henrysunset

Eurobricks Citizen
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Everything posted by henrysunset

  1. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    While there are many examples that could be used to 'prove' your point, you are painting an awfully broad brush across the range of LEGO Fan Media outlets that are recognized under the LAN program. Some outlets are overly positive while others tend more critical. In the case of my own website (which is recognized under the LAN program), we work hard to distribute our ratings over a rough bell curve centered on a 3.5/5 star rating. To ensure it is reasonably well calibrated, I ranked every set in the LEGO Architecture series and applied the curve that is listed on our about page to ensure that our ratings are not overly generous. In the case of the most recent modular, #10326 Natural History Museum earned a 3/5 star rating. I don't think anyone would consider that overly generous nor needlessly critical. It is a 'good' set, but it is in a series where we have grown to expect excellence. Sincerely, —Tom
  2. henrysunset

    LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

    I've published my article showing how I motorized the train using only a small number of parts from my collection. Please excuse the brightly colored parts - I did this to make it easier to follow the instructions! If you want to see all of the steps, check out the whole article, but I've added pictures of some of the key steps below... The first thing you need to do is remove the trucks and the three 4×6 plates from the bottom. Then you need to carefully attach the battery box upside-down, and add the colored plates shown in this photo. Three sub-assemblies including a longer linkage in the front allow you to connect it to the Engine in front, and passenger car behind. It drives smoothly on curved track and can manage the transitions from curved to straight tracks well. LINK TO ARTICLE: https://brickarchitect.com/2023/motorizing-21344-lego-ideas-the-orient-express-train/ I am eager to see more advanced modifications like the one that @ToledoRails shared earlier, but am pleased to report that a simple modification is possible to help bring more people into the LEGO Train hobby. Sincerely, —Tom Alphin P.S. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the set or this simple mod.
  3. henrysunset

    LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

    If I had more spare time this week I would give it a go... This looks like a more elegant solution than jamming everything into the hopper.
  4. henrysunset

    LEGO #21344 - Orient Express

    I was able to motorize the train by incorporating the standard Powered Up train motor and a city hub inside of the hopper. I am pleased to report that it only required about a dozen parts and is working well so far. I plan to share photos and instructions at brickarchitect.com later today.
  5. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    The front isn't the problem... The sides and the back are almost completely devoid of interest. To be clear, it isn't a bad set, but rather some of the other recent sets were better.
  6. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I think we are getting stuck up on the difference between 'goes well with' and GWP's that were purpose-designed to complement a given year's Modular. By that definition only the Vintage car and the Moving Truck were GWP's specifically designed to extend a specific modular.
  7. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    40448: Vintage Car was a LEGO Ideas submission. It looks great next to the Diner, but the release was not coordinated to the diner. It actually came out two years later - as a GWP on Jan 1 2021, which is when the Police Station was released. 40140: Flower Cart came out on a Jan 1 (2015), so it would have been a likely bonus when buying a modular. Stylistically it matches Assembly Square, but that set came out two years later in 2017
  8. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    That is my understanding. Vintage car (Hotel), Moving Truck (jazz club), and a rumor based on the lifestyle images of a GWP hot dog truck for the Natural History museum (but no evidence that I am aware of). Four of the sets included vehicles inside the set itself: Corner Garage (tow truck), Palace Cinema (vintage car), Diner (pink car), and Fire Brigade (firetruck). Am I missing anything? ---tom
  9. henrysunset

    Modular Building Sets - Rumours and Discussion

    I had the distinct pleasure of building this set early through the LEGO Fan Media program. I love the Modular series and am familiar with the entire series - and have built the 6 most recent sets. Since I have the set-in hand, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have about the set! I think it looks best with the Police Station on the left, and the Boutique Hotel on the right. If you want to read the entire review, which includes a lot more analysis and photos, please visit: https://brickarchitect.com/2023/review-10326-lego-icons-modular-natural-history-museum/ It is the largest set in the modular series, and you will find a box within the box containing the first 14 bags. Highlights and Lowlights (spoilers below) I debuted a completely new metric to try to assess value: price-per-minute. (Only includes sets I built for fairness purposes, and the main discovery is that some sets are a lot faster to build that others, and part count alone doesn't predict this well since some sets are a lot easier to build than others. I am legitimately curious to hear what folks think of this metric.) The poor price-per-minute is easily explained by this photo - there aren't a lot of complex techniques to slow things down. In the review, I offered a bit more analysis of the architectural styles being used here, and while I don't prefer the Olive Green color, it is historically accurate to the French Second Empire architectural style. The pediment is cleverly built and nicely detailed. There has been a lot of discussion about the decision to release in December instead of January. My two theories are that: 1: They had a different AFOL set planned for this holiday, but something went wrong. 2: It is an intentional strategic change to capture more sales at the holidays by making the modular into a family tradition. (especially with changing global economic outlook.) The banner and instruction book are marked (c) 2024, indicating that the decision to change the release date was probably late in the year. I really wanted to love the set, especially given the wider format compared to every other set besides Assembly Square. I ended up giving it just a 3/5 rating, which I describe as 'Good' but we usually get great out of the Modular series. I ranked the last six modulars from best to worst. I wonder how close your ranking would be? (#1 Police Station, #2 Boutique Hotel, #3 Jazz Club, #4 Bookstore, #5 Natural History Museum, #6 Corner Garage.) Completed model posed the same way as the front of the box. Sincerely, — Tom Alphin
  10. henrysunset

    Lego Architecture - rumors and discussion

    Fair enough, but this was not an aesthetic/design choice - it was a quality control problem!
  11. henrysunset

    Lego Architecture - rumors and discussion

    I'm excited to report that Himeji Castle is an absolutely fantastic addition to the LEGO Architecture series. In my in-depth review of the new set, I've tried to call out some of the highlights of this set while leaving some surprises for you to discover on your own. #21060 Himeji Castle Rather than re-post the entire review here, I wanted to share a few highlights/observations of particular interest to this group: Despite the price "adjustments" last year, it offers a comparably good price-per-part ($0.075 USD) as well as price-per-gram ($0.100 USD). The base is slightly smaller than the Great Pyramid of Giza set, but the model stands out more due to the high contrast ratio and sculptural form. It introduces us to a great new part - a 2×2 element with upturned corner. It's genuinely fun to build, and looks awesome. (negative) There is a problem with the Tan color of the 2x2x3 Slope elements - in this one set, I have parts in visibly different hues. (You can even see it in the photos.) #21060 Himeji Castle compares favorably on all accounts to the last two large Architecture sets. I'm happy to answer any further questions you might have about the set, but yes - this is one of the best sets in the entire LEGO Architecture series! Sincerely, —Tom Alphin
  12. henrysunset

    #21057 Singapore Skyline

    I wanted to start a thread to discuss the newly announced Singapore Skyline set. It will cost 59.99€ ($59.99 / £54.99 / 79.99 CAD / 89.99 AUD) for 827 pieces, and will be released on January 1, 2022. The set has been met with mixed reviews, some celebrating the bright colors and layered composition, and others critiquing it as visually cluttered and garish. My own opinion lies somewhere in the middle — for a much longer exploration of the set check out my complete review at Brick Architect website. Box / Packaging: There has been a lot of discussion about the box, which features the Adults Welcome (18+) ribbon along the bottom of the box, but this time in (what I think is) a garish Dark Azure color instead of the White color used on the previous LEGO Architecture sets. Marina Bay Sands: Since it is by far the largest model in the set, a lot of attention is placed on the Marina Bay Sands. It looks huge compared to the other buildings in the set, but I did the math and the scale is actually right - It's just a huge building! The comparison with the earlier #21021 version (top) is not favorable. The Trans Dark Blue color is perhaps more realistic, but otherwise the new version has a less faithful curve shape (it's more like a banana), and other aspects of the detailing including the west entrance aren't nearly as detailed. Parts: The set relies on a lot of printed parts, but only two are new printed parts - the Singapore nameplate, and a new 2×3 Plate with lots of square windows on it. More notable is the new 1×4 Curved part, which has the same profile as the 1×1 part which was introduced a few years ago. I doubt the part was created just for this set, since parts are almost never created for the Architecture series, but it did debut in this set. Geography As you can see, the position of the structures in the model do match fairly well how they are positioned in the actual city. This assumes you are north of the harbour looking south... The biggest quirk is that Gardens by the Bay is shown in front of the Marina Bay Sands, when it is definitely behind it, and Lau Pa Sat is presented in front of MBS and One Raffles Place, but is several blocks behind it. Conclusion I gave the set a 3/5 star (Good) rating, since there is a mix of highlights and lowlights in this build. The main highlight is that it allows you to explore the Marina Bay Sands building without having to buy an aftermarket copy of #21021 Marina Bay Sands (2013) for as much as $1000. It does have a good price-per-part, but the price-per-gram is poor at $0.146 per gram. (This is something I have started calculating, and results in a very different conclusion about value than price-per-part reveals.) In addition to my review at Brick Architect, be sure to see some of these other reviews before making a decision when this set is released in January: https://brickset.com/article/67632/review-21057-singapore https://rebrickable.com/blog/443/review-21057-1-singapore/ https://truenorthbricks.com/2021/12/04/singapore-21057-review/ https://www.brothers-brick.com/2021/12/04/lego-architecture-21057-singapore-review/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaQRc0t8ZZg&t=3s (video) Sincerely, —Tom
  13. henrysunset

    #21057 Singapore Skyline

    We have seen a revised White House and an Architecture-style rendition of the Taj Mahal recently, not to mention the two Soccer/Football stadiums which aren't in the Architecture series, but are clearly related in terms of style and potential audience. That said, I also want more iconic architecture such as Fallingwater, Villa Savoye, and Farnsworth House. I do not expect we will see more of these, as they are popular amongst architecture buffs, but not widely known in mainstream circles. Instead, we will probably need to be satisfied with the amazing MOC's created by fellow LEGO Architecture enthusiasts. I just don't think lesser-known architectural sets sell very well. I did try to predict sales rates based on data that's no longer available and yes, it looks like sets like Imperial Hotel and Villa Savoye didn't sell well. https://brickarchitect.com/2015/lego-architecture-sales-europe/ Sincerely, ---tom
  14. henrysunset

    [MOC] Aachen Cathedral

    This is great! Even though the cathedral is of multiple architectural traditions, the gothic elements are prominent. That's why I've added it to my collection of great LEGO Gothic architecture on pinterest. LINK: https://www.pinterest.com/tomalphin/lego-architecture-gothic/ Thanks for sharing!
  15. How did you get and/or order it? I have the Spike Prime set + the older version of the Expansion set, and would like to get this part so I can put together a Raspberry Pi Kit, too.
  16. henrysunset

    10282 Adidas Superstar

    I am not a sneakerhead, but I genuinely enjoyed the packaging, build experience and finished model — that's why I was eager to share my enthusiasm in this thread! I love seeing real objects re-created at a 1:1 scale using LEGO, and this is a very satisfying example of this style of building. When I review sets, price only plays a small role, and usually only when a sub-par set happens to be a great parts pack (so it gets a small bump in the rating). —Tom P.S. Data showing our review distribution compared to other sites is here https://brickinsights.com/statistics/reviewers/34. You will find a detailed description of our 1-5 rating system here: https://brickarchitect.com/about/#ratings_and_reviews.
  17. henrysunset

    10282 Adidas Superstar

    This is a really awesome and unique set... I just gave the set the coveted 5/5 star rating in my review of the set at brickarchitect.com 😊. (And I'm a really strict reviewer!)A couple highlights from my review that might be of interest to eurobricks readers: This set really is a master class in sculpting everyday objects with LEGO bricks! This whole set feels like a love letter between two of the biggest brands in the world. After just over an hour of inspired building, I am holding one of the most realistic LEGO re-creations of a common household object that I’ve ever seen. The set is a bit too expensive based on both an assessment of price-per-part ($0.11), as well as the price-per-gram (also $0.11). To make matters worse, the price in Europe is much worse... for example 89.99€ in euros. (That’s $109 based on current exchange rate – 37% higher price than in USA.) Sincerely,—Tom P.S. Let me know if you have any additional questions about the new brick-built shoe!
  18. That was interesting to see, thanks for sharing! I don't know for sure, but I suspect the process is similar for LDraw.
  19. henrysunset

    LEGO IDEAS - The Medieval Blacksmith

    As a reviewer, it's my job to highlight the very best and worst aspects of every set that I cover—even the good (and great) sets! Focusing on the highlights and lowlights is the most efficient way that I've found to help readers decide whether a set is a good match for their collection or not. My job isn't to encourage folks to buy every set, but rather to make sure that they love each of the sets they decide to buy. (If reviewers do their job well, fans who only buy a couple sets a year based on extensive research should feel like every set they buy is one of their favorites!) Even serious AFOLs have limited time, space, and budget; I'm here to help! As a more casual fan of LEGO, I would have probably just built the set, modified the roof a bit to match my preferences, and loved the finished product! ---tom
  20. henrysunset

    LEGO IDEAS - The Medieval Blacksmith

    The Review embaro has lifted, so I'm eager to share a summary of my thoughts on the new set! (Full review at brickarchitect.com). #21325 Medieval Blacksmith - box and finished model. As has been discussed at length, many folks see the final version as a bit of a letdown, as it is smaller and less "mature" in aesthetic compared to the original LEGO IDEAS submission. While this is true, I am happy to report that it really is a nice model, apart from some quibbles that I have with the roof coloration, and annoyance with structural choices on the third floor. The ground floor in particular is excellent, with an absolutely brilliant play feature: you press on the brick-built bellows to make the light brick activate in the forge! I also enjoyed nods to classic Castle, including the Black Falcon logos, and nod to the classic Forestmen theme in the tree. The tiny details are the best thing about this set. Now, I don't think it's a "perfect" set, but it really is a nice way to revisit classic Castle themes with modern building techniques. It earned out "Recommended" 4/5 Star Rating (with caveats...). Available February 1. Sincerely, —Tom Alphin, brickarchitect.com
  21. Thanks for explaining! I can totally respect that it doesn't sound like a particularly easy process to automate, and it will take some time to migrate 1000 parts! Out of curiosity, how long does that process take? I would expect that it's at least 15 minutes per part (average), and that probably doesn't include the process of moving parts through the review process. ---tom P.S. Is there a human-readable summary of the process to create new parts in LDraw? If not, It's the kind of nerdy article I'd love to tackle at Brick Architect if someone wants to help me do it!
  22. Is it possible to script a bulk conversion into LDraw format? It wouldn't bother me if it took a long time to clean up and move to "official" - At least folks who are familiar with the "unofficial" parts could begin to use them! As mentioned in another thread, I'm in the process of writing an article about the Most Common DUPLO Parts, and many of the parts are missing pictures. I also plan to add the most common DUPLO parts to my LEGO Brick Labels collection (for only the most discerning toddlers, of course...) ---tom
  23. henrysunset

    [MOC] 1:400 Woolworth Building

    I love this, and have pinned it to my collection of great LEGO Gothic Architecture on Pinterest. Thanks for sharing! —Tom
  24. henrysunset

    MOC: Basilic Notre Dame de la Garde

    The iconic alternating light and dark bands on the arches took me right back to southern Spain, walking into the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba. You have achieved the detail well at a small scale! I've added this to my small but growing collection of Islamic and Byzantine LEGO Architecture on my Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing! —Tom
  25. Love the neo-gothic details in a very small model. I added to my popular Pinterest collection :-)