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.

IMG_6901

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…

examples2

Continue reading

Its new to me: stiffening the joints with Element 74261/6106472 (Element Exposition)

Ball Cup, High Friction with Rubber.

elementAt least, that’s what Brickset and the LEGO Group call it. The name is a little awkward. And a little suggestive. Bricklink refers to it as a Hero Factory Arm/Leg Extender with Ball Joint and Ball Socket. Neither of these names is particularly catchy.

I first encountered this piece when putting together the new Creator set 31085: Mighty Dinosaurs. While this is the first Creator set to feature it, it is by no means a new piece.

Appearing initially in 2012, this piece has featured heavily on the constraction figures, with themes such as Hero Factory, Bionicle 2: the Rebirth; Star Wars; Chima and DC Superheroes.  More recently is has appeared in several Ninjago sets and a couple of NEXO Knights sets, particularly those involving dragons or mechs, as well as the ClayFace Splat Attack (70326,70327,70593,70595,70627 and70904).  It was also present in 75156 Admiral Krennic’s Shuttle Craft, from Rogue One.  Having little experience with buildable figures such as Bionicle and the like, and having not put together the mech sets and large dragons from Ninjago, I was unlikely to have encountered it until now. Continue reading

Better Suit Up – a New and Simple Minifigure Mech System 70366: Battle Suit Lance

Exo suits hold great appeal for LEGO Space builders. The retired EXOForce theme, as well as the success of Pete Reid’s LEGO® Ideas Exo-Suit 21109 attests to this. This project was brought to fruition with the aid of LEGO® designer Mark Stafford, one of the design lead’s on EXOForce.

exosuit
LEGO Ideas ExoSuit 21109 – image from brickset.com

However, as appealing an idea as it is to put a minifigure into such a suit, it is can be made quite challenging by the finger blistering use of tiny, greebling pieces to put together a model that is extremely detailed, but otherwise full of pieces that a seven year old may otherwise inadvertently condemn to the vacuum cleaner.

Continue reading

 Blind Bag 70372: The increasingly complicated mathematical relationships of the NEXO Knights.

January 2017 sees the release of the next wave of NEXO Knight sets.  Entering the second year, we see new colors entering the overall design aesthetic, particularly dark grey and purple, as we now have silicon based allies for Jestro and his cronies.

The Rambling Brick made its debut almost 12 months ago with a review of Ultimate Macy – boasting new pieces, new colors and a new go get’em heroine, it was an interesting starting point for me in the theme.

This year sees the launch of the Battle Suit NEXO Knights.  After last year’s Ultimate series, these shake things up a little, putting each of the knights into small mech-suits.

So I decided to pick up Battle Suit Lance.  However, when I reached the shelves, I got a surprise…

This is set/pack 70372. Five shields in a blind bag: We have spoken previously of the use of the NEXO Knights’ shields to provide power ups in battle in the Merlock 2.0 App. You can now get five shields and some other pieces in a blind bag. Continue reading

The Build-up Catch-up continues…

Day 5:  Snow Business 

This terrific little snowplough may or may not have a new piece in it. According to brickset’s database, the bright yellow panel 1x2x1 with rounded corners, element ID 6146219,only appears in this set. However, bricklink lists the piece as 4865b and it seems to appear in 37 other sets in yellow.

Closer investigation reveals that these may in fact be element 486524 – essentially the same panel, in bright yellow (TLG) but with square corners. These may be the closest thing to the sole source of this element at present.  That or some online databases have become a little mixed up…

Snow ploughing and Christmas are a little incongruous in Australia. In Melbourne we are the grips of summer at Christmas time, but even in winter it virtually never snows here ( it did once, but that was over 30 years ago), and certainly not enough to justify a vehicle to clear it.  But it’s not all about me!


Day 6: Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Measuring 2x4x6 1/3, this little build is the epitome of Christmas Eve. The fire, mantelpiece and chimney, with plants and a hanging stocking, waiting for Santa. This is a near perfect build, with just 27 pieces. 

Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane on a Double Decker Bus…(RetroRebuild 40220)

Previously on the Rambling Brick…

After obtaining set 40220 London Bus as part of the shop.LEGO.com promotion in November, the Rambling Brick was duly impressed, and put all of the stickers onto the set.  But there was a bonus sticker sheet in the set that featured Lester, the LEGO Minifigure Mascot for the New Flagship LEGO Store in Leicester Square.  This led to a tenuous link between Tim Brooke Taylor, Monty Python and the store’s opening week giveaways.  Overcome by a wave of nostalgia, he started imagining that he was back in 1976…

NOW read on….

An unhealthy fix of nostalgia.

As I looked at the 40220, and considered it’s design, it reminded me of all of many vehicle sets from the mid-nineteen seventies. The vast majority of LEGO Vehicles were four studs wide: whether a police car, an excavator, a bus or container lorry.

fourstud-wonders
Just some of the vehicles featured in the 1976 LEGO Catalogue.  Ignore the racing car: it is the exception that proves the rule. – Source  Brickset.com
Continue reading

Vale Mixels: Six Lessons from Five Sets.

Mixels: you either love them or hate them.

When these characters arrived, about three years ago, a lot of LEGO fans didn’t quite know what to make of them. Brightly coloured, with seemingly chaotic design initially, they have developed a reputation for disguising some advanced building techniques in what may otherwise consider a ‘weird, colour themed parts pack,’ with an attractive price tag.

img_7753Like Ninjago, Elves and Nexo Knights, I have not invested in the multimedia aspect of the series.  Mostly for time based reasons.  Other than some of the first wave, I haven’t focussed on Mixels at all in my collection.  I have picked up a few for parts, and sometimes it is obvious, looking at the parts for sale, when a BrickLink store has just broken down a new wave of these sets for stock.

So, I thought I would take a look at a random selection of characters from my local department store and see what they have to teach us.  I ended up with Tuth (41571) from wave 8, Compax (41574), Sweepz (41573), and Screeno (41578)  from wave 9. Unfortunately there were none of the Ninja inspired Wave Nine Mixel sets to be found at my local shop- having been and gone already.

Continue reading