In which, on discovering the reappearance of teal in the LEGO colour palette, I go in search of “Stafford’s Choice.” Have any colours been sacrificed in order to allow teal to return? Let’s tick off the colours as we review some of the recently announced new sets for 2018…
Mark Stafford is a senior designer with the LEGO Group. Recruited from the fan community, he joined the company over 10 years ago and has had a hand in many of the action themes over that period of time. Themes such as NEXO Knights, Legends of Chima, Space Police 3, Ninjago, Alien Conquest, Power Miners and Atlantis, to name but a few. He also helped to turn Peter Reid’s Exosuit Ideas submission into a set.
At Brickvention in 2014, Mark gave a talk talking about a challenge he faced in his early days as a designer: Early in his career at LEGO he was put to work, sharing his love of mechs, on the EXO Force line.
One of the first sets that he designed was the Dark Panther – 8115. And it was here that he was given a challenging decision: The initial models left the set leaning towards one of red, orange, purple (medium lilac) and teal (bright blueish green). If teal were to be chosen, purple would be deleted from the current colour palette; if he chose to use purple, then teal would be deleted. Had orange or red been used then both teal and purple would have vanished from the LEGO palette for the foreseeable future. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I started to consider the use of colour in Elves sets, particularly Spring Yellowish Green. This led to a discussion of colour theory in general. We talked about the colour wheel, and how colour themes might be derived using complementary colours; split complementary colours, analagous colours, triads and tetrads, amongst other things.
This is all very well if I have a colour wheel, and I am looking to produce my own pigment, I hear you cry, but we are using LEGO, and the colour palette is pretty clearly defined. But how do the colours we have relate to this? Continue reading →
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.