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Showing posts with label baseplates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baseplates. Show all posts

LEGO Finds - Calendar Week 21

This week, more unique finds than usual.  The first thing I saw was a baseplate!  Green, 40x40.  Yeah, this is Samsonite era.  But it's a wreck.  It's missing a 5x8 piece out of one corner, a 5.5 x 13.5 chunk from another corner, has a few blown out studs, and several weak spots.  And the bottom is terribly scuffed.  Much as I hate to, this might be a candidate for cutting down to 32x32 size.

A more pleasant find was the lid to last week's tub.  Now my 6 year old can have her own complete pink LEGO tub.  Half of Hoth was also discovered as well as the rear end of either the new A-Wing or the Home One Cruiser.  I'll be keeping my eyes open next week just in case Lando shows up.

LEGO Techniques - Embiggening Baseplates

A few weeks ago I showed my technique for trimming baseplates to size or creating new canon baseplates out of a damaged one (for you purists).  It occurred to me that sometimes you might need a bigger baseplate area that is available with standard parts (said the micro builder).  You could find instructions online for creating a LEGO table out of several standard baseplates.  Given that they are 10" to a side, a 20"x30" playspace would be fairly easy to put together.

So you've glued your baseplates down to your surface, making sure to use a good glue and making sure to not leave any gaps.  You go to build a monster and creep beyond the 32x32 stud size when suddenly-

"What the?  What's wrong with these?  Why won't my piece fit across two baseplates?  Stupid Danish engineering."

Au contraire my friend.  It seems you have no tolerance.  No, I'm not talking about your mental state of being so much as I am talking about the LEGO pieces themselves.  Most basic pieces have a 0.1mm tolerance on each side.  Baseplates seem to have a touch more.  When you line baseplates up and tack them down, you need to make sure there's at least a 0.2mm gap between them.  "Augh, how do I measure that!?"  Simples:

Just "stitch" your plates together before adhering them.

I'd love to do this to my truck, actually...

LEGO Techniques - Resizing Baseplates

I tout myself as a purist and would never cause any harm to any living LEGO piece.  That said, sometimes reconstructive surgery is called for.  Occasionally... no, rarely... hmm, in extreme circumstances I will trim a baseplate to size, IF I MUST.  For my 1:1000 scale LEGO Portland, it was the only way to make it work.  Rather than cut all baseplates down to 30x32, I only cut every other one to 28x32.  In other cases, I was able to make things work just by shifting the entire grid by a stud in one direction or another before 'tacking it down'.

Thankfully, baseplates are only 1.6mm thick, easy enough to modify with a razor blade, X-Acto knife, or even a steak knife.  You'll want a nice straight cut.  You'll also want to bear in mind the tolerance of LEGO elements.  First, place a guide on the side of the baseplate that you want to keep.  In the example shown, I was salvaging a canon 16x16 dark bley baseplate from a damaged 16x32 baseplate.  By placing the guide on the side you want to keep, you are ensuring that the tolerances stay in the right place.

Next, make multiple slices along your guide.  Go easy and tip the blade at a slight angle.  After enough slices you might be able to snap the piece.  Or keep cutting for a clean line.  Make sure your surface underneath is OK to be cut into - not your heirloom oak dining room table.

Once trimmed, remove your guide and chamfer the corners.  That way you'll look perfeshinul.

Voila!  New usable baseplate!