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Alternative build generator?

taco703taco703 Member Posts: 4
edited April 2011 in Building and Techniques
Hello. Lego mania has firmly grasped my 4 year old son, specifically the Lego City line.

He's become adept at following the build directions to completion, and frequently de-constructing them, only to repeat the build again and again.

My question: Are there any resources that have alternative build directions for sets? Or even better .. a software program/website that accepted a list of your Lego sets, which would then build an inventory of all your pieces .. and spit out new directions for alternative creations?

I realize there's the LDD and LDraw, but it would appear one would need to spend hours and hours creating new builds, time I do not have! Any help?

Comments

  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    edited April 2011
    Good question, I also have a 4 year old, so only at a limited MOC stage. I was wondering something very similar... If a resource knows that I already own sets A, B and C it can tell me that I also have all the parts necessary to build set X and then I can just go and download the instructions for X. Perhaps it could also tell me that I also have 99% of the parts required for set Y and 97% for set Z. So with just a few PAB or BrickLink purchases I could also build those two as well.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    ^ This was one of the great features that Huw was hoping to be able to make available with access to the part inventories for sets from Bricklink. However, he was met with opposition:
    http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/comment/4585/#Comment_4585
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,742
    edited April 2011
    ^^ Peeron can do this. Register, and input all the sets you own and your setlist will be saved (so far just the same as Brickset). You can also input all the loose pieces you own if you have the patience (which you can't do on Brickset). Next, enter the number of a set you DON'T have, and when the page for that set appears, click "Try to Build". You will then be informed which pieces, if any, you're missing from that set. It'll even tell you if you have the right piece but wrong colour, and how many of each piece you're missing. You can usually find the building instructions on Peeron as well.

    Main problem with Peeron is that the owners no longer support it, so it's becoming more and more out of date, and it's often very slow. Still a neat site, however, and the "Try to Build" feature works and is, as far as I'm aware, unique.

    Link : http://www.peeron.com
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 7,015
    Don't forget you can export your set list from here and import into Peeron, to save doing it twice.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    If the owners no longer support it, what is the long term outlook for Peeron?
  • taco703taco703 Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the tip on Peeron .. but frankly, it's not quite what could help me. Peeron will simply compare your inventory to the inventory necessary to build a set. The chances of having the right pieces for some other set is close to zero, unless you have zillions of sets/pieces.

    I guess I was thinking .. it'd be nice if there were "regular" instructions for a set, and "alternate" where you would use the same pieces to make something else.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Buy creator sets. Those come with multiple models for each set.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 832
    The real problem with the idea is basically that it's very difficult to get instructions for and inventories of people's models. People that build models simply don't typically make instructions or inventories for them. If they did, this would be a relatively simple project, although with quite a large scope-- just make a large, searchable repository, and let people upload/maintain a list of parts/sets.

    Anyway, the big hurdle is in having a large library of models with both instructions and inventories.

    DaveE
  • romdamromdam Member Posts: 136
    I always wish there were instructions for the alternate models they used to show on the backs of boxes back in the day. I always would stare at them but was never smart enough to figure them out.

    Theres a project for someone. I'd love to see a site for alternate builds from the 80's sets. When did they stop putting them on the back?
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    @taco703> I might give creating a MOC just from a single set a go and photographing it as I go by way of instructions. I was wondering if we shared any of the same sets in our collections to make it a reusable exercise however your collection is not public on Brickset and mine is not complete. Which sets were you thinking of?
  • taco703taco703 Member Posts: 4
    @Cam_n_Stu Ah .. I have set my (son's) collection as public now. -- If there were alternative directions for any of them, that'd be great .. not thinking of any specific one.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    Although, isn't the LDD the best tool to create instructions? I thought it had an automation for that.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    @taco703> I've done this for only a couple of sets; i.e. create a MoC but limiting yourself only to the pieces in the original set. The most fun was turning 8877 into a high-walled 'keep' castle, since (a) its better looking and (b) easier to store in finished form. Its generally hard to do though since so many sets are so full of specialised pieces and usually not enough bits either. It's just too tempting to reach over to that loose lego and add a bit ....

    agree with you though, I wish someone did document alternative models, I'd love this too.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    This is kind of relevant, as over the next few months (years!) I will be trying to build the Hogwarts Castle that I have always dreamed of Lego making. I haven't decided if it will be UCS (ie: lots of detail, huge and very expensive) or just a larger and more complete version of 4842. I'm thinking of starting with a used 4709 and 2 of 4842, but I don't know whether there will be enough pieces that will be useful to me. I wish there was a law that said you have to post instructions with all MOCs!
    Does anyone have any advice/ideas for me?
    Thanks
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    Only advice I can think of it to start buying potter lego by the kilo and just start building and see what happens, it'll take a few versions anyway. Enjoy!
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    If only it wasn't so pricey...
    I am actually bidding on an unsorted HP lot, it looks to have the POA Castle in it which the figs from could fetch a pretty penny
  • Cam_n_StuCam_n_Stu UKMember Posts: 368
    ^^^^ Thanks for the pointer, I'll have to have a proper play with LDD.
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    @Matthew - Yeah, I'd just pinpoint the sets that have the most wall building elements - or perhaps just buy a tan lot on Bricklink, eBay, etc.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    ^ So would you recommend multiples of 4842?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    A couple of 4842s would be a good start; I did the same to start my potter castle MoCs, but too many and I think you'd get bored of the same old pieces, and IMO the variety and unpredictability of mixed lots really helps the creativity. You need to be patient and do a lot of watching to get the bargains though. I got a 5kg-ish lot of potter for a tenner a few months ago, so the bargains are there if you watch and wait. You might also want to consider a tower bridge or prince of persia for variety; the 500-odd beige cheeses in tower bridge are something I crave for potter MoC-ing.
  • LuciusMalfoy7LuciusMalfoy7 Member Posts: 107
    @Matthew and Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK - Yeah, I'd say so. Also, I'd try to plan which rooms you'd like to build and how. Visualize to yourself, OK, I'll use one 4842 for the Great Hall and Dumbledore's Office, I'll use the PoA Hogwarts as the clock tower, I can make this into the dungeons - etc, etc. As for sets to buy, you'll need at least one of all the Hogwarts's save the first, probably, and another 4842 would be good. There's a lot of piece variety in that one.

    Also, I'd say you should check eBay - someone always seems to have a lot of five or six old sets, which have a lot of accessories and (if it includes the original Hogwarts Castle) is a great Castle starter as well.
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,735
    I've got all of the HP sets so far, excepting 2 of the card backed ones, the newest train, the first train, the first Hagrid's Hut and The sorting hat....

    Actually, I'm going to make a new topic for this, as this is getting pretty OT.
  • AlwenBAlwenB Member Posts: 1
    My daughter and I have been using these. They're small enough that you can often make them even if you don't have the set that it's an alternate for: http://creative.lego.com/en-us/downloads/default.aspx
  • maesterjaymaesterjay Member Posts: 71
    You can enter the sets you have into Rebrickable and they will tell you what percentage of bricks you have to make other sets
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I realize there's the LDD and LDraw, but it would appear one would need to spend hours and hours creating new builds, time I do not have! Any help?
    Sleep *IS* overrated.

  • taco703taco703 Member Posts: 4
    You can enter the sets you have into Rebrickable and they will tell you what percentage of bricks you have to make other sets
    masterjay - That's perfect! Thank you.
  • maesterjaymaesterjay Member Posts: 71
    You can enter the sets you have into Rebrickable and they will tell you what percentage of bricks you have to make other sets
    masterjay - That's perfect! Thank you.
    glad I could help :-)

  • mobrickimobricki Member Posts: 11
    Rebrickable is so much better than peeron. Peeron is outdated and sometimes a pain to use.
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 687
    I don't know...Peeron's MOC-building feature is fairly easy to use. Their inventories and parts catalog do lag behind BL (and maybe Rebrickable) though. I much prefer Peeron's interface to the other sites', though...hopefully Peeron will make a comeback one of these days...
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