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Showing posts with label Micropolis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Micropolis. Show all posts

LEGO Techniques - Creating Compound Slopes

Roof slopes (or Roof Tiles according to TLG) are a lot of fun to play with.  As a home designer by day, I enjoy working out dramatic roof layouts as simply as possible.  I prefer simple roofs but sometimes a little flair is needed.

The same can be said for LEGO architecture.  I like the 25° (AKA 33°) slopes as they are similar to a 6:12 roof pitch but the amount of parts is very lacking.  We've got several widths of straight slopes, a hip (outside) slope, and a valley (inside) slope that is seriously lacking in color choices.  There are also a couple of caps to finish off the ridge.  But you can't intersect two ridges.  Or run a ridge into a slope.  Or cap a hip.

The 45° slopes are much more diverse.  As well as several widths of straight slopes, there are enough auxiliary bits to make a respectable roof.  You can do a true hip cap (think pyramid) or run a lower ridge into a roof slope or have a ridge that turns a 90° angle.  My only beef with the 45° slopes is that this replicates a 12:12 roof pitch which is generally reserved for older homes, specifically Victorian or Tudor.  The 12:12 is uncommon on newer homes.  I guess that's just a good reason to do some classic homes with LEGO pieces, right?

Turns out, I've been working on a Micropolis scale Victorian home.  I started with the roof to make sure that part would turn out right.  There were four specific shapes I wanted to incorporate.  The first was a hip roof overall.  The second was to have an 'L' along the ridge.  The third was to have a minor gable on one end.  And the fourth, of course, was a turret or spire.

Here's my digital mockup which I'm quite pleased with.  All my features are incorporated.  I've noted the elements for you non-roofy type people.  There are a few minor quirks in the design but it's otherwise straightforward.  I started by sketching out the basic hip shape before adding the gable end.  That required 2 piece swaps to turn that portion of the slope vertical.  Rather than mess around with the next level up, I capped the gable end with a 3049.  This is a 1x2 double slope (ridge) with a little pointy inverted portion on it.  The pointy bit is specifically designed to sit flush over slopes.

On the back side I ran into a temporary issue with the ridge turning the corner.  There used to be a piece (called 962 in Ldraw) that was made specifically for this application.  However it was last made in 1969.  For a buck I could have a used one.  But I don't want a red or blue roof.  There are no other options.  I'm guessing that this part was discontinued due to it's uselessness.  There's nothing it could do that two other pieces couldn't achieve.  While it's always nice to have variety in pieces, sometimes the purple area of the Venn diagram is not cooperation but redundancy.

In my case the solution was easy.  One ridge was built as usual with the triple slope hip piece 3048.  Then the other ridge started by capping the first ridge with a 3049.  Both ridges were finished with the same triple slope.  From a house building perspective, this looks like tack-on to me.  But I guess when building with LEGO pieces, strict structural rules are not always necessary.

But one issue remained.  I needed a notch for the turret/spire/rocket ship to fit through.  For this, I could not find an extant solution.  There are some parts that come close.  The 3045 would be the part that would normally fit.  But I need that corner gone.  There's a newer 13548 that is somewhat faceted but it still does not eliminate the corner entirely.  Best bet is a 1x2 slope in one direction and fake the other side with a cheese slope.

Instead, I decided that something MUST be done about this gap in the canon.  A new piece was in order.  But much like the forgotten ridge corner, there's no use creating a piece that only has a very specific application.  So we need to take an existing piece and make a mate that will not only fulfill my needs but many others as well.

I thought it was such a good idea that I put it on Cuusoo.  *Edit: Cuusoo no longer accepts new parts submissions and has removed all existing ones.  Guess I'll keep dreaming.

LEGO Micropolis Finish Edges - Inside Corners

It's been a while since I posted some examples of how I finish the street edges of my Micropolis blocks.  The final piece of the puzzle is the inside corners for when you have an 'L' shaped layout.  As with the other edges, these are built with 16x16 modules in mind.  They can easily be repeated and used for larger layouts.  This inside corner will easily connect to the straight edges and outside corners previously posted.

Please note that the corner if this module can be very weak if you don't take proper care to overlap elements.  As with the other modules you can substitute pieces as needed, just be sure to overlap joints.

Parts you will need:

1   1x2 brick
1   1x3 brick

2   1x3 plate
1   1x4 plate
3   1x8 plate
1   2x2 corner plate
14 2x3 plate
4   2x2 inverted slope 45
6   3x2 inverted slope 33
2   1x1 technic brick with hole
2   1x2 technic brick with hole
tiles as needed for street and sidewalk (staggering recommended for strength).

Don't miss the 1x3 and 1x4 plate near the back

Bricks in the back.  Yes, the 2x2 corner plate is floating.  Firmly attach it in the next step.

LEGO Micropolis Finish Edges - Outside Corners

A couple of weeks ago I introduced a concept for a finish edge for the Micropolis modules.  Today I would like to introduce my solution for an outside corner.  The outside corner is fairly easy.  A standard finish module snaps on to one side.  The other side can take a similar finish module but we need to fill in the 3x3 gap.  So outside corners are solved with a standard module and a secondary outside module that has an extra 3 studs of length.  The extra street module needs to snap into the Micropolis module as well as the straight street module.  There are a few extra pieces involved but otherwise it is the same as the straight street.

Parts you will need:

1   1x1 plate
1   1x3 plate
2   1x8 plate
9   2x3 plate
2   2x2 inverted slope 45
4   3x2 inverted slope 33
1   1x1 technic brick with hole
1   1x2 technic brick with hole
1   1x2 technic brick with 2 holes
tiles as needed for street and sidewalk (staggering recommended for strength).

Connect with pins to the quarter block module and straight edge module.

LEGO Tips and Techniques - Micropolis Finish Edges

I recently became interested in Micropolis scale after seeing some of it in person at Bricks Cascade 2013.  As a primarily micro builder anyway it was not that hard to grasp.  I just had to learn to build my buildings three times bigger.  I've been using my junky old LEGO pieces to build the baseplates but didn't like seeing the dirty yellowed technicolor edges of a Micropolis.  The other thing that bothered me a little was having edge roads only 2 studs wide.  That's one way, right?  Or at least a 25 mph two way.  It occurred to me that a finishing edge would be a nice touch.

For starters it should hold the rest of the road and another sidewalk, so at least 3-wide.  Second, it needs to have the technic hole in the middle for connection to the system.  For that matter it should also consider connecting to another finish edge on the side.  It would be easy enough to make this square but for a really nice look, why not a taper or cantilever look?  For best look, black is recommended though dark or light bley would look professional as well.  Dark bley is used in this tutorial to see the steps easier.

Parts you will need:

2   1x8 plate
8   2x3 plate
2   2x2 inverted slope 45
4   3x2 inverted slope 33
2   1x1 technic brick with hole
1   1x2 technic brick with hole
tiles as needed for street and sidewalk (staggering recommended for strength).

For increased strength two 4x8 plates could be used instead of the row of 2x3 plates.  However you will have 1 extra stud to cover.  Perhaps a decorative fence to keep your microfigs from falling off the edge of Micropolis?  Your improvements are welcome in the comments.