Elana-chan

Using vintage structures with newer, wider, vehicles

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Posted (edited)

Hello there, I am in the process of coming up with a design for a large diorama that will be made up of various official sets spanning from the 1990s to the present, and one of the complications I've encountered is figuring out how to integrate the larger (wider) vehicles from newer sets, particularly the creator series. Originally I was going to simply use a number of road baseplates for the town/city area, but I've found that some of the newer vehicles are up to 10 studs wide when including things like wheel wells and rear view mirrors, an example of which being the 31079: Sunshine Surfer Van. Most of the older vehicles I'm working with are 4 studs wide, to 7 studs wide on a 6 stud wide frame and many of the older structures such as 6397: Gas N' Wash Express were designed for this size vehicle.

Edited by Elana-chan

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Posted (edited)

I feel many Creator vehicles are certainly oversized compared to City.

And Sunshine Surfer Van and Vacation Getaways aren't even the worst cases compared to like Outback Adventures or Rocket Rally Car in looking oversized.

Even this year's Dune Buggy and Sunset Track Racer are just huge (while there is no minifig included, they still have an open 2x2 area to sit a figure in)

 

And while there have been more classic Town like 4-wide mini cars in some 3-in-1 houses , and some City polybags follow a similar style, most vehicles these days are wider then the 90s for sure.

City seems to go back to using better proportioned vehicles lately, using different wheel types as well, 4 wide  vehicles look a lot better now compared to 2014/2015 where the same wide wheels were used a lot and they'd stick out.

 

87697.jpg 12 mm wide.11209.t1.png9.9 mm wide. Same diameter. While imo also looking better for non-offroad vehicles.

Edited by TeriXeri

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My solution to wider vehicles is to go to a 48 x 48 stud base plate for roads. Each lane is 10 studs wide.

lego_road.jpg

lego_road_02.jpg

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7 hours ago, TeriXeri said:

I feel many Creator vehicles are certainly oversized compared to City.

That's basically my take as well- if you're trying to stick with official sets, the newer Creator stuff just isn't in scale with City and probably shouldn't be used (without modification).

Depending on the goal of your display, you could do something like grouping the sets by year so the appropriately sized vehicles are with the older matching scale sets, and there's a visual progression of style over time as you look across the display.  If you're not stuck with keeping the sets as-is, then it's a matter of looking at how much modification things would take in both directions, then pick one.  That is, if there are only a couple buildings that needs adjustment to accommodate bigger vehicles, change those.  If you've got a ton of structures that you don't want to touch, modify the vehicles to be smaller or just leave out the ones that are particularly large and place them strategically.

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So then there's no good way to allow creator/model team vehicles to co-exist with town/city? I was thinking along the lines of just having more variety in sizes of vehicles compared to the real world.

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It's your Lego diorama, make it the way you want it to be. It's your vision and you get to live with it. I'm sure once you have it built up and show some pictures you might get some more helpful suggestions on how to improve the visual appearance, but you just have to start somewhere and make improvements as you go along.

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On 4/18/2019 at 10:05 PM, Elana-chan said:

So then there's no good way to allow creator/model team vehicles to co-exist with town/city? I was thinking along the lines of just having more variety in sizes of vehicles compared to the real world.

You could modify them to be the correct scale.

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If you want to try and look at scale, in a real sense, you can scale to the height of a minifigure.  Based on traffic lanes, the average automobile is assumed to be 1.75m wide.  If you base scale on a minifigure , then the math works out to a car width of 5.2 studs, and a lane of traffic typically is from 2.7 to 4.6m, or ~8-13.7 studs wide.  Thus, there are significant variances in the sizes of cars and lanes in the world, so it probably won't look that crazy until you get to the upper size limit of the lanes for cars that are in real life much smaller.  Usually it's the big box trucks that fill the lanes, not the smaller cars.  The other problem will be the proportion of most of the buildings, as they are small to the proportion of a minifigure in most cases, and thus, by extension, to the cars as well.  I'd be of the mind to build my city, and then remove any cars that seem oddly proportioned to the eye.

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On 4/19/2019 at 4:05 AM, Elana-chan said:

So then there's no good way to allow creator/model team vehicles to co-exist with town/city? I was thinking along the lines of just having more variety in sizes of vehicles compared to the real world.

We tend to think that Lego stock vehicles going with minifigs are matching more or less scalewise, too - which is not the case: there's a large span between about 1:30 (some Speed Champions sets) to 1:60 (smaller trains). However this doesn't mean that there shouldn't be more variety in sizes, as you demand - a semi truck should of course be wider than a sports car. It's just that we can't rely on sets to achieve this, also because we need the odd widths, too, to get the whole spectrum of sizes (the new 5w Mini Cooper being a very welcome exception).

But since we're dealing with Lego nobody can stop us from changing the scale of vehicles to our liking. Scalewise the mentioned Sunshine Surfer Van would look much more appropriate in 6w in my opinion - shouldn't be too difficult to get this done.

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