Erik Leppen

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About Erik Leppen

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  • What is favorite LEGO theme? (we need this info to prevent spam)
    <p> Technic and 10242 (yes I know that's a different theme)</p>

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    Game development, roller coasters, mathematics, LEGO


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  1. Suggestion: "Build a vehicle that transforms from a wheel-driven mode to a mode where the wheels are off the ground (and back)"? Does the vehicle in transformed state still have to be able to move? Then "Build a vehicle that transformed from a wheel-driven mode to a walking mode (and back)". If you want any kind of steering, this will be very hard for 1 motor. And I really like the "1 motor" limitation :) Edit: maybe, 1 motor for "thrust" (driving or walking, depending on the mode) and 1 motor for "switch mode"? Then, it would be limited to 2 motors, and still usable using 1 normal PF remote :)
  2. I like the idea of transforming vehicles. But yes, there should be some kind of size limit (bounding box seems the easiest one to check through images over the internet) and some kind of scope of what counts as a transformation, as in, what should the transformation be for. TC7 had a very clear goal: the vehicle had to transform from a civilian mode into some kind of weapon. This added a "game-like element" to the transformation aspect: the transformation wasn't just a transformation, it had a goal. If the goal of a new contest will be just "any" transformation, it will be hard to come up with something that is not "transformation for the sake of transformation".
  3. Erik Leppen

    General Part Discussion

    Just imagine what could be possible if there were to come out a black friction version of the grey 3L pin... I guess people here would love to have a few of those. Interestingly, even the gray one offers an option not offered by the tan 3L pins and not mentioned in the article: the option to position a whole-thickness beam at a half-stud offset.
  4. It has very much to do with what mobile games do, because you have an interface element that you can't physically feel, and you want the user to look where the action is, and not where the interface element is. This use case is the same between mobile games and the mobile remote control. It doesn't matter whether you change the input constantly or anything else: you want an interface that you can use without looking, and mobile games offer a learning opportunity for what those inputs can look like. Remember there's tons of different types of mobile games too, each with their own set of inputs. Also, thanks @SaperPL, I learned something new about mobile games today :)
  5. Erik Leppen

    General Part Discussion

    For what it's worth, Technic was in the top 5 best selling themes according to this topic: LEGO half year results best ever - General LEGO Discussion - Eurobricks Forums As for new parts, to me it's clear that minifigs and prints do not get the same treatment as "normal" parts - there seems to be an overabundance of all kinds of minifig parts and printed parts, but the actual number of new moulds for non-minifig parts seems to be rather modest. Compared to that, I don't believe Technic is really running behind. The problem with the theme is that most Technic parts are needed for only 1 theme (2 if you count Mindstorms) while system parts can be used in all themes. Interestingly, there have been plenty of Technic recolors for other themes (dark green panels in a botanic set (10289), brown panels in a star wars set (75532), pink panels in a super hero set (41239) to name a few I have remembered. Probably, because a plant cannot do without a green color and a star wars ship cannot be recolored or it wouldn't match the films, while a Technic car could be made in various colors.
  6. 42110 a good set? Let me quote myself from the Infuriating details topic... Compare that to 8880, which had 4-wheel steering that can be easily demonstrated. A drivetrain easily visible from below, which can be shown. A gearbox with 4 gears that is simple enough to understand and whose gear ratios are far enough apart that you can actually see the difference, so that can be demonstrated. A clearly visible engine that is easy to recognize as such because of the size and the specialized elements (and the yellow pistons), and doesn't take 70 cm of rolling to start running, so that can be demonstrated. And it has nice folding lights. Also, the bodywork is much more interesting, because less boxy. Sure, 8880 has faults too (no doors, the somewhat finicky rear hatch, the suspension that is too hard, and the HOG wheel is a bit difficult to reach). But on the whole, I'd say that 8880 is much easier to impress technic-minded non-Lego-fanatics with than 42110. Also, it's slightly over half the part count.
  7. I think this is a cop-out. The way I read it, a comment like this declares the complaints by default invalid. Maybe we complain a lot - my experience is that the exact same thing happens on any hobby forum - but the fact that it happens a lot is not an argument against their validity. Meanwhile I think it's evident that compared to older sets, sets have become bigger, much more expensive without getting actually more playable (ok, the RC can be good fun for kids), and contain much, much more non-functional material (bodywork), and as a result become both prohibitively expensive and unwieldily large and heavy. And these humongous models like 42131 take the places previously taken by equally cool but affordable flagships. Also, many modern sets feel over-engineered to me. I mean, there's near-universal praise for the tow truck 42128, but, in a way, it's 8462 with outriggers. If you compare the designs of those sets, 8462 is a much, much more clean design where it's clear what does what. With modern sets, structural elements, function bracing and functions are all running through each other and even I didn't understand a thing about what all those gears in 42110 were even supposed to mean. I mean, 42128 is good set, but part count has tripled between these two models and the number of models has halved. Sure, studless and all, but TLC don't have to use studless. Technic bricks are still being produced. It's obvious to me that the focus of the theme has shifted - like everything in the world, Technic has become superficial and shallow. The fact that a 450 euro Technic set is being advertised as "big", "heavy" and "yellow" (!) says a lot. Meanwhile, the building system has become much more complex and it looks very un-inviting for kids to actually try building something for themselves. With bricks at least you could just stack things. And those slick-looking sets set the bar higher than ever. To me, the modern Technic system just doesn't look well-suited for novice MOCing - I think it's way too complicated for that - and I find this concerning. ...But maybe, it's just because I grew up in a place and time where tinkering was encouraged.
  8. So true. I think it was really well done in 8448.
  9. I tend to sit half-way on the topic of modularity. I feel that when I strive for modularity, I get a more structured design, but going "all the way" tends to add too much superfluous parts and volume to a model. So I like if there is some distinction between sections, most importantly, that the chassis has a coherent design and adds strength, and functional modules can be joined to the chassis and provide the functions, but going beyond that and striving for "easy disassembly" would make things harder. So yeah: modularity as a design goal or design criterium: good. Modularity as an actual result: I don't really feel the need for that, personally. Also, a modular design usually makes instructions more coherent as well. I'm on-and-off working on a model similar to 42082 all-terrain crane, because what I disliked about that set was that the instructions seem to lack any coherence. It looks a bit like a jumbled mess of parts - in the end it all works, but it's not clear where one thing ends and the next thing begins. So I try to do a redesign where at least the chassis is relatively easy to recognize among the rest, and it feels more streamlined right away. That's one thing I think modularity can achieve.
  10. I actually agree 100% with everything you say, @howitzer
  11. I've scanned diagonally through the topic, but I'm really not understanding the whole price discussion. I mean, we can discuss p rice-per-part, price-per-kg or price-per-whatever we want, but thing is, we're discussing sets. Technic sets to be more precise. There's lots of sources to get parts from, Bricklink, pick-a-brick, lego stores, whatever, but the singular thing that sets sets apart from almost all other sources is that the parts come with an instruction to build a model. And the singular things that sets Technic apart from almost all the other themes is that these models have functions. So, for me, the relevant question is not: what do I pay and what parts do I get, but: what do I pay and what model, what functions do I get. And for me the matter of the bulldozer is simple: what do I get that I didn't get from 8275. As far as I can see, the only new functions are the ladder and the manual track tensioners. The blade has the same movement capabilities as that of 8275*, and the tracks work the same too. Besides adding two little extras, the model has bedome twice as big and heavy. Oh, and it has an app now, so controlling it has become a worse experience. I wonder, why would I ever want to build this model and play with it, if I had built 8275 before and enjoyed it? I believe discussions on price should talk about price vs. value, and value, to me, includes parts but also includes the model and its functions, build experience, playability and other things. For me, the question is, do I want to pay 450 euros for a huge yellow remote-controlled bulldozer with a raising and moving blade and track tensioners that doesn't do anything without batteries and phone-app, and/or do I want to pay 150 euros for a tow truck with steering, fake engine, pneumatic extendable crane with winch, car lift, outriggers and liftable axle that I can always tinker with and show to others without having to wait it to connect? To me, the second set seems more value, yet it costs a third. That makes the bulldozer a very easy "no". *Edit: it seems that the blade tilting wasn't a function in 8275, so I stand corrected.
  12. Erik Leppen

    General Part Discussion

    I wonder if this wheel/tyre combo will be phased out. It's an odd one out, because the rim doesn't fit any other tyre and vice versa. I wonder if the slightly-larger Batmobile tyre will be replacing it - that one fits the standard rims. Do the new curved panels also fit these new tyres?
  13. Erik Leppen

    1:16 Pagani Huayra

    Nice, I like the headlights and the mirrors. Also, cool how the well-known central exhaust is actually connected to engine details inside. The roof must have been hellish to design with all those curves, nice job on that, and nice use of those rounded 1x1 tiles! I don't know the real car, but compared to the curved roof, the part around the rear window looks a bit too "flat". I mean those black 1x2x3 slopes. But I don't know if it's like that on the real car. But it's the only critique I could find, after looking long and hard ;)
  14. Erik Leppen

    Infuriating Details

    Knob wheels are very useful parts. For high torque situations indeed, but also for variable angle situations, and for angles not a multiple of 90 degrees, or for situations where the gear can be disengaged and re-engaged without slipping (for example a HOG axle through a cabin that can be tilted). And for making sure axles are aligned. Some stepper mechanisms use them, such as the Bugatti gearbox. Sure, they have disadvantages, like any part, but they have a pretty unique set of applications. ____ As for tyres, I'm glad that the variety seems to be increasing right now, but my most infuriating detail is how many of them are way too wide. They eat up a large portion of the available width for vehicles. That's what made the 64x20 wheels so great - they have a sort-of decent width. The 49x20 tyres were welcome, but were way too wide so I'm really happy a thinner version finally comes out. The Porsche wheels are also still wayy too wide, but at least the rims had internal space to bring the steering pivot close to the wheel, so wheel arches can have a normal size. Maybe that's the upside of all those licences: the licenced brands require more realistic proportions, so hopefully this brings about other requirements to pars, such as that the wheel arches are not too large, whichhopefully brings Lego to change the design of rims and suspension parts.
  15. Not everyone uses digital builds, remember. I'm not sure there should ever be a competition that requires using LDraw-like software to join. I believe actual part limits has only been done once - with the Mini competition, quite some time ago. Had a limit of 200 parts. Everyone had to "prove" this by showing an image showing all the parts layed out. With 200 parts this is doable. I used software to keep the count below 200, but one could work without software. There has also been a C-model contest, I believe, more recently. I don't remember a "proof" being required that your model could actually be built from the selected set. I'm not sure about a fixed inventory that everyone has to use. Part of the competition it not only the competitive aspect for contestants, but also seeing all kinds of new MOCs. I think with the exact same parts for everyone, I would be less interested in seeing everyone's models. However inventive, there'll always be less variety than when we're free to select parts. Especially if there are onyl 200 or so parts, I expect that some people will find the same solutions to things. In my personal opinion, it would be great as a competition, but less than ideal as an event. (I view EB Technic competitions as "events" on the forum that people can "visit".) But of course, that's only one opinion. If there is interest for such a competition, don't let me discourage anyone :) The GBC one still sounds cool. I've never built a GBC module but would be tempted to try it one time for a competition. (I hope the subject doesn't get selected too soon, because I won't have much build time the coming weeks :P )