Erik Leppen

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About Erik Leppen

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    <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. Erik Leppen

    General Part Discussion

    With the new design, does a bar fit inside the 3L pin?
  2. Maybe it's an idea (for others as well) to just copy-paste the questions onto a text file, add your answers there, and let it sit there for a while, and submit a few days later. Then when you think of new things, you an still add it. March 7 is more than a week away, so there's plenty of time to think of thorough answers. After all, given the amount of feedback we all have, I think it's important we give well-thought-out answers. I never understand why surveys like these are marketed as "it takes 5 minutes". This is like saying "it's not important". But, what if we would make it important, and take more time for this? Wouldn't that be a good thing? This is our chance to formulate our feedback and have it actually land where it matters. And why not use this topic for sharing ideas so others can use those when they fill the thing in? :) For brands, lots of great suggestions have already been made; I'm adding Spierings cranes and Foremost, but I'll also add that I rather see non-licenced sets. For types of vehicles (or non-vehicles), we could think of the sets of yore we all love, such as the space shuttle 8480, code pilot 8479, air tech claw rig 8868, or all the control center sets (dinosaur, helicopter simulator). For buying decisions/triggers, what about B-models? Or missing recolors of common parts in common colors? For technology, hidden functionality and thus lack of educational value. Or the lack of controllers for control+. Or old battery technology.
  3. This is also by the way why I love the EB Technic competitions. They force you to build within a time constraint, eliminating this whole perfecting thing. By the way, super interesting post by @DrJB While too much perfectionism can be a real problem, too little of it is bad as well. In my experience in the software world, I often tend towards perfectionism, because if you do it quick, oftentimes it will need to be modified later, and time spent redoing things often exceeds initial savings. Doing less work now often means more work later. Of course, this problem usually doesn't play within the world of Lego MOCs. Those kind-of sit in a vacuum, and imperfections won't harm other MOCs, so you can be more lenient. I often don't "reorganize" a MOC after it's done. If it works, it works. Things like reorganizing the color coding, reducing the number of rare parts, bringing the weight down, improving rigidity or modularity, or "cleanness" in the design are all nice to have, but not doing them doesn't have any side-effects in the future.
  4. Which is good! It means you're improving. Anyhow. Perfectionism is needed to get closer to perfection, but it also means you're going slower. So I think that's the balance you should strike: do you want to spend a year on one awesome MOC, or do you want to build 3 decent MOCs instead? Also, I see the exact same thing in game development. I can spend ages tweaking code that noone will ever see. One of the hardest things, in any creative work I'd say, is declaring it finished. I'm currently doing February Album Writing Month (, where the goal is to use the 28 days of February to write 14 songs. The goal is to actively go against the urge to perfectionize, and say: good enough is good enough, and have full focus on the creative side, instead of the more "engineering" side of perfectioning something. It's basically a practice in finishing things, going through the whole creative process in fast-forward. If you're too perfectionistic when, say, building a car chassis, you'll never get to the bodywork. So, to practice building bodywork, you have to let go of the perfectionism for the chassis.
  5. I don't really get why this has become a topic on color coding. 99% of users don't mind and are probably even helped by it, and the other 1% is mostly on LUGs like Eurobricks and have enough parts lying around and Bricklink around the corner. Instead of this - honestly quite broken-record-sounding - color coding "problem", we could also focus on actual problems and errors such as a (seemingly) increasing frequency of finding non-working functions in sets (42083, 42110), simplification of functions (42125), sets where more and more parts go into bodywork, (42123, 42125), the disappearing of B-models, or hiding away functions that were previously mechanic into a smartphone app as is done with PU or whatever electric systems exist nowadays, eliminating any possiblity of tinkering with it, which should be the whole reason the Technic theme even exists.
  6. I think this is a very good point. There's outright errors in sets (such as 42110's gearbox not working and clicking/grinding), and there's outright preference (such as color coding). But there's also many, many things that fall somewhere in between, where it's a gray area. Is 42125's flexy chassis a mistake, or just a preference thing? And the fact that 42110's engine only starts running after driving 50 cm in one direction? Is that a bad function, or a preference? Both of these cases I would call bad design and I feel fully justified to point things like this out. Color coding on the other hand, is purely preference, and actually something I'm not even against. I do it myself extensively. Also, in the real world, things are color-coded too, so I don't see the problem (besides part re-usability when MOCing). Also, again ( @XenoRad but also in general) , please keep in mind that adult is not the same as experienced. Cars like that 10295 Creator 911 cater to car fans, not necessarily people with any building experience.
  7. Because a higher cost results in more profit. Why would they ask less than most people are willing to pay? I presume they know what they do, and that they have the sales statistics that back up what they're doing. Maybe this isn't as true as it was in the past. With the market oversaturating and other brands increasing their game, I think customers will become less and less brand-loyal.
  8. I see summer news is out? :P Anyhow, the fact that Lego can be built into other things, is not an argument for simplistic sets. Lego is for kids, yes, but the worst set of the whole Technic lineup, like, ever, (the 42125 Ferrari) had an 18+ label. That set is one of the very few having official proof of not being for kids, yet, it's possibly the worst offender of the simplification movement in existence. (It would be fine if it were called Racers and wouldn't have taken a slot where a model with actual functions could have been and wouldn't have diluted the Technic brand.) Also, I don't think anyone here would blame the designers. I think the problem is the company's philosophy. This is quite honestly a great way of looking at things that I hadn't read before. Thanks (for providing yet another argument for why B models are a good thing). But as @DrJB noted: the goal of the company is to make profit, and reusability works directly against that direct short-term goal. And as the whole world is short-term-focused (that's basically the gig economy) this ain't gonna change. The only thing TLC wants is people buying more of their stuff. Why would they make it so you can use your parts for anything you like? .
  9. Erik Leppen

    Is this correct?

    Wat set is this? My guess is it's the 8653 Racers Ferrari Enzo? Well, what's your definition of "correct"? It's not an exact fit, because the hypotenuse of a right-triangle with sides 2 and 4.5 is not 5 (but approximately 4.92), but on the other hand, it's in an official set, so apparently it's according to Lego official standards. (Or at least it was at the time) Also, keep in mind that there's no suspension here, so the fact that the length of the suspension arms doesn't match the length of the links, doesn't matter, since there is no vertical movement. Also, what is the "4x5 rule"? You mean a Pythagorean 3/4/5 triangle where the 1x6 link is the hypotenuse?
  10. Erik Leppen

    42120 Hovercraft

    Why is that black 3x13 panel only drawn partly? That looks like a really dumb mistake to me :P
  11. Erik Leppen

    Technic 2021 Set Discussion

    Nice sets. Finally some proper B models that are different from the A models and nice in their own right. Also, 2x3 panel extender in yellow :)
  12. If you don't need steering, why are you using those suspension arms at all? Just use liftarms. 6L horizontal and 5L vertical. And do away with ball joints altogether. See for example the rear axle of 8448 (yes, I know, old set, but it shows the principle).
  13. Erik Leppen

    Technic 2021 Set Discussion

    (emphasis mine). You're confusing thet terms "adult" and "AFOL". Adult builders probably referse to an audience not previously used to Lego, but with more cash to spend on toys than the average kid. Similar to the 21323 ideas piano targets adults. That said, I'm really happy that (if?) pneumatics would make an appearance again. It's a much underused part of Technic.
  14. Fun topic. :) I once used that 3x8x2 beam in my Chiron rebuild, which I got comments on that that was an old part so someone suggested replacing that with a build using only current parts. I thought that was indeed a good suggestion. I sometimes use old parts (or old colors), but I do try to minimize it. But if old parts add functionalty that is missing in new parts, I use the old part. But for example I wouldn't mix old and new pneumatic system in the same model. The 3x8x2 beam pictured first in the topic is one of my favorite old parts, so I use it frequently. I sometimes use rare parts, such as the technic cam. I use thin beams much more than sets do, even though they aren't super rare. (although black 1x7 thin beams are expensive on BL) I have long used the old thin 14t gears after they were replaced by the 12t ones, because they worked well with the then-used 1x4 gear racks in the studded system. I have also once used the "1L worm gear with bushes" that was used for one year before the large-radius worm came out. When bricklinking, I sometimes grab old turquoise or purple parts from the Competition subtheme, and I have used both in mocs. I figure that color schemes are replaceable anyway, and I like funky colors. I used metallic green panelling from 8465/8466 in one of my mocs, and I keep those parts for later usage. For the rest I try to avoid the old panels, simply because I like them less than the current style panels. I find it a personally fun challenge to see if I can show "what TLC could have made with their current parts, instead of what they are making.". Then, restricting oneself to current parts is part of the "building for myself" and adds to the fun. That said though, I actually think some parts like the 3x8x2 beam should have been kept in production, it's so useful :) Edit: for competitions, I'd just follow the rules of the competition. So if old parts are allowed, why no use them? :)
  15. Erik Leppen

    How do you start your big MOCs?.

    I often start by picking wheels and calculating the size, and deciding which wheels would give a size that's large enough to let it do what I want, but not much larger. Then I want to decide on the functions. And then, it's often axles -> gearbox -> chassis. Then, if I want motorization, find where the eletric parts will fit. Bodywork is mostly saved for last, which is probably why I often run into issues there... There is also a "grander order" where the order is, roughly just start a first physical test build in any way try things and get a sense of where the challenges are digitize the model-in-progress in MLCad try to improve the bottlenecks digitally using the digital build to redo the physical build and from there it's a rather see-as-I-go going-back-and-forth between the digital and physical build. There's not really a fixed order.