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6079-1: Dark Forest Fortress
Published 1 year ago
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The inventory is 99.9% accurate; just one brick and a few heads are missing (plus the baseplate's print).

=MISSING PARTS=
https://rebrickable.com/parts/6107/wedge-5-x-5-facet/

=MISSING DECALS=
https://rebrickable.com/parts/6024px4/baseplate-raised-32-x-32-canyon-with-brown-dirt-and-gray-rocks-print/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpx97/minifig-head-forestman-knight-moustache-and-forehead-tuft-print-blocked-open-stud/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpx12/minifig-head-forestman-brown-bangs-and-long-brown-hair-print/
https://rebrickable.com/parts/3626bpx96/minifig-head-knight-moustache-wavy-goatee-and-bushy-eyebrows-print-blocked-open-stud/

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This set no. 6079 'Dark Forest Fortress' came out in June 1996, and it was the largest out of only three models in a Castle's short-lived "Dark Forest" subtheme. With over 460 parts, the set came with two horses and seven minifigures.

=ABOUT 'DARK FOREST' THEME=
The "Dark Forest" was one of the two shortest Castle themes ever, following the "Wolfpack" in 1992-'93 (which also had only three models). "Dark Forest" hadn't appeared in European Lego catalogs at all in 1996 (despite limited stock still available in selected stores, apparently), which was a shame, really, as it was an excellent subtheme. At least in North American catalogs, both "Royal Knights" and "Dark Forest" appeared.

Despite a tiny line-up, "Dark Forest" had a distinct and original style, descending from an earlier Castle subtheme, "Forestmen" (seven sets released in 1987-'90). The latest Castle faction featured a similar concept with heavily camouflaged forest hideouts. Dark Forest knights wear the same forester hats and rely on archery rather than close-contact sword fighting. "Dark Forest" even has the same crest as Forestmen (a deer head on the green shield). Lego designers created two exclusive torso decals for "Dark Forest" warriors, though, luckily available on Mecabricks.

=ABOUT THE MODEL=
The 'Dark Forest Fortress' stands on a raised 32x32 baseplate with a canyon (a very neat-looking mold presented in 1994 for the "Pirates" theme). This model got an exclusive decal, though, with a dirt road and rocks printed over.

The building is quite elaborate and full of moving parts and extra details. The castle's interior is hidden by a giant tree's hollow trunk (opening on Technic pegs). In the raised position, this wall is secured with a bar. Adjacent to the main hall, the horse stable has a rotating roof tilted at 45° and a drawbridge.

In the opposite corner stands another gigantic tree, with its trunk partially hollowed, so there's a storage room on the ground floor and a prison cell (with a gate on two hinge plates) on top. Corner wall 3x3x6 panels that form the tree only ever came in the "legacy" brown color in two Lego sets.

There are three guard posts: towers above the castle and the tree, plus a tiny booth in the third corner. Here and there, leafy bushes and tree branches camouflage the fortress.

Finally, a catapult stands on a rotating base, with an "exotic" mechanism built from two wooden ladders (it's not very functional, though, and mostly decorative).

The set came with four Dark Forest figures, including both exclusive subtheme's torsos, plus two warriors wearing a hybrid outfit: "Forestmen" torsos with "Wolfpack" hoods. What an epic look!

Opposing the Dark Foresters in this set, there are Dragon Masters—with a decent-sized horse carriage transporting a good ol' treasure chest (plus a few precious artifacts hidden under the floor) and two Knights escorting it. (Since the theme's second set, 'Hemlock Stronghold,' featured a few Royal Knight soldiers, it's curious how Dark Foresters, being the tiniest Castle faction ever, managed to combat not one but two strong and powerful parties!)

Overall, this build is just tremendous, one of the coolest in the classic Castle line-ups, and I'm so pleased to have an opportunity to debut it on Mecabricks.

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=SEE ALSO=

6046-1: Hemlock Stronghold (1996)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/7X2RR4EZ2ZY

6024-1: Bandit Ambush (1996)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/Z79a85QY28w
The third, smallest "Dark Forest" set
by @jim_henson

=WOLFPACK MODELS=
All three built by @Thoril

6075-1: Wolfpack Tower (1992)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/yDp2lV40vMV

6038-1: Wolfpack Renegades (1992)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/Qb82xBolv1z

1596-1: Ghostly Hideout (1993)
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/X1k2qXq6aE0

6020-1: Magic Shop (1993)
The second Lego model ever with part #2345 in legacy brown
https://www.mecabricks.com/en/models/Z79a8XpBa8w
by @Classic.Lego.Sets
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