Showing posts with label tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tricks. Show all posts

LEGO Techniques - Faked Facet

I'm rather thrilled to be building my first ever LEGO commission.  The news coverage on my 1:1000 scale downtown Portland garnered some local attention.  I'm recreating an historic armory building at about 1:132 scale.  Thankfully it's a ton of dark bley brick bricks and a ton of dark red bricks.  However there are some areas where a part in dark red would have been perfect - if it existed.  In these cases I've had to take some liberties in recreating the feature.  I'm more likely to make it look like the original as much as possible.

So when I discovered that TLG made no 2x2 facet brick in dark red, I took to the catalog.  Searching in just dark red, I needed to find something with a 45° angle.  The best I could come up with were the slopes.  There's a regular and inverted version.  I decided the studs on the regular version wouldn't look quite right but the anti studs of the inverted ones might sort of kind of look like some of the little windows.

Four studs wide is equivalent to ten plates of thickness.  The slopes are each three plates leaving four plates in the middle to take up the slack.  At first thought this was a problem.  The two studs wide of the edge of the octagon would be five plates wide.  Is this really going to work?  Ah, but remember that the lip of the slopes are one half plate thick.  Two of these add up to the elusive fifth plate.

The whole assembly needed to replicate an octagon within a 4x4 square.  There's going to be some studs facing each other here and in very tight quarters.  I looked around at some tried and true methods and remembered the "slim jim" method using older 1x technic plates.  With a little modification this looked about right.

Next week (hopefully): How to fill in the gap between the top and bottom slopes?

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!

LEGO Techniques - Arm Nubs

Think it can't be done?  Let my kid show you.  My 5 year old daughter showed me a little "table scrap" the other day telling me it was such and such a thing.  I was deep into work but stopped short when I noticed what she had.

"How'd you do that?"
*shrug* "I just did."

Well, how else would you know unless you tried right?  She had made some sort of chandelier / jewel holder by snapping a droid arm into the hollow stud of a cone.  Not one of the clips on the droid arm, mind you.  But onto what I would otherwise call a machining mark or decorative moulding pattern.  Sure enough there's an adequate amount of raised surface at the elbow to snap it into a hollow stud... sometimes.  But she had found two elements that worked.  Ten minutes later something had worn off too much and it wouldn't properly stick anymore.  So perhaps the half-life of the technique is rather short, or at least limited in uses.  Nonetheless this adds a whole new element to the greebling process.

LEGO Techniques - Using the Brick Separator

When I was kid I had two tools at my disposal for separating plates from other pieces.  The first one was my fingernails.  But as I have a habit of chewing my nails down to nothing that wasn't always an option.  The second tool was my teeth.  I've always had strong teeth until lately but of course this has the same function as remolding pieces into unintended shapes.  At times I may have grabbed one of my mother's butter knives which she wasn't too thrilled with.  "Really mom?  You should see what I'm doing with my teeth!"  I don't recall having a pocket knife until my teens and even then it didn't occur to me to use it as a LEGO tool.

Lo about 6 years ago I discovered for the first time the Brick Separator tool.

In the meantime I had made a good go of figuring out basics of physics in regards to separating my LEGO pieces.  Most of the time you need a fulcrum.  It should keep the base of the resistant piece firm, grip it near the top, and rotate it off.  Or you could pry near the bottom and hope to shoot it off into the heater vent.

I had to planned to show many ways of using the brick separator.  Then I found that TLG had made a handy little guide:  (Click the link from the following page to download an interactive pdf).  I found the guide to be good for basics but a little lacking in variety.  The methods they show are a good start to most problems, but certainly not all.  The one on the lower right, removing a tile, does not work for me.  At least not often.  I have found it simpler to turn the separator upside down and use it that way.

When removing rows of tiles, I've discovered that you can run the (upside down) blade edge along the whole row and pop them up like a giant worm might do in a Kevin Bacon flick.  Or if you've got pieces bridging across plates, just shove the separator straight through underneath them and watch the carnage.

You may encounter a situation where the grippage of two pieces is so tight that you cannot simultaneously grip and pry the assembly at the same time.  In these cases try employing one separator per piece.  One on top and one on the bottom acting in scissor formation.

Sometimes you may not have your tool handy.  Like a certain credit card, you should never leave home without it.  Wouldn't it be great to carry it on your keychain?

I'll keep this post updated with visuals for all the ways you can use this nifty piece.  Meanwhile, sound off in the comments if you have a unique method.

LEGO Techniques - Gear With Studs

Quite a while ago I ran a series of posts describing the different sizes of Systems and how they all were part of the greater whole.  That is, bigger is still compatible with smaller.  In my wrap-up one astute reader noted that I had missed the stud sizes for gear such as salt and pepper shakers, minifig display cases, and clocks.  Finally, months later, here's another installation.

I bought a set of salt and pepper shakers more for the novelty than use in the actual kitchen.  That's a nice way of saying the Mrs. Dagsbricks would not let me use these in the kitchen but camping would be okay.  I'll pass on the dirt/ABS mashup.  So they are novelty items in my office space.  But while purchasing these I used them to test sizes of various "Gear" and discovered that there is consistency even in these large items.

To wit the 1x1 brick salt shaker:

Width: 47mm.  This is 8mm x 6 = 48mm - 1mm of tolerance.
Height: 57mm.  9.6mm x 6 = 57.6mm.  My calipers could be off a touch.
Stud Diameter: 29mm.  4.8mm x 6 = 28.8mm.
Stud Height: 11mm. 1.7mm x 6 = 10.2mm.  So apparently these studs are a touch high.

This comes in at the same size as Primo and Soft Bricks, six times LEGO System.  I've updated the chart with this new item.  Due to the height of Primo studs, they are only compatible in one direction with the gear.  You can stack Primo on top of gear but the other way 'round will be an exercise in frustration.

Practically there's very little value to this size other than novelty.  As with Primo there's no clutch to speak of.  But if you really wanted to you could create some sort of a megalith with your display cases and salt and pepper shakers, then topped off with whimsical Primo blocks.  But at that point you've got more free time and/or money than me.

LEGO Tricks - Building in the Bag

Here's a fun parlor trick.  If you've got a single bag set, try building it in the bag.  No tearing open the bag and dumping the contents out.  Use your mad skills to get the pieces to snap together.  This is especially fun with polybags where you can barely see what you're doing, or where the instructions might get in the way.  Likely candidates are the smaller Creator sets that have all parts in a single bag within the hard shell.  I've also done a couple of the Tiny Turbos this way too.  Though two sets after I started doing this, TLG cut the baggie and just put the parts loose in the hard shells.  It eventually came back in the Creator hard shells.

The hardest part about this pastime is not the build itself.  Rather, it's that static electricity builds up inside the bag from so much friction.  The static electricity affects tiny plastic pieces.  You might be shoving a cheese slope to the bottom when suddenly it rises up to the top of the bag!  Science!

This is often a contest at LEGO conventions.  Get your skills honed and whomp the competition.  I've taken anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to get one done depending on how much I've groped the bag.  Here are my personal wins:

Those bags get awfully crinkly and the stickers are durn near impossible to apply.

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 Techniques - LEGO Dice

Roll them bones!  Probably one of the greatest things to come out of the new generation of LEGO Games has been the dice.  They seem to sell for a pretty low price but they are master studs out pieces if you can manage them.  The dice have two parts to them.  One is the ABS mold injected red (or pearl gold) bit.  The other is the rubber injected flange bit that allows the dice to bounce around your table like a ping pong ball.  The rubber flange is fairly easy to separate from the surface of the die but requires a bit more finesse to remove it in one piece.  At some point I finally gave up and cut out the center of one of the rubber sides.  Only then did I realize that there is a hollow inside the plastic part that allows the rubber to flow through and grip tenaciously.

But with or without the flange you an use the die for creating a whole ton of SNOT.  The only drawback is that the distance between studs is 5.5 plates.  This can be made a few different ways.  A 2x plate is the same width as 5 plates tall.  You could attach either one to a bracket or other element with a half plate portion.  Or you could use a travis brick (2.5 plates wide) with three plates (or a brick) to take up the rest.  You would have to choose whether to put 3 plates on one side or 2 on one side and 1 on the other.  In this case I've got studs to the outside with a half plate gap between them.

Or you could build out the die with a plate on opposite sides.  You would then have 7.5 plates in width which is exactly the same length as a 3x element.  The problem then becomes a 1/4 plate gap due to the size of the opposing plates.  (5.5 plates minus 5 plates for a 2x element leaves a 1/2 plate width to be split evenly).  One form of a perfect connection would be to place 2x2 plates on every face and then 3x3 plates over that.  Every 3x3 will show only the edge of the plate and no more.

Imagine these are 3x3 plates...

Or you can throw caution to the wind and let the gaps add up, eventually resolving it somewhere.

You can see that little hole in the middle that helps the rubber flange to grip the die so well.  You can start a Technic axle down the hole but it won't go past the stop.  Even a 3.2mm bar won't slip through there.  It's about 1.6mm thick so it's not grippable by a clip either.  It's mostly just in the way.

With Novvember coming up soon I think I might try my hand at using this piece to build some sort of LEGO Games based Nnenn-ship.

LEGO Techniques - Gingerbread Man Head

I'm not much of a CMF collector.  I had a little run on Series 6 but beyond that it's been hit and miss.  But when Series 11 came out I was impressed with the Gingerbread Man, mostly for the new head mold.  So when I found one of these figures through the usual packomancy (feel for the mug) I was excited to give it a look over.
The very first thing I noticed about the head was that it was 2 pieces.  I logged onto Bricklink and found I was not the first to make this discovery.  The head is listed as a c01 piece (meaning complete assembly) using the number for the main head piece.  However there is no entry for the filling. I took up my duties as a community activist and added the piece to be approved.  BrickOwl has already approved it as a new part.

As you can see I stressed it out trying to figure out the proper removal method.

My first thought on the shape of this piece was that it resembled the Rebel Alliance symbol but without the barb/floret in the center.  The addition of a small piece would make it a nice chocolate cream addition to a Star Wars diorama.  I can almost hear Yummy Wan Kenobi telling Luke Stovewalker to use the Fondant.

So what can you do with this piece?  It has some very odd dimensions.  Where the Bionicle Zamor Sphere is 17mm (just over 2 studs) this interior piece and the whole head is 14mm in diameter (just under 2 studs).  It's also too big to fit inside the bottom of a 2x2 piece (12.8mm).

LEGO element dimensions generally work on a grid of 0.8mm.  Here, the thickness of the piece is 2mm which again presents a challenge.  Most clips need at least 3mm of thickness to grab onto.  The 2mm thickness also makes it impossible to fit inside a grill tile which is 1.6mm wide.

One dimension worth noting is the void inside the two clip ends.  This space seems to be just under 8mm and can therefore grip onto a 1x element.  The little guide nub in the middle can slip into a hollow stud for a little extra security.

The great frosted staff of Chocohlu

"We've reached the temple!  Only those who are delicious may enter."

So how to remove this piece?  GENTLY pry both ends by the neck away from each other.  An X-acto blade should be skinny enough to get in there.  This should release the clips on either side just enough to shoot the piece off into your pile of clean laundry thereby requiring you to fold it all and put it away before finding it.  Not that that happened to me.  At least it wasn't dirty.

I look forward to seeing some creative uses with this piece.  Feel free to post links to your creations in the comments.

LEGO Techniques - Tubs and Cups

After our recent discussions on DUPLO, Quatro, and Primo, there is one even larger size of stud to consider.  Did you realize that The LEGO Company has made and continues to make pieces with a stud diameter of approximately 48mm or 10 times larger than a standard LEGO System stud.  "Where can I get these pieces!?" you may ask.  Unfortunately you can't buy these pieces by themselves.  You generally have to buy a bunch of other pieces to get them.  These pieces are the older studded tubs that LEGO sets used to come in (I make this assumption as I haven't seen any on store shelves in a while) or the Pick-a-Brick cups.


LEGO in their inherent genius has made even these large elements stackable.  The studs on top have a slightly more pronounced graduation to them which is why I said approximately 48mm.  The bottom of the stud is 50mm wide and the top (just before the bevel) is 48mm.  The very top not including the bevel is about 44mm.  The bottom of the PaB cups are also indented (much like a wine bottle) to allow other cups to stack on top.  This gigantic anti-stud is of course also graduated.  These conical contours are based on the necessity for compact stacking of the cups next to your local PaB wall.

So what can you do with these studs?  The first answer is obvious.  You could get a bunch of 2x3 tubs and stack them to make a life-size fort.  Use the PaB cups to top off your ramparts.  Of course the clutch power is worse than a MEGA-blok so the only defense you have is to push it over on your attacker once he's at your wall.  Game over.

And you can't even stack the cups side by side.  Pro-tip: The bottom older tub is designed for 44m studs, not 48mm.

The second answer would involve finding some sort of piece that could step these fatties down to System size.  Being 48mm wide, the studs are the same size as a 6x6 round plate or dish.  Given the looser tolerance of the cups, the only place a 6x6 round will fit snug is to the inside of the lid stud.

 For once though I am flabbergasted on a missed opportunity.  As noted in my previous post on PaB cups and holiday boxes, the small cups are precisely half the VOLUME of the big cups.  However the small cups are slightly LESS than half the height of a large cup.  Were the large cup to be a touch girthier than the problem would be solved.  As it is, the small cups are 78mm tall and the tall cups are about 170mm tall.  This is just shy of 8-1/3 studs and 18 studs high respectively.

Could you build with them?  Well, sure.  But you're limited to 2x2 and 2x3 bricks and 1x1 round bricks that aren't quite the same height.  Adding another lid or two on top may get you there but at that point, why bother.  Just go get some Soft Bricks.  84 elements for $500?  I'll take a 6-pack, please...

LEGO Tricks - A Primer on Primo

Continuing with our subject of big (and out of production) LEGO pieces, today we're going to play with some Primo.  In following the logic of naming conventions, this one's right out.  If LEGO is normal size, DUPLO makes sense as double size and Quatro makes sense as quadruple sized.  Primo (for those rusty in your Latin) would imply 'first' or 'one' and in my mind would be better suited for normal LEGO bricks.  Then again in following convention, Uno is probably rightly the proper word.  The use of Primo in this case would imply the first bricks you would get for your baby.  These are warehouse club sized bricks coming in at 6x the size of normal LEGO bricks.  A 1x1 Primo piece is the same size as a Minecraft module.

But in their German-type engineering spirit, the Primo pieces work almost seamlessly with System and DUPLO, not so much with Quatro.  (Which makes sense since the difference between those 2 scales is 1.5x).  They will however co-mingle on top of a DUPLO.

There is one awesome Primo brick that is 1x1 but instead of having a Primo stud on top has 4 DUPLO studs.  This is awesome because it reciprocates what is already possible.  Due to some sort of Divine Providence (Great Ole's ghost, no doubt), the anti-stud of a Primo brick fits perfectly over a grid of 2x2 DUPLO studs.  Incredible.

As if that wasn't enough of a bonus, there's more.  It'll cut a tin can, then a tomato with ease.  It'll even accept many 4x4 round pieces up its underside.  Plates, bricks, turntables, even the piece made famous by a recent Iron Builder challenge, the Bionicle Tridax Pod Half.  This latter piece is muy bueno for it almost acts as a ball and socket when used under a Primo with good clutch.  There's now only 1° between Bionicle and Primo.  Take that Kevin Bacon.

As big as they are shipping gets into the cost prohibitive range rather quickly.  I was lucky to obtain mine via an early LEGO Find.  But if you have a few in your collection you may enjoy using them in unusual ways.

LEGO Techniques - Using Quatro

Quatro makes DUPLO look like LEGO.  Wait, what?  See, DUPLO is a double sized LEGO brick.  You can see that in the name itself.  Quatro is an even larger scale of LEGO brick that is twice as big as DUPLO.  The line was produced between 2004 and 2006 with only 10 sets.  I'm assuming LEGO stopped at the Quatro brick because Octro is a terrible marketing name.  Though there is Octan...

Quatro comes in 5 basic shapes; 1x2, 1x4, 2x2, 2x2 curved slope and 2x4.  There is also a 2x4 vehicle base and a massive truck.  And a minifigure (Quatrofigure?).

Much as DUPLO to LEGO, Quatro studs are hollow to allow the bottom tubes of DUPLO to set inside them.

Integrating Quatro directly with LEGO is a little difficult.  It would be easier to step down with DUPLO first.  However there are a very limited number of pieces that could help.  First, a minifig head fits nicely into the bottom tube of the Quatro.  This is a very dangerous way to lose a perfectly good head unless you are willing to drill a hole in the top of your Quatro block.  If you want to integrate this way, it would be better to shove some 1x1 round brick on the hole to keep the head from going to far.

 The inside of the open stud is about 15mm, just shy of a round 2x2 brick.  Further (just like all hollow studs) there are four little bits of extra material in there to create clutch.  What I did find to fit was a small tire which could have a wheel inside which then attaches to the appropriate modified plate.

When I first built my Dag Bricks, I was calling them Tetra Bricks to not be confused with the official Quatro Blocks.  Given that the scale is the same it should be no surprise that Quatro stack on top of Dag Bricks.  Unfortunately the converse is not true.  Which is a shame.  Thankfully Dag Bricks are still compatible with System.  :-D

Using Quatro might not be your best choice unless you already own some or know of someone who is tossing them.  The pieces are pretty cheap on Bricklink but they will almost certainly be more expensive to ship any quantity due to their volume.  However your tireless hours of creating filler inside your superstructure may be reduced to mere minutes.  And the overall weight will be much lighter as well.

LEGO Techniques - Using DUPLO

DUPLO (if you haven't noticed) is a larger sized LEGO compatible brick made by the same company.  The target audience is usually pre-schoolers and under.  The idea is that the larger bricks are easier to handle and harder to swallow.  My 2 year old handles 1x1 round plates without a problem so this concept is lost on us.  Nonetheless we have a sizable collection in our house and I find it very hard to pass up the opportunity to add to it.  Reasons are multiple.

First off, you can build large and fast.  DUPLO bricks are twice the size of regular bricks in every respect.  If you remember your high school geometry, this means a 2x4 DUPLO brick occupies 8x (twice the size in three dimensions) the space of a 2x4 LEGO brick.  So you could replicate the size of a 2x4 DUPLO brick with 8 2x4 LEGO bricks.  This means towers to the 8' ceiling can happen in about 5 minutes or less.

Second, DUPLO comes in a myriad of colors.  The 2x2 DUPLO brick comes in 49 colors.  This is surpassed only by minifig arms and 1x2 bricks (according to the Bricklink catalog stats for parts in the most colors).  So you could build the most beautiful rainbow, flowers, or color gradient.  All in blocky 2x scale of course.

Finally, and most importantly to this post, DUPLO is completely and utterly compatible with LEGO.  The designers of DUPLO did us a great service by integrating two crucial elements into DUPLO bricks.  The first is the knob on top.  All DUPLO knobs are open.  The interior diameter of the knobs is the same as the outside diameter of the tube on the underside of a 2x brick.  This dimension (for the engineers) is 6.51mm O.D.  So a 2x4 brick will fit very snugly down onto and clutch with a 1x2 DUPLO brick.

Check out my amazing clutch powers

The underside of DUPLO bricks have ribs that make up for what should be thicker walls.  But economic geniuses that they are, The LEGO Group has decided to make the walls as thin as practically possible.  In order to clutch well, ribs are placed at every point where they meet knobs in order to take up the difference in thickness.  By making the walls thinner the DUPLO elements also accept the 1.6mm offset of LEGO element knobs and allow them to be placed on the underside as well.

The only major geometric difference between LEGO and DUPLO is that DUPLO plates are 1/2 the thickness of bricks rather than 1/3 as LEGO are.  This makes DUPLO plates the same thickness as LEGO bricks.  If DUPLO followed the 1/3 rule, the plates would be 2/3 of a brick and would require a touch more finessing for integration between both systems.

So, how to use DUPLO and LEGO together?  The most practical reason would be to take up big chunks of filler space in a large project that needs very stout support.  At the last Bricks Cascade conference I witnessed a very large bridge that was created with what must have been 100,000 brick bricks.  But as the pieces were being assembled I caught sight of the large DUPLO knobs inside.  "Aha!" I thought.  Here's someone who understand economy.  Besides that, the mass of DUPLO bricks are less and so several pounds were shaved from a gigantic creation.

Skate ramp, DUPLO style

You could also use DUPLO elements where a feature is desired that can't be replicated with LEGO.  There are many interesting shapes that have been created via DUPLO.  Some of them can be simulated with LEGO, others cannot.  So embedding a DUPLO brick into a LEGO creation can possibly lead to one of your MOCs getting branded with NPU, crossover dude!

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.