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About Martin_B

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  • Location
    A small town in North Yorkshire
  • Interests
    Electric guitar/bass, home music recording, anime/cult films


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  1. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    Thanks Sigolf and fumpy - I'll try to do a rough estimate of the piece count by adding up how much goes into each window, buttress etc and multiply it up. The results may well scare me. This update was later than planned, due to a house move. One transept is pretty much done, with another trip to Bricklink needed to get some plain grey minifigs to serve as statues: The inside view of that section: Moving it isn't quite as bad as it sounds, fortunately. The towers are removable, and the sections are just the right size to fit onto a shelving unit (which is in the garage while I sort out where I'm moving to next). The only issue really is with the upper part of the windows: the cheese slopes drop out if you bump or tip it. In the next two or three weeks, the other transept will be finished so it'll be (almost) three-quarters complete!
  2. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    The south transept is almost done - I have the two side towers to finish and then I can do the same on the opposite side. The south window, with its random Gerhard Richter-inspired colour pattern, looks okay but the fine tracery is really hard to recreate at minifig scale, even with 1x1 plates: After a few days playing around with it, I decided this was as good as it was going to look and left it at that!
  3. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    thanks! :) Re: keeping it on the floor. I don't have much choice but to keep it there because I don't have a table in my flat large enough! It can break down into sections though, and I do have a table large enough to hold one of those at a time. I can work on it easily that way, but displaying the thing when it's finished will be a different matter entirely!
  4. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    A quick topic bump with up-to-date pics before I take a quick break for Christmas. The apsidal end, with revised buttresses, is virtually finished save a few roof tiles and panes of stained glass: The south transept needs its towers, the last of the roof tiles and its main window. I've made a start on that, using a random pattern of coloured pieces as a tribute of sorts to Gerhard Richter's design for Koln's south transept stained glass. Unfortunately for me, there's no real-life building that has the sort of transept towers I'm planning, so I'm going on this bit of wishful thinking drawn up by Viollet-le-Duc. How much is still to do when I get back onto Bricklink in January? Rather a lot, I'm afraid: Happy Christmas, everyone!
  5. Martin_B

    Area 51 - Fake Moon Landing

    The details you've included in this are staggering...I hope enough people notice them! Indiana Jones and the conspiracy theory crates are a nice touch, but the Fake Moon Landing and functional Stargate are superb. Very well done! Getting the texures and ageing on the buildings are the icing on the cake.
  6. I'm not sure which forum this topic belongs in, but the 'licenced' section sprung to mind first. I spotted this fellow literally lying in the street - he'd either fallen out of a bag/box on the way to a nearby charity shop, or was dropped by some local kid who happened to be passing by. I checked Bricklink because he looked sort-of familiar, and it turns out that the head doesn't match the rest...excuse the blurriness: I'm a little unsure how to feel about this. What if his original owner is upset about losing him, especially if it's a PotC-obsessed child? I couldn't see anyone around, sadly (it was a quiet bit of town off the high street, close to 5pm), and a minifig just lying in the street would only get rained on and/or broken. He's a cool-looking design, although I'm not a collector of PotC (or any other licenced stuff, really). Fortunately, I do have a few 'classic'-era Pirates sets, so he can always be press-ganged into old Redbeard's crew aboard the BSB! So yeah. If anyone in the North Yorkshire region is missing a Jack Sparrow with Jake Raines' head and wants him back, he's safe and well!
  7. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    Thanks again for the advice and kind words! The buttresses are all altered to the 'single' flier shape, and I must admit they look just fine. That's how they'll stay I think. Assuming there are no Real Life things interfering this should be done within the next year(!) or so. I'm onto the transept now and the nave will be pretty straightforward. The towers will be where the fun starts, because I plan to have a total of seven: a central spire at the crossing, two western towers and a smaller one at each corner of the transept. I threw together a couple of floor plans on an LDD-type program this afternoon, because I may change the transept gable ends to allow for larger towers. Planning ahead is becoming more important as the Bricklink invoice costs mount up... Version 1: Version 2: Either could work out okay, but while I'm waiting until I can afford to order more pieces I'll decide which one to go for. The CAD program doesn't allow for the 'in-between' angles of the apse that I've actually used, so the messy sections on the far left hand side don't actually look quite as bad as this!
  8. Martin_B

    LEGO City Problems/Rant

    This is a really interesting thread! I recall back in my childhood days the most fun thing was building town layouts. It was great, because one of my sisters was a Lego fan too and we often took turns to design buildings and vehicles using my 'classic' Town and her 'girly' Paradisa sets (you'll be as pleased to know as I was she has kept hers boxed up somewhere and has no intention of getting rid of it!). Even back then - in the late 80s and early 90s - I was frustrated at the lack of 'building materials' found in the Lego range overall. Mostly it was the shortage of windows and doors! I started with one of those Basic sets that came in a blue 'briefcase' with one minifig, car wheels, a few windows and a door as well as a few colourful bricks and plates. Between that and the 'Weetabix' house (two doors, four windows, two minifigs) that's more or less all I had to work with for years. The problem is still the same now by the sounds of things. I'm not sure, statistics-wise, how many kids have this problem, but that Basic set hints at a potential solution: get back to the box/bucket of bricks. Specifically, a box/bucket full of roofing slopes, windows, doors, and the standard sized bricks that you can use to build walls, totalling enough to make a couple of separate houses or shops. The 'Creator' line does offer smaller-than-modular scale, but a 'box of building-specific' bricks that makes more than one building at a time might be a good middle ground.
  9. Martin_B

    What's in store for Castle in 2015?

    It's nice to see so many people who want an Arthurian-themed Castle set. I love the idea too! The legends are a bit vague in that the stories seem to vary throughout history, but there's a strong 'moral' theme and there are really memorable characters. A re-imagining of Camelot would be a sight to see! My only reservation is that it's a very localised thing, being an English legend. But the same could be said of the Wild West and Vikings! I don't think that this would be a problem. Given the high profile of Arthur's legend in film, TV and literature, it's a great candidate for an historical hero-themed line. I'm sure there have been some really good MOCs that follow the theme...before checking the Search function, I do remember a 'Lady of the Lake' posted here somewhere... EDIT: yep, there is indeed a 'Lady of the Lake' MOC, and several threads where members here have suggested a King Arthur-themed theme in the past. Hopefully TLG will take the hint...
  10. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    Apologies for the lack of recent updates - true to the historical reality of medieval construction, progress has been in fits and starts, depending on cashflow! There haven't been many major changes to my original plan so far, apart from the vault being slightly taller. The nave and main facade are still unbuilt at the far left of the photo, but in the foreground, you can just make out the corners of the transept where the towers will go: I finally solved the problem of the semicircular end to the building by 'borrowing' the idea of a rigid hose piece from the Grand Emporium set that I picked up a while back. Attach the tops of the columns to the hose, shape it around, and with a bit (by which I mean: a LOT) of patience it's fairly secure: I'm now really getting a clear idea of what a huge challenge I've set for myself: SHIPs require an enormous amount of patience and forward planning, and by the end of this I don't think I'll want to lay my hands on another light bley brick again! I have just one problem, and that's the shape of the buttresses outside. It's a minor tech detail, but the 'double' arrangement of both inner and outer supports isn't accurate: they're are only found on buildings with double aisles (this has a central span with single aisles). Right now there are a huge stacks of masonry that rest on the 'point' of each arch, which in a real building would collapse! At first glance it's not noticeable and because it's built in Lego it won't fall down, but I've rebuilt one of the buttresses for comparison purposes: The simpler 'single' pier design is in the left of the photo, and the incorrect 'double' is on the right. Although the one on the left is more accurate from an architectural POV, I'm still undecided about which version looks better. Thoughts?
  11. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    A small bump to post my progress so far. Link to Flickr set Progress will have to slow down a bit while I juggle this and saving up for a holiday abroad in May. The latest challenge is finding a way of securing the semicircle of buttresses that make up the chevet of the choir. Right now my plan is to have a hose curving around the shape of the chevet, with 1 x 1 claw plates attaching the butresses to the hose at regular intervals. I was struggling with this part of the build, then noticed how the letters of the SHOP sign on the modular Grand Emporium follow the curve that makes up the corner of the building. The trick will be finding a hose of the correct length, but something needs to be done because at the moment the buttresses just wobble about! When that hurdle's overcome, I should be able to take on the half-conical shape of the chevet roof. Everything else so far is just a matter of time and finding the right pieces in sufficient quantities on Bricklink. This project needs lots of certain pieces: dark bley tiles for the roof, light bley 1 x 3 and 2 x 3 bricks for the buttresses, transparent bricks and plates of various shades for the stained glass...and tan inverted slopes for the arches of internal vaults.
  12. Martin_B

    80s-something Space Guy poster with Space Ship

    That's an awesome design. There are some 'modern' touches to the details, but the overall structure and shape really does appeal to 'old-school' fans. The best of both really. If it's a conscious decision to pay homage to the classic Space designs while utilising up-to-date pieces, I'd call it a roaring success. I kinda want one!
  13. Martin_B

    My son's first MOC

    That's impressive work for an eight-year-old. Sure, the shape and design's quite simple, but your son clearly has an eye for what works and knows how to use the pieces he has. I'd say keep up the good work, and encourage his talent!
  14. I heard about this a ASMR thing while back - an old online acquaintance of mine admitted that he got a nice little buzz from hearing someone eat a grapefruit! I find the scientific side to pretty interesting...although I'm not getting a strong reaction from this video, I must admit that it's more relaxing than irritating. It's not an unpleasant feeling, I must admit. Good for easing anxiety after a busy day at work! The effect is indeed increased by listening through headphones (if only to drown out the sound of the rain that's hitting my window atm!)
  15. Martin_B

    WIP MOC: modular gothic cathedral

    Sand green would look great as a recreation of aged copper for roofing, but dark bley tiles - for a lead or stone rather than copper appearance - are available in larger quantities from UK Bricklink stores, and at a fraction of the price. I reckon I'll need nearly five hundred 1x8 and 1x3 tiles to complete the roof, which would soon add up! Again, I'm concerned that using sand green might make it too close in appearance to Merkel's; it's been done very effectively there already, so I'd feel that my efforts would be more rewarding if I tried something different. Of course, most real-life buildings of this type followed a common plan and architects drew inspiration from each other, so those similarities will be reflected in MOCs inspired by them. I just prefer Cologne's very tall, compact 'French' style with its Germanic flourishes; it's consistent in its design, even in the later 19th Century additions. It's a 'look' that I prefer over the sprawling English cathedrals that often contain different architectural styles from different eras. I was racking my brains over how to do a rose window for the west facade and/or one of the transept gables. Cheese slopes are fine for smallish areas but it's a fiddly job that's akin to building a house of cards! After a while I reached the same conclusion that gedren_y did in regards to the 16x16 trans-clear baseplate. That'll be much simpler to construct and install, but will hopefully give a good end result. I should be able to rig some lighting too. There's plenty of unused space between the roof and where the ceiling vaulting will go, after all. I'm assuming that TLG has moved on from filament lamps to LEDs since my Dark Ages ended!