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Showing posts with label stud reversal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stud reversal. Show all posts

LEGO Tips and Techniques - Roller Skates

When the Roller Derby Girl came out I saw some great micro MOCage done with the roller skates.  Mainly tiny trains.  I'm really surprised I haven't seen more done with it yet though.  I've got 4 of the little wheel pieces and I spent some time playing around with them to see what they were capable of.

For starters there is a stud on top and an anti-stud on the bottom.  Great planning already as these can be stacked in a variety of ways.  The wheels stay within the height of a plate so there is no conflict in stacking them.  Since they are plate height of 3.2mm that means the wheels must be bar sized.  Indeed this is the case as you can pop it into clips.  The coolest thing about the wheels is the spacing.  It's just perfect to fit on minifig binoculars.

This spacing would tell me that the roller skates should also fit into the underside of a 2x2 Modulex brick.  It will with a bit of force but it stresses out the Modulex brick and the wheels get all scuffed up.  Best to avoid it.

There is a nice touch of an open space between the front and rear wheels through the skate.  This helps visually but also gives a half plate gap that will clip with decent clutch over the lip of a plate or brick.  Older brick, not the newer ones with skinnier walls and clutch buttresses.

Due to the geometry of the anti-studs under a 2x plate, the wheels will slip in with a bit of clutch, more depending on exactly where you place them.  This can of course be used for stud reversal as another plate will do the same action right on top.  Once connected, the plates are exactly 1.5 plates apart.  Considering that the stud is what limits the plates, this makes sense.  A stud is 4.8 mm which is 1.5x the 3.2mm plate thickness.

 This can be proved with a Travis brick which is 2.5 plates thick when used sideways.  Skate stud + 1 plate = 2.5 plates.  If those skate studs were actually usable in this position, you could do some fine tune half-plate studs-up offsets.  What's that?  If a jumper stud gives you a half stud offset of 4mm, the half-plate offset would be 1.6mm giving 2.5x more fine tuning.

Of course my favorite aspect of the skates is the size themselves.  I am primarily a micro-builder and have recently discovered the joys of the micropolis standard.  These skates represent the perfect size for a set of wheels under a semi-trailer.  The wheels end up being about 36" tall at scale.  Given that the micropolis standard is fairly loose, all else looks very nice.

What else can you do with these skates?

LEGO Tips, Tricks, and Techniques - Lightsaber Hilt

The lightsaber hilt.  Ubiquitous weapon of Jedi and Sith alike.  Made in LEGO form.  Chromed even.  What a cool little utensil.  Maybe I don't prowl Flickr enough but I just haven't seen it used very much as a stud reversal tool.  There could be a reason for this.  It's a rather odd piece with a rather odd measurement.

For starters, one can always stack plates and see how tall something is.  It's a good basic measurement.  The problem with this piece is that it's longer than 3 plates wide and it doesn't quite fit within 4 plates.

At least we have it narrowed down to between 3 and 4 plates.  Let's throw a travis brick into the mix.  The travis brick sideways is 2.5 plates.  With another plate for thickness we get to 3.5 plates which isn't quite enough.  How odd!  So it must be between 3.5 and 4 plates.  Should we try for 3.75?

But why that number?  And how do we achieve 3.75 plates?  Let's look at it from a different measurement.  If you've read my other blog posts, you'll know that I prefer millimeter for LEGO dimensions.  Since 1 plate height = 3.2mm, we can deduce that the lightsaber hilt is 12mm between the two end studs (3.2 x 3.75 = 12).  Since a 1x1 brick or plate is 8mm x 8mm, we could rightly conclude that a brick and a half in width would meet this size.

Still odd.  But at least we can do something with it now.  So travis bricks, staggered on jumper plates ought to equal the length of the lightsaber hilt.  Whaddya know, voila!  So there's one application for whatever reason or usage.

But why stop there since we're on a roll?  One more odd half brick width piece comes to mind and that's the thin liftarm.  Thick liftarms have a square cross section of 8mm x 8mm much like looking down on the top of a 1x1 brick.  Thin liftarms are half of that in one direction, 8mm x 4mm.  Since a brick is 2.5 plates x 2.5 plates wide, the thin liftarm would be 2.5 plates x 1.25 plates wide.  Wait, wait, how's that math?  Three thin liftarms at 1.25 plates wide... carry the 16... factorial... equals... 3.75 plates.  Well yee-haw, another application.

But in either case, what do you do with it?  I can see using the hilt inline to create a point for a clip to attach.  This probably isn't the only way but this offers a nice tight connection.  Personally, I'm flummoxed.  Unfortunately those who figure out the math often don't make any money, it's those who find an application for the math that do.  So use your money maker and give us your best ideas in the comments.

LEGO Tips, Tricks, and Techniques - Going Studs Out

If you spend any amount of time on Flickr or MOCpages you'll see some amazing creations with some amazing parts usage.  Studs go every which way and sometimes you'd swear parts were modified.  Maybe my parts vocabulary is lacking.  Anyway, we have a few tricks up our sleeve until LEGO makes this:
Unfortunately there are a couple of tricks that don't quite cut it.  Let's say you want to slap two plates together in such a way that the studs face out top and bottom (or front and back, left and right, port and starboard, I don't care).  The thinnest way to do this is with two 4x4 plates connected with a couple of the little lever parts embedded between the anti-studs:

But Great Ole's ghost, 4x4?  Can't we do something smaller?  Turns out we (wait for it) can!  First, some maths:

Let's take a 2x2 plate.  I like to work in millimeters for LEGO as the numbers are decently proportioned to the scale of my builds (to be read micro).  Oh sure, there's LDU but it's like using Ångströms to measure a house.  A 32x32 baseplate is a mere 640 LDU across.   I'm not particularly fond of the metric system in and of itself but it beats fractional inches for small measurements.

A 2x2 plate is 16mm across.  The side walls underneath are 1.6mm each.  The big roundy bit in the middle is ~6.5mm.  So the total distance of the void is 16mm - 1.6mm - 1.6mm - 6.5mm = 6.3mm.  Divide this by 2 and you get 3.15mm of void between the side walls and the bullseye.  It just so happens that bar elements (meaning anything a minifig hand can grip) are 3.2mm in diameter.  When placing a 3.2mm element into a 3.15mm space, what do you get?  Did you say no bueno?  Wrong.  You actually get a pretty nice friction fit.  But what is small enough to fit in that space.  Think, think, think, Pooh.  Want to peruse the Bricklink catalog a bit?  I'll wait...

OK, wait's over.  To my knowledge, there's only 1 piece that could fit inside a 2x2 underside and stick out enough to connect to another 2x2s underside.  The bucket handle.  Small one, not the big fat Belville one.

In fact this part will work for any 2x plate connection.  You can even make a couple of smaller unique connections to the bottom of a larger plate.  Already knew this?  Bully for you!  Didn't?  You're welcome.  Oh, and in case you don't have any of these lying around, you're not completely screwed.  You can do a minimum 2x3 plate connection with a couple of these:

Got any other sweet tricks for this kind of tiny stud reversal?  Sound off in the comments.