Showing posts with label Modulex. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Modulex. Show all posts

LEGO Techniques - System Sizes Wrap-up

Over the past several weeks I've been taking a look at different sizes of LEGO sub brands and comparing them to the System standard.  From little to big those have been Modulex, DUPLO, Quatro, Primo, and Tubs and Cups.  Unfortunately my collection is devoid of any Jumbo Bricks or Soft Bricks.  When and if I can get my hands on some I'll be sure to post about them.  From what I've seen on the interwebs, Jumbo is between DUPLO and Quatro in size while Soft Bricks are about the same size as Primo, stud notwithstanding.  Want to score mega bonus points with me?  Send me a yellow 2x2 Soft Brick and I'll gush about how wonderful you are in your very own blog post.

Some of these systems are immediately compatible with each other, some take a little more tinkering and ingenuity.  If you need a little help with size comparisons and what might fit where, take a look at the handy-dandy chart I created and made public.  If you have definitive dimensions to help fill any of the voids please feel free to share.  Jumbo Bricks and Soft Bricks could use the most help.

I feel like I did a good job of hitting all the sizes.  What else did I miss?

LEGO Techniques - Modulex Bricks

Modulex is yet another sub-brand of LEGO that enjoyed a bit of popularity before resurging.  Kind of like bell bottoms.  In 1963 Modulex was released to overcome the problem of the 5:6 w:h ratio of LEGO by using a more firm 1:1 ratio.  However the size of the bricks was also reduced to 5/8 the size.  These bricks were not marketed to kids mind you.  They were intended as a medium for architects, hence the 1:1 ratio.  There are no known Modulex sets per se.  The intention was to buy in bulk color packs and use as needed to create concept MOCs.  Everything went fabulous and the company was spun off to continue it's production lasting for years.

Modulex made a comeback in the last few years when apparently a crate full of it was found in a WWII Nazi warehouse in Poland*.  Before that it had been all but a myth.  Suddenly Bricklink was flooded with European sellers (they always get the good stuff first) peddling the tiny bricks.  Eventually prices settled and houses didn't have to be mortgaged to purchase a handful of them.

The bricks are not supposed to be compatible with system bricks but who are we kidding.  EVERYthing is compatible when it comes to The LEGO Company.  A 2x4 Modulex brick is 10 x 20mm as opposed to a 2x4 System brick which is 16 x 32mm.  This ratio would make the stud 3mm compared to the 4.8mm stud.  The brick sidewalls are 0.8mm thick.  But this presents a problem.  If a 1x1 Modulex brick is 5mm wide and the sidewalls are 0.8mm thick, then this leaves 3.4mm for the stud.  I think it can be assumed that the actual size of the Modulex bricks is reduced by 0.1mm on each side for tolerance just as LEGO is.  In this case the stud works out to 3.2mm diameter.  In reality it feels a little smaller.  Most bar elements are 3.18mm in diameter.  The Modulex stud fits in the slightly flexible minifig hand but many other ABS elements will not tightly clutch to it.  Perhaps Modulex does not follow the same precise grid of fifths that LEGO System does.

Mind you the Modulex brick that is 5mm and has 0.1mm tolerance on each side will be 4.8mm wide, making it the same width as the diameter of a LEGO stud.

So how does Modulex actually fit with LEGO?  I could describe lots of ways but Flickr user eldeeem says it much better.


Thank you sir for this fabulous picture.


*Completely made up.