The_Cook

Eurobricks Citizen
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    Piratical Project Manager

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  1. What you are arguing for is not the volume of minifigs within the set; as they can be purchased separately just like bricks can. What you are arguing for is more variation in the prints on the minifigs. More armour, more factions, more civilians, more minifigs wearing "save the goat" T-shirts, etc...
  2. Given that the video is undoubtedly CGI rather than ABS stop motion, then all they've done is reuse old buildings from the past. Hence the breakdown from eldiano spotting all the similarities. Once in the digital world change brick colour is fairly trivial, which might explain some of the recolours, although lighting may account for the rest. I remember all the commotion about the "rumoured new fantasy theme" that eventually turned out to be Elves. A good theme, but not for those that hate minidolls. Just remember this 10305 is clearly destined to be the centerpiece of Heartlake City!
  3. To add a little more to this thread around element design; NewElementary have been given access to interview some of the element designers at TLG. https://www.newelementary.com/2021/10/ego-element-development-wheelbase-part-65094.html
  4. The_Cook

    Classic Castle Parts?

    Steps and ladders - usually in black or reddish-brown. Barrels, Chests, Crates - again reddish-brown. Flags and flagpoles - lots of colours are available. BURPs and LURPs - much maligned but for younger builders they're a quick way of building rocks For inspiration use Brickset or Bricklink to look at castle sets from the past and the sort of parts that they contained. Bricklink should have inventories so you can always see if some of the old-gray parts are now available in modern colours. Minifigs! The best part about castle was one army against another army; without the play aspect it's just an Architecture set.
  5. Looking at the part again; yes it should be just two halves. To get the issues seen with that part then there must be damaged/incorrectly manufactured mold out there. The erroneous parts wouldn't show up on the weight checks that TLG perform because it's the correct amount of ABS. But that cross-hole is definitely out by a degree or two as my 42121 Heavy Duty Excavator with it's slightly wobbly righthand side atests.
  6. Consider also that different molds have different costs due to the number of "inserts" required in order to create the shape. Things like Minifig utensils have typically very simplistic molds, basically two halves that the plastic is injected into. Something like the perpendicular lift-arms that have been introduced also require inserts to form the perpendicular holes and these inserts need to be removed before the halves can be separated and the piece ejected. Technic pieces are more likely to have molds requiring inserts in order to allow perpendicular connections. More complex molds, need more complex molding machines and there's more that can go wrong. The recent issues with misaligned quarter ellipses 71708 are due to a mold error; my guess would be that an insert has twisted by a degree or two rather than it being a manufacturing error in the mold but that is just a guess. There are also tolerances involved; I suspect that the tolerances on Bricks and Beams from hard plastics are more precise than the tolerances used on the more rubberised plastics used for minifig utensils. Higher tolerance, higher costs. Whilst Minifigs get a lot of variation, most variation is printing and changing the print setup is significantly less than commissioning a new mold. Keeping a larger parts inventory available requires more changeovers of the tooling, which is more downtime on the machines and therefore less pieces produced. As already mentioned, more inventory requires more space for storage, which requires additional land, buildings, HVAC, shelving, handling machinery, etc... When a designer makes a case to add a new part to the inventory they're making that case against a couple of million dollar expenditure. Whilst TLG are notoriously careful with their NDAs to ensure that future product releases don't get leaked, often through the designer interviews that accompany new releases, or interviews at Accredited Fan Media days, it is possible to gain insight into how their design processes work. I don't have links to hand but I recall Jamie talking about the design of the roller coaster tracks to either Brickset or NewElementary and there was another where one of the actual Element Design Engineers explained their work, possibly in relation to the release of a new spring shooter. Also read between the lines in some of the descriptions of the annual Lego Factory Tours and you can often gather information about production capacity, changeover times for tooling vs changeover times for new colour of ABS. I would also suggest reading "Brick by Brick" by Bill Breen and David Robertson, ISBN 978-1847941176 which talks about how in the 90's Lego almost went bankrupt because they did have too many brick variants and colours in production at once and it wasn't sustainable. Lego's current success at manufacturing and production is based upon a near death-experience.
  7. The_Cook

    Troll Town [photos re-uploaded 04/07/2020]

    Ah, you're new to the site. There are restrictions on what new sign-ups can do to prevent abuse. New sign-ups are not allowed to send PMs until they've made a certain number of posts. You are up 2 at the moment; make a few polite and useful comments on some of the other threads and after (I think) 10 posts you'll be able to send PMs. Oh, and welcome to the community ;-)
  8. The_Cook

    Troll Town [photos re-uploaded 04/07/2020]

    With MOCpages gone distributing the ldd files is a little more challenging ;-0 If you send me a PM I can probably find some form of file distribution site that I can post a zip of the LDDs to.
  9. The_Cook

    Story-Driven Castle Themes?

    You get pink sandstones. The ruins of Exeter castle are the local pink sandstone. There is also Drumlanrig castle in scotland in a pink stone.
  10. The_Cook

    How to make a black castle less boring

    I'd go for accents rather than texture. The given examples of texture all work because the base colour is light and therefore the texture creates shadows on the light surface. Shadows on black are harder, with black texture you're typically looking for highlights from carefully placed light sources. The examples of "all black" models tend to be from the sculptural space, I don't have links but I seem to recall an all black recreation of The Alien from "Alien" and also an all black Haunted House. Others on the forum might remember where those images are. For examples of accents there is plenty of existing TLG reference material, 6085 with grey buttresses or 8877 with dark red lining around the base of the parapets.
  11. The_Cook

    [Moc] Guarded Inn

    I have a soft spot for the Guarded Inn, I've recreated it on a number of occasions in different guises; notably Trolls' Guarded Inn. For an ideas submission my personal opinion is that it's too fiddly; if it gets the support and passes then all that wall greebling in and on the stonework will have to be simplified in order to make the set buildable. Which is what happened to the recent Blacksmith ideas set; TLG simplified the original design to make it buildable and certain sections of the fanbase were quite vocal with their opinions (Eurobricks History forum was actually the most sensible corner of the internet for a few days; respect is due to the Eurobricks membership for behaving like grown-ups!). The challenge, the balancing act, is that it's the greebling that sells because the "following the instructions" group want something that looks like a detailed MOC but don't realise they can't have it because it's almost impossible to create build instrucions for. Reduce the number of bricks and it becomes more sellable because the price point will appeal to a greater section of the buying public. Try to limit yourself to legitimate build techniques; the plates on the door arches wouldn't pass TLG quality control. Could a 35789 or a 62361 provide the lip that you're looking for? Popularity at the expense of buildability, or buildability at the expense of popularity? Logic actually dictates go for popularity because to begin with this is a popularity contest; but be prepared for a backlash when the buildability has to be factored in at a later date. Despite my comments and criticisms I do think it's a good idea and I will be heading over to Ideas to register my support.
  12. If you're building a MOC for your own personal enjoyment; use whatever you've got. If you're building something for Ideas; use parts that are in current production and legitimate build techniques. Less likely to see the design massively reworked if it wins (see Blacksmith arguments elsewhere on the net ;-) You can probably get away with rare colours because they can produce part in new colours whereas resurecting old moulds isn't likley to happen. If you're building a MOC to sell instructions use parts and colours that are in current production. Avoid rare parts and colours because that limits the number of people that can build you MOC and therefore buy your instructions.
  13. The_Cook

    [Retro MOC] Hilltop Tower

    I’ll see what I can do. Most of those images were taken on and old device and are now in deep storage (a backup DVD somewhere) rather than being instantly accessible. I’ll see what I can do; could take me a few days to arrange. Worst case scenario I dig the original Mocs out of storage (I know which box they’re in ;-) ) and photograph them again.
  14. The_Cook

    [Retro MOC] Hilltop Tower

    Ah, yes you need 10 posts or something before you can send PMs. I've PM'd you a link to a zip file containing the LDD's for most of my Retro MOC models.
  15. The_Cook

    [Retro MOC] Hilltop Tower

    Yes, MocPages appears to have gone. I’ve not had time to transfer the photos for my Classic Castle Mocs to an alternate image hosting platform and I haven’t found any alternate host for the non-image data such as the .lxf files. I still have the original sources; if you know which ones you want then drop me a PM and I can see if the Eurobricks attachment system will let me transfer them.