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What are peoples thoughts on modifying pieces IE cutting chopping using glue etc?

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This is something I never would've dreamed of a few years back since hacking up even a minor piece i probably had hundreds of just felt wrong. but lately I'm finding it's more and more of a time saver and can save you hours trying to rebuilding something to accomodate a new piece or use. A good example being I modified my Optimus Prime lego set to give him poseable knees and rotating thighs. and I did all sorts to this set. I used the racheting disk arm pieces to replace the knees and when I discovered I had a drill piece from my modelling tools that was only a tiny fraction smaller than than a stud hole I went to town on some corner plates using some grey lightsaber blades clipped down so the plates would secure over them and finally for the thighs I simply used a 3 long peg but after discovering it couldn't support the weight of the legs I glued one end to a a 2x1 brick with round hole added a second brick with hole and a washer piece glued in place which gave the desired results. So drilling chopping and gluing on just one set. I've heard they use similar practices at lego HQ when designing new sets. Is it a common practice or is it one of those generally frowned upon type things?

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When there just isn't a suitable solution using unmodified parts for a build, I do cut parts. For example: 

 

I just tried using 22484 bar with towball, which works well if you cut off a couple mm from the end of the bar. Also part 65578 works very well when placed similarly to 79194/25893. Part 65578 must be fully seated to work well and not be too tight/long.

Part No: 22484  Name: Bar   1L with Tow Ball22484

Part No: 65578  Name: Bar   1L with Angled Hollow Stud65578

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I am not a fan of modifying pieces.
To me the art of Lego building was to be creative and find solutions with what we have. Otherwise what's the point of using Lego?
Also I enjoy the time spent on building, so I don't need time savers on the part I see as the most fun.

But that's just how I feel about it, I'm not frowning upon people who do (unless it's very rare parts).
Makes sense for Lego HQ to do it bc they do introduce new parts with new sets after all from these experiences.

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It is your LEGO so you can do what you like with it. But if you show it anywhere where other people might want to use a similar design then be upfront and say you have modified parts to strengthen it or whatever you have done.

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Posted (edited)

My rules are as such: I only cut baseplates, and very rarely at that. Gluing and painting are a no-no, while third-party parts are restricted to Big Ben Bricks or BrickTracks train wheels and track geometries LEGO doesn't make. I also refuse to patronize knockoffs and copycats as it's morally wrong. (I've also had MOC's stolen by a few Chinese competitors to LEGO)

Edited by Murdoch17

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It used to be something I just never considered peroid but assuming I've got a decent number of whatever piece I'm altering I find it's quite fun when you modifying a piece for a new purpose and discover it actually works and performs it's new fuction. Plus I'm less fussy about display sets that I'll likely never take apart anyway. 

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For your own personal use, anything is fine. Personally I avoid it partly because I dislike making irreversible changes to parts when MOCing and partly because I like the idea of MOCs and things being easily reproducible (even if in practice it's not like I tend to publish instructions or anything for the things I build).

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When I need a piece/part TLG will never make (tailored electrical feedthroughs, LEGO enclosures for custom PCBs, and so on and so forth) I do cut, glue to make it fit. It is solely for my very own purpose - TLG's sold parts count on these is exactly >one<, and I believe a mold for producing that piece a a little :pir-huzzah2: over the top.

Other than that: I go with the flow, as they say.

Regards,
Thorsten

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I have modified elements, to replicate elements I don't have but do exist as real parts in the extensive catalog of parts. That's about as far as I'll go, I like having limitations, that is one of the main attractions of the LEGO system, for me anyway.

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On 4/7/2024 at 9:14 AM, Murdoch17 said:

I only cut baseplates... Gluing and painting are a no-no

I pretty much do the same. Some of my layouts need the additional support of a baseplate, but not the full size. The catch is, I don't cut official LEGO baseplates, only the knock-offs. I do some painting to make graffiti, but only on really dirty bricks.

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I'll cut pieces if there's no way to achieve what I'm trying to do without it, if the cut won't be seen or is non-obvious, and if I have a spare of the part anyway. 

For example, there's no very short LEGO bar, so I cut the haft of a weapon to create one to make the ladybird buggoid's poleaxe:

cmf_s21.jpg

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I have a series of yes/nos that I should make into a flow chart but I’m general the answer is complex

 

1. Will the model be something I keep and never disassemble ? If im Keeping it I’m far more willing to make modifications

2. lights/wiring, if it’s a model I’m keeping I have no issue drilling holes or making channels in the plastic for wiring, I do it for my gunpla, I did it with my grandpas train layout when I used to live with him and I’ll do it with lego. Plastic is plastic!

3. The running gear dilemma. I mostly make train mocs, well one fully my own, but my rule for the running gear of the drivers ( the wheels tied to the pistons of a steam locomotive ) I will cut technic pins, arms and bars till TLG gives us more then scraps. Though I tend to 3D print my own rods and so on, however BTD makes drivers with a very specific material with SLA printing that I’ve never been disappointed in so that segways into…

4. 3D printing and the Kraggle in the room

this is an invaluable source to brick building, but sometimes also requires sanding down of both a lego part and/or the 3D printed part. Though recently I found the joint tightener I use for my gunpla and figures works well with lego and is easily removed via isopropyl alcohol, water based Polyurethane, wich is used as a floor polish ( also helps with smoothing 3D prints ). I feel some folk see Lego as to ephemeral of an investment that they don’t take as many risks with it as a medium.

I suppose that’s about it then, sometimes having different hobbies can be a great insight on others!

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I wouldn't ever modify a piece myself (because either I'll want the piece to reuse/build its source set at some point, or because I'd like the option to sell it in future if I want to) but I have come across a few pieces where the damage has made them potentially useful for films. For instance, I have a dark grey sword which looks as though it's been burnt at about halfway down the blade, which I plan to use in a scene some time soon.

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Posted (edited)

I'm too chicken to do any mods myself (I get nervous just applying stickers), but I respect those who do, I've seen some incredible figs that would never be possible with parts out of the box. 

Edited by Space Coyote

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