Subtle Lego part variations.

Part# 3747a (upper-left), part# 3747b (lower-right)

You can file this post under “Lego lessons” just like my previous entry, because this Lego “newbie” keeps discovering new things in the wonderful world of Lego.

As the title suggests, I’m talking about some of the subtle differences in the molds that The Lego Group creates at the factory and how in fact, they can make all the difference in the world when it comes to creating (your) MOC’s.

The pic above shows 2 relatively similar pieces, but if you look closely…you can see the differences in the mold where there are connections between the studs on the lower-right piece and no connections on the upper-left.  “Mold A” started to appear in sets as early as 1980, while “Mold B” appeared with the change in 2004. For the record, I had Mold B in my inventory for some unspecified time. It came from any of the various sets that are now taken apart and placed in their respective bins categorized by color. I  received Mold A from a bricklink order just days ago, which is to be used in my current project. My design calls for 16 of these pieces. At first, I wasn’t too thrilled that the shop only had 1 piece in their entire store’s inventory, but it was a blessing…I’ll explain later.

In regards to the piece itself, I honestly could not understand why an additional mold was created. If one was to place another piece over the entire surface, it would not make any difference in regards to the pieces locking together, nor would there be a difference in placing a round studded piece smack dab in the middle of the 4 “open” studs. So why on Earth did  TLG create another slope piece similar to the original but with the extra plastic???

I’m not 100% certain of this, but I suspect that the connections on Mold B have something to do with the thickness of the edge shown in the oval. Mold A is thicker so it did not need the connections between the studs like Mold B.

It was in fact, the difference in the edge’s thickness between Molds A & B, where I was happy to learn that the bricklink store only had the 1 brick, because Mold B would have suited my project better now that I realized the differences between the 2 molds. As I write this, I’m waiting for another bricklink.com merchant to invoice me for the remaining 15 pieces of part #374b, ship them and finally add them to my project where I can at that point,  call it done.

One thing is certain however; the next time that I see 2 different part #’s…I’ll be sure to examine both of them thoroughly so I don’t order the wrong piece(s) for future projects.

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