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About icm

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    Spaceship Specific

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  1. icm

    2024 Space sets

    @Merlo, since you're not a fan of upscaling for its own sake (come to think of it, neither am I - though it can be done well), what other play features or design elements would you add to the Aerial Intruder to make an upscaled version worthwhile?
  2. Ok, cool - nice to hear your perspective as a kid in the Classic Space era, then! I guess I'm a young buck ten or fifteen years behind you, you're perfectly free to tell me to get off your lawn! I got into Lego in the late 1990s, so I learned about Classic Space from seeing the Galaxy Explorer in Dorling Kindersley's "The Ultimate Lego Book". For me, its sleek, simple form was an amazing contrast from the overly busy, weird, ugly, incomprehensible (to me) flagships of Exploriens, UFO, and Insectoids, and I wondered why Lego didn't make spaceships like that anymore. So for me, what immediately attracted me to the Galaxy Explorer was its simplicity and sleekness in contrast to the weird, quirky, hard-to-understand design language of later Lego Space, whereas that's what you initially disliked about it. And that entirely accounts for our two different perspectives in this thread, over which much digital ink has been spilled! :) I understand you now, thanks! :) That's a good analogy, since the way different people hear the same piece of music can be completely different! My simple common experience at any concert, or listening to any musical recording, will have very little in common with your simple common experience! And that's the beauty of musical tastes, that's why there are so many different types of music in the world. Sorry for misreading you, the impression you gave me was that you felt only your take was valid. You didn't mean it that way. Well, the designer saw what some MOC makers saw, but not what other MOC makers saw. Certainly he didn't see it in the heavily greebled way that many MOC makers did. Certainly he did trim away the things that would work against making the ship as sleek as possible. Which is what some other MOC makers (like me) saw. That's life. Sorry sorry sorry, I'll get off your lawn! Don't sic your dog on me! I'm going! - - - Eh, the kids are alright. Sets have certain qualities. I can equally say that once you go far enough you stop seeing the qualities of what's coming out now. This is because you don't need to look hard to see what is lacking, but often you have to look hard for the subtle things that make something excel. (Changed to present tense.) To be fair, Mike Psiaki does excel at recreations of existing objects. Take a look at his designer Bricklist: https://brickset.com/sets/list-9961. And, to be fair, everything else being equal, bigger sets are harder to swoosh and harder to find space for. The original Galaxy Explorer is both easier to swoosh and easier to find space for on the shelf or in the play area. I've written about how in my opinion, the 10497 is pretty darn close to "what's the best Galaxy Explorer we could make in 2022", so I'll agree to disagree. I'd say that the 10497 is aimed at adults in terms of nostalgia and build sophistication, but aimed at kids in terms of playability and price. It's true that you can't pick it up from literally anywhere for swooshing and expect it to stay in one piece, but that's also very much true of things like the latest playscale Millennium Falcon (the 75257 from 2019), and that one is indisputably aimed at kids. Again we'll agree to disagree. I think the 10497 takes full advantage of its boost in size to do all sorts of fun stuff. Shrug. @Merlo, I want to say thanks a lot for your last post. I'd been totally misunderstanding your intentions, and so I was responding to a mistaken idea of you in my big long posts. You're not a crank shouting into the void "EVERYTHING IS AWFUL BECAUSE IT'S NOT EXACTLY HOW I WANT IT AND THIS IS WHY", you're just a perfectly normal Lego fan stating your opinions like anybody else, and, yes, just a little bit of a get-off-my-lawn type. Now that I know where you're coming from, I can totally understand your perspective - and I hope you can understand mine, now that you know where I'm coming from. We can get along, yay! Let's be friends. Shake hands? BTW, I like the chameleon in your profile pic. Much more fun than the boring old blank placeholder I've left as mine!
  3. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    @Mylenium, I believe you're a manufacturing engineer, right? Do you have any experience with or knowledge about how the tolerance buildup would be managed with, say, a 16x16 plate? I'm sure I got a lot of it wrong and I'd be interested to know how it actually works. @danth, there are some sets with a whole lot of 1x1 plates in a row and then other parts laid on top of them, like the Creator 3-in-1 pirate ship. But those aren't very common, and I think the layer underneath the 1x1 plates in the pirate ship is probably broken up so they're not all stacked on one long plate. I haven't checked the instructions to make sure. Yeah - I admit I've always been a gullible fellow, and as a kid I pretty much swallowed all corporate propaganda from, well, anywhere really, but Lego in particular. It's hard to avoid doing that today even though I want to think of myself as an adult capable of critical thinking. I have no expertise to really judge the quality or precision of Lego molds, I was just noting that in my experience the part quality is still generally better than competitors, and speculating on reasons why most Lego molds might require greater precision than most action figure molds or general plastic toy molds. Obviously we need a real manufacturing engineer with professional experience in injection-molded plastic toys to weigh in!
  4. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Also, note that I was mainly talking about location tolerance for the studs, not clutch tolerance for the studs themselves. Not only does the clutch tolerance for every single stud on a large plate need to be just as good as clutch tolerance for every stud on a small plate, but location tolerance needs to be much higher, because a large plate needs to be able to accommodate the accumulated clutch and size error of a lot of small plates at maximum material condition.
  5. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Ok, I understand what you mean. I think it would take a real manufacturing engineer to really answer the question.
  6. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    That's not really how tolerance stacking works. A little imprecision doesn't matter much on a few parts or items that need to meet. Generally, the more points that have to meet certain relative positions, the tighter the tolerance has to be on each point. A 2x8 plate has to have higher tolerances than a 1x1 plate, because it needs to accomodate the tolerance buildup of sixteen 1x1 plates placed on top of it. That's why larger plates (and larger bricks) are so expensive. Not only are the molds more complex and the filling/cooling patterns more complex, but they have to be machined to higher tolerances because they need to accomodate the tolerance buildup of all the smaller parts that are going to attach to them. That, in turn, is why best practices for Lego building are to not have very long lengths or very large areas of stud-antistud mating, but to break those areas up with tiles: the buildup of all that wiggle room in the location of each individual stud results in a lot of stress in the large parts. A little imprecision here or there isn't like a little noise here or there in scientific data, where you can stack multiple measurements to get a better signal-to-noise ratio. It doesn't cancel out. It may "improve clutch," but that just means that you're getting tight interference fits where they're not intended due to imprecise molding, and that damages the parts. You don't want to improve clutch that way. Source - this is based on my general understanding of things from my first- and second-year undergraduate courses in CAD and manufacturing processes. I'm not a materials scientist or manufacturing engineer and don't have any specialized knowledge of metals or plastics beyond what I learned in those classes. My later courses were in fluid mechanics and orbital mechanics. Any real manufacturing engineer on the forum should correct me if I've said anything wrong, which I probably did. But - FWIW - that's not how tolerance stacking works! Edit - I've also bought a lot of kits from a number of other brands in the last couple of years, and Lego does still have the most precise molding. Lego parts fit together better than Cobi (which is by far the best competitor as far as part quality goes, and is much better in terms of prints and print quality), and much better than Bluebrixx (parts sourced mainly from Xingbao) or Sluban, which are both companies I respect. And of course they fit together much better than parts from any of those anonymous Chinese "MOC shops." In the larger hobby model space, the quality and precision of Bandai molding is just about second to none, but the parts in the Bandai Gundams don't click together quite as neatly and securely as Lego parts, not to mention standing up to repeated cycles of assembly and disassembly. The ball joints are also a lot rougher than Lego ball joints. In hobby modeling generally, though less with Gunpla, panel gaps and mismatched assembly tabs are generally expected, though to varying degrees, and it's expected that you'll have to fix them with knife, glue, putty, and sandpaper. Lego is just supposed to fit together without all that. Most other plastic toys with male-female joints are designed to require as few of those joints as possible and to be very forgiving of misalignments and panel gaps. I don't have enough experience with action figures, especially high-end action figures like Hot Toys or McFarlane, to have an informed comment on the precision of their molding, but I expect it's less demanding than Lego in many respects. Action figure parts have relatively few connection points and mating faces, and the tolerances between connection points and mating faces are what matter. Tolerance of surface cosmetic detail can be much looser. With basic Lego parts like a 2x8 plate, everything (just about) is a connection point, and every face is a mating face. So tolerances do have to be pretty tight - much tighter than for Bionicle parts (except the ball surfaces and maybe the joint-to-joint distances), because those are much more like action figure parts than conventional Lego parts (to the continual astonishment of many Lego fans).
  7. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    Agreed. As a Bionicle-obsessed kid in 2001-2005, it was easy for me to tell that most Bionicle parts were very low quality compared to other Lego parts. I can easily imagine that a mold for a Bionicle weapon, mask, or armor part cost only a fraction of what a mold for a regular System or Technic part would cost. Why? These special Bionicle parts have few connection points, and most of the shape is so unashamedly out-of-System that a millimeter more or less in any direction doesn't matter for quality control. The plastic was much softer and scratched and bent easily, so precision wasn't really a concern anyway. No nice new-Lego gloss on most of those parts either. Also those parts were meant for a very short service life of a couple of years, so I bet they churned through those molds and ran them at top speed until they broke. IMO, Bionicle molds were as close to cheap conventional plastic toy molds as anything Lego's ever made, except Galidor - and the Galidor molds, which did real damage to the company, were apparently high-precision, thus much more expensive. Note that I'm not playing apologist for whether Lego should or should not make new molds for this or that today, in 2023 - all I'm doing is agreeing that specialty Bionicle molds were probably much cheaper than new molds for, say, wedge plates or modified bricks.
  8. So, uh, @Merlo, I'm not going to keep debating you on the design decisions of the 10497 spaceship. But you said some things here that I think are worth commenting on. First of all, were you a fan of Lego at the time the original Galaxy Explorer was released, either as a KFOL, TFOL, or AFOL? If not, I don't think you have a greater claim than anybody else to be able to "see things in the context of the time they're amde in, the intended audience, the available pieces, etc." You and I and pretty much everybody else on the forums are just regular AFOLs who came of age after Classic Space, and we're all looking back at the same old set list on Brickset through our own individual experiences and perceptions. The designer of the 10497 is the same age as I am, but during the development process of the set he was able to talk to some old hands at the company who actually were there when the original Galaxy Explorer was made. In that, I think he has a much better claim of being able to see the original in the context of the time it was made, its intended audiences, and the available pieces. But, yes, at the end of the day, the 10497 is just his Galaxy Explorer remake MOC that happened to be produced as a retail set because he's lucky enough to work at the company and make that happen. It's fundamentally neither more nor less valid as an interpretation of Classic Space or the Galaxy Explorer than anybody else's interpretation of Classic Space, or anybody else's Galaxy Explorer remake MOC. Second, I disagree that the only way we can rate sets is to "look at what's available and what's possible and compare what we got." That may be the way you rate sets, but it's not the way everybody rates sets. I like to rate sets on their own merits, without making every set compete against every other set. While I find some sets disappointing, I don't aggressively compare every set against the fanciest MOCs of the same subject, or against my vaguely, incompletely expressed ideas of what could have been. Third, you seem pretty hung up on the idea that the original Galaxy Explorer was "everything", the best of the best, the most amazing spaceship ever, etc. - and that, therefore, a proper new Galaxy Explorer remake should be "everything", the best of the best, the most amazing spaceship ever. Anything that doesn't meet your idea of a spaceship that is the best-spaceship-evah is just "ok." Well, it's certainly true that there had never been a larger Lego spaceship before the original Galaxy Explorer, but does it necessarily follow that a remake has to be the best-spaceship-ever, the largest-spaceship-ever, "everything"? Not necessarily. There are other ways to interpret the place of the Galaxy Explorer "in the context of its time" and with respect to "the intended audience, the available pieces." For instance, to make the new one the biggest, best Lego spaceship ever, it would have to be bigger and more expensive than the UCS Razor Crest or the UCS Millennium Falcon. Those are terrific sets, but I don't think anyone was crying out for an $850+ UCS Galaxy Explorer. Instead, consider that in the context of its time the original Galaxy Explorer was a pretty big Lego spaceship meant for children to swoosh it around and tell stories with minifigures, and also consider that it made effective use of the wedge plates and slopes of its time to make a large, sleek wing shape and fuselage. In the context of today, the new Galaxy Explorer is a pretty big Lego spaceship meant for children to swoosh it around and tell stories with minifigures, and it also makes effective use of the wedge plates and slopes of today to make a large, sleek wing shape and fuselage. In the context of its time, the original Galaxy Explorer did give an impression of being a pretty big spaceship, but relative to today it's actually pretty small. So to preserve the impression of being a pretty big spaceship in today's context, the new one did have to be upscaled. But it didn't need to be the biggest-spaceship-evah. So I think that's a pretty close match, in context. Also, how about a different kind of context? In 1979, the police headquarters from Town had 372 parts and 4 minifigures, and the big spaceship from Space (the Galaxy Explorer) had 338 parts and 4 minifigures. So besides being the biggest-spaceship-evah, the Galaxy Explorer was ~ a little smaller than the police headquarters set of the time. The pattern has changed a bit recently, but generally City police stations have been ~$100, with 5-7 minifigures. The largest City sets each year have been $150-200, with several more minifigures; the largest spaceships, vehicles, or flying machines in other themes are generally ~$150-170. So there's an argument to be made that a "proper" Galaxy Explorer remake would have been targeted at roughly that price range and it would have included a small radar station, some more minifigures, and a brick-built landing pad. I think that a lot of AFOLs would agree with that. But for what we got, which was just the spaceship, I think it's pretty good. And I don't think that's a failure of imagination - it's just a marketing decision to focus only on the spaceship and bring the set back to the more accessible price point. After all, the $32 RRP of the original set is about $140 today, so we got something that is, relatively speaking, more accessible than the original. And I have no complaints about that. I'll close this post by repeating, once again, your opinions and interpretations of Classic Space are perfectly valid. They're just not more or less valid than anybody else's, and your ways of thinking about it and evaluating sets, etc, are not the only ways. I'm probably getting a mistaken impression of you - you don't mean to give the impression that you think your ideas are better than everybody else's and everybody else is wrong - but that's the impression I get when I read your posts most of the time, so I apologize for reading you wrong and responding to that mistaken impression. Cheers - icm
  9. icm

    Is It Possible To Reintroduce Old Sets?

    In this case I think you're probably right.
  10. Shrug. Whatever floats your boat, bro.
  11. icm

    Wizarding World 2023 - Rumors & Discussion

    Interesting. The Ford Anglia and Privet Drive together are less parts than the 2020 set, I think. They're probably skippable. That's the biggest Hagrid's Hut ever, so that should be good.
  12. icm

    2024 Space sets

    You know, @danth, it may actually have something to do with that. You may be right. Still, I agree with @TeriXeri that the more likely immediate cause is the fact that Artemis 2 is scheduled to launch next year (though it may very well be delayed until the year after that). The 2022 City Space sets very deliberately and conspicuously coincided with Artemis 1, so it makes a lot of sense to me that Lego would decide to schedule another wave of City Space to coincide with Artemis 2.
  13. icm

    Could LEGO remake Fright Knights?

    I'd like a Fright Knights remake/tribute theme. Here are a couple of MOCs:
  14. I'd just like to apologize to everybody reading this thread. It seems that me, @Merlo, @danth, and @Aanchir are simply repeating the same arguments/discussion we already had fifteen months ago, on pages 2-4 or so of this very thread! So, sorry for the repetition.