Mithrandir

Eurobricks Citizen
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Everything posted by Mithrandir

  1. For the past few months I've been trying to figure out a good way to store all my lego pieces. At first, I bought 2 large Akro Mills small parts cases (05905). That was pretty good at first, when my collection was: 1) mainly technic 2) small 3) still mostly built Now, fast forward a few months, and my collection has ballooned to 23,986 parts (that's what peeron says, though I may be forgetting a set or two). I had been buying new containers occasionally (once a month?) and rearranging my parts, but recently, it just won't do anymore. So I went ahead and bought one of these: 10124. Unfortunately, the dividers aren't really good, so I couldn't use it to store small parts well, and I ended up using this container to store all of my technic studless beams; one or two bins per type. (2m, 3m, 5m, 7m, 9m, 11m, 13m, 15m, 4x4m angle, 4x6m angle, 3x7m angle, 3x4x7 J angle, 4x2 L, 5x3 L) And that took up an entire container. Daaaamn. I recently grew fond of all of the Designer sets which use primarily studded non-technic pieces, and this has posed quite a problem for me, because I have a ton of pieces and I don't know how to organize them now. Initially I wanted to keep all the "technic" pieces together, and all the "studded technic" pieces together, and all the "studded system" pieces together, but it's getting increasingly difficult to categorize the pieces that way anymore. It seems that most studded sets nowadays come with a fair amount of pieces that I used to consider technic, but aren't actually in any technic sets. For example: I have a ton of these new click hinge type things that are pretty technic-ish (48170), but aren't actually technic. So I've been trying to figure out how to organize my pieces, and it seems that separating technic from non-technic is a losing battle. (ie: is this a technic piece? I have no idea!!). So some other ways of sorting them I've thought about: * Keep all related pieces together. Plates will go in one container, bricks in another, bricks with holes in another, and so on. This method has the problem of the fact that there are a ton of pieces that don't really fit neatly into any one category, because a lot of pieces transcend categories. * Sort pieces by size. 1x1x1 pieces first, 1x2x1, 1x3x1, 1x4x1, ... 2x2x1, and so on. The problem with this method is that related pieces may be stored far away from each other. ie: a technic 1x2x1 liftarm is technically the same size as a 1x2x1 plate, but they are VERY different pieces and shouldn't be stored near each other. * Sort pieces by color. I dislike this idea the most. I *hate* the idea of mixing different kinds of parts together. So what say you? What are your storage solutions? Which works best for you guys?
  2. Mithrandir

    What did you buy today?

    I went to TRU today to see what I could find, and I noticed that the UCS Batmobile was on clearance for $20 off. I wasn't planning on getting it (I guess I always thought it was too blocky), but the price changed my mind. I guess it's going away soon though.
  3. Yeah, there's only one remote in the model, and I'm afraid they do require you to change the channel selector. Sigh.
  4. Mithrandir

    French Toy Fair 2007 : the pictures !

    Anyone know if the new Technic Ferarri has any advanced functions? The 1:10 Enzo was a good parts pack (especially for the CV joints which go for $5+ on bricklink, heh), but there was very little in terms of function. Yes, I know it's "Racers" and not "Technic", but damn, without the functionality of technic models, there's not a lot redeeming about building models in the technic style.
  5. Mithrandir

    Technic - Summer sets

    The remote looks like the Spybotics IR remote. So it's probably IR :(
  6. Oh, I didn't put any of the stickers on. I don't believe in them :P I think it looks fine without them :D
  7. Mithrandir

    Fast Flyers and House on US S@H

    I got the jet the other day, built it in about an hour. I like it; it's got a really clever swinging wing mechanism. It's basically an F-14 painted like it was in the Thunderbirds, which actually kind of annoys me (heh, I'm a jet buff) because the thunderbirds never used F-14's since they were a US Navy-only plane and the thunderbirds were USAF. Minor detail though :D
  8. Okay, I just purchased the 430 Challenge. For some odd reason, TRU had about 80 boxes of this set. It was super weird, because they accounted for about 40% of all the lego sets in the entire store. The box itself says 690 pieces on it I haven't counted them, but it definitely seems like there are more than that. There were pieces to build either the red car or the yellow car, but not both. Two instruction books were included, one for the red car, one for the yellow. The pieces were in groups of numbered bags, 1, 2, and 3. 1 was for the shared parts, 2 was for the red body, and 3 was for the yellow body. The back of the box makes it look like you can easily swap the body of the car between red and yellow, however that is not the case. By step 8 I already had to dig into the yellow parts bag, so if I wanted to switch to the red car, I'd have to basically tear the whole thing apart and start over. The set is different from the original 430 spider in more ways than I expected. Not only is the top there, but it's got some kind of strange "jack" mechanism, the seat is different, and the back is different in a few minor ways as well. I actually like this set better than the spider, but it's not a "must have" if you've already got the original. I only bought it because I like the yellow better than the red (I just don't like red cars that much). In fact, if this was out at the same time as the spider, I would have bought this and not the spider. So anyway, if you liked the spider, you'll probably like this more, but it's up to you to figure out if you want this in addition to the spider. If you don't have the spider and were looking towards getting it, I'd say get this instead.
  9. I just got the three new technic sets today, but I won't have time to build them until the weekend. However, as a sneak preview, I opened up the Snowmobile just to see the treads, since I have a love of treaded vehicles. Here's my impression: Cool! They're big; I didn't expect them to be so big, but I actually like that. They're exactly twice as wide and twice as long as the old technic treads; making them 5x2 per tread. They're a lot sturdier than the old treads, which was my biggest complaint about the old ones; there's no way these things are going to decouple from each other (well okay, I'm sure someone with a fast enough motor can figure out a way ;-)). Another plus is that they have a deep pattern on them, as opposed to the old "5 small holes" on the old treads, so this means that they'll grip into surfaces much better than the old treads. They seem to have a lot more friction due to this, and will work better (but still not nearly as good as a rubber wheel) on smoothe surfaces. However, there is a downside; they had to make a new notched wheel piece to use with them, since the standard teeth of a gear are too close together to fit into the treads now. So the bad part is that you can't use gears with these, and you're required to stick to using the new cog piece. However the good news is that the model comes with four of these cogs, and they're the same size as a 24T gear. So, my initial verdict: I like em, and I think I'm going to buy another snowmobile to get more. I think I'll post my reactions to the snowmobile itself when I build it sometime later this week.
  10. Mithrandir

    New Treads from 8272 Snowmobile

    New axle is in the $20.00 set, 8271 Wheel Loader. There's two of them. It's 8 studs long and has a stop at the end, which is incredibly useful for getting it to fit into tight places, as the model does quite nicely. I might decide to get another one of those sets too.
  11. Mithrandir

    New Treads from 8272 Snowmobile

    Here's a sneak preview: http://www.brickshelf.com/gallery/Mithrand...ew_lego_001.jpg Gallery isn't moderated, but images range from 001 through 033. :)
  12. Mithrandir

    New Technic pics

    Here's my problem; They look cool, expecially the skidoo... But dagnabit, they're yellow and red. I have waaayyy too many yellow and red technic parts. I want GREEN! I want BLUE! I want ORANGE!!!! Enough with the yellow and red! *sigh* Here's my theory: Lego chooses pieces/colors based on how cheap a piece is to manufacture. This makes sense, because, why use a really expensive piece when a cheaper one is available. You can see this effect in the "Inexplicably Blue Hidden Piece" syndrome, where for no reason at all, a big piece of a model will be in blue when the rest of the model is red/grey/whatever; it's hidden, and no one sees it, and they chose that one blue piece because it was cheaper than a red/grey/whatever piece. So for example, in a year, if Lego made a lot of yellow or red technic pieces, then the next year, yellow and red will be cheaper than any other color, due to overstocks, not having to change the machines, etc. So of course, every year, yellow and red are always the cheapest colors to use, and therefore they always choose the red and yellow pieces when making next year's sets, and it will lock Lego into a yellow/red majority for a long time. *sigh* I want blueeeeeee. Particularly that dark navy blue that came on some of the Bionicles last year!!
  13. Mithrandir

    Racer/Technic 8286 Reviewed!

    In my opinion, I found this to be kind of boring. I bought it because the power was out in my area for a week and I was absolutely dying for something to do, so I took a trip 60 miles to the next city over and bought a ton of lego sets, this being one of them. Essentially, it's a black technic parts pack to me (price was nice though), with a few huge single-use pieces thrown in. Other than that, the review pretty much covered everything.
  14. Mithrandir

    USC AT-ST - Photoshoot & Review

    My take: The good: - holy cripes! It's HUGE! I seriously did not think it would be that big - Amazingly accurate - lots of pieces for the money The bad: - No numbered bags. If there was a set that ever needed them, this is it. Building it was almost painful at times, since I spent up to 5 minutes searching for a single small piece at times.
  15. I'm a big fan of skid-steering machines, and I even bought 3 copies of 8419 - Excavator just for the treads. I like to build custom-tank-like vehicles. So naturally, when I found out last year that Lego had re-introduced the classic chain-tread piece , I was pretty excited, since I never had any of those. I intended to buy the wookie attack set just to get my hands on some, but unfortunately, other sets had higher priority to me, so I never got around to it. I just assumed the set would be around for 3 years like Lego had always done in the past. Unfortunately, Christmas came around and I finally decided to buy it... and I couldn't find it anywhere. The only place I could find it was open-or-expensive boxes on Bricklink. D'oh. Lego came out with a huge Sandcrawler set with these tread links too, but I could never really wrap my mind around buying one huge set just for a particular part. I tried to justify it, but in the end, I really had no use for the metric big behind-ton of brown and sand bricks that came with that set. I almost decided to get it... but then the 2006 technic lego set pics were leaked, and behold, the answer to my dreams: The 8288 - Crawler Crane. Technic! Tread Links! Lots of beams! Jackpot!!! I decided to put on my waiting hat and waited patiently for 7 months for this set to become available, and a short time ago, it did. I rushed online and bought it, and waited eagerly for it to arrive, and yesterday it did just that. I quickly built it in 90 minutes; I was anticipating a difficult build but it was a lot easier than expected. My overall impression is that it's "pretty good". Nothing absolutely groundbreaking, but well worth the cost and definitely reccomended. The tread links were a bit of a let down, but I was kind of expecting this. They're all plastic, so they are absolutely useless on smooth surfaces, or if the structure they are supporting is light. They have a very small frictional coefficient, but work okay on more irregular surfaces. Unfortunately the links tend to decouple rather easily as well, but that's not a huge concern, because it's usually when I'm messing around with the links in the first place. The most clever part of the design is the clicking-levers used to control the crane. I saw them way the heck back in January and quickly put together a bunch of designs emulating them for my own MOC's, so the novelty isn't as fresh in my mind right now, but they are still cool and work really well. Basically, if you haven't seen pics already, they use the rubber grommet-type double-axle joiner that came with last years Vladeks castle, attach an axle in one hole, brace the other hole with an axle-pin, attach a bionicle tooth to the axle, and lay it against a 24t-crown gear. The pieces mesh together well enough so that the tooth has enough force to remain centered on its own, but if human force is applied to the gear, it moves the tooth enough (either up or down!) so that it can turn. This holds the cranes strings in place without the need of resorting to a screw gear. It's pretty clever. As far as the actual model goes, I like it. I have a few complaints, but these are pretty much minor and don't really detract from the set overall: - The base is kind of simple and also wobbly due to the turntable gear being the only support for the whole superstructure - I wish the treads were longer - The counterweight is somewhat underwhelming, it's not nearly heavy enough in my opinion. They use 2 boat weights and I feel that 4 would have been a much better design. - Since the counterweight is light, you cannot move the center beam past the 90-degree mark without having the model tip over, meaning that the 3rd beam is pretty useless. - Instead of a typical technic crane hook, they opted to use a custom-made part made out of axles, pins, and lift-arms. I'm not sure why. - The "alternate model" is simply removing the center beam and re-attaching it to the top of the first beam to create a super-tall crane. It's a cool model, but I have to take points off in the originality department. But now the good: - Clicking-wheel controls are very clever - The build was a lot easier than I expected. Usually these things are super-tough because of the nature of strings, they don't illustrate well in instructions, but I didn't have a single problem. - The whole design of the crane is well done; I found myself playing with the levers and pulleys for over an hour after I finished building it. - 800 pieces for $50. Great value - TONS of long beams, mostly red, white, and grey. So overall, I'd have to give this a 9.1 out of 10.
  16. Mithrandir

    Review: 8288 - Crawler Crane

    Okay I got antsy and rebuilt the crane with the alternate model. I kept looking at the pics and I felt like the alternate would be a much better model. I was right. Sort of. First off, the alternate is huge (about 3ft high). The crane actually wobbles now, which really can't be helped due to the nature that Lego really wasn't designed to make that large of a structure at scale. So I'm not going to subtract that. They use a triple-pulley (as opposed to the double-pulleys they used for everything in the main model) for the joint inbetween the long beam and the short beam, which is cool. I think they did that because a double-pulley would have caused too much torque on the click-mechanism, but regardless, I like it even more than a double-pulley. Now, I thought the counterweight was weak before, and now that this extends even further out, I feel that the counterweight is even less useful, which is the huge problem. You can somewhat allieviate this situation by turning the crane so that it's perpendicular to the treads. Since the treads are wider (21studs) than they are long (15studs), you get an extra 3-stud's of leeway with the center of gravity (COG). For those of you who need to brush up on your physics, if the COG extends past the base, then the structure will topple over. If you increase the base, then, you get a more stable structure (ala outriggers). However, that didn't quite solve the problem altogether. So I got my bix-box-o-lego out and dug out my two boat weights that I already owned prior to this (I now have 4, woo), and extended the counterweight structure backwards by two studs. This was actually pretty easy to do (add 4 2x6 plates, a bushing, a 1/2 bushing, remove the pole reverser handle and replace it with a perpendicular axle joiner + 4stud axle). Not only did this double the weight of the counterweight, but it also made it slightly more effective, since it was now extended two studs further back. Again with the physics, the farther away something is from the COG, the more torque it applies on the structure. In the counterweights case, the newer rear weights "weigh more" than the older ones which are closer to the COG. It even looks better this way too, in my opinion. So now this is noticably more effective than the old counterweights. I can extend the crane almost completely down (I can get about 60 clicks away from the fully extended position before it topples over) now. So this set really does need 4 boatweights, and not just 2. 6 would be perfect for the alternate, and I'm pretty sure 4 is perfect for the main model. The looseness of the treads began to annoy me, so I tried removing one link from each tread. This was a little difficult to attach, and in retrospect was a bad idea, because I ended up warping the connects of one of my links. So don't do this. Also, when building the main model, it says to cut the longest string so that it's 80cm (I think?), which is a good length for the main model, but if you plan on building the alternate model, I would suggest you cut it longer, since the alternate doesn't allow enough length for the main string to lower the hook below the bottom of the treads (which you might want to do if you have the crane working in a quarry-type environment where you lift things which are down a cliff from you). There's a ton of string, so don't worry about not having enough. I think that's about it? I want to build it even bigger now, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of white technic beams (actually just 4 more 15stud beams), so I may buy another if I find it on sale somewhere (more treadlinks and boat weights, can't really go wrong).
  17. Mithrandir

    Review: 8288 - Crawler Crane

    Uh... what? I didn't understand a single word... Heh, okay, let me try again. I don't have a CAD program or anything, so I'll do my best with just words. The key is this piece: You have one of these, and an axle that goes through one of the holes, so that one stud-length of the axle is sticking out of one end, and the rest of the axle is sticking out of the other. Then you attach a blue axle-pin into the other hole, so you get a lower-case "h" shape. Now you take lthe legs of the h and put it into a beam. You'll notice that the rubber grommet allows the axle to twist ever so slightly, and it always returns to the original position when it's done twisting. So now you take a bionicle tooth (red): And hang it like a flag on the h: G_____ |.--`` | | | | === |G| Now you get another axle which has a string-drum on it (blue) and a 24 tooth crown gear (green) G_____ |.--`` |G|___| |GG-+- |GGG| |GG-+- ===G| +-+-+ Two teeth of the gear overlap onto the edge of the bionicle-tooth, so now when you turn the drum-axle, the 24-t gear clicks against the bionicle tooth. The tooth moves up and down to allow the gear to turn because of the flexibility given by the grommet. If the axle with the bionicle-tooth on it were locked in place, then the 24-t gear would not be able to turn at all.
  18. Mithrandir

    Designer Sets with Brick Seperators

    Only the Prehistoric Power set had one, AFAIK. I've got: Mythical Creatures, Roaring Roadster, That new helicopter thing, The two motorcycles, The shark/sea creatures one, The T-Rex and a few others I can't remember at the moment
  19. I picked this set up a while ago and finally got around to building it last night. It looked kind of blah from the pics, and truth be told I only got it because of the clear studded motor in it (same one as Motor Movers, which is a really cool motor; it's faster than the standard 9V, and it fits better into creations), which is why I've been putting it off. So I wasn't really expecting much; but I have to admit, I was really pleasantly surprised with this set. Honest to god, it's the most cleverly designed set I've ever put together. I really felt like it was an old-school technic set from the 90's, mixed with a model team set. Tons of gears and shafts running everywhere. And it's got the most clever mechanism I've ever seen in a Lego set. Basically, when I was building it, I got so frustrated because I thought I was building it wrong, since the gears didn't really mesh or anything, and I really had NO idea what the heck the design was comming to. But when I finally finished it... hah. Well I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say that it's frigging cool! Pretty much the only problem I have with the set is the battery box; the box itself is pretty good, I like the studlessness of it, allowing for some new ways to place the motor controls, but the problem with the set is that it takes a significant amount of effort to get the box out, since it's kind of packed in there, which was a problem for me, since I kind of forgot to put the batteries into the box before I built the set, lol. So, in my opinion, the main model alone is enough to give this set a 5-star rating in my book. Haven't tried the alternate models yet (I'm a little disappointed that they aren't aircraft related), but they still look good.
  20. Personally, Dino Attack was okay, but it could have been great. Pros: * The idea. Kind of like Jurassic Park. Who doesn't love JP? :) * The designs. I got the helicopter and it really blew me away. Cons: * The <insert that tiresome argument> dinos. UGH. They added around $15 to the sets (going by price per piece) and were worthless to me. * The color scheme. I just didn't like the tan/crimson color scheme at all. Using greens would have made this series so much better. I always saw DA as kind of a continuation of the Alpha Team line, so if it goes away, I really hope they bring in something new along the same lines.
  21. Mithrandir

    Review: 4895 Creator - Motion Power

    Yeah, it's 9V, works with the old battery boxes and the new ones too (which are both 9V). I think I counted 20 gears in the main model. :)
  22. Mithrandir

    Review: 4895 Creator - Motion Power

    I forgot to mention one thing; On the box and in all the pictures in the instructions, they show some kind of new missile head on the technic cannon missiles, but when I opened the box, I still had the old missile heads. Even weirder, the computer-generated graphics for the models in the instructions show the old version of the missile heads too, so I'm not really sure what's up with the new missile heads? (They look kind of squashed at the top). You can kind of see it here: and a better pic here:
  23. http://shop.lego.com/product.asp?p=8288&cn=48&d=11&t=5 (USA) But this is also a d'oh moment, for, I had just purchased the dune buggy 2 days ago at TRU, and back in May, when I realized that I spent way too much on Lego, I had cut myself down to a diet of one $50+ Lego set per month. Now, if I were to be tricky, I could say, "Well, gosh, $49.99 is less than $50!", but then I'd just be lying to myself. :) :-/ X-D *sing*
  24. Mithrandir

    V-wing on S@H

    Gosh, and here I predicted we wound't see another X-Wing until 2007 at the earliest. heh heh. The reasoning is really quite simple: Lego has discovered that Star Wars fans are collecting fanatics, and will buy every single star wars item available. So, all they have to do is release the same tired sets every few years, and people will run out to the stores and buy them, no questions asked. Star Wars killed Lego Space, and I'll never forgive them for that :P Bring back Futron! Bring back Blacktron! Bring back Ice Planet 2002!!!!