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MOC City Advent Calendar (picture heavy)

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#1 Evil Stu

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:00 AM

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For the last few years I have been getting one of the Lego advent calendars for my girlfriend for Christmas. Given the two on offer were not really to her liking this year, I had a go at designing one mainly using S&H parts, and gave one to her and one to her sister. The theme I had set myself was basically a southern hemisphere Christmas. At the outset I had naively thought it would be easy, but by the end I had developed a great deal of appreciation for the skill of the Lego designers who manage to do so much with so few pieces each day - I went way over what would be considered a 'standard' piece count for an official advent calendar.

I have attached below links to the images printed and includes with each day.A huge thank you to my sister in law who was kind enough to assist with the wonderful photography. For those interested, higher resolution images can be accessed via Flickr

C&C welcome.

Day '0' was a green 32x32 stud baseplate, although it was not intended that everything would necessarily fit on the plate in a presentable manner but the time the calendar was completed.

Day 1: Sunbather

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We start with a lady enjoying the sunshine, but still being sun safe and carrying an umbrella.

Day 2: Towel

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Day 2 gives us a towel for the sunbather to lie upon, and a bottle of sunscreen. Two 1x1 tiles were placed on the middle plate strips to connect the sunbather  when she is lying down.

Day 3: Flower beds

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Day three was a pair of flower beds for each calendar. The flowers to the left and right were elevated with a 1x1 round plate in order to raise them above the centre flowers and allow them to sit properly.

Day 4: Picnicker

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Today we have someone off to enjoy the park. She has with her picnic basket lunch.

Day 5: Picnic Blanket

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Picnic blanket and picnic lunch, complete with two wine glasses perfect for drinking "White Wine in the Sun" (anybody not familiar with the musical stylings of Australian comedian Tim Minchin may wish to run a search for him).

Day 6: Picnicker #2

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Someone to share the picnic with.

Day 7: Another Flower Bed

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The same design as Day 3, but now we have a little bit of variety in our colour scheme.

Day 8: Drinks Stand Guy

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It's such a lovely warm sunny day but unfortunately not everyone has the day off. Drinks Stand Guy is serving up beverages to make sure everyone stays cool and hydrated.

Day 9: Drinks Stand

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Somewhere for Drinks Stand Guy to ply his craft.

Day 10: Businessman

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On his way to a meeting, Businessman takes a short cut through the park. This gives him an opportunity to visit Drinks Stand Guy and grab an espresso (Not everyone is worried about the temperature today). This day had a spare head included. As well as the one shown in the photo (the Bluetooth headset "on the phone to my stock broker / bad news from my stock broker") there was another one with the yellow sunglasses and surly expression (the "don't talk to me until I have had my espresso" head).

Day 11: Table and Chairs

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Somewhere for people to relax and consume their tasty beverages after visiting the drinks stand.

Day 12: Gardens

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Two more plant beds, using the "Heroica" tree idea in minifig scale. Our park is starting to look a little greener.

Day 13: Water Feature

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A slightly more complicated build today (hence the bigger photo). The start of a water feature. Lots of grey 'cheese' pieces used to give the rock a more natural shape.

Day 14: Boat

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A small river section with a model boat floating in it. A 1x1 blue tile in the 'water' allows the boat to be fixed in place. I was quite pleased with the way the red flag at the top of the mast looked  :tongue:  

Day 15: Boy

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Today we have a small boy playing in the park. He has a remote control for his boat, and a few 1x1 round plates. Possibly food to feed to the ducks, possibly rocks to throw at the boat. Although he does look like a well behaved young man... Let's assume that he is going to feed ducks.

Day 16: Bridge

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Day 16 gives us our third day of the water feature, and this time a bridge to cross our river.

Day 17: Duck

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Another river section, this time with a duck. Very similar to the ones in the MMV kit. I'm glad this was a duck. To me it looked as though it might have been a seagull. A seagull would have just annoyed the nice couple enjoying their lovely picnic, so a duck is much better. It's too cute to ruin anyone's day.

Day 18: Girl

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Here we have a girl who has had a parrot land on her arm. She has some food which she has used to coax it in to landing on her. Or maybe she is a pirate getting ready to throw her rock at the Boy's boat? We also have a tree included today to provide some shade in the park.

Day 19: River Bend

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A small section of river, this time with a 90 degree bend, which is just as well as we were beginning to run out of baseplate.

Day 20: Another Duck

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This time we have a black duck hiding amongst the ferns near the river and enjoying the peace and quiet.  

Day 21: Walker

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Today we have someone out for a hike through the park. He has a hat, sunglasses, backpack and walking stick so is well prepared. And we also have another tree today. Not shown in the photo, as it was added as an afterthought, is one of the older 'dog' pieces. So now our hiker can be walking his puppy and throwing the stick for the dog to retrieve.

Day 22: Pond

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The conclusion of the river section. an abundance of ferns and plant life, including a frog hiding away, going about his frogly business.

Day 23: Groundskeeper

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Someone has to do all of the hard work to keep the park looking so presentable and tidy, and it is the responsibility of this fine gentleman. Don't feel too sorry for him working while everyone else is having fun. His shift finishes in 30 minutes and then he and Drink Stand Guy are heading to the beach to spend the rest of the afternoon surfing before going to a friends barbecue that evening  :classic:

Day 24: Tree

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No tinsel or baubles. No star on top. No presents underneath. But it is a big tree which will provide shade for the summer. Children will climb it's branches and use it's trunk as impromptu wickets when playing cricket. Magpies will nest in it and swoop the small children in the spring. It does everything a tree needs to  :tongue:

And that brings us to the end of the advent calendar. I hope I may have inspired some of you to have a go at doing something similar next year.

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Wishing everyone an enjoyable holiday season!


Edited by Phred, 21 March 2012 - 06:09 PM.

#2 wondermonkey


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Posted 26 December 2011 - 05:21 AM

Wow that's great! We had the Star Wars one but this is way better!!!
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#3 lightningtiger


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Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:34 PM

Excellent designing there 'Evil Stu', a typical Aussie scene ! :grin:
Hope you had a great Christmas yourself and your family. :classic:
Brick On ! :wink:

#4 El Garfio

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 01:41 PM

Great design.

If it were for sale, I would surely buy it!!!

#5 KeepLeft


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Posted 26 December 2011 - 08:26 PM

Really nice ideas, I like the picnic scene, I will have to use that idea for some of my minifigs who will be having a picnic in the park.

#6 L@go


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 12:54 AM

Lovely! Like you say, it's way too piece-consuming to be something that Lego would sell. But if they did, I sure would buy it...

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#7 Vindicare


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 01:41 AM

Very cool. I'd buy one. I like how it's like a puzzle. I would love to have this for my city. :thumbup:
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#8 SilentMode


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Posted 27 December 2011 - 03:04 AM

Now this is a concept for an advent calendar! I couldn't wait to see how everything fit together at the end, but all the models were very well designed and constructed in their own right.
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#9 KnightSnap


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 01:55 AM

Awesome. As an Aussie advent calendar, it was well done. I would love to have seen a BBQ in there as well as it is a staple of many Aussie Christmas Dinners.

#10 petamas


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Posted 28 December 2011 - 07:21 PM

Wow, I must say this calendar is much better than this year's official City calendar. Congrats!

If I may ask, how much did it cost? (Approximately, ofc.) How many pieces aren't available in S@H?

Thanks, Tom

#11 Evil Stu

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 07:34 AM

Thanks all for the positive feedback!  :classic:

KnightSnap, you are right on the money about the notable and regrettable absence of a barbecue. It was on the preliminary list (along with an Eski, wooden picnic table bench, kids playing cricket/football/throwing Frisbee, someone fishing, bike riders) but I simply ran out of days to fit everything in to.

petamas, I am not sure exactly how much it cost - maybe about double the cost of one of the larger standard advent calendars? (very rough estimate). From memory the non S&H parts were as follows: both the umbrella tops (although plain white substitutes could be acquired through S&H or by breaking down one of the 'Sun Block' games for parts), the Belville turkey and the orange plates from the picnic blanket on day 5, the dog, the green frog in the pond on day 22, the girl and parrot on day 18 (the girl was dropped in from one of the S&H magnet sets but was not obtained via the PAB section, the parrot was from EBay), the orange duck feet (not required if both ducks are 'swimming' in the water), the apple held by picnic guy and the purple 1x1 round plate for the violet top on day 17, which could be colour substituted without too much of an issue. Please note this is based on the parts available at time of writing on the Aussie S&H/PAB service, i am unsure if  part availability differs between countries (I know kits which sell out in one country are often available in another so am not sure if this is the case here).


#12 Legoist


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:21 AM

Great idea and great results!

I agree that this would be more expensive than a regular advent calendar, it has definitely more pieces, some unusual colours, and many plants which I think tend to be somewhat more expensive.

#13 Priovit70


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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:16 AM

View Postpetamas, on 28 December 2011 - 07:21 PM, said:

Wow, I must say this calendar is much better than this year's official City calendar.
You are absolutely right, I totally agree...
Great Advent Calendar! Very well done!!

#14 JackJonespaw


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Posted 30 December 2011 - 04:41 AM

Nice Advent Calendar! I love the rivers!

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