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Lego Maniacs' Guide: Reviews: Castle : Black Knights : Dungeon Master's Castle

[Purchase Lego at Amazon.com] 6086 - Dungeon Master's Castle

Rating: 3 Stars
Pros: An older, sturdier castle set of basic but satisfying design
Cons: No cons, it's a very good set.
Contents: 571 pieces including 11 minifigs, 4 horses, and 1 ghost
Price: Discontinued
Reviewed: 24-Sep-1996
Reviewed by: Joseph Gonzalez

6086 Mysterious green and blue clouds enshroud the obsidian turrets of Carnageion Castle. A foreboding fortress that seemed to appear within a new moon's phase, a disease-like fear spread across the kingdom with a similar speed as squads and legions of the black knight's armies conquered surrounding villages and halls.
King Archibald still lies upon a sickbed, reeling from these surprise attacks. Unaware and unsuspecting, the king has lost one quarter of his kingdom within the blink of an eye to the heavy gauntlet fist of his one-time ally, Victor Carnageion.
And now, at the very heart of the solemn shadow that he himself has cast, a brooding Victor continues to plot with sinister sorcerers and wizard dragon masters the complete and final conquest of Archibald's kingdom.
All of this occurs within the impregnable walls of the Black Knight's castle!

I had just emerged from my second dark ages and was looking around for a good castle set when I noticed that the Black Knight's Castle was just on its way out of circulation. After numerous phone calls I picked one up and dragged it home. I ought to state here that you'll rarely get any complaint out of me on the early castle sets. Each has a creative design and there were always plenty of bricks with each set.
This set was titled Dungeon Master's Castle for 1992 and 1993 in the in-box catalogs but for some reason in 1994 the Lego Company decided to change the name to Black Knight's Castle with no visible alterations to the set. I have no idea why this was done.
The Black Knight's Castle is of standard castle design (it seems only recently things are getting new/unique with the Fire Breathing Fortress and Royal Knights Castle) with a large tower over the main entrance which comprises a working drawbridge and portcullis gate which raises into the tower cavity, and two other ordinary towers on opposing diagonal corners. The final corner of the castle (diagonally from the main entryway) is a two-level living quarters with slanting roof and painted Dutch-style wall sections. This living section has an exit with a lowering ramp. The interior design of the castle doesn't have anything worth mentioning, although the pit is used as a dungeon with no descending stairs and a large 8x8 trap door to cover it.
Surprisingly there are no booby traps or secret doors like those that are making their way into current castle, pirate and wild west sets. But on the other hand, it was still an era of ample smaller bricks to flesh out a model and produce opportunity for better alternate constructions. There are 1x5 wall sections and turret/balcony-half elements here, but none of the 1x1x5, or 1x2x5 standing beams that now litter most current castle sets.
Unique pieces include the previously mentioned Dutch-style wall sections (similarly painted wall and corner sections appear with the 6067-Guarded Inn set but those were red walls with black borders whereas this set has yellow walls), horse dressings (not to be confused with salad dressings) sporting the dragon insignia, and the large (almost 4x6) plastic banner and a smaller 2x2 banner with dragon insignia. No other set contains the large banner although the 6057-Sea Serpent does contain the small banner. Most of the later dragon sets contain cloth banners instead.
If nothing else, the acquiring of this set is going to open up the variation of strongholds in your kingdom and give opportunity for a more balanced conflict between sub-themes.

191 readers have rated this set as 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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