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Kelso Advice thread: building tips, MOCpages help, Lego addiction counseling
 Group admin 
For payment I accept:

cash, credit card, check, money order, Lego, gold, (notice Lego came before gold!), tradable organs, first-borns, more Lego, or Phipson's sister.

Now, by all means, fire away with any questions. I'm here to help!

Permalink
| June 26, 2011, 8:07 am
I'm struggling to buld Mechs... Any suggestions..?
Permalink
| June 26, 2011, 8:08 am
Quoting LegoBob 123
I'm struggling to buld Mechs... Any suggestions..?

http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/243531

Other than that, you'd be better off asking someone like Mithryl Dlarix*, because Kelso hasn't got a frakking clue** when it comes to large lego things that aren't either statues of himself or SHIPs.

*http://www.mocpages.com/home.php/30449
**unless you count landscapes, microscale, http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/47475, or http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/93718.

Which I don't, because chances are he's completely forgotten how he does them, and the "kelso's narcissistic and only makes giant rocket ships lol" joke doesn't work otherwise.
Permalink
| June 26, 2011, 9:18 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Areetsa C
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/243531

...because Kelso hasn't got a frakking clue** when it comes to large lego things that aren't either statues of himself or SHIPs.


Hey, b*#%!, I'll have you know that...oh, wait...nevermind. He's right.


Permalink
| June 28, 2011, 6:43 am
 Group admin 
Quoting LegoBob 123
I'm struggling to buld Mechs... Any suggestions..?


Can you be more specific? Are you having difficulty with the design aspect (i.e. coming up with a look that you want to go for), or are you having some trouble with the construction aspect of mechs (joints and balance issues, in particular, can be problematic with this subject).

If it's both we can tackle one at a time. If it's one or the other, let me know, and I can give you more specific input. ;)

Permalink
| June 28, 2011, 6:47 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Can you be more specific? Are you having difficulty with the design aspect (i.e. coming up with a look that you want to go for), or are you having some trouble with the construction aspect of mechs (joints and balance issues, in particular, can be problematic with this subject).

If it's both we can tackle one at a time. If it's one or the other, let me know, and I can give you more specific input. ;)

Thanks, yeah balance is the main problem. I build like a mini one the other day, but it's balance is rubbish. Please help.

~LegoBob

Permalink
| June 28, 2011, 12:10 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
Hey, Mark!
When you build a not-so-big diorama (32x32), how do you start? Are there any stages?
EDIT: My first sentence reminds me of "The Room", the worst movie of all times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQ4KzClb1C4


Previsualize. Start with either reference pics or sketches of how you want the dio to look. After that, think about what you'll need for structural support, and start laying out the interior supports (if any are needed). After that, I'd suggest working from one end to the other, handling details as you go.

Good luck with it!

Permalink
| June 28, 2011, 10:02 pm
What his the most common plate piece that you would use in a slightly hilly landscape? I want to do a landscape and I need to know what pieces I should order.
Permalink
| June 29, 2011, 1:26 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Isaiah Suko
What his the most common plate piece that you would use in a slightly hilly landscape? I want to do a landscape and I need to know what pieces I should order.


I wouldn't say there is any single piece that stands out as "most common" for that purpose. However, smaller plates are more flexible for their uses in detailing, while several smaller plates put together can still serve to cover a larger area. I'd be tempted to look 2 x4's and anything smaller in the way of 2x's and 1x's.


Permalink
| June 30, 2011, 7:57 am
 Group admin 
Quoting LegoBob 123
Thanks, yeah balance is the main problem. I build like a mini one the other day, but it's balance is rubbish. Please help.

~LegoBob


In that case I'd start with building both legs (I'm assuming bipedal is what you're looking for, and not tripedal, quadrupedal shouldn't have balance issues), and then the central section that the legs attach to. Have a look at it at that point and guage stability. You may need to alter the upper or lower leg lengths in order to get the feet centrally located underneath the balance point (which is important). Also remember that the balance point may shift, depending on what you plan to build as the head and shoulders. So try to think ahead to envision where that central balance point may be. Again, the feet will need to fall close to that central point for good stability.

You may also need to consider the size of the feet and potentially increase their length and/or width.
Permalink
| June 30, 2011, 8:05 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

I wouldn't say there is any single piece that stands out as "most common" for that purpose. However, smaller plates are more flexible for their uses in detailing, while several smaller plates put together can still serve to cover a larger area. I'd be tempted to look 2 x4's and anything smaller in the way of 2x's and 1x's.
Thank you, this is very helpful.


Permalink
| June 30, 2011, 11:14 am
General, sir, do you know if you'll be going to brickcon this year? Or is one convention enough for now?
Permalink
| July 2, 2011, 11:54 am
I'm trying to find a Bricklink store that sells greenery (plants, flowers, etc.) and a place that has brown slopes for trees. Do you know any store that sells a good amount of said items?
Permalink
| July 2, 2011, 12:32 pm
Dear Mr. Kelso
My next fighter: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/278301
I tried to follow your advice as much as possible. I hope, I have improved.
Permalink
| July 3, 2011, 6:49 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Lt. John Harland
General, sir, do you know if you'll be going to brickcon this year? Or is one convention enough for now?


Unfortunately I only do two cons...Brickworld, and Brickworld Indy. Some day I'd love to hit the west coast, but for now it's too far and expensive. *sigh*

Permalink
| July 3, 2011, 7:33 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Eric 'Hawk' Mickle
I'm trying to find a Bricklink store that sells greenery (plants, flowers, etc.) and a place that has brown slopes for trees. Do you know any store that sells a good amount of said items?


There isn't one Bricklink seller that really consistently carries a heavy supply of both. Their inventory fluctuates. Your best bet is to just do your "due diligence" with a search.

Look up the part you want (and search under "highest quantity" setting). Scroll through the listings to find sellers with the quantity you need and a reasonable price. I'll often open up several new tabs on my browser - each with a different store - so I can jump back and forth to compare quantities and prices. It's a bit time-consuming, but definitely the best way to really narrow down your best options.

Good luck with the hunt!

Permalink
| July 3, 2011, 7:39 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Magma !
Dear Mr. Kelso
My next fighter: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/278301
I tried to follow your advice as much as possible. I hope, I have improved.


Looks great. A clean build, with solid color blocking. You've added a couple sticker elements, which I like. And it's presented well, also.

I'd love to see you sort of "go for broke" with a ship some time - something larger and more complex. A lot of your MOCs have a really nice feel to them, and I think something larger (if you've got the parts) would be the next step for you. Meanwhile, a nice little MOC!

Permalink
| July 3, 2011, 7:47 am
Quoting AA (Noname)
...stickers make these), it takes a lot of time to scrub/peel/scratch/evaporate off.

You could just use wallpaper remover. Spray a little on, let it sit, viola!
Permalink
| July 3, 2011, 8:24 am
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
Quoting Mark Kelso
[Review]

Keith Goldman suggested me something, and I want to share it.
Stickers. Print your own. Find or make some interesting textures and details.
But here's my advice about that:
Make the details as brickbuilt as possible. It's not a TLG set. Design and print your stickers only after the MOC is finished, don't make them a major part of the MOC.

TLG has some neat stickers, they usually don't leave paper marks after you peel them. Those paper marks are really annoying (older stickers make these), it takes a lot of time to scrub/peel/scratch/evaporate off.


Yeah, I think that's good advice. I LOVE doing custom stickers. You don't need a lot to do the trick, just a few that are selectively placed. But, they're great additions. I try to copy the style, color choices, and level of detail that official stickers have. That way, my custom work still has an official "feel" to it, and it still is consistent with any official sticker work that I might include.

I know many use paper, but you can also go the extra mile and create slide-ons with your computer. A hobby store can help anyone out who's interested in going that route. The Sterlings introduced me to that, and it's a cleaner, more official looking approach to custom sticker work.
Permalink
| July 4, 2011, 8:14 am
I'm making a 2nd version of my "Minibots" and I'm having a lot of trouble with the legs just like last time. I keep on making good legs, their not skinny enough. I took a picture of what I have so far so you can get an idea of the size:
http://images.mocpages.com/user_images/16731/13098117421_SPLASH.jpg
I also want to make the knees bendable just like a human joint.
Permalink
| July 4, 2011, 4:53 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
"Slide-ons"? What's that? (Maybe I know it but I don't know the English term, just describe it to me or give me a picture).


Whoops, sorry. I made an assuption based on my own previous experience with model making...

They're formally referred to as water slide decals, and are transparent stickers like the ones provided with model making kits. The surface is completely clear, and water is used to provide adhesion. Here's a link with a description of the process:

http://www.minifigcustomizationnetwork.com/howto/897

Permalink
| July 6, 2011, 6:35 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Jag .
I'm making a 2nd version of my "Minibots" and I'm having a lot of trouble with the legs just like last time. I keep on making good legs, their not skinny enough. I took a picture of what I have so far so you can get an idea of the size:
http://images.mocpages.com/user_images/16731/13098117421_SPLASH.jpg
I also want to make the knees bendable just like a human joint.


There are too many possible solutions to just list them all, but let me do this...

I'm hitting the build table later today. I'll try a few things, and maybe narrow down some options for you, and then check back in with you when I'm on line again tomorrow morning. A lot depends on the look you want, but I'll assume you're wanting something in similar approach and size to your first bots (which, I thought, looked great), but with more flexibility.



Permalink
| July 6, 2011, 6:46 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Jag .
I'm making a 2nd version of my "Minibots" and I'm having a lot of trouble with the legs just like last time. I keep on making good legs, their not skinny enough. I took a picture of what I have so far so you can get an idea of the size:
http://images.mocpages.com/user_images/16731/13098117421_SPLASH.jpg
I also want to make the knees bendable just like a human joint.


I've got a parts solution for ya, but it's probably best to just send a pic, rather than trying to describe it. Got an email I can send an image to?



Permalink
| July 8, 2011, 7:01 am
Alright! I followed your advice and here is a larger ship.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/279099
Permalink
| July 8, 2011, 3:25 pm
Quoting AA (Noname)
Quoting Mark Kelso
[Review]

Keith Goldman suggested me something, and I want to share it.
Stickers. Print your own. Find or make some interesting textures and details.
But here's my advice about that:
Make the details as brickbuilt as possible. It's not a TLG set. Design and print your stickers only after the MOC is finished, don't make them a major part of the MOC.

TLG has some neat stickers, they usually don't leave paper marks after you peel them. Those paper marks are really annoying (older stickers make these), it takes a lot of time to scrub/peel/scratch/evaporate off.


I use only official stickers...
Permalink
| July 9, 2011, 8:45 am
I realized you enjoy/are addicted to bricklink orders.soo.. before I make one I was wondering if you have to pay shipping for each seller you buy from or one shipping fee.
Permalink
| July 9, 2011, 8:19 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting luke peterson
I realized you enjoy/are addicted to bricklink orders.soo.. before I make one I was wondering if you have to pay shipping for each seller you buy from or one shipping fee.


THAT is one of the down-sides to Bricklink. You have to pay for shipping with each seller. And if you buy from multiple sellers, shipping costs can add up quickly.

A big part of the challenge in shopping BL is to finding everything you need...at the best price...from the fewest sellers possible. It's a RARE day when one seller has everything I need at a good price. I will say, though, it's sometimes better to pay a little more per piece from one seller to avoid having to buy from two or three, and pay additional shipping.

Permalink
| July 10, 2011, 8:12 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Magma !
Alright! I followed your advice and here is a larger ship.
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/279099


Left a comment, but thought I'd follow up here a bit more. In general, a very nice build. I particularly like the little ship and the crew.

My biggest nit-pick would be the really flat surface of the ship along both sides. The sides vary somewhat in color, but not in texture or form. I think you could make a much more visually appealing design by breaking up the surface of the ship's walls along the sides, even creating some additional angles. This is getting into more advanced techniques, but your building skill seems strong to me, and I'd love to see you push yourself towards more complex works.

If you're up for it, I'd suggest spending some time looking at Dan Jassim's works, and perhaps emulating some of his design techniques. I'm thinking of him in particular, because his techniques are not super-advanced, but he still used what I'd call moderately advanced building techniques to great advantage in his designs. And there's something in your work that reminds me of him.

For more advanced techniques I might recommend these guys:

Pierre Fieschi - http://www.flickr.com/photos/47881312@N04/sets/72157623381862533/

Rob Dasnewten - http://www.flickr.com/photos/dasnewten/

Try looking at some of the techniques and parts choices of these guys. They're an absolute GOLD MINE for building concepts, and really help me all the time for new ideas, techniques, and build complexity.

Permalink
| July 10, 2011, 8:52 am
Is it true that you check more often this group, than your own e-mail account?!
Check it :-P
Permalink
| July 10, 2011, 10:28 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

THAT is one of the down-sides to Bricklink. You have to pay for shipping with each seller. And if you buy from multiple sellers, shipping costs can add up quickly.

A big part of the challenge in shopping BL is to finding everything you need...at the best price...from the fewest sellers possible. It's a RARE day when one seller has everything I need at a good price. I will say, though, it's sometimes better to pay a little more per piece from one seller to avoid having to buy from two or three, and pay additional shipping.

Thankyou once again Mr. Kelso! you really are a winner!
Permalink
| July 10, 2011, 3:23 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Kevin J. Walter
Is it true that you check more often this group, than your own e-mail account?!
Check it :-P


What are you babbling about, Kevin? I check emails several times each day. Of course I delete everything from you, but still...

Okay, okay - just kidding. But, joking aside I do get between 100 to 300 emails a day (a quarter of which are from our gang here on the pages). I could easily have missed something. Should I be keeping an eye out for something from you?


Permalink
| July 11, 2011, 7:39 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

What are you babbling about, Kevin? I check emails several times each day. Of course I delete everything from you, but still...

Okay, okay - just kidding. But, joking aside I do get between 100 to 300 emails a day (a quarter of which are from our gang here on the pages). I could easily have missed something. Should I be keeping an eye out for something from you?



Yeah for sure man - I know, was just kidding - Watch out for "... next try" ;-)
Permalink
| July 11, 2011, 11:54 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

I've got a parts solution for ya, but it's probably best to just send a pic, rather than trying to describe it. Got an email I can send an image to?



Ya, I made it when I was 7 so don't laugh. You can probably guess my name now. :P
Sethy28cats@gmail.com
Permalink
| July 12, 2011, 11:21 pm
Alright! Thank you for advice! I made one more. Ignore the size, it's small, but the point of this little fighter was testing out angles. I checked out Pierre, and he helped a lot.

Here is the MOC: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/279897
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 6:11 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Magma !
Alright! Thank you for advice! I made one more. Ignore the size, it's small, but the point of this little fighter was testing out angles. I checked out Pierre, and he helped a lot.

Here is the MOC: http://mocpages.com/moc.php/279897


Nice! Love the lines and angles on this one. Some good parts and sticker usage as well. I'd like to see the inside of the wedge plates masked somehow if you were to do it over again. You've got such a clean look to the rest of the MOC, that the exposed underside of the those larger wedge plates is a bit inconsistent.

Ya know, I wish above all else, that Lego would make some sort of part specifically designed to allow us to put together bricks and plates in a bottom-to-bottom fashion. There are tricks and techniques one can use, but nothing that allows us to just butt them up to one another. It would change the way we build. *sigh*

Sorry for the rant, anyway...nice work!

Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 8:40 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Thank you once again. I guess I must now combine:
Larger size, clean look, interesting angles and stickers to achive a very good ship. Thank you once again.
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 8:48 am
2 questions if that is ok.

1. Is it worth it to just fork out the extra cash and get new bricks on sites like BL or do you find it worth the savings to buy used? Sometimes I get used bricks in perfect condition and sometimes they are in pretty nasty shape. Whats the overall best method?

2. How do you clean your bricks? I have found a tub of hot water (not too hot ) some oxyclean, rubbing the bricks between my fingers, letting them sit overnight and then rinsing them works. Altho I worry about stickers. Is there a better method?

Thank you for your time!

*viva la AFOL*
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 11:38 am
Quoting Zombie Mutts
2 questions if that is ok.

1. Is it worth it to just fork out the extra cash and get new bricks on sites like BL or do you find it worth the savings to buy used? Sometimes I get used bricks in perfect condition and sometimes they are in pretty nasty shape. Whats the overall best method?

2. How do you clean your bricks? I have found a tub of hot water (not too hot ) some oxyclean, rubbing the bricks between my fingers, letting them sit overnight and then rinsing them works. Altho I worry about stickers. Is there a better method?

Thank you for your time!

*viva la AFOL*


think I just answered question 1...I got a order just now of bricks in awful condition...ugh
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 2:16 pm
Quoting Zombie Mutts

think I just answered question 1...I got a order just now of bricks in awful condition...ugh

Why not try Pick A Brick?
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 2:42 pm
Quoting LegoBob 123 (Bacon)
Why not try Pick A Brick?

Bricklink has a bigger variety of pieces.
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 3:25 pm
Quoting Jag .
Bricklink has a bigger variety of pieces.

Yeah I know that but at least if PAB has the pieces he needs then they are brand new.
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 3:29 pm
Quoting LegoBob 123 (Bacon)
Yeah I know that but at least if PAB has the pieces he needs then they are brand new.

They don't have a lot of pieces some people might need.
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 5:04 pm
Quoting Jag .
Ya, I made it when I was 7 so don't laugh. You can probably guess my name now. :P
Sethy28cats@gmail.com

I case you haven't seen it yet, here it is again.
Permalink
| July 13, 2011, 5:07 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Jag .
I case you haven't seen it yet, here it is again.


Sorry, Jag. Couldn't get to the computer during the day yesterday. I'll send the shot to ya this morning. Thanks!
Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 6:40 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Col. Dwight G. Biscuit .
Hey Kelso. I tried SNOT, and this is the tiny result. http://mocpages.com/moc.php/278701

I don't have much grey/bley, so small things like this is all I can make using grey/bley.


Nice. The clean look is so much better in my opinion than seeing the studs. I don't mind them so much for larger creations, where they're not so obtrusive, or when used for texturing (roof tops, grassy areas, etc.). But, in smaller works, the studs really interfere with the other textures created.

Good work.

Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 6:54 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Zombie Mutts
2 questions if that is ok.

1. Is it worth it to just fork out the extra cash and get new bricks on sites like BL or do you find it worth the savings to buy used? Sometimes I get used bricks in perfect condition and sometimes they are in pretty nasty shape. Whats the overall best method?

2. How do you clean your bricks? I have found a tub of hot water (not too hot ) some oxyclean, rubbing the bricks between my fingers, letting them sit overnight and then rinsing them works. Altho I worry about stickers. Is there a better method?

Thank you for your time!

*viva la AFOL*


1. I've found used pieces to be - for the most part - a better buy. I'll get some in poorer shape than others, but rarely will something be so bad I just can't use it. And in some cases I even like to utilize the discolored pieces for additional realism, texture, and color variety. So even the really bad pieces can come in handy for me, personally.

2. I just use warm water and dawn dishwasing liquid, let 'em soak, and then air dry. I know some builders will put them in a net bag and use the dishwasher or put them in the washing machine and dryer. But that seems a bit harsh on the bricks to me. Anything with decals gets special attention so as not to damage the stickers. Older pieces even have stickers that are paper rather than plastic, and those you really don't want to get wet.

For the most part, though, I'm not aware of any really "tried and true" method of cleaning, or any one way that's better than another. By the way, there IS a method to getting whites back to their original brightness that I've heard of (not tried it, mind you). If you're curious about that, let me know, and I might be able to scrounge that up for you.


Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 7:05 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Zombie Mutts

think I just answered question 1...I got a order just now of bricks in awful condition...ugh


It's all a matter of personal tastes. Sorry to hear your order wasn't up to scratch, though. Did some have scratches or teeth marks?

I know a few builders that ONLY use new parts. Costs a bit more, but you'll know for yourself if it's worth it to you to fork over a bit more coin for the shiny stuff.

Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 7:08 am
Quoting Mark Kelso


For the most part, though, I'm not aware of any really "tried and true" method of cleaning, or any one way that's better than another. By the way, there IS a method to getting whites back to their original brightness that I've heard of (not tried it, mind you). If you're curious about that, let me know, and I might be able to scrounge that up for you.



Mark....thank you for your time!

As for the cleaning...I have successfully restored some white parts from the early 90's with hydrogen peroxide, hot water and oxyclean. 24 hour soak...rinse...repeat if needed.

And you make a great point about texture...thats interesting.


Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 9:17 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

It's all a matter of personal tastes. Sorry to hear your order wasn't up to scratch, though. Did some have scratches or teeth marks?

I know a few builders that ONLY use new parts. Costs a bit more, but you'll know for yourself if it's worth it to you to fork over a bit more coin for the shiny stuff.


Heavy wear and tear...no teeth marks but I am really intersted in your comment about texture. Thats a really interesting aspect I didn't think of. Sometimes MOCs do look too shiny which in my case doesn't make sense since I only really do zombie apocolypse MOCs.
Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 9:45 am
Sorry I have another question...

Mark...in your opinion...where is the best place to hit up for Bricks? So far it seems Amazon for sets and BL for parts. Do you agree? Looking at your build room I am guessing you put a lot of thought into this.
Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 9:49 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Sorry, Jag. Couldn't get to the computer during the day yesterday. I'll send the shot to ya this morning. Thanks!

Alright thanks! I'll make sure to give you some credit!
Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 10:08 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Sorry, Jag. Couldn't get to the computer during the day yesterday. I'll send the shot to ya this morning. Thanks!

It helps, but I didn't use it. It inspired me to use some more Technic pieces though. Thanks!
Permalink
| July 14, 2011, 12:13 pm
How could I make this, http://mocpages.com/moc.php/280210 Apartment Corner better?
Permalink
| July 15, 2011, 12:46 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Zombie Mutts
Sorry I have another question...

Mark...in your opinion...where is the best place to hit up for Bricks? So far it seems Amazon for sets and BL for parts. Do you agree? Looking at your build room I am guessing you put a lot of thought into this.


I think BL is your best general bet for parts in price and selection. Every now and then PAB orders can be comparible in price...but, they're usually more expensive. IF you're lucky enough to have a Lego store near by, their PAB wall can offer a great price point on pieces. The down side is that selection is usually horrendous, and you'll be lucky to find anything that you really need. (But, when you do find something useful at the store, it's a good deal).

I've found ebay to work well for sets, especially older ones. But you have to be patient in order to get a good price. Most listings will be expensive. Ebay is also outstanding for bulk purchases where you don't worry about parts, and just buy by the pound. A while back, I got 35 pounds of white for $50. Not bad, huh?

Amazon is better if you want to pick up something new, and do it immediately. That's your best bet for sale prices. From time to time Lego will have sales on their site. You just have to keep your eyes peeled.

Another way to go is garage sales. They can be gold mines of older parts at incredible prices. But it takes a lot of time and searching. In general, the public now realizes they can get more by selling on ebay, so there's less availability at garage sales. But when you do find a batch, it's usually a steal.

You can always try looking on Craig's list, too. You can even post a "Lego wanted" kind of ad on craig's list. But if you do, you should know ahead of time how much you are willing to spend, and what you want in the way of parts. If people know you're actively seeking out Lego, some will be helpful, while others will want to price gouge.

Permalink
| July 16, 2011, 8:24 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Jag .
It helps, but I didn't use it. It inspired me to use some more Technic pieces though. Thanks!


No prob. There is such a huge expanse of options, that it's tough to offer any single solution.

But, in general I just try to mentally go through all parts in my collection that are small and unique in shape and function. Anything that offers mobility is then tested. It's kind of a process of elimination (of hundreds of options) until the right combo for you manifests itself.

Permalink
| July 16, 2011, 8:30 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Jag .
How could I make this, http://mocpages.com/moc.php/280210 Apartment Corner better?


Not a whole lot that I can offer in the way of improvements - it's looking terrific already.

Best I can throw your way might be these options:

1) The small tree in front feels as though it could use a bit more foliage height, given the length of the tree trunk. There are certainly decorative trees with very flat profiles, but they're seen more in garden settings...at least in my area.

2) Architectural treatments - I think the simple facades of the buildings work great here in this circumstance. But you can always play around with enhancements to building facades around entrances, windows, and along roof lines for greater detailing in a MOC.

3) This is very minor, but can still have an impact. You might consider using 1 x 2 bricks mostly for the building of the structures. The 1 x 2's mimic brick or cement blocks, and so add a hint of realism or believeability to the model. Of course, you can go all out if you want to, as well, and build the walls that include studs out, and attached 1 x 2 tiles for brickwork. That's always a terrific feature.

Just some thoughts and options for future MOCs. Meanwhile, great work!

Permalink
| July 16, 2011, 9:01 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

You're the resident landscaper; what's your opinion on http://mocpages.com/moc.php/279869?

I haven't really had much experience with this sort of thing, but it seems to be sort of similar to shaping a tank's turret, although I think that rock is a bit too consistent to look really "natural".
Permalink
| July 16, 2011, 10:05 am
Thanks Mark! I am actually lucky enough to live by two LEGO stores in Dallas with a LEGOLand on the way.

Last night I filled a large PAB cup with some odd parts from the horrible selection, Grand Emporium and a new Creater house (the one with the solar powered panels)
Permalink
| July 16, 2011, 11:06 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

Not a whole lot that I can offer in the way of improvements - it's looking terrific already.

Best I can throw your way might be these options:

1) The small tree in front feels as though it could use a bit more foliage height, given the length of the tree trunk. There are certainly decorative trees with very flat profiles, but they're seen more in garden settings...at least in my area.

2) Architectural treatments - I think the simple facades of the buildings work great here in this circumstance. But you can always play around with enhancements to building facades around entrances, windows, and along roof lines for greater detailing in a MOC.

3) This is very minor, but can still have an impact. You might consider using 1 x 2 bricks mostly for the building of the structures. The 1 x 2's mimic brick or cement blocks, and so add a hint of realism or believeability to the model. Of course, you can go all out if you want to, as well, and build the walls that include studs out, and attached 1 x 2 tiles for brickwork. That's always a terrific feature.

Just some thoughts and options for future MOCs. Meanwhile, great work!

Thanks!
Permalink
| July 17, 2011, 1:15 pm
Hey Mark, did an update on my project thought you would like to see the results,

http://mocpages.com/moc.php/280579

-Paulo R.
Permalink
| July 17, 2011, 4:55 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
Hey, Mark!
Can you review and give me some advice on my newest MOC?
http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/280236
It's a Metal Legion squad.
The backstory in a nutshell: Metal Legion is a military-based authority that controls the Earth, allegedly to prevent crimes and keep the peace. The Crimson Freedom wants a revolution that will overthrow it. These characters have grown up in the middle of the conflict, highly effected by ML propaganda.


It's like I said in the comments section. Nothing really to critisize. I love the fact you tiled everything out. It kept the texture of the lateral surfaces the same as the vertical ones...nice.

You also did some nice interior detailing, and for the scale you were working in, it's tough to get much more detail going on in those tight spaces.

I also really liked the enlarged images. Done this way, visitors don't have to click back and forth from the main post - a real convenience. Even the backstory seemed well written, and was a nice addition.

All in all, an excellent post. Nothing over the top in scale, or really fancy, but a nice little creation with excellent thought and execution througout.

Well done!

Permalink
| July 18, 2011, 8:03 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Areetsa C
You're the resident landscaper; what's your opinion on http://mocpages.com/moc.php/279869?

I haven't really had much experience with this sort of thing, but it seems to be sort of similar to shaping a tank's turret, although I think that rock is a bit too consistent to look really "natural".


Not bad, my friend. Good composition, nice color placement, some level changes. Here are some thoughts as to additional options for detailing and believeability...

Greenery - I might have bunched the greenery together a bit more in select areas, rather than having it fairly evenly scattered about. For whatever reason, when elements are clustered, the human eye tends to prefer that look. It's one of those things we were taught early on in art school and seems to be true. Example: Imagine a drawing of a castle wall. To suggest that it's made of bricks, you draw clusters of them here and there. The eye perceives the clusters and tells the brain that the entire surface of the wall is bricked.

Water - If you're up for the extra work, it would be a nice touch for color variation. Transparent blue tiles are all the rage right now, and seem a pretty effective approach. I also really like SNOT brick work incorporating light blues, and even whites for surface texture variation. The really smooth sides of the bricks also suggest to the viewer water because they're more reflective than a studded surface.

Rock work - The slopes are critical, but I also like to mix it up with plates that have been tiled out every now and then. I'll use stacked bricks with hinges to allow the walls to be angled, too. A combination of these approaches works very nicely, and keeps the rock design from just looking like a pile of slopes. Once again the cluster effect can be beneficial. Make areas of the rock work very busy with lots of angles, small slopes, little crevises, etc. Then leave other areas very plain and smooth...it's a much more believeable effect than detail everywhere.

Hopefully these tips will help a little. Meanwhile, some nice work!

Permalink
| July 18, 2011, 8:32 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Zombie Mutts
Thanks Mark! I am actually lucky enough to live by two LEGO stores in Dallas with a LEGOLand on the way.

Last night I filled a large PAB cup with some odd parts from the horrible selection, Grand Emporium and a new Creater house (the one with the solar powered panels)


Grand Emporium...SCORE! Love that build.


Permalink
| July 18, 2011, 8:36 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

I know it's massively overplayed as an excuse, but: parts. I CAN do the sort of thing you mentioned, it's just that A: I'm not overly good at mixing them into a cohesive whole, and B: I only have the parts to make one section of a cliff look nice, so I have to go with half measures. It's irritating, but there you have it. Ta for the time, anyway.
Permalink
| July 18, 2011, 9:53 am
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
Thanks, Mark! I really appreciate your review and your feedback.

I have another question, this time more focused:
I built something for the same group for a building challenge- a pirate tavern. Since I didn't have enough tiles, I decided to use a variety of textures in addition to the well-known color diversity. I saw this technique on Castle walls, and decided to adapt it to floors, where to usual technique is just color diversity, both in SNOT and in studs-on-top. I like the outcome, but I want some more opinions and advice:
http://aa.doom.co.il/MLRC%20Building%20Challenge/%2810%29.JPG
And
http://aa.doom.co.il/MLRC%20Building%20Challenge/%289%29.JPG

(Taken from this MOC: http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/280533 )

Also, when you don't use SNOT, is there a different option? I mean, I think I know the color diversity technique pretty well, but are there any different ways to combine textures in studs-on-top floors? Are there other textures except for tiles and studs that I must've missed?


I wouldn't say I like that technique better than a completely smooth floor, but it still works better to me than one with all studs. When I don't have enough tiles to do an entire floor, I'll build a floor from bricks and plates turned sideways, and then just cap off the studs at the end with tiles.

As for other textures involving studs-up flooring, I can't immediately think of anything for an interior floor. Often buildiers will use rounds (in plates or tiles) for stone effects, like a cobblestone streets or patios. But, that's more for exterior elements.

Floors, in reality, are very smooth surfaces. (Anything rough, or heavily textured would hurt our feet, after all.) So, for me, I like to see smooth surfaces in the MOCs as well.

By the way, I'd be curious to see how that combo of some studs mixed with tiles might work for grassy areas. May have to log that away for future reference.

Permalink
| July 19, 2011, 7:55 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Areetsa C
I know it's massively overplayed as an excuse, but: parts. I CAN do the sort of thing you mentioned, it's just that A: I'm not overly good at mixing them into a cohesive whole, and B: I only have the parts to make one section of a cliff look nice, so I have to go with half measures. It's irritating, but there you have it. Ta for the time, anyway.


You actually hit on something that I don't think I've heard too much conversation about...but it's actually a HUGE part of Lego building - compromise. In fact, that's what it's all about. How do you achieve some desired effect with the options in front of you? New parts over the years, and things like PAB and BL have expanded our options, but still...one has to compromise to some degree whether it's limited colors, limited pieces, scale, proportions, yadda, yadda. I think you did a pretty good job, given what you worked with.

Permalink
| July 19, 2011, 8:01 am
 Group admin 
Quoting AA (Noname)
It depends on the context; if you have an old, cheap deserted shack you'd want to make it look as convincingly cheap and deserted as possible, for example, lifting the tiles a bit and connecting them only on one end to make it look ruined. When you use different textures for floors, you make them look rush, but in my opinion it's a good 'rushed', as in a 'rushed' carpentry job. A professional, expensive carpenter would have made flat floor in one uniform color.


Very good point. I'd forgotten about situations such as that. In fact, such attention to detail often makes a MOC look more interesting than if simply done with flat tiling (I've done this myself for walls ( http://mocpages.com/image_zoom.php?mocid=272272&id=/user_images/5708/1307019266m ) and flooring ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/22824835@N05/3855962688/in/set-72157622015454671 ).

Permalink
| July 19, 2011, 5:03 pm
 Group admin 
Just FYI, gang...

I'll be out of town without on line access until Friday morning, the 29th. I'll check in then, and respond to any messages left during my absence.


Permalink
| July 24, 2011, 8:43 pm
So, what's your opinion of the bourgeoisie?
Would you agree that an eventual uprising of the downtrodden YFOLs clone kiddies and bioniclekinder is inevitable?
Permalink
| July 27, 2011, 10:14 am
Quoting Communist .
So, what's your opinion of the bourgeoisie?
Would you agree that an eventual uprising of the downtrodden YFOLs clone kiddies and bioniclekinder is inevitable?

They're only downtrodden because they can't build as well. It only takes time to go from the worst builder to a good builder to a great builder. In my time on MOCpages I've seen a lot of progress in my builds and my friend's builds. I think you're probably the only builder who wants a Communist revolution in MOCpages.
Permalink
| July 27, 2011, 11:07 am
 Group admin 
Quoting Communist .
So, what's your opinion of the bourgeoisie?
Would you agree that an eventual uprising of the downtrodden YFOLs clone kiddies and bioniclekinder is inevitable?


The who-bee what-ie?

I've no idea, but from my experience on MOCpages, there's always drama of some kind going on (we don't seem content to just simply build and enjoy it), so...yeah...probably. ;)

Permalink
| July 30, 2011, 2:27 pm
Do you have any tips on making a small dio with a lot of depth, without using a lot of bricks? I just used all my dark bley slopes on an assault truck, so i need to know how to add some height without using those.
Permalink
| July 31, 2011, 11:36 am
Quoting Owen S.
Do you have any tips on making a small dio with a lot of depth, without using a lot of bricks? I just used all my dark bley slopes on an assault truck, so i need to know how to add some height without using those.

By depth, do you mean height of the base? If so, first make some pillars out of any bricks you like on a baseplate, I would suggest piling these up - http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3003. Then just cover all of the pillars up with plates.
Permalink
| July 31, 2011, 11:49 am
Quoting LegoBob 123
By depth, do you mean height of the base? If so, first make some pillars out of any bricks you like on a baseplate, I would suggest piling these up - http://www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3003. Then just cover all of the pillars up with plates.


Thanks! Thats what i needed to know ;) Also, is a 32x32 baseplate big enough to do a forced perspective creation on?

Permalink
| July 31, 2011, 1:28 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Owen S.

Thanks! Thats what i needed to know ;) Also, is a 32x32 baseplate big enough to do a forced perspective creation on?


Sure. I've seen forced perspective creations in very small formats, but 32 x 32 should give you plenty of space to work with. Once completed, you can enhance the sense of perspective with the proper angles and camera focal lengths as well.


Permalink
| August 1, 2011, 7:48 am
 Group admin 


LOL...perfect term for the MOCpages masses!

"Sir, the peasants are revolting!"
"You said it. They stink on ice!"

Permalink
| August 1, 2011, 7:54 am
Quoting Mark Kelso

LOL...perfect term for the MOCpages masses!

Try http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chav
Permalink
| August 1, 2011, 10:33 am
I need some advice on how to write a proper description for my MOCs, do you have any suggestions?
Permalink
| August 1, 2011, 11:50 am
Quoting Bob e inconceivably invincible
I need some advice on how to write a proper description for my MOCs, do you have any suggestions?

http://www.lipsum.com/
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 12:18 am
Quoting AA (Noname)
First, you need to have a spell-checker add-on, good grammar and good vocabulary (get a thesaurus!).
I think I have that down pretty well.

Quoting AA (Noname)
You'll also need a sense of humor.
I recommend the Discworld book series (by Terry Pratchett), the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book series (by Douglas Adams) and Monty Python sketches on Youtube. They'll improve your sense of humor or even inspire you.
Hmmm... I haven't considered that, but I don't think it would turn out well, I have no skill at writing humor.

Quoting AA (Noname)
Next, you need to read a lot.
The books I recommended before, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials trilogy and more popular famous books that are considered* to be well written.
Read descriptions and narrative on high-rated MOCs, for example, Areetsa's CYOA and Mark Kelso's Apocalypsis.
You can also participate in long discussions and debates just for practice.
I'll try to remember to read a bit more.. I've finished Harry Potter already, but I'm in the midst of Lord of the Rings, and I also plan on reading Watership Down

Quoting AA (Noname)
Decide what you like to read and what you don't like to read in terms of high or low language, descriptions (long or short), tenses (mainly past, mainly present, or a combination of the two) and the person (first, second, third)

Of course, most people don't do these things consciously, and some don't do them at all, but if you want to improve your writing intensely and intentionally that's the best way I can think of.

Thanks a bunch!

Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 10:58 am
Quoting AA (Noname)
First, you need to have a spell-checker add-on, good grammar and good vocabulary (get a thesaurus!).


Yeas, I hate it SO much when people use 'Text Talk' instead of proper grammar. It's hard to read and there's no need for Text Talk.
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 11:42 am
Quoting LegoBob 123 (Bacon)
Yeas, I hate it SO much when people use 'Text Talk' instead of proper grammar. It's hard to read and there's no need for Text Talk.

I can't even read Text Talk.
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 11:44 am
Quoting Bob e inconceivably invincible
I can't even read Text Talk.

And that's why I hate it!
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 11:46 am
Quoting AA (Noname)
You first need to recognise good jokes and understand what type of humor you prefer if you want to tell good jokes or write a funny narrative, just like in writing. You can't write without reading.

I think I'll just stay mostly out of the humor aspect for two reasons: 1. I'm really not good at writing humor, and it would take me a long time to get any good. 2. I'd rather have a more serious description.
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 11:48 am
Quoting AA (Noname)
Sometimes you need a bit of humor too. Anyway, if you don't want to be funny (you'll need it for the plot itself, not only for the narrative), then the other paragraphs should be sufficient.

I know, but when I think up something humorous, it's out of sudden inspiration, which almost never turns out right to put in the context of a MOC I happen to have built at the time.
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 11:58 am
I was wondering if anybody could give me a few tips on my first moc here- http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/280069. I know its kind of hard to see the details... my picture quality wasn't my best, but if you could give me some tips, that would be great!
Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 12:20 pm
Quoting Owen S.
I was wondering if anybody could give me a few tips on my first moc here- http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/280069. I know its kind of hard to see the details... my picture quality wasn't my best, but if you could give me some tips, that would be great!
Use large photos.

Permalink
| August 2, 2011, 12:24 pm
 Group admin 
Quoting Owen S.
I was wondering if anybody could give me a few tips on my first moc here- http://www.mocpages.com/moc.php/280069. I know its kind of hard to see the details... my picture quality wasn't my best, but if you could give me some tips, that would be great!


I like the fact that you've opted to go with a white background right away. A lot of builder's first attempts include poor surroundings for their creations.

I think my biggest bit of advice would be to shoot for more detail in your next MOC. While it's sometimes fun to see very small creations done with clever parts usage, I tend to visit pages with MOCs that are larger and more complex.

I'd also like seeing close up shots if you can manage them - to get an idea of the parts used in the creations and to really pick up on details.

Welcome to the pages, by the way. Hope you enjoy it!

Permalink
| August 5, 2011, 5:50 pm
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