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Over the last couple of months I’ve found myself browsing Rebrickable, a website where you’ll find information about LEGO sets, MOCs and Alternative builds. The latter is what I’ve been most interested in, especially since starting a LEGO City and finding sets in storage that would suit an alteration or two.

An alternative build to a LEGO set is when a fan uses the bricks from that set and makes something completely different. In this case I wanted to utilise the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Castle (31120) set that had been somewhat destroyed during our move last year. The idea of a Castle in my City is very appealing, although space is limited, I thought it would look great sat on a small island just off the coast. To find alternative builds on Rebrickable is simple, pop the set number into the search box, change the dropdown box to MOCs and away you go.

When searching for the Castle (31120) set I found a huge selection was at my fingertips. One name in particular kept popping up, MIJbricks. Their builds seem to concentrate mostly on the Castle (31120) set, which was great as that was what I was looking for. Having a quick flick through all of their alternative builds, I came across ‘the one’, it was perfect and ticked a lot of boxes for me personally. First off it looked amazing, second it was taller than it was wider which meant the City would look more natural. Thirdly, I could review it here on The Brick Post, not only as an alternative build but also a budget idea for creating something Dungeons & Dragons related.

The build itself comes in two parts, the Tavern and the Castle. After downloading the free instructions and getting the parts sorted, I was ready to get going. Starting off with the base for the Tavern, using four 8×8 plates and smaller blue ones, the base was complete. Iike this basic way of creating sand/earth and water, the edge is a little harsh but it works.

Using the yellow and navy coloured bricks, the building itself looks good and I can see the style they were going for. It’s bright but again it works. I like how the first floor sticks out slightly over the ground floor, giving it a little more detail. There is one gripe with this part of the alternative build, the angled roof section is very precarious and could fall off with the slightest of knocks. It does stay out when left which will have to suffice, it does look great though with the different angles and overhanging the entrance.

Inside the Tavern you’ll find a bar and a table in the ground floor with a single room upstairs. The builds are basic but with the parts on offer do the job well enough to know what they are supposed to represent. The bed is green with a white pillow and situated under a small window, a room with a view. Next to it is a chest filled with treatures from the dungeon next door.

Moving onto the adjacent castle and dungeon section of the build and you can instantly see some interesting techniques. To quickly buildup the hillside more 8×8 plates are used but on their sides, as part of a SNOT (studs not on top) style technique. The plates are attached to bricks that then stand up on the brick-built base, add slopes and other details and boom you have a large section of hillside built and ready to go, it really is genius!

Just like the LEGO Ideas Dungeons And Dragons (21348) set it is inspired by, there is an archway that leads to an open roof area, here you’ll find a small fire and some foliage. I really like this area as it seems hidden away and a nice place to setup camp.

The Castle itself and the tower that climbs up rather high, is built in a surprisingly sturdy way. When building up I half expected it to crumble in places but thankfully it didn’t. There are stairs outside and in, perfect for Minifigures to gain access to each floor, some a little dangerous and exposed to the elements. Similar build styles from the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Castle (31120) set are kept intact with the layering of both 1×1 bricks and 1×1 round bricks, it’s a great combo and looks very ‘castle’. The chains are my contribution to the set as I hated them just sitting there at the end.

Again the insides are fully furnished, this time with castle trinkets and other items. Inside the tower you’ll find a writing desk with candles and a magicians quarters with a pink crystal.

The dungeon section of the build is amazing and I’ve left it until last. To access to the cave you’ll need to head to the local tavern, where a mysterious door awaits, open it and prepare yourself for a new adventure. Inside you’ll find yet more treasures, including an enchanted book of sorts, I wonder what information it holds?

Amongst the many bones the dungeon looks to be a cool place to hangout, pun fully intended. It maybe dark and dingey but it’s hidden and out the way of passers-by. You could say it’s a great place to start a story.

Overall this alternative build is great and a much welcomed one. The official LEGO Ideas Dungeons And Dragons: Red Dragon’s Tale (21348) set is awesome but it also costs and arm and a leg. Whilst the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Castle (31120) is retired it goes for a lot less than that on the secondary market, of you already have then even better, why not give this one or any of the other builds from MIJbricks a go? It’s free, breathes new life into an old set and it looks a so stunning, what more do you want!



Rebrickable 31120 Dungeons and Dragons



Instructions (free) 10
The Build 9.5
The Look 10
Dungeons & Dragons awesomeness 10

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Hello there, I’m Greg, the founder of The Brick Post! Please join me in appreciating all things LEGO from news and reviews to MOCs and more!

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