Brick & Mortimer

Eurobricks Citizen
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About Brick & Mortimer

  • Birthday 03/29/1982

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    Mostly at the banks of the Dijle river.

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    Belgium

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  1. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    First of all, I would like to apologize for the loooooong wait. I did not lose interest in this project. I want to see my modulars as buildings, not as bags of plastic bricks, stacked away in a box RL hasn’t given me a lot of free time, not to build, and surely not to write a decent post after building. “Not a lot of free time” is a slight understatement by the way… These last weeks have given me for various reasons barely a spare minute, not only to rebuild my modulars. Anyway, I’ld like to continue this rebuilding project with Grand Emporium When I First heard the rumors that the fifth modular was going to be a department store, I really liked the idea. Finally my minifigs had a greater choice of local businesses than a pizza restaurant and a gas station Traditional pre- and post-cleaning shots 10211_001 by brick_mortimer 10211_002 by brick_mortimer 10211_003 by brick_mortimer The pattern on the sidewalk is sure to make you stop, and might get you to windowshop, and maybe even draw you in to buy stuff. Nice touch, and again no boring sidewalk. The details continue with the changing room 10211_004 by brick_mortimer The shelves are nicely done, but I guess they are used only for display, because my minifigs have trouble reaching these shelves 10211_005 by brick_mortimer The Grand Emporium is a shop for well-to-do minifigs. Apart from the perfumes, the use of burgundy for the displays ‘shows’ the luxury. There’s even jewelry for sale under the cash register. 10211_006 by brick_mortimer 10211_007 by brick_mortimer The mannequins are made recognizable the easiest way possible: don’t show the faces. Genius! 10211_008 by brick_mortimer 10211_009 by brick_mortimer The awning is done very nicely, and again shows luxury Design-wise, Grand Emporium is doing nice so far, but… … it comes with a price: 10211_010 by brick_mortimer In this picture you see 68 fracking headlightbricks. … Yes that’s NOT a typo. I do mean 68 (!) headlightbricks, together with 64 bley ‘curved top’ bricks, 32 plates, 28 tiles, 4 jumper plates, 4 cheese bricks and 4 round lights. These piles of assorted bricks are used to build the four columns next to the shop windows. 10211_011 by brick_mortimer I timed it and it takes almost 11 minutes to assemble, even with an efficient, structured ‘method’. That’s not counting the time it takes to search and gather the 68 headlichtbricks, the 64 etc… You may disagree, but to me this kind of ‘headlichtbrick-diarrhea’ is so fracking boring and repetitive… Okay, off to more interesting things, like the revolving doors: 10211_012 by brick_mortimer 10211_013 by brick_mortimer Odd designer choice… can somebody explain to me why we use a 1x1 tile instead of a 1x1 plate? 10211_014 by brick_mortimer The escalator is instantly recognizable and in my opinion very beautifully designed. It’s a pity there’s no second escalator going the other way, but this would have left very little room in the shop. “Shop” sign, brick-built, nice , ‘nuff said: 10211_015 by brick_mortimer 10211_016 by brick_mortimer This is what the ground floor looks like when it’s finished. It may look a bit bare, but more interior might be too much ‘clutter’ On to the first floor! 10211_017 by brick_mortimer I like the use of grilled bricks to give some texture and extra details to the walls. I’m a sucker for small touches like this 10211_018 by brick_mortimer The baluster with the glass bricks is very nice and fits with the art deco vibe I get from Grand Emporium. This time we need 30 ‘log’ bricks to make 10 pilars of three bricks each. Not very exciting. 10211_019 by brick_mortimer 10211_020 by brick_mortimer Offsetting the windows behind the pillars gives a nice effect. But building 19 identical windows is, again, not very exciting. 10211_021 by brick_mortimer 10211_022 by brick_mortimer Let’s finish with a top-down view of the first floor: 10211_023 by brick_mortimer Not very much to see really. But again, more will probably give a cluttered look On to the second floor. Which is basically the same as the first floor… Not everything is the same. The chandelier above the escalator is very impressive 10211_024 by brick_mortimer 10211_025 by brick_mortimer And a top-down view of the second floor, which apparently is the toy department 10211_026 by brick_mortimer The roof features a very, very large skylight. 10211_027 by brick_mortimer 10211_028 by brick_mortimer The billboard is an eye catcher. As it should 10211_029 by brick_mortimer The classic Fabuland flower returns as an ornament 10211_030 by brick_mortimer The wide Prince of Persia arches as corbels are elegant and fit well with the rest of the building. Conclusion The overall design of the Grand Emporium is very beautiful. 10211_031 by brick_mortimer It’s a tall, impressive building and the billboard even makes it bigger. The combination of sober and dignified look with subtle texture (like the ‘log’ bricks for the pillars and the corbels) gives the impression of an expensive store. The backside on the other hand is not very impressive. But then again, what did you expect? 10211_032 by brick_mortimer 10211_033 by brick_mortimer This picture at ‘street level’ is in my opinion one of the nicest views of the Grand Emporium. The interior seems bare, but I think a more full interior would be too cluttered. Yet in its ‘minimalistic’ implementation it manages to contain things as a changing room and an impressive chandelier. I can even understand the single escalator; Adding a second escalator going the other way would leave no room for the merchandize. But… Apart from the design, Grand Emporium is not very exciting: It lacks special / advanced building techniques. With some effort, the revolving door can be considered as an advanced building technique. Although in my opinion the used techniques aren’t really special. But, the biggest negative point of Grand Emporium is it’s repetitiveness. Dear Lawd! are we talking about a boring built. It starts with the 68 headlightbricks and friends (see picture 010). On the first floor we have our 30 ‘log’ bricks and 19 identical windows. When the ground floor and the first floor are finally finished, you start building the second floor... ... ...Which is fracking identical(!) to the not so exciting first floor All in all, Grand Emporium is the most disappointing modular so far in this rebuilding project. Ironically, the only modular of which I have two copies is Grand Emporium. The main reason I bought two copies is to solve the one-way escalator Again, my apologies for the long wait (I just realise that the last reply on this thread was over a month ago ) RL has hardly given me any spare time. On top of that, my copy of Ecto-1 arrived a couple of days ago, and I’m itching to start building it: Who you gonna call? (Ghostbusters!) Therefore I won’t make any promises or predictions as to when I’ll post the rebuilding of Pet Shop. I can only say I’ll do it A.Q.AP. coo, coo? As Quick As Possible!* *The first to guess this obscure movie reference of the day ™ wins! Fire Brigade always was a favourite of mine as well. (and still is after rebuilding it) I did add the cat from GG so the firemen had something to do I was very lucky to get out of my dark age at the time only Café Corner, Market Street and Green Grocer were released. When I wanted to buy these expensive* sets my girlfriend was a little sceptic, (when she helped me with Café Corner, she was sold ), but I'm glad I bought them anyway. * Café Corner was then about 130 EUR if I'm not mistaken. Today no one would think twice if they found a copy of CC for 130 EUR... Well, you can always dismantle them, clean theam and start all over Evidently I don't have a lot of time on my hands, looking at the pace of this thread Yep, the techniques used in the modulars (or at least most of them ) were an eye opener; I never realised you could do these things with LEGO Rebuilding the modulars is indeed a daunting task. But I must say I'm really having fun. Spending a spare afternoon with a modular, just you and your bricks, can be sooooo relaxing.
  2. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    Fire Brigade Pre and post cleaning 10197_001 by brick_mortimer 10197_002 by brick_mortimer Again we get a huge pile of light bley bricks, even more than Green Grocer (see minifig for reference). We start by building the fire-engine. Fire Brigade is the first modular with a vehicle. But then again, a fire station without a fire truck would be a bit ridiculous. Building the truck starts off with putting plates on top of each other, but soon enough we get some interesting techniques: To create the rear lights we put together a tile, a clip-plate and a round light 10197_003 by brick_mortimer Which are clipped to the back of the truck like this 10197_004 by brick_mortimer It might be complicated, but it fits with the style of an old-timer fire-engine. 10197_005 by brick_mortimer Next we have the ladder made with two tiles and light saber hilts which again fits with the style of a 1930’s fire-engine 10197_006 by brick_mortimer This is the end result: 10197_007 by brick_mortimer Is this an accurate recreation of a 1930’s fire-engine? According to your friendly local search engine it is. (in case the link doesn't work, just search for pictures with 1930's fire engine as keywords (no quotation marks necessary)) Next we start with the actual building. 10197_008 by brick_mortimer Almost all Lego fire stations have 2 engine bays. And since Lego releases a new fire station like clockwork, almost everybody owns at least one. On the pavement it says “3”, voila, your third engine bay Other sources say that “3” is a reference to the fact that Fire Brigade is Jamie’s third modular . Either way, it’s nice to see that no modular has a bland ‘tiles-only’ pavement. The build is smooth with mostly bricks, but occasionally Jamie gives us a nice building technique: 10197_009 by brick_mortimer You put a frog on jumper plate, put the jumper plate on the wall and we have a nice rack to hang the fire helmets. An engine bay might not be very exciting, but Fire Brigade solves this by putting tools on the left-hand side and the fire gear / dressing room on the right-hand side. 10197_010 by brick_mortimer 10197_011 by brick_mortimer The gate is very high (again see minifig for reference). I like the dark tan tiles that give texture to the front wall. 10197_012 by brick_mortimer Fire Brigade uses jumper plates to offset the front door and window. 10197_013 by brick_mortimer This results in a frame around the door and window for extra texture and extra realism. 10197_014 by brick_mortimer 10197_015 by brick_mortimer (again, take a look at the dark tan tiles used to enhance the look of the front wall). Fire Brigade continuous with more advanced building techniques to create the covering on top of the gate. First we place these hooks: 10197_016 by brick_mortimer Then we built this: 10197_017 by brick_mortimer Which we put upside down in the hooks 10197_018 by brick_mortimer To end up with this: 10197_019 by brick_mortimer Above the gate we mount an ordinary window sideways to create a window that is impossible to built in an ordinary way with ordinary windows. 10197_020 by brick_mortimer To finish the façade we have the symbols of the fire department 10197_021 by brick_mortimer The last thing to hang at the façade is a brick-built flag: 10197_022 by brick_mortimer I remember some people being upset about this flag because it looks suspiciously like the Stars and Stripes. Therefore Fire Brigade would be the first modular to be ‘firmly’ placed in a certain country. Personally I’m not bothered with the flag, basically because it’s brick-built and I like all things brick-built Okay, let’s finish the ground floor with a top-down look at the engine bay, the dressing room and off course the fireman’s pole. 10197_023 by brick_mortimer The back side has an extension with a gate opening up on a courtyard. 10197_024 by brick_mortimer The extension makes the back side a little bit more interesting 10197_025 by brick_mortimer At the front of the building we have a small and pitiful tree. To me, this tree is a bit redundant and silly. I know firemen are supposed to get cats out of trees, but no cat is included in Fire Brigade. One of the most recognisable parts of the Fire Brigade is the dark red façade with the big dark red “bricks”. By putting these bricks together 10197_026 by brick_mortimer 10197_027 by brick_mortimer You get this in the end 10197_028 by brick_mortimer Fire Brigade has a lot of furniture: A cabinet: 10197_029 by brick_mortimer A couch: 10197_030 by brick_mortimer A really cool fridge (no pun intended ): 10197_031 by brick_mortimer A ping pong table: 10197_032 by brick_mortimer And a small kitchen: 10197_033 by brick_mortimer Again, Fire Brigade shows us an advanced building technique: 10197_034 by brick_mortimer Which is then turned upside down to create the ornament above the windows: 10197_035 by brick_mortimer 10197_036 by brick_mortimer I like the look of the windows at the back, it fits with the architectural, semi-industrial, style. The same style of windows is also used in old school buildings. Let’s finish this floor with a top down view of the living quarters 10197_037 by brick_mortimer The top part of the Fire Brigade is the roof with an elaborate cornice. Jamie keeps showing us advanced techniques with the “1932” on top of the building 10197_038 by brick_mortimer 10197_039 by brick_mortimer 1932 refers to the year when Lego company was founded by Ole Kirk Christiansen. The corbels are also done in a clever way: 10197_040 by brick_mortimer 10197_041 by brick_mortimer I like the clever way to create the barrel on the roof with two washtubs. 10197_042 by brick_mortimer The bell in the tower is brickbuilt! 10197_043 by brick_mortimer Conclusion 10197_044 by brick_mortimer Fire Brigade is a boxlike building. But then again, a lot of RL buildings (especially civic buildings) are stone or concrete boxes. I like the ‘straight’ symmetrical look of the building. The dark tan tiles on the front wall, the fire helmets and the big “bricks” give texture to the wall. On top of that (literally), Fire Brigade has a beautiful cornice with nice corbels and off course the “1932”. The bell tower gives it an almost delicate finishing touch. I honestly like the ‘rugged’ beauty of the Fire Brigade (even with the silly little tree), maybe even more after building it a second time. Another very nice part of the design is all the furniture, especially the fridge and the ping pong table Most of what we call ‘advanced building techniques’ in the modulars are innovative ways to put bricks together in order to create a fancy feature (for example the bay window of Green Grocer), but the bricks are stacked together in the conventional way (i.e. with studs facing up). A ‘truly’ advanced building technique is putting together bricks in an unexpected way to create marvelous (‘impossible’?) features and effects. Fire Brigade is heaven if you love ‘truly’ advanced building techniques (If I would show how cleverly the fridge was built, this post would even be more picture heavy) Fire Brigade didn’t feature any boring or repetitive steps (even the “brick” façade of the first floor is mostly put together in only three steps), but it was a bit tedious. The reason it was, was the fact there are only two floors. The ground floor has a height of no less than 15 rows. Which means you’re still building the same ground floor by the time you’re normally building the first floor of another modular. In the end I still had a lot of fun, especially with the advanced techniques that remained interesting. If Green Grocer set the bar for architectural design and interior, Fire Brigade showed us the modular-as source-of-fancy-building-techniques (without cutting back on the design) If you don’t like tall buildings: leave out a floor 10197_045 by brick_mortimer Replies Green Grocer probably is the best modular, but it's hard to say for sure with all the other beautiful buildings Indeed, see the post above The different look of Market Street makes it stand out against the other modulars (for good or worst), but I like the set a lot. Therefore I understand the people who aren't thrilled about Market Street. Indeed, I believe the overall aesthetics are the 'secret' to the popularity of Green Grocer. Everything just 'fits' together. Oh yeah, Pet Shop and Parisian Restaurant aren't the biggest modulars in terms of size, but they score big in terms of aesthetics. Hopefully I'll be looking at Pet Shop very soon Anyway, this thread is not about Market Street alone, so I'm no longer going to 'defend' Market Street or react to posts about that set. I've made my 'case' in the post about Market Street, and you can't argue about taste. You're welcome! I'm glad people having fun reading this thread. I'll try to keep up the tempo, and maybe I can finish building Grand Emporium tomorrow. Writing the post will take some time, because I foresee busy days in RL
  3. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    Green Grocer Green Grocer is easily one of the most beloved modulars. How will this fan favourite stand up to a rebuilt? warning: picture heavy post Pre cleaning picture 10185_001 by brick_mortimer and post cleaning 10185_002 by brick_mortimer I immediately of noticed the huge pile of light bley (see minifig for reference). Which struck me as odd because if I think about the Green Grocer I, well, think of green instead of grey . After the first few steps of the instruction you have tiled most of the baseplate. This is an easy job thanks to the now abundant brickseperators. 10185_003 by brick_mortimer It may seem tedious to lay down all these tiles, but in between 'tiling-steps' the instructions start out with the foundation of the walls. The combination of colours in the tiling of the shop floor and the passageway is very beautiful. Construction flows nicely and soon you have to build one of the first little gems that make up the shop: 10185_004 by brick_mortimer 10185_005 by brick_mortimer The thing I like most is the fact that there’s detailing on the back side of the cash register, invisible if you look in the shop through the front windows. Such attention to detail is something I like a lot. 10185_006 by brick_mortimer I absolutely love the big freezer / cooling unit. Even without stickers or printed tiles you can ‘identify’ some products. On the bottom right shelf you have orange juice and grape juice (or maybe it’s milk?). The bright red cans on the top left shelve might be coca cola and there’s Dr Pepper on the second left shelf. On the other hand, it could easily be something else and I ‘see’ soft drinks because I’m thirsty right now... * off to the fridge to get me a drink * Anyway, whether it’s a freezer full of soft drinks or canned food or something else entirely, it’s an eye catcher and it’s fun to see the freezer come together with each step of the instruction. Green Grocer does not suffer from 'headlight-brick-diarrhea'. You only need a big bunch of headlightbricks once, and that’s it! 10185_007 by brick_mortimer The finished shop is gorgeous! I’ll walk you through: 10185_008 by brick_mortimer 10185_009 by brick_mortimer 10185_010 by brick_mortimer 10185_011 by brick_mortimer The passageway to the back yard and the entrance to the apartment upstairs is done in a sober way. But, this doesn’t mean it’s bland. 10185_012 by brick_mortimer The mailboxes are typical of an apartment hallway, although I wonder why there are four One for the store, one for the apartment upstairs is two. Maybe the two others are for neighbouring buildings...? 10185_013 by brick_mortimer At night two lamps on each side of the hallway help you find your way. These lamps are built in a very original way. If I’m not mistaken Jamie once said in a (designer) video that inventing new ways to make lamps is one of his’ hobbies. He likes to keep a lot of small bricks and pieces in his desk to tinker with and create new lamps. While a lot of attention goes to the front of the building, the backside also has some details like lamps, texture in the wall by using dark bley bricks, the climbing plant or the grille for the freezer. 10185_014 by brick_mortimer 10185_015 by brick_mortimer 10185_016 by brick_mortimer I like the way the awning is done. Just adding a plate to each blue brick creates a much more lively picture 10185_017 by brick_mortimer I’ll finish talking about the ground floor with a top down picture of the store. 10185_018 by brick_mortimer 10185_019 by brick_mortimer What’s this? I wonder what the Lego Health Inspection Office would do if they discovered this unwanted guest. 10185_020 by brick_mortimer The Green Grocers big bay window is striking feature that dominates the entire right hand side of the building. The way it all fits together firmly in a system based on simple hinges shows Lego as an incredible versatile toy. 10185_021 by brick_mortimer I’ve taken this picture because it shows how the balusters of the first floor balconies reflect the style (or the architectural ‘feel’) of the entire building. The combination of the ‘hard’ straight-edged tops and the ‘soft’ rounded bricks is something that comes back in other parts of the building. Talking about balusters: 10185_022 by brick_mortimer using wineglasses as the ‘fence’: genius! 10185_023 by brick_mortimer 10185_024 by brick_mortimer The first floor doesn’t have many interior details. But I must say that adding simple things like curtains and a fireplace give it at least some ‘substance’ Green Grocer wouldn’t be the legendary set it is now if it contained a fully, over-the-top furnished ground floor and two completely empty top floors. The outside is not forgotten if we talk about nice detailing, but it never feels like it’s too much: 10185_025 by brick_mortimer The fire escape Let me start by answering an important question to which the answer is “yes”. the question: “Is it possible to get excited about a fire escape?” I wanted to cover Green Grocer floor by floor. But when I was selecting the pictures I realized that it would do injustice to a feature that wowed me even before I had bought and built the set for the first time. Therefore I present a short collection of pictures about the fire escape, a very realistic (re)creation in plastic of the real life object. 10185_026 by brick_mortimer 10185_027 by brick_mortimer 10185_028 by brick_mortimer 10185_029 by brick_mortimer 10185_030 by brick_mortimer Okay, on to the second floor. Again we have the wineglass baluster: 10185_031 by brick_mortimer The second floor has another realistic recreation: the radiator is instantly recognizable. As with many things, it’s the simplicity of the design that makes it great. 10185_032 by brick_mortimer 10185_033 by brick_mortimer Apart from the radiator and the rug we have a grandfather clock. You must imagine the glass door, but there is a pendulum; never imagined a paddle could be used as a pendulum… 10185_034 by brick_mortimer Another hidden guest: 10185_035 by brick_mortimer Hurry and catch that mouse before the Health Inspection shows up! 10185_036 by brick_mortimer The roof on top of the tower of Café Corner was done nicely. This is the next generation Up until the release of Green Grocer we humble Lego ‘simpletons’ just saw the hammer as a tool. Now we know it can be used as a railing. Yep, think outside the box. 10185_037 by brick_mortimer 10185_038 by brick_mortimer To relax after a busy day you can use the roof terrace on the backside, nicely sheltered from the traffic and noises from the street. 10185_039 by brick_mortimer 10185_040 by brick_mortimer The bright red brick-built barbecue might be in contrast with the soft subdued colours used throughout the building, but again it makes it more realistic in my opinion. Conclusion The design of the building in general feels well rounded and balanced and is aesthetically very pleasing. Every aspect of the Green Grocer fits together as a whole (even the design of the balconies) and nothing clashes, design-wise or colour-wise, unlike Café Corner where the floors are more distinguished from each other. 10185_041 by brick_mortimer The presence of an interior of course, is the main difference with Café Corner and Market Street. The shop is fully stocked, yet does not feel cramped. Putting together many brightly coloured bricks to create the store is very enjoyable and adds a level to the building experience. Green Grocer has many innovative /advanced building techniques: the bay window, the fire escape, the pendulum of the grandfather clock, the use of hammers for a railing… Nothing in the build felt repetitive. There's never a dull moment when you build the Green Grocer. Set on the ‘evolutionary scale of modular buildings’, Green Grocer represents almost a quantum leap compared to the two previous sets. If Café Corner and Market Street are the pioneering 'wire-and-fabric-contraptions' used by the Wright Brothers, Green Grocer almost feels like a jet plane. I didn’t think it was possible, but building the Green Grocer a second time felt like more fun than the first time. So there you have it ladies and gentlemen, the general conclusion after rebuilding: tear down your copy of Green Grocer and start rebuilding, you won’t regret it! 10185_042 by brick_mortimer Replies Indeed, now that you mention it. Market Street was advertised next to the other modulars, I totally forgot about this. Anybody who wants to argue Market Street out of the modular series will have to come up with some solid arguments I don't know if you own Market Street or if you've just seen pictures of the set, because in RL it (or at least the colourcombination) looks much better. But even if you own Market Street, you're not alone in your opinion about this set, and that's OK; like I said: de gustibus et coloribus...
  4. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    Market Street The second modular is a special case. It’s the only one that’s (mostly?) designed by a Lego fan. The late Eric Brok, a Dutch AFOL, designed Market Street and sadly passed away shortly after it was released. Eric Brok started one of the first ever Lego websites in 1996. Unfortunately his website is no longer online. In my opinion, Market Street is without a single doubt part of the modular buildings. I know some people disagree with me, but please, allow me to ‘make my case’. Like a certain well known ventriloquist I’m going to argue with myself * Market Street is a modular building because it’s built according to a modular building standards so it fits with all other modular buildings. The floors are removable, just like every other modular building. Yeah, Market Street is obviously not a modular: it says “factory” on the box. * True, but “factory” is just a branding. Since Palace Cinema the modular houses are branded as “creator”, and nobody calls the regular creator houses modular. Yeah, It’s not a whole building, it’s just two separate parts. * What about the Pet Shop?... Yeah, it’s not a modular building because it has so few pieces * Well, if you’re going to include the number of pieces a part of the definition of a modular building, what’s going to be your ‘minimum’ amount of bricks? 2056, The number of bricks of Café Corner? If that’s the case, Pet Shop isn’t a modular either because it has 2032 pieces… Yeah, it’s not a modular building because the minifigs don’t have the classic smiley face * True, Market Street is the only modular building with no classic smiley faces ( ). But we must remember that at the time Market Street was released only 50 % of the modular buildings came with a . I don’t think the tradition to use in modular buildings was established when (or before) Café Corner came out. Only after Green Grocer came out the use of the was confirmed. Yeah, you can prove anything with statistics * Well it’s part of Jamie’s mini modulars. … So to me, even with the lack of , Market Street is a modular building. Albeit a small one and often seen as the ugly duckling of the series. On to the rebuilding: Pre-cleaning picture 10190_001 by brick_mortimer and after-cleaning picture 10190_002 by brick_mortimer We start by building the ‘market’ and one of the things I still like is the fact that the pavement is a bit ‘livelier’ with the use of plates and tan tiles to create a cobbled effect. 10190_003 by brick_mortimer I also like the use of the round tile with the grill pattern as a manhole cover. It’s a pity it’s not used in other modulars. It may be hard to see in a picture, but I really like the combination of light tan and navy blue. Both colours really go well together. 10190_004 by brick_mortimer 10190_005 by brick_mortimer On top of the gate we have a wrought iron ornament which I think is well done with the parts used. I’m sure it’s possible to make a better wrought iron effect with other parts, but it’s still instantly recognizable. 10190_006 by brick_mortimer The chimney fan is also instantly recognizable, although I wonder what the chimney is connected to. This is sort of a redundant part of the ‘market’. I know it makes the roof look less bland and boring, but I don’t see the point of the chimney. I really like the detailing of the façade, even if part of it is hidden by the ornament 10190_007 by brick_mortimer Next up is a house and it starts off with a simple but cool way to build the stairs: This 10190_008 by brick_mortimer becomes this 10190_009 by brick_mortimer The curved stairs are done in a simple but effective and sturdy way. The general look of the building with the crow-stepped gable places Market Street almost anywhere in the Low Countries. The curved steps place it firmly in the Netherlands / Amsterdam. Market Street has only one major design flaw: the awning. It features a 5-wide awning in two parts: 10190_010 by brick_mortimer Which is then attached to the building on two separate hinges which makes it very difficult to align the two parts of the awning: 10190_011 by brick_mortimer This can be resolved by connecting the two parts with plates. It’s not advanced modding, but it’s a shame one has to mod a set to offset a design flaw. The next floor of the building provides another clue that origins of Market Street lie in the Netherlands. To me the rolled up awnings are typically Dutch, and it’s a nice touch. 10190_012 by brick_mortimer 10190_013 by brick_mortimer This picture illustrates something that struck to me during this rebuilt. Compared to other modulars many steps in the manual consist of just stacking plain old bricks on top of each other. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, Lego is a construction toy and stacking bricks is part of the game. But while I was building, I slowly came to realize I was looking forward to the steps that called out for nothing but a lot of plain old bricks. I found a joy in these simple acts of stacking plastic bricks on one another: a return to childhood maybe? Owkay…, on to the next thing of note. 10190_014 by brick_mortimer The illusion of wrought iron is created again with the design of the baluster. I like the inventive use of tubes / hozes. 10190_015 by brick_mortimer The terrace hidden by the façade really feels like a private ‘retreat’ from the busy city life. 10190_016 by brick_mortimer When the set is completed most of the attention goes to the main building; I really like the use of the lions head, it gives the building an authentic touch. Many medieval buildings had a name in order to identify them. In times when most people were illiterate buildings had some sort of statue or symbol to show their name. So I guess you can call Market Street ‘House The Lion’. It’s difficult to see if you just look at the pictures, but the colours go together very well in RL. The tan, the navy blue and the light blue mix really good. Throw in some light bley accents where the paint peeled off and you get a nice whole. 10190_017 by brick_mortimer And now to show you the floors of Market Street are easily interchangeable: 10190_018 by brick_mortimer Switch the balcony, the flag and the croissant and you can switch both floors 10190_019 by brick_mortimer Somehow I like it better with the dark blue floor in the middle. Phew…, such a long post for such a small building... Conclusion Coming from a country where this kind of building style is quite common in older cities, I can say the design is rather realistic. The colour scheme is not quite realistic, but the chosen colours go together very well. Market Street doesn’t use any advanced building techniques, apart from the curved stairs. The design of the 5-wide awning is sloppy. It may be my fault, but I find it difficult to align both parts. The building experience is not boring with no repetitive steps. On the other hand, it’s not really exciting either. Stacking bricks may bring back childhood memories, but it’s a bit lacking for a modular building. So, all in all to me the design is very nice, but Market Street is lacking in fancy building techniques and the building experience is not really exciting. I want to finish by apologizing for keeping you waiting for this post. I’ve come to the realization that it’s not the cleaning or the building or even writing these posts is the most time consuming. It’s the drying that takes up a lot of time. Because of the feline mistress of the house (all you cat ’owners’ know what I’m talking about) I have to lay out the bricks in locked up room and due to space constraints I can only lay out the wet bricks of a single building at a time. On top of that, RL has been a female dog these last weeks. It’s incredibly busy at work and when I come home at night I hardly had the energy to fire up the laptop. Thanks again for your patience, I’ll try to speed up this project.
  5. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    Café Corner The best way to start is at the beginning. Café Corner was the very first modular, the one who started the "craze". It was a try-out to see if people would buy these (expensive) sets. Café Corner was also my first modular and to me this set screams nostalgia. Let's see if it's still as awesome as it was in january 2009 when I put the first of over 2.000 pieces together. Bagged and ready to clean: 10182_001 by brick_mortimer After cleaning: 10182_002 by brick_mortimer Look at all that juicy plastic! A thing we have come to take for granted in the modular houses is the pavement. I remember building Café Corner for the first time and thinking how cool it was that this building has a pavement. During rebuilding I had the feeling a veteran of modular sets will surely understand: "So many fracking tiles...". But, you are rewarded with a nice easter egg after putting down 70 1x1 tiles and 10 1x1 plates: 10182_003 by brick_mortimer It's somewhat tiresome and a bit repetitive, but the easter egg is a nice reward. The next surprise is the diagonal corner. To me the technique was totally new and I loved it! On the one hand it's so obvious how Jamie Berard did it, but it's the simplicity of the technique that adds to the beauty. 10182_004 by brick_mortimer Café Corner has no interior. But I don't think it would be fair to judge this set by the lack of an interior. Remember, at that time Green Grocer didn't exist yet. Jamie tried to mitigate this by giving Café Corner a colourful interior: 10182_005 by brick_mortimer When I look at the first floor, I still like the fact that the combination of a few well selected light bley and dark bley bricks give a nice realistic wall texture: 10182_006 by brick_mortimer Selecting bricks that go well together is a nice design, but using those bricks in a new way is a cool technique: 10182_007 by brick_mortimer It's a bit clumsy to put together (or is that just me ), but the result is veeeeerry nice. A few steps later Jamie gives us new way to use skis: 10182_008 by brick_mortimer I still love it! The part of Café Corner that impressed me a lot the first time still amazes me now: This bunch of bricks and plates 10182_009 by brick_mortimer turns into this: 10182_010 by brick_mortimer. The hotel sign is a true eyecatcher. People who visit us for the first time admire the sign. And when I tell them it's "handmade" from bricks they find it sometimes hard to believe . On the whole Café Corner is not a really repetitive build, except for this part: 10182_011 by brick_mortimer Having to connect 60 headlightbricks and 30 2x1 plates is repetitive and boring. Café Corner show you what you can do with the "lowly" jumper plate: 10182_012 by brick_mortimer When I was rebuilding this set I really liked the design of the roof. 10182_013 by brick_mortimer In combination with the windows, the roof has a Parisian feel to me: 10182_014 by brick_mortimer Conclusion Café Corner holds up well after a rebuild. The colours, the nice use of different bricks combine into a very beautiful overall design. I still love building techniques like the hotel sign, the bricks above the side door and the diagonal corner. All in all was the build was not really repetitive. The finished set in all its glory: 10182_015 by brick_mortimer I'm only going to compare "my" modulars to see if they hold up after a rebuild. I wasn' really planning on grading them. I find it really hard to do . Don't worry about Market Street, to me it's part of the modular houses and I plan on explaining why when I get to cleaning the set. Thanks for your support and I'll edit the introduction so the (lack of) grading is clear.
  6. Brick & Mortimer

    Modular Rebuilding Project

    In the lego community, the modular buildings are held in awe. For most AFOLS, they represent a high point in all the sets TLG has released. Rumors about the new modular building are eagerly followed by the fans. These sets even made their (previously anonymous) designers into a sort of celebrities. A couple of months ago my girlfriend and I moved to a new, bigger, apartment. When we were packing I decided to tear down my modulars in order to clean them from dust etc. Now I’ve finally found the time to start cleaning and rebuilding. And I’d like to use this opportunity to see if the modulars hold to their reputation. Hence this rebuilding project. The sets I’m going to rebuild are: 10182 Café Corner 10190 Market Street 10185 Green Grocer 10197 Fire Brigade 10211 Grand Emporium 10218 Pet Shop 10224 Town Hall Palace Cinema and Parisian Restaurant are not a part of this project for the simple reason that they I can’t be re-build them. I own Palace Cinema, but I never had the room to build it when we were living in our old apartment. The Parisian Restaurant was the first set I build when we moved to our new place. I’m not going to use a fixed checklist for judging every set, but basically I’ll be judging the modulars on building techniques, esthetics and (lack of) repetitive building. I’d like to point out that all this is just my personal opinion. I realize that not everybody is going to agree with things I think of as beautiful or ugly, but as the old saying goes: de gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est. This rebuilding project is not going to be is a series of reviews. There are excellent reviews of all the modulars in this rebuilding project, so I’m not going to rehash what is already written. Also, I’m not going to focus on (rare) parts etc. Firstly because I’m not familiar with this and secondly because for me, rare parts or parts in special colours are no reason to buy the modulars. I like the buildings and the techniques, but special parts are not a selling point for me. Again, this is just me and again, this rebuilding project is very subjective. I'm not going to grade the modulars on a scale. I find it very hard to do, so you'll have to do with vague terms like "beautiful", "nice" "boring" etc. Maybe (just maybe), I might give a ranking after rebuilding all my modulars. 1: Café Corner 2: Market Street 3: Green Grocer 4: Fire Brigade 5: Grand Emporium I’ll try to post as regularly as possible, I hope to post at least once a week (if RL allows). I hope you guys are going to enjoy my trip down memory lane!
  7. Brick & Mortimer

    Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant

    Thanks, this helps a lot! So the kitchen window will not be covered by a neighbouring building, because buildings following the modular 'standard' always have 8 clear studs (counting form the back)*. *According to this excelent article: http://amodularlife.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/modular-standards-for-lego-city-buildings/
  8. Brick & Mortimer

    Review: 10243 Parisian Restaurant

    Thanks for the great review! January 1st..., may you come soon I'm wondering if the small kitchen window on the richt-handside of the restaurant will be covered if placed next to another modular building. If possible, would you be so kind to show us a picture of a set-up with another modular? Thanks!
  9. Brick & Mortimer

    10243 Parisian Restaurant

    This is what happened: 1) Seagull eats hotdogs 2) Angry chef kills seagull 3) Chef tells the guests today's special is "turkey" ('cause honestly, would you eat seagull?)
  10. Brick & Mortimer

    10243 Parisian Restaurant

    Echoing what everybody else already said: I think this is one of the most beautiful modular buildings ever released. The colours, the details... wow. Incredibly beautiful. The title of best modular to date will depend on the building experience / techniques, but I'm fairly sure the Parisian Restaurant won't disappoint us in that regard
  11. Brick & Mortimer

    The Unofficial LEGO Collectors Guide RAFFLE

    I would choose 6399 Airport Shuttle This is the ultimate set that would make my town complete
  12. Brick & Mortimer

    Building the Cafe Corner - video found on youtube

    Their youtube-channel is great to watch. I've been following them for a few years. I suspect they're Suisse. Anyway, the background makes every Legofan turn green with envy . I think they might own a toystore And the girl isn't bad looking either
  13. Brick & Mortimer

    New modular building? 10224 Town Hall

    Awesome!
  14. Brick & Mortimer

    New modular building? 10224 Town Hall

    Does anybody know what the height of the model is (advertised on the box)?
  15. Brick & Mortimer

    New modular building? 10224 Town Hall

    About the coat of arms... It looks like a variant of this one: [/url] which is the coat of arms of (you'll never going to guess it ) ... Billund ! I had a hunch the coat of arms would have something to do with LEGO or Billund. It's quit difficult to find a decent picture of the coat of arms of Billund, but you can find it on the town website (top left corner) and this website, which I think is about the design of the coat of arms (my Danish is a bit rusty ) ETA: 100th post woohoo