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Help a new builder?!

Hey all!

So since a little while I got into LEGO again, however I did not feel to use it as I did as a kid, I wanted to use it in a more advanced way. So I decided to make a LEGO city in my spare room ( it's a normal sized room). However since I have no experience in this, I hoped you people could help me get started and give me tips and guides on how to do this propperly.

Now I am not sure on the theme yet but I was thinking either modern or medieval/pirate style. So I did somw research on kits, and found the LEGO modular sets, however some of these kits are really expensive since they are retired products. And if I decide on doing modern theme I do want that kind of buildings. Can I also do something about this?

Anyways I hope you people can give me good tips and guides on how to start this city propperly.

Thank you for your time!



  • FauchFauch Member Posts: 2,662
    5 of them are at reasonable prices. there are lots of material for building cities, mainly in the city theme (obviously), but also in friends, creator, super heroes, ghostbusters and probably others. the problem is the building style can differ from theme to theme.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,216
    I built my initial modular table to roadplate (plus gaps) sized specifications.  It also doubles as storage.  

    I also don't recommend gluing down the baseplates.  
  • GeordiePaulGeordiePaul Member Posts: 599
    I'm looking to start the same thing at some point, so I'm also interested in the advice that @BuilderTim might receive here.

    One thing I wanted to know that might also help Tim is - when you have a modular lined up with a road plate, do you overlap the modular with the studs on the road plate so it sits flush with the road? I always figured if you didn't then there'd be a huge gap from the curb of the road plate to the front wall of the modular.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,216
    I actually disregarded the baseplates, and worked backwards from the roadplates.

    I made the sidewalks much wider to accommodate foot traffic, various street vendors and to make the city less claustrophobic.
  • matticus_bricksmatticus_bricks Member Posts: 651
    My advice, if you're just coming out of your dark ages and you're planning to build MOCs of your own design, is to start small before taking on anything too big. I can't tell you how many overly ambitious projects I've had to abandon in the past few years coming out of my dark ages because they became more than I could afford or be satisfied with. Practice building things like small scenes, vehicles or maybe buildings to get a feel for which pieces you use a lot and learn building techniques you like. Look at what others have built on sites like MOC Pages and Flickr to learn techniques. Also, if you like modular buildings, "The Lego Neighborhood Book" by Brian Lyles and Jason Lyles is a great resource. But most of all, have fun!
  • BuilderTimBuilderTim Member Posts: 2
    Thanks all for his help!

    Another question that came uo in me after reading this.

    Where do I get the blocks for MOCs? Do I buy sets and use those blocks for it? Or are there othet ways?
  • mr_bennmr_benn Member Posts: 941
    Hi Tim - welcome!

    Not much you can do about the expensive of retired modulars.  Know that they come out like clockwork - one every January (which annoys my wife enormously as they would make a good Christmas present so she didn't have to think or something else).  If buying the old modulars as a set is too expensive, consider either buying 2nd hand (still expensive) or alternatively piecing them together with bricks you buy separately (all the instructions are still on the Lego website helpfully!).

    With regards to new bricks, if you know what you want you can either buy bricks directly from Lego or alternatively Bricklink, otherwise just look out for stuff on sale (this site has a rather good Amazon tracker that checks prices all across Europe!) and buy sets that you think might be useful - the Creator building sets are a good source of bricks for other buildings.  

    I definitely echo @matticus_bricks 's comment - start small.  Do a little scene over just a couple of baseplates first - you can have just as much satisfaction doing smaller vignettes like this than having a sprawling Lego city that's mostly roadplates!

    I don't overlap modulars with roadplates because overlaying the baseplates looks messy and I can't be bothered to transplant the modular however many steps forward - I tend to just have wide pavements (or with the nice green roadplates a grass verge makes its way between the pavement and road).  One day you might even end up doing brick built roads which removes this issue entirely!
  • SumoLegoSumoLego Member Posts: 15,216
    Where do I get the blocks for MOCs? Do I buy sets and use those blocks for it? Or are there othet ways?
    Google 'Bricklink' -  it'll open up the possibilities. 
  • ricecakericecake Member Posts: 878
    It might also be helpful to test building digitally to help you plan out your MOC. For example, using Lego Digital Designer (LDD) or Once you have a good idea, you can then have a better idea of which bricks you need to buy.
  • AllBrickAllBrick Member Posts: 1,497
    SumoLego said:
    Where do I get the blocks for MOCs? Do I buy sets and use those blocks for it? Or are there othet ways?
    Google 'Bricklink' -  it'll open up the possibilities. 
    Check your local PAB wall instore too. Small scenes can be great fun. I built and expanded #31035 over 2 32x32 plates, it was incredibly satisfying to look at and tinker with, until my crazy lady smashed it in a rage. I think I need a Lego panic room
  • Pumpkin_3CK5Pumpkin_3CK5 Member Posts: 805
    If you didn't know already, here's a link to Lego's site where you can get some unique pieces, some pricier than others.
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