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Everything posted by NathanR

  1. NathanR

    If I ran The Lego Group

    Well I wouldn't argue with that...
  2. With MacOS Catalina now available, and support for 32 bit apps removed, I asked Lego if LDD would get updated to a 64-bit app so it could keep running on the Mac. Now, I asked this question at the start of the year, when I was just getting occasional warnings that LDD would not run on later versions of MacOS, and got the standard answer about just updating my graphics card drivers to fix any issues. This time, however, the response was rather different so I thought I'd share: So Lego are now pushing the use of third-party alternatives, and LDD is dead on the Mac I wonder if this can also be interpreted as meaning that there will be not further brick updates even for the Windows version, and that LDD will only be provided by Lego until there are no computers left that are capable of running it?
  3. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    Sweet, and supported Though I can't help but feel a Tintin set should be focused on something a little more iconic, like the moon rocket or the shark submarine.
  4. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    With the Ship in a Bottle set, part 6002 6x6x9 trans-clear wall panel (used to make the top of the bottle) had not appeared in any sets since 2001. In the designer video, they said they pleaded with Lego management to reintroduce the part because it was so critical to the design. So yes, it is perfectly possible for out-of-production parts to reappear. However, I don't think an Ideas project should rely on too many out-of-production parts or require too many part recolours. Each Lego set only gets a limited budget for "new" parts and colour combos. So to maximise the chance of passing review, a design should stick to the current Lego parts palette as much as possible.
  5. NathanR

    [MOC] Calling International Rescue...

    Today is a very special day - it is 54 years since Thunderbirds was first broadcast on TV. So to celebrate, I expand my collection with a new model: the spaceship Zero-X from the 1966 movie "Thunderbirds Are Go". The ship carried a group of astronauts on mankind's first mission to Mars, but disaster struck on its return to Earth and the astronauts only survived thanks to the efforts of International Rescue. The model features detachable wings, a removable nose cone, a detachable Mars Excursion Vehicle, and even a small escape unit. However, I still need to prepare some custom decals for the final few details.
  6. Gerry Anderson's classic Thunderbirds TV series follows the exploits of International Rescue, a secret organisation run by the Tracy family from an island in the Pacific Ocean. Whenever disaster strikes, whenever people are in danger, the family leaps into action to save the day using incredible machines capable of pulling off any rescue - be it in the air, on land, in the sea or deep in space. The show has been a firm favourite of mine ever since I was a child, back in the 1990s. The five main craft have a few play features built into them. Thunderbird 1 has opening wings: Thunderbird 2 can be raised on four detachable legs, then you pull the lever at the back to drop the pod. You can load up Thunderbird 4, or in this case, it's Pod 3 carrying the Mole! And Thunderbird 3 can be docked with Thunderbird 5! I also went to town with a few bonus models. After all, what collection of Thunderbirds vehicles would be complete without Thunderbird 6, the Tiger Moth biplane from the 1968 movie? Or Lady Penelope's beautiful Rolls-Royce, FAB1? And finally, you can't have International Rescue without someone in peril, in need of rescuing. So there is the chance to recreate the first ever episode! The new supersonic airliner, Fireflash, is trapped in the sky. Its landing gear has been sabotaged, and its fuel is running low. Help the International Rescue crew guide the plane to a landing on the roofs of the three included elevator cars. Will they bring the plane to a standstill before running out of runway? These digital MOCs have taken several months to prepare, with most of the time spent in creating the 50+ custom stickers/patterns and learning how to generate the backdrops using Blender. It would not have been possible to create these images without the use of Mecabricks' fantastic Blender template, and the Mecabricks render farm. Additional images are available on my brick safe page: I've also submitted the models to Lego Ideas, if you like then you can vote for them here: Update: 30/9/19: Happy Thunderbirds Day! It's 54 years since Thunderbirds was first broadcast! To celebrate, I have added the spaceship Zero-X to my collection of Thunderbird vehicles:
  7. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    I'm not, I think it's a great idea! I imagine the only reason for the delay is that (like the piano) it's really complex and the Lego designers are not yet convinced they can actually make it in a way that fits the Lego set quality guidelines.
  8. NathanR

    LEGO IDEAS - Dinosaurs Fossils Skeletons

    I am also really excited about the dinosaur fossils set, I loved the ability to use dinosaur skeletons as playable characters in the Lego Jurassic Park computer game and was really disappointed I couldn't build them in real life. No news on the set, but I would imagine it must be out soon - maybe a December release? (pure speculation on my part...)
  9. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    I would expect six months to a year, but it depends on model complexity, and if they have changed the behind-the-scenes approval process. When Saturn V got announced, it was over a year before it hit the shelves due to the model's complexity. And Voltron got delayed a review period, and then several months, almost getting cancelled completely because the designer struggled to make it satisfy Lego's design guidelines.
  10. NathanR

    Help with identifying parts/sets!

    @MatBoyWonder You can see the complete line up of Lego colours in bricklinks colour guide. It also tells you how many parts exist in that colour, and when they were produced (so you have an idea how hard it will be to find them). For a nice sky colour, I would suggest either "medium blue" or "medium azure".
  11. NathanR

    [Star Trek] Christopher Pike in wheelchair

    Great build, instantly recognisable, and a nice use of the constraction head!
  12. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    No! The bridge is too well guarded... Seriously though, great model. I would love a Lego Stargate, no matter which galaxy it's from. At a guess, the problem is the word "Atlantis" on each side of the picture. You have used a generic font, but it is still quite similar to the font of the official SGA logo. The only major difference is the lack of the stylised A marking Earth's seventh symbol, which could be easily missed if a moderator is only doing a quick glance and is not a fan of the show.
  13. @Philo Fascinating, I hadn't come across this in LDraw before! Off topic, do you think there will ever be a time when LDraw morphs into a form where the bricks are stored as 3d object files (e.g .obj, dae) with saved/precomputed normal data and uv texture coordinates?
  14. Nice! I remember the designer of the 75060 UCS Slave 1 set saying that he sketched out the model in LDD before switching to physical bricks for the final testing. Good to see LDD is still a popular program with Lego's own designers! I'm not so sure I like Part Designer being a widely accessible tool. It's great to be able to create custom decorations, though it would be better if LDraw bricks simply used UV maps and image files, rather than having the image converted into a mesh of triangles and quads. However, Part Designer also allows users to create custom parts, so I fear we will start seeing digital MOCs with brick shapes that Lego have never produced. Digital MOCs always seem to take a backseat to physical MOCs, due to the perception that digital building is "cheating" or "easy" (you are free of constraints of gravity, you don't have to make sure parts interlock securely, you don't need to worry about whether a brick was ever made in that colour, etc.). If digital builders are now free of the constraint of whether a brick even exists, then I fear digital MOCs will lose all credibility as a means of playing with Lego bricks.
  15. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    @Digger of Bricks The IP list is searchable only through the first step of a project submission, so unfortunately you need an account with Lego Ideas (though I think if you have an account with the Lego shop, you should already be registered). The full list is not visible though, you have to type the first few letters then properties get suggested to you.
  16. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    Lego Ideas has just had a few updates! You can now track statistics of your own projects and see the total number of votes accumulated over time, and also number of votes per day. More interestingly, the first step of submitting a project gives you a searchable list of various IPs and tells you if they will or will not be allowed. The list is not exhaustive, and if you have an IP not on the list then you can submit it anyway and a moderator will review it. (Checking the list for projects now in review, The Office, Winnie the Pooh, Thunderbirds, are all acceptable licenses. I did notice that Disney World is banned, so I guess that means no hope for the Haunted Mansion set. Licenses like Star Trek, Minions, are banned for fairly obvious reasons. They have quite an extensive list of movie titles in the database, too. Though I was quite surprised that The Magnificent Seven was banned... ok, it's a bit violent, but a lego figure of Yul Brynner would have been fun.) Edit: And browsing the list of IPs, it seems Stargate is banned but Stargate Atlantis is allowed?? Seriously??
  17. Brick Depot posted a speed build of 75252, anyone else seen this? I'm really liking the interior skeleton, it looks way more robust than 10030. Not so fussed on all the colour vomit, but I guess it helps with the construction process. The three main engines look a little wrong at first, I think the ISD is supposed to have hemispheres, not cones, but the design is growing on me. Looks a nice build overall, certainly not too repetitive or boring.
  18. But the new one does have a ton of extra huge pieces... The "skin" on 10030 was one layer of wedge plates, with 2xN plates above and below to hold them together, but the 2xN plates are not movie accurate. Now there are two layers of wedge plates, and a layer of 2xN plates on the inside only. You can see it on the designer video. So that extra layer of wedge plates, it's like having the skin of 10030 times two.
  19. Don't know, it's just something I've heard vague rumours of. It's basically an internal tool used exclusively by Lego's designers.
  20. @Scrubs Ok, I missed that! But they don't always mention mecabricks. e.g. there's a new contest out where the rules allow submissions from LDD or "other third party CAD software", without stating what they might be.
  21. Back in 2002 when the original UCS Star Destroyer was released, the set was too expensive and my parents considered me too young to have it. I've waited fifteen years for Lego to release another one so I had a chance at getting it... and now I'm old enough for it, it's too expensive for me to justify buying. I can understand the high price. Although there's 2000 feel parts than the current UCS Millennium Falcon, the parts are a lot bigger. I looked into bricklinking 10030 a few years back and IIRC the 1x16 technic beams making up the interior frame came to ~60GBP alone. If you look at the designer video for 75252, you can see a much more complex (and hopefully stronger!) frame than 10030, with a lot of large technic panels. Another major change from 10030 is the outer skin on the main hull of the Star Destroyer. Both use a sandwich of plates, three layers thicks. On 10030, you had one layer of wedge plates making up the skin shape, with 2xN plates (usually 2x16) running inside and outside to fix them together, but these plates were rather unsightly on the finished model. For 75252, the hull skin is "doubled up", with two layers of wedge plates and one hidden layer of 2xN strips on the inside - it makes the final model much smoother and more accurate, but those wedge plates aren't cheap. I don't get why people are complaining about the lack of minifigures. Personally, I don't think a set like this should have any. The UCS range was/is about large scale models of the vehicles. Minifigures only started appearing with 10179 Millennium Falcon, where a lucky coincidence meant the UCS scale was just the right size to allow a few figures in the cockpit. For the same reason, I don't feel the need to have an interior for the Star Destroyer. I'm also not sure the interior skeleton would be strong enough to support an interior hanging from it. So all in all, 75252 is a beautiful model, fantastic details, and a fun-looking build. The price is fully justifiable, but unfortunately the finished model doesn't look like it should be that expensive.
  22. I think the Lego Ideas contests keep referring to LDD as a suitable program because it is well known, a lot of fans like to build digitally, and it means Lego doesn't have to explicitly recommend or endorse a third-party tool like or Mecabricks. The 4.3.12 update is Windows-only, Mac only has 4.3.11. Since it is not necessarily a trivial task to upgrade a program from 32 bit to 64 bit, Lego don't seem to care about LDD anymore (for years, the official position has been that it is not under any development, the updates we have had have simply been a courtesy to the fans), and Lego seem to have a newer internal 3D design software these days, I am frankly not expecting any further updates for the Mac
  23. NathanR

    [MOC] Discovery One on monolith

    Wow, very nice use of old and new parts. Really well executed. And the Monolith is a very nice touch!
  24. NathanR

    Do you have the same feeling? 

    Yep, I kind of feel the same way. The focus of Lego models seems to have changed quite a bit over the years, from being centred on the act of building to being centred on the detail, accuracy and playability of the finished model. Large structures used to be done with techniques designed to give a large, airy feeling with a handful of large bricks. Good examples are the very first Harry Potter sets (4702, 4706), which offer some great open access for play after the construction is finished. The 6982 Explorien Starship was one of my favourite sets and the biggest I ever owned as a kid. It's huge, but it only achieves that size because of loads of gaps in the hull (not so good in a spaceship!) Compare that with the recent 75102 Star Wars Episode 7 X-Wing. It has slightly more pieces than the Explorien ship, but when assembled it is about half the size. So these days, the sets are using many more smaller parts, which provide greta detail, but limit the size that the finished model can reach.
  25. NathanR

    LEGO Ideas Discussion

    oh it was big, it's just.. pretty old now The original Thunderbirds series was very popular in the UK in the 1960s, and again in the 1990s when it got broadcast again (so just misses out on the current obsession with the 1980s). I don't think the series got shown so much in the USA. But the show got a reboot a few years back as a CGI show, and the Ideas set is based on the updated Thunderbird 2, so it is actually pretty current!