NathanR

Eurobricks Citizen
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About NathanR

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    Smells like new LEGO

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  1. NathanR

    MOC: Apollo Launch Tower (WIP)

    Thanks! To be honest, when I started I wasn't so sure I'd be able to pull this off. I've never designed anything so big before... I got the the service box details from the educraft paper model, I discovered someone had posted build photos of one of their kits on a scale model website, and used that as reference: http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/large-scale-airplanes/2853-apollo-saturn-rocket-2.html For the fuel pipe routing, I found a useful Japanese website but never actually visited it. I couldn't translate any of the text so I couldn't figure out if it would be a safe site or not, Instead, I got the images by doing a google image search for "site:ranging.exblog.jp". There are good pictures of a model kit build up, and one schematic diagram showing how the pipes are routed on each layer. The Japanese model has some errors around service arms 2-4, so you will have to consult other reference photos of the launch tower. I found various Saturn V launch photos to be quite useful, the glow from the glow from the exhaust flames of the Saturn V lights up the ceilings of various levels, which are usually hidden in shadow. Your design of the angles struts is fantastic, I wish I'd come up with that. However, I think you may have problems with the 1x4 lattice pieces you use for the railing. These parts haven't been made in red since 2005, so you may have trouble buying them in bulk. Only one bricklink seller has more than 50 of them, at about 1.60 EUR each. I'm curious, how are you doing the main lift-shaft support column? Is the opening in each floor for a working elevator, or do you plan a mass of technic bricks mounted on their side?
  2. NathanR

    MOC: Apollo Launch Tower (WIP)

    It's been a while since I posted an update, but I think this model is basically finished!!! I went to town on one final bit of detailing, where I tried to model the pipes suspended from the ceilings of various levels, linking the vertical pipes on the side and back of the tower to the service arms. There was surprisingly little reference material available for this, the pipes don't seem to have been photographed and they don't show up on any of the available schematics. I got lucky when I came across photos of a CAD model for an (apparently abandoned) photoetch model kit of the LUT and a super-detailed papercraft (?) model on a Japanese website. The pipes are mostly built from technic, but in a few tight spots I had to switch to regular system bricks. Some of the 90 degree axle connectors (32014) should be the new 25214 rounded corner brick, but LDD won't allow a 2L axle to slot all the way in (I assume this is possible on the real part...) One regret is that I can't find a way to put in the safety railings on each level. There are basically no red 3mm bars, or even 3mm hoses available. I know the new Technic Bugatti Chiron features a 23L red hose, but I'd need around 17 of them to put a bar on each side and level of the tower. This is a problem because bricklink only has three on sale world-wide, and Lego doesn't have them in stock yet (if they ever will). I also looked at doing a 1x2 grille tile held in a 1x1 vertical clip, but I find too many places where I would need a 1x1 grille tile to plug an unsightly gap. The LUT stands just shy of 8000 pieces. I haven't worked out a cost estimate yet using bricklink, I'm almost afraid to, but I'd expect somewhere around 750 to 800 GBP. As such, this is out of my price range and so the model will be staying a purely digital creation for the foreseeable future. I have been playing on mecabricks, and I will leave you with the first render of the tower (higher-res version on bricksafe):
  3. This has been my go-to guide for a while now, not sure if it has all the same colours listed though: http://lego.wikia.com/wiki/Colour_Palette Any use?
  4. If you start a brand new file and build a 100-200 piece model from scratch (not importing anything), does the file still take minutes to load? I have found that for large models (>5000 parts), a lot of editing will cause a slight delay in load time. But at worst this has only ever been a few seconds for me. I assume that the LDD xml file can get a little messed up with too much editing, and a complete rebuild is needed to fix it.
  5. NathanR

    HELP! ! !

    Ah, so that was the reason... ok, I'll take it
  6. NathanR

    HELP! ! !

    Huh, I wonder what I said... I'm not sure if I really like this as a title...
  7. NathanR

    HELP! ! !

    Hi, in the last couple of days I've noticed some text appearing below my forum avatar. I didn't add it, I can't edit it, I can't remove it, and I'm not aware of having done anything wrong on here. So why has the text appeared, am I in trouble with the moderators or something?
  8. NathanR

    LEGO + IKEA !

    I'm intrigued... I'm thinking the furniture will be covered with Lego studs over every visible surface, so you can personalise it with your own bricks/minifigures. Either that or they ship you a flatpack of giant Lego bricks...
  9. NathanR

    Help with identifying parts/sets!

    I'm not aware of any such part... There have been some unusual z-shaped beams like this one but it's probably too thick for what you're after. You could try and build up an escalator shape using multiple 10197 and 32039, but that would be the equivalent of a full beam, not a thin one. Or perhaps you could try using multiple 32056 3x3 liftarm thin?
  10. NathanR

    Architecture numbered bags

    My apologies, I hadn't realised my comments could be taken this way. As a child I did have a tendency to rip open the bags and pour all the bricks into a huge pile on the floor. But then in my late teens I came out of a kind of mini dark age and got a few large-ish Lego sets. To build them I'd sit at a table, tip out a huge pile of unnumbered bags, and open the instructions. I'd look for the bag with the first part I needed, then open that one bag. I'd remember where it was on the table, so that I could find the same part again if it was needed later in the build, and I'd remember what other parts were in the bag for future reference. With each new step, I'd look for the parts I needed in the open bags, and then if necessary I would search through the remaining sealed bags. Simply opening each bag was something I savoured (Lego sets didn't, and still don't, come every day). The bags would have a wonderful smell like pine, probably plastic fumes I shouldn't have been breathing in, but it was still a lovely scent. The feel of factory fresh bricks was, and still is, wonderful but I find they change texture slightly once they've been handled, losing their initial pristine gloss to thumbprints. I'd get about a third or sometimes even halfway through the model before I'd opened the last bag, and then I'd keep working, with maybe a dozen open bags around me, as I steadily searched for and added each new part. Technic sets were amazing, because you'd get a single bag full of the black 2L or blue 3L pins - I remember getting 42000 Grand Prize Racer and seeing the huge pile of pins that would go into the finished model, it was only then I realised just how awesome the model was going to be. The part callouts on the instructions could get quite complex, and I'd end up playing spot the difference to try and find where the new pieces should go. It was a bit easier than when I was a child as there were no callouts at all on system sets (sometimes I'd miss adding a part for several steps), but it still kept me thinking about how the model was going together. As the build went on, the bags would gradually become empty and be stuffed back in the box to be discarded later, the table would become gradually clearer. The hunt for new parts would take much less time, and I'd start stacking the bricks faster and faster, driven on by the thrill of impending completion. And when finally finished, I'd have a huge sense of achievement, and the fun of showing off what I'd built to my parents and the rest of my family. Nowadays the numbered bag system means that I only ever have two or perhaps three bags open at a time. Searching for parts takes all of a few seconds because there is nowhere else for it to be hidden. Ok, in the past some obscure parts could take hours to find and it could get quite exasperating, but there was a huge sense of relief and accomplishment when I actually found the damn things. I know I could open all the numbered bags and dip in the way I used to, except... the parts are grouped differently. The same brick can now appear in multiple bags, so I could end up searching any or all bags to find what I need. But of course, I know that for each stage of the build all the bits I need are in just one bag, so rummaging through the others becomes unnecessary. I'm not saying the numbered system is bad, it does help break the model into neat little chunks, it's just I like the unnumbered bags. You see, when I build a Lego set I am looking for a challenge, something I can look at when it's finished and be proud of what I have assembled. Nice details, unusual parts usage, intricate moving parts can add to the enjoyment. But I treasure any modern set that features the unnumbered bags because it lets me build exactly the way I used to. It gives me the fun of a new set, an experience in the present, while filling me with nostalgia. It lets me feel the same old childlike wonder and pleasure from years gone by, and brings back fond memories of past, and slightly happier, times. Actually, I set myself an insane challenge when designing my own MOCs. I design in computer with LDD, but all parts must interlock to allow a strong and stable real life build. All connections must be legitimate - no part clipping, collisions, or illegal techniques. I can only use parts in current production, either available direct from Lego Bricks and Pieces, or listed on bricklink as having appeared in an official set within the last 2-3 years. I also aim to match the robust standards found in official Lego sets. Consequently I only average one or two MOCs per year...
  11. NathanR

    MOC: Apollo Launch Tower (WIP)

    Thanks for the links! I will give the crane hook idea some thought... I wouldn't try and use the girder parts for your swing arms actually. The part ID is 95347 and it only appeared in red in one set, the Batcave based on the 1960s Batman TV show. Unfortunately, the set is now retired, the part is out of stock at Lego bricks and pieces, and most bricklink sellers sellers only have one or two each. The part also has a loose grip on the axle hole if I remember right, so attaching it to the tower might be tricky. You can see it used on the WhatsUpToday Apollo LUT model, that could be worth a look.
  12. NathanR

    Architecture numbered bags

    @anothergol It doesn't annoy me that Lego make it easier for other people. As I said above, I appreciate why Lego use the numbered bags - to make it easier for kids to build the set. But for me, it takes away from the challenge of building a Lego model, the fun of searching for parts, the satisfaction of finally finding what I need to continue. I have considered opening all the bags at once, but that doesn't really work because everything you need is already in a single bag and I find it more logical to have parts grouped by type (as you get in unnumbered bags, e.g. a bag of technic pins, another bag full of beams). And opening all the bags makes you lose that wonderful "new Lego" smell too quickly... Ehhhhhhh..... No. If it doesn't say Lego on the stud, it ain't worth having :) I have done that for one large set... this is actually my idea of heaven....
  13. NathanR

    Architecture numbered bags

    I'm afraid it wasn't, I just really really don't like the numbered bags for building sets. By splitting sets into numbered bags, Lego restrict the number of parts available to rummage through on that first build. Lego also dumb down the instruction manuals a little too much to my mind, with only one or two parts per step. I appreciate this may be useful for kids building sets, but as an AFOL I find I end up building on autopilot, without thinking about what I am making or how the parts are coming together. The Architecture sets have recently taken instruction manuals even further by sometimes highlighting parts that might be mistaken for each other (e.g. 1x1 technic brick, 1x1 brick with studs on the side, with a tick or a ross to show which should actually be used), though I accept this is for casual Lego builders who might not recognise anything beyond the basic 2x4 bricks. Personally I love the mid- to large-size technic sets because they are the only sizeable lego models that come without numbered bags, and it really takes me back to my childhood days.
  14. NathanR

    Architecture numbered bags

    I don't have many architecture sets, but I can't recall any having numbered bags before now. It's kind of a shame, I love it when I get to build a set surrounded by loads of open bags, spending time rummaging through all the parts. The numbered bags feel like they're spoonfeeding you the build process.
  15. Also, try running LDD in "extended" mode, this has many more parts available than the standard mode. (When you start LDD, a screen appears that shows recently opened models, it has three tabs at the top: LDD, Lego Mindstorms, and LDD Extended)