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About thekitchenscientist

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    Stephen Pearson

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  1. thekitchenscientist

    Lego DOTS 2021

    I've been enjoying this new theme, they provide some good options to decorate the Bygglek boxes that were released in 2020: It also appeals to the mathematician/coder in me. The fact the tiles are placed on a 2D plane makes it quite simple to describe using matrices. I've been experimenting making patterns and then coding the 'rules' for generating it. I've then iterated over the possible parameters in the rules to produce sets of interesting options to build. It was possible to generate LDraw files and PDF instructions directly from matrices describing the tile placement. I've written some code to generate patterns given an available selection of tiles. I'm pretty close to being able to use OpenCV to take a picture of a DOTS pattern and have a python script create the digital file directly. The main difficulty is carrying out a colour correction when there are white or dark coloured tiles.
  2. This year has seen me move away from Technic C-modelling into using system bricks. In between the various lockdowns I picked up quite few Friends sets to C-model due to their very low price per piece on the second-hand market which gave some good practice. I saw the Velocity Racers set on my only trip to the Lego Store this year and the part balance made me think this set had a lot of potential for alternate builds, so I picked up a brand new copy (on sale). Having quite a few Technic pieces in the box, helped with my decision. Over the few months since then, I've managed to produce three different C-models using only the parts in set 71709. I'd share with you this collection of Velocity Boats, Fighter Plane and Trike. The race for the Key-Tana can now take place by land, air or Sea. Also Hauser can now put a bit more of a fight, having some vehicles of his own rather than just a hoverboard. Velocity Boats: Velocity Fighter Plane: Velocity Trike:
  3. I was quite pleased with the 2020 H1 line-up as someone who prefers the small to mid-range sets. It was nice to see the pull-backs had enough pieces for a proper B-model and some original and playable models in the smallest sets. It got me wondering if any of them could be built as C-models of existing sets. It turns out the Container Yard in combination with the Arctic Truck (42062+42038) have all the pieces need for a Beach Buggy, and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (42093) plus a pullback motor can give you a Racing Truck. More photos and instructions can be found on
  4. thekitchenscientist

    [C-model] Yoda's Mech (alternate build 75168)

    I got Yoda's Jedi Starfighter a while ago as a gift from a friend. I normally make c-models of Technic sets, so initially I wasn't sure what to do with this after building the main model (other than a Tulip!). This set has a range of Technic pieces so it was familiar but also a nice change. There no ball joints that are usually associated with Lego mechs but I thought I could still manage a range of motions. I built the frame first using the Technic pieces before adding the decoration. In the end I managed to create knee, hip and shoulder joints and the model is reasonably stable and pose-able. The Mech is equipped with missile launchers, force blasters and can transform into a flying mode, allowing Yoda to soar over rough terrain. It can crouch down for easy access to the cockpit.I quickly settled on the design for the feet and arms which shaped the way the build turned out. The knee and hip joints were revised a couple of times before settling on the current version. The wings are actually an important part of the model to ensure it remains balanced. More details and instructions:
  5. I'd like to share with a quartet of c-models which are based on A-models from 2018-19. There has been no model since the Racing Yacht and Heavy Duty Forklift that had that special something to make me want to buy it (the Car Transporter came very close). I typically stick to buying the low/mid range sets and now have around 20. I enjoy the challenge of C-model creation as you can see on bricksafe, and using I looked at which of the 2018-19 line-up I could enjoy the building experience for using bricks from my existing sets. I initially was going to make the First Responder from the Airport Rescue Vehicle but the similarities with the B-model for this set ruled it out. Turning the Racing Yacht into the Powerboat was a logical next step. I tried to follow the instructions for 42089 making substitutions and skipping sections as required. Once that was done, I went back over the model with the remaining pieces to try and find a way to complete it whilst keeping the vibe of the parent model. This process made me very familiar with the instructions for 42089 such that I tried again with the Heavy Lift Helicopter and Airport Rescue Vehicle. Having woken up my brain to the possibilities, I went back to to look for a bigger challenge. Comments in reviews about the chassis for the Rally Racer put me onto the 24 Hours Race Car being a good candidate. This followed the same basic process as before but this time need much bigger reworks. I often realised the piece I really need to complete the bodywork of the model had been used elsewhere in the chassis, and a swap would be needed. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome. This idea of recreating an A-model as a C-model is not new ( has a number of examples). More pictures of each model can be found on Bricksafe ( This version of the Rally Car has kept the suspension and HOG steering but lost the opening front/rear. I managed to add steering via the steering wheel. The brick built 3-cylinder engine is not linked to the wheels but turns with the propeller. Using a worm gear I was able to link the propeller to the wheels but there was no engine this time. This model had all the parts to recreate the engine/wheels/propeller functionality but lacked some of the panels needed to keep it power-boaty. As a compromise I took the arm mechanism from the Airport Rescue Vehicle and mounted in the extended boat.
  6. thekitchenscientist

    Pin Sorting Machine

    I would suggest a vibrating table feeder to move the pins to the colour sensor. Could something like the sail from the recent technic yacht give you a smooth deformable surface as an alternative?
  7. I bought this set out of nostalgia for the forklift model 8835 which I enjoyed building as a teenager. When I opened the box and found instructions for the B-model, I built it first. It is a very nice build, not too much repetition, good use of parts and the tow-hook lift mechanism is very smooth.
  8. thekitchenscientist

    [MOC] Ocean Racer

    @TechnicSummse no progress since September. I barely got a replacement TC12 entry finished before a bunch of work/social commitments took over. Now the contest winners have been announced, I plan to get back to building.
  9. 25. Kid Cash's Caster Cube Kid Cash has been brought out of retirement, after a successful career racing for Shell in the 80's, to compete in the Wackiest race this year. The vehicle is of lightweight construction and has been designed to out-race rather than smash the opposition. HOG steering and flight. Fan propulsion. Slicks for street racing as well as a separate set of all terrain tires. The wheels are caster mounted for better manoeuvrability. Always up driver's seat with front & rear lights. Can flip the fans from back to top (flight) or front (rapid reversing) by rolling the entire vehicle. The video below shows how the Wacky features allow it to fly over obstacles and up cliff faces. There is space in the cube for a trusty backup vehicle. It is built from the LEGO Technic pocket money sets 42010, 42011, 42020, 42026, 42033 & 42044-47.
  10. thekitchenscientist

    [TC12] Kid Cash's Caster Cube

    With the deadline approaching I have found time to edit a short video highlighting the main features:
  11. thekitchenscientist

    [TC12] Kid Cash's Caster Cube

    I think it is close to being finished. I've reworked each face to make them more distinct. The engine now has a fuel tank and quad exhausts. The blades now rotate in opposite directions to enable a hover mode, to get out of trouble. It also means I can drive straight up walls and cliffs. The third mode is back to being offroad or rapid U-turn depending on the situation. There is potential for a bit more greebling but I think the concept is complete. It is clearly a Racer and has some interesting features. Much to my surprise it ended up being the less popular sets that have contributed most to this model (stunt plane, record breaker, twin rotor helicopter, hydroplane racer).
  12. thekitchenscientist

    [TC12] Kid Cash's Caster Cube

    Thanks @Saberwing40k. That was how I originally built it, but it didn't look as pretty as both turning the same way. @mocbuild101 as you say, does it matter? I guess I was trying to give it a shred of believability.
  13. thekitchenscientist

    [TC12] Kid Cash's Caster Cube

    Finally made progress and got the driver and propulsion system mounted. As you can see I have reworked some of the colours to give each face a more consistent feel. The rear outriggers prevent the vehicle from rolling on its side. If trouble is spotted ahead the front brakes can be applied to flip the vehicle onto it's face. The driver seat also pivots and the racer can now operate in heli-mode and fly over the trouble. I'm still trying to decide if I should make the third mode all-terrain by swapping the top set of slicks for off road tires? Any helicopter experts out there tell me if the blades should rotate in the same or opposite directions?
  14. thekitchenscientist

    Lego EV3 Program blocks help

    It should be a pretty similar program to the ones for finding the ir beacon. I would suggest you use a couple of array blocks to hold data from the light sensor. Pick a random direction (left or right), lock the steering, drive forward and collect a dozen readings to one array. Back up the same amount as you went forward. Set the steering to opposite lock and repeat into the other array. Whichever has the highest brightness is the direction to head. If no flashlight is detected perhaps steer a random direction to turn 90 degrees and repeat. I guess you will need touch sensor to locate the wall. The light sensor can also do this to give front and back coverage.
  15. This is probably one case where what you are planning to build will drive the learning. I have found if I can write it in suedo code then I can translate to EV3 (or realise it is beyond what can be done with the supplied software). Blue Angel on YouTube has a good series of videos. Also the PC software tutorials are helpful in introducing the blocks logically.