What better entrance could you have for an Evil Nether Castle than a petrified dragon skull?

What better entrance could you have for an Evil Nether Castle than a petrified dragon skull?

When the busy-ness of life calls, I must answer. And when I get three new video games for Christmas, I must play them. So all in all, there hasn’t been the usual Minecraft time on my schedule. But I did lay out the start of a build that, I think, is pretty cool. And it involves a gigantic petrified dragon skull.

Every new Minecraft instance I play, I find myself wanting to build a big awesome Nether Castle – an imposing structure that dominates the landscape and makes for a safe base of operations. I considered building a replica of Snake Mountain from He-Man (the Filmation cartoon version), but that might be a bit much for a survival game (and virtually all I do is survival). Nevertheless, I am seriously committed to building an wicked looking Hell citadel in my present modded game.

I started by building a nice big piston-and-redstone door – the 4x4x3 monstrosity brilliantly designed by MumboJumbo. Now, this was probably not the smartest thing in the world to do seeing as (1) Ghasts seem to have some kind of grudge against redstone, and (2) the Red Creepers added by Natura have this nasty habit of spawning three blocks directly behind me while I’m finishing repairing the damage a Ghast just did. But I knew that I wanted this kind of door. So it became very clear that I was going to need to build some kind of surrounding structure that would protect my awesome castle entrance from Ghast blasts and those accursed Red Creepers.

These nasty little things, added by the mod Natura, have a shorter fuse than their green overworld cousins. They do a little less damage, but it's enough to mess up my redstone.

These nasty little things, added by the mod Natura, have a shorter fuse than their green overworld cousins. They do a little less damage, but it’s enough to mess up my redstone.

So I decided to build a stone brick shell around the entrance. But I didn’t just want a big cube of stone brick. I decided to make my giant door the throat of some ancient Nether creature – a gigantic dragon whose skeletal remains have been petrified over millennia (hence the cobblestone and stone brick structure).

Right now it may be a little difficult to envision what I'm aiming for. This distance shot helps a little, I think.

Right now it may be a little difficult to envision what I’m aiming for. This distance shot helps a little, I think.

Again, but from the side. Currently I am using stone brick and cobblestone wall as the material. That will probably change a little one I have the basic structure in place.

Again, but from the side. Currently I am using stone brick and cobblestone wall as the material. That will probably change a little one I have the basic structure in place.

This is the front of the door when closed. It's a little difficult to see, but the material is basalt pavers and bricks and red nether brick.

This is the front of the door when closed. It’s a little difficult to see, but the material is basalt pavers and bricks and red nether brick.

When the door is open, it looks like this - a 4x4 sticky piston powered redstone door. Awesome design by MumboJumbo.

When the door is open, it looks like this – a 4×4 sticky piston powered redstone door. Awesome design by MumboJumbo. Now, this functions as the open throat of a dragon’s corpse. Maniacal laugh. Maniacal laugh.

The redstone for this door is a little involved (you can find it on YouTube), and Ghasts and Red Creepers seemed to take a very keen interest in what I was doing.

The redstone for this door was a little involved (you can find it on YouTube), and Ghasts and Red Creepers seemed to take a very keen interest in what I was doing.

This is all I have at the moment. I am going to keep working on this off and on in the next several weeks and hopefully bring to fruition my dream of owning my very own Evil Nether Castle. My plan is for the rest of the castle will creatively utilize parts of the spine and ribs and maybe other parts of the dragon’s skeleton. I also want to build in anti-Ghast defense systems (dispensers with arrows, perhaps having their range extended using pistons and slime blocks).

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