Shopping at LEGO or Amazon?
Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon
As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Small builds & unusual parts uses

VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,263
Occasionally when playing around with ideas for part of a MOC, or while sorting parts, I've come across ideas, usually involving just a few pieces that are simple, but small scale build in their own right, or a potential solution for build problems I had been trying (unsuccessfully) to solve previously. I figured it might be useful for all of us on the forum to have a thread to document these ideas so that others can benefit from our discoveries. My first contribution is a very small, two piece build that could be used as a tank for a micro scale builds:

dmcc0davetheoxygenmanBOBJACK_JACKBOBdatsunrobbiegmonkey76PeteMBaby_Yodaklintoncozymak0137FowlerBricksmafonBrainsluggedWicksy80Mr_CrossmadforLEGOalexwilLittleLorijnscoelhosid3windrchuckp

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,030
    Roller skates in a line make a reasonable microscale train. You can add 1x1 plates for coloured carriages.
    VorpalRyudavetheoxygenmanBaby_Yoda
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    Yeah, they're used in a few official sets. 1x1 plates w/ clips can form a decent pair of limbs, horns, even a wacky beak.
    VorpalRyudavetheoxygenman
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 924
    These are all amazing! What a beautiful use for stud-shooters!
    VorpalRyu
  • benbacardibenbacardi EnglandMember Posts: 423
    One ingenious part use I can't find a picture of any more was using the triggers from the stud shooters as microscale gravestones...
    VorpalRyuBaby_Yoda
  • shikadishikadi TRU AlumniMember Posts: 91
    One ingenious part use I can't find a picture of any more was using the triggers from the stud shooters as microscale gravestones...

    Laptops as roofs and skate as a car... this one is full of NPU
    VorpalRyuSwitchfoot55Baby_YodaMr_CrossmadforLEGOLittleLoriBrixfan02
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    I really like the way many larger pieces are sunk into the ground so that only the necessary portion protrudes. If you're making a microscale scene with lots of tiny, independent details I think SNOT bases work very well. One other thing to consider is that when you're building super-tiny models, exposed studs can be a pain, but you can use them to your advantage and create extra details with their presence such as the roller skate cars above.
    VorpalRyu
  • andheandhe UKMember Posts: 2,799
    edited May 8
    @Brainslugged do you have a link or part number for the part you mean? I still can't get my head around it!
  • BrainsluggedBrainslugged England (the grim North)Member Posts: 988
    @andhe  - This piece on its side. #30413.

    andheMr_Crossdmcc0LittleLori
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 765
    Very clever, but surprised it's considered a legal connection as only the top one will be attached to anything.
    Mr_Cross
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,263
    I have a copy of one of docs on legal/illegal build techniques & I didn't see anything in there about parts not connected to the main build being an illegal technique. This isn't the first build to do it, #41629, the Boba Fett Brickheadz figure also had parts not connected to the main build.
    dmcc0Switchfoot55
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,030
    I imagine it helps that this is not a play set. If something is not well connected and falls off in trial play, it will fail. Whereas something that sits on a shelf can get away with different standards.
    Baby_Yodadmcc0LittleLori
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 566
    If you are a fan of small builds with NPU then definitely check out Michael Jasper's Flickr - he is a genius. 

    Fascinating! ... but illogical.


    Baby_YodadavetheoxygenmanLittleLoriBobflipMr_CrossSpeedman29GothamConstructionCoLego_StarFowlerBricks
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 765
    VorpalRyu said:
    I have a copy of one of docs on legal/illegal build techniques & I didn't see anything in there about parts not connected to the main build being an illegal technique. This isn't the first build to do it, #41629, the Boba Fett Brickheadz figure also had parts not connected to the main build.
    I suppose to be an illegal connection they would have to actually be connected.  
    560HeliportVorpalRyuBaby_Yodamak0137
  • TheOriginalSimonBTheOriginalSimonB Felixstowe Member Posts: 1,351
    ^ indeed.  Legality is mostly about stress on elements, so with no connection there can be no stress.
    LittleLoriVorpalRyuBaby_Yoda
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 484
    It looks like the panels should all stay put pretty well, as each one will be held in place by the one above it, and the top one is connected the usual stud way.
  • VorpalRyuVorpalRyu AustraliaMember Posts: 2,263
    ^ indeed.  Legality is mostly about stress on elements, so with no connection there can be no stress.
    While usually true, there is still a possibility of brick stress if you're placing parts in a void, stress could occur if the actual space does not match the design specifications of the parts. Placing elements loose in a brick made void is a pretty unique situation, apart from this new set, the only one I know of is the Boba Brickheadz fig, so 99.99999999% of the time, your statement is absolutely correct. :)
  • Koolbrix2018Koolbrix2018 North CarolinaMember Posts: 39
    edited May 11
    I really like following The Brothers Brick as they constantly post different models and builds filled with NPU and cool techniques. There is also a great, talented MOCer on Flickr called Simon NH - I really love some of his builds, and uses of parts.
    DeMontes
  • Koolbrix2018Koolbrix2018 North CarolinaMember Posts: 39
    edited May 11
    @DeMontes:
    Yes, Michael Jasper's builds are great! I love how he uses such a variety of different facial expressions for his minifigs. 
    DeMontes
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 566
    I really like following The Brothers Brick as they constantly post different models and builds filled with NPU and cool techniques. There is also a great, talented MOCer on Flickr called Simon NH - I really love some of his builds, and uses of parts.
    Simon NH took part in our last parts fest on New Elementary and he will be taking part in the upcoming one...

    I agree, he is a great builder. His Flickr here for those who are interested: Simon NH
    pxchrisKoolbrix2018
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 567
    I didn't recognize the name right off, but I absolutely love his tiger build! I remember being floored when I first saw that.
    Koolbrix2018DeMontes
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 484
    Had a look at the manual and made a quick tablescrap replica of the stairs in the Trafalgar Square set. It's a little rattly, but still a pretty cool technique! The tan piece underneath the stairs is a 1 x 2 jumper plate and the dark orange one is a 1 x 2 tile.

    (Side is removed to show the technique - that's not the reason it's rattly :-P )


    CCCVorpalRyuBaby_YodadavetheoxygenmanLittleLori
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 914
    Bobflip said:
    Had a look at the manual and made a quick tablescrap replica of the stairs in the Trafalgar Square set. It's a little rattly, but still a pretty cool technique! The tan piece underneath the stairs is a 1 x 2 jumper plate and the dark orange one is a 1 x 2 tile.

    (Side is removed to show the technique - that's not the reason it's rattly :-P )


    At least from my calculations it looks like the actual set has 8 steps but your replica on my has 4. Is this the reason for the rattling? 
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 484
    edited June 6
    Good spot! There's two smaller stair sets on the left and right of the build, and this is duplicated from those, but the technique is pretty similar all the way up. I found the source of the rattling after I posted - it loosens up if you push on the bottom step. You can push the 1x2 brick attached to the top step to tighten it up again.
    VorpalRyu
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    ^ By the looks of things, pressing on the bottom step forces it hard against the tile it rests on and thereby straightens the build. Pressing the 1x2 brick down again forces the third step to angle up slightly and all the other steps follow. I wonder if you could move the SNOT brick just slightly forward with jumper plates or something.
  • msandersmsanders Member Posts: 914
    ^^ Ah, yes, I didn`t spot the other staircases. 
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 484
    Baby_Yoda said:
    ^ By the looks of things, pressing on the bottom step forces it hard against the tile it rests on and thereby straightens the build. Pressing the 1x2 brick down again forces the third step to angle up slightly and all the other steps follow. I wonder if you could move the SNOT brick just slightly forward with jumper plates or something.
    Yeah, that's what's happening. Would take a bit more work and under the hood action to move the SNOT brick by that precise amount, I think it's the second in from the left that would need to be held in place better, but that would need half a plate thickness while being not as wide as a stud... this works great for decorative builds though.
    I was impressed by the third panel along from the left being held in place by the stud on the jumper plate, that's a part relationship I didn't know about!
    LittleLoriBaby_Yoda
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    ^ I'd be interested to see how Lego pull it off. There's probably something built into the base that allows them just that slight protrusion...
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    I was wondering whether a bracket and two plates in place of the SNOT brick would make any difference, and it seems to work.
    With the SNOT brick:

    With the bracket:

    They don't rattle at all with the bracket. They do feel a little too rigid, though. I don't know if Lego would release a set that puts that much pressure on the bricks. Then again, this is an Architecture set, and I don't think my parts are going to break any time soon.
    BlueTacoLittleLoriAstrobricks
  • FauchFauch FranceMember Posts: 2,325
    the geometry looks correct.
    4 plates high on a side, 2 plates + 4 half plates on the other = 4 plates.
    3 studs is 15 half plates I think. bracket = 1 half plate + brick (6) + 4 panels (8) = 15.
    Baby_Yoda
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,555
    @Baby_Yoda I like your solution. The steps are more even.
    Baby_Yoda
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 484
    Baby_Yoda said:
    I was wondering whether a bracket and two plates in place of the SNOT brick would make any difference, and it seems to work.
    With the SNOT brick:

    With the bracket:

    They don't rattle at all with the bracket. They do feel a little too rigid, though. I don't know if Lego would release a set that puts that much pressure on the bricks. Then again, this is an Architecture set, and I don't think my parts are going to break any time soon.
    Your solution looks more stable though perhaps a little pushed! There's one bit that you missed with the SNOT brick solution which helps reduce the rattling, the 2x2 tile you have underneath the yellow brick is meant to be a 1x2 jumper plate and a 1x2 tile - the stud on the jumper plate holds the pink panel in place rather than allow it to move freely between the white and dark green panels.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    ^ Yes, I realised that later. But trust me, the structure's already rigid enough. There's certainly no chance of rattling...
    The inner corner of the wall panel part seems to be slightly larger than a 90-degree angle. This might throw off the 2:5 measurements we're used to.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,100
    Very impressed with the micro (and micro-micro) builds.  It's amazing at how small of a scale that LEGO can be built with!! :-)

    When TLG came out with the final Minifigure scale in 1978... it was great for adding inside building details... but there was a trade-off.  When the 1955-73 Town Plan scale was used for LEGO building, a door was 3 bricks tall.  Switching to the Minifig scale eventually doubled that scale to 6 bricks tall.  Unfortunately doubling the scale caused the volume of buildings to go up by a factor of 8 (2 to the 3rd power... for length x width x height).  This makes building a large Town very space consuming, and especially very expensive.

    When I was young, the Town Plan (1:87 HO scale) was perfect for making a larger town, and as for building skyscrapers... and you were less constricted by ceiling heights for skyscrapers...






    Baby_YodaPJ76ukpxchrisAstrobricksLittleLorimafon
  • OldfanOldfan Chicagoland, IL, USAMember Posts: 624
    ^No curved bricks (other than basic arches), no SNOT building, no tiles...it's like a whole different building system compared to today.

    Oh yes, and Cypress trees...[drool]
    mafon
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Oldfan said:
    ^No curved bricks (other than basic arches), no SNOT building, no tiles...it's like a whole different building system compared to today.

    Oh yes, and Cypress trees...[drool]
    They had curved bricks since very early on. Just look at the first pic and the 1955 advertising thread. Also, according to the lego history page, tiles were invented in 1965.
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 393
    Also, last year's invention of the inverted tile with hole. http://www.newelementary.com/2018/12/lego-35459-1x3-inverted-tile-hole.html
  • DeMontesDeMontes North YorkshireMember Posts: 566
    Another master of small builds with NPU - Markus.


    The Four Seasons
    PeteMBaby_YodaLittleLoristluxSwitchfoot55datsunrobbie
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda The world's backsideMember Posts: 1,271
    ^ The Minecraft Steve head for the lighthouse windows and the stud-shooter trigger for the reindeer head are both brilliant.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,655
    ^^Yeah, those are fantastic models. I love the clam shell for the snowdrifts leading up to the cabin. The upside down cupcake bottoms for the yellow trees are pretty fun too. 
Sign In or Register to comment.

Shopping at LEGO.com or Amazon?

Please use our links: LEGO.com Amazon

Recent discussions Categories Privacy Policy

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Brickset.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, the Amazon.com.ca, Inc. Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.