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About Huaojozu

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  1. Thanks for the kind words. Building this I realized that I don't really like making non-corner buildings. And while thinking about it, I also realized that Town Hall was the last true non-corner modular from Lego. Every non-corner building that came afterwards had some sort of a design quirk - be it the hallway in DO or the slightly cut side of PR and DD. For the "standard" modulars, you can only really take a picture of the front or the back - you can never have two interesting sides in the picture - and that means your available perspectives are limited. But for the corner buildings or the cut ones like PR and DD, you can take a picture from the side, without it looking weird the way the old modulars do. I feel that's the biggest lesson I learned from this MOC. And as far as your second comment goes, I learned my lesson trying to get a discount and suffice it to say I've burned myself enough to stick to S@H. I can't wait for the next D2C Creator Expert set to come out so that I can get my hands on it ASAP (Roller Coaster doesn't count, though huge props to anyone who can make a modular out of that).
  2. Rebuild the Sydney Opera house as The Robotics Lab, the new high-tech institute in town, specializing at mech prototyping and AI. Take a sneak peek at the latest robot the folks at the lab are building - and if you want, use more parts to finish it! Transforming this set into a 32w modular was certainly a challenge. As opposed to the Big Ben, which has a lot of small parts that lend themselves nicely to decorations, the Sydney Opera House has a large amount of specialized pieces and technic parts that don't really fit well with a standard modular. When I saw the amount of ball joints included, I immediately remembered my Bionicle MOCing days and thought about making a mech out of them. But I still wanted a modular to add to my city as well, which presented an interesting dilemma. I wanted to use the white roof pieces as armor plates, but their scale meant that the mech would be several feet tall if built like that. And there was no way the modular would be able to house it. I thought about making a scene where the mech was destroying a half-damaged building, but that seemed hard to incorporate into people's towns making it look out of place. So in the end I went with a solution of a Robotics Lab, where pieces of the Mech are being constructed and assembled. That way there is a nice scene in the modular, but it's tucked away and not clashing with the standard town aesthetic. And in case anyone wants to finish the design, they only need to add a body and an arm to have the finished product. The large amount of dark windows are well suited to a "secret" project, keeping it away from prying eyes. With no doors in the set at all, I had to make due with brick-built ones using hinge pieces from the set. I am especially proud of the tilted roof windows that ended up being perfectly LDD legal, which is something that's always a worry when you design with real bricks first. The first floor has the legs mounted on a wall, ready to be attached to the final body, as well as an arm being worked on by a group of engineers. There's also the AI sign, just in case it wasn't clear to everyone what's going on here. The second floor (and the roof) have no floor, accentuating the verticality of the building, leaving enough space for the Mech to be assembled (though they will probably have to airlift it out when it's done). There is an engineer doing final checks on the head of the Mech, using a platform and some adjustable lights. In the end, I am really hope as to how this project turned out. I may go and use the remaining parts to actually build the body and recreate the destruction scene described above, though that will probably take me some time. I hope Lego will release a new large scale Creator Expert set soon so that I can try rebuilding it as well (the Roller Coaster isn't really a modular material :D). The instructions are available on my rebrickable page, where you can also check out some other cool alternate models.
  3. I remembered my visit to Ibiza and Mallorca and the piers going out to the sea from the hotels. I really wanted to make it longer and a bit curved but there wasn't really enough space to do it. Like this it seems a bit cramped but at least it gets the message across :)
  4. Thanks for the nice comments everyone! Looking at it now, it has really grown on me and I can definitely appreciate the variety of pieces in Big Ben. Especially now that I am working on the Opera alternate which is REALLY stretched for bricks to make walls, and it also lacks distinct pieces to make ornaments with. I am about 3/4 of the way there now, only a part of the roof and the interior "decoration" to go!
  5. Have you ever wondered how to end a row of modulars in a natural way? One of the available options is to introduce a water feature, be it a beach, lake or a river and then use that for a nice natural progression. In this case, I took the Big Ben set and rebuilt it as a 32w modular that's meant to sit at the end of your street and transition into a beach, bay or a similar feature. I wanted it to evoke the placement often found at beach resorts with a walkway "onto" the sea. It's kind of a faux corner building, as it has 2 adjacent sides of the facade exposed, but only one pavement. Since 10253 doesn't contain a baseplate, it sits on standard plates included in the set, making it slightly higher than other modulars. You can easily solve it by putting everything on a 32x32 baseplate and adjusting the pieces slightly to allow for modular connections. If you like it, you can get instructions here: Since there are no doors in the set, I solved it by making a sliding door as commonly seen in malls for example. That also determined what kind of building it's going to be - a store, hotel, casino or a similar high-end establishment would fit best with such pronounced doors. The Big Ben ski pole decorations also serve well to give the appearence of rich-ness. It was a bit of a struggle to make the interior, as the 10253 set contains an awful lot of tan bricks and not much else. But in the end I am happy with how it turned out. There was only enough plates to make floors for two sections, so the roof is just that - a roof. I've at least made the statue on the second floor a bit higher to justify the space. It was a lot of fun to do this and I am already looking forward to my next project, which will be an alternate model for the Sydney Opera House 10234. It's going to be interesting to see how so many curved white pieces can be used. And since it also has lots of blue, it will make a nice complement to The Lounge - sitting opposite of it and ending with the sea as well.
  6. Huaojozu

    Fairground Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    4124 pieces... so at best, it's going to be Assembly Square priced. Whether or not I'm going to buy this hinges solely on whether a compatible track pack will be available for a reasonable price. And while it's true that a Loop is pretty much impossible to achieve smoothly without a huge drop before it (one that would require a much taller structure - which MOCers are sure to build at some point), I don't see any reason why a Corkscrew wouldn't work. Obviously not with the pieces included but if they made another piece with a 90 degree twist, they could make it work. What saddens me is that it's probably not something Lego will continue unless it sells astonishingly well. If the Fairground theme continues, they might make another one in 5 years but I don't see them creating new molds and releasing smaller coaster sets periodically. So what we have now is what we will be stuck with, limiting the options.
  7. So, good news: Iconic color combination Tan interior (hopefully that means System details, considering we don't have many Technic tan pieces) The iconic curve behind the doors seems well done Bad news: The gaps, oh god the gaps. It doesn't bode well that even blurred out (which should help cover the gaps), they are still clearly distinguishable. In the end, I'm thinking it well end up in the "passable" category. Basically - as expected. A good representation, adequate detailing given the parts and required complexity (or should I say simplicity), but nothing even remotely evoking the accuracy that MOCs can offer.
  8. Huaojozu

    42082 - Rough Terrain Crane

    Just today I finished rebuilding the 42055 and it reminded me just how many gaps there are, as well as sections where a low amount of parts covers a large section of the model. If the dimensions are similar, I will have no problem believing the parts count. Keep in mind it's very easy to artifically inflate that number, if need be - they could easily have wanted another "BIGGEST TECHNIC SET EVER!" headline and told the designer to act accordingly.
  9. Huaojozu

    [MOC] 16w Alternate Models of Modular Buildings

    Welcome to the Asylum! Once a rundown, empty café on the corner of the main street, the building has been slimmed down and repurposed as a safe space for all of your town's more, shall we say, interesting characters. Meet doctor Tim E. Discants, the mysterious man running this place, and let him cure whatever ails you. One day, haunted by a tragic loss she experienced in the Pit, a young women by the name of Annise visits the Asylum. She seeks a safe space and doctor Discants is only happy to oblige. As he opens up the counter and leads Annise to the second floor, she catches a glimpse of another patient in the facility's White room. The doctor gestures for Annise to sit on the clinical, white table and promises to rid her of all the painful memories. As instructed, Annise grabs a rod with each hand, feeling them dig into her palms, and lies down. As she does, she feels something swell inside her and she can just barely make out a yellow and a red liquid running from her palms and through the rods she's been holding. Doctor Discants leaves for a bit to let things run their course, then returns to see the outcome of the procedure and taste the fruits of his labor. But there is still one step remaining to fully cure the patient. The doctor takes Annise to the third floor and straps her onto an inclined table, for her safety. Annise, still weak from the extraction, makes out the outlines of a large lamp and a pointy contraption she's never seen before. She also sees something strange in the nearby closet, though she can't quite turn her head to make out any details. The doctor fiddles with the control panel, adjusting the extractor to press tightly against Annise's chest. She can't help but think it wasn't a good idea to come here before she falls unconscious. Annise wakes up in the White room with the patient she's seen when she came in, as doctor Discants carefully examines them through the glass windows. He mumbles something and leaves, leaving the two patients alone. Annise wastes no time - she's not keen to learn what other machines the good doctor has - and she desperately searches for an exit. Almost ready to give up, she notices a little crack in the small window on the wall. Asking the other patient to boost her up, Annise climbs into the window space and kicks the frame with as much force as she can muster. To her disbelief, that seemed to be enough to dislodge the frame and slide it out onto the pavement. She quickly climbs out and helps the other patient, who has been silent all this time, escape as well. What adventures await Annise and White-shirt? Stay tuned!
  10. Huaojozu

    [MOC] 16w Alternate Models of Modular Buildings

    The Café Corner indeed. I never realized how much blue there is in the set. And that it uses such rare doors! With a heavy heart I had to use some of the more common ones as the thought of bricklinking the two doors for 15$+ each was a bit daunting. The adjustment is simple enough if anyone is lucky enough to have them. I just completed the LDD model to make sure all of the connections are legal (though sometimes it's hard to know whether LDD just doesn't support some connections as opposed to them being illegal - and the 0 tolerance for pressure is annoying too), and that I used only the CC parts. I probably won't have any time tomorrow but I should be able to do the photos on Wednesday.
  11. Huaojozu

    [MOC] 16w Alternate Models of Modular Buildings

    As promised, here's a preview of my newest 16w alternate modular build - The Asylum. Can you guess what it's an alternate build of? Here's a glimpse of the facade: And here's a preview of what's going on the third floor. +
  12. Huaojozu

    [MOC] 16w Alternate Models of Modular Buildings

    Thanks! The photos are nothing special really. No fancy equipment or lighting. I just bought a large sheet of paper, leaned it against the wall and snapped the pics with a Galaxy S7. Thanks for the feedback! For the grey building, I wanted to imitate the styling found in the Downtown Diner, where two floors are built without much of a separator between them. I do agree them some more color variety would spice things up, perhaps with brown or DBG around the windows, though that's where the parts restrictions of an alternate model come in. So far I've been remodeling the ones that I don't find that interesting - in my opinion the line gets better as time goes on, without PR, DO and BB being much more attractive on the outside then the earlier models. They also usually already include some sort of a twist on the standard 32 wide model - the PR is cut off, DO is basically already 2 16w buildings, although much more cleverly connected than PS and the BB also has a 16w section. In any case, the next alternate build is almost ready! Should be just a few more days to get the interior just right and hopefully a sneak peek tomorrow. I'm really excited to see if someone can guess (without checking BL inventories) what the original was.
  13. Francois' Hardware Store || The Pit || The Asylum I always wanted to make some Modular MOCs but the prospect of the huge pool of available parts seemed daunting. Then a couple of brick orders didn't go exactly the way I expected and so I decided to make the best out of it and try to redesign some of the Modulars as 16 wide buildings. Whether it is because you don't have enough space in your town, or you want a use for a duplicate set you somehow got, or maybe you're just tired of looking at the official model, these alternate builds are a great way to utilize the parts from the original sets. I'm hoping that this will also inspire other would-be-MOCers to try their hand at alternate models as I think they are a perfect way to reuse the bricks. And for me personally the restrictions of the available parts makes it more focused and promotes creativity. I am hoping eventually to redesign all of the Modulars, potentially with the exception of the Pet Shop which is basically already done. So without further ado, I would like to present the first two buildings: Francois' Hardware Store (alternate build of the Fire Brigade), The Pit (alternate build of the Palace Cinema) and The Asylum (alternate build of the Cafe Corner): Francois' Hardware Store The idea behind this one was to reuse all of the equipment from the Fire Brigade in a way that makes sense. A store was the obvious choice as you can display the items as merchandise. The owner is an avid artist who displays his paintings throughout the house as decoration. Lots of furniture, both new and old, fill out the interior and a homemade sculpture adorns the facade. The Pit For the Palace Cinema alternate build, I wanted to really move as far away from the original's look as possible. While the color scheme is obviously limited by the bricks available in the original, there is a substantial amount of blue plates that can be used for accents. Combined with a departure from the original style to the Detective's Office layout, I believe this building can fulfil a very different function in a town layout as well as appeal to people who dislike the Cinema's unique style. In terms of interesting features, I was forced to use a brick-built door for the entrance to the first floor as there was no space for stairs on the ground floor and there is only one actual door piece in the original model. In the end it worked out quite well and it can be easily opened and closed without leaving unsightly gaps, but at the cost of being a tad too wide. There is also a "sliding" french window in the apartment leading out to the balcony. Another interesting problem was the lack of a 16w baseplate. In order to be a "true" alternate model, I didn't want to use one from a different set so instead I managed to find a way to create a pseudo-baseplate from the leftover plates in the set. The main disadvantage here is that the ground is thicker than a standard baseplate, so I would suggest you change it into a standard baseplate if you have a spare one (or use the spare one from the Fire Brigade, if you're building both of the above). The Asylum This particular building highlights how many different parts we often forget about or misremember when it comes to large builds. If you take a look at the stock Cafe Corner modular building, you'll see very little blue. It's prominently featured on the ground floor, though mostly obstructed by other features. The upper floors don't really have any visible blue at all. When doing an alternate model, I try to move as far as possible from the original, because using the same colors automatically evokes the image of the two buildings being related. The Asylum is the first of my MOCs to have a simple story tied to it. Anisse comes in to seek help from doctor Tim E. Discants, but his treatments are not exactly orthodox. The first floor features an admission counter and a White room, intended to hold the patients and keep them from injurying themselves. The second floor houses the Extraction room, enabling the good doctor to extract the "disease" from his patients. That leaves them ready for the Operating room. Suffice it to say, once the patients experience the treatments, they look for any way out. Check out my post further down or click on the link above for more pictures and the full story. More to come soon hopefully! Let me know if there's a specific Modular you would want to see 16ed.
  14. People keep repeating that it's because of bootleg companies but I have yet to see any proof or argument why it would be so. Even if they were given enough access to look at the model all day long, they would never be able to match it 1:1, which is what they do. I don't see how it would give them a headstart either - maybe some new mold that's simple enough not to need exact measurements but specific enough it takes time to prepare (and none come to mind). I have also never seen a bootleg set released ahead of Lego (preorders notwithstanding). It's much more likely they have either someone on the inside in Lego itself, or perhaps more likely in a store somewhere where they can get early copies.
  15. We are probably just hours away of seeing high res pictures of all the sets, including the Chiron (press release says 14 sets, 2018 has exactly 14 sets with Chiron). There goes my day spent refreshing the leak/news sites :D