The Real Indiana Jones

[CUUSOO] The Infinitely Modular Classical Temple Building Set

  

77 members have voted

  1. 1. How much realism do you want to see in historical sets made by Lego?

    • Real events with strictly accurate history
      9
    • Real history but with a few little anachronisms
      7
    • History with authentic mythology from the time period
      31
    • History and mythology updated by movies and modern pop-culture
      18
    • Anything that is exciting and cool, including crazy new stuff Lego just made up!
      12


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OK, at this point, a small series of sets covering the Ancient World is essentially inevitable... All the molds have already been made, and it is just a matter of time now... So here is an ambitious new attempt to make a series of sets through Cuusoo.

I designed a series of 8 of them, ranging all the way from $30 to $300, including different sets for Greece, Rome, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Stonehenge, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and the Nexus of Bifrost.

Please have a look, I'd love to hear everyone's feedback, and then you can come to vote on all of them for free at LEGO Cuusoo!

And I will incorporate everyone's suggestions as soon as I can! Thanks Again! =D

therealindy

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(Archaeology, Ancient, History, Greece, Greek, Rome, Roman, Alexandria, Egypt, Celtic, Stonehenge, Garden, Babylon, Viking, Bifrost, Wonders of the World)

Edited by Rick

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Fascinating and very impressive build. Extremely ambitious. Perhaps too ambitious for CUUSOO....?

I don't get the usage of flesh minifigs since this is a non-licensed set, though.

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It's very nice and I'm definitely up for a classical mythology theme but if you're trying to build a theme that will target stores then there needs to be play value in order to attract the primary market which is parents buying for children. At the moment the sets are display pieces which whilst nice just don't work for me, there needs to be some drama, some conflict or something that I can re-enact.

Athena - nice model and minifig but what I do I do with her? What story from legend can I recreate with the single character?

Caesar - again, nice model but on it's own I can't re-enact anything. Give me a some senators and I can recreate his murder on the Ides of March. Give me a soldier or two and I can recreate his military campaigns.

Medusa - two characters this time, but still I find it lacking playability. Give me a Perseus and I can slay the Medusa. Give me the Graeae and Hesperides and I can recreate the entire myth.

Celopatra - same as Athena and Caesar, how can I create a story around a single character? Cleopatra needs an accompanying Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar to recreate the story.

Stonehenge - too much of a jump! Other than the obvious "Romans invade Britain", how do I create a story out of this when I've got a Stonehenge and a Medusa? The theme needs to be coherent so that the different sets interact and interplay, stick to Greco/Roman or Mythology rather than trying to encompass the entirety of the modern world.

Babylon - same reasoning as Stonehenge, it's destroying the coherency of the theme.

The moc'ers that inhabit Eurobricks would love your builds as parts packs but buildings without storyline wont sell in a retail environment. Kids want to recreate stories, give me Theseus and the Minotaur, give me Daedalus and Icarus, stories from the Illiad or the Odyssey.

How are these models modular? It's not like I can lift off floors to see inside which is what makes the Modular city buildings modular.

Apologies if I seem somewhat harsh, but I'd actually like to see this succeed and to do that it needs a rethink to introduce some coherence and above all play-ability. Don't be disheartened, the designers at TLG spend months to years perfecting a theme.

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Hi, Thanks...

@Hive, Yes, the core of my collection is licensed themes, and so almost all of my figs are flesh tones, and so that is what I always work with. Plus, there are a number of ways this could become a licensed set if they want to do that... Strategy Video Games? History Channel? Discovery Channel? National Geographic? Cuusoo is all about new ways of marketing sets!

and @The_Cook, And yes, the main reason I decided to give the Celts and the Babylonians some love, is to reach out into brave new territories of the Ancient World that have never been done as sets yet. In fact, I was going to do some nice Ancient Mayan or Aztec scenes, but I was not sure if they would object to implying the bloody aspects of the Mayan-Aztec rituals and Cosmology. And naturally, I would love to do some East Asian temples too, but we have to wait and see if they are willing to do a temple of a currently active world religion on Cuusoo.

And I will definitely be adding more minifigs to each set, based on which ones people ask for in the comments. You see that the main set has 24 warriors in it now, but I did that primarily because it makes a real Chess Set, and partly also because I did not want to add any religious or mythological elements that they might object to. That also partly explains why Athena is in a separate set, why the Olympian Gods are shown separately on the minifig concept page, and why the minifigs with staffs are clearly identified as Celtic and Babylonian Astronomers!

Most importantly, based on all that I've read, I'd say that the #1 reason that Lego has been avoiding making a great History Theme is that they want to avoid real-world human-vs-human conflict, like some of the wars you mentioned... My goal here was to help Lego create a series that celebrates the achievements of the civilizations first and foremost, without requiring them to get too caught up in real-world warfare. And remember, fans ooh and aah over all the Architecture sets and the Modular Buildings, even though they have no story-telling at all!

Also, "What makes them modular" is that you can create an infinite variety of setups, with billions of variations, including seven official models of the greatest hits of the Classical World: The Oracle, The Parthenon, The Academy of Athens, The Forum of the Old Republic, The Forum of Trajan, the Pantheon, any number of Renaissance buildings which have never been done before in Lego, and an Age of Enlightenment building based on Thomas Jefferson's Neo Classical home at Monticello. That's why I call it "Infinitely Modular" and not just modular!

And I'd love to hear more feedback on this... I know that everyone has specific expectations about what they want to see... But at the same time, the most successful Cuusoo projects have been the ones that "break the mold" a little bit, and do something surprising and new! =D

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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One issue I have is that Stonehenge (not really a henge btw) is from the Neolithic era and Boudicca lived during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Claudius and Nero. There is a span of millennia in between.

If you wish to do Stonehenge, you should have Neolithic figures worshiping or feasting. This was a place of pilgrimage, not a settlement.

If you wish to do Boudicca, you should have her and some Celtic warriors facing off with Roman soldiers. She rallied guerilla forces (totaling in the thousands) against Roman cities in Brittan. Camulodunum, Colchester and Londinium fell to the Celts during this period.

Edited by gedren_y

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One issue I have is that Stonehenge (not really a henge btw) is from the Neolithic era and Boudicca lived during the reigns of the Roman Emperors Claudius and Nero. There is a span of millennia in between.

If you wish to do Stonehenge, you should have Neolithic figures worshiping or feasting. This was a place of pilgrimage, not a settlement.

If you wish to do Boudicca, you should have her and some Celtic warriors facing off with Roman soldiers. She rallied guerilla forces (totaling in the thousands) against Roman cities in Brittan. Camulodunum, Colchester and Londinium fell to the Celts during this period.

I agree. That would be a way to get my play out of the sets. You could also have a Roman or Egyptian chariot set.

The Real Indiana Jones, I loved for the Athena set because I am fascinated with her story. Your sets look to be great display pieces but that cuts out the child market. Besides I think it would be excellent if Classical era LEGO introduced children to history and ancient myths.

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@becauseBatman, Thanks!!

@Blakstone, Yes, definitely the number one thing people are asking for is just to add in more minifigs and vehicles for playability and collectability, and there are literally hundreds of options there. It was always my intention to add lots more, right up to the max they can have in a set of however many bricks. In fact, adding more brickbuilt chariots or ballistas will also increase the brick count, and so then they can justify adding even more minifigs...! After all, in most cases, a headquarters "play set" is just a "display set" with more minifigures and vehicles added to it! =)

@Gedren_y, Yes, and Stonehenge was still an active pilgrimage site when Boudicca reigned, and I am sure she visited there a lot! By the same token, the Old Forum was built in the 700s BC, but Caesar went there every day. The only characters that are overtly out of time are Nebuchadnezzar (long passed) and Leif (not born yet), but if you have a space-time portal, like the Nexus of Bifrost, then literally anything as possible... I've read all of the encyclopedia articles carefully, and I decided that the story doesn't have to be 100% factual... This is Legoland! =)

To work around some of the thorny issues of realistic human-vs-human warfare, and to inject some fun authentic mythology, I am imagining that the story involves all of the human factions being forced to forge an uneasy alliance, and to recruit allies from across space-time-mythos, to defeat the evil plans of the Titans to rise up and dominate the world. I can imagine that the Romans will be very wary of their former-enemies, and that Caesar will want to be boss, but the other factions trust Athena more... So now you have multiple levels of uneasy alliances, factional in-fighting, unlimited supernatural and mythological elements, and unlimited opportunities for heroes from every realm crossing from one world over to the next... There's your story!! =D

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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So in sum, if everyone is happy with the choices of architecture, the scale of it, and the detail level of it, then that is the most important hurdle done... I think it is a "sine qua non" that an Ancient World theme MUST have top-quality architecture first, and the rest is comparatively easy... So then I will go to the next phases:

1) first, to add in some fun chariots and ballistas, et cetera, then

2) to get the official brick-counts for each set, and tabulate how many minifigures each set could have at maximum, and then

3) just go nuts add in more and more minifigs, with a good balance of warriors and cultural figures, until people start to say "Hey, this is just a battle pack / minifig pack"!! =D

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What a beautiful theme, I really love the colors. I have to say that LEGO is probably looking at the architecture line to fit the market for these, however. The 3,200 piece count is just way too big. I'm not sure I could afford it, and I wish I could, because I love historical/architectural sets, especially Mediterranean.

I don't think LEGO wants to make custom minifigs for cuusoo sets, and having 24 in one set is definitely a stretch. Just think about how much money it costs them to make minifigs, and how restrictive it would be to have machines / plates tied up for 24 minifigures that are all in a set which may or may not sell as well (bigger sets in unproven themes are probably the most volatile product LEGO can release).

I don't want you to feel hopeless. If you can design one that is microscale, with multiple models you can build, THAT would be viable. You have great models, great graphic design capabilities, and the energy to put it all together. I expect to see one of your models on LEGO.com one day - but you have to get it within TLG's business model. Look at the cuusoo models they have chosen to release. What are their average part counts? How do they compare to current themes? What kinds of markets do they appeal to? How many minifigures? I think having multiple models for one set is actually a really great way to make your CUUSOO submission viable. It makes the customer feel like they are getting more models in one set, and for TLG it is a cost-effective way of introducing more value - especially if they don't have to pay as much in designing costs ( that's your job ;-) ).

Now - please go make a microscale version of this, I'll be your first customer :grin: I just don't have 300$ for ANY set!

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@DeanFS,

Ah, for starters, almost all of these buildings are semi-ruined or even completely destroyed in real life. In fact, only 4 out of the 13 real buildings here are even partially intact today! So any usable playset model has to be re-created by an archaeologist. I think that is main reason that Lego has not done any ancient buildings in the Architecture line yet.

And yes, Cuusoo is avoiding new part molds, but fresh colors and new prints are fine. And, as you can see, all my minifigs are made out of 99% pre-existing elements with pre-existing prints, so nothing here is a real custom minifig... Except for the Zulu's Shield print, and the Qin Dynasty guy, but I have a feeling that he will be made as a Collectable Minifig soon enough!

And soon enough, they will definitely be ready to start making larger and larger sets. For example, I am sure that they would have made the Modular Western Town at about $180 if it hadn't gotten pre-empted by The Lone Ranger. I know that $250 to $300 is ambitious, but all the rest will be right about $80 or $100 as soon as I add more vehicles and minifigs to them...!

When I designed the main I.M.C.T.B. set, my goal was to get 7 great models, with the ability to build 3 of them at the ***same time***, all for about $250, including enough figs for a chess game. In the end, it's right about $277 and change.

And I just realized it ***could*** be possible to have just 12 minifigs, so you could play a real game of minifig Chess, but using brick-built rooks.

There are lots of super ideas on Cuusoo that could easily justify a $150 to $300 price tag, especially for a "limited edition" release! =D

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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OK, LDD just did a minor parts update, including the new rearing-up horse, and the giant LOTR Eagle wings...

So without further ado, here are all the possible prototypes for a Pegasus (here, several Pegasi) that I had been sketching out for a while...

pegasi_x3.jpg

First up, three options, one with the small "Legend of Chima" wings, one with medium-sized "Buckbeak" wings, and one with the new large "LOTR Eagle" wings.

I have ordered the small wings and the largest wings already. I will spray paint them white to get a real life prototype and some photos.

pegasi_x2.jpg

Next up, two options for attachment. The one on the left clips each wing with just one clip, so they are closer to the body, but Lego might consider that too flimsy.

And the one on the right has a small assembly of bricks to allow for a proper double-clip to each wing. It adds some bulk, but I like it, and it's a totally solid build!

So let me know which one is the best, and I will use it for the Pegasi, the Evil-Pegasi, and the Valkyries!

Thanks again for feedback! =)

(P.S. - Also, can anyone tell me how to make my signature-banner link properly to my project page? Just a quick cut & paste of sample HTML would be great!!)

*****

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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(P.S. - Also, can anyone tell me how to make my signature-banner link properly to my project page? Just a quick cut & paste of sample HTML would be great!!)

[url="http://lego.cuusoo.com/profile/therealindy#projects"][img=http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/the-real-indy/IMCTB/small/eurobricks_banner_left.jpg][/url]

It's not HTML, it's BBcode.

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I think the eagle wings are the best for Pegasus. The chima wings are far too small, and the Buckbeak wings aren't detailed enough.

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[url="http://lego.cuusoo.com/profile/therealindy#projects"][img=http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/the-real-indy/IMCTB/small/eurobricks_banner_left.jpg][/url]

It's not HTML, it's BBcode.

@Rick,

Ah, Perfect, Thanks a million! I also made the larger images at the top link to it too... Let me know if there are any errors. The Google Chrome browser may be having issues with it.

@Captain Settle,

Yes, I think I agree. Although the smallest wings work well for a foal or a young one, no?

@Robuko,

Thanks, bro!! Lots more to come!! =D

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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OK, as requested, next we got chariots...

After this will be artillery, a war-ship, an embassy-ship, air-cavalry, Cerberus, a brick-built Kraken...

Plus three new alternate builds for I.M.C.T.B.: Plato's Academy, The Forum of the Old Republic, and The Pantheon of Rome (the famous round one).

prototype_chariot_01.pngprototype_chariot_02.png

Yep, just that simple... I did research, and in real life, all civs used the same design. There's plenty of room for a driver and an archer, maybe a few more.

Also, the accurate center-post-and-clips assembly takes advantage of the horses new ability to rear up in battle!

Since that is pretty simple, I'll also post the new teaser image for the Kraken...

imctb_cuusoo_med_14.jpg

His jaws open and close. I have done two designs for the body so far. The body is a normal rectilinear build, so it's easy to make different versions.

So let me know what shape of body you think this beastie should have, and I can do a few more versions as well.

Feel free to criticize anything... I always respond to feedback! Thanks! =)

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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All right, as promised, real pictures of the prototype Kraken for I.M.C.T.B. This one is my favorite version. For the color-scheme, I like dark-grey with bright patterns of medium-azure and dark-purple, to give his skin a cool bio-luminescent look, like a real sea creature.

prototype_kraken_01_med.jpg

Front View: You can see he has a hexagonal open mouth, with six beak-segments that open and close, with six fully-flexible tentacles. I like the radial symmetry, because that's the way real primordial sea creatures look, and how they evolved!

prototype_kraken_02_med.jpg

Front Overview: The mouth is plenty big enough to gulp down minifigures whole. When they go through the mouth, they go right into "The Belly of The Beast", which is big enough to eat a full crew of twelve or more unlucky sailors, plus some citizens for dessert!

prototype_kraken_03_med.jpg

Rear Overview: He has a ring of six smaller green eyes in a full circle, plus two larger green eyes up top, for a total of eight, the better to see Medusa's petrifying gaze with! Behind that, he has four realistic water-jet-siphons, then a bizarre translucent-blue membrane revealing his belly!

prototype_kraken_04_med.jpg

Top View: From the top, he looks like a ninja's Sai dagger, or the Greek letter Psi. You can see here that the two clips at the back can open, and then the two bulging blue belly-membranes can open outward, so that he can eject or vomit out the minifigs, giving them a chance to escape!

prototype_kraken_05_med.jpg

And finally, the rear view: He has a solid base-keel to rest on while he attacks, and you can easily hold onto that to move him around when you play. He can also tip up vertically, and rest on his flat back-end, so you can drop minifigs straight down into his jaws and belly, like a Sarlacc!

Om Nom Nom!! =D

(Additional inspirations: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (1870), The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft (1928), and of course the iconic scene with Perseus and Andromeda in The Clash of the Titans (the 1981 original, and the 2010 remake). Note that the name Kraken comes from Scandinavian myth, but the concept of a gigantic primordial destructive sea-beast is universal around Europe, the Mediterranean, and Babylonian mythos!)

I will add him to the Titans set with Medusa and the Colossus, so LEGO can "release the Kraken!" =D

As always, feel free to give any criticism, and any reactions! =)

Thanks once again to everyone!

(P.S. - He has 668 bricks, but a lot of those are just 1x1 round studs for the little sucker-pads, so $45 is a good realistic price estimate, I think!)

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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The kraken looks really nice!

It would be great if you put your images on flickr as well. :)

Nebuchadnezzar is very nice for example.

Nebuchadnezzar and the Hanging Gardens (temple mini-module)

The color scheme looks familiar as well... ;)

As stated above for some people and children there may be too little conflict in the sets. So your monster series can deal with that aspect. Very clever!

The rest can at least be seen as architectural and/or minifig collection, each one telling a historic episode or displaying an era.

Keep up the good work, Indy! :)

See ya around!

Brox.P

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@ BroxP,

Thanks Again! =D

Here is the best link to use to see all the hi-res images as a slideshow on Flickr. People can see everything that has been done so far, and make criticisms on the build or the graphics or anything. You can see that I am making as many updates as possible based on all the suggestions people have given me so far...

Just like I said, I will be adding a ton of new brick-built stuff to all of the sets, so they can justify a minimum of 6 or 7 minifigures each. Then I'll do sleek shiny translucent new graphics using the newest update of "LDD-to-POVRay", so now is the best time to suggest any updates and changes you want to see...!

preview_slide_show_800x600.jpg

And thanks for helping me get past the 100 mark... Once a set passes 100, it all starts to go much faster, and once it passes the 400 mark, and then 1000, it all really starts to accelerate geometrically...! Then the sets that make it onto the first 10 or 12 pages get ALL of the visibility and almost ALL of the votes...!

reached_100_screenshot_800x467.jpg

So Thanks Again to Everyone! =D

Keep on Building! =)

therealindy

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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Oh, and here is an opinion question for everyone... Is it cool if I include war elephants together with Caesar in the Roman set, even though that is an anachronism, and the Carthaginians were gone for over a century by the time Caesar took power? Perhaps I will simply leave the Carthaginian leader un-named, and just let it be the kind of slight geographic and chronological generalization you often see in Lego history sets. Beyond that, the series includes a trans-dimensional-space-time Portal of Bifrost, so really anything is possible!

So could one of the moderators please add an automated poll to this topic, asking:

POLL: "How much realism do you want to see in historical sets made by Lego?"

1) Real events with strictly accurate history

2) Real history but with a few little anachronisms

3) History with authentic mythology from the time period

4) History and mythology updated by movies and modern pop-culture

5) Anything that is exciting and cool, including crazy new stuff Lego just made up!

I know people have powerful opinions on this, so it will be an easy way for the community to vote their feelings, and to guide the future of Lego.

Thanks!

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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I have to say this looks very promising to me. Some more so than others but the roman sets really intrigue me as they are one of my favorite parts of history. Keep it up!

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The kraken and Pegasus are great. I would love to see a ancient civilization theme, but as a cuusso project I think it is overly ambitious. The designs are great as mocs, but there are too many and they are too large. Check out http://lego.cuusoo.com/ideas/view/9068

for another great roman cuusso project. Not my project but I really like it.

Edited by pogie

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I still love the concept but I feel that you're trying to do too much and as such are diluting the power of the original idea, especially since we know that through Cuscoo you're not going to get a theme you're going to get a single smallish set of single of around 300-400 pieces. Currently you've got Greco-Roman, a mix of mythical characters from other cultures and now you're branching of into brick-built mythological creatures.

Unlike Minecraft whose fan-base is obviously sizeable enough to support follow-up sets, you're targeting the existing xFOL community and general shoppers in-store; Focus on one set, reasonably small, and get it polished to perfection so that it will pass the Cuscoo evaluation process. Make sure it's part of recognisable legend so that kids can enact the story. Keep it simple, Lego are going to redesign whatever you give them and you can be pretty sure that they will redesign it into the minimum of bricks, a 1000brick temple will be reduced to 20bricks representing a temple. They've got more change of selling $30 sets than they have of $300 and whilst Cuscoo is fan-orientated they're still in it to make money.

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@ MiloNelsiano,

Thanks!

@ Pogie,

It is not too big or too ambitious at all...! They would have gladly done the Modular Western Town for $180 or more, if it hadn't gotten pre-empted by the Lone Ranger licensing contract. The winners so far have been small, but they will gladly do larger ones soon enough.

@ The_Cook,

Where is it written that a Cuusoo set can only be 400 pieces? I think you are thinking too small! Also, the demographic of "general shoppers in-store" or in the Lego.com Online Store is minimum 10,000,000 people annually. That's enough of a demographic to sell a set.

Edited by The Real Indiana Jones

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