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Longest build time

glosminifigfanglosminifigfan United KingdomMember Posts: 94
Does anyone know of any metrics for average build time of sets?

I have bought several modular buildings recently and although they are great I am a bit disappointed that it still doesn't take very long to build them, given the price. I try and spread the build over about 5 build sessions but it still doesn't feel like a long time.

I bought my first Technic set recently and it felt like it took a comparatively long time to build, do people generally find that Technic takes longer?

Obviously there is a rough correlation between brick count and time to build, but are there any sets that take a relatively long time to build?

Comments

  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,302
    There isn't really a good way to measure this as everyone will work at a different pace with different elements. E.g your example of a technic set taking longer might just be because you are not so used to the elements used rather than the set design, so after a few more technic sets you start to find yourself speeding up again.

    I think for an AFOL I am a relatively slow builder, not through lack of skill, sight or dexterity, but because I often stop to look at the pieces I pick up. Therefore for me sets that take the longest are sets that have the highest amount of unique pieces, interesting colours etc. I just built the Chima set Rogon's Rock Flinger this afternoon and that was quite a slow build because of the large number of technic pieces and blue/grey pieces that made me stop for several moments at a time.

    If you are trying to extend your building experience, rather than looking for the biggest, most complicated sets try instead to assess your building habits. Are you building everything quickly because you get that child like excitement of wanting to get to the finished article? Do you make any MOCs? If so think about what you might have done if designing the set in front of you, or think about what else those pieces could be used for, even if you don't make any MOCs this is an interesting exercise that might help you look at Lego design differently.

    Some people enjoy speed building, and that's great for those that enjoy it, but for me it's about taking the time to savour the experience. Everyone is different, you just have to find what you enjoy the most about the building experience.
    bendybadgerakunthitahewman
  • suprajamessuprajames UK SussexMember Posts: 366
    I like to take my time building, makes it more fun and better value for money. When I got the Death Star I built it a few hours every night after work which worked out it took me approx 3 weeks to build it. Everyone has their own pace they work at :)
    mnbvcandhe
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    I like Shib's approach. By spending some time looking at the build and specific parts, it makes the experience more pleasurable. Why not spread out the enjoyment? Does everything in life have to be speed built? Maybe if you don't have the time to enjoy things, but for most of us, LEGO are a hobby.

    It is fun looking at how the designer of a set chose to represent a feature such as a statue in Trevi Fountain in the Architecture series. Most builds have details worth studying and enjoying. So why not enjoy your effort at a slower pace? There will be times when we have to build something quickly, but most of the builds are slower around our place.
  • glosminifigfanglosminifigfan United KingdomMember Posts: 94
    I use a few tactics to slow down the build - such as making sure the Lego logo on the studs point in the same direction, at least where exposed and possible!
    canon03Norlego
  • canon03canon03 USAMember Posts: 330
    ^ Me too. Takes forever and some pieces are more difficult to determine direction because the LEGO stamp is so small (1x2 jumper). I find myself asking "why am I doing this?" But then I can't stop. OCD I guess.
    Norlego
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,302
    ^^I understand the desire to do that, I tried it with a couple of early sets I built, but found it a tedious and therefore less enjoyable way to build.
    My approach is not about being slow, that's just a happy side effect, it's about savouring. I know that it won't be the same for everyone, we're all different and that's part of the spice of life.
    Out of interest @glosminifigfan‌ do you make any MOCs?
  • glosminifigfanglosminifigfan United KingdomMember Posts: 94
    @canon03 @Shib I started off doing this to all layers, now I just concentrate on the 'exposed' layers. Although I break the rule if one side of the brick has marks and needs to be hidden. I wonder if they do this in official Lego builds for the theme parks etc? I have never looked close enough!

    @Shib well I have started to make some MOCs yes. I have recently submitted a small MOC to Lego Ideas (see my profile if you are interested), and I have a few others in the pipeline. I would like to start a modular building MOC soon.
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,302
    ^seeing as it's not always possible to have the logos the same way, and he time it would take I very much doubt it.

    One thing to try as a slowing technique is to try to make something different from the pieces of a set. With the larger multiple bag sets I have occasionally tried to make something with each bag as I open them before then taking it apart and making the model by instructions. It wouldn't appeal to everyone but I find building mini MOCs that way quite satisfying as my parts pool is quite large so it gives a nice way to work with pre selected parts.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,548
    I think it is right to ask why do you want to slow it down, and whether the method of slowing down is going to make it more enjoyable. For example, you could mix all the bags together at the start, which increases the build time. But all it really does is increase the part finding time rather than the build time. If you enjoy finding parts, go for it, otherwise don't do it.

    You could also slow things down by, for example, photographing the build every ten steps. Improve on that by keeping all the built parts still, so you can do a movie from the photographs at the end. Works if you enjoy photography.

    Or select the parts for the next 10 or 20 steps, then build a small MOC from just and all those parts. Then break it and add to the building. Works if you enjoy thinking about parts and building MOCs.

    You can also select the parts for the next 10 steps, and jump forward that many pages in the booklet. Can you build all those steps without looking back?
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,288
    edited August 2014

    I bought my first Technic set recently and it felt like it took a comparatively long time to build, do people generally find that Technic takes longer?

    Yes, as a general rule, if a Technic set and System set have similar piece counts, the Technic set will take longer.

    Obviously there is a rough correlation between brick count and time to build, but are there any sets that take a relatively long time to build?

    My guess is that the correlation is not linear, either.

    1. As the number of pieces increases it takes longer to identify and/or sort the needed pieces
    2. High piece counts usually mean a lot of small, detailing pieces that take a slightly longer time to attach and might require straightening, as opposed to bricks
    3. If there is a predominate color, the identification will also take longer
    4. Sets with bags that share numbers take longer than sets with individually numbered bags
    5. Instructions that have more pieces per building step (Creator Expert) take longer

    You can guess where I'm going with these points. The "Advanced Models/Buildings" hits all these points, and so I suspect are not only longer to build due to part count, but also take longer per part. The latter is offset by the repetition present in the models, though.
  • beegeedeebeegeedee Galway, IrelandMember Posts: 380
    Technic sets do take longer and I suspect mainly because they are not numbered bags and if not used to them, just different as to how you build. I picked up a couple of the 2-in-1 TLM sets and they aren't numbered either and while not huge (2-250pcs) they did take longer than a set that has bags 1-3 of equivalent size.

    It's the same really with creator sets since they have so many bags and all unnumbered. I remember getting the camper van and it took me 2 evenings to make because it's quite an involved build, number of pieces and the fact there are no numbers.

    It's also the complexity. A city set of 500pcs would be fairly basic compared to creator or technic of the same size.

    It's a good thing that they take longer. I love how technic sets look like a mess until you get within the last 20% of the build and the outer shell starts to take form and they look more and more like the final model.
  • GallardoLUGallardoLU USAMember Posts: 644
    I bought the Fire Brigade and the SSD a few years ago, and timed the builds (2 largest builds I had done at the time) the Fire Brigade was about 5 hours total build time for me. while the SSD was almost 14 hours total build time. take not that the Modular Fire Brigade is 2200~ pieces, while the SSD was 3150~ yet it took more than twice as long. short reason for this is that the SSD had a lot of tricky connections that were both hard to reach and easy to mess up. while the fire brigade was much more straight forward, with very few difficult connections.

    as a whole, I expect the modular buildings to be faster for relative piece count, compared to sets with strange angles (SSD, Sandcrawler, and ISD) so if your looking to build the way you always have but want it to take longer look to the strange ones (assuming they are in your interests)
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,418
    The Town Hall is taking me forever to build.... mostly because it's not grabbing me and other smaller builds sound better. i.e. Exo-Suit, Villa Savoye, Benny's Spaceship.
  • mnbvcmnbvc Member Posts: 136
    I purposely drag my builds out, so I get to have a longer building experience...but I do that by deliberately not building on certain evenings, even though I leave my build half finished to stare at!

    During the build, I power through, as that's how I enjoy building the most - I think deliberately putting off building by making mini MOCs (good idea, btw!) would drive me to distraction!
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 850
    WIth modular buildings, I tend to do about a floor every night, meaning the build lasts a good few days.

    I have to say that longer builds are not necessarily more enjoyable, particularly if half the build time is searching for pieces (Medieval Market Village with no numbered bags) or trying to work out what the next step in the instructions actually is (UCS R2-D2 head springs to mind)...
  • ProtProt Member Posts: 19
    I actually enjoy looking for pieces, the fist thing I do when I get numbered bags is opening them all and throwing it all together (well, with large builds I get two or three bins to separate in size...) thwt will drag the build out! I just got the midievel market village, and as I want to enjoy the first time feeling for long, I only allow myself to build up to a certain point. usually it works...
  • CoyotelilyCoyotelily God's Own County, UKMember Posts: 659
    Was going to suggest the same, my last two builds were a second hand Taj Mahal which had been bagged up in a very random way so took me as long to find the pieces as the actual build. Now I'm working on the cafe corner which again I'm working on from boxes full of bricks so it's taking loads of time. To be honest part of the fun is finding the pieces and numbered bags mean you can fly through a build - who knows may even try moc's next !
  • 25012501 Member Posts: 5
    Newer sets have very detailed instructions compared to the sets released more than 20 years ago. That usually makes the build harder, as you have to pay closer attention to each step. But then again, the brick count tends to be lower on older sets, and the variety of bricks was also more limited back then, so the building experience is usually still relatively straight-forward.

    I personally tend to speed build (I just can't help it, once I get into it :D), so if I want to savour the experience of building a new set, I tend to mix the numbered bags in one big pile, and only look at every other step.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    A while back, I gathered some data for myself to see if I could predict how long a set would take me to build. I didn't time myself with comparable Technic sets, just standard sets (20 of them ranging from 83 pieces to 2766 pieces). I tried to go as fast as I could to make sure I wasn't going at a lazy pace with one set (watching TV or something) and really focused on other sets (and measured from the opening of the box to the model completion time).

    I found that for the most part, the build rate was pretty consistent with the number of pieces in the set-- that is, you can take the number of pieces, and multiply it by a consistent factor, and get ~roughly~ the corresponding amount of time it will take to build.

    For the sets I used, I found that the biggest other factor was looking for parts. If you've got numbered bags, it helps reduce the build time (less time searching), and if the set's smaller, that's helpful (fewer bags per "number").

    I was hoping it might reveal differences in complexity with themes-- that is, maybe LOTR sets might take longer to build than Dino sets, because the age ranges might be different, but I didn't see any clear pattern (the sample size seems too small).

    I expect that Technic will be a lot slower. There's a lot more dexterity involved in plugging pegs and axles into peg-holes and axle-holes than there is in attaching studs-and-tubes. Plus, smaller elements take more dexterity, and they frequently make up a large portion of Technic sets (half-pins, short axles, etc). The question would be how much longer? Maybe I'll see if I can track a few Technic sets to add to my data and see how they compare.

    DaveE
  • glosminifigfanglosminifigfan United KingdomMember Posts: 94
    @davee123 Nice - I thought someone would have done this! I keep meaning to time how long it takes me to build a set, but I keep forgetting until I have started :/
    If you don't mind, what was your time per piece?
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810
    @glosminifigfan Depending on how you calculate it, 4.33 or 4.16 seconds per piece. Those seconds usually translate into:

    - reading the next instruction step & figuring out what piece(s) you need next
    - finding the piece(s) in your pile
    - assembling the pieces onto the model

    And then there's additional overhead for things like attaching sub-models, opening bags, opening the box, flipping instruction pages, etc.

    Here's the breakdown of sets I tracked:

    Time/Piece Build Time Tot Pieces Start Time Set Number -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3.41538 sec - 00:03:42 - 65 pieces - From Box Open - 9676 (TIE & Death Star) 3.87952 sec - 00:05:22 - 83 pieces - From Box Open - 9469 (Gandalf Cart) 3.80342 sec - 00:07:25 - 117 pieces - From Box Open - 3300002 (Holiday fireplace) 4.30882 sec - 00:09:46 - 136 pieces - From Box Open - 5883 (Dino: Tower Takedown) 3.93431 sec - 00:08:59 - 137 pieces - From Box Open - 9490 (Droid Escape) 4.41063 sec - 00:15:13 - 207 pieces - From Box Open - 6862 (Superman vs Power Armor Lex) 4.58559 sec - 00:16:58 - 222 pieces - From Box Open - 3061 (Friends City Park Cafe) 4.28405 sec - 00:18:21 - 257 pieces - From Box Open - 9471 (Uruk-Hai Army) 4.28782 sec - 00:19:22 - 271 pieces - From Box Open - 5885 (Dino: Triceratops Trapper) 3.77240 sec - 00:25:58 - 413 pieces - From Box Open - 9492 (TIE Fighter) 5.01253 sec - 00:40:01 - 479 pieces - From Box Open - 7961 (Sith Infiltrator) 4.18393 sec - 00:39:03 - 560 pieces - From Box Open - 9493 (X-wing) 4.47591 sec - 00:51:06 - 685 pieces - From Box Open - 7985 (City of Atlantis) 4.17551 sec - 00:51:09 - 735 pieces - From Box Open - 6869 (Quinjet Battle) 3.90851 sec - 00:50:33 - 776 pieces - From Box Open - 9473 (Mines of Moria) 3.58134 sec - 00:47:20 - 793 pieces - From Box Open - 5887 (Dino Defense HQ) 4.01975 sec - 00:54:16 - 810 pieces - From Box Open - 7962 (Anakin/Sebulba Podracers) 3.95870 sec - 01:29:28 - 1356 pieces - From Box Open - 10230 (Mini Modulars) 3.90603 sec - 01:42:32 - 1575 pieces - From Box Open - 10223 (Kingdoms Joust) 4.09497 sec - 02:25:10 - 2127 pieces - From Box Open - 10225 (UCS R2D2) 5.43420 sec - 04:10:31 - 2766 pieces - From Box Open - 10224 (Town Hall)

    So, of the 21 data points, 17 of them are within the 1st standard deviation, and are pretty consistent. There's 2 low outliers in the 2nd std dev, and 1 high outlier in the 2nd std dev. And then the Town Hall is out in the 3rd.

    The Town Hall I know took a LONG time to find pieces-- I explicitly recall sweeping for pieces many times before finding them, even though it came with numbered bags. Each "set" of numbered bags was still pretty big.

    I'm not sure what it was about the Sith Infiltrator that brought down my time. It's got some Technic sub-structure, but so do a bunch of other models. It's not really clear to me (I wish I remembered at the time, but when I did it, I don't think it was that much of an outlier, since I didn't have a lot of data yet).

    The lower outliers are strange-- The TIE & Death Star model is a really small set, so it could be that it was just a smaller overhead of paging through instructions. But that was pretty quick.

    But the other low outlier was the Dino Defense HQ of all things, which baffled me (I remember being surprised at the time). I can't think of anything in particular that would have made that set go quickly-- I even remember accidentally knocking down part of the tower as I was building it and thinking it would hurt my time.

    DaveE
  • glosminifigfanglosminifigfan United KingdomMember Posts: 94
    Wow, interesting data! Its not just me interested in this then, haha.

    I shall have to start doing the same. Hopefully I will buy another modular building soon. I notice that the Town Hall had a 14+ age recommendation, but the others generally have 16+, I wonder if that will change increase the time/piece.

    So presuming you paid the RRP for the Town Hall, you paid 60 pence per minute of building enjoyment. Or £36 / hour. Definitely more expensive than the cinema, but with something to keep at the end! It does make me wonder whether I should consider selling some of my sets and investing in new sets as the majority of my enjoyment comes from the building of it.
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 810

    Wow, interesting data! Its not just me interested in this then, haha.

    Nope! Although I couldn't find anyone else who had tracked their build times back when I was doing that in 2011/2012. I wanted to get about 50 sets for a good dataset, but that didn't work out too well.

    It was sort of a pain timing myself, and making sure that I built as fast as possible with no distractions. Usually, I like building sets while watching TV, or I like to fiddle with new parts that I haven't seen yet.

    I notice that the Town Hall had a 14+ age recommendation, but the others generally have 16+, I wonder if that will change increase the time/piece.

    I've always been curious what separates the 12+ age range from the 16+ age range. For younger kids, I understand-- they sometimes have issues with spatial relations and physical dexterity. But I'm curious what the distinction would be between 12 and 16.

    So presuming you paid the RRP for the Town Hall, you paid 60 pence per minute of building enjoyment. Or £36 / hour. Definitely more expensive than the cinema, but with something to keep at the end! It does make me wonder whether I should consider selling some of my sets and investing in new sets as the majority of my enjoyment comes from the building of it.

    Ha, I usually consider my purchases for what I get at the end rather than the build experience! I've even had a few sets that I never built, I just dumped them into my collection (although admittedly, not many).

    DaveE
  • ShibShib UKMember Posts: 5,302
    davee123 said:



    I've always been curious what separates the 12+ age range from the 16+ age range. For younger kids, I understand-- they sometimes have issues with spatial relations and physical dexterity. But I'm curious what the distinction would be between 12 and 16.

    I'd image that the difficulty only really applies to any up to age 12ish, after that I think it's probably just more marketing department making choices based on play tests etc and is more to help non AFOL adults make a decision on what to buy for their children.
  • bobabricksbobabricks Vancouver, BC, CanadaMember Posts: 1,840
    I've only built a few Technic sets and they look cool but they hurt my fingers when ever I tried to put those stupid pins in. I don't know if I was doing something wrong but it was a lost cause for me. :P
  • monkeyhangermonkeyhanger Member Posts: 2,939
    If you take into account sourcing pieces for a brick-linked set, you can really make the "build" last - 5 months for my #10179, the actual build was a long one in itself, considering the 5100-odd pieces.
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