Sunday, June 9, 2013

Building a major MOC using LEGO - Part 2: Planning

Building with LEGO can sometimes be an interesting process. For many builders, nothing beats sitting down with a bunch of parts and doing some free building, even if no goal is in mind. For others, painstaking preparations are made with the laying of every piece planned in advance.

Personally, I fall somewhere in the middle. I like to have an idea of what I'm getting into so I can order parts, but I'm very open about what the finished product should end up looking like when I'm building my own design. This partially comes from the fact that I really do not like the digital design tools that are out there right now. I've used LEGO Digital Designer on a few occasions and the interface, quite honestly, annoyed me to no end. Searching for specific elements can be a pain and my computer always seems too slow to keep up.

For my current project, I went a little rudimentary on playing with the design. I started by generating a rough sketch of what I wanted to build and then marking it up a little to get an idea of what types of bricks would be needed to achieve the desired effect. I then did my best to identify those parts, primarily using the wonderful catalog feature that's available on BrickLink.

Using BL makes it easier to generate a want list as well, which then helps me search stores for maximum effectiveness in purchasing power. I'm more likely to spend a few extra pennies on the elements I want, if I can get most of them from a single buyer to save on shipping. Minimizing those postage costs was a lesson I learned last summer when sourcing my Cafe Corner. It's not worth the hassle of having to order from four different sellers if I end up paying at least $2-3 on shipping per order.

For my current project, I need quite a bit of white brick. This can be a pain, as I'm pretty much buying all of it new to limit possible discoloration. I've made some progress so far. After a nice round of orders, I came up with this as my final design for each of the four wings of the Capitol building.
You will notice quite a few changes from the original schematic and the current physical product. This is largely the result of sitting down and actually building. Some features I envisioned did not work out the way I hoped they would, while the chance to add other details presented itself during the building process. I also scaled down some other features after I realized some of the dimensions were not working well in the physical realm. The goal here is of course to create enough variation in the surface to mimic some of the architectural features of the real thing.

The front end changed a little in the design process as well. I was having a hard time getting the angled roof to work in a way that did not also result in the internal support structure being highly visible. It's a design feature I was willing to compromise on. I'm still quite happy with how this section of the build worked out.

Next up, I'm going to cover how I dealt with stability of the baseplate and played with way different ways of properly mounting this to accurately reflect how the Capitol sits on the grounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...