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About wlderdude

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    Euless, Texas


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  1. wlderdude

    Bell AH-1 Cobra

    Very nicely done. Thank you for sharing.
  2. wlderdude

    HELP Son frustrated with lego

    One approach is to get sets that don't have as many tenuously attached pieces. I've found helicopters are the worst, but fire trucks can be pretty bad, too. There are some tricks to getting things to stay together better. The tanker truck set my son put together last year had these crank handles on the top I knew would not stay attached for 5 minutes of play. I got my son distracted and took the tank apart, and put a pin from the inside of the tank to hold the handles in place. It worked. At one is still attached.
  3. wlderdude

    Best Bulbs for a Primitive Photography Setup?

    Custom white balance works best. Here's how it works for most Canon cameras. You take a picture of something colorless (white works, but a grey card works better) under the lighting conditions you have. Then under the menus there is the option like "Set Custom White Balance," which lets you select that picture to use. Realize that your camera will need something to focus on; it's hard to take a picture of a white sheet without overriding the focus. As for what bulb you want, my first choice is Halogen and as many Watts ad your fixtures can handle. The "daylight" tungsten or standard tungsten also work well. I'd avoid any florescent lights as their color varies slightly over each power cycle (that 60 Hz or 50 Hz alternating current thing). You can overcome that by setting the shutter time to a multiple of a power cycle (like 1/60 for 60 Hz), but that is so seldom practical. LED's have a pretty choppy color spectrum, so I'd avoid them.
  4. wlderdude

    Stolen figs

    I especially feel for the poor kid who wants the book for his or her birthday because they want the figure. Grandma or whover buys it, not realizing the figure's been pilfered. Happy birthday. . . almost!
  5. wlderdude

    Review of 31012 Creator Family House

    Just added the final build.
  6. wlderdude

    Has anyone built a fast food restaurant moc?

    Every time I drive past a Whataburger, I think, "I need to build one of those some day."
  7. wlderdude

    Review of 31012 Creator Family House

    That would explain a lot. Is that something you heard or read somewhere?
  8. wlderdude

    Review of 31012 Creator Family House

    I just added the second build to the review.
  9. wlderdude

    Has anyone built a fast food restaurant moc?

    Here's the fast food place I put together. The buildings I've put together are intended to hold up to quite a bit of play. There have been tables on the green part outside, but they never stay together long. You probably have something much more intricate in mind, probably not something you would let a 5 year old terrorize like mine, but maybe it can give you some ideas. This was something I wanted to build when I got a bunch of windshields from the PaB wall, and thought how they looked like the windows of the Taco John's I worked at as a teenager. It's also one of the few buildings that looks reasonable when made from mustard yellow bricks. The back is open so you can pose Minifgures inside if you want. I hope that helps at least a little.
  10. I'm the oldest of 8 kids, so growing up there was always a baby around. As a kid, toys with small parts like Legos were tightly controlled. After we built something, the pieces had to be broken down and stored in the briefcase-sized box before we could get out any other toys. We might get a polybay or small set at Christmas, but there weren't a lot of pieces to build with. My youngest 4 siblings were Lego fanatics and that's all they wanted for gifts. They amassed an enormous collection, but that was their thing, not at all mine. As nerdy a teen as I was, Lego was not my thing. After my son was born, I started picking up various size containers of legos when I found them at yard sales. I spell it with a lower case "L" since there were a lot of other brands and other toys mixed in, not just genuine Lego product. They sat in the attic awaiting my son to take an interest. But before then I found a use for them. I was teaching some highly distractable 4 year olds in Sunday School, and needed to try something new. I'd been telling Bible stories with Thomas the Tank Engine toys. The train characters worked fine for the good Samaritan, and some other parables, but it wasn't a good fit for the Last Supper. In desperation I dug the bucket of legos out and made a MOC of the Last Supper with Minifigures. If the columns don't look familiar, that's 'cause they're Megablocks. It worked extremely well. On vacation I stumbled into a Wal-Mart clearance with many sets 50% off and I got hooked. It's probably fair to say I'm living out my childhood dreams of building a Lego town, but it's still done under the pretense of props to tell my son Lego stories (both religious and secular). I've culled out all the off brands and spend way too much on Lego now. My son is just getting to the point where he can build set autonomously. He doesn't generally like toys, but he is really getting into Legos. It's at least as much my thing as it is his, but it's probably the only toy we can do together for more than half an hour. I just can't stand Candyland.
  11. wlderdude

    Review of 31012 Creator Family House

    Be sure to share how that works out. I intend to build it a bit stronger without the hinge joint and probably extend the garage a bit. Oh, and thank you Rick for moving the thread.
  12. Recently I picked up the Lego Creator Family House 31012, which has hitherto been neglected by the experienced reviewing eurobrickers. So you all will need to suffer through my first attempt at making one of the set reviews that make this site so remarkable. Name: Family House Theme: Creator Year: 2013 Pieces: 756 Price: $70 US, 60 Euros, 60 BP Brickset Link Bricklink link Note that this is this set released in 2013, and is not the first set to bear the title "Family House." A quick review of the Brickset archives reveals the following sets that bear the name, or essentially the same name: 31012: Family House, Creator in 2013 (this set) 8403: Family Home, City in 2010, which is reviewed at this link 6754: Family Home, Creator in 2009, which is reviewed at this link 5639: Family House, Duplo in 2009 2602: Family Home, Duplo in 1997 So let's get started. Here's the box and its contents. A whopping 9 bags, unnumbered. The top flap has an inventory of the yummy pieces that lie within. The box really isn't that interesting, and this post is already really picture heavy, so I don't plan to talk much more about it. When you do pick it up, the weight is substantial. I suppose it should be for a set with an MSRP of $70, but it's more than I'm used to. If you want to see more of the box without going to the store, leave a comment to that effect and I'll write something up. There are supposedly 756 pieces there. It's quite a heap of parts. There appeared to be parts from the first few pages of the build in multiple bags, so it seemed only appropriate to open them all at once. It's nice when you can open the bags sequentially with a build, but of course that would only work for 1 of the 3 builds, so I guess it's understandable. The primary color is white, which is a terrific color to build with. Unless of course you are Batman and only build with black, and sometime very very dark gray. What makes a set like this is really the parts. Oh so many nice parts! I've never gotten a very good sense of scale from seeing them heaped, so here they are in a 5 quart ice cream container. That looks to me like about 3 liters of Lego pieces. There's even a brick separator in there. Those things are great for protecting Lego pieces from damage. I have to teach my 5 year old son, his friends, and anyone else who plays with anything Lego in my home how to use the separator, or else they will resort to using their teeth to get plates apart! There are a LOT of windows and doors in this build. All the frames are the beige color called "brick yellow." The white ones are occasionally available on Pick a Brick walls, but the beige are not easy to come by in quantity. These are the parts that seduced me into buying 2 sets. The roof is made entirely of these 25 degree slopes. I like seeing them all the same angle, but would have preferred they all be the same color. They are dark red in 2 and 4 wide, and reddish brown 3 wide. As best I can tell, this is the first time the 3X3 25 degree slope has been offered in reddish brown. If you are after the dark red slopes for a project, you should also look at the 31025 Mountain Hut. It has several 1X3 red and dark red slopes that would compliment these from the Family House nicely. The frames for the doors and windows even match. There are several large plates, making for a pretty respectable amount of acreage. I'll take these full plate thickness bases over the thin base plates. Being thicker they don't flex when the model is lifted and they hold up much better. Let's go ahead and get the Minifgure discussion out of the way so we can get on to the reason you buy Creator houses, the structures. The figures are nice, even if they are made from common components. You get a man and a woman as the members of the family for your "Family House." While it's understood that not all families have children, it strikes me as odd for a set that has "Ages 8-12" written in some overstated type face on the front of the box to leave the target demographic out of the family. A child or 2 would seem to fit with the theme. Short legs were not enough to overcome their mature features, either. Here you can see them with the ancillary builds. We'll discuss the car a bit more when we get to the garage. The remote control car (or whatever it is) just looks out of place to me. I can understand including a car with a garage, a banana with a monkey, or a fire engine with a fire station, but what value does this silly little thing bring to house build? Odd as it sounds, this diminutive vehicle is featured on the box as the "actual size" piece, as if a 1X2X2/3 "motor" piece with cheese slope and 4 round tiles would give a consumer a proper sense of scale to the typical consumer. Okay, enough petty ranting, on to the build! The instructions come flat packed on a piece of cardboard in their own bag. This is a "3-in-1" set so they include instructions for using the same set of pieces to build the house 3 different ways. There are 2 books for the primary build and 1 book each for the other 2 builds. Here's an example page. The house and base are hinged, so the instructions show the build being performed with a small gap between the main plates. This splits the 2 halves visually, making it easier to distinguish where the pieces go. That was a nice touch, Lego. Here's the house part way through the main build, surrounded in-work pieces. Again, there are a lot of great pieces. Note that the set includes only 1 separator tool even though an extra one slipped in for the photo op. Here's the finished main build. Those front windows are a pretty impressive design. As mentioned earlier, the house hinges open. You can see the arched bedroom entry at the top of the stairs. The second stories on each half easily lift off. This makes for a nice level of playability. You probably want to see the sides. The chimney is nice. I'm at a loss as to what the blue plate is supposed to represent. A pond, maybe? A blue tarp covering the hole where a tree will be planted soon? Feel free to speculate,'cause there are plenty of reasonable answers. There is a catch-like part on the garage side the interlocks the living room side. This allows the model to be lifted without coming apart at the hinge. The same feature is found on the back of the house. You can unfold the house into a facade and these mating parts also keep it from twisting apart. Here are the sides of the house, hinged flat to be the front. Perhaps this would be nice if you are trying to line a street with houses, or if you wanted to increased playability while assembled. The big windows would then be on the side of the house, perhaps making it an ideal house for a street corner maybe? Here's the furniture. I really like the swivel chair, which fits the architectural style of the house very well. So, about the light brick. How does it light up the interior space? The light brick is turned on by pushing on the switch at the end of the brick. An amber LED lights up on the opposite end of the light brick. (Batteries included) The light brick is built into a small assembly that mounts in the living room ceiling such that the LED points down at the light fixture. Here is the light fixture prior to installation. It's a nice enough assembly by itself. Here it is lit up. The light brick is switched on by pressing down on the vent pipe protruding from the roof. It works really well. That's my 5 year old son's hand, so don't get thrown off by the scale. It fills the living room with a nice warm glow that really suits the house well. The balcony is nice. There is a grill, complete with turkey leg. This design holds the turkey leg captive. If playability is important to you, this balcony is about as nice as it gets. My favorite parts (aside from the big window) is probably the garage door. The effect that the 1X1 clear bricks make just works for me. It's simple, elegant, and brick built. The car that comes with the set of course fits in the garage. Let's compare to another smallish car, like this one from the City theme 60017 Flatbed Truck. This car is designed to ride on the back of a flatbed that is the standard City vehicle width. While the car from the Flatbed set goes in the garage okay, it's too long for the door to close. If you find the included vehicle not to your fancy you could certainly park a 4 wheeler in there. Here's a close up of the robin perched in the tree. It seems most of these sets have a brick-built bird. These are the pieces I would qualify as "left over." It's not uncommon to have a fastener or 3 left over when performing a large car repair, so not all of these pieces will necessarily be in your pile after you build it. The only other Creator series house I have to compare is 7346 Seaside House. Here it is for scale, although not with the primary build. The primary Seaside House build would bring them a little bit closer, but the Family House would still be much larger. The Family House would probably hold up to play a little bit better, and seems to be a better value than the Seaside house. You can detect that with just the heft of the box. I've not done the analysis, but it seems that the difference in weight is greater than the difference in price. So, after daddy assembled the primary build, what do you think the 5 year old wanted to play with? The grownup Minifgures? The boxy yellow car? The house? Nope. He spent a good long while playing with the tiny, non-functional remote control car! The one with wheels that don't actually spin. I guess that the Lego people know what they are doing after all. This set is a "3-in-1" so now we're going to discuss the other 2 builds. They are a lot smaller, so my son is did much of the assembly. It's right at his limit for skill and way too much for his patience to do in one sitting. Build 2 So here's the second build we did, surrounded by leftover parts. Sorry about the lighting; I was having trouble with my flashes. Hinged open you can see an odd looking interior feature. What this piece of furniture is supposed to be is anybody's guess. You can see most of the interior here lit up bu the light brick. Speaking of the light brick, you can see it from the outside here. The switch is not camouflaged in this model. Also not how small the balcony is. The stairway doesn't quite work accessing it, either. This is the side with a garage door. The inside of the house is either house or garage, not both. I kind of imagine it being a bachelor pad of some kind, since very few women I know would share their living space with a car. A "family house" this model is not. If you do want to live in your house without sleeping in your car, you can park it on those grey tracks. I guess this vehicle is some kind of truck or SUV with a side-opening back gate? Whatever it is supposed to be, the vehicle in this second build just doesn't do it for me. The side with the hinges, and not much else. It does show the security camera. This is the other side. The wall has a window A/C unit with controls that your neighbors can change? The tracks on this side of the house are too short for the vehicle in this build. This second build doesn't fit the Minifigure scale in most respects. If you assume all the small windows are a second story above a large garage, maybe it could work if you completely ignore the awkward interior. Maybe. A business owner with a flat above the shop perhaps? This model did not stay together long and I was happy to be taking it apart. Update: as you will see i the comments below, this build was apparently supposed to be a factory. Thank you Moderator Rick. Build 3 Here is the 3rd build, surrounded by the leftover pieces, and the leftovers in a large PaB cup. Closeups of the side. That outdoor fireplace lights up with the light brick. You have to open the model to activate the light brick, which in not camouflaged. View of the other side and back. This model doesn't have the latch on the back, but at least there are some windows. That odd bley brick holds up the stairs. Note also how some of the top row of bricks stick out past the wall and terminate with cheese slopes. I'm not sure why the designers would do that. The model hinges open, and the roof comes off. There is a catch mechanism to hold it together as a closed unit, just not a a facade. The interior elements consist of this bed and light fixture that look a lot like those from the primary build. Installed. The light brick is tied up in the outdoor fireplace, and does not light up the interior this time. There are no cars, but instead you build a lawn mower. The handle is terribly awkward for a minifgure to hold, but it's a reasonable use of parts for a set a like this. And the lawn chair with brick-built tree. This model works. The scale is a bit on the small side, but it works. I guess this is supposed to be a Mediterranean Villa. Perhaps someone more familiar with architecture of that part of the world would want to weigh in, please do. My son wants to leave this one together for a while. Super Subjective Summary: Playability: 9/10. This is wonderful doll house to help play with your dolls Minifigures. If the Minifigures were better suited for age range and theme, I might have given it a 10. If you have a bucket of others to use, you won't do much better for playing in the Lego system. Unless of course you're into spaceships. Design: 10/10. This is the most believable Lego house I've seen that wasn't a Modular. It's lovely. Build: 5/10. I didn't discuss it much because it's pretty straight forward stuff. The box says it's for ages 8-12. If you are a multiple of 12 years of age (like I am), there isn't a lot to get excited about. Price: 9/10. There are a lot of nice pieces, but it's also a lot of money. Overall: 9/10. If you dig houses, you gotta get this one.
  13. Thank you White Fang for this, and all your other Minifgure reviews. When I first saw the list it wasn't looking like there would be any "must gets," at least since the price went up here in the US. There are at least 4 I will probably end up hunting down, but I may need to wait for a sale. I used to buy bunches of these in previous series, but they are just too expensive now.
  14. The details are pretty impressive. It's not just layers of bricks, but very well thought out and executed.
  15. wlderdude

    MOC: Minifig Oak display

    Red oak is my favorite wood, and it looks like that's what you used. Mind if I ask how you finished it?