howitzer

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Everything posted by howitzer

  1. I believe that's the perforated line for easy extraction of the picture, perhaps partially ripped in the photo? Yes, you can see the brown cardboard through the tab, it's obviously the other side of the box, as it has two layers of cardboard, each with one side printed and unprinted sides facing each other. Or maybe I'm wrong and you're right, but either way I guess we'll know soon enough.
  2. I think the side view is in the inside of the lid part of the box. There's the sides clearly visible, and you can see 4 semicircle holes which are probably meant for inserting finger to extract the pre-cut part containing the side view from the lid. The box is quite large so I expect some waviness even with the cardboard.
  3. howitzer

    Building Help - Creating inward angles

    Ideally, you should do the math to make sure you can fit your construct in grid, so that there's no stressed/weak connections. It would probably include a lot of compromising in specific angles and Pythagoras is your friend here. As for actual connections, you can use various hinge parts and maybe Technic bricks and pins to make the connections. You should also know whether you want to build it upwards by stacking bricks or maybe use large plates angled to your desired positions. Starting with simpler build or only a part of the final build might also be a good idea. Somewhere in this forum there was a topic about roofing techniques, and there were a lot of angled constructions so you might want to search for that.
  4. Yeah, sets like 42055 and 42082 are good starting points, as they include a wide parts palette with very affordable price (though the former has been discontinued so there might be a bit of effort finding it, Bricklink should have plenty of sellers though). If you are for example interested in building cars, you could then buy a few smaller car sets to get a good selection of wheels and more panels. Functionally, not much has changed in the last 6-7 years (a few new parts but nothing groundbreaking) so you should be able to get into it fairly quickly. I had a bit steeper learning curve, as I came back after 25 years or so, and practically everything had changed, even the most basic connection was no longer the stud, but the pin.
  5. So hard to decide with so many great entries. 29: 10 24: 6 7: 4 13: 3 18: 2 39: 1
  6. I thought a while about whether to enter this contest or not, as I'm not a car enthusiast nor I have many proper car-parts to make good axle assemblies etc. But I have never really built a car of my own design, so I wanted to take this as a challenge to build something new. The next obvious problem was choosing a car I want to build. I spent a while browsing different kinds of cars and stumbled upon the Japanese concept of kei cars, which is a category of small, practical cars especially designed for crowded metropolises of Japan and from those I chose Honda N-Box as the model I'm attempting to build: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_N-Box My basic problem in building cars is my lack of parts, especially for steering and exterior so I won't be able to sculpt it to perfection nor will there be driven front wheels unlike the real counterpart, which comes with front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive. I'll probably omit the suspension too, but I'm not there yet so we'll see. I started with modeling the exterior in LeoCAD, with continuing to the interior once the exterior is complete enough:
  7. I had to abandon this project for now, as I found out that there's no good way to sculpt the front of the car with parts I currently have. I'm going to buy some more at some point and attempt to finish it later, but there was no time to order more parts and still be able to finish the design. CAD building didn't seem to work for me either, as it's not that easy to make sure your build is structurally sound while still allowing all the moving parts move, but the biggest problem for me was the missing mudguard parts and my inability to model the flex axles properly. So at the very least I would have to make test builds with real parts to make sure all the parts fit, but that was impossible in the timeframe of the contest. I'll continue with the bodywork at my leisure time and hopefully finish it some day.
  8. This made me think of the kind of toys that TLG will never produce
  9. There is a slim chance that the liftarms and other structural parts of the chassis are black/gray, but beyond that there's no chance they would make axles, pins and gears in other colours than those available now. But I'm fully expecting the usual colour vomit interior.
  10. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    Of course IDEAS sets are "lego-ish" being designed by AFOLs and mostly aimed at AFOLs. They are, however, only a very small part of the whole lineup of TLG, as only a few are released each year so by no means they are the main focus of the Lego business model. You can't even find them in many retail stores, they are available only in better-stocked ones and online, a casual shopper with no particular interest in Lego who's perhaps buying a birthday present for relative's kids will probably never even encounter an IDEAS set. Though you'd have to be raised in a barrel to have never even heard of Lego, as it's probably the most recognizable toy brand in the world and almost everyone raised in a western country has encountered them as a kid.
  11. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    I stand corrected. My impression came mostly from how the set looks, I don't really get the feeling of Classic Space from it, and it's long gone from stores so I didn't bother to dig very deep to find out what the original description were. But apparently other people do see the connection so maybe I just didn't look hard enough for it.
  12. I'm not sure how wide the selection in Bricks & Pieces is normally (currently it is down anyway due to COVID-19) but I'm guessing it's a decent chuck of parts in production so you could always make your order there if BL isn't satisfying your needs. Not being able to upload a parts list is of course a significant downside and should be corrected, but beyond that I'm not sure what it would achieve to make a system where people could upload their MOCs and others could vote for their quality and buy them. I mean, I don't see the profit potential in this kind of system, considering the severely limiting factor of parts selection of those currently in production at any given time. I feel that two years is a pretty short time for a MOC to be available as the only quality control would be votes from the general public (no TLG internal QC which ensures quality for their sets) so most prospective buyers would probably just skip the MOCs in favour of official sets and by the time a MOC gathered enough of votes to judge the quality, it would be ripe for retirement. Also, what would be the incentive for people to upload their designs? Part of the sales price? That would open a huge can of worms in terms of IP rights, payments, etc. and vast majority of people would earn only pennies if anything. For IDEAS it works because only a few sets make it through the process anyway. Those designers who don't care about money can upload their MOCs to sites like Rebrickable as it is so for them it would offer nothing new. There are costs and risks in launching a site like this, and I don't think the potential profit would justify that risk. But of course I'm just some guy with opinions in the Internet, so I might be totally wrong. Who knows, maybe does TLG something like this planned with the recent acquisition of Bricklink and all. I'm not saying I wouldn't like this kind of service but I just don't think it wouldn't be profitable enough.
  13. I have no problem with colour vomit interior, as it makes reading the instructions easier. Squinting at instructions booklet trying to differentiate between black and dbg parts isn't really my idea of a challenging build. On the other hand, if I wanted a genuine puzzle to test my problem-solving skills, there are much, much better and cheaper alternatives for that than an UCS Technic car.
  14. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    I did a quick count on the IDEAS sets that have been approved for production. Of the total of 31 sets in Bricklink, 13 rely on some sort of license, and 7 are themed after real life science. Barracuda Bay appears to be the only set with any kind of connection to the past Lego themes so it's also the only set which can be said to pander to AFOLs with nostalgia. Mostly the pandering is directed at fans of various franchises and fans of science/space exploration, while other sets are more like curiosities with no clearly defined target audience (Ship in a Bottle, Maze, and others). So while there's certainly diversity in IDEAS, licenses are a big part of it, but nostalgia of TLG's own IP isn't. As for Barracuda Bay, I believe there are two separate reasons why it was chosen: pandering to nostalgia and a test if the market is ripe for pirates reboot. AFOLs will certainly get it, but it remains to be seen if the kids will.
  15. While a service fulfilling the criteria you listed would certainly be nice from the customer perspective, I wonder who would operate it? I'm guessing you think TLG would, but I'm not sure it's any more feasible for them as it would be for a single third party. They would have to keep in stock every part available, and as we know, every year some parts are retired from the sets while new ones are introduced. What would happen to those retired parts, would they have to keep producing them even when they'd not be used in sets anymore? At some point they'd have to retire some parts from this market too (it's impossible to keep producing every part forever) and this would mean discontinuing every design that used those parts. And this would repeat year after year. Currently it's the aftermarket that supplies parts for MOCing and I don't think it's possible for TLG to replace the service Bricklink stores are providing, considering the thousands of sellers and their stocks of long retired parts. I'd argue that all the important parts are still available and probably will always be, though your mileage may vary on what's considered important. Maybe something like this could work with a list of core parts considered important and irreplaceable in TLG's inventory but making such a list of parts would be really difficult and drawing the line would be somewhat arbitrary no matter where it'd be drawn. I also don't think it would be very popular among designers as they probably don't want to limit their designs into a narrow selection of usable parts. Of course there are currently many parts that are technically available, but are far too expensive to be used in a design that's intended for sale, but even counting those out, there are tons of other useful parts that are out of production but available from the aftermarket cheaply, and it's these parts that are the problem. Either TLG would have to keep producing and stocking parts which are no longer used much, or they'd have to limit the parts selection so much as to render this service almost useless. Ordering pieces for a large MOC from Bricklink can certainly be a hassle and sometimes pretty expensive too, but I don't think any other way to do it is feasible. For the record, there was a ~4300 part MOC which I wanted to build, and I exported the parts list from Rebrickable to Bricklink to get a feeling of how much it would cost to build it. The result at the time was some 400-500€ (can't remember exactly) from 4 different sellers. I could have placed the orders there and then, and assuming those shops were to provide what they promised, I could've had the set ready for building in about a week or two. From first discovering the MOC in Rebricable I could've had the orders placed and paid within an hour, which I'd say isn't that long time, and the cost would've been similar to what new official sets cost when new (not discounted). So in my experience, even with all the hassles of Bricklink, it's very useful service for us AFOLs.
  16. Any idea how the front lights are constructed? It looks like just three white bars clipped to something and aimed to the same point, but that seems a bit too lazy solution...
  17. I get your point about the Disney train and others, surely they are not something that an actual train fan wants. But I don't think realistic trains are really comparable to pirates/castle/space, as the three latter themes have always been set firmly in the realm of fantasy instead of realism. Trains are also somewhat difficult to sell to kids, considering that you need to spend quite a bit of money to buy tracks and trains to get the most out of it, while other parts of the City are much more playable with low investment. I remember that as a kid I would've loved to have large Lego-train (maybe even the monorail) but the sets were far too expensive for my family to be really considered. Over the years TLG seems to have done probing of the market with various sets attempting to recreate some of the feeling in the classic themes, like Benny's Spaceship and recently Barracuda Bay, but at least the former doesn't appear to have been large enough success that it would mandate full-blown space revival and the impact of the latter is yet to be seen. I certainly hope it's enough to start a new line of pirate sets as that theme is completely absent from the current selection. Making stuff for niche markets is problematic though for a large generalist corporation like TLG, so probably they'll keep on going with touching many subjects without diving deeply into anything. At least for now it appears that mostly it's the licensed themes that keep the cash flowing for TLG, but I also do hope that they invent something original that is also a marketing success in the near future. Hidden side was an attempt but it doesn't appear to be that successful.
  18. No, it isn't. As I and others have stated, there are multiple train sets currently for sale, and many more have been available in the past. Trains were never really in a big focus for TLG anyway, as they can't really compete for attention of serious train enthusiasts with companies such as Märklin and while trains certainly have their place in TLG's selection, they are and always will be a niche at best. Kids don't care for realism and wide selection and AFOLs are a niche market for TLG so trains are more like niche of a niche. Nobody forces you to buy Lego only though, so if some other company offers products more suited to your needs, go ahead. Or make your own train designs, that's what Lego is at it's core after all.
  19. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    I haven't seen the set myself, but many reviewers praised the building techniques in the set, especially the use of flex-axles in the ship's nose and how the rear-end above the waterline was constructed. As for pandering to the fans reminiscing their childhood... yes, it obviously does that, but what was the point in the original submission, other than to indulge in childhood memories? I don't see the submission as an attempt to bring something new or fresh to the table regarding the pirates theme but as a tool for adults to revisit their childhood.
  20. You make it sound like trains have been discontinued, but there are several sets available currently, and even PoweredUp-scheme includes a new train motor, so obviously TLG is interested in producing train sets in the future too. So what's the exact problem here?
  21. I looked at the website, and I didn't really see anything that couldn't reasonably be replicated in Lego. The only thing Bluebrixx appears to have going on for them is that they offer themes TLG doesn't (=military etc. but that has been talked in length elsewhere) and their prices are lower per piece. The latter of course begs the question, why are their prices lower? I'm guessing, lower profit margin and probably lower quality for the bricks. One thing that has kept TLG afloat for all this time is that they have never compromised on quality of the basic product itself and it has created a strong brand which everyone recognizes and associates with expensive, but high quality product. I'm sure the clone brands will start eating TLG's market sooner or later, but I believe it's a slow process and gives TLG plenty of time to react and adapt. They probably face a stronger competition from other kinds of toys and entertainment, especially video/mobile games and such. Of course the Bricklink orders would cost a fortune, try doing the same with a similarly sized Lego set (as in buying the parts separately) and you'll see that it would cost a fortune too. But if a ready-made kit is what you want, why are you even considering a Bricklink order? Bluebrixx will never make the exact same sets as TLG, nor will TLG make the exact same sets as Bluebrixx, so if you want a certain set, you'll have to buy it from whoever made it, or pay extra for the Bricklink hassle. One problem with clone brands is that there are so many of them, with varying quality and availability and that they generally aren't compatible with each other (or Lego) even if they try to. Let's say that you start buying sets of brand X, and get a nice collection going on making great MOCs. Then for one reason or another, the manufacturing stops (company goes bankrupt, or decides it's not profitable and shifts to some other market or whatever), and then you'll find yourself with a collection of bricks that are practically worthless for resale, and with no possibilities to expand your collection or replace worn out or broken parts. I think similar thing happening with Lego isn't nearly as likely (not impossible, but less likely) scenario, considering that even if the company went bankrupt, the brand is strong enough to attract buyers who would probably want continue the core business of making bricks.
  22. Yes, those CLASSIC sets are not very useful due to the rainbow colour palette combined with the wide variety of moulds. I'm sure kids love them but I also think that it would be much better to release colour coded sets of generic pieces, let's say containing a selection of parts in 3-5 shades of the base colour. This way the boxes could cover a wide variety of colours and moulds but for example someone making a landscape with river could buy only greens, browns, blues and maybe greys while skipping on yellows, purples and reds along with black and white. Currently one has to resort to either B&P or aftermarket to find what they need, and while it's all well and good to be able to order exactly what you need, I think it would be nicer for example for a someone with a vague castle idea to buy a box of grey parts and see what happens, as it promotes creativity very differently when you have a limited but not too limited selection of parts at hand.
  23. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    It wasn't ugly in it's day, but you are correct in the sense that the sets of 1980 to early 1990 don't compare to sets of today at all. If you remove all the nostalgia and the inherent value of an earlier installment, you get a set that's more like a shitty MOC than a high-quality product made by a major company. As a basic themes (space, castle, pirates) I do miss those, as many of TLG's own product lines have been discontinued in favour of licensed themes and apart from Star Wars, there's really no product lines currently to cater to people who like these themes. I find Technic a curious theme here, because while technology has certainly marched on, lots of core concepts are still the same as in 1980's and there were some truly genius techniques used (linkage in 856 bucket, the robotic arm of 8094 or the whole of 8868) and such cleverness doesn't seem to be around as much anymore. Also, while in the earlier days Technic sets were all about functions with very little attention given to looks, today the aesthetic side of things is just as important, and while I understand the reasons for it, I kind of miss the days when you could actually see how the functions worked inside the model instead of everything being covered in panels.
  24. howitzer

    Officially not a toy anymore

    Some of the new licenses are definitely adult-oriented though, like Stranger Things and Fast&Furious. Of course teenagers can (and do) watch those, but Lego has come pretty far from the days of being strictly kid-oriented. When I was a kid the age recommendations were based on technical difficulty (consider 8868 or 8480 with their recommended age starting at 11) of building and not thematic content as everything was kid-friendly in that respect.