Archive for Lego MOC’s

Subtle Lego part variations.

Posted in Design, Fun, Miscellaneous, Random with tags , , on April 3, 2011 by zzyzxbryxx

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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Taking the bite out of Lego construction discrepencies.

Posted in Design, Fun, Miscellaneous, Technology, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 31, 2011 by zzyzxbryxx

Well, this has been an interesting week for me in learning about the dynamics of building with Lego and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to blog about on the subject in the future. But for now, I’ll just share what I discovered recently.

I am near completion of  working on a project that will aid in showcasing some MOC’s to be shot on video so I can feature them here and on youtube. Yes….I know, I did mention a while back that I will be featuring video “how-to-build” of my MOC’s. Life just keeps getting in the way, but I’m just about near the point of making this whole video thing, a reality. I’m just waiting on parts for the complete assembly of my project which started to arrive yesterday as a matter of fact and I should be getting the rest in the next few days.

The gears are grinding…literally.

A grinding halt....almost.

I should point out that this is my first ever MOC that involves the use of gears and bushings and that I could not wait to develop a project where I would be able utilize these pieces. Since I was a child in the single digit age, I was always fascinated with gears, sprockets, cogs and pulleys, thanks to the board game – Mousetrap. I enjoyed watching things in motion and how they affect their neighboring parts.

The functionality of this project, relies solely on gears and how they mesh together. So one could imagine my disappointment when I was experiencing grinding and locking while the gears were in motion only after almost 1 revolution. I wasn’t sure why my project was being hampered with this problem, but then again….since I’m new to the whole Lego gears universe, I could not begin where to start troubleshooting.  After about an hour or so of getting nowhere, I decided to take a break and come to a stopping point before my own gears between my ears started to smoke, grind and come to a halt of its own.

The next morning after a good night’s sleep, I am blessed with a reassurance that I will not only solve my “gears” problem on that day,  but I will solve it in about an hour or at least an hour after my morning ritualistic cup of Sumatran Reserve. I kept telling myself that the problem was already solved and the project was just waiting for me to execute the correction.

After careful re-examining the problem area, specifically the gear that rests vertical, I begin to  remove some of the  bryxx that exposes the axle that it’s connected to. I notice a slight lift of the axle itself. It’s not very noticeable to the naked and untrained eye, but I happen to be very anal retentive and see it plain as day.

Somehow, I was remembering visions of  the bryxx that are “salt & peppered” in all my Lego bins that feature bite marks, thanks to my now 8 year old son. I started to rummage through any given bin and found a brick that would best describe what I’m about to show.

Tasty brick....needs salt.

Hopefully, by this photo, you can see the bite mark that rests towards the left of the pic on top portion of the bottom Lego plate. (Click on photo for a slightly larger pic).  As you can see, the bite mark left an imperfection on the plate itself which created a “lip” of some sort and it prevents the top plate to properly snap to the bottom plate, creatiing a rift or a raise to the top plate. Notice that the gap between the 2 plates is larger toward the left vs. the right side??? Properly locked bryxx illustrate a clean and even hairline gap from one side to the other which is clearly missing in the above photo. It wasn’t these 2 plates that were featured in my project but you can start to get the idea that any bryxx that were resting on the slightly askewed top plate, would indeed affect any and all adjoining pieces that were supported by this plate to begin with.

That’s what essentially caused the lift of the axle that was connected to the gear that laid vertical. Great! Woo-freaking-Hoo! But now the question is……..which piece has the imperfection?

The search for block.

Yep, time to get up and walk around to wake my legs up because I’ve been sitting “indian-style” for nearly 30 minutes while playing Sherlock Holmes in figuring out the culprit to my grinding gear problem. Since I’m up, another cup of joe wouldn’t be bad either. Ok….back to work. It’s at this time that I start meticulously eyeballing literally every piece of brick on the main section of my project and start looking for imperfections which only took about a minute or so. The faulty piece was resting toward the bottom of the main section, so with my trusty brick separator, I begin to deconstruct the main body and making my way to affected brick to swap it out with a newer conditioned piece.

Problem solved and a lesson learned.

After reconnecting the last piece of the main body, I test the gears by giving the crank arm that the axle is connected to, a few turns and what-d’ya-know…the sound of gears meshing and spinning continuously with no grinding is achieved. One step forward the completion of this project and a lesson gained of checking each proposed piece to be used in upcoming projects for bite marks and other imperfections, before going into any MOC from here on out. This Lego “newbie” is forever grateful of this and the upcoming lessons that I will learn in working with these wonderful bryxx.

New and Improved MOC Space Police Jail Cell.

Posted in Design, Miscellaneous with tags , , , on January 11, 2011 by zzyzxbryxx

Room for improvement????

I may have been a little premature in releasing pics of the MOC Space Police Jail Cell that I posted several months back. As a matter of fact and after looking at before and after pics….I KNOW I WAS!. What was I thinking? I may have just learned a good lesson of creating something and letting loose the creative and detailed monster that I know that dwells inside of me, instead of just releasing something just for the sake of releasing something. Deep down in my sub-conscience, I wasn’t that proud of what I posted now that I look back at the whole thing.

I’ve heard, er…rather read what the talented MOC’ers whose work that I admire have said; and yes…I’m paraphrasing….”Give it your absolute best effort” or something like “If you think there’s room for improvement, then it’s NOT done.” Well, from those thoughts to my mind and hands, I’ve come up with a design that I’m proud to exhibit

More SNOT is always good.

The roof, the roof, the roof in on…..Heh heh.

Yeah, after a couple of designs and seeing which pieces would go where AND 3 purchases from different bricklink shops, I’m very happy with the end result as seen above. The only thing that remained from the previous design, was the housing for the antenna that rests dead center. I did have another design in mind but I felt that it lacked the WOW factor and even though it was more in detail than the previous effort, it was nowhere near enough of what I could have done with the ample room on the roof.

Bird's eye view.

I tackled with the aspect of designing the roof in 2 different objectives. To cover the studs and to give the overall appearance of the roof a little more “oomph”, because there was so much detail on the sides of the cell block and it seems like I just ran out of creative juices when it came to the roof. Yep, Lego Building 101 is in full effect. After putting the finishing touches on the roof, it almost resembles a parasite with 4 “tentacles” that have a grip on the entire cell block which was not the intent of the design but the whole concept grew on me.

The other improvements.

Out with the old gauge-in blue insert and in with the new interface.

In addition to the enhanced roof and since I was buying more bryxx anyway, I’ve decided to do more improvements to the cell as a whole. The original photo featured some light bley (blue-grey) pieces on the side that rested between the 2 observation windows on each side. After much consideration, I wanted a more streamlined look so, I switched out the lighter bley pieces with the darker bley pieces with some slight moderation to the features already in place, shown in the photo to the right.

This pic also shows the addition of more pieces to add height to the roof which aided in hiding the former studs on top, which was one of the main objectives to this remodel. I really don’t see anymore I could do with the cell, but this time – I am more than happy with what I’ve got here.

Brickd.com : Another site dedicated in showing Lego MOC’s.

Posted in Building Toys, Hobbies, Lego, Toys with tags , , on November 2, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

It never ceases to amaze me just how many different MOC sites that are out there. I literally just discovered this site as an advertisement on Facebook of all places. The above piece was created by an artist called “rongYIREN”

The site features all sorts of creations. Spaceships, Mechs, Castles, Dioramas & etc with the artist’s name in a hyperlink that warps you to their respective Flickr accounts to show their entire photo stream. Simple yet….brilliant. For me,Brickd.com is just another tool to utilize in gathering ideas from other Lego artists to use in my own future MOC’s.

Dolluck???? What are you talking about,Seb?!?!?!?!?!?

Posted in British Television, Family, Hobbies, Lego, Music, Radio, Robots, Science Fiction, Toys with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

So…no sooner does my son Sebastian discover (and I re-discover) the joy of Lego a little over a year ago, he goes on youtube to watch various vids about them. Stop motion movies, Lego set reviews, home movies, you name it…he watches it; and whatever he watches, he usually builds it so he can have his own out of the plethora of bryxx that we have.

I’m sometimes in the room with him when he’s watching these vids. Some are rather hilarious, some are rather….hmmm- interesting and some are just “zzzz”.

Suffice to say, I am a child of the 70’s myself. The only science fiction/space TV programs that I was exposed to was “The Twilight Zone”, “Star Trek”, “Battle Star Galactica” and “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century”.

My son is talking AND building gibberish.

Fast forward to about a month ago, Sebastian announces to me that he’s going to build his very own “Dolluck”.
“A what????”, I ask. “A Dolluck, Dad”. I’m shaking my head as I’m tidying up the kitchen and thinking that he’s having fun with his old man and just making words up, but he’s never been one to do that, so…I just shrug my shoulders and tell him to “have a nice time with building your ‘Dolluck’ “…and yes, it’s pronounced the way it’s spelled, just in case y’all were wondering.

"Dalek...my darling"

Sure enough, my boy returns in about 30 minutes with what appears to be a steampunk version of a vacuum cleaner and what I would imagine…the perfect mate for “Rosie the robot” from the Jetsons – which happens to be another program I used to watch in regards to space, though I wasn’t sure if the “Dolluck” was male or female due to its ambiguity.

“Look at my ‘Dolluck’ , Dad…whatd’ya think?” And like the Dad that I should be, I respond with “Oh….that’s a pretty good “‘Dolluck’ , dude.” Of course in my mind, I have not the slightest clue of what he just showed  me, but like I said….he’s built stuff from youtube before and he’d done a great representation of the things he’s seen, so I wasn’t about to question it, plus – he was quite proud of it and that’s all that matters.

Mystery solved.

Later that night as I walk into the bedroom where Seb is on my PC watching youtube right before I prep him for his evening shower, I hear a somewhat familiar theme song. “Bubba”, (my nickname for him), how on earth do you know of this show???? I don’t even know this show”. I was just familiar with the theme song since it was sampled in a song called “Doctorin’ the Tardis” by The Timelords which received heavy FM radio airplay on our alternative-rock station KROQ in the late 80’s. The song also mimicked Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll-Part 2”

“Dad, this is where the ‘Dolluck’ came from”. I peer into the monitor…low and behold I see the words “Dr. Who: Dalek” plain as day. Needless to say…I was dumbfounded, flabbergasted and any multi-syllable words of “duh” that you can think of. I can barely make out the good Dr. if he was in a line up and if you asked me to single him out….let alone a Dalek. I never watched the show, I just knew of the theme song as mentioned above.

Yes, the pieces are mix & match colorwise due to not having the particular parts in certain colors, but dang…my boy did a great microscale of the Dalek, thanks to him finding a video on how to build one out of Lego.

EXTERMINATE!

Lego MOC: Space Police Sentinel concept…..or is it?

Posted in Building Toys, Family, Lego, Organizing, Pets, Toys with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

SP sentinel in "flight".

Plenty of light-gray bryxx.

Since my son was the age of 4, he’s acquired a great assortment of Legos. The Star Wars theme was the brunt of it….hmmm go figure. But other themes included; Indiana Jones,Power Miners, Atlantis-to name a few.

But these sets have all since been dismantled in their entirety and have found their way into either some 6 qt. “Sterilite” bins, an official “Lego” sorting cabinet or have “passed” through my 2-year old Shih-tzu….S’mores, which is another post in its entirety, so stay tuned for that. LOL.

Basically, I have amassed the following colors that have made their way into the 6-qt bins that I mentioned above:

  • Black
  • Dark-grey
  • Light gray
  • White
  • Red

Several months back, way before I decided to create this Lego blog, I was digging through the light-gray bin of bryxx and was just placing pieces together…or what I refer to it as… “fartin’ around”. I mean…that’s the way I address it when Sebastian asks me what I’m doing when I’m putting Legos together w/no particular plan in mind. I’m just simply assembling pieces to/with other pieces….farting  around.

So after 20 minutes or so of “farting around”, I came up with what I posted above. At first glance- it’s a ship, but that’s the beauty of Lego…it can be whatever I want it to be, but for now….let’s just call it a ship-a “sentinel” to be exact.

"Honey....you've shrunk my cruiser!"

This is considered a “micro-scale” build which means that it’s too micro to fit a minifigure in it. In order for me to fit a minifigure to pilot this thing, I would have to build it at least 4 times the size of its current design (oh geez, another project???)….but then with a pilot inside of it, it would cease to be a sentinel.

But what exactly is it????

On my earlier MOC Space Police Jail Cell post, I did mention my Lego Genre of choice is indeed…the Space Police. Not sure if sales of  the current wave of Space Police sitting on the toy shelves will dictate that we see a third wave of this 3rd go-around of the Space Police…but I will continue to build all things related to them after the genre goes the way of the doh-doh. After all, there are some breath-taking MOC’s (courtesy of Peter Reid aka “Legoloverman”) of the very 1st Lego Space theme that were based on the sets back in the late 1970’s.

As far as my MOC…it is a concept of a Space Police sentinel droid which consists of 19 pieces total. It’s a concept for now due to the fact that it could be used for the infamous “Black Hole” gang if I alter the colors and maybe a very few finishing details, but to make the droid go from concept to an official SP sentinel, I would have to change the colors to its common white with black elements with red & blue sirens affixed.

Most of my concepts will be in (but not limited to) the light-gray, dark gray or black since I have a vast array of different pieces in those colors kept in the bins mentioned above.

I got a couple more MOC’s to showcase which were created  around the same time as the sentinel, so keep an eye out for those as well.

Brick On!

Lego MOC: The bull stops here.

Posted in Building Toys, Hobbies, Lego, Miscellaneous, Toys with tags , , , , , , , on September 9, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

12 pieces of bull.

This is my first ever MOC of using those 2×2 round corner pieces I purchased  on my last PAB haul.
I guess this could be considered a mosaic.

I just started putting pieces on the large gray base plate featured and was going for some crazy patterns. At first, I was yielding some sort of flower or some abstract logo of a Japanese company, then….adding a couple of pieces later….I wound up w/what looked like a white version of “Ferdinand”.

Composed of 12 bryxx total.