jamesster

Minifigure legs without holes? (From 1983 unreleased book)

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http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=540034

As said in the gallery description, these are pictures of a prototype 1983 LEGO book "Trapped in Space" that was unreleased (but had some of its story reworked into the LEGO Jim Spaceborn comics - the author and illustrator of those classic comics, Frank Madsen, is the person who provided these pictures).

What's curious is that all the illustrations in the book are photographs of real LEGO, but none of the minifigures have holes in their legs. The minifigures also have a variety of facial expressions, but those are easy enough to do with a marker...

Anyone have ideas how this effect was done? Did they fill in the holes somehow? Were these prototype/specially produced parts? Was there a 1983 equivalent to photoshop? :tongue:

Edit - Also, perhaps of note for classic space fans, @Nabii has another photo from the book here, of its version of the Spearhead: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nabii/9152326001/ Though that image doesn't appear in the book itself. The ship later got a (still very impressive) redesign for the Jim Spaceborn comics: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=6024346

 

Edited by jamesster

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Perhaps it's electrical tape? Or they might have a prototype mold somwhere that made legs without holes.

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Neat! There are other parts that's not from 1983, like the twenty button computers ..

And those seem to have round bottoms. The 1984 Space Dart design is also there ..

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That's cool!  I love seeing this kind of old and interesting item, so thanks for sharing!

I doubt they'd have done a custom mold for solid legs for something like this given the relative cost and the fortunes of the company at the time, so they either had an existing mold from early minifig prototypes that they busted out for this, or they simply filled-in or covered the holes.  Wouldn't be hard for the limited numbers of figs seen in any given image in the book.  I'd still love to hear from someone who was around at the time how that came about, both the stylistic decision as well as the practical changes to the minifigs.

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I would guess the legs were filled in or something. If you take a look at page 20, there are some weird modifications to the sloped computers. Maybe its just a LEGO modeler that took extra initiative. 

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This would not be the first time that TLG used an old mold for images in a book (released or otherwise).

In 1968 TLG introduced spoked train wheels, at first in red.  In the early 1970s TLG introduced the 241 and 242 building ideas books.  These books show train models with red 12 spoke train wheels (view them as you would the hour hands of a clock to easily spot that they have 12 spokes).  The irony is that these were all produced from a prototype LEGO wheel mold, since all known old red train spoked wheels only have 10 spokes to them.  There are no 12 spoke old train wheels known on the secondary market.

http://www.peeron.com/scans/241-1/33

This is just one example of old LEGO items that never made it to production... I have an entire chapter in my computer desktop online Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide related to old sets and parts that never made it to production.  Today there are a ton of different unreleased parts that have found their way out of the LEGO company onto the secondary market.

 

Edited by LEGO Historian

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It looks like they made good use of the stickers from set 6382. Some of the computer panels are those stickers. I wish there were some of those sticker sheets available at a good price.  

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I had a MISB 6382 that I parted out on BL, I think I got 20EUR for that sticker sheet. Should be easy to replicate though

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It being a storybook instead of an ideas book, at a time the minifig wasn't the icon it is today, I can easily imagine they filled the holes for them to look pretty. Which is a mistake the Lego TV series make as well!

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On 6/4/2018 at 5:35 PM, jamesster said:

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=540034

As said in the gallery description, these are pictures of a prototype 1983 LEGO book "Trapped in Space" that was unreleased (but had some of its story reworked into the LEGO Jim Spaceborn comics - the author and illustrator of those classic comics, Frank Madsen, is the person who provided these pictures).

What's curious is that all the illustrations in the book are photographs of real LEGO, but none of the minifigures have holes in their legs. The minifigures also have a variety of facial expressions, but those are easy enough to do with a marker...

Anyone have ideas how this effect was done? Did they fill in the holes somehow? Were these prototype/specially produced parts? Was there a 1983 equivalent to photoshop? :tongue:

Edit - Also, perhaps of note for classic space fans, @Nabii has another photo from the book here, of its version of the Spearhead: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nabii/9152326001/ Though that image doesn't appear in the book itself. The ship later got a (still very impressive) redesign for the Jim Spaceborn comics: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=6024346

 

I actually have a copy of this book, these scans are pretty poor. In the book I can see the holes are there but they seem to be filled. It's possible they used the molded 'studs' that prototyping still make to this day that were glued to wooden carved pieces to make new element prototypes in the days before 3d printers.

I'll try to remember to ask Neils Milan Pedersen who worked with the guys who did this book and it's companion the 'castle' version why they filled the holes.

Hope that helps.



 

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On 6/17/2018 at 1:20 PM, Nabii said:

I actually have a copy of this book, these scans are pretty poor. In the book I can see the holes are there but they seem to be filled. It's possible they used the molded 'studs' that prototyping still make to this day that were glued to wooden carved pieces to make new element prototypes in the days before 3d printers.

I'll try to remember to ask Neils Milan Pedersen who worked with the guys who did this book and it's companion the 'castle' version why they filled the holes.

Hope that helps.

Hrm, Eurobricks hasn't been giving me consistent email notifications and I missed this until now...

That's interesting, I didn't know separate studs existed for prototyping. I wonder if any have ever fallen into public hands, as prototype parts occasionally do... Though, if that's what they used, they probably would have had to shave down the ones in the upper holes to keep them flush with the curved tops, right?

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On 6/14/2018 at 10:01 PM, anothergol said:

It being a storybook instead of an ideas book, at a time the minifig wasn't the icon it is today, I can easily imagine they filled the holes for them to look pretty. Which is a mistake the Lego TV series make as well!

Why is it a mistake? Seems like a pretty unobtrusive creative liberty for animators to take, especially since it could be awkward making legs with holes contract when you want to show the legs in a pose that real minifig legs can't assume. 100% accuracy to the toys doesn't have to be the goal all the time.

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1 hour ago, Aanchir said:

Why is it a mistake? Seems like a pretty unobtrusive creative liberty for animators to take, especially since it could be awkward making legs with holes contract when you want to show the legs in a pose that real minifig legs can't assume. 100% accuracy to the toys doesn't have to be the goal all the time.

The Lego movies proved that faking real Lego was much better.

But I don't think it was only a "creative liberty" anyway, it's also that it's easier to animate (especially by classic animators) a costs less time to render.

Then you have Lego Friends, which looks ok IMHO, as it doesn't try to make characters look like minidolls... which is what Lego Elves does and it looks awkward too.

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27 minutes ago, anothergol said:

The Lego movies proved that faking real Lego was much better.

But I don't think it was only a "creative liberty" anyway, it's also that it's easier to animate (especially by classic animators) a costs less time to render.

Then you have Lego Friends, which looks ok IMHO, as it doesn't try to make characters look like minidolls... which is what Lego Elves does and it looks awkward too.

Are we still talking about the holes in the legs, or breaks from toy accuracy in general? I don't see how adding more points of articulation makes anything "easier to animate". The LEGO movie designs are more advanced in some ways, like the photorealistic textures showing wear, tear, dust, and molding marks on the individual parts, or the cheats they use to get around the real limitations on posability for a properly assembled minifigure. But animating legs that only move back and forth on one axis is easy-peasy. Brickfilmers have been doing it for decades, and if you've used a program like LDD you know it's no more difficult on a digital model than a physical one.

I would also count these kinds of deviations as a creative liberty because it's not at all limited to animated media. The packaging for the collectible minifigures, the illustrations of various hand-drawn LEGO comics, and more also deviate from a strictly toy-accurate look, not because it's somehow any easier than showing the characters with the limited articulation of the physical toys, but rather because it gives the characters more expressive body language, lets their movement feel more fluid and less "janky", and in some cases like certain Ninjago comics and media lets decoration from the front of the legs continue onto the back.

The LEGO movies proved that the realistic LEGO look is better some of the time. Acting as if they proved that style was always superior is like saying Toy Story proved CGI cartoons were always superior to hand-drawn ones, or that Van Gogh proved that impressionist paintings were always superior to realist ones. There is no reason all media representations of LEGO characters have to follow the exact same rules. Frankly, it'd be pretty boring if they did.

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19 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Are we still talking about the holes in the legs, or breaks from toy accuracy in general?

well they go together

19 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

I don't see how adding more points of articulation makes anything "easier to animate".

you can find animators straight out of their school who will have no problem fitting in the Lego series. Animating the Lego movies however, that requires quite some creativity to compensate for the lack of articulation.

And it really is easier, you can see in those series that a lof of the animation is heavily keyframed and uses a lot of stock/recycled poses. To me it's just cheap but hey, it's TV, I've seen worse. In fact, when you don't wanna put enough money in it, better do 3D than 2D anyway.

 

19 minutes ago, Aanchir said:

Acting as if they proved that style was always superior is like saying Toy Story proved CGI cartoons were always superior to hand-drawn ones

well I only like CGI when it doesn't look like CGI anyway.

But what I was saying is that CGI Lego is awkward. The Lego Friends series, I find it CGI-ugly, but it's not bad because it doesn't try to make characters look like minidolls at all.
The way those minifigs bend their limbs is just weird, and the way only the minifigs look blocky but not the rest is even worse. The opposite would have been more understandable - characters with normal limbs in a blocky world.

Edited by anothergol

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On 6/17/2018 at 2:20 PM, Nabii said:

I actually have a copy of this book, these scans are pretty poor. In the book I can see the holes are there but they seem to be filled. It's possible they used the molded 'studs' that prototyping still make to this day that were glued to wooden carved pieces to make new element prototypes in the days before 3d printers.

I'll try to remember to ask Neils Milan Pedersen who worked with the guys who did this book and it's companion the 'castle' version why they filled the holes.

Hope that helps.



 

Sorry to bump an old thread here, but I'm wondering, how in the world did you come across a copy of this book? Would you be able to provide some better scans? It would be interesting to read this.

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Those were probably unfinished minifigures in those pictures, which were supposed to have holes, but since the book was just a prototype probably so were the minifigs in it.

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The only lego without holes in the legs are the characters of the tv series Ninjago, Chima and Nexo Knights. Those kinds dont have holes in their legs. Even their building are not made out of Legos bricks it`s look like it was made out real building bricks but in animation which included the sidewalk. In fact the characters look like kids in real life with square feet and yellou u hands.  

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