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I wanted to created a Friends-themed diesel engine…. An early F7 style diesel locomotive that could be pulling a set of streamlined passenger coaches. There is plenty of commuter rail in the US still using old diesel workhorses like the fp40, so I figured a theoretical “Heartlake Express” Might be running something a bit older and more streamlined. I started off with Murdoch17’s EMD demonstrator (Here’s a link to version 3, but I modded an earlier version). I liked the 2 color livery design, and it seemed like it would be a pretty straightforward conversion to a “Heartlake Express” style livery. Given the existing parts and colors, Medium Lavender and white would be a good color scheme with some of the more functional bits (handgraps, vents on top and sides, etc. getting a light blue grey. I flirted with trying to make the trucks light blue grey, but I decided to keep them black so they would match a powered truck, as well as a custom unpowered one of the original design. I kept the 1x3 arch in the front nose Magenta, since the piece doesn’t exist in Lavender, and the extra splash of color at the nose feels fine. I could have made this piece white, but I wanted to break it up the white on the nose and continue the color from the sides...even if it was a different color. I Considered using Magenta for some other trim or accents… we will see. Maybe on the coaches. First thing I did was slightly redesign the nose. I wanted to hint at a streamline diesel design, rather than a heavy hauling switcher. I did keep the ability to light up the front headlight, from the original design by Murdock17…. There’s room to run a lego train light wire all the way to the powerbrick, undeneath the drivers compartment. Next Major thing I did was redisn the base plate so it had an opening for a powered truck cable. Given the placement of the wheels in the original design, I couldn’t use an existing train base plate, but given the double plate thickness of the original design, it wasn’t hard to keep it strong and functional. I also changed the color scheme on the undertanks below the center of the baseplate to match the rest of the “functional trim.” The cab windows were a challenge since there was no good window that looked good on the side of the cab in the correct color, so I built a frame and have open windows. Might be okay to ad a 1x1 Lavender brick and 1x1 see through brick, but I’ll leave em open for now. The ladder up between the hand grips didn’t have a 1x2x1 panel in the correct color, so I built out a slightly deeper solution for the lavender portion of the steps. Not perfect, but meh. I also think it's possible to build functional opening doors with the 1x4 swivel base, even though they don’t come in the right color, using tile plates… but that bit of detail along with the above “window” fix may be for the next version.. Since there aren’t any doors, I need to make this with a removable top to put the figures inside and to also allow easy access to the Power Brick. In order to do that, I had to move the side vents down 1 plate lower. I opted for a single removable top. With the new power functions receiver, it can be completely internal… No need for a line of sight IR transceiver. Just a 4x4x8 block internally. Next big thing was to create an interior driver’s compartment. I rejiggered some of the front interior, so I could simply place a built out cockpit block inside the body. This allows for replacing a mini-doll cockpit with a minfig cockpit. Most modern Lego city trains only have room for 1 operator, but I added a side facing control counsel, since there is so much room inside this. A bit out of spec for the prototype, as this driver area extends it back where the side venting is.. But again… I don’t care… It’s a nice balance between external visuals, and play value. I could add windows up there, and where the front top vent is, but that too is for a 2.0, I think. I could also then move the fans back to be above the theoretical placement of the diesel engines. With the driver’s compartment section and the power brick providing a bunch of stability, I removed all the crossbeams that ran through the interior of the original design, and created a base for the power brick that allows cables to run underneath it. If I was really being hardcore, I would make the front roof, and the back roof separately detachable. But all one piece probably provides a bit more stability. Also given the rear grab handles, I could possible make a visible Diesel engine in back section, but I’ll save that for version 2.0. There is probably an opportunity to use the fan hole as a place for the power on/power off switch. Again, something for 2.0, I think. I didn’t care for how the transparent dishes looked on the side of the original model, so I swapped them out form some round plates… The original prototype had windows under the vent, and that is what the dishes were modeling, but I decided for some external knobley/crunchy bits to break up the side panel. In real life these dieseals were constantly getting cutouts, and boxes welded onto the side, as engine and component upgrades demanded. I made the front round tile on the side a pre-printed piece from the lego elves set. This would be a nice spot for a custom printed Heart Lake Express logo…. A heart with Wings...
This moc is part of the FRIENDS Display (Theme Park) on the upcoming Build Your LEGO Christmas Event at 1 Utama Shopping Centre (at Malaysia) from 9th to 20th November 2016. It consists of 24pcs of 32x32 baseplate, which is my biggest solo moc up to now. This is definitely a very challenging task for myself, which I only have about 5weeks of time to complete this. (average 2-3hrs a day). One of the major attractions on this moc is this Friends Roller Coaster ride, which took up more than half of the size on this work. The most challenging part on this ride is the limited type of the blue track which is available. It only have 2 types of track, ramp up/down and a single size of curve track. In order to design a roller coaster ride which is looks “fun” and realistic, I’ve spent more than 3nights just to complete the draft structure of this track’s design out. Hopefully the outcome is not too awful. Besides on that, there is also an extended version of Ferris Wheel from the existing Friends set, Space shot, and also the Spinner ride which built by the great builder, Denil Oh. Below is the details photos. Comment and suggestion are welcome. Regards, WingYew (Malaysia) FULL ALBUM -> https://www.flickr.com/photos/wingyew29/albums/72157676402832066/with/30834413732/ IMG_6751_edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6763_edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6779_Edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6780_Edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6781_Edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6799_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6805_edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6813_edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr IMG_6834_Edited_Watermark by WingYew, on Flickr
Number – 41007 Name – Heartlake Pet Salon Theme – Town Subtheme - Friends Year – 2013 Minidolls – 2 Pieces – 242 Price – £29.99, $29.99, €32.99 Links: Brickset, Bricklink, Peeron not yet listed. Shop@Home. Information from LEGO shop@home: Ru unexpectedly brought this (and 41008: Heartlake City Pool) home for me just after Christmas, and despite 41008 looking like a great set, this was the one that grabbed my interest most out of the two. From the first look of the set I was interested in the fact that it was a shop with a large glass frontage, and that it seemed to have a whole lot of stuff in it, and I'm rather fond of stuff. So how does this set look out of the box, and how will this bode for the 2013 range of Friends sets? Read on to find out.. The Box As is traditional, we start with a look at the front of the box. Interestingly, the boxes for the new wave of Friends sets are ever so slightly different from the originals. Firstly, have a little look at the gaggle of Friends in the top right – they look a little more clingy, don’t they? If you compare that portrayal with one from an earlier box, there’s quite a noticeable difference. Unfortunately, I don’t really like this new portrayal; the girls seem simpering and .. a bit needy, really. The old portrayal was of much stronger more confident girls. Oh well, it’s one corner of the box. The rest of the box front has a picture of the entire set, arranged in a way that displays as many features as possible. The background is of a simple, pastel town, and there are some small insets to display a play feature, and the girls that are included. More on them later. The back of the box is another fiesta of shades of purple, but the pictures give you good views of the play features and the interior of the salon, so you really know what you’re getting before you buy. There’s an illustration of how to build a minidoll, and also an indication of what one might find inside the box. There’s the same picture of the 5 ‘core’ Friends as is on the front, but this time their names are overlayed to help forgetful parents, plus there is a large new picture of Emma in the top right. I’m sure they meant Emma to look sweet and friendly, but really she looks insecure and slightly worried. Maybe it’s just me, but the impression I get now is a far-cry from the strong and independent girls that were first introduced. The top of the box is pleasant in its simplicity, and essentially gives first-time buyers an idea of the size of the minidolls; a common feature on all LEGO boxes. The bottom of the box has all the required safety information in all the required languages, and you can also see the price sticker from the LEGO store. The interesting thing is the background colour, which is a lighter shade of lavender than has been used previously. The difference is subtle, but noticeable, and in fact the colour is more blue-tinged than that on the older boxes. I can imagine several people being entirely unfussed about this change, but to me this is a nicer colour, and slightly less girly. The right side of the box continues this colour, which contrasts nicely with the dark purple on the ellipsed corners. The declaration of where the components are made is clear, and bold, in case anyone’s concerned, and there’s a sweet little advert for the LEGOClub website. Just like the right side, TLG have also gone for a ‘less is more’ look for the left side of the box. There is some gentle detailing with the various swathes of pink and purple, and the nice, subtle Friends pattern, with a rather small inset picture of the set. It’s the same picture as on the front of the box, so it doesn’t add any information, so really it’s just there for aesthetics. And it works very nicely. The Box Contents As indicated on the back of the box, there are two numbered bags of LEGO parts inside. I was quite surprised by this, as it’s not a big set, and the parts could just as easily been bagged up without being sorted into sections. This sort of separation makes sense for modular buildings or sets built in a modular way, but it seems unnecessary for one little shop. It doesn’t matter much; if you’re a first time builder it makes sorting the pieces a tiny fraction easier, and if you just lump all the contents of the bags together from the start anyway, then it doesn’t matter one jot. Loose inside the box are also a pair of bright light blue plates, both of which are only seen in Friends sets, and only two other Friends sets,specifically 3061: City Park Café, and 3188: Heartlake Vet. Also loose, but in miraculously good condition, is the dreaded sticker sheet. The stickers look a bit unusual until they are actually applied to the set, and the poodle-with-kitten combo is slightly cutesy, especially with the hearts. The colour scheme is clearly Friends without including much pink, and they actually work well with the pieces. This set is the first set I have ever actually applied the stickers to; shocking, I know, but I hope you’ll see later how they actually do add something to the building. The Instructions There is just one instruction booklet, but you’d know that if you looked at the back of the box properly. The picture and graphics here are pretty much exactly the same as on the front of the box, but that’s ok. I don’t expect something new and different, I just want the instructions to be identifiable, and the nicest way to do that is with a picture of the set. Remarkably, like the sticker sheet, this was also in miraculously good condition. I think we’d all fall over in disbelief if there were a reasonably sized set aimed at children that didn’t have a picture of a Gagne-child on the back. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I much prefer this quite sweet girl to the obnoxious looking boy they have for other sets. I can even bear to show this picture in my review. Aside from that, basically: you can still win stuff. An absolutely charming addition inside the instruction booklet is a short comic strip Emma demonstrating how to build the set. Any set (and please remember folks that this isn’t limited to Friends) that has numbered bags has some sort of indication that you should build one bag at a time, because they’ve packed it that way. I love this new illustration – it gives exactly the same information as before but in a much more entertaining way. The other side shows the beginning of the build, and is reminiscent of many Town sets to me (assemble the minifigs; large plate plus bag #x makes such and such). Towards the back of the instruction booklet there’s the handy checklist for you to tick off your sets as you buy them, but there’s also a brand new illustration of Heartlake City. It doesn’t seem to be quite so obvious what the future releases might be, but maybe someone here will spot something? As always, they have included those most useful pages in the booklet, the inventory listing. If you click on the picture it should link to original high-res image, but even a glance here shows a good colour mix and variety of parts. I’ve also included this, which is a random page in the instructions. People like to see these, because it gives them an idea of the build. I also think this demonstrates that this, just like any other LEGO set, is not the kind of thing you can put together without instructions because it’s so simplistic and easy, because it’s actually not so simplistic and easy. I’ll probably comment more on this later, in fact I know I will. The Parts The contents of the first bag, as you can see (or not, as the case may be), are actually mostly white or trans clear. There’s a very interesting selection of pieces here. We’ll start with the rather small amount of pink. The magenta 1x3x2 curved top arches and 3x3x2 dome top pieces are new in this colour for this set, and only available in this set and the 6 magenta 1x4x1 1/3 curved bricks can only be found in this colour in 3939: Mia’s Bedroom, and you can only find one there. The bright pink 1x3x2 curved top bricks has only been seen in this colour before in 3061: City Park Café, so we’re off to an interesting start with the smallish amount of pink pieces. The light aqua 1x2x5 bricks haven’t been seen in this colour before, and there’s a rather good selection of dark blue pieces here too. The white and light bley pieces also have useful bits and bobs in them, including the white 1x4 SNOT brick and the always-useful light bley taps and 4x4 macaroni pieces. Next to the yellow pieces you can see a new shop sign, which is a completely new mould; we’ll look more closely at that shortly. The 4x4x6 trans clear curved panel can only be found in 3061: City Park Café, and the Star wars set 9526: Palpatine’s Arrest. Here’s a closer look at the shop sign. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that Fabuland was making a comeback, but actually this is ever so slightly different to the Fabuland sign (the red sign here) in that it is slightly smaller and has slightly less filigree. It’s nice to see this type of piece come back, though, and with some custom decals I can see this appearing in a few MOCs. In the second bag, the contents are more colourful, and the interest continues. It still manages to look quite pink, despite there not being that great a proportion of pink in the set (just perhaps more than in most non-Friends sets these days, that’s all) but there’s all sorts of accessories and a few printed parts here. Naturally there are also the Friends accessories, newly available in dark purple for this set, just as each colour of accessories has only appeared in one set each. Overall, I thought there were quite a few interesting parts, so I’ve put them all together here. I’ve mentioned quite a few pieces here already, but there are a few more worthy of note (and I’ve only included one of each part referenced in this picture). The 1x2x2/3 slopes for instance, in this set in bright pink, light aqua and medium lavender and these parts are pretty much exclusive to Friends sets with the exception of the light aqua, which can also be found in 8487: Flo’s V8 Café. You can also only find the 1x2x2 medium lavender brick in Friends sets, and the pearl gold taps are a Belville throwback that has reared up again in Friends, along with a guest appearance in 10229: Winter Village Cottage. The printed medium azure 1x1 round brick has only been seen in Friends sets, but then it is very much a Friends piece, and the printed cash register piece, despite being reminiscent of Fabuland, is also an exclusively Friends piece. We get another new Friend with this set, in the form of Joanna, who has a pretty patterned orange vest and magenta shorts, neither of which have been seen before, and thus they provide new outfit choices for Andrea and also Ella, Nicole, Sarah, Chloe and Kate. Emma has a new top in tasteful dark blue with pale pink and lilac flowers printed on it, and also has a printed necklace, too. The bright pink layered skirt has been seen before on Olivia in 3937: Olivia’s Speedboat, and on Sophie in 3188: Heartlake Vet so it’s the least exciting clothing part here. The poodle has sweet printed eyes, which are oddly blue (I didn’t think dogs had blue eyes). Its collar is pink with a little bone tag hanging from it, which is a cute little detail. It’s a very sweet-looking poodle, but it looks wily, like it knows something you don’t. Anyway, it’s also a very accurate representation of a poodle in LEGO form, which is what matters. Emma’s hair is… Emma’s hair; the hairstyle she usually wears, but Joanna has a brand new hair mould, and her hair is braided into plaits. Why haven’t we seen plaits in LEGO before now? I dunno, but surely now the mould is out there we’ll begin to see more of it. I really like this new mould, I think it looks great, and a new female hairpiece is always welcome. The back of the poodle lacks printing, which is probably for the best, really. The Build Now I think this is an interesting picture. This is here to illustrate just how far you get in the building process before you start adding any pink whatsoever. You’ve pretty much got the shop built, and some of the structure inside, and I think this really shows that actually the ‘pinkness’ of these sets is quite superficial. You could easily switch out the 8x16 and 16x16 bright light blue plate for some light bley ones to make a bland and non-girly basis for a shop if you wanted to. Round the back, you can see that there’s already quite a few bits and pieces placed inside the shop, as I mentioned, so it’s not as if you’ve only put up a few trans clear windows and then everything goes pink. And even from this point onwards, there’s still not that much pink or lavender. So when you do add all the other pieces (including the pink) this is what you create. You’ll notice I’ve even applied the stickers , which is something I very rarely do, but they allow the set to make more sense. There are some extra small builds that sit outside the shop that make it more interactive. They’re each about the size of a polybag set, perhaps slightly smaller. Both of these extra little builds are quite fun, without being too challenging. They strike me as good things for younger hands to be doing while the main build is being built, to keep them occupied and out of trouble. On the left we have a stand to display bones and accessories for pets. The stickers suddenly make sense; they are the price tags, and characters can roleplay picking out what they'd like and buying the actual pieces, rather than a representation of them. It's also a handy place to put the gazillions of purple accessories. On the right is quite obviously a bath, and we have that because this is a grooming salon as well as a pet store. I like the use of the 1x1 round plates to signify the hot and cold sides of the mixer tap, and the bath is about the right height to get most of the small Friends animals into with a Friends minidoll standing next to the bath. It's a fun little build and, like the display stand, it adds to the play features. So should we talk about the roof now? It's quite an extravagant structure, and you've seen how the building looks without it. It's very curvy and 1950s, and rather pink too, as I'm sure you've noticed. It does mean that this shop fits in with the aesthetics of 3061: City Park Café, and thus makes the Friends range cohesive, but it seems like a rather large addition of pink stuff on top of the shop. It's an interesting build, and it allows display of the new sign part, which I really like, but it seems a little excessive for a small high street shop. Anyway, the lovely thing is that you can see right inside the shop at what's going on inside, and there are some nice details outside too (aside from the extra builds above). There's a pink water bowl for the wily poodle to drink from, some pretty (and mercifully not exclusively pink) flowers, and another structure outside the right hand side of the set, which might be a birdhouse. Here's a better view of the birdhouse outside the salon, well, I assume it's a birdhouse, because it looks like one. It certainly looks like something that would be found for sale outside a pet shop, so it's a logical addition. The large windows allow an easy view into the shop to see what's going on inside, and you can glimpse a brush and comb ready for use. Once we get round the back of the shop, we can see all the added features inside. Like the other Friends sets, attention has been paid to the interior, to make it interactive and fun. After all, this wouldn't be a shop if it didn't have stuff in it; it'd just be a brightly coloured building. We can look at the various additions inside. So on the other side of the window where the presumed birdhouse was, we have a beauty station for pets. The two white 1x2 jumper plates are attached to a turntable, so a pet may be applied and spun for easy grooming. There are holders for the brush and comb on the grooming stand (which you could see through the window from the front of the shop), and a hairdryer and grooming shears (represented here by the feather piece) handily attached to the wall. In the foreground you can see a container that is built in order to contain the accessories. I like the fact that the container is constructed, as it illustrates again how these sets aren't just a pile of large, '<insert that tiresome argument>' pieces, but are building sets on a par with any other LEGO set of the same size. Also towards the back of the shop there is a cash register, complete with pink drawer and money. I have no idea what the trans red cheese wedge represents; maybe it's the chip and pin machine? You may also be able to just make out the top of a carrot top that sits in the lime green basket nest to the cash register. Maybe this is for impulse purchases of greenery to feed your pet? Or maybe this is someone's current purchase waiting to be rung up at the till? Looking at the back of the shop from the other angle, you can see that while the previous side was devoted to grooming, this side is devoted to sales. The addition of the stickers to these parts make this section bright and colourful and interesting. There is also a better appreciation of how bright the designers have made this set through the copious addition of windows, and it's great to be able to see in from all angles. Zooming in so that we can see better, there are some nice products for the Friends to buy for their pets. There are bags of dry dog and cat food, tins of (presumably) pet food, and dog collars and cat toys for sale on the wall. The 2x2 stickered tiles attached to the yellow 3x2 modified plates really do look like items one may see for sale on a rack in shops, and small as it is, I find this feature endearing. The fact that the holes in the modified plates allow then to be attached to headlamp bricks in the wall means that these items are easily removable, and could even be used as parts to play in another set. So here is the full set in all its gloriousness. Those large windows are just great, and there's so much to see inside. Wily poodle is made even more deceivingly innocent with the addition of a bow, and you can see the additional builds together with the main building to appreciate their context. A hitherto unmentioned feature is the outside tap on the left wall, which is unnecessary with the presence of the bathtub, so it's a nice extra feature. The bath tub, when shown in scale with the poodle, now seems rather grand and luxurious. Lucky poodle. There are so many details to appreciate, and the only area that I'm not so keen on is the roof. As with any set, there's a small number of leftover pieces, mostly 1x1 round plates, but I certainly don't object to extra LEGO, and I quite like having the extra flower and bone pieces, for instance. Conclusion Design: 8/10 I think this shop looks great, especially with the double-fronted, curved, floor-length, trans clear window panes. Having the doorway between the two looks great, and is reminiscent of independent high street shops, especially in Europe. I showed you how far you can get without adding the pink, which is very superficial, and actually doesn't necessarily add to the aesthetics of the shop. The pink parts do, however, make this set fit in well with the rest of the Friends sets and Heartlake city, so I can understand their addition. Having the stickered pieces hanging from the wall is a great design feature to me, but there are plenty to appreciate. Parts: 9/10 The new sign! I love it, and I really hope to see more of it. That and the fact that there are a good number of parts here in a new colour for that part. As one might expect, there are a good number of accessories, and these have cropped up in a new colour this time. A few printed pieces and some other useful bits and bob, and a good number of those lovely curved windows, and this smallish set actually has a high proportion of interesting pieces. Minifigs: 8/10 Another new Friend in the form of Joanna, and she seems nice. She's come with interesting clothes and a great new hairpiece, but... she's not male. We cry and wail for more males in Heartlake, even as shopkeepers, but it seems the idea is that the Friends themselves are running all the businesses in Heartlake. Maybe we're seeing them at all these businesses collecting their 'protection' money? Anyway, I digress, two minidolls is the right number for this set, and while Emma will always be Emma, it's great to see her with a new torso. Build: 9/10 I may have been more subtle in my previous Friends reviews, so I will make some points again. The build for this set is in no way easier than the build for any other Town or CREATOR set of a similar size. The building is absolutely the same, and definitely not easier. This set, like all the other Friends sets, is not dumbed down because it's for girls. It's a fun build, and it has some interesting processes, and anyone who says the build looks easy may well be right, but it's not easier than any other LEGO set of the same size. I enjoyed it just as much as building 7346: Seaside House, which was a set almost twice the size, with three builds. Playability: 9/10 Well, there are lots of accessories for a start, and the whole set has bags of roleplay potential. Most kids love playing shop, and that's completely covered with the cash register, the money and the items for sale. Add to that the whole pet salon part, where animals can be bathed and groomed and accessorised, then there's tons of playability. There may not be moving parts or dynamic action, but there's still plenty to play with. Price: 8/10 I think that £29.99 is a very fair price for the parts and build experience in this set. The price evaluation is often the most subjective part of any review, and you can try to objectivise it by listing price per piece, but if you don't want the pieces then the price doesn't matter. I like this set a lot, and if I didn't already have one, I'd feel comfortable paying this price for it. Overall 85% A pet shop isn't very girly, heck we have a Modular version already, but a pet grooming salon may well be considered to be on the pinker end of the spectrum. The grooming salon aspect of this set is done fully, and having the pet shop aspect of the set helps tone the 'girliness' down somewhat. There are some great parts here, especially for Town builders, and a brand new Friend (even if she is female) along with her new hairpiece and Emma's new torso, and another ton of Friends accessories along with other removable features. The shop looks mostly great, although I have some reservations about the roof structure, but the windows are truly lovely, and there's tons of stuff to build and play with. With the advent of all the collectible Friends animals, sets that integrate animals more will also help integrate these small satellite sets. This is a charming little shop, and a really lovely addition to Heartlake City. "Ella, I don't care how much money you have, you are not going to be able to fit your horse in that bath!" Thank you for reading, comments are always very welcome. High-Res pictures can be found on my flickr account.