Underneath the Arches: Exploring One Stud Radius Curves.

 

One of the great things about LEGO bricks is the system: the way elements fit together and interact with each other, sometimes in unexpected ways.  Studs and tubes are easy to understand. As are minifigure hands and the way they plug into the end of a tube or anti stud, or clip over a 3.18mm bar. Every so often you come across a new set of interactions, and wonder just how far these relationships between elements extend.

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This happened to me this week: While my sorting continues, I was browsing through my holding bin of bricks with bows and arches.  Look, over there, a distraction. And before I knew it, I found myself considering the 1x4x2 arch and what I can place snugly under this arch.  Fortunately, during The Sort, most of the the relevant parts end up in the ‘bricks with a curved surface’ bin.

The arch fits nicely over the top of a window frame 1x2x2 2/3 (Design ID 30044).

The curve of this arch perfectly describes a semicircle, with a radius of one stud (that is, a length of a 1×1 square plate).  This is the same circle described by a 2×2 round plate, brick, tile or droid body.  Also the base profile of a 2×2 ‘dome brick’ officially known as final brick 2×2 Design ID: 30367. But more on that element later.

I have several other bricks that look like they should fit underneath this arch, with a studs up orientation. Those parts are a few of the bricks with arches and/or bows, including:1x1x1 1/3 with arch; (Design ID:6091); and 2×3 with arch (Design ID: 6215); brick 2×2 with bow and knobs (Design ID:30165) and 1x4x1 1/3 (Design ID: 10314).  Let’s see how they all line up after the break…

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Continue reading

Colours That Only Dogs Can Hear

Please do not consider this a complete color guide!

Here at Rambling Brick headquarters, there is a project looming.  Not technically an immensely secret or important project.  But I don’t wish to reveal it right now. Please don’t take it personally. It will enhance the element of mystery in weeks to come.

In the meantime, I need to be ready for it. Now, for the last couple of weeks I have been sorting elements in my spare time. My initial eight box sorting technique was a little optimistic. What was initially going to be a simple ‘bricks plates, modified bricks, slopes, plates, tiles, small bricks/plates, greebly bits and everything else’  .  I found a few extra bowls to put go through on the way: minifigures; minifigure accessories; curves and arches; round bricks; round plates, long tube like bits, profile bricks and random technic elements; I have made it through the majority of the casual boxes of broken down models and unrelated parts lying around the house.

The smaller elements seem to be in  different types: 1×1 cylinders; 1×1 cones; 1×1 square plates, square tiles, round plates, and round tiles.  Possibly a few more different colours than I would have been happy trying to fit into a fifteen compartment tackle box.  But if we double up colours in the same compartment, it should be easy enough to identify them.  In principle.

The other thing that has become apparent is the need for adequate lighting.  And reading glasses.  Some of these things are just related to normal ageing. The light is more related to sensible purchasing decisions.  Sometimes the white LEDE light panel needs to come out to help work out what I have. However, I have discovered is that perhaps I am a a little more colour blind than I realised. Some colours are a little difficult to identify on their own, without a reference. Color variations in LEGO are not unknown.  Colours that seem to be particularly inconsistent include medium blue and flame yellowish orange. Especially if medium Azur or regular yellow are close by.

This has been a challenge when sorting cheese slopes, small plates and round studs. As you can see many of these colours are pretty close together on the spectrum, and if the lighting is a little unreliable, then confusion can abound.


One colour is especially causing me problems.  When ever I see pale aqua on its own, I accidently put it in with the white parts.  Then I see it has doesn’t match, and attempt to chase it.  How is it that it vanishes to the bottom of the compartment, only to be visible out of the corner off my eye when I stop searching for it?  Any direct questing seems to result in bitter disappointment. If only my visual acuity was a little more akin to the hearing of a dog?

But was it real, or just a trick of the light? So again, I come back to this: bright, white light is certainly more important than a nice moody warm light in your sorting space. What do you use to ensure appropriate color matching in your build area.  I’m open to suggestions.  It may save a few headaches.  There are more important things to have headaches about!

Do I actually own pieces in this colour? According to the Brickset colour database, I should own some. I have a couple of sets with Unikitty in somewhere. There were some spare 1×1 plates included from what I recall.

I wonder where they went?

Why not share your colour matching challenges in the comments below, and be sure to follow the Rambling brick for casual musings, random thoughts and occasional reviews.

In the meantime,
Play well.

Sorting… with Extreme Prejudice.

I have a problem.

Well, I have several, but only one is particularly relevant to you today. It is to find order amongst the chaos. Yes, we are talking about sorting the LEGO collection: mine has gotten a little out of hand.

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This topic is frequently brought up discussion groups, so I thought I would tell you where I have been, and let you know where I am going.  I know many of you have well sorted collections/resources, some are a little more…chaotic.

My current collection of building bricks has evolved from my children’s collection: started around 10 years ago.
In those early days, after graduating from one box, Continue reading

Inside 4000010: The LEGO House Preview

As part of the recent LEGO Fan Media Days, the Rambling Brick had the opportunity to preview the LEGO House.  Located in Billund, opposite the old Kristiansen family home and on the site of the former town hall, the LEGO House will be a place to have a LEGO Experience unlike any other.
The building is complete, and those working inside, or visiting the building are no longer required to wear a hard hat. There is still a little way to before the house will be ready for the public however…
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The inspirations for 4000010: The LEGO House and 42061: Telehandler seen together in the wild.
I had intended to look at set 4000010: The LEGO House, a promotional set available around Billund at present.  However, my luggage has decided to take a slightly more circuitous route than even myself to get back home!
I shall delay that review for early in the week, so long as the Luggage arrives intact…
In the meantime, read on to see what we discovered about the inspiration for that set, the actual LEGO House.

Continue reading

Busy in Billund: The LEGO Fan Media Days 2017

The last week has left me spinning so fast that I cannot think exactly where to start!

So I’ll tell you where I have ended up: in a hotel room in Geneva, overlooking the park near the lake.  It’s just got dark, around 10 pm in evening.  It sounds like there are a few people having a good time over there, and traffic rumbles by under my open window.  What started off as a cold and drizzly morning became a sunny day.  But I missed most of that.  I have been attending a conference. Even learning things! As I sit down to type it is Sunday evening, and my glass is empty.  It only contained water, so I can probably top it up simply enough. Or perhaps I’ll put the kettle on: let’s do that.

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It all started last Tuesday when I arrived in Billund. Eventually. I arrived after only 26 hours of travel.  Melbourne-Singapore-Frankfurt-Billund. In an attempt to see how many characters represented in LEGO I could see in movies, I managed to watch at least some fragments of : ‘The LEGO® Batman™ Movie’, ‘Logan’ (not a bit like that mighty micro Wolverine who was racing Magneto), ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (Disney, 2017), ‘Moana’ as well as ‘Fantastic Beasts, and How to Find Them.’

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Characters from films I had the chance to watch on my long haul flights…

I checked into the LEGOLAND Hotel: not a themed room, but I suspect at this stage I may have been a little overwhelmed by that!

But what was I doing there? Continue reading

Whatever happened to the 2 x 4 Brick? Minecraft: The Ice Spikes 21131

The humble 2×4 brick.

If any element over the years has been used to represent the concept of the LEGO® system of play, this is it.IMG_5070

One of the original elements in the LEGO brick parts palette, it is the first piece that springs to mind when many of us think of LEGO® Bricks.  The favourite element of many large scale builders, if you have enough of them, you can build almost anything!  It is one of those pieces that brings memories flooding back to those of us raised on basic sets back in the early to mid 1970’s.  Before the advent of the minifigure, this brick was the cornerstone of LEGO construction, being a significant component of the Basic/ Universal Construction Sets that were commonly played with in this era. IMG_5066While allowing an incredibly versatile method of construction, there is no doubt that that they contributed significantly to the chunky aesthetic that is associated with LEGO® design and construction in my childhood. When your parents say “In my day, it was just bricks,” this is what they are talking about.  Continue reading

Going Independent

You’d be forgiven, if you had your ear to the ground in Melbourne lately, for thinking IMG_5799 (1)that the only thing happening in the world of LEGO® Retail was the opening of the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre at the Chadstone shopping centre.

Get out of the malls

Do not think, however, if you don’t like shopping centres, or malls, or giant retailers that  you don’t have the option of finding some places around town where you can get your fix of LEGO® retail opportunity.  There are a number of independent stores, away from the larger centres, which offer a large range of current, and retired LEGO® sets, as well as providing the option of off brand, third party add ons for your LEGO creations.

Bring Bricks to Bayswater

One such store is Toybricks. The original store opened in the inner northern suburb of Fairfield, about five years ago.  A second shop has just been opened in the outer eastern suburb of Baywater.  With around 200 square meters of retail space, the shelves are filled with the majority of the current LEGO sets, as well as a few officially retired items. The new space has plenty of new stock, mini figures available for individual purchase as well as an area for MOCs to be displayed. There is a good range of Creator Expert sets in stock.

In addition to official LEGO products, Toybricks also stock Lifelites lighting systems, as well as the ME rails – both metal and plastic.  A selection of clothing and books are also available.  As well as LEGO, there is a small section of other modelling toys, as well as 3D jigsaw puzzles and robotics kits. Dean also has play tables, with (non-LEGO branded) baseplates on.  These plates certainly have impressive clutch power, holding oa small mock in place as the table top was lifted up and tipped on its side. To help you sort you parts, they also stock a variety of Australian made Fisher Storage Boxes.

Another service offered is a shopfront for the Ozbricks Bricklink store – preorders can be delivered to the shop for pickup, and a limited selection of parts can be purchased on site.

The shop has it’s grand opening this weekend (12th May), with some opening weekend specials including 25% off the RRP for the Creator Expert Big Ben 10253; 40% off selected sStar Wars sets, and Buy 2 get one free with 7499 Straight and Flexible Tracks.

This new store at 697 Mountain Highway Bayswater is close to the Bayswater railway station, and there is plenty of parking nearby.

Not only but also…

As well as their other store at 70 Station street Fairfield, there are a number of other independent retailers specialising in LEGO and related products around Melbourne including:

I’m Rick James Bricks at 49 John St, Pakenham.  As well as LEGO Sets, and a wall of bricks to select from and a build a minifigure station. Rick also sell’s Citizen Brick printed figures and tiles, as well as Brick Arms accessories and Brickmania military figures and kits.

Build and Play Australia can be found at 1387 Toorak Road, Camberwell. In addition to their range of LEGO sets and minifigures, they carry a range of Graphic Novels and Funko Pop Vinyl figures.

Shopforme have a retail location at 23 Dawson St, Coburg North, and in addition to LEGO sets stock a wide range of collectibles, and a strong online presence.

Bricks To The World, based in Gippsland offers online only service, with a wide range of current and retired sets, and prompt delivery.

I’m sure there must be some other independent resellers around Melbourne, and indeed Victoria: these are the ones I know, in the parts of town I tend to travel through.  Who’s your favourite? Who have I missed?

Disclaimer: This is not a paid advertisement.  People often ask where can they buy LEGO locally, and it’s often a bit easier to have a post to point them to rather than pull out the back of an envelope…the opening of a new store made it feel timely.

I would also like to acknowledge that there are  many great independent and franchised general  toy shops out there, for whom LEGO is not the primary business. They can also be a great source of LEGO sets, without the seasonal shortfall that you often see with the major retailers.

 

Play well.