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About icm

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    <p> I'm a Space guy.  I think the last set I purchased was...gee, what was it?  It was a secondhand copy of 7140. </p>

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  1. icm

    Quarantine for the Originals

    I keep my childhood collection separate from sets I've bought as an adult. I think of it this way: if I want a vintage set, I can get it. If I want to build a creation from vintage parts, I can. If I want to build a new and improved version of a childhood creation, I can. But if I part out my childhood creations and mix them all up with parts I've bought as an adult, I can't get that childhood thought process back if I ever try to rebuild them.
  2. icm

    [MOC] An excess X-wing

    BUMP: X-wing builds are a great way to track the progress of Lego construction techniques and parts palettes, since Lego fans of all ages have been building them since the Classic Space sets came out in 1978. Inspired by the recent Jerac build and by Inthert's X-wing V2, I looked through various image hosting websites to find the best minifig-scale X-wings of various classes that I distinguish as follows: Generation: Pre-set; uses finger hinges, 8x4 wedge plates, and Town canopies. Early Star Wars: uses click hinges and Star Wars canopies. First Star Wars remakes: wings use mounting style and rubber bands like official sets 4502/6212, 9493, 75218; generally uses Star Wars canopies Post-Psiaki: wings use center pivot with no gearbox; a wide variety of canopy styles Post-Inthert v2: wings use center pivot with gearbox; a wide variety of canopy styles Style: Set style: Main goals are sturdiness, simplicity, and play features; maybe slightly more refined shape than set Set mods: Main goals are improving the shape of the set and adding desired play features or removing disliked play features Fully custom: Main goals are accuracy of shape and proportion, but often includes features that the set doesn't have, like fully retractable landing gear Size: Small: No rigorous "scale model" is attempted; it just has to "work" with a minifig. Most gen 1 and gen 2 builds are "small." One or two gen 4 builds are as well. Medium: A rigorous "scale model" at an approximate scale of 1 stud = 1.2 feet. Some gen 2 builds; nearly all gen 3 and gen 4 builds; most gen 5 builds. Large: A rigorous "scale model" at an approximate scale of 1 stud = 1 foot. Examples include Dmac and Atlas, plus a couple more on Flickr whose names I don't recall at the moment. This build is a gen 1 fully custom small X-wing inspired by the childhood makeshift X-wing of Dan Nelson on Brickshelf. The idea is to be the best "small" custom X-wing possible using parts available to AFOLs prior to 1999. Features retractable forward landing gear and a cargo bay with belly hatch and cockpit access via a folding seat. Maybe I'll build it once I have enough builds lined up on Bricklink to make the price per part, including shipping, comparable with retail sets (8-12 cents per piece). Thanks for looking; hope you get a kick out of this little build. Pictures in first post.
  3. Thanks for your replies. The main idea with this build was to see if a more affordable, better-equipped Imperial Flagship could be Bricklinked for less than the average price of an Imperial Flagship on eBay. That didn't work out, so I didn't end up getting the parts for this. I also think the stern castle is too high. For an official set like the Imperial Flagship it's fine, but once you're already in the price range for a good MOC you may as well build a good MOC, right? So that's on the to-do list for later, after I get an excess of X-wings out of the way. When I get around to it, I'll probably end up using a lot of your ships for inspiration!
  4. icm

    New LEGO Forma

    I wonder if Forma is intended for the adult-coloring-book crowd. Perhaps the idea is to inspire people to design and cut their own skins out of cardboard or thin plastic, then color them and attach them as they please. The publicity shots for Forma even show a woman coloring in the skins with colored pencils, etc. It's not about assembling the parts creatively. It's about creatively decorating the skin - particularly the "ink koi" skin. Assembling the parts wouldn't take a couple of hours, but decorating the skin would. Coloring in the skin is also a more relaxing creative activity for a different audience than usual, because there's no need to make shapes and mechanisms work if you're not mechanically or sculpturally inclined. That brings in a different adult audience than usual and a different child audience than usual. I think that idea has a lot of potential, but they didn't express the purpose clearly in the video. As described in the video, it isn't any more "creative" than any other Lego set, because there's no prompt to do anything but follow the instructions. I don't expect to see a lot of posts about differently-colored Forma skins on Eurobricks, but I do expect to see plenty of Technic MODs and MOCs that take the Forma core and implement more realistic or complex movements underneath the skins.
  5. icm

    [MOD] Lunar Patrol Craft

    I built a makeshift version of kit 6872 ("Lunar Patrol Craft" or "Xenon X-Craft") from spare parts and thought it was really fun and swooshable, but the set as released has some problems. The color scheme is ugly, the rocket is set so comically high that the ship would spin like a top, and the robot has nothing to do. So I changed the colors, moved the engine lower, and gave the robot a little bay so he can ride along and pretend he's R2-D2. This can't go toe-to-toe with my 1980s-style X-wing and TIE fighter any more than 70701 Space Swarmer can go toe-to-toe with the latest X-wing and TIE fighter, but at least it lets the astronauts at Moonbase Alpha blast any bug aliens out of the sky before they get too close. But those Classic Spacemen always have such big smiles on their faces - they'd just invite the bug aliens in for a cup of tea and they'd all be best buddies in no time.
  6. icm

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    "Deserve" is such a loaded word. There are plenty of projects that are brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed that don't make it to 100 in time because the project creators don't know how to promote them. Not every project that flops before the 100-supporter mark is a jumble of poorly matched parts assembled by a child and uploaded by a parent.
  7. icm

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    That's true to a point, but - The Ideas forms specifically say that there is no obligation to buy. If I were only to support projects that I personally would buy, considering my tastes and budget, I could only support four or five a year. More to the point, I often support projects that I personally am not terribly interested in because I see that they are well done and interesting to many people. My vote for a project like that, especially if it doesn't have a lot of support yet, is intended to make the project more visible to people who are more interested. For example, would I buy a set of four Lego dinosaur skeletons? Probably not, but I know a lot of people would, so I supported that idea so that the people who are interested in it can at least see it get to the review stage. That's my main criterion in supporting a project: do I want to see it get to the review stage? Not do I want this on my shelf. That means I will sometimes support a large group of projects of varying quality and similar subject matter or even a project that's objectively pretty bad, because I want something of that kind to get to the review stage. That means supporting every halfway-decent rocket or airplane and some very primitive builds based on an IP I like. As another example, I would absolutely not have bought the initial Saturn V submission. It was clumsy and ugly. But the set is fantastic. I don't know how I feel about a "mutual support group" for Ideas, because it does raise obvious issues of supporting projects simply because they've joined the group regardless of their quality. But I sure wouldn't call it a lie to support a project in that group that I wouldn't actually buy.
  8. I like the idea of building Benny's command center with parts you already have, but I think the model in your August 17 post is a better fit with the walls of your base. That model looks like an integral part of the base's design, because its prominent vertical lines, shallow slopes just beneath the roof line, and flat roof echo the same lines in the profile of the walls and the 45-degree angles on the corners. This model is well done for what it is, but in context I imagine a story somewhat like this: Benny inherits the mansion of his great-great-grandfather Benjamin Star, who brought the railroad to town in 1885 and became extremely rich as a result of his rail empire (of which you've built quite a large sample). Ignoring the protests of the local historical society and the zoning board, Benny guts the mansion of its magnificent 19th-century furnishings and installs a bunch of mysterious electronic equipment. He razes the beautiful woodland park cultivated by his ancestor the railroad baron and builds his own little private spaceport in the backyard. Economic havoc ensues, but eventually everyone concedes Benny was all right when he plays some major role defeating some major threat from space. Does that sound like something Benny would do? Anyway, thanks for posting this build. Hope you get to build your favorite form of Benny's command center in real life without too much more delay. Have the parts for your Arctic-styled space base arrived yet?
  9. icm

    LEGO Sci-Fi 2018 Pictures and Rumors

    The Bricklink sets won't be released until 2019, but I would be very surprised if at least one of them wasn't Space-themed. I would be mildly surprised if that Space-themed set didn't refer back to a classic Space set in some way. Of course, these won't be officially-numbered sets from Lego itself, but they're better than nothing. That said, all the wonderful Space-themed entries to the Moments in Space contest were outvoted by a kiddy ride at the mall, so you never know.
  10. icm

    42082 - Rough Terrain Crane

    I forget the reference, but someone said recently in a semi-official capacity that weight is a more reliable indicator of price than part count. Perhaps, counterintuitive though it may seem, the bloated parts count and complexity of 42082 makes it more affordable/attractive/palatable to general buyers than a comparable kit that uses fewer parts and is simpler and more sturdy. For example, suffocation's RTC has about 3000 parts instead of 4000 and is simpler, more functional, and sturdier, but it weighs more and has more motors, so it would be priced significantly higher. If the RTC as released was suffocation's model, priced at $350 or $400 (accounting for the extra weight and motors compared to 42082's $300), how many people on this forum would balk at the high cost and perceived low value, and wait until it was discounted to $250 or $300 before buying? By comparison, the 42082 at $300 for 4000 parts is perceived as good value, though of course $300 isn't cheap by any means. Since the main idea behind the question "could the RTC have been executed at a much smaller parts count" is actually "could the RTC have been executed at a significantly lower cost", I wonder if anyone can build a comparable RTC at a much lower weight.
  11. Speaking of Bat-trains... http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Bat-Train That should be all the excuse TLG needs to put out a set with one. Then everyone will complain that it should have twice as many cars and twice as much track, and everyone else will wonder what the fuss is all about. Since the Bat-train existed on Earth-2, on the Earth-2 in which TLG produces a Bat-train "everyone" can do both things at once.
  12. Thanks for posting this. I've thought about doing Shiptember for the past couple of years, but haven't been up to it yet. Speaking as someone who's never built a SHIP, I applaud your determination to get it done this time. It certainly fits the SHIP standard, and it fits well with your personal interpretation of Neo Classic Space. That said, if you're not planning to build it until next year you've got plenty of time to improve the design because...well, like many Shiptember spaceships, it just looks like a shish-kebab. I can see your design process in there: you've got the engines at the back, a big comm dish at the front, some big wheels that are meant to represent spinning habitat rings, some solar panels; but aside from my personal experience with Bricklink (which suggests it would in fact be very expensive to build IRL), it just doesn't look like a seriously huge investment in parts. I guess I just like to see creations that focus on advanced building techniques to achieve clear aims in structure, shape, and function rather than simply aiming to achieve a fixed size. For instance, if the blocky octagonal sections near the bow and stern are intended to represent hangars for fighter craft, you could try to show that in the build rather than just using some castle panels to sketch out the module in the simplest way possible. Perhaps the solar panels could be made larger and more prominent to emphasize their function, or the hab rings could be enlarged and brick-built to give some sense of scale that doesn't depend on an auxiliary build of a mini Benny ship. So, those are my two cents. My opinion's only worth about two cents here, since I've never attempted a SHIP myself. My seriously huge investment in parts this month ought to be just sourcing the missing parts for all my incomplete sets and the various little creations I've posted here. You've certainly done a good job in showing how to do that kind of thing sustainably and affordably. You said you've ordered the parts for the walls of your Classic Space base - have you been able to order the parts for the "embassy" yet?
  13. icm

    [MOC] Star Wars: The X-Wing Story

    I just meant that one of the things I look for in a top-of-the-line X-wing build is that the fuselage sides at and just behind the cockpit canopy are tilted ever so slightly away from the vertical, and that the facets in the tailcone are flat rather than curved, since fuselage curves are characteristic of the T-70 rather than the T-65. That's the way I think of the X-wing, anyway - I'm certainly no authority! I think the cehnot and inthert builds are better in that regard, but it's a small thing and I like your nose solution much better in general. I spent all day yesterday talking myself down from buying the instructions and ordering the parts...better to build my little retro T-65 first before tackling this beauty! I think it's perfectly clear why TLG made the new X-wing canopy the way they did. It's a "compromise canopy" that needs to work well across a range of lines for a variety of different vehicles, and that's easier if it has a rectangular base. (Same reason why the old X-wing canopy was inaccurate.) Also, they would need to adopt the cehnot/inthert/jerac/dmac/atlas/gray mouser nose standard before it would help to introduce a canopy mold that's an exact replica of the real canopy: a canopy properly tapered front-to-back wouldn't help the look of 75102/75149/75218 much if they retained the 4502/6212/9493 nose technique, which they do. Compared to the old canopy, the new one has a better taper in the side profile and also in the front profile, just not in the top profile. Two out of three's not bad.
  14. icm

    [MOC] Star Wars: The X-Wing Story

    Thanks for posting this brilliant build, and also this great write-up of the design process. The thing I really like about this model compared to other recent X-wings (especially inthert and cehnot) is the nice, smooth, stud-free nose. I also like how the underside of the fuselage is smooth, composed of flat panels, and nearly completely enclosed even with the retractable landing gear. The landing gear itself also looks like it works a lot more smoothly than in other models. The tiled wing interiors are great too. I think the other models get the subtle angles in the central fuselage and the tail cone a bit better, but having never built anything this complex myself I really can't complain. Thanks for making the instructions available, and for taking the time to make the model relatively stable for the sake of the instructions. I tried to build inthert's X-wing once, but all the illegal connections made it so unstable during the build process that I never finished it. Does this model have any illegal connections or places where the geometry doesn't <quite> work out, like the inthert nose?
  15. Thanks again for posting the pictures and the instructions. I made a few changes while building, but the result is still basically your childhood A-wing: For comparison, this was the childhood A-wing that my brother built: And this was the childhood A-wing that I built: Clearly, builds like yours were way out of my league back then, and builds like yours are still way out of my league now! Hopefully it won't take another ten or twenty years to get up the moxie to build your excellent A-wing, X-wing, and TIE fighter in real bricks. However, after building it virtually I'm not sure your old model quite fits with my retro X-wing and TIE fighter builds. It's still a bit too big. Still, thanks a lot for posting this build!