Monday, December 6, 2010

Lego® Design By Me (and 'hello'!)

Hello Pieces of Things;
I'm 'That Guy' who's been working with Ruby Tenneco who spotted my avid lego tendencies and invited me to join the blog. I'm new—so be kind :), but please tell me if I'm breaking any taboos, upsetting apple-carts or what-have-you.

In the spirit of this blog, I'm here to share something I made along with this this preamble - notably a little look at the awesome 'Design By Me' custom kit generation process on offer via the Lego website (at least it is in the UK- not sure about N.America/Hawaii).

My niece is four-and-a-half, has just really started to get into Lego, so I wanted to make her a special kit for christmas; her mom and dad's 1984 Vanagon camper seemed like a start. I've never used the sevice (hell I only just left my 'dark age' of non lego play) and thought it'd be fun to give it a go. Download 'Lego 3D creator' from the site and get building.. Simple!

Annoyingly you can't get absolutely every brick in every colour, (Ruby Tenneco can't make his Columbo Peugeot easily with the rare sand-blue bricks) but it's still a massive palette of pieces and the 3D build tool is mighty intuitive with a fairly shallow learning curve. Cool extras let you click a button to check how much it's gonna cost, and you can also auto-create a full set of instructions that will be included in the box.

The box is the real piece-de-resistance though - you submit your model and then get to design your box. A render of your model automatically appears and you can choose from a wide palette of backgrounds, 'sticker' style details and a custom title (and bulder name) can all be entered, making it about the most customisable personal thing I can think of as a present beyond baking. A caveat is you can't upload your own art, but there's plenty enough backgrounds and themes to go with your model whether it be an Atlantean Bathosphere, Cafe-corner store or Ko-Dan Starfighter.

When it arrived I was amazed. The lo-res little 3d preview of your model as seen in the 'create' process has since been sent through some bigass raytraced render-farm and the big image on the box is flawless at about 300dpi /10" wide or so. Not a pixel jaggy in sight. Sweet!

The automated Instruction sheet is pretty good - not as good as something designed by a human, but they work and you build the thing flawlessly and in a logical order...

Ok...So... oops.... this post's getting a little long now. Long story short - kit was not expensive (about £16 GBP), arrived in about 14 days and is excellent. Box is a little big for the contents but hey - it's total custom lego for the normal consumer who doesn't want to spend a day on BrickLink finding pieces.

Minifigs are of my bro's family, built at the 'pick-n-mix' minfig bar at the new Lego store that just opened up across the road from where we've been working.

She hasn't recieved it yet but I think she'll like it. I worry maybe I went a bit mad and it'll be too complicated for her, but I also think Mom and Dad will want some of the action and hence - it'll be ok.

Thanks for reading. Apologies for length!


Litcube said...

Holy smokes! That's amazing. I didn't know you could do something like that. I was reading your post waiting for the price, and was totally expecting something over a couple hundered dollars.

Thanks for posting this!

Ruby Tenneco said...

This is amazing. Welcome, Pickle.

Pickle sits next to me at my job at a North Korean television factory.

Galspanic said...

Awesome Lego exposé! Thank you for posting it. I really want to make something with it. I'm curious to see just how creative you can be with fitting elements together.

Props on the Last Starfighter ref by the way!

bekah said...

Welcome Pickle! The more Lego talk the better.

Mr. Pony said...

Welcome aboard, Pickle! Thanks for the exhaustive and informative post! As I hope you're getting from the comments, thoroughness is a great thing here.

I'm glad to see that LEGO is really starting to leverage their robotic part-picking system, to great effect. I've done the online pick-a-brick thing, but this is a real step up.

Also jealous of your local minifig bar's selection. Ours is a bit lacking. Not enough traffic, maybe.

Speaking of which, feel free to take advantage of the lull in our activity to bombard us with anything to want to post about. We're listening, and always open to new ideas and topics.

Galspanic said...

Dude, Poner....They have handcuffs in the minifig pick-a-brick bins now. Xmas Miracle.

sokeripupu said...

this is seriously fantastic!

ex love back spell +2348155425481 said...

i want to use this medium to anounce to the world about the love spell i order from doc obodo get bring my love it was really powerful ,if you want to get help from doc obodo ,you can call (+2348155425481 , he is really

from Niktah ,Australia