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


Category: Tips
“Rusty”, originally uploaded by Ewok in Disguise.

As a bit of a follow-up to my recent post on Thinking Smaller & Tablescraps, I was excited to find this brilliant little build by Ewok in Disguise.

He’s really done a great job with taking a few pieces and putting them together in an effective way. There’s a sense where the creation feels well “greebled”, since a lot of those pieces would be used for greebling. continue reading…

Headed to a LEGO convention and you haven’t quite finished your build? Wanting to build something at your next LUG meeting? Perhaps you need to figure out much much of your LEGO room isn’t going to fit in the car for that weekend at the beach?

You need a mobile setup…a LEGO “to go” box. Whatever you want to call it, you need a way to take it with you.

But what to take and what not to take?
1) Have an idea of what you want to build — maybe it’s that mech you’ve been thinking about, or an alt build with your new Slave 1? Or perhaps you’ve never built a MOC with lime green and your dying to do it. Or maybe you’re just in the middle of your current castle. Whatever the case, you need some direction before you pack.
2) Make sure you’ve got all the parts you need–nothing is more frustrating than to have half your wall built and realize you’re missing those pieces you really need. And while you’re on the road, placing an order on Bricklink just doesn’t cut it.
3) But make sure you don’t have more parts than necessary — yeah, if the kids don’t fit in the car because you’ve over-packed on LEGO-to-go, you might find your wife ditching the bricks, adding the kids, and pulling away leaving you in a cloud of exhaust-covered LEGO bricks. Just kidding. That wouldn’t really happen, right? Right?
4) And throw in some random stuff for the win! — isn’t it often the unexpected piece that fits in at just the right time? Or the extra little bit of greebling to really make the whole thing work?

Want to improve your building skills and your photography skills? Do a 365!

Here is Day 5 from a Dan of action‘s second 365.

Day 5

This one is titled “Darth Solitude.”

The point of doing a “365″ is to take one picture a day every day for a year and post it somewhere public like a blog of a Flickr photostream. Taking and posting your pics every day help you establish some accountability for your project, and also help you build a bit of a following with your friends and fans.

You don’t have to start on January 1, but it should be for a full year. You pick your theme (I’m pushing LEGO themes here, obviously).

One key thing is not to make your theme too limiting, or you can dry up on ideas pretty quick. (Or run out of time — e.g. a brand new LEGO-built castle a day is probably a little too much) But it also shouldn’t be “sky’s the limit” — so that you’re actually disciplining yourself to learn and improve your techniques.

Dan’s basic theme was “A LEGO a Day” and he’s also been posting these pictures on his LEGO a Day blog. Dan was one of my big inspirations for moving forward with my webcomic The Brick Side.

Sometimes you want to build great big scenes that blow the neighbors away. But don’t forget to take time to build the small things. Karf Oohlu does a lot of small stuff packed with twists and humor. Check out his latest creation, “The Wizzal Upon his Abominable Chair.”

The Wizzal

Building small is also related to another aspect of LEGO building called “Tablescraps.” Tablescraps are those little things you build when you’ve got a few pieces left over, or you’re trying out something new that you might try to work into a MOC later. There’s a group for LEGO Tablescraps on Flickr. continue reading…

Here’s a cool new use for the recent Green Minifig Stands that come in the Toy Story Army Men on Patrol Sets — foliage for trees! continue reading…