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26 July 2022

LEGO® ICONS™ set review: 10305 Lion Knights' Castle

Posted by Ben Davies

Last week we examined the numerous new and rare elements that appear in the upcoming 10305 Lion Knights' Castle. Today, we'll be taking a look at the final model and some of the innovative building techniques that bring it to life.

Products in this article were provided by LEGO®; the author's opinions are their own.
£344.99 / US$399.99 / 399.99€ / AU$599.99
Available 8 August 2022 / LEGO® VIP members 3 August.
Affiliate links to purchase, New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region'.

Building Process

The set is divided into 26 numbered bags. The contents of the first bag assembles a farmer, food stall, bale of hay, cask, and a hay cart pulled by a cow.

The castle itself is divided into two detachable halves. The first half is assembled using bags 2 through 13 and includes living quarters, a bedroom, kitchen and dining room, plus a watchtower and a hidden cave for the Forest Guardians underneath the castle.

Upon unveiling, considerable attention was given to the variety of angles found in the castle. The techniques to achieve this begin right away, with two reflected triangles used in combination with hinged bricks to form an angled portion of the curtain wall.

Construction quickly progresses through the kitchen and dining areas and the hideout beneath the castle, which is accessible via a hatchway in the courtyard.

Following this, the remainder of the curtain wall is added which includes arrow loops and battlements that are created using the new Brick Curved 1 x 4 x 2/3 Double Curved Top, No Studs (79756) and Brick Curved 2 x 2 x 2/3 Corner Double Curved Top No Studs (79757).

Another interesting aspect of the Lion Knights' Castle is the number of play features it includes, for a set that is aimed primarily at adult collectors. 

The first of these is the flour mill in the kitchen, which seamlessly melds clever parts usage and play. A waterwheel is attached to the side of the structure, held in place by Brick Curved 2 x 1 with Inverted Cutout (78666). When the waterwheel is rotated, two double-bevel LEGO® Technic gears interact to rotate a millstone. Accompanying this, a grain chute is mounted at an angle using a Bar, Angled with Stud on End (65578).

After the remainder of the dining room is added, the two sections of the castle are combined using hinge plates.

Atop the existing build, a medieval residence is constructed. To mimic the half-timbered construction commonly associated with medieval architecture, the designer has utilized the relatively recent Bracket 1 x 1 - 1 x 2 Inverted (73825) and a standard 1 x 3 Brick and Plate to produce a section of wall with exposed beams that can fill a 1 x 2 x 2 2/3 space when mounted vertically.

To allow the castle to open and close, some clever design has gone into the creation of a wall which can transform into a balcony. When the castle is open, a section of hinged wall extends inside a hidden chamber in the castle, so that the other sections of the wall are flush. When the castle is closed, the hidden section of the wall is pulled out such that the wall seems to extend, offering the extra length and slack necessary to turn the wall into a closed balcony. It's quite ingenious!

Finally, a thatched roof is added to the medieval residence. In order to achieve the desired look, a combination of Plate Special 2 x 3 with Rocks (27261) and Slope Curved 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Left (29120) are used.

The second half of the castle is built with bags 14 through 23 and acts as the barbican and keep for the castle. The inside features a dungeon, treasure horde, armory, stables, and multiple secret chambers and passageways.

Construction starts with creation of the moat, rocks and lowermost level of the castle.

To create the angled rocks outside the castle, a modified version of the reflected triangle technique is used. In this instance, the locked angle is achieved using a combination of ball-and-cup joints and hinged plates.

Following assembly of the foundation, a cavern and small alcove for the Forest Guardians are added.

Focus now shifts to the hinged section of the castle keep. To create the angled stairs along the exterior, a portion of wall featuring staggered Slope 18º 4 x 1 (60477) bricks is constructed, and then rotated 90º before being mounted to the rest of the castle.

After this, the dungeon below the castle is completed and a floor for the entrance area is added. Additionally, a section of removable rock face is added to obscure the Forest Guardians' hideout.

The next couple of bags are devoted to constructing the walls of the barbican and keep, as well as some landscaping and simple interior furnishings.

After this, the first level of the barbican is completed. Notably, a drawbridge is inserted into the castle structure with two attached chains running through the ceiling.

The next section of castle to be assembled is the rear wall, retractable gate, and a tower portion with a window.

To mount the Brick Curved 1 x 2 x 1 1/3 with Curved Top (32807) upside down along the bottom of the tower window, it is inserted downwards into a Panel 1 x 1 x 1 Corner (6231), and then locked into place with Brick Special 1 x 1 with Scroll (20310).

The second floor of the barbican is added next, including various weaponry racks. The aforementioned chains connected to the drawbridge are also attached to a LEGO Technic axle, which when rotated moves the drawbridge up and down by changing the tautness of the chains.

With the addition of crenellations to the top of the barbican and tower, the main portion of the castle is just about finished.

Lastly, a stone ramp leading up to the drawbridge is constructed and attached to the castle.

Completed model

Upon completing the model, one is immediately struck by the sense of scale, both when the castle is opened and closed. It dwarfs prior LEGO castles, measuring 38 cm (14 in) high and, when closed, 44 cm (18 in) wide and 33 cm (13 in) deep.

It is also clear that an enormous amount of effort has gone into the details of the castle and ensuring that it looks good on display. In contrast to some prior LEGO castles, this one seamlessly incorporates landscaping such as trees and rocks to add visual variety to the model. With an assortment of angles and architectural features, the castle also avoids falling into the trap of feeling like a monolithic structure devoid of personality.

This level of attention extends to the inside of the castle. There is no section of the castle that is left empty, and every nook and cranny has been packed with lovingly recreated models that pay tribute to medieval life, and LEGO castle sets of the past.

Conclusion

At 4514 parts, the retail price of £344.99 / US$399.99 / 399.99€ / AU$599.99 is fair for what you get, especially taking into account the many new elements introduced within the set. That said, it's certainly a tall ask for most, even when considering the set is aimed towards adult collectors. The set is not devoid of flaws (such as the lack of printing for Majisto), but generally offers an enjoyable experience, regardless of experience with prior LEGO castles.

©2022 The LEGO Group

If the price doesn't scare you off, 10305 Lion Knights' Castle is available starting 8 August 2022, but is available to LEGO VIP members beginning 3 August 2022. If you're buying or pre-ordering it, please consider using our affiliate links, New Elementary may get a commission: USA LEGO Shop | Australia LEGO Shop | UK LEGO Shop/for Europe 'Change region.

Editor: Chris Baginski

READ MORE: In part 1, Ben examined all the new and interesting elements in the set

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1 comment:

  1. Adore the angles used in this set. Those (combined with ample ladders and stairs for access to each level) help to make the layout really fresh and interesting.

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