Archive for newbie

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.

My Lego disclaimer for MOC pics.

Posted in Inspiration, Miscellaneous, Random with tags , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

Lego Pic DisclaimerThis is a preemptive strike that I’m launching here in regards to the pics that will be coming  in the days ahead and thereafter.

No doubt that there are alot of  creative folks in the Lego spectrum and it is in the realm of possibility that I may show something that I’ve created that you may have seen before but unbeknownst to me.

So I created this MOC in hopes that y’all don’t think I’m some kind of  “rip-off” artist (<<<and I say this loosely) while posting my Lego MOC’s. This blog is in its infancy and I hope to deter any foreseeable problems. In  the event that you’ve seen something similar to my MOC, I would like to see a pic of it for reference purposes. Otherwise, I share my pics to inspire others to be creative in their unique style, since inspiration is what drove me to be creative w/Legos and to start a blog to assist in showcasing it in the first place.

Looking forward in sharing my MOC’s w/y’all.

Brick On!

Marcus

Welcome to my Zzyzx Bryxx Blog…

Posted in Miscellaneous, Musings, Random with tags , , on July 20, 2010 by zzyzxbryxx

Thanks for peekin’ in. I know it’s not much….heck, it’s not anything….yet, but lemme just say in the coming days, this will change.

This blog was created for me to showcase strictly Lego items, either projects in progress, tips, vids and possibly….maybe a rant or two. Because of the blog name, it is not for Mega blocks or any other type of toy building blocks and there is definitely no affiliation w/masonry. Oh yeah…..the name. Zzyzx (rhymes w/physics) and Bryxx (an alternate way of spelling “bricks”) looks confusing…..hence the break down.

I’m excited to be starting this new blog and hope it does what I think it’ll do…..to help in contributing to the wonders of the Lego brick and what can be built from them.

Feels like I just moved into a new house or something…..blank & boring walls w/no furniture, nothing to show that it’s mine or what this blog is all about.

Like I said, in the coming days….this will change. Check back on occasion to see what’s been added to the Zzyzx Bryxx Blog and I hope ya like what ya see in the real near future.

Brick on!

Marcus