Lego

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I realised I hadn't tried Stud.io's render option yet, so I gave it something to do at high quality, 2160p:

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I'm surprised by how good it looks, I've seen Lego renders but I always figured those were with something more sophisticated... It hasn't done me any favours either because now I really want to build this thing for real, trans light blue canopies and windscreens are so nostalgic for me. It's the plane from 5591, in case you were wondering.
 
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So having finished collecting pieces for 20203, one of the 12 Master Builder Academy sets, I thought I'd take a look and see which other MBA sets I can get. Turns out the only listings for all of them (sort of) are ending this weekend and would cost, assuming none of them get competing bids, £140, which is very reasonable for what you get but more than I can afford this month since my car needs work to pass its MOT. Bad timing!
 
No way! I didnt know these existed - and now I need this:

There's also The Brick Zone which does parts packs in non-Lego for some Bricklink MOCs, although a) some require you to buy the instructions from Bricklink separately and b) I've not tried them yet so can't comment on the parts quality.
 
Roo
There's also The Brick Zone which does parts packs in non-Lego for some Bricklink MOCs, although a) some require you to buy the instructions from Bricklink separately and b) I've not tried them yet so can't comment on the parts quality.
I've checked out The Brick Zone before, and their prices are ridiculously high. You can get what they sell on their site from elsewhere for like half the price.


I just finished the Rastar version of the Alfa Romeo F1. The one on the right is the Rastar, and one on the left is the CaDA. For their sets in this scale, there is no contest, the Rastar is the far superior kit. It is better in pretty much every way other than the color. It would have been better if they used Dark Red pieces instead of Red like the CaDA set.

The design of the Rastar is better, and more robust. Although there was a questionable building technique used for the nose. There are a few printed pieces, so not everything were stickers, though there were still a lot of stickers. The stickers felt higher quality than the CaDA, but if you try to peel them back off to reposition them, they kind of crack. It also has stickers that go across multiple pieces. So I guess overall, the stickers were kind of a draw. The wheels and tires are obviously much nicer. The pattern on the wheels and the Pirelli logos on the tires are all printed. The instructions are also much clearer. Though for most of the stickers, the instructions tell you to put them on at the end, after everything is built. That just makes it a lot harder. The instructions should have told you to put them on as you are building it.

I included a size comparison with the Speed Champions Mercedes. These are much larger, even though they are also 8 wide.

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Working on my first MOC that's actually held my interest enough to actually "finish" it, but I can't decide on how to do the water... I like the herringbone thing but even that means 166 pieces, doing it as a grid of 1x1 tiles would be so much worse. In case you're wondering it's Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso. I need to tweak some things - lots of the structure is 2 layers of plates (it started out 1 brick high but I wanted to change the colour of the top layer after I'd developed it a lot, so I used Stud.io's super helpful split and merge functions to achieve that) so I might add a third layer so they can become bricks again. I'd also really like to raise everything but the docks and water by one plate then raise the docks by half a plate so that the docks are no longer flush with the water and the seam between the docks and "stairs" (the 3x1 slopes on the bottom face) is either smoothed out or reduced. I think the garden also needs work but designing tiny foliage was fun. Edit: oh and I want to make some teeny tiny boats or a seaplane, but haven't considered that yet.

This is the "inspiration", if you can call it that when I'm trying to replicate it:
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Edit: Apart from tweaking the garden and adding crucial supporting bricks under the water, I think this is pretty much done:
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Offsetting the height of the docks by half a plate really adds to it, it's so satisfying, but it wasn't super straightforward. This is what the space under the water looks like:
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So I have to have a headlight brick with the hollow stud up, suspended between a pair of other headlight bricks, to create the half plate offset, then I put two plates on each hollow stud to bring it up to the correct level. Doing the base this way is probably really expensive, though, because it means I need 16x24 studs of plates on the bottom, a brick height perimeter plus MILS-like supporting bricks then 16x24 studs of plates again except with the shapes of the docks punched out. Never mind having over 100 1x2 blue tiles on top but I think that looks good enough to be worth doing.

I did want to put the hotel itself on jumpers but to get it at the correct height and with enough structural integrity I would've needed to punch the entire hotel's shape out of the blue plate layer which would've made it quite fussy and not as strong, so I have unfortunately had to settle for having the entire hotel on studs. It's probably quite over-built but it's my first MOC and I'm quite pleased with how it's turned out. I also think I'll do MILS-style technic holes in the corners in case I want to do any more models like this.

What can I do to make it better? You can't really see it but the water behind the hotel has a medium azure stripe, it's the bottom right design from the first image (I thought the others were too much), is it worth keeping or should I just make the top all blue? Also, I want to make some boats and add jumpers so I can add planes and maybe clouds like those from Pursuit of Flight.

Edit 2:

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Maybe this is too much, but to make it somewhat "playable" I figured it could have some optional dressing. Still not sure about the stripe in the water, either. It's turned out better than I was expecting, but honestly I wasn't expecting much! Oh and I changed the colour of the roof tiles but the little, um... Hut? Out in the garden has a different colour because I couldn't get that piece in the correct colour, not sure if I'll sub it with something else or just make do. Looking at it side by side with the still from the film I wonder if the hotel should be a plate or two taller?

Edit 3, I kinda knew I wasn't truly done with this - I spent some time last night tweaking the top layer of the island to make more of it green, I don't really like how that means the wall is green around the edge all the way around but I want the top to be green because it looks weird having a tall tree standing on concrete, as if it's in a pot or something.

I'm also now considering designing the layer that's hidden below the water to include some easter eggs (so far all I've got is a 1x1 red tile, supposed to represent the piece of the plane Curtis finds after their first encounter) plus some rock texture around the island, and I think I'll at least try to dress the headlight bricks that offset the docks to make them look like they're part of the actual real life structure. Also I wonder if there's a more efficient way to achieve that offset, maybe I could hide a half plate offset into the rock texturing... Hmm!
 
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I just started the CaDA Technic 1:8 scale Alfa Romeo F1 car, and I can already tell that the quality of the design and the instructions are lightyears ahead of the small 1:24 one. It's like they are by two different companies. So far the instructions, the design, and the build is Lego quality. Maybe CaDA pays more attention in terms of quality control to the higher end sets, whereas it's more consistent across the range with Lego. Another interesting thing is that CaDA has a lot of custom Technic elements that Lego doesn't have. For example, they have a 4L pins, 4L liftarms with offset holes, and the box shaped liftarm frame that Lego has but split into two halves. This set would be interesting to try and build in Studio.

So far the only disappointing thing about this set is that it doesn't have a V6 engine with the usual Technic cylinders and pistons. The V6 engine in this model is similar to what you would find in the smaller scale McLaren Senna/Bugatti Bolide/Lamborghini Huracan. I looked through the instructions and investigated whether or not I could replace it with a proper V6 engine, but there's not enough space for it to fit.
 
Wanted to try a Lego knockoff set just to see how it was so I got this "Aliens" (or ALSENS as my sister called it lol) Xenomorph from a brand called Chuangpin. I saw this exact set on Rebrickable many years ago (can't find it anymore) but the part out cost for the Lego pieces was something like $100 or more whereas this knock off was $35.

Anyways, I really can't believe how they get away with this. It's completely ripping off Lego from the pieces to the instruction manual and to be completely honest it didn't feel all that different from Lego in terms of placing pieces together, the only real complaint I have is that the joints are so loose that it barely stands on it's own. A quick browse on Amazon you can find sets that rip off real Lego sets so bad I am shocked you can buy them. Crazy.

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@SPhilli911 that's pretty spectacular, not a terrible model though... I don't really get what the base is supposed to be, mind you, doesn't look like anything out of any Alien film.

I also bought a thing!
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You probably already know that I bought this for the instruction books, I don't much care for the rest. That minifig could hardly be less interesting!
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Yawn. I guess it's pretty rare here in the UK, and it is in really good condition (probably because it never got played with), but... So what? At least the books are good.
 
I suppose the base is meant to be a ship floor with pipes and whatnot. That little green square represents an acid blood spill, which is pretty neat (can also see a "drool" from the Aliens mouth using an antenna piece). That would be an illegal Lego build as all the green 1x1s are wedged against one another.
 
Is it hot in here, or is it this thread? Some awesome stuff fellas, keep it comin'!


Jerome
 
I'm building the CaDA F1 car in Studio as I'm building it for real, and I decided to try to install the actual V6 engine in the digital model. I think I pretty much succeeded. With some pretty simple modifications, it seems like the engine would fit and function without issue. It actually ends up fitting pretty nicely, and is well supported structurally. To do it in real life, I would have to separately buy maybe a dozen parts not including the parts for the engine itself. But after thinking about it, I decided against it. The engine ends up being pretty much completely covered afterwards, and you can't see it anyway. And I don't know if my modifications would weaken the frame structurally in ways that I can't predict, as I had to remove some liftarms that are in the way. I wouldn't know if it would work until I actually try it, and it might end up falling apart at the end. It's just not really worth the hassle. It would have been nice if they just designed it with the proper engine to begin with.

EDIT: I looked further forward in the instructions, and it turns out that one of the liftarms I removed is meant as a mounting point for one of the body panels later on. So I'll have to come up with a solution to that in the digital model. I might have to make the panel "floating". It might not end up working, but we'll see.


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My favorite Lego theme is Adventurers from the 90s/early 2000s and with rumors stirring of a potentially new set from the theme, or a City set that includes a Johnny Thunder minifigure at least, I have built a few sets to celebrate.

Sphinx Secret Surprise (5978):
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Dino Research Compound (5987):
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Scorpion Palace (7418):
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Temple of Mount Everest (7417):
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Expedition Balloon (5956):
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Flamy Shooty Monkey:
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I completely forgot I spent £20 on some stuff last week (because it hasn't arrived yet, hasn't even been posted actually) and happened to check eBay this morning for 31107s to see how much they're going for. There were quite a few, averaging in the mid £40s, but at the top of the list was one listed as used but complete and in good condition (plus instructions, minus box) for £25 and with free shipping, so I swooped on that.

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It's not a plane! But that's because I have all the planes. Also the C build is kind of like a plane but for space.

But yeah, that's most of next month's Lego budget gone already.
 
The wheels and tires are obviously much nicer. The pattern on the wheels and the Pirelli logos on the tires are all printed.
I wonder if the wheels are available standalone anywhere, they're much better than the LEGO tyres due to the Pirelli printing, and properly scaled at the rear.
 
 
I wonder if the wheels are available standalone anywhere, they're much better than the LEGO tyres due to the Pirelli printing, and properly scaled at the rear.
The front wheels are probably based on a certain Lego wheel dimension, so might be able to get a front tire to fit on a certain Lego wheel. But the rear wheel looks like a custom width. The tires are great, but you probably won't want to use the wheels for something else, as the Alfa Romeo red/white design is printed on and is all one piece.
 
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Finally finished. It's really quite nice. I think overall it looks better than the Lego McLaren. The overall design is better. The front and rear wings have a more full and intricate design. The nose is more sleek. The sidepods look a little blocky made out of system, but not bad. I don't really like the way the engine cover is constructed. With the multitude of panels it looks too busy. I think the McLaren has a better execution there.

Overall, the CaDA design is quite a bit more sophisticated. The front wing, rear wing, nose, floor, and cockpit all look more sophisticated. And the steering wheel is actually centered with the wheels straight. But due to the way the steering arms are constructed, the front wheels are slightly toed in, and looks a little weird. There are also a couple of instances where questionable building practices are used, and puts parts under stress.

The white parts on the stickers aren't printed opaque enough, so they doesn't look that sharp in real life. The photo on the box is obviously either touched up, or used different stickers. The stickers themselves are really robust though, as they are fully made of plastic.

If you like Technic cars, this kit is a no-brainer must-buy in my opinion. For a Chinese Lego clone brand, it's not quite as inexpensive as I would have expected. But quality is good, and it's a comparable product to Lego overall, so the price is at least very reasonable if not cheap. It's also a fully licensed CaDA specific design that you can't get anywhere else. Same with the AMG One that I'm planning to buy once they offer a static version without all the motors. I'm impressed with CaDA for really stepping it up and actually giving Lego some genuine competition. I hope they come out with many more nice sets in the future.
 
Anyone else just want to put the CaDA wheels on the McLaren?

They look awesome, defo a nice little pair <3



Jerome
 
Anyone else just want to put the CaDA wheels on the McLaren?

They look awesome, defo a nice little pair <3



Jerome
I tried, but you also need to transfer part of the hubs, as the connection on the CaDA wheels are 3 pins instead of 3 holes as is on the McLaren. The hub is very hard to separate once clicked in, so I tried a little bit then gave up as I didn't want to damage it. I'm also not sure the rear will work, as the CaDA rears might be too wide to fit on the McLaren, as in there might be clearance issues.

I'm hoping to somehow buy an extra set of wheels and tires from the new Mercedes for the McLaren. That would probably be a more straightforward swap.
 
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I built the CaDA Alfa Romeo F1 car in Studio the best I could, given that a lot of the elements weren't available in Lego, and therefore the software. I made whatever substitutions necessary, and did my best to have all the parts at least connected and kept collisions to a minimum. The front wing was kind of a mess and isn't accurate, because the main wing elements aren't available in Lego.

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I built the CaDA Alfa Romeo F1 car in Studio the best I could, given that a lot of the elements weren't available in Lego, and therefore the software. I made whatever substitutions necessary, and did my best to have all the parts at least connected and kept collisions to a minimum. The front wing was kind of a mess and isn't accurate, because the main wing elements aren't available in Lego.

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Don't be too hard on yourself buddy, I think it looks fantastic. Great job!


Jerome
 
Being terrible at remembering things sometimes has perks, my partner sent me a photo of a package that arrived for me today, I wasn't expecting anything, turns out it's a 31071 Drone Explorer I bought last week. I do vaguely remember waking up on the sofa after my usual pre-bedtime nap (read: I fall asleep on the sofa almost daily) and glancing at examples of these on eBay, didn't realise I had actually bought one though...
 
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