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A Catablog of Tools, Tips, and Techniques for building with LEGO®


Category: Techniques

Here’s a great technique that is pretty self explanatory. Use a bunch of headlight bricks in a circular fashion.

Now I’d like to see a whole tower built with them.

Streets of London, originally uploaded by SlyOwl.

SlyOwl has successfully created a beautiful yet sad city street MOC apparently inspired by Ralph McTell’s song “Streets of London,” which he also links to one of many YouTube video’s of. I did not realize so many artists had recorded the song. The only time I’ve heard it before was from a folk group in Maine that I grew up listening to, Schooner Fare on their album “Day of the Clipper.”

SNOT Mission Sign

It’s almost obscured by the Street Light, but is a key part of the building. Notice the use of black and grey cheese to add a little more personality to the S’s.

Anti-boring Wall techniques

SlyOwl has also done a number of things to keep the walls from being boring. He has a great rain gutter/down spout. I’ve seen a few of these here and there in MOCs; they’re especially nice to see in a modern-era MOC.

He’s also got an effective mix of old and new grey to a beautiful effect. You get the idea of the mixed materials and shades of damage to the wall, especially with the 1×2 modified bricks.

Street Junk

You definitely have the idea that this is a dirty street of London — boxes, newspapers, an apple, etc.

Alicia Robichaud is doing a 365 day photography project — not all LEGO, but is doing a full week of LEGO this week. This is her second day of the week, and day 23 out of the 365. This seems to be a classic “damsel in distress” scene. Not quite a Rapunzel, but with a much less headache-causing solution for the Damsel.

Climbing Rose Vine Technique

I’m highlighting this image because of the excellent technique of the rose vine climbing the tower. There are a lot of techniques out there for breaking up the monotony of an otherwise boring wall, but I’ve not seen greenery done like this before.

I feel that the roses bring a lot more life and even story to the picture. A guy might add a vine growing up part of the castle wall, but it takes a woman to make it a rose vine. =)

Of course, you don’t want to see every castle have every tower covered with rose vines — that would just be silly. Another variation, perhaps to add a bit of “evil” to the vine (not on Alicia’s MOC — on yours) would be to intersperse some of part #55236 (it’s been made in 8 different colors, most of which would look good and thorny).

Breaking up the Wall

I also appreciate Alicia’s use of the 1×1 cylinder bricks to break up the monotony of a what would have been an otherwise boring wall. It adds an extra hint of beauty, and gives  the eye something to linger on as it makes its way to the vine and finally  to the damsel, the focal point of the image.

2 Much Caffeine has some really awesome techniques going on here. I haven’t actually seen the video game he’s MOCing here, but the techniques he’s used for the build suggest it would be a pretty cool game.

Check out the brilliant pipework — especially the use of steering wheel handles as the water cut-offs in various places.

I also like the 2×2 turntable bases on the wall that look like fans, and the 1×2 modified bricks as air vents.

Not to mention the excellent SNOT use of tiles on the wall to give an added sense of texture.

And the drain grate on the floor is very well done. I almost missed it in this shot, but take a look at the other photo he’s posted.

Order_Up: Wide Shot, originally uploaded by BrickWares.

Having worked in various aspects of food service for about 16 years of my life, I appreciate what BrickWares has going on here. There are enough details in the shot to keep you looking for quite a while.

What are some things that I really liked?

The tiled kitchen floor definitely!

The cases of lettuce off to the left (making use of the green Exoforce hair)– I used to have to move those from the delivery truck up to a walk-in salad fridge, until the ladies were ready to slice them for the salad bar.

I also liked the shelves and the wide assortment of items stored up there. Not to mention the rat. There goes their health rating! =)

And it’s hard not to appreciate someone who has tracked down all these various food pieces, and food service establishment-looking torsos!