Overcold

Eurobricks Vassals
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Everything posted by Overcold

  1. The L shaped footprint is perfect for a corner modular, and I'm surprised Lego has not done it already. The color scheme is great as well, though considering the current modular building franchise, I'm a bit nervous about the tan since over half of the corners use it as a major part of their color scheme. There's a lot of sculptural elements all over the facade, which looks very interesting. I somewhat agree with @MAB that elements like the lion head are generally best suited to highlight certain locations of a set, and that perhaps there could be some more stretches of spaces without texture (think how Al's barbershop balances with the Highlander, texture-wise, or the sand green bits of the florist shop from AS framed in by the stonework). I do wonder how it would look if the lion heads were used a little more sparingly? Despite this sentiment, I do actually like how the lion heads are built into the walls. All that texture and depth is handled quite well and very pleasing to look at, especially above the windows and the perfectly sculpted foundation line. Sometimes I see an MOC that has tons of sculptural elements all over the facade and it can be overwhelming and difficult to look at, but somehow you've managed to make it easy on the eyes while still maintaining a high level of detail. The parts usage above the yellow H is very impressive as well, and it took a few moments before I recognized what those elements were. I also agree that having a repeating floor adds good visual repetition and makes sense for a hotel. I remember the Grand Emporium got some flack for it, but I really like seeing repeating floors on buildings like the cafe and bakery in AS (granted, the bakery did have awnings exclusive to the 3rd floor). Maybe having an element reserved for one of the two floors (like a small balcony on one of them) would help diversify the building experience while still maintaining the much needed repetition. The way you have shaped the building with angles and curves looks great, and I love how the curved railing crowns the concave area that overlooks the courtyard. The courtyard itself is a wonderful addition that adds green space up front that I really like, and the wall surrounding it being topped off with a concrete orb on either side of the gate feels like how it would be handled realistically and it just looks so good. I don't think I've ever seen a lawn chair built like that before, and it looks really good. The interior is very well done as well. Sadly, there is a bit that just looks wrong to me. I've seen lots of statues in MOC modular buildings, and most of the time they don't feel right to me, this one included. I'm still trying to figure out why, but it could be that mimicking contrapposto by having the statues in a walking motion makes them look too lightweight or aloof to be stone or bronze? And in some cases like your statue, the posture is unbalanced and looks ready to fall forward. The subject matter of the statue also feels arbitrary to me, though I am sure you had your reasons for making it a person with a helmet and trident that I'm unaware of. The nearby spire looks excellent, and I feel as though the statue is trying to steal the show and it just feels a little strange to look at. Despite all the criticism I've thrown at your statue, don't let that get in the way of how much I appreciate the rest of the model!
  2. Overcold

    MOC: The Coral Hotel

    There is a lot to like about this build. It captures the architectural style incredibly well, the form is interesting and uses curved elements to their great potential, and I love the pastel color scheme. The way you handle the plant elements on the interior and exterior is well done. There's enough greenery to get the setting and atmosphere without it being overwhelming or cluttering up the softer colors. I also like the attention to detail, like the use of grille bricks on the left side windows to simulate window blinds, and the wonderfully designed carpet in the lobby that matches the architecture. I'm unsure if the left windows on the upper floors are situated too close to the edge of the building. Perhaps a buffer of a single brick or sideways tile on the left wall would make them feel a little more framed into the building. If you haven't already considered this, I would also like to see some interior on the upper floors too. I wonder if you left them out intentionally so that the large upper floor windows stand on their own rather than having an interior clutter that space when viewing it from the outside? If you are able to extend the interior somehow, I imagine that those rooms would be quite a nice sight. Other than that, I'm unable to find opportunities for improvement. This is one of my favorite builds I've seen from you.
  3. I was thinking that too. Looks like we're getting 3 expert vehicle sets this year. Not that I'm complaining. I don't expect it to be a train, but like many others I would be thrilled if it was. I forget which designer mentioned this in an interview, but I recall that the winter village train from 2017 sold incredibly well because it was something that both train and winter village enthusiasts appreciated. They also hinted that they may attempt a similar approach with another expert franchise such as the modular buildings. (I might be misremembering this, so take it with a grain of salt.). I suspect that if they make a train it will be paired with another set such as a modular train station. carlo.fadel posted a couple pages ago with confidence that it would be an iconic English car. And Technicallism similarly stated it would be a Harley Davidson Motorcycle (supposedly a reliable source). Given that we have had this situation with the Corner Garage being called back in September, I'm just going to blindly guess that one of these two users are correct and if I'm wrong it'll still be an interesting surprise. I'm content enough with that until we get more information.
  4. Overcold

    [MOC] Candy Store

    This is very well designed. Makes me want to go back and finish my own candy store MOC I was making a little while ago. The colors are fantastic, and the micro-builds are impressive. The use of the technic pulley wheel as a lolipop display stand is so simple and mind blowing. The M&M dispenser is fantastic, so is the cotton candy cart. Despite the immense amount of details, the clutter is not overwhelming and makes it easy to keep looking for surprising details.
  5. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    That Creator 3 in 1 modular looks like my favorite design in that series. It has a good sense of playfulness while maintaining a good level of detail packed into a coherent design. I'm sure I'd be excited about it too if I hadn't stopped collecting 3 in 1 sets, but that's a discussion for a later time elsewhere. Meanwhile, on the topic of the Corner Garage, previously I have showered it with praise but I haven't really discussed my thoughts on the criticisms others have had. I can see why people are not as impressed or just don't like it. My opinions have not been swayed, I still proudly enjoy it, though I respect the opinions of those who were left wanting more/something different. Generally, I have seen that to some the facade is comparable to a City set, which I can see. The upper floors rely on the depth of inset windows or an extrusion of a bay window for the main texture, not including the sculptural parts between the floors. The orange bits don't have grooves like the facade of the Pet Shop, or brickwork like the Fire Brigade or Detectives Office. However, it still looks great to me because of the context they're in. The building has huge windows on the front, and the orange bits frame them quite nicely while adding a strong sense of verticality to the design. They're only 1 brick wide each, before being inset. Like the barbershop, or the bits of the Townhouse that do not have the occasional jutting out brick, the lack of texture makes it easy on the eye and, in the case of the CG, accentuate the windows. It doesn't feel cluttered, and the depth still adds good detail with the shadow lines. The asymmetry of how the gas station aligned to the building was another concern I noticed. I get the criticism, but to me I prefer it not only being aligned to the corner of the sidewalk, I also love the asymmetry of the building. There were also some that preferred the height of the canopy to align with the top of the bottom floor. I'm indifferent to this, but It's still really nice to see people changing the set to fit in the town how they want it to. Another one to address is the concern of the veterinarian office over the garage. And yeah, I have to agree with this one. Although I love the juxtaposition of Jo fixing mechanical cars and Jones fixing biological pets above, it is an odd combination. I get that the modulars have always been in this timeless limbo and never took themselves too seriously (like the chef hat in the Fire Brigade or the cookie smuggling), but the layout does raise some concerns over the well being of the pets that could dampen the world building. The lack of tiles is a common disappointment I've seen many share. Even though a tiled version of the interior would look very good, I still agree with the designers decision to show the tan base-plate for the flooring, the tiles would make it seem too clean for me. We have been spoiled with beautiful tile work in the last several sets, but the un-tiled floor still has an occasional place in the series and to me this is one of them. The base-plate could have maybe been dark gray and still worked, though I do like the warmth the tan adds to the interior. At least one person mentioned where the floor meets the diagonal wall on the first floor could be cleaned up with triangle tiles, and I agree with that too. Some feel that the interior is too sparse, well except I think we can all agree that Dr.Jones office is very well furnished. The upper floor apartment is furnished perfectly in my opinion, even that open area is a plus for me for 3 reasons: -It actually isn't that much empty space. -Sweater Guy needs a place other than his bed to play with his model truck, -It's a good place to give the dog room to roll around, beg for food, maybe run around a bit. I feel like the space in the apartment was well respected. The bathroom door probably shouldn't have had a window on it, and the panel makes it sadly obvious that it is an exterior door. Once they release an interior door in that color I'll just modify it. As for the bottom floor, I like the amount of detail. I agree that it would have made the set better if there had been one of those boards on the wall with various tools hung, since it's a classic detail and the bottom floor could utilize the wall space. It doesn't take away much from the set for me, since that red tool cart does a good enough job at adding clutter and it's so amazing looking. The roof terrace could have done with a little table too, but it's only a minor complaint for me. The only complaint I've seen about the play features is the idea that the car lift does not lift high enough off the ground (and that it bumps the cars around). I've seen lifts that lift that amount relative to a mini-figure, though to be fair in real life there are ones that lift up further and people may be more familiar with those. In my gushing review in the Corner Garage topic back in January I did mention that the lift can be a little clunky due to the method it is attached and how the weight of a car pushes down on it. It's a legitimate concern and I can see how it leaves people unsatisfied. It is possible to get it to run smoothly without jostling the car around, but it's delicate and requires a patient ease on the mechanism. I'm happy with it despite this, and find myself fiddling around with both this and the garage door whenever I get the chance to play with it. I'll leave it at this for now. I originally planned on this post being twice as long and covering more design concerns, but I've been typing for an hour straight and I'm sure that if you've read this you need to rest your eyes after I've bombarded them with this long winded post. If a common concern wasn't addressed here, I likely skipped it to get to what I felt were the most important ones.
  6. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I forget which designer said this, but I believe in an interview a while back one of the modular building designers ( or it might have also been from a discussion about the Sydney Opera House set) mentioned how they had to be cautious when handling certain types of modern architecture. From what I remember they stated highly geometric/clean structures tend to not be as impressive in Lego form, that people tend to like when the pieces are used to create more complicated or unexpected shapes and textures. Brutalism for example most likely wouldn't be ideal for the modular line because of this. As for Prairie style, I personally think that it could work if all the elements are handled very carefully. The typical brickwork parts of the facade could allow for interesting texture-work, and they seem to have great footprints and depth variation. Plus the earthy tones of the buildings fits in perfectly with the lineup. The most challenging part for the designer to get the "wow factor" right would probably be the cubist aesthetic, with all those 90 degree angles, which modular buildings have often liked breaking free from. A library or museum fits that category well. One of the items on my future modular wish list is a courthouse and that would also be a great neoclassical opportunity.
  7. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I'd like this architectural style too, it would fit in perfectly with the rest of the line. I like how we have been getting a good variety of architectural styles blended in with more classic styles, everything from Miami-inspired Art Deco to Egyptian Revival. Romanesque-Revival architecture (below) has a lot of variety of form that could create good visual interest, and would be amazing to see this done with modern Lego pieces. Plus gabled dormers are always a for me. Art Nouveau is also always something I would like to see: Some speculation on my part: It's been several years since a building was released with an international style roof, such as in the Pet Shop. That was the laundromat. Other than that we have had two Haussmann style roofs in the Parisian Restaurant and Assembly Square. And all other rooftops have been flat since Jamie began a new era with the Parisian Restaurant. I'm guessing we will be seeing a roof with a pitch of some kind in the near future. If the designers continue the 1950s Americana Art Deco scheme from the previous two and make it a trilogy, I suspect we will be seeing a bowling alley next. I'd buy that in a heartbeat. The police station is pretty much confirmed, having been foreshadowed by the Detective's Office and by Jamie Berard himself. If it is not the next release I suspect it will be within the next 3 years. Given the release schedule of the Town Hall and Palace Cinema around the development of the first Lego Movie, and the release schedule of the Downtown Diner and Corner Garage around the second Lego Movie, it is highly likely that Jamie is the lead designer behind the 2020 modular release. What do you think?
  8. Overcold

    [MOC] Gun Shop Modular

    I like how you handled the masonry for the walls, and I like the weapon selection (the light-sabre is a fun detail). Would it be possible to embed the flag into the wall by half a stud or more? I feel that it has too much depth. I also think that there needs to be something to indicate the change between the wall and the floor, such as using a stripe of another color to represent a baseboard. Other than that the idea is interesting, it's not very common to see a Lego gun shop (from my experience).
  9. Overcold

    10264 Corner Garage

    After building the set myself, I'm very happy with it. Lars puts his architecture skills to great use in this model in my opinion. Looking at the finished set, I notice details such as the use of the arch above the veterinarian's office entrance on the bottom floor, and how that is visually repeated on the three faces of the moulding at the top of the building, which makes the garage segment next to the bottom floor door [that was untouched by the postwar renovation] flow better with the top of the building. The curved tiles at the top center of the moulding also reflect the shape of the Jo's Garage half-tire sign, which is a nice touch. The people behind the modular buildings seem to always have a long discussion and brainstorm process with color schemes. As a result, they have color schemes that work incredibly well. The corner garage is no exception. For me, I love how the sand blue window frames complement the dark orange building, then the white and dark green garage segment helps add some variety while maintaining a competent and rather pleasing color combination. It stands out in a good way. The tow truck is able to transport all the previous vehicles in this franchise; the limo does require the chain to be attached to the front axle, and the other end to the side stud of the tow truck hook. All the vehicles can be repaired in the garage as well, although the fire truck light needs to hinge backwards to fit through the door, and the limo is long enough that the garage door should be kept open when it is inside. All the vehicles can refuel at the gas pump too. The garage door works amazingly, and it's just so much fun to roll it up and down, and up and down. The car lift is a little bit more tricky to use, but I was able to figure out how to more gently lift all the vehicles [without having to stick my hand inside to brace them]. Getting them back down requires a manual override usually, as the weight of the vehicles tend to create a moment force that slightly tilts the mechanism, creating too much friction to lower without a soft nudge. But it still works like a charm and is very fun to use nonetheless. I love the apartment, and it also helped create my favorite photo from the press release [when sweater guy is eating cookie dough and watching TV]. It's a cozy apartment, where the guy wears a comfortable sweater as he eats and cooks comfort food. Like the rest of the set, it has a good atmosphere. The corner garage was able to capture the fifties in a different way than the Downtown Diner. Instead of the rock and roll, the celebrities, and the busy commotion of the gym and kitchen, the garage feels like it slows things down, like all the characters are taking their time to enjoy their work [or just eating cookie dough] and enjoying the summer day by day. The set evokes the occasional industrial noises from the workshop, the smell of fuel, the bark of the dog [who I might name Sparky]. The wheels hanging on the side of the garage also adds to the old time feel, and helps make Jo's Garage feel like a small local business that adds character to the outskirts of the town. It conjures something like nostalgia, and I imagine that this building would look beautiful when lit by the setting sun. The building stands about two bricks higher than the pet shop if I recall correctly, and I'm going to spend this afternoon seeing how it looks with some of the other buildings. It looks like it fits into the town well. I might do a photoshoot later since I've been meaning to get around to that for over a year now anyways. Again I am very happy that the garage and truck are compatible with all of the other vehicles in the series, so now Jim's twin brother can tow whomever he pleases.
  10. Overcold

    10264 Corner Garage

    That is probably the best vehicle in this franchise, and that's saying a lot because I really love the Cadillac. Other than the limo (good concept off-putting execution) , the vehicle design has been improving with each release.
  11. Overcold

    10264 Corner Garage

    After looking at it for some time, I can say that my first impressions hold up just fine. The architecture looks awesome, the use of the curved tiles creates a unique look to the stonework for this building. The large diagonal wall is as beautiful as it is practical, and I like the way that the gas station wraps around some of the ground floor. I'm actually a big fan of the color scheme, which seems to be a divisive factor in this set. The sand blue and orange complement each other really well, and the dark green and white gas station paired with that looks sharp. The one thing that looks off are the seams along the bends of the building where quoins would normally go, but that's a sacrifice for that beautifully angled wall that I'll allow. All those interesting angles and technical details such as the garage door roller are awesome, looks like something Mike had a hand with. I also love the humor in the signage, "by accident we meet"
  12. Overcold

    10264 Corner Garage

    First impression: Amazing! Day one purchase for me.
  13. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I have to completely disagree with this, even though I also love buildings, I love having an occasional car with the sets. I believe that they help build the world that the set and series is meant to represent. They are very much like the minifigures that are included in the sets, as they (like the vehicles) are not buildings or architecture, but entities that populate or stand beside it, and their designs help forward and build the universe this series is set in. The vehicles also make good use of the implied street space, and help with the characters and color balance of the sets. Like the figures, they have purpose and appeal to me. The obvious difference that the vehicles have are the parts that the vehicle potentially takes away from the building. However, the Brick Bank has exactly 100 less pieces than the Downtown Diner, and costs the same (At least in the United States), these sets tend to fluctuate with their piece counts. Not only do they cost the same, but they have very similar levels of detail, perhaps the Diner has even more than the bank. I counted 106 parts in the pink car, and as I can easily see the set dropping those pieces by ditching the vehicle, and while doing so maintain it's level of detail and it's price. Thus I believe that we are only getting more content by having a vehicle, not less. I understand why you and so many others dislike vehicles in the modular line, and I understand that I may be biased in making this point because I enjoy vehicles (not as much as buildings, but still a considerable amount). But at the end of the day, I don't think that a no-vehicle policy holds enough water to be something that the set designers and producers would be swayed by.
  14. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Yep. I think in the video when he talks about the prototypes of the diner, namely the car dealership, he points out the garage door element at the back and mentions how he wants to use that in a future build. All signs point to Mike designing this one.
  15. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Hype! :) I'm excited for the idea of a garage, I actually really enjoy having vehicles to go with my modular buildings on occasion as I've explained in a previous post of mine. I seem to be in the minority when I say that I feel that they don't quite have enough vehicles yet (only three so far), and this one would fix that in my opinion. I hope that it isn't fully two-floored like the PC and BB, since the last corner with a third floor was eight years ago (soon to be nine) with the GE. I doubt that it will have an international style roof that the CC and GG had, despite it being a while since we last saw it (it made a small appearance in the brick bank, but that's it). I've internally predicted that they might do mechanics garage as a corner building since 2012, and I'll be very happy if they have chosen to do that since I've been wanting another garage (the fire brigade is currently lonely in that regard). I'm excited to see the next car as well, believe it or not! Hopefully it has a roof this time!
  16. Overcold

    Winter Village Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I think so. They will probably have an announcement within the next several hours hopefully :) My thoughts on the image: Looking at the exterior image (which is in surprisingly good quality for being a leak), it looks like this one may be one of my favorites of this franchise. I love the idea of a fire station, and the building itself has a good color scheme paired with some great architecture. The staircase up to the second floor seems to lack a railing, but other than that the main structure looks nearly perfect for how a WV fire station in my opinion. The scale of the set also seems to match earlier ones such as the bakery. As much as I love the train station, it felt awkward that unlike other franchises there didn't seem to be a consistent scale. Actually I redact this the train station has become on of my all time favorites since making this post. The accessories around the structure look great too. I actually think the aesthetic of using sideways plates to build up the tree works good in this set, especially the colors (the only thing that seems off is the way it sits on top of the stump. Maybe make the stump shorter to make it feel more balanced?). The fire engine with the ladder is a necessary addition that looks built well enough for what it is (I love that the firemen use the fire truck to help decorate the tree!). The fountain looks nearly perfect, the only thing that seems to be missing is a gray flex hose to connect to the spout. I like that the designers are taking some elements of this set back to the roots of the WV series. To me it feels as though there is a disconnect in the series after the Cottage, the sets that followed the first four. This fire station seems to resemble some of the earlier sets at the general design level while keeping designs and elements endemic to newer sets. This combination of old and new works perfectly, and it's a good direction for the franchise in my opinion. :)
  17. Awesome interviews! As a modular fan I naturally gravitate to the information regarding the buildings, but there is plenty of other information that I was still fascinated by. The parts where Jamie talks about the workflow, atmosphere and collaboration of the designers (such as the Boost Events, the sugar ban, how the designers work together) really provide an extra layer of insight that makes me appreciate the sets in a new unique way. The favorite elements question was also interesting, especially when Jamie promises more interesting new parts in the near future :) . The conversation between you and Jamie about architectural influences in the landmark series, and how that became a discussion about complexity and Jamies experience with the Taj Mahal was a good read as well. With the buildings, I sometimes find myself staring at my (now complete!) modular building collection on a lazy day, trying to figure out some of the backstory or discussions the designers must have had when building the products. So whenever there is insight about anything modular building related I am excited to read that. The fact that the bakery used to be a candy shop and the way they think up characters was some neat information. I was surprised about the sugar-ban backstory of the detectives office, I had always assumed that the sweets were substitutes for alcohol and nothing more. It's nice to see the designers having fun and being inspired by the world around them. I was also surprised to hear that the fire brigade got a substantial amount of flak for shaking things up (similar to the reception of the change of architectural styles in the cinema and diner). I started collecting in 2010 with the grand emporium and green grocer, so I wasn't around for the 2009 reveal. For me, the series had always been a mix of Europe and America, and I never considered that collectors from 2007-2008 would be shocked by the change of setting (and deviation from a 3 floor standard). It gets me thinking as well; I wonder if they will ever experiment with a four floored building? There weren't any questions or segments of the interview that seemed too trivial to be interesting, I was engaged the entire time so I'm pretty sure that means you're doing great. :) I also like that you broke up the segments of text with relevant set images, the formatting helped make it easy and fun to read. Both you and Jamie were excellent.
  18. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    It will likely be some more months before anything substantial is leaked or revealed based on previous years, so for now there's plenty of time to speculate. :) It is very likely that Mike will be the lead designer of, or at least be strongly involved in, the next modular building set development. With this in mind, I have a hunch that the next set we will be seeing is a hotel. With the limited information available, the only lead is what mike said: "we need a hotel." In an attempt to predict the future, I speculate that what Mike said was a teaser for the next set. Since that is the only potential hint, it's possible that I'm completely wrong and I'll have to eat my words. However, that's what I'm rolling with for now. If it is a hotel, there are many architectural avenues that the designers can take. One possibility is a Grand Hotel, which has a lot of different options. Although the architecture could be European, there's also a very strong chance that it will be American based on previous releases, or maybe a mix as we sometimes see. Another idea is something from Las Vegas, which would be unique and an instant buy for me (though I'm not sure if Lego would release a hotel if it was on top of a casino, if their policy of representing gambling in a set is related to how they avoid alcohol). On a related note, some nice hotel staff torsos were just released in a recent Lego City set, and I would love to see those in a modular building.
  19. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    When I saw the children minifigures in the Town Hall set, that's what I figured the magnifying glass was used for other than observing, the set itself doesn't actually show that on the official images so I may have misinterpreted it, but it seemed right enough to me for me to share anyways. I agree with you about the cars/era thing (and you make very good points), I just personally prefer my setup to be early 1900's and focus more on the modular building franchise than a hybrid city layout, which is why I claimed the city vehicles wouldn't match my layout. Looking back at my post I didn't make that clear enough for that specific argument. That isn't to say I don't like other certain city setups; I've seen plenty of awesome layouts that mix and match the city themes (and sometimes other themes too!).
  20. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I'll do a quick summary, I forgot about that. Edit: Done :)
  21. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    Interiors are a necessity for modular buildings, in my opinion. I believe Jamie mentioned somewhere that the reason the Cafe Corner and Market Street were empty was due to higher ups having concerns that they would be too dollhouse like, and therefore not sell as well to the target male audience. Green Grocer was a compromise between the two, and after continued success the Fire Brigade was fully furnished and it has been that way since. I don't think we will ever see an empty shell again and I personally think that's a good thing. Exterior: Recent modular buildings starting with the Parisian Restaurant have had a noticeably reduced scale in favor of a far more complete interior. The scale for me is not a problem, in fact, I really like the diversity instead of everything being 32 studs wide (I even think that the width of Al's Barbershop looks great in my setup too, as long as they don't get thinner than that!). The variety of widths has allowed for multiple buildings in the Detectives office, Brick Bank, and Assembly Square, creating awesome compositions that were not possible before 2015. The heights of the buildings have not suffered much, only being slightly lower if not remaining about the same height as the Cafe Corner, Pet Shop, and Grand Emporium (I can't recall which specific building have what heights off the top of my head yet). The Detective's office portion of the set is two floors tall and the lowest building (other than maybe the covered market). I like that the office is short, for the sake of variety and the composition next to Al's is awesome for that. I'd be concerned and upset if all the buildings started to get that short, but the designs usually have a decent sense of verticality. The post-2013 buildings don't reach the same heights as the Green Grocer or Town Hall, the two largest structures. It would be nice to see something as tall as the grocer in the future, even if it was a 3/4 width building, as it would help my town have an extra touch of height variation. I love the direction Lego has taken, but although I shower the designers with well deserved praise, I would love future buildings to occasionally fit the entire base plate width like old times, perhaps every third or fourth building even. I am concerned that we will not see a newer style design as a full scale building. A newer full width building, even if the price had to take a 10-20 dollar hike for those particular models, would help my layout and the modular building lineup as a whole to feel more well rounded, plus newer post-2013 collectors might also appreciate the extra variety of width that an occasional 32 wide building would provide. Interior: It's no surprise that newer models have more refined interiors. Gone are the single rooms with clutter, as some of the more recent ones feel more like realistic blueprints (The town hall was the first building that I remember being excited about the interior walls and layout, which hadn't really been done since the bottom floor of the grocer). Having studied architecture myself for a period of time, I really appreciate the direction of the interiors. That isn't to say I don't appreciate the older ones, which are still great and mostly hold up over time. The interior details have always been well built, but the newer ones seem to work in harmony in a way that had not been done in the past. Interiors in the pre-2014 buildings often felt underdeveloped to me in a certain way, as if the furniture and props were simply tacked on after the building was finished rather than working together with the building itself. The Grand Emporium looks rather bare, as does the Palace Cinema. Neither of the interiors are bad (though they do have a fair share of flaws), but they don't take advantage of the space in the same way a newer one would. The Brick Bank has a superior interior, I can point at details and designs and talk about it for perhaps hours if there was nothing better to do, like the spare paper, candy, falcon statue, and so on. None of the details feel out of place, and they make the building and inhabitants feel so much more alive. I really enjoy the abundance of detail, plus it helps that I'm the kind of person who constantly looks at the insides and moves the figures around (what fun! ). Story: On a similar note, more details means more story! At first this was a part of my interior discussion, but I decided it would be better to break it up. As far as I have seen, there are two types of stories seen in the modular line: The more common one, which I will call ambient, and the other I would call linear. Pretty much most of the buildings feature an ambient story of some extent. Linear stories are far less common, but can be seen strongly in the Detective's Office. Linear stories for modular buildings have specific plot points and vague ways of how the characters will reach these points, it is LEGO after all, so the story building on the part of the audience is critical for an enjoyable product. In the Detectives office, the linear plot is the strongest showing of the entire line, with specific motives, villains, and a protagonist. Ace Brickman even has a love interest that may or may not be working for the bad guys (the promotional pictures indicate she's a villain), and leaves the specifics up to the audience. For example, Ace Brickman is wooed by the lady in red, she is a distraction and works for the smugglers. The officer could be a secret admirer of Ace, which is why she pities him and helps with the case when the rest of the police department considers Ace to be a fraud and joke. Lots of possibilities there. So that's a 'linear' story. Meanwhile, an ambient story is less about a specific plot structure and more about the mood and interaction of elements. It's pretty much impossible to explain without an example, so here's one: The town hall has a powerful ambient story, in a time where a surplus little details to help the story weren't commonplace. It's a hot summer day, we know this because the boy has an ice lolly and the girl has a magnifying glass to roast ants on the pavement. The beige backyard also indicates heat. The boy is the embodiment of cold, he is wearing cool colors and has a frozen snack. The girl is a fiery redhead, with warm colored palette and the heat magnifying lens. It also could influence their personalities. The clock tower is symbolic of time, with young adults being wedded below. Middle aged and elderly people work in the town hall, resulting in mini-figures from all walks of life. Childhood, marriage, career, and inevitable death, as the bell can be both a wedding and a funeral bell. The Town hall, as a result, is a symbol for the lives of all the citizens in the town, which I find very impressive. There's no specific plot points, there's no villains or heroes, but there is a story. Most modular building have an ambient story to a certain extent, whether it's small ideas or themes that may or may not be explored in detail. The buildings with linear stories have both types, in fact. Brick Bank for example has the bank robbery, plot point and a villain, as well as money laundering. But at the same time the bank has a personality of it's own built through ambient storytelling. The falcon as a symbol of foreboding power, the luxurious windows and fancy black steel on the bench, clock, and windows show wealth. And the painting of the father shows that the bank manager (and by extension the bank) has motives of living up to his father's legacy, a reputation to uphold. A reputation that is jeopardized by the money laundering and robbery. It's a good blend of both story types discussed. I could talk about all those stories forever, such as the dentist above the bakery, but I'll try to keep if brief (not that this post is brief ) I think the point I was getting at is that more details means more opportunity for stories, but I got lost along the way. Oops. Vehicles: I haven't heard many people stand up for vehicles, but I know I do. I love the occasional inclusion of a vehicle, and there's only one that disappoints me: the limo that continues to get flak for seemingly rushed design. The fire station needs a fire truck! And the heavily foreshadowed inevitable police station (just release it already!) will likely have a cop car, which is great! Those are the %100 necessary vehicles, but I also support the limo and the pink car that Mike say isn't a Cadillac, but everyone including him knows it is :) . I said like the inclusion of the limo, but the design is shaky at best though. I wouldn't cut the limo from the set, just simply fix the design a bit. Someone mentioned City vehicles being a stand-in, and I disagree (feel free to do whatever you want with your layouts, I'm simply considering mine at the moment). I don't collect city, it doesn't appeal to me anymore, I grew out of it. Plus, City cars don't match my layout too well, they are modern vehicles whereas the buildings are pre-modern. The vehicles included in the sets match the buildings and layout well, and help imply and use a street space in front of the building. In the case with the Downtown Diner, the car helps with the defining of the era, as cars normally do. The Cadillac is also very well designed, and color balances with the pink neon of the diner. The civilian cars such as the limo and Cadillac also help the modular building lineup feel more lively, which is very useful for my setup. Vehicles are a very important part of the line, and I feel cutting them out for a handful of bricks is a waste. The diner profits far more for using those brick on the vehicle in my opinion, especially since the rest of the set uses the allotted parts in an excellent way. I can understand why some would not like release of a vehicle, but I personally enjoy them very much and would hate to see them go extinct. I do agree with the direction that LEGO designers have taken with the series for the most part. The variety of building forms is better than ever, and the details are simply amazing. The occasional vehicle every 4 years is very welcome for me, I wouldn't even mind if we got 2 sets in a row with vehicles. My only concern at this particular moment with the future of the line is the lack of 32 wide buildings, though it was incredibly enjoyable to see what the designers are capable of once they broke free of that convention. Maybe every 3 or 4 buildings we could see a full 32 wide, for reasons I mentioned in my first paragraph. Thanks for spending a considerable amount of time reading this wall of text about the best LEGO franchise! Summary: I enjoy the more detailed buildings at the expense of the size. The heights are usually on par with the Pet Shop and Cafe Corner, though it would be nice to see Green Grocer height ones once in a while. I would love to see 32 wide buildings cycled into the mix every so often for variety, the width variety of the buildings has been awesome recently. I also enjoy buildings having vehicles every so often, I really enjoy them. :) I also rambled about storytelling in the buildings if you want to read that.
  22. Overcold

    What's your favourite modular building?

    I'm lucky enough to own all of the modular buildings other than Cafe Corner and Market Street, which I plan on getting someday. I've ordered this list with my favorite on top and my least favorite on the bottom. I wouldn't say I dislike any of the buildings, even the ones at the lowest part of my list are fantastic. Assembly Square - After building Assembly Square earlier this month, I've decided that it is very much my favorite set in the series. Visually, I love the composition and visual balance of the buildings, and the colors are well placed and match the individual buildings while creating a beautiful palette when taken in all together. The buildings have great variety, and the narrative of the set is well thought out with both the setting and the minifigs that populate the square. And of course, the building experience is top notch. When I compare this to earlier sets, I quite like that building techniques have gotten more clever (in my opinion) and plentiful as the series built on. Easily the most fun I've ever had building a Lego set. Parisian Restaurant - Simply awesome. Lots of clever details and parts usage. I personally think the more vibrant green and dark blue work well with the atmosphere of the set, and the 3/4 scale of the building adds good variety to my skyline. The direction taken to focus on an ambient narrative and details was a good call, and the extra context adds more to the build, play, and visual display of my collection. Green Grocer - This was the first one I built, so nostalgia is likely playing a part here (I'm able to overlook some flaws like the inconsistent depth of the left quoin and the barren apartment.), nonetheless I still think it's awesome. The clever use of parts blew my mind as I started my modular collection. Detective's Office - There are some problems, such as the limited amount of space to appreciate the Barber Shop mirror. I also wasn't a fan of the story at first, but it grew on me quite a bit, despite its flaws. Ace Brickman is my favorite minifigure from the line, probably because I grew up as fan of detectives in games and shows. The composition of the buildings looks great, and I actually like that they are a bit smaller than usual (looks great in my setup, plus I like the variety). When I built this, the techniques used for the trim and water tower on top of the Detective's Office blew my mind, so clever! Very fun to build, and it looks stunning. Downtown Diner - I'm a sucker for art deco diners. Ever since Palace Cinema released, I realized how much I wanted a modular 1950's diner. I was both surprised and delighted that it happened, plus it had a pink Cadillac-style car, a childhood favorite of mine. Like the AS, the build was filled with so much cunning designs that were super fun to build, filled with lots of great details, from the coffee carafe to the nice touch of the pendant light in the studio (also pancakes and bacon, yes please!). At first I was worried about the proportions of the car, but after building it it looked awesome, my favorite vehicle from the line so far. Also printed faces finally. Not sure about the beige baseplate, If there's a design reason for it, it went over my head. Brick Bank - Although the laundromat looks slightly awkward from the exterior, the rest of the facade is well done. The colors and architecture make it instantly recognizable as a bank. The outer corner has a texture flaw, though like the quoin flaw I can deal with it, not that I'm an advocate of those designs. The interior, as usual starting with the PR, is stunning. I love the bank managers office in particular (did anyone else notice that the portrait foreshadowed face prints?). Speaking of prints, I'm proud of the designers for including the bottom floor window prints. Too bad the cinema didn't, though without that sticker blunder these bank prints probably wouldn't have been made. Fire Brigade - An overall solid building, visually and build-wise. The 1932 sign stood out as one of the most fun complex builds I've built, on par with the water tower in the DO (just as fun, despite being more complex). It's difficult to reach the bottom floor, but the interior detail is good. The fire truck is missing the hose it seems, but other than that it's a good recreation of a 1930's truck (nitpick being the headlights are slightly too low :P). Grand Emporium - As good as the fire brigade for me. My only gripe is that there's only one escalator, forcing minifigures to defenestrate themselves after being inevitably trapped in the toy department. Prototype work Jamie was doing seemed to indicate there was a staircase to go next to the escalator, it was likely cut due to spacing problems, which is too bad. Meanwhile, I love the colors and architecture. The repetitious build of the 2nd and 3rd floor is worth that grand facade in my opinion. Town Hall - At first I jumped on the bandwagon that the facade was too plain, but after building it, the design works quite well for me. My only complaint other than the auditorium feeling squished is that the elevator looks odd and dangerous, though the function works incredible well. There are some clever builds (like that skylight, and the front rooftop trim), but like some of the earlier models it wasn't quite as engaging as later models to build. The display, on the other hand, is impressive. It's not too large, so it doesn't look awkward, but it is larger than other buildings making it look awesome in my layouts. I also enjoy the loose narrative included in the set, pretty clever. Pet Shop - I like how it can be split, and each building looks good by itself or together. It's a decent building experience, with fun callbacks to all the modulars you collected, (or if you're like me you just missed the cafe corner by a couple of months). I wish the townhouse had a fireplace and kitchen sink, but other than that nothing seems to be missing. I like how Jamie captured a cozy neighborhood mood with a fun loose narrative. Cafe Corner - The hotel sign is mirrored when looked at from the wrong side, and as Jamie said: "When you open up the building, you can't help but smile when you look inside and you see that beautiful green carpet." Other than that, it looks great, with some clever parts usage. And I love the color scheme and architecture. I can't say much about the building experience, but it looks substantial. At the moment I'm waiting to see if Lego pull another Taj Mahal and Toy Shop stunt and re-release this, if not I'm probably going to have to be a big spender wherever I can get this. Market Street - As often as I find this set at the base of these kinds of lists, it is still great in my opinion, no hate from me. I quite like the colors, and the Amsterdam architecture with that nice crow stepped gable. The one thing really out of place for me is the flower pot on the sidewalk, which is easy to simply remove. This set also has clever parts usage, such as hair cabbage and those nifty curved railings and stairs. It lacks an interior. I don't have this, from what I've heard the building experience is okay, but not as remarkable as others (which is expected given the intentions of the set design). It's not as impressive as others, but I quite like it. Imma goona get this someday. Palace Cinema - I have some criticisms with this set that have been voiced by many before me: The limo wheel-wells and wheels seem off, the infamous use of stickers (though it did likely allow for new prints later on), and of course windows in the screening room. Other than that, I feel that Jordan and Astrid did an excellent job. The architectural style was something fresh and innovative for a modular building set, and I feel that it worked out just fine, given other entries such as Market Street's Amsterdam influence and Downtown Diner's 1950's Miami vibe. The build was on par with TH other than the stickers. Someday I'm going to try to figure out how to get those stickers permanent or as prints somehow to increase the longevity and durability of the set. This would be higher if it wasn't for the stickers (Which are the bane of me)! This list is kind of fluid, if you asked me next week the order would likely be slightly different.
  23. Overcold

    [PRESS RELEASE] 10260 - Downtown Diner

    I'm all for variety among the modulars to an extent, the extent is lenient relative to other opinions I have seen regarding certain architectural choices and colors (not that there's anything wrong with preference of course). I'm one of the people that loves this set. Ever since the Palace Cinema, a 1950's diner in this style was on my mental wish-list of future buildings, and I'm pleasantly surprised they went for it. Ever since the Parisian Restaurant released, I feel that the amount of detail put into the buildings have been nothing less of excellent. This set continues what I feel was a positive development to the series, the set is glowing with detail and style (I love those circular windows at the side of the recording studio, never seen that done before!). My only complaint is that the pink Cadillac (pink Cadillac's were my favorite vehicle when I was a little kid) is a little too short/ out of proportion somehow, those cars irl are like boats (maybe I'm thinking of the wrong model)! I still love that car and will still display it as is, nonetheless. The colors are off in the pictures as mentioned, the actual colors look better and do not bother me at all. I love pink when used right, and I feel it is more than justified in this set, given the architecture, era, etc. I love the pancakes and bacon, the interior of this set reminds me of a diner I used to frequent when I was younger (It was a themed place, I'm not actually old enough to remember the 50's ). There's so much more to talk about, but it would likely be more of the same (me rambling about what I like for 15 more paragraphs). I'm optimistic about modulars in general, especially the recent ones, maybe it's some bias I have towards the newer design choices. What's important to me is that I can honestly say that I am excited to add this to my collection. Great job to whoever designed this set! @ukblock, I agree! Now you're getting me excited to rearrange my table. :)
  24. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    For me it read as being in the 30s-50s. The art deco seems to be inspired from around then and the carhop minifigure (that skater waitress) seems to be in that era as well. Grand Emporium also seemed to be post 30s, in paticular the outfit the kid with the sideways cap wears.
  25. Overcold

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    The lamp to the left is from Assembly Square (probably).