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Begginers Guide to Modular Housing?


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#1 KurttKrueger

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:02 AM

Greetings folks,

Just wondered if anyone had put together a beginners guide to modular housing?

I've been collecting Lego on and off for the past 25 years, and have come to the realisation that instead of just buying sets, building them and displaying them, I want to start getting in to serious MOCing. The theme I most want to focus on is Town.

So, I'll be picking up Cafe Corner and Green Grocer, and possibly Fire Department early next year (currently raising funds by ebaying junk) to make a start, but I want to also start expanding my parts collection to be able to build structures of this nature as well.

Can anyone suggest online resources that contain a sort of 'how to' guide to get me started in this style of building? The plan is to build the three above sets and then make a start, but a little guidance would be appreciated.

I did a search for the above, but couldn't find anything meaningful, however, I know my search-fu is weak.

Cheers,

Kurtt

Edited by KurttKrueger, 20 December 2009 - 11:03 AM.

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#2 Rick

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 11:10 AM

I guess this is not what you're looking for, but Aliencat has - for LowLUG - written an article about the modular building standard. It isn't a building style guide, but rather explains the stud dimensions of the modular standard. It's in Dutch, but the pictures speak for themselves.

Edited by Rick, 20 December 2009 - 11:10 AM.


#3 Cwetqo

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 12:28 PM

Ther's no need for a guide. You just need money (around 500euro) and a few days to assemble everything. The real challenge will be to get Cafer Corner an Market Street for a reasonable price, so I suggest that you start with that.

#4 KurttKrueger

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 12:40 PM

@Rick: Thats an excellent little article, even if I can only understand the pictures. A nice basis to start from anyway. Thanks very much!

@Cwetqo: I'm not too worried about the price of Cafe Corner and Green grocer at the moment, as both still seem to be available on Shop@Home for the UK. I'm not to sold on the design of Market Street, so was planning on skipping it anyway.

Thanks for the input so far guys!
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#5 Jasper Joppe Geers

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 02:17 PM

Don't know if this is helpful, but let me explain how i usually start:

1. First of all you need a clear idea as possible what you would like to create.
    Should it be a bank? a Hotel? Or maybe a barber shop?

2. When you have some ideas (maybe put on paper) you should decide
   the size of your building. At this stage the article of Aliencat mentioned
   here is really helpful.

3. Start with some pavement, and include the spots where a street lantern
   should be, or a waste basket or whatever you would like to create.

4. if you've done that, try to work out the spaces of your building with
   some basic bricks. For example, if you want to create a post office,
   try to think of what areas could be found in there. Put down the bricks
   on the baseplate where the interior walls should be.

5. From here you need your imagination mostly. Be creative, and think
   what could work for your moc or not. The great fun (for me the most)
   starts actually when you can get an interior done as well as the outside.

Hope this can help you a bit? In my case i've done everything that should
fit beside the well known mocs like CC, GG and FD. When i get the feel
that my moc is meeting that kind a level, then i'm happy!

Cheers,

JJ.

#6 metalgearsolid

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 03:32 PM

View PostRick, on Dec 20 2009, 07:10 PM, said:

I guess this is not what you're looking for, but Aliencat has - for LowLUG - written an article about the modular building standard. It isn't a building style guide, but rather explains the stud dimensions of the modular standard. It's in Dutch, but the pictures speak for themselves.

Thanks Rick for the link.  I've translated using Google and copied here for the convenience of English speakers.

Edited: Google translated version removed to avoid confusion. Pls refer to Rapseflaps' manual translation below.

Edited by metalgearsolid, 20 December 2009 - 07:14 PM.

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#7 KurttKrueger

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 05:07 PM

Guys, this is excellent stuff, and thanks for the translation metalgearsolid.

I'm going to start small on something like a townhouse, then go from there I think.
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#8 Rapseflaps

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 06:50 PM

View Postmetalgearsolid, on Dec 20 2009, 04:32 PM, said:

Thanks Rick for the link.  I've translated using Google and copied here for the convenience of English speakers.

Here's the translation by someone who speaks Dutch ;) :

How-To: Modular Buildings
by Aliencat

We regularly see each other at meetings and bring along a construction or two of our own. An ideal standard for combining buildings is the so-called Café Corner Modular Standard (or CCMS).
But if you don't own a Cafe Corner, Green Grocer, etc., how do you know what rules to follow to make your building fit in with the rest?

I will describe the CCMS as applied in Lego's sets and as applied by many fans. There's basically two types of building in this standard. Will you write along?

1. Straight buildings

Generally speaking, every baseplate is 32 studs deep. The width is variable with straight buildings, always being a multiple of 8 studs. A common used width is 16 studs wide. The connection points, pavement, walls etc. will then have the following sizes:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Whether your building is 8 studs wide or 64 studs wide, the sizes in depth are always the same. That way the Technic bricks with hole will always align and allow for the buildings to be attached to one another through the use of Technic pins.


2. Corner buildings

In the case of a corner building, you're dealing with two connecting points at a 90 degree angle of each other. Therefore, your baseplate will always have to be 32 x 32 studs. Of course you can make the full building larger by attaching straight buildings forming a continuous whole at either side, but the corner module must be 32 x 32:

Posted Image

Posted Image


3. Variation in depth sizes

If you look at a real-life (old) street, you will see that not all buildings align in a perfectly straight line: some jut out a bit, others fall a little further back. If you put a number of CCMS buildings in a row, this method of alighnment will give you the best result. As long as you leave the Technic bricks in the right position for connecting, you're free to place your front and back wall at will. This might result in something like this:

Posted Image

Keep the variation in mind, because of your side wall. In some cases, part of your side wall will be visible. So if you were planning to omit your side wall, or make one out of all the colors you won't be needing for the front and back walls, make sure that at least the edge of the side wall that juts out is made of a color that fits with the rest of the building.

I myself always build an entire side wall if I know the building is going to end up in a combined layout with other builders: because you don't quite know what will end up next to you. For all you know you might end up next to a construction side, leaving your side wall entirely exposed.


4. Height

The last point I wish to adress is height. In terms of height, you're basically free to do whatever you want. Make it as tall or as low as you wish. One floor 6 bricks high, eight floors 12 bricks high each, everything is possible. Do keep in mind though, that if you're making a very tall building, your side walls will definitely be visible. So make it into something exciting featuring windows or something, so it's not just one boring, flat wall. Do take care that you won't have anything protruding over the edges, since you may not know how high the building next to yours might be.

Variation in height is another reason to build side walls in a matching color when your creation will end up in a combined layout: the building next to yours might be very low and you won't know ahead of time.



Incidentally, Lego used to have a page explaining the modular standard, but it has sadly disappeared since then. It's still linked to at the Brickwiki page for modular building, but all it does is bring up an error page.
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#9 Jasper Joppe Geers

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 06:54 PM

@rapseflaps: Can you tell me why you posted this article again?
It is mentioned already some posts above. :wink:

#10 Rick

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 07:09 PM

He actually translated it 'manually'. The translation a few posts up is a Google Translate translation.

#11 Rapseflaps

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 07:10 PM

View PostRick, on Dec 20 2009, 08:09 PM, said:

He actually translated it 'manually'. The translation a few posts up is a Google Translate translation.

What he said.
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#12 metalgearsolid

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 07:19 PM

Thanks Rapseflaps.  :thumbup:  I was hoping someone would help to translate the article by Aliencat, and you came along! Hope you don't mind but I'll use your translation to re-post to my local Lego community. Thanks in advance!  :classic:

I've removed the Googled translated version in my earlier post. to avoid confusion.  :tongue:
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#13 quietworkshop

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Posted 20 December 2009 - 07:30 PM

I believe he posted it because he did the translation himself from Dutch. Human translation > more coherent then Google translation. Thanks dude!

#14 tedbeard

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:41 AM

Great article, thanks for the translation! I will add the link to the BW article when I get a chance.

View PostRapseflaps, on Dec 20 2009, 09:50 AM, said:

Incidentally, Lego used to have a page explaining the modular standard, but it has sadly disappeared since then. It's still linked to at the Brickwiki page for modular building, but all it does is bring up an error page.

I was the last to edit that article and left the original link hoping that LEGO would reinstate the page. I guess I should change it to use an internet archive version.

:sceptic:
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#15 Jameson42

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 07:25 PM

View PostKurttKrueger, on Dec 20 2009, 10:07 AM, said:

Guys, this is excellent stuff, and thanks for the translation metalgearsolid.

I'm going to start small on something like a townhouse, then go from there I think.
Good luck in your endeavors! My first three CC buildings were townhouses. I still haven't tackled any corner buildings yet, but I will likely do that next.

My best advice is to start out by looking at real world buildings. It's really easy to build a box, and hard to make something that has enough detail to seem like a real building. I went through a million revisions on my first CC house before I ended on something I liked. Being satisfied with your own creation is the most important part.

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#16 KurttKrueger

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 11:41 AM

View PostJameson42, on Dec 21 2009, 07:25 PM, said:

Good luck in your endeavors! My first three CC buildings were townhouses. I still haven't tackled any corner buildings yet, but I will likely do that next.

My best advice is to start out by looking at real world buildings. It's really easy to build a box, and hard to make something that has enough detail to seem like a real building. I went through a million revisions on my first CC house before I ended on something I liked. Being satisfied with your own creation is the most important part.

Yeah, I'm going for a town house look myself. I'm a little daunted by what I see on offer, but I'm just going to go with the flow. The ebay junk fund is growing, so I envision I'll be able to place and order for one of the modular houses on shop@home in the next week or so.

In the meantime, I've started playing around with LDD, using the templates in the above article. I'll post what I've come up with so far later on, though I find I'm somewhat limited by the parts selection.
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#17 Littlest Rhino

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:33 AM

As a beginner (rather, getting back into Lego's and attempting to get the creative juices flowing after 6-7 years of not opening a single drawer), if you could suggest a fully stocked Pick a Break shopping cart off of the Lego online store, what would you buy in order to put some rather decent Lego City Moc's?

#18 Jasper Joppe Geers

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:05 AM

Good question.

I think I would first take a look at some part lists of the original models like GG, CC, FB...

Then i wonder why you would find everything from PAB?... If you could get your hands
on one or two of the original LEGO modular houses that would give you the best start
if you ask me.

You could use those parts to toy around, and find out about you're own ideas...
what you would like to build.

Cheers,

JJ

#19 Rick

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:49 AM

View PostJasper Joppe Geers, on Jan 24 2010, 11:05 AM, said:

Then i wonder why you would find everything from PAB?... If you could get your hands
on one or two of the original LEGO modular houses that would give you the best start
if you ask me.
I buy the modulars as 'sets', not as parts packs, but indeed: I don't think you can get so many 'good' parts (a mix of realistic colors, doors and windows, and special elements in large quantities) for a better price elsewhere. Unless of course you know exactly what you're looking for. In that case Bricklink or PaB may be better. PaB is especially useful for elements in 'rarer' colors (since the same element costs the same in almost every color directly from TLG).

Edited by Rick, 24 January 2010 - 11:50 AM.





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