoland California and Universal Studios. The latter of these has a rather elaborate setup dedicated to Harry Potter, including a small town of Hogsmeade gathered around their replica of Hogwarts...
You enter underneath to get to the ride. Man it's impressive...
Anyway, that section was definitely the highlight of Universal Studios. And at Legoland they were selling a range of brand new Harry Potter Lego. Now I have always loved Lego, and it's something my son also enjoys, and we're also fans of Harry Potter, so it's a soft target for me. I bought a couple of sets, and we had built them in a hotel room before we even came home (obviously they got pulled apart and re-assembled when we got back).

The sets were fantastic (We've never had any Harry Potter Lego before), and I was a little inspired. I decided I wanted to build on what these sets had to offer. And that was when things started to get a little out of hand...

(I should point out that at this point, it seems that people who know me are not at all surprised, and think it's all rather funny. Apparently I have a habit of taking on large, crazy projects. I have no idea what they're talking about. There's no evidence of any such things on this blog, honest!)

Anyway I hopped onto Bricklink and made an order for the first time ever (it's an amazing service, really). I figured I would need more tan bricks and certain other key elements found in these sets if I was going to properly expand Hogwarts. The order turned up, I started building, and then I realised I had to put in another order...

Downhill from there.

Anyway, this is kind of where things sit at the moment. The real reason I figured I should post these things here is they really help explain what's happened to my creative energy recently. It's been somewhat... redirected.

Bear in mind that these things are all also works in progress...

This is my updated version of the Hogwarts Great Hall. It's a bit bigger than the one that came in the set. Like, probably nearly twice as big in every direction. Oh, and it's standing on a small mountain now. 

This is what the mountain looks like inside the rocks. It's all held up with Duplo, which will eventually be hidden once I've built in things like dungeons and the Chamber of Secrets (that's what's going here). 
This is most of the other buildings that I've been working on. Ultimately they'll all be up on rocks, and all hooked together.  

Anyway, when all is said and done I intend to have a relatively complete-looking Hogwarts from one side, and be able to get in and see/play with all the key locations around the castle. In some ways it will be very similar to another set Lego have released recently, only on a far larger scale.

Hopefully next time I will have some more relevant updates to report. Until then, I have much building to do!


  1. Wow, I didn't think you'd progressed so far! Amazing.

    How will you implement a room of requirement? Some detachable part that can be plugged into a variety of locations? Also, I *require* that it should be large enough to accommodate Volton.
    Did you get a plan from anywhere? How much of your own planning have you done?

    1. I'm sure I can fit Voltron somewhere... No I lie, he's huge. He'll have to wait outside.

      I haven't thought too hard about the specifics of how I'm doing certain rooms. Mainly just working on an (extensive) list of demands from my son. Currently I'm focused on how to do the Chamber of Secrets. So much to do...

      As for planning, I really haven't been planning. I've been winging it. I used a number of screenshots from the movies (and of a large model that have over in the UK) I found online, and then eventually found that someone had modelled the whole thing in SketchUp. That's a life saver and will be my main guide for external layout from now on. But yeah, still making things up as I go along!

  2. Fantastic work! My daughter is only 16 months but I’ve been thinking about buying and hiding these until she’s old enough. Hopefully she likes Lego and Harry Potter.

    1. Man, that's planning ahead. Having said that, they're great sets. And I've seen the pain of trying to scrounge up sets once they cease production. Good luck!

  3. The international Society of Hippos claims responsibility for small portions of the cliff and any mechanical spider-roofs which may appear.