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MOC: Personalized Advent Calendar


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#1 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 01:35 AM

Hi there!  I'm new to the forums.  I've been lurking here for months, as I've enjoyed getting Lego news here (thanks for helping me find sets and sales).  I haven't actually bothered to register and post here until today.

I'm actually kicking myself because of the Winter Village contest--I've registered too late, so I can't enter it.  But at least I can display what I could have made.  Earlier this year, I decided to build my daughter her own Advent Calendar out of our spare bricks (plus some I tracked down on Bricklink) rather than spend the $40 for a new one.  So I've made 24 little sets to make our own little Christmas village.  I guess the general theme is "Collectable Minifigures"--I've included the Lumberjack, Grandma Visitor, Wind-Up Robot, Sleepyhead, and of course, the new Santa.  There will be two buildings, a mailbox, a small mail truck, and I threw in Police Buggy 30013 to fill in two more days.  The Christmas horse and sleigh is dressing only--it wasn't intended to go in the calendar, but I don't have a Winter village, so....

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I'd show off the whole thing now, but most of the parts are in 23 little bags which my daughter will open daily.  She opened one today, so I'll show that--along with the construction paper base I made.  It's a sled and tree--the idea being it's from a Christmas tree lot, so someone can buy it and have it pushed to their car.  The tree can actually sit in the sled pretty well and not fall out.

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I'll post more of these as my daughter opens them during Advent.  Hope you like my idea!

Edit: adjusted pictures to 800 x 600 ratio.

Edited by ResIpsaLoquitur, 06 December 2012 - 12:40 AM.


#2 fjoske

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:47 PM

What a fantastic idéa :-) Hope your daughter like her little calendar. You just gave me an idéa for next year :classic:

#3 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:35 AM

View Postfjoske, on 02 December 2012 - 08:47 PM, said:

What a fantastic idéa :-) Hope your daughter like her little calendar. You just gave me an idéa for next year :classic:

Thanks.  I'll update tomorrow...today was a pair of barriers to close off the "tree lot."  Kind of lame, so I'll update with the Lumberjack CMF tomorrow just so it doesn't look so dorky.  :classic:

#4 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

And I'm back with Days 2-4 of the personalized calendar.  I guess this wraps up the first mini-theme of the calendar: "shopping for a Christmas tree."

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Basically, Day 2 was the barriers--the idea being to make some gates to create the sense of a Christmas tree lot.  Day 3 was the CMF lumberjack, who's out there selling trees to his Lego customers.  Day 4 is my feeble effort at a slope-brick tree which Lego always sticks in their calendars.  I had a bunch of green slopes available and figured I had to use them on something.

I'm not super-pleased with the tree, but then, I'm never pleased with ANY of Lego's trees.  They tend to look too artificial when made of blocks or plates.  The "natural" trees are better, but of course, they're so "regular" looking that they also look fake, and of course, you can't decorate them shy of using a hot glue gun.

Anyway, here's the scene altogether, with the lumberjack hauling a tree in a sled for a needy customer.

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Like I said, the tree holds onto the sled surprisngly well--it won't roll off without being forcefully pushed.

I'm going to let my daughter open a few more days before posting again (especially since I go back to work tomorrow... :P)  The next sub-theme will be "writing to Santa," so let's see what's coming....

Edit: Adjusted pictures to 800 x 600 ratio.

Edited by ResIpsaLoquitur, 06 December 2012 - 12:42 AM.


#5 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 06:01 AM

Here's Days 5 and 6!  We're now in the theme of "Writing to Santa."

Day 5 was CMF Grandma Visitor, with the added bonus of an envelope.  Including her was important to me.  In building this calendar, I really needed a child figure to add the cute concept of someone delivering a letter.  If you haven't noticed, child minifigs are hard to find outside of expensive sets like Advent Calendars and modular buildings.  (Last year's AC had no kids.)  So when GV was added to Series 7, I thought it was perfect.  She's a child, she's in Christmas colors.  She's in a German outfit, but we'll just pretend she's a foreign exchange student!

Day 6 was a little street scene: a traffic light and a mailbox.  Admittledly, I'd do a few things differently here if I had the right parts.  One, I would have used a 4 x 4 grey base instead of a 6 x 6, as the "real" Advent calendars tend not to have large parts.  For the traffic light, I'd have used 1 x 3 yellow plates instead of 1 x 4s.  I don't have any 1 x 3s, so I'm stuck.  For the mailbox, I would have used red or green pieces if I had any.  The black looks fine, but not really holiday festive.  Overall, I'm otherwise pleased with it: we generally have a little kid who's about to send off a letter to Santa.

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Here's where the AC is at with Days 1-6 all unleashed (plus the Black Friday exclusive, and my daughter threw in last year's Santa).

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Coming up for Days 8 to 10: Now that GV has her letter, who's going to get it to the North Pole?  Stay tuned...

Edited by ResIpsaLoquitur, 07 December 2012 - 06:03 AM.


#6 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 02:23 AM

Back with Days 7 to 9.  You'll note in the following photos that I made some more mods to the traffic light and postal box.  I decided to add a stump to make the light higher, and I put them on separate gray 2 x 2 plates, as I thought the 6 x 6 wasn't consistent with what you'd get in an existing Advent Calendar.

Anyway, Day 7 was the merry mailman with four packages (1-stud 2 x 1s with 1 x 1 tiles on top).  I wish there were an actual CMF mailman, but maybe someday?  (Maybe the new policeman figure in Series 9 could be a model, with the CMF Santa sack for a mailbag.)  As it is, I tracked down a recent mailman on Bricklink.

Days 8 an 9 was a two-day build of a little mail truck, in which the packages fit fine.

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Here's the little mailtruck from the back, so you can see how the packages fit inside.
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And that's the end of "Writing to Santa," and we're only on Day 9.  Coming up for Days 10 through 16: "Shopping for presents!"  Stay tuned....and input is appreciated!

#7 stebai

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

Keep up the great work. I am following your calender and getting a few ideas of my own too. Merry Christmas!

#8 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

Small update so I don't fall off the radar!  With two more days down, here's Days 10 and 11 of a multi-day build.  It should be obvious what this will be...

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Santa's just there to give you a sense of scale.  This is a four-day build of a toy shop.  My only non-Lego modification to the parts occurs here, as I added some stickers to decorate the window.  You can see that both the roof and the bottom "hang" to the side, showing how they'll connect to the next two pieces.

Now I know how people felt last year building the Police Station!  I got the 2011 calendar on clearance last April, so I got to open it all at once and assemble the station whole.  This year, I'm impatiently awaiting the toy shop to be finished--there's two more walls, plus some accessories and a Collectable Minifig!  Can anybody guess which CMF owns the store?  Hint: he's named in the original post....

#9 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

Toy day!  On Day 12, we got some toys to put inside the little shop.

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Most of these are obvious brick combos.  On the little train, I'd LOVE to have four flat studs for the wheels.  I only have two, so I've got two silver ones subbing for the rear.  I'm getting the Monster Fighters Zombies set for Christmas, which I believe does have two extra flats, so they'll be replaced on December 25.  The dinosaur, for the curious, comes from a 2000 Studios set.

Here they are, assembled inside the shop:
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Coming up for Days 13-15...two more walls and a CMF!

#10 tomdobs55

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

Love that train!!
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#11 Metallic11

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 09:23 AM

I really like this custom advent calendar, very nice little creations and you have some pretty nice spare pieces!

#12 Kristel

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:28 AM

You've done a great job on this custom advent calendar, so far.  I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the days.

You're daughter is a lucky girl!

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#13 PsyKater

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:24 PM

Great, I did not notice this thread before. Maybe I will try a personal advent calender as well!
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#14 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:56 PM

View Posttomdobs55, on 13 December 2012 - 08:52 AM, said:

Love that train!!

Thanks!  I should give credit where it's due: I've seen the train design somewhere, sans the flat studs.  I can't remember if it was a previous Advent Calendar or someone else's MOC or what.  I thought it was perfect and had to go in the toy shop.  If anyone knows where the train comes from, let me know.

I'll post today's build with tomorrow's...um, tomorrow.  Got a lot going on tonight, and it'll be more fulfilling to see the whole building done at once.  (Spoiler: today was basically a door and frame to go next to the toy shop window.)

#15 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 03:56 AM

Oh, what the heck...I had some spare time, so here's Day 13.  The Toy Shop is almost open....Posted Image

I wish I had a 1-stud 2 x 1 for the middle there.  I don't strictly need one, but I wanted something to make the shop look a little more decorated.  If I had another "toy" I could put up there, I would.  A teddy bear?  (That goes with Sleepyhead.)  I have an owl that could go up there....Also, you'll note that I had to remove the lights from above the door--it wouldn't open with them there!  The lights will resume on the other side of the building.

#16 Kristel

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 11:35 AM

View PostResIpsaLoquitur, on 13 December 2012 - 11:56 PM, said:

Thanks!  I should give credit where it's due: I've seen the train design somewhere, sans the flat studs.  I can't remember if it was a previous Advent Calendar or someone else's MOC or what.  I thought it was perfect and had to go in the toy shop.  If anyone knows where the train comes from, let me know.

The train is from the Winter Village Toy Shop (10199).  I thought you must have based it on this, as your little car is similar to the toy car in that set, too.  If you're looking for more toys for, that set also has a cute teddybear, robot and jack-in-the-box.   Olivia's invention workshop (3933) has a nice little robot too.

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#17 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:30 AM

View PostKristel, on 14 December 2012 - 11:35 AM, said:

The train is from the Winter Village Toy Shop (10199).  I thought you must have based it on this, as your little car is similar to the toy car in that set, too.  If you're looking for more toys for, that set also has a cute teddybear, robot and jack-in-the-box.   Olivia's invention workshop (3933) has a nice little robot too.

Thanks, I knew I'd seen it somewhere.  I think this AC is full up for toys, but good to know if I need inspiration for more.

Anyway, here's Day 14.  It's...another wall!  But now the Toy Shop is done.  Except, it still needs the owner to arrive and open shop...

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#18 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:04 AM

Day 15!  The shop is now open, with CMF Wind-Up Robot as the owner.  For calendar purposes, he may be a guy in a robot suit...or maybe he's a giant toy who came to life.  I threw in a 2 x 2 brick with a tile on top as a Lego set he's selling.  The sticker came from the sticker sheet from the Friends Lemonade Stand (I figure that makes it an official sticker).

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And here's the calendar as of Day 15:
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Also, I messed up and discovered that I made two Day 22 sets!  So I went ahead and assembled the superflous set.  It's a fireplace for the second house that gets started next week.  Consider it my MOC polybag.

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Coming up next...danger lurks outside the Toy Shop!

#19 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:23 AM

Wow, the forum maintenance really kept me from updating this!  For the moment, here's Days 16 and 17:

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I'll admit, here's where I got laziest with the calendar (not that my daughter cares).  Day 16 was a robber (specifically from a 2002 Spider-Man set).  The idea is that he's just ripped off the toy store for all of $200.  Day 17 was the Police ATV quad-bike thing which was available as a Target Polybag earlier this year--he's chasing down the robber.

Not very original of me to just throw in a poly, eh?  Maybe I could have made that fireplace a 2-day build.  On the other hand, I do like having another vehicle in here besides the postal truck.  I guess my advice to you all is: if you decide to make your own Advent Calendar and you start to run out of ideas, polys make great filler!  :grin:

Coming up...as soon as I get the chance to take some pictures...another building!  What is it, and who's inside?  Find out on Days 18-24 as we enter our last sub-theme, "Waiting for Santa!"

Edited by ResIpsaLoquitur, 20 December 2012 - 12:25 AM.


#20 Big_Tuna_1

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:15 AM

cool!

#21 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 03:20 AM

Day 18-19:

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Like the toy shop, these are two sides of a house now "bricked" together.  You can see from the right side of the "door" wall that these will clip together in a brick-pattern fashion.  I initially wanted the walls to clip together the way the police station from last year's calendar did.  However, I couldn't come up with a system that looked good with the parts that I have.  (I.e., I don't have any green bolts to make effective clipping.)  It's my calendar, so what the heck--some disassembly required before adding the next section.

Anyway, Days 20 and 21 will be the other two wall sections before we begin occupying the house.  Let's see what's coming...(hopefully not that robber).

#22 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:15 PM

Day 20: Another wall section...any guesses what Day 21 will bring?  :grin:

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I do like how this turned out with the red, white, and green Christmas pattern.  My only big issue: a lot of my white pieces have yellowed over time.  I need to give them a good peroxide treatment when it warms up!

#23 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:13 PM

On Day 21, we finish the little house.  Nothing too special about this one: it's a solid wall with the rest of the roof.

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I also decided to add some "chimney" pieces to make the middle roof more interesting--I still don't have any 1 x 2 flat tiles.  You'll note that I've switched to an inside view of the house--that's because we'll start filling the house with furniture and CMFs!  To be continued...

#24 Kristel

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 12:58 AM

I would never think to put green and red together for a building, but his little house is perfect for an advent calendar.
It's almost a shame Christmas is so close, as I've really enjoyed watching this and all the other personalised advent calendars unfolding.
Merry Christmas!

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#25 ResIpsaLoquitur

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 02:57 PM

Day 22 is a little bed for our Christmas cottage.

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He won't be living here, but here's our CMF Lumberjack modeling the bed for us:

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Coming up: so whose bed is it, anyway?  This one should be easy....




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