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Current "big sets" Chit Chat

MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
edited May 2011 in Everything else LEGO
I've noticed that a lot of the threads are getting sidetracked on our current big buys/builds, so maybe we could have a chit chat thread for our little thoughts and opinions on these things.
I'm thinking specifically of the modular buildings and other above £50 sets, such as emerald night, other trains and the seasonals.

My first "big" build was the Fire Brigade a couple of nights ago. My hubby surprised me with it and we both fell in love. The kitchen area is incredible and I love the details, such as the bat in the belfry :)

Tonight, because we're so rock and roll this is what we do with a Friday night) we're doing the Grand emporium.

Only just starting out, sadly the base plate is curved up at each edge, anyone else have this problem?

Comments

  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    Is it curved to the point of showing white crease marks? If not, I would try gently bending it back. If it is, you should try contacting LEGO for a replacement. This shouldn't, of course, stop you from rocking and rolling this Friday Night since you could (somewhat painstakingly) transfer it at a later time.

    I hope you didn't make any monogamous commitments to the Fire Brigade, because if you loved it, you're going to have to break them for the Grand Emporium.

    BTW, I'm not sure yet if this discussion is going to stay as a catch-all for all big sets (since those discussions might be better directed and compartmentalized) or be adjusted to just reference the Grand Emporium or Modulars, but we'll see how things develop.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    ^^ Right now I'm working out how best to put together a bunch of monorails as well as building gradients for normal trains, I really like that 'hectic interwoven transport' feel and getting some nice effects. Just finished motorising the tram, and have ordered the parts to build another one in some interesting colours. Powered trams are great as they're so light they can scale steeper grades, and they look brill. Have splashed out on all 3 monorails (the best one yet to arrive though) and working out how to mesh it all together.

    Main thing I need to solve is space, as trains take up so much more of it.
    I'm buliding out of context of the other buidings, theyre all packed away, but have no idea how I can bring it all together and make it work on a train friendly scale.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK I can't wait to see a pic of it all together.
    But I agree, I hadn't realised how much space the trains take up, I don't think I have room for more track than cargo train layout (with a couple of sidings perhaps). I've just bought a load of road plates, but I have no idea where I can layout a whole town like in my dreams. I guess I'll have to clear out the junk room, but I had hoped to do it all on my new huge table, but at 1 m wide it only just fits the track.
    Is there a good way to attach the track to boards so that it can be stored away, but is still reconfigurable?

    Back to the modulars. The grand emporium is beautiful. I let hubby make 2 of the 3 floors as it's definitely his 'thing' he's very excited about lego at the minute, so I'm making the most of it. The pet shop is eagerly awaited.

    I bought a bulk buy that arrived yesterday, that included the BBQ stand: http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=8398-1
    I know it's easy to make from spares, but I'm still not very imaginative - looks great on with the ice cream seller. :-) (little things make me happy!)

    The plate is still a little curved at the edges, but no crease marks, we rearranged the pavement to keep the edge next to the fire brigade pinned down, but the other side is still a bit floppy (I need roads!)
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    edited May 2011
    ^ Space is definitely an issue when you're planning a LEGO train layout; I was pretty dismayed when I realised how little track would fit into the (reasonably large) area I had set aside for a permanent layout. One thing I am planning is some sidings, however - while I don't have space for multiple loops, I can at least have some of my favourite trains 'on display' in sidings. The other thing I'm doing is planning the layout on 2 levels - there'll be a fairly large subterranean subway loop underneath the city level running the 7938 Passenger Train (plus a few extra coaches) and the design of the subway level means the train will be visible at all times on it's circuit. I'm still awaiting key parts for the layout, but will certainly share updates when I start building as it'll be pretty cool I reckon.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    2 levels would be very impressive!

    My dad was round today, he's got loads of normal model trains and always planned to have them in the garden (though has never got round to it, and probably never will), we agreed that the lego scale is much better suited to that, quite nice and chunky.
    I wonder how well the track would tolerate the outdoors? It would be great to have it running around my patio, I think there's something so appealing about a lego town, with plants etc around it.
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    Savage Steel. 2 Questions:
    1. Just got the Fire Brigade and want to build it with my wife, is it possible to build at the same time or is that not really an option? Also how long did it take roughly?
    2. I seem to recall you mentioning at some point on another thread about having a holiday train or something simular, did i imagine that, and if not is it a set or something you created? Want to make a Christmas village set that I can bring down every December and we can build as a family, the idea of a little Christmas themed train sounds really nice.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    @princedraven - great minds think alike, as that is also what I want to do with the christmas sets. Keep them as 'special' so even if the lego obsession wears off they're great decorations.
    There is a holiday train - quite expensive on ebay (I paid £83 unboxed - no motor or track either) but it is lovely. The emerald night would make a fab xmas train though - and is really beautiful. you could easily create the toy and tree carriages from the instructions and bricklink.

    The modulars are great for co-building - they come with 2 books and the bags for each book are separate - looking forward to hearing how long it takes you :)
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=10173-1 - train

    Also I'd go with the toyshop and winter bakery (of course) and I'm going to add the MMV too :)
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    Thank you so much, very helpful, I actually have Emerald Night (still in the box from [email protected]) so may try to modify that with some of the instructions for 10173.
    Hoping to get the toyshop next month and the bakery September time.
    I have seen a few things about adding lights to sets, have you had any experience of this? Think a few well positioned soft lights could really make a Christmas set look 'festive'.
    Think the Fire Brigade may take us a while, as 1. this will be my wife's first shot at LEGO and 2. our 4yr old son is almost certainly to want to help too (TBF he is an awesome little builder but with something like this I think I will be paranoid of him dropping a piece) 3. our 3month old will likely interupt every few hours for feeding/changing (how inconciderate ay :) ).
    Really hoping this will bring my wife into me and my son's little LEGO world. :)
  • MatthewMatthew Cheshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 3,734
    I'm going to go off this next Christmas http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625079420510/
    He sent me a couple of extra photos showing the inner workings of the lights (LifeLights - http://lifelites.com/), which I can forward if you PM me your email address.

    Matthew
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    Lifelites start to get very expensive. I went in a different direction with my lighting:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157625317196215/with/5197382732/

    Don't get me wrong - I love their products, but the fixed cable lengths, and the sheer bulk of the cable started to become a concern. I've got some fairly harsh constraints on the surface where I build my dioramas/layouts. The whole thing is on a platform that needs to be movable in case we need to get at the chest underneath, and the platform that it's on is fairly flexible. So, I had to come up with a solution that didn't involve a "false floor" to hide the wiring. Essentially, I'm using copper tape & extremely fine wire to supply power to the lamps in the back row. It's very time consuming, and I only did the back row of street lamps last year, but since the copper tape is a semi-permanent fixture on the board, I'll just be adding to it.

    What I put together has several advantages over lifelites:
    It's extremely low power - the 5 lamp posts in the back row can run an entire weekend (50+ hours) on a pair of AAA batteries.
    The copper tape is extremely thin. It can be run under baseplates without a noticeable different in height, and the connections to the copper tape can be made in the gap between baseplates when they're connected. This makes supplying "utility power" to a city or town layout quite easy.

    And a few drawbacks:
    The connections from the tape to the wire for the lamp posts is touchy. It's not a solid connection like the lifelites.
    The system is most efficient when working with a single color of LED, as you add more colors with differing power requirements, it becomes less efficient.
    It requires a fair knowledge DC circuits & about $20 in tools (I used a wire wrapping tool, similar to this one: http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2103243) to set up.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Hey, thanks for the pics and thoughts @jwsmart.

    I was just going to strings some LEDs together with my dad this weekend, so food for thought. First I want to put lights in the modulars, then do some street lights and fairy lights for christmas. I was going to be sacrilegious and drill holes through bricks for the wires...
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    @Savage_Steel
    I tried drilling into bricks initially - I gave up on it. A drill press probably would have helped, but I don't have access to one.

    In the setup I have pictured, each of LED has it's own resistor - so each lamp is it's own little circuit. That way, if one lamp goes out - the others are still OK. It also lets me add and remove lamps from the setup as I see fit, without having to re-work any of the power requirements.

    This LED calculator makes life a whole lot easier: http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

    When you're all set I'd love to see some quick photos of what you ended up with, how you power your lights, etc.
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    ^^^^^^
    For those of you doing Christmas scenes, I check out this set for the baseplates and 'snowdrift' bricks (slopes with a snow pattern). Usually v cheap on ebay - Ive just picked up 2 sets, each under £10 INC postage.
    http://www.brickset.com/detail/?Set=3538-1

    You might also want to add a set or two from this series;
    http://www.brickset.com/browse/themes/?theme=Town&subtheme=Arctic
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Awesome - I'll check out the led site :)

    I've just bid on one of those - thanks Si (so hands off the one with 3.50 shipping - that's mine!) ;-)

    I have some polar explorer sets that I can pillage for snow jackets and white plates at least :)
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    edited May 2011
    BTW, I'm not sure yet if this discussion is going to stay as a catch-all for all big sets (since those discussions might be better directed and compartmentalized) or be adjusted to just reference the Grand Emporium or Modulars, but we'll see how things develop.
    I think I know now: this should be "Savage_Steel Chit Chat" :P

  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Ha ha - you're so right! It's my selfish catch all thread ;-) in my defence I get an alert if there's a reply, so I end up commenting on everything :-) oops!
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    I know the discussion already went in a different direction, but my Grand Emporium baseplate was also curved up in the corner. I didn't really notice until it was all together, but I just left it alone. I tried gently bending it, but it gently curved back to how it was. I tried ungently bending it, and it snapped back to its comfortable curved position. :(
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    ^ I wouldnt worry about the direction of the discussion, it doesn't have one :)
    (not that I mind much, kind of nice to randomly 'chat' ... ) .. and on that note ..

    Just completed the greengrocer - WOW - what a beauty!
    Also, my second motorised tram came up bootiful - all issues solved, pics soon I hope.
    Monorail city also looking good, just fixing issues with the 3rd monorail unit.
    I'm planning to turn the fire station into the frontage for a rail/ monorail station when we build it, reckon it'd do the job quite well.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Sounds great Si, I'm jealous you have the patience for putting together your GG. Photos soon right?? :)

    And yes, @georgebjones - the reason it's called the chit chat thread is so that we can talk about anything to do with our current builds/obsessions with out taking other threads off topic. Sorry yours is bent too - I've not emailed lego about it, but it is annoying me still! Stubborn board!
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,284
    ^ If you both contact LEGO customer service, I'm positive they'll send a replacement in the mail for you
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 487
    The biggest "big" Lego set I've built to date was 2003's iteration (the original and the best) of the AT-AT. At the age of 15, I thought it was long past time for me to tackle 1000+ piece builds. Eight years later, and I'm looking forward to building the Emerald Night and my brand-new 8880 Super Car, now currently my largest set (piece-wise), and my new 6542 Launch and Load Seaport (at 1022 pieces, it just makes the cut). Yes, I'm old school like that. I love the looks of these modular sets like Grand Emporium, but, shucks, it's hard to compete with nostalgia. One day soon, however...
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,177
    edited May 2011
    ^-- I grew up in the 80's and have fond memories of those 80-90s lego sets that I never could get.. short story... I have near every train set from the 80's-90's and MANY of the 80- early90's City sets as well :-)

    I have not built any of the Mod sets, or Market Street I have yet, but I am about to build a market street now....
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    ^^^^ Monorail/ tram layout work in progress (very poor phone photo im afraid)
    image
  • jwsmartjwsmart Member Posts: 298
    MMMMMM. Monorail.
  • georgebjonesgeorgebjones Member Posts: 224
    ^^nice setup Si
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 487
    Yeah, that monorail set-up looks quite awesome. Ahhhhh, one day, a monorail will grace my fair collection!
  • NicksBricksNicksBricks United StatesMember Posts: 193
    Are you going to motorize the city tram?
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited May 2011
    Thanks guys :-)
    Already have both the trams motorised (PF) ... only problem is they are very fast - not a problem in itself, but the doors fly open, knocking all the track supports over ... I reckon blu-tac along the bottom of the doors ....
    also, might need banking curves, they're that fast.
  • brickmaticbrickmatic Member Posts: 1,071
    ^ Banking curves for a streetcar? Wow.
  • Bluefox1966Bluefox1966 UKMember Posts: 357
    I just completed the Boeing 787 Dreamliner set. I picked this up in a mixed lot so it took a while to find all the parts, well worth the effort though.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    oh wow! I've not seen that before! My hubby loves planes, and I must admit, before I came out of my dark ages, I got him a Megablocks huge plane. Now I need to get him a REAL one!! :)

    PS can we have an update on your layout @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,177
    @Si_Dorking_Surrey_UK :
    It looks kinda small...lol
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited July 2011
    The update is.... now have 4 monorail trains, all in a similar style to airport shuttle, ideas for a paddington station style mainline moc are building up, and the designn forming my my head, still planning on turning the fire brigade into the monorail part of the station, and have rejigged the layout slightly to get more mono track into a smaller space. It reay is small, its like1x2m .. the joys of monorail v trains!

    Really though ive been mostly (badly) replastering other rooms in the house so i can get the spare room back sooner and have room again for a bigger layout and link the monorail up to the trains. So not much to report im afraid. How about u?
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Oooo I'm jealous of your monorails (and building skills) I've not started my layout yet. I just put the track together when my nephew or dad comes over so they can play. I really need to sort my junk room out. It's the perfect lego room (no windows, so no damaing UV - and no one has to know about it if I don't want them to!) But it's so full of stuff at the mo. I need some decent shelving and to decide on a table top size for creating my perfect city. I was thinking old kitchen cabinets would make a good island in the middle of the room so things can be stored neatly underneath. The room is only about 4x4 m
  • Si_UKNZSi_UKNZ NZMember Posts: 4,179
    edited July 2011
    How about a 4x4m board at waist height with a hole in the middle? ;-)
    and another one at shoulder height with your 'alternate' lego world :)
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    Ahhh - but I need to have shelves in the room to store all the crap I normally keep in there. But maybe along one wall I should have a wide board, and have the trains run up and down instead of in circles...
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,218
    edited July 2011
    I spent quite some time trying to figure out how to maximise the available space in my study to build a permanent layout. Although it's a pretty big room, I worked out that anything bigger than around 1.25m x 2.25m would be just too big to allow me to use the room for anything else ! I've recently started work on the layout having sourced tables to fit the space, and while the available area sounds respectable it's clear that you can't fit a huge amount of track into that amount of space.........
  • princedravenprincedraven Essex, UKMember Posts: 3,768
    I think I am gonna give up on the idea of train tracks, I just do not have the space in my house, considered my loft, but as it is not boarded and already packed it would take a massive investment of time to achieve and I cannot justify it at present. Will keep my trains (TS, EN, Hogwarts Express) boxed for the time being and see if my situation changes in the near future. Love peoples layouts but sometimes you have to admit defeat and I cannot see a way of making this work.
  • Bluefox1966Bluefox1966 UKMember Posts: 357
    edited July 2011
    6766 Not a major build, but it took me a while as I had to search out some missing parts. Great set though.
    009.JPG 388.6K
    008.JPG 343.1K
  • LegopantsLegopants GermanyMember Posts: 1,949
    Treated myself to 10210 (Imperial Flagship) a couple of weeks ago. Built it last weekend all in one go - took about 5-6 hours. The bags weren't numbered which made the whole build a bit of a pfaff, but the end result is well worth the numb fingers and stiff neck. My biggest set yet, as far as brick count is concerned.
  • MinifigsMeMinifigsMe Member Posts: 2,844
    ahh, I'm jealous @bluefox1966 I have a bunch of those pieces, including the teepees - but nowhere near enough to make the set. It would probably cost more to buy what I need then to get the whole set. but it's a lovely set.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,177
    I think I am gonna give up on the idea of train tracks, I just do not have the space in my house, considered my loft, but as it is not boarded and already packed it would take a massive investment of time to achieve and I cannot justify it at present. Will keep my trains (TS, EN, Hogwarts Express) boxed for the time being and see if my situation changes in the near future. Love peoples layouts but sometimes you have to admit defeat and I cannot see a way of making this work.
    I want to build a layout but I am currently in the same situation.. I do plan on moving (Eventually) and that is what is stopping me from putting all of my sets up on display in a layout....
  • Lego_Lord_MayorcaLego_Lord_Mayorca H-Town, USAMember Posts: 487
    Wooo! I finally built my #8880 Super Car over two days this past weekend, and man, was that an adventure! Totally felt like a kid again, considering this set was brand-new in an open box, so everything looks nice and shiny. I'm so impressed. I lament the thought of having to disassemble it in a few weeks, but c'est la vie.
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