LEGO Techniques - Window Inserts

TLG produces two main types of window inserts for their window frames.  The first obvious one is glass.  These are generally some transparent color, sometimes printed or stickered, and produced for every square window frame size.  They pop in and are almost always fixed.  The other type of insert could be called shutters.  While this generally includes most classic shutter types, it also includes a few other pieces.  These pieces mostly swivel about a pivot point, either horizontally or vertically.  One exception to this grouping is the slanted window and it's cousins.  They're having a bit of an identity crisis.  Are they a window piece or roof piece?  Why is their insert transparent AND moveable?  It's almost as if we've finally found a Darwinian transition species.

A bigger difference to be noted is thickness.  As minute as it is, there are two different thicknesses that can be found.  The window glass is generally 1.6mm thick.  This can be demonstrated by setting into a grill tile.  The 8mm width of the grill tile is broken into 5 equal parts, three grills and two voids.  8mm/5 = 1.6mm.  In thickness, two of these are the height of a plate.  If you were to create a one plate thick void with a tile directly underneath, you could insert two of these horizontally.

The shutters are a touch thicker.  Most are 2mm thick.  They don't fit into the grill tile but you can test their thickness another way.  If you stack 4 of them loose, they will fit right in between two bricks.  8mm/4 = 2mm.  These shutters will also fit within the groove of door rail plates.

In both cases, you should not expect that these pieces are perfect sizes of studs.  They are made to fit inside window frames which ARE perfect sizes.  A 1x4x3 window frame will have a piece of glass that is slightly smaller.  Generally there will be 1.6mm of wall and header, and 3.2mm of sill.  In millimeters, the window frame is 32mm wide and 28.8mm tall.  It can then be inferred that the interior would be 32mm - 1.6mm x 2 by 28.8mm - 3.2mm - 1.6mm, or, 28.8 x 24.  Perhaps I got lucky on this piece's measurement.  Turn it sideways and it'll fit into a 3x3 space.

Alright, how about 1x4x5?  This would be 32mm wide and 48mm tall.  We already know the 32mm will become 28.8mm.  The 48mm tall height now becomes 43.2mm.  This is 13.5 plates tall or 5.4 studs wide.  Not quite as beautiful.  A 2 stud wide window frame would hold a glass that is 16mm - 1.6mm x 2, or, 12.8mm.  Hmm, four plates tall.  How charming.

Set Review - Orangutan's Banana Tree 41045

Who would have thought that Friends could generate such an intense study of biology?  I had my doubts that this animal was properly labeled.  Though Friends animals tend to be a bit more bubbly and cutesy than their City counterparts.  Look at the dogs and cats, for instance.  So when it comes to primates, a salt lick should be offered as well.  Orangutan, really?  Those eyes, so far apart.  I could compare this to a chimpanzee since we got to see one of those in Collectible Minifigs.  But this ape is a bit bigger even if it does otherwise have the same pose.  Personally, I'm leaning towards a gibbon.

Whatever it is, I am deeply disturbed by the need to place a hole in its back in order to plant a ribbon on the creature.  These poor things.

I barely got to see this set.  My middle daughter is becoming a proficient LEGO builder and took over construction fairly easily.  She let her little brother add a few pieces but took the lion's share herself.  Simply, this set is a tree with a bunch of lime and a few magenta pieces.  I just. don't. get it.  Can a set not qualify for the Friends subtheme if it doesn't have at least three of the psychedelic colors?  Just to be on the safe side, some dark pink flower studs are included.

The coolest part of this set has got to be the curved whip element in green.  This piece is highly flexible and the TLG designer used this to great advantage.  The piece curls around the tree allowing our primate to swing to a new bunch of bananas.  Bonus points for including an extra whip (just in case you break the one from overplay).

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Set Review - Macaw's Fountain 41044

Here we are again entering the Christmas season full swing with... Friends Animal Series sets.  I've already pitched the Star Wars Advent Calendar.  Somebody named Bricks Bothans is finally getting around to it.  Copycat.

Up to Series 5 now with the Animal Friends.  I think Mixels is going to catch up.  On top of that Mixels seems to be a little more cohesive as a theme.  Hard to tell.  The animal series are all about 40 piece color explosion mignettes with an animal fed from a platter.  It seems like there's been a little break since series 4, maybe things have changed.  Although series 5 quietly snuck up on me and appears to going out of style.  Series 6 coming soon?

Our first review for this mini-series is the Macaw's Fountain.  A macaw is just another pretentious name for parrot.  The mold is that of previous birds including a parrot and a sparrow.  This bird is painted very well to match a blue and yellow macaw.  The coloring and ruffles around the eyes are very well done.  The issues with the TLG mold are the severe lack of a majestic yellow tail, and tridactyl toes instead of zygodactyly.  It's a thing, look it up.

The bird's habitat comes with two pieces.  First is some sort of glorified shrine flanked with a fence and fronds.  I think it's supposed to be some kind of aviary.  The fronds are growing cherries (what?! no plate!?) and the parrot is given a stump to perch on.  The build includes the required lime and medium lavender colors with a nice amount of white and bright light yellow thrown in including a couple of 1x1x3 bricks in the pasty tone.  My only confusion is the trans green Bionicle eyes sticking out of the fronds.  Spotlights?  They seem a bit unnecessary and maybe were added for piece count.

The second prop is a fountain that is quite stellar.  Three dishes and a cone sit inverted in a round tile with a trans blue flame coming off of the top.  I like mini builds that are well done and this one seriously ranks up there.  The medium lavender round tile is a little distracting though but if they didn't include it, it couldn't be labeled a Friends set.  Apparently.

Despite the foibles, I like these little sets.  They have part value, variety and, like most LEGO sets, infinite ability to build something that looks similar to the main set.  These little sets are still hanging out around US$3.99 which seems about right.  Series 5 is either sold out or "Call for availability" on S@H.  Maybe you need some different... Friends?

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