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Late to the party: Building the Arvo Xenomorph a year later

Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
I dismissed this as too big a task when the project was released, but the more recent chestburster has rekindled my interest in the Xenomorph. I have downloaded the Excel spreadsheet of parts that I found on an older thread here, but I figured the landscape might be a bit different now than it was a year ago (e.g. parts becoming harder to find, or maybe becoming easier to find with new sets). 

So a few questions for those who tackled the project:
  • What is the general availability of the pieces used in the project?
  • What are the most rare/expensive pieces, and what (if any) are decent substitutions?
  • Roughly how much did the whole thing cost in parts?
  • Do the Arvo brothers sell digital instructions? I can only find the hardback for sale
  • Just how amazing is this thing?
I'm a little undecided about whether or not I'll go for this. 

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315

    So a few questions for those who tackled the project:
    • What is the general availability of the pieces used in the project?
    • What are the most rare/expensive pieces, and what (if any) are decent substitutions?
    • Roughly how much did the whole thing cost in parts?
    • Do the Arvo brothers sell digital instructions? I can only find the hardback for sale
    • Just how amazing is this thing?
    I'm a little undecided about whether or not I'll go for this. 
    1+2 Most are easily available, but some went up really quickly in price. Eg Black fez can now cost you a fiver each, similar price for the dino neck. Although the killer is often price of postage, since rarely can you buy four of each from the same seller. Some of the tubes / pipes can be expensive too. Some of the parts for the base are similarly hard to find, although I didn't build the base.

    3 Hard to say as I had a lot of parts already.

    4. No, just print. They do give you a digital parts list though.

    5. Very.


    pharmjodSteve_J_OMkiki180703
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,848
    The base will break the bank if you try to build it with no substitutions.
    Scatterbug
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    The black fez is far cheaper if you just buy the footballer CMF and take his fez (it's his trophy base) then sell the CMF incomplete :-)
    Steve_J_OMkiki180703
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    The book lists substitutions for the most expensive parts for the figure.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    But the substitutions come at an aesthetic cost in my opinion :-)
    pharmjodkiki180703
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,848
    Agree. The base does not look the same with the wedges with stud notches. I tried. Didn't like it. There are several rare pieces that are internal and not seen that are easily substituted. The only other one that is visible is on the base and the substitution really isn't even noticeable.
    Steve_J_OMkiki180703
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
    Thanks for the replies all. @CCC how is it without the base? Is it stable?
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    You need a base for stability, not necessarily the base the Arvo Bros designed :-) The neck parts on the back of Alien can be substituted but the replacement option is not quite as good looking.
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    I wrote and photographed some alternatives to the hard to find parts when I reviewed the book for TBB here: http://www.brothers-brick.com/2016/01/12/alien-project-by-the-arvo-brothers-review/
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
    @DeMontes is this what you're referring to?



    Would this be the most significant of substitutions?
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    For Alien yes, for the base it would be notches vs no notches!
  • bendybadgerbendybadger 127.0.0.1 ::1Member Posts: 1,141
    Stability was always an issue with mine but that was with the avro brothers base which supports the whole alien with 2 technic pegs if I recall correctly. Dunno why it never occured to me to do a custom base that might be better. Might have to dig him out once more.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    edited December 2016
    I didn't make the official base, but I had a base. I used a piece of oak with a couple of holes drilled in it for technic pins. You really need something for stability.

    I think you can leave the fez off the dino neck and it isn't a big deal. But not using the (larger) dino neck isn't as good.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
    Am I right in saying that this is the correct dinosaur piece? Seems pretty reasonably priced, even from sellers who have the quantity required. I'll see about the fez; I already have one from my own footballer CMF, so I'm quarter of the way there :)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    That's right. So long as you don't mind used and paying international postage, they are not too bad now.

    When the instructions were first sold, I bought a total of 8 from three sellers (used), I think the average price was about 18p each.
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    I dismissed this as too big a task when the project was released, but the more recent chestburster has rekindled my interest in the Xenomorph. I have downloaded the Excel spreadsheet of parts that I found on an older thread here, but I figured the landscape might be a bit different now than it was a year ago (e.g. parts becoming harder to find, or maybe becoming easier to find with new sets). 

    So a few questions for those who tackled the project:
    • What is the general availability of the pieces used in the project?
    • What are the most rare/expensive pieces, and what (if any) are decent substitutions?
    • Roughly how much did the whole thing cost in parts?
    • Do the Arvo brothers sell digital instructions? I can only find the hardback for sale
    • Just how amazing is this thing?
    I'm a little undecided about whether or not I'll go for this. 
    Hey @Steve_J_OM can you tell me where that old thread is with the parts list?
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    @blogzilly I searched for 'Arvo Alien' and I think this was the thread Steve was referring to: http://bricksetforum.com/discussion/23919/arvo-brothers-alien-brickstock-list

  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 489
    @Steve_J_OM oh that other thread has the comparison of notchless vs notched for the base....no real comparison as the notchless wins in the aesthetic department by far :-)

  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
    @blogzilly I was beaten to it, that link posted by @DeMontes is the one that has the parts list.

    @DeMontes definitely no contest between notch/less, but I'm leaning towards just going for the Alien and worrying about a base later, maybe making my own. 
    DeMonteskiki180703
  • blogzillyblogzilly Columbus, OhioMember Posts: 598
    Lots of those parts in this base are in the Chestburster base. Not only are they hard to find, but what I realized is I had a lot to learn myself. Sellers maybe don't know the differences or don't care, as I ordered specific parts and got substitutes instead. In some cases I got parts that wouldn't even fit. The Chesty has been a huge learning experience. So much so I definitely would go your way and design your own base for the Xenomorph.
  • Steve_J_OMSteve_J_OM Cork, IrelandMember Posts: 939
    So I just got through the very manual task of populating a BL wanted list from the Excel file, and another quick question: is it okay (aesthetics wise) to substitue the dark gray pieces for dark bluish gray? Most of their availability is pretty thin.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    Yes, go for all DBG.

    Steve_J_OMDeMontes
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,848
    For the most part, you don't even see the Dark Bluish Gray pieces. The only one that was really hard to find was the piece that sits right in the middle of the base. I didn't worry about it for the ones that were inside the model.
    Steve_J_OM
  • AlchemistAlchemist EagleshamMember Posts: 5
    Evening all - first time I've posted having just joined.

    I have to let some right minded folks know what the postie brought today...that's right the Arvo brothers Alien project book...it is sensational

    Ive taken delivery of 38 orders from Bricklink - with another 5 to come and the building commences - what a strange and happy coincidence that I'm off next week.

    ive attached a picture of the first batch of orders I've received - have to say it's not cheap but I reckon the end result will be well worth it.

    id love to hear from anyone who's built the Alien & I'll post some progress shots if anyone is interested.
    Cheers

    GF

    khmellymelsid3windrMegtheCatcatwrangler
  • BumblepantsBumblepants Sofia BG/Dallas TXMember Posts: 5,551
    Looks like a great time, welcome! 
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,893
    edited July 2017
    Welcome to the forum, looks like you will be having a fun week.
    Haven't built this myself yet but from what I understand it is an amazing build but can be somewhat fragile. There have been a few topics concerning the build but I think this was the most recent:-

    http://bricksetforum.com/discussion/25308/late-to-the-party-building-the-arvo-xenomorph-a-year-later

    Look forward to the progress pics as you build this. :)
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,893
    And after posting a link, it gets moved.
    I have been blessed with mystical forum powers. (Failing that @CapnRex101 moved it).
  • AlchemistAlchemist EagleshamMember Posts: 5
    Hi & thanks - really enjoying being back into Lego after a lonnnng period away...planning on building a predator once I've done this - will use some of the techniques and a bit of imagination...
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,848
    It's a great build. Some really amazing techniques.  I started sourcing parts for the chest burster but got distracted.
  • TheFewTheFew EnglandMember Posts: 1,404
    pharmjod said:
    It's a great build. Some really amazing techniques.  I started sourcing parts for the chest burster but got distracted.
    Same here :-(
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,222
    bandit778 said:
    And after posting a link, it gets moved.
    I have been blessed with mystical forum powers. (Failing that @CapnRex101 moved it).
    It was me, so you're clearly not so mystical!

    ;-)

    But thanks for flagging the earlier thread - appreciated, as we don't need more than one.
    bandit778
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315


    But thanks for flagging the earlier thread - appreciated, as we don't need more than one.
    Funny enough, that's what some people think about the Prometheus / Covenant films.
    bandit778sid3windr
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,893
    bandit778 said:
    And after posting a link, it gets moved.
    I have been blessed with mystical forum powers. (Failing that @CapnRex101 moved it).
    It was me, so you're clearly not so mystical!

    ;-)

    But thanks for flagging the earlier thread - appreciated, as we don't need more than one.
    I suppose I'd better try and return the 150 lottery tickets I was sure my new powers would make sure were winners then? :( 
    stluxsid3windr
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    The (official) Xingbao Arvo brothers set is now readily available on ali. Obviously not lego branded but Arvo supported.







  • MAGNINOMINISUMBRAMAGNINOMINISUMBRA Member Posts: 975
    ^ I love your use of brackets but I feel the use of the word official in this instance is drawing a VERY long bow!
  • LegoboyLegoboy 100km furtherMember Posts: 8,691
    It's interesting to see that they opted for the 'alternative' build.
    pharmjod
  • pharmjodpharmjod 1,170 miles to Wall Drug, USAMember Posts: 2,848
    Also of interest is that they used the wedge pieces with notches, which I think doesn't look as good as the ones without on the base. If you're gonna knock it off, at least use the better looking pieces. 
    Legoboy
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    edited July 2017
    ^ I love your use of brackets but I feel the use of the word official in this instance is drawing a VERY long bow!
    It's a difficult one. This is officially sanctioned by the designers. They can make money from it when lego would have probably never have paid them. I guess many real lego fans have already purchased the book direct anyway (and it looks nicer than the soft cover version here). The only problematic part then is whether or not the company have the rights to use some of the parts designs.
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,118
    Officially sanctioned by the designers, yes, but not by the actual IP owners. Matters at least as much. So it's still a rip-off, even if the Arvo Brothers have attached their names to it.
    Muftak1gmonkey76
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    Yes, that's true, but then the same can be said of the original book they sold.
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,118
    I guess that was flying under the radar as a fan/hobby thing, as opposed to a commercial product. But a fine line; I'm no IP lawyer, and cannot second-guess the motivations of Fox/whoever holds those Alien rights.

    I found the excuse of Firas Abu-Jaber hilarious. "My Ford GT model only resembles the actual thing 70%, so how could there be IP issues?!"

    Anyhow, probably belongs more in the Chinese counterfeit thread.
    sid3windr
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,315
    I just ordered one of these. I hope it looks as good as the render.

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