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Helm's Deep Custom Instructions at Brickstruct

2

Comments

  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    edited February 2016
    That's awesome @samiam391! I've only amassed about 300 Uruk Hai so you definitely got me beat there :)  I'm currently still ordering pieces for the second book but your images are definitely inspiring.  Can't wait to get started.

    One thing though, the parts list for the first two books is roughly 10k pieces. Why do you still need another 5-10k? Are you building a mountainside or are you just taking into account the future book 3?
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 727
    Very cool @samiam391.  I wondering what the build looks like from the other side after book 2.  I see the top of some mountain/rock.  Does it look finished on that side now?
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,457
    Renny said:
    That's awesome @samiam391! I've only amassed about 300 Uruk Hai so you definitely got me beat there :)  I'm currently still ordering pieces for the second book but your images are definitely inspiring.  Can't wait to get started.

    One thing though, the parts list for the first two books is roughly 10k pieces. Why do you still need another 5-10k? Are you building a mountainside or are you just taking into account the future book 3?
    @Renny - I'm taking into account book 3. There's a lot to be done. I have no doubt it will exceed 5,000 pieces and wouldn't be surprised if it hit close to 10,000.

    klatu003 said:
    Very cool @samiam391.  I wondering what the build looks like from the other side after book 2.  I see the top of some mountain/rock.  Does it look finished on that side now?

    @klatu003 - Yes, it does look finished.

  • BrikingBriking Dorset, UKMember Posts: 767
    @samiam391 what size table will you need for the finished article?
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Or maybe we can see a pic of where the intended display will be?
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    I spoke with Kevin today.  Book 3 is indeed underway!  He reminded me its slow going, and I thanked him for his continued hard work.   This is an impressive task he undertook!
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    For what its worth, we are building this for a large Castle diorama, not really as a LOTR thing, but its just such an impressive structure!
    catwrangler
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,457
    I just touched base with Kevin and according to him book 3 is well on its way to completion. It will include the grand hall inner keep and the ramp to the gatehouse.

    For those, including myself, that have a lot of money wrapped up in this project it was encouraging to hear that he was making good progress. 
    Rennykiki180703klatu003MrGudzDontcopythatfloppyRsa33snowhitie
  • RennyRenny USAMember Posts: 1,145
    That's awesome news @samiam391. Thanks for the update!
  • MrGudzMrGudz U.KMember Posts: 209
    Great news. I'm still lagging behind trying to finish book 1.
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    Good news indeed.  We have both book 1 & 2 complete, so can't wait for book three!
  • klatu003klatu003 Hobbiton, Shire, Middle EarthMember Posts: 727
    @samiam391 Thanks for the update.  I haven't tackled part 2 yet and now we are going to downsize, so don't know if this monster is going to ever happen for me.  Post pictures when you have a proper home for your massive Uruk-hai army.
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    Ugh. I was actually kind of hoping it might be awhile until this showed up since I just finished parts 1 and 2 in July. Bricklink, I will be seeing you again soon. 
    BrickDancer
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Humble salutations venerable and veritable giants of lego!

    i am a father of a six year old lego fanatic.  I enjoyed lego space in my youth, and now find myself drawn back in as i like to be involved with my son.  We, like most i suspect, have stuck to sets; my son attracted to star wars and myself gravitating to lotr.  However, after looking over the stock helm's deep, i found myself a bit underwhelmed.  Having bought some spare parts on BL to replace missing pieces from the sets of my youth, i can say im familiar with the process of buying individual parts specifically and MOCs in concept generally.  With that being said, i admittedly know very little about uploading massive parts lists, even less about bsx and xml code, and nothing about autocad.  In short, i had concluded MOCs were to be forever beyond me. 

    So while googling 'lego helms deep' last week, i ran across this thread.  I was amazed by kevin's detail and design skill, inspired he made them available to members of the lego proletariat like myself, and encouraged by the esteemed members of this community to source such quantities of legos to build it.   Finding myself short of the funds to build this model, having none of the pieces to start, and bereft of the knowledge to source them, i naturally ordered all three books!  What could go wrong!?

    Mindful of my lack of contributions to any of you or this forum, i humbly ask for a nudge or two in the right direction.  

    I was able to upload sections 5, 6, and 7 from book 2 easy enough using the bsx files im led to believe some of you created and gave to kevin.  So thank-you whoever did that!  However, im having difficulty with book one.  When i put book 1 bsx into BL, i get a red 'null' box at the top.   Ive tried the xml upload, and it tells me i have around 8 duplicate parts.  Dumb question i know since many of you have already sourced and built the first two books, but how did you get the massive book 1 file into BL?

    Secondly, since book 3 is out, i noticed the part file kevin provided is neither bsx nor xml.  Are any of you planning on rendering that part list in bsx or xml and willing to share?  Just curious.  

    Next, there would seem to be an optimal middle ground when ordering parts.  In your experience, is it best to try and create one massive list and buy a smaller number of massive lots?  Or do a book at a time?  A section at a time?   I read where someone said to buy the rarer parts first?  Kevin has indicated there arent really rare parts in this MOC like those arches in the Edoras build, so i wonder what's worked best for you all?

    Lastly, do you all still use brickwizard for minimizing orders?  The posts from forum members seem to be a few years old at this point on the topic, and so i wonder if folks have moved on to something better?  Do any of you use brickowl instead of BL?  

    Sorry for all the questions.  Ive been trying to find these answers myself and am getting a bit stumped.  My reticence to show up and vomit questions on you in my first post is contrasted by my stubborness in ultimately sourcing the parts to build this unbelievable creation with my son.  Preferably before he grows old and has children of his own...

    much respect to you all

  • bluedragonbluedragon PortugalMember Posts: 506
    edited August 2016
    @Faurot60 I sent the .bsx files to Kevin so that he could distribute. I used a tool made available by @klatu003 (I believe) to convert from Excel and will do the same again this time. When there are multiple part variants I generally opt for the most common but take no responsibility for any mistakes :-).

    I have a list for each book and buy over a long period of time (have not gathered all the parts for any of the previous sections) because I mostly "buy" from my own store when the parts are available.

    I prefer the Brick Owl experience but you should try both sites and judge for yourself. At the moment, both sites offer cost minimization options through the wishlist function. They are not optimal but still quite helpful.

    Good luck and be prepared to spend a good amount of $$!

    I will let you know when I have .bsx files.
  • bluedragonbluedragon PortugalMember Posts: 506
    I sent the sections 8 and 9 .bsx files to Kevin and he will include them in the bundle. Those who purchased the instructions already can contact him and I'm sure he will be happy to share.
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,819
    Anyone here build the GEM Saloon from brickstruct? Any pictures? Trying to decide if I should get the instructions.
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    @Faurot60 Because I am less than proficient with BL, I first went through the parts I own with the parts lists open on a laptop and found everything that I had, so I looked across all three lists (I was building books 1 and 2 at the same time) for all of the sand green 1 x 2 bricks, for example, and then made strikethroughs in a Google Doc version of the parts list when I had everything necessary. When I found I didn't have enough of something, I created another document in which I listed parts by their numbers and color with how many I needed total for each.

    Once I had done this in all three lists, I started searching BL and Brickowl for the biggest lots of pieces I was missing (like 100 1 x 2 dark bley bricks, for example). Places that did free shipping after a certain amount were great for this. Then I would search those stores for the random stuff I was without. As orders came in, I crossed off what I had received until, eventually, I had everything necessary. And knowing that I was going to eventually build the rest, I kind of made predictions as to the types of pieces I might need in the last books, so when I found good prices, I would snap up extras. Of course, that means I will only need to buy roughly 3,000 pieces for this new build :)

    If someone wants to offer some advice to save me time/hassle for when I eventually build this new book, please be my guest. Otherwise, my crazy organizational strategies will take over again. Although, finding pieces for just this single book sounds like a cakewalk compared to my past work. 

    snowhitie
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Bluedragon,

    thank you so much for the bsx files!  I have loaded sections 5, 6, 7, and 9 into separate wanted lists on BL.  For some reason, i got the red null message on section 8, which is the same problem i had with the bsx file for sections 1-4.   Figuring it would be good experience, i manually added every part for section 8 into BL.  The only part that was odd for me was the 1x1 round plates in both light and dark bley.  I used peeron to get a different number which worked in BL.  Given it took me an hour and a half on the simplest section of the 9 so far, i have a much greater appreciation of your efforts.  Again, thank-you so very much!   Regarding the first four sections, when i tried loading the xml, i was able to (i think) isolate around 6 or 7 parts that are probable fouling things up.  I will try to use peeron for those and see if i can correct those parts in the file and try again.  

    Billybricks,

    thank-you for your comments too!  Ive been playing around with the autosearch features on BL for sourcing parts.  With both the value and price features, i end up with a list of international sellers.  Unfortunately, i dont think BL is factoring in shipping.  I think your approach is the one i will use; aggregating a monster list and then buying bulk as i go.  Ive been trying to read up on how to do this best.  One question i would have for you and anyone else who has more experience with this is whether to buy new or used?  Ive been considering buying used for some of the more common and/or bulk parts like plates and bricks and new for other items like theodin's helm.  Good idea?  Bad?  Only buy new?  Im estimating that over the course of a 20k piece model, i could save several hundred selectively buying used.  But... Caveat emptor!

    lastly, im also working out how to make nice manuals for the build.  Ive been reading up on types of paper and different binding options.  Im thinking spiral binding (not comb, good Lord even i can figure some things out!) and glossy paper.  One problem with glossy is that the pages can stick together.  Ive narrowed it down to two glossy types and am going to talk it over with someone i know with experience.  I plan to print double-sided, so the paper also has to be thick enough not to bleed through.  If anyone would care to know, id be happy to share what i find.

    i gotta be honest, im struggling with heightened self awareness. On the one hand, i want to ask questions.  This is hard and will cost a grand or two.  I dont want to make mistakes and waste money.  On the other hand, i dont want to just show up and hijack this thread.  It really belongs to kevin and the rest of you who are actually building it right now and showing pics.  So im going to kinda recede back and let this get back to the building of this great MOC.  Peace
    snowhitie
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,778
    edited August 2016
    @Faurot60 You can set BL autosearch to only search in your country/continent.
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    SprinkleOtter - good call!  I wish there was a feature that also showed who would ship free after a certain dollar amount regardless of country.  These features on BL are great nonetheless!  I sure appreciate the heads-up.  Learning as i go...
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Printing manuals - in case anyone was interested in one possible way of doing this...   I bought some hammermill gloss paper.  Its 32 lb weight so its thick enough for front and back printing.  Will use a laserjet printer.  This, im told, will prevent pages sticking as the laserjet powder is essentially baked into the paper.  Inkjet printing, again as im told, simply dries on top of the paper and can cause sticking...  Going with a spiral bind, which with a clear plastic front page and plastic back will run about $7 per book.  Im using officemax cuz im in the states.  A pack of hammermill gloss laserjet paper is $18 and using front to back printing, should produce two manuals per pack.  I have also split up the book pdfs from kevin so i can print in small batches.  You can download a psf splitter on cnet.  Cheers
    snowhitie
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    @Faurot60 I had good luck with used and new parts. Many times, I got new parts for cheaper than many sellers were listing used ones. It really depended on the seller. Most of my orders were through BL, but I found a few great stores on BrickOwl as well. You may also consider shopping around on eBay/Craiglist for used Helm's Deep (9474) and wall extension (9471) sets as they have a lot of the gray pieces, as well as things like the minifigs and specialized parts that really only go with LOTR sets. I spent months waiting on these sets on eBay, jumping on them whenever they would be at reasonable prices. Of course, what is reasonable to me is less than what others would pay, so I missed out on a lot of sets because I wouldn't push my spending up, but I still managed to end up with 4 of 9474 and 3 of 9471 over the course of about 6 months. If you aren't interested in the minifigs, you would probably be better off spending your money on just the pieces elsewhere. 

    I haven't purchased the newest instructions yet because I told myself I would wait until the new year based on other things I have going on, but most days I think, "Well, maybe I can just buy them today and ignore them for now..." However, I am well aware that as soon as I make that purchase, I will be immersed in this project for the following months.  
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Billybricks - i ran searches on BL lists based on new and used and the differences were negligible.  I am going to go with new.  Ive also been combining all the section parts list into one massive list since i see a lot of common pieces between lists.  I think i will save good money doing this.  Also, i have run searches on BL and think when i start buying i will buy from sellers that can fill lots the cheapest and go from there.  I can definitely already see the pareto principal at work on this project.  Im all about trying to max my efficiency when buying, which is why im happy to spend time finding the best way for me to save some money.  I am waiting for kevin to finish book 4 before i buy any legos since id be sunk with an incomplete project if he doesnt finish for whatever reason.  The manuals are huge for me; they mean the model could be built exactly the same way 30 years from now.  Thats why im trying to make nice ones.  

    To me, thats what hooked me on this project - clear, professional looking instructions in color with part lists.  And of course, that it looks so cool.  The lego version looks a little wimpy.  I gravitate to lego ships typically, as buildings are typically not as cool since lego cant simply make 10k piece models.  Kevin's helms deep is just perfect.  I could go on and on about what i like about it.  His edoras too.  Minas tirith is too big to render right in less than 100k pieces i figure.  Minas morgul would be pretty stellar, but how to make it glow?!
  • NellyNelly Member Posts: 77
    edited September 2016

    @klatu003

    I see your interest in Minas Tirith.

    I recently purchased the manual for Kevin's Brickstruct Minas Tirith. I recalled your tool to convert Brickstruct's part list into Brickstock and Bricklink XML formats, so I gave it a try with his parts list. However, maybe the tool is broken as my attempt to convert did not seem to work at all. Would you know if the converter is still functional?

  • KevBrickstructKevBrickstruct Member Posts: 42
    Hi guys, just a few quick words.  Book 3 will not be the final book, as the long deeping wall and culvert area need to be constructed. That would be the start of Book 4. I hope to start Book 4 sometime in the near future…but obviously Book 3 took (what feels like forever) to build and convert into instructions.  Minis Tirith was a project I did for someone else…converting an existing LDD into paged instructions that could actually be read and used. (the file I was given was a mess, and could not be used in "building guide mode" as it was too big and glitchy.  I rebuilt it in my CAD software, but decided to add, delete, improve, enhance things along the way while attempting to convert... what I had been given.  There are many part substitutions that have to be made, as is.  I don't sell the manual on my site, but may give it away as a free bonus manual somewhere down the line with multi manual purchases.  Thanks and Happy Building!
    legomentalNellykiki180703
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,457
    Curious if anyone has completed part 3?

    I'm gearing up to start ordering the pieces and putting it together as I'm also planning on taking a stab at making a micro minas tirith so ordering the pieces together will save on shipping costs.
  • MrGudzMrGudz U.KMember Posts: 209
    I'm still way behind on part two. 
  • danstraindepotdanstraindepot Member Posts: 172
    We have part three almost done (my son is building the whole thing) he's already clamoring for book 4!
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    I've got about 95% of the necessary pieces separated into baggies based on type/color, but I don't see myself starting to put it together until, at the earliest, January. I've also been semi-planning how to extend the bridge leading to the main entrance since I think it would be nice if there was a longer bridge section. I haven't looked at what exactly I would need to change yet, though.
    Jackad7kiki180703
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Went looking for a hat for gandalf and ended up with a 4600 piece order.  Went looking for some yellow hair for theoden on his throne and ended up with a thousand more.  Perhaps its good there's currently only 1 seller of a cave troll's right arm right now...  Have found folk's advice of taking advantage of used sets on ebay to be very encouraging.  Combined with kevin's lack of preference for truly rare elements, one can really whittle down the list to more or less larger quantities of a much smaller number of elements with used sets.  Would seem like moria and goblin king battle along with a helms deep would be particularly useful on book 3...  Have made the manuals for the first three books.  Cant wait for book 4.  It never gets old looking at samiam's pics.  I cant wait to source all the rest of the pieces and let junior get after it.  After looking countless times at pics it still looks so impressive!
    catwrangler
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355

    I made time this weekend and built the bridge from book 3. As stated previously, I did make the actual bridge longer, but only 4 studs longer. That then required some other small changes, and I did make some adjustments on some of the tiling, but otherwise, this is what it should look like for everyone else. Unfortunately, with my expected schedule coming up, I won't be working on the hall until June/July. The boxes of pieces are calling to me from the basement...
    catwrangler
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 969
    I've been wanting to build a Barad-Dur (as I'm sure many others have also). 6,000 pieces should be impressive enough.
    Thanks for the update.
  • Adam2356Adam2356 Wantagh NYMember Posts: 1
    Hey guys. I just finished building sections 5 6 and 7. I went to upload sections 8 and 9 with the bsx format and I'm getting the red null pop up for both. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and happy building!
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,457
    edited June 2017
    Curious about various tweaks people have made to the build?

    I just finished building the ramp and am not super keen on it so I'll probably break out some extra pieces I've got to modify it pretty heavily. I feel like it curves too heavily too early, but maybe that's just me. I've also considered "raising" everything in height by a brick or two... but that's a major project that would have to be considered in the future when I have more time.

    Section 9 will probably be a work in progress over the course of the next week.

  • MrGudzMrGudz U.KMember Posts: 209
    It's early days as I'm still on book 2, but I've added more support in places underneath the structure.
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    ^^ I've made some minimal tweaks to give some of the rock work a few more variations and, as you can see in my picture a few posts back, I made some slight changes to the length of the straight section of the bridge because I thought the curve was too close to the door (especially if I am going to eventually have some Uruks with a battering ram). Other than that, I've changed colors in a few places (especially in some places where support bricks actually show through the rock work above the hall) and added more tiling along the walls. I totally agree with you on raising the whole thing, but that's just not something I am going to attempt, especially when I am working on following the instructions for the majority of the build. 

    @Drone I've actually found that, once built, it is very sturdy. I had to move mine (booklets 1 and 2) to a better place and had some columns drop off the bottom. There were two sets of these that I couldn't figure out where they had been so I left them off and it doesn't seem to have affected the structure. 

    I'm waiting on two Bricklink orders and then I should be able to finish (for now)!
  • MrGudzMrGudz U.KMember Posts: 209
    /\ To be fair I've found it very sturdy. It's just me being over cautious.
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Billy,

    it made my day to see that.  Thank-you for sharing.  Stunning!
    BillyBricks84
  • KevBrickstructKevBrickstruct Member Posts: 42
    Hi, for the curious....Book 4 is well underway , finally.  Progress is being updated on my Instagram account, @kevbrickstruct
    samiam391Rennykiki180703
  • BillyBricks84BillyBricks84 United StatesMember Posts: 355
    ^Phew. When I saw you had posted, I thought it was to say that the instructions were done. I can go back to avoiding Bricklink for a little longer. 
    MrGudzJackad7kiki180703
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,772
    Wow
  • KevBrickstructKevBrickstruct Member Posts: 42
    Ha, no sorry... but I am working hard on them, now that the AT-ACT is completed and up on my site.  Wall is looking great...especially the BIG exploding section!
    BillyBricks84MrGudz
  • Faurot60Faurot60 Saint charles, missouriMember Posts: 8
    Book 4 available
    on brickstruct
  • KevBrickstructKevBrickstruct Member Posts: 42
    stluxMrGudzOnebricktoomanyFowlerBricksklatu003kiki180703snowhitie
  • emilewskiemilewski CT, USAMember Posts: 481
    About how many pieces is that for books 1 through 4 in total?
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