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. OK, so let me join the fun of TC15. I never build aircraft, so for one it's a nice experience to try building one. My choice of model is inspired by a old competition on where the assignment was to build a Skycrane helicopter. I wanted to join but didn't have the required blades, but the idea remained in my mind so a picture of the original was added to my build-inspiration folder. So when TC15 came along, I was immediately reminded by that and it sounded like a fun project to try building a Skycrane. First, a reference picture: By Bidgee, CC BY-SA 3.0 au, One of the cool things is the 6-blade rotor that I wanted to replicate. Then, my first draft: There seems to be a lot of progress, but remember everything is a draft :) As the theme of the contest is Aircraft, I want to prioritize the flying mechanisms above the crane. So I figured I wanted some control over the rotor. I fondly remember the great 8856 helicopter set, which move the whole rotor, and I also remember some discussions about how that is neat, but not actually realistic, because in actual helicopters the individual blades rotate. So that inspired me to try do it like in real, and with all the new parts something should be possible. This is the mechanism I have so far and I'm already quite proud of it, even though it doesn't fully work yet. The turntable works as a swashplate and only houses the hxagonal ring with 6 ball-joints. The rotor axle goes through the center of the turntable and is fixed (the mount is behind the 2x6 suspension arm so cannot be seen), while the turntable can move in 2 independent axes, using the same mechanism as 8856 did with the whole rotor. The black 13L beam on the tan axle pins controls the left and right suspension arms. The front and rear suspension arms are not linked yet. The idea is that I want to have a joystick somewhere that controls these 2 motions. Ideally, in the cabin, but as I also strive for playability maybe somewhere that's more reachable. Suggestions are welcome! Main problem is that the turntable is not driven, so right now it's "pulled along" by the 6 dark-gray 6L links, but this only works somewhat-well in one direction. Also, it has friction. I'd rather have the turntable's rotation linked to the rotor in some way. I haven't found a way yet and it may not be possible without loosing other things, like the support for the central shaft that's needed for rigidity. What's cool is that the whole mechanism fits in 9 studs width. Next up was a long, thin, strong frame. Because I wanted it to be rigid, I wanted to use studded bricks for that. Which limits my color options. My main gripe with it so far is that I think it's too wide, and together with the required paneling it also takes a lot of room. But I needed the 9 stud space in between for the rotor mechanism. Also, it is quite rigid indeed! But I'm nto sure I awnt to keep the studded frame. Also, not sure how I'll fit in any crane machanism, there's not much space left in the center. Also, I don't like the white transverse 15L beam at the bottom, but it's needed for the strength of the side wheel mounts. Third up is the cabin. My first take on replicating its round shape: Not sure yet. Epecially since it lacks the side doors from the original. I noticed in pictures there are doors at the rear of the cabin, which I did add. Here are all the loose bits of paneling that together with the functional modules, were used in the first draft. I'm not sure about the color yet. I feel that the paneling dictates white as the primary color, (thanks, again, to 42025) but I rather use a somewhat more interesting color. Especially together with black, white seems a bit boring to me. So I added a splash of yellow as a secondary color, but again, with all those interesting new colors of recent years, maybe I'll opt for something else later on. That said, yellow has good part availability (including axles). Maybe I should do a similar "blue stripe" effect of 42025B, but using another color. That's it for now. Any tips are welcome! Especially on how to link the turntable rotation to the rotor. But also on model size, position of the joystick, and anything else you notice.
  2. Erik Leppen

    42093 Corvette ZR-1

    Suspension? At least at the rear, with a single gray spring? There's many smaller sets with that. Simple 2-speed gearbox? 42048 had that, and with the blue 20t it's easier than ever. And indeed, openable doors, hood and bonnet. That would at least increase the play value. I mean, it's a decent set, but I still find 2 functions for 500+ parts rather poor.
  3. Now this is a cool theme. I'm not into aircraft, so this sounds like a fun new challenge for me. Also, I have some helicopter blades lying around (like those from 9396), which I haven't used yet. This contest looks to be the perfect opportunity to put them to use. So I think I'm going to do a helicopter of some sort. Interestingly, those blades determine a scale range right away, so my build will have to have a size similar to 9396 and other official helicopter sets. By the way, I like the mortal/immortal category idea.
  4. Erik Leppen

    General Part Discussion

    I know it's a bump, but has anyone notice yellow angle connector #2 on the 2019 set The Lego Movie 2 Emmet's Thricycle? As far as I know, this is a new recolor, and personally a highly desired one :)
  5. Erik Leppen

    An open letter to Lego group

    You are clearly not responding to the critiques actually given by the other members in this topic. It's surely rewarding for people to design a vehicle and use it in a challenge. That's why there are already many such games. Including race games. There are many race games where players can design vehicles, or where players can tinker with their vehicles and tune them. There are also brick-based games where players build vehicles with Lego-like elements - Brick Rigs comes to mind - and use them in some kind of interactive world where the bricks behave realistically. From a economic perspective, I think your idea as it stands is totally unfeasible for the following reasons: As @anothergol says, such a game is extremely hard to make. Physics simulations are hard, and physics simulations with 2000+ parts working together, working at the 60fps needed for smooth gameplay, is practically undoable with current computation power. I think the market for Lego Technic is smaller than the market for race games. I think more people like fast cars than Lego Technic. From the above two points follows that catering any racegame specifically to Lego Technic is a very bad move, because it makes the game's creation process much longer while making the market smaller. That's not to say your idea can't indeed be adapted, as you say. But adaptations to make this a feasible project would very quickly lead to things that are already there: Drop the racing and physics and Technic, and you get Lego Worlds, where you can build things and ride vehicles. Drop the Technic, and you get Brick Rigs Drop the Lego thing altogether to broaden the market, and you get into the realm of existing physics race games So yeah… I think even if this would reach TLC's highest bosses, and even if they are thrilled by the idea, and even if they would actually make it, it would take years to come to anything remotely playable. Personally, I'd rather have TLC just produce sets. That's what they do best.
  6. Erik Leppen

    The Best and Worst of 2018

    I don't care for minifigs so I skip those. Best Theme: Creator. It's what I still consider Lego's core theme. If TLC had to pick just one theme, I think it should be this. Best Set: I'd say the Roller Coaster is a set we all silently wanted at some point in time, and now we have one. Worst Theme: Minecraft. I think all sets in this line look ugly. Worst Set: Well, not the set itself, but the bloated hype around the Bugatti disturbed me. Also, I think this whole supercars thing is hurting the essence of Technic. Most Anticipated for 2019: I'm always looking out for the next Creator Expert car set, but last 2 sets have been disappointing, so let's hope for a nice followup to the Mini and Beetle.
  7. Erik Leppen

    [GBC] Roulette

    I'm especially impressed by how you managed to got 37-fold symmetry to the ring. You can't cheat there and make it another number because it fits better. Also, I'm surpriesed by how perfectly circular it looks. I'd be curious to some pictures of how the ring is built up (the studded part I mean). How is the outer brown border with the headlight bricks built? Most mechanisms are not new I think (I have seen similar ball-shooting things before), but the whole combination is superbly executed and a real eye-catcher. Even the curved entry paths to the shooters look great. I also like how the balls are in the system for quite some time. The little ratchet that pushes balls out of the numbered holes is right after the exit, and pushes out only one ball at a time, so the balls have to go a whole round again before reaching the exit, and sometimes two rounds. That way, you have more balls in the system, which makes the glow-in-the-dark effect even cooler.
  8. Erik Leppen

    Chinese New Year’s sets -2019

    Do I see heart-shaped 1x1 tiles on the dragon's body segments?
  9. Erik Leppen

    42094 Tracked Loader

    Looks like a better set than I expected from the first picture. I like the B-model. I don't think the loader has suspension though. I think the whole frame is rigid, and the springs are used as tighteners. But I hope I'm wrong :)
  10. Erik Leppen

    42093 Corvette ZR-1

    - those cool new tyres. They seem to be the same as in the London bus, but in a much more affordable set. I might get this one. Looks like a fun set, and a good parts pack for orange stuff. B-model also looks nice.
  11. Erik Leppen

    42096 Porsche 911 RSR

    I just found out that the set description text mentions suspension. Apparently I missed that. That makes it less bad. On re-reading the text though, I have to say it's pretty well hidden among all the other points. What clear to me from the description text is that the whole sales approach is focused around the looks, not the functions. (now how there's much more text about the stickers, interior etc. than on the suspension), which mean I'm still in the "this should be Racers" camp. Even though there may not have been other Racers sets with suspension and working steering (except all the big F1 cars before 42000, which were more technical than this, yet still Racers). To me, Racers doesn't mean "no functions". It means "primary fucus is not on functionality". Technic, to me, should mean "primary focus is on functionality". 42096, to me, does not fit that description, so, to me, it should not be Technic. (Same goes, to me, for the pullbacks, but I can imagine that TLC uses them to lure new kids into Technic building). And 3 functions for 1600 parts is just rather poor, especially given 42037 has the same 3 functions and even a set as small as 42022 had an additional original folding-roof function. The least they could have done, IMO, is have the same functions as 42039. Additionally, a simple 4-speed gearbox would raise it above the already-poor 42077, and a 4-function gearbox like in 8070 would have made it a pretty cool set.
  12. Erik Leppen

    Survey: New parts and new colors

    Is what a new color? The vehicle looks white, the top looks dark turquoise + dark azure with some details in dark purple, the lines seem to be dark pink, or magenta, and a salmon-like colour that could be new, but could also just be the existing bright pink. I do see a part that looks like a 8x8 round plate with gear teeth, in pink. Is that a new part? I also wonder whether the curves at the very front bottom are the one of the existing arch pieces, or a new piece fitting in between the existing 1x3x2 and 1x6x3 arch. I assume they're the existing pieces, since the image is skewed and hard to see.
  13. Erik Leppen

    42096 Porsche 911 RSR

    Nice set. But not Technic. I can imagine the disappointed parents that bought their children a really cool-looking car with a Technic logo on it for their child, expecting him to really like to learn a bit on how a supercar works, and when they ask their child to show all the functions it can only say "er, it rolls and the pistons move...", that'll probably be their last Technic set for a while. I'd actually go as far to say a Technic set with no functions damages the Technic brand. I mean, if it's not functions, what else is Technic's unique selling point? I always view(ed) the Technic buliding system purely as a super efficient way to build light, strong, functional models, but apparently, studless building can be, according to TLC, a goal by itself... As for the set itself, I like the looks, it looks very agressive, which I like. I particularly like the lower rear end,. The nose seems a bit long, but I think I actually like it too. Also, the color scheme looks cool too. I would hope the wheel arches are printed, that would make them more useful. But yeah. All I wish for this set is to be rebranded as Racers. Then, it's a very nice good looking car.
  14. Erik Leppen

    Technic 2019 Set Discussion

    Lego Technic finally had a wave with (almost) no leaks. I'm beginning to understand why... I mean, that Porsche... ehm. It looks nice, but what does it do? I was here thinking I was reading the Technic forum... Here's the wave of sets: 42088: a recolour of an old set 42089: a boat 42090: a pullback 42091: a pullback 42092: a helicopter 42093: an orange car with a licence 42094: a tracked loader 42095: a RC tracked racer 42096: a white car with a licence but no functions Rehashes don't count, so 42088 and 42095 are out. Pullbacks offer nothing in Technic-ness, so 42090 and 42091 are out. Technic sets should have functions, so 42096 is also out. Leaves us with 4 sets to discuss that are actually decent. Seeing from the first pictures, I think the best set could very well be the helicopter. The A-model seems to have a decent amount of functions in a rather small package without looking dumbed down, and has good shapes with some nice paneling and good color usage. And it has a nice original B-model model that reminds of 42066, which I like. The boat looks decent as well. It's a simple set, but I don't mind simple sets. I'm afraid the engine/propellor linked to some hidden wheels is the only function though. The orange car is nice, I like how the body is nicely filled up and the 9x3x2 wheel arches look useful, albeit too specialistic and single-use parts and an excuse for lazy design (I mean, why design a wheel arch if you can just use a single block for that). Function-wise it seems pretty standard, but it looks to have a custom (smaller) engine. I like that. Besides steering, I hope it has suspension, and what I expect is suspension only on the rear. Front suspension would be a really nice bonus that would make the set a lot better. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be openable doors. Which I find a bit strange, especially on a car. The yellow tracked loader (not sure what else to call it) looks cool too, and would go well with the pneumatic forest machine. Has the same vibe as the Zeux, I think. Expected functions: 2 degrees of freedom on the arm (I see a small LA below the arm, and the red bush probably controls the tilt of the forks and the rotation of the grabber in the middle), and a rotating cabin. Maybe there's a surprise in that large back end though. The springs on the tracks are probably just tighteners to keep the tracks taut. Looks like a nice Technic model. For the other sets, I say: thanks for the parts. Rehashing a set in another color is something Lepin would do, and calling that Porsche "Technic" is an abomination and a shame for the brand, really. It's really time to revive the Racers theme; apparently there's plenty of interest for cars.
  15. From a looks perspective, that indeed what I think. There's a reason that all other themes use System parts (except maybe a few action figures) :) Personally, I suspect there's less cross-pollination between Technic and another theme, than between two other themes, because all other themes use the same medium. But your point about Doctor Who is valid and I hope my doubts turn out to be wrong :) You're well on your way with 1200+ supporters already, so keep going!