Retired doctor builds replicas of castles with Lego bricks

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DECATUR - For some, Lego bricks are not just toys, they unlock the imagination.

Robert Carney is a retired doctor, and says he went to Wales to make sure the castle he was building out of the Lego bricks was fit for a king.

“This is my 140th castle and it is still fun,” says Carney.

It's that love that had him coming back. He worked on the Wales castle nine hours a day, matching bricks with schematics and building it to scale.

“The scale, I try to build to whenever possible, is so Lego's roughly two-inches-tall mini figures, can live in them, maybe while we're sleeping at night.”

It's a hobby he had since childhood, with his first small castle Lego kit. He says he's acquired almost a million more pieces since then, and built several other large scale castles.

“When I build castles, it's to create the castle in the way it would look as if it was in its heyday.”

Carney did just that, catching the attention of the Welsh Government, who offered thousands of dollars for pictures of the final product.

We had guided tours of three castles in South Wales and in North Wales. The head of the local history society took us private tours of the castle.

This castle took three months to build, and it more than nine feet long.

“This has an octagonal room in it, so you enter the castle through here and could go through the inner ward and it's a unique arrangement not present in any other castle.”

It's a castle with all the trimmings, and one of his many projects receiving his royal treatment.

Carney's next project is a castle in the United Kingdom. One he says the owner offered a private tour. The castle is only open to the public once a year – and Carney hopes to introduce others to it – through his Lego pieces. He plans to start working on that castle after a convention in Chicago.

Most of Carney's large projects are deconstructed shortly after completion.

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