Customised Cafe Corner

Reanard Pangestu, from the Modular LEGO Buildings group over on Facebook, has created his own version of the classic Cafe Corner.  I love the simple colour scheme of this version, the use of the 1×1 round tiles in Pearl Gold on the awnings and the feature tiling in front of the door.

This is a great way to learn about building techniques, while at the same time creating one of the classic modular buildings without breaking the bank.

There are more images of Reanard’s customised Cafe Corner on Facebook and, if you want to have a go yourself, you can find the instructions for the Cafe Corner on BrickSet and the original parts list on Rebrickable.

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Set Review: Detective’s Office (10246)

LEGO only produces one large modular building per year, which means that each release is the subject of much speculation and highly anticipated.  The Detective’s Office (10246), which was designed by Jamie Berard, is no exception, and has been high on my wanted list since the high resolution images were released.

Let’s take a closer look at what the Detective’s Office is all about!  Read more …

Detective’s Office

The first image of the Detective’s Office (10246), TLG’s modular building for 2015, has been revealed by stuifzand on lowLUG.

My favourite parts of this building is shopfront on the left building, especially the columns and the printed(?) windows.  Overall, though, I think I am going to need a little bit of time for this one to grow on me.  Either way, it looks like it is going to be a great parts pack!

22/11 Update:  Just had a look at the high resolution images now available on Eurobricks, and it’s awesome.  Love it!!

Modular Building Standards

Is there a standard for modular buildings?  Where to place the 1×2 technic bricks?  How far back should the wall start?   How much room should I leave at the back?  How high should each floor be?

Fortunately you don’t have to go far for answers. Aliencat wrote an great article some time ago setting out the basic standards for modular buildings, which has been reproduced in English on Eurobricks.  This is one is particularly good as it includes images to show exactly where those technic bricks should go!

TLG used to have a page on modular standards, which can still be accessed via this archive.  There’s also a page on BrickWiki on modular building standards.*

The key points to remember are:

  • The technic bricks are placed 9 studs from the edge of the baseplate, so that there are 10 studs between the technic bricks on the sides of the building
  • Start the building 7 – 9 studs from the front of the baseplate
  • Each floor is around 9 rows tall, plus or minus a couple of rows
  • Each floor (other than the ground floor) is its own, removable module
  • There is a row of Light Bluish Grey tiles at the front edge of the baseplate to start the sidewalk

The Parisian Restaurant (10243) seems to have bucked the standard in some respects with the window on the right side of the building being only 6 studs away from the end of the baseplate.  This means that the window faces a solid brick wall if the Grand Emporium (10211) or Town Hall (10224) is placed to the right of the Parisian Restaurant.  No biggie though, unless you’re layout has this combination and you’re displaying the back of the buildings!

* The BrickWiki page suggests having the floors as modules is optional, which I really don’t agree with.

Parisian Perfection

MyParisian02After what seemed like an eternity after the rest of the world had gotten theirs, my Shop@Home order with the Parisian Restaurant (10243) finally arrived in my little outpost in Brisbane, Australia, last night.

What can I say that the title of this post already doesn’t?  It is simply gorgeous.

I love the colour, the kitchen, the window trims on the ground floor and the first floor, the dark blue roof, the white decorations on the roof, the hideaway bed, the outdoor seating area, the entrance, the scooter, the new bowl part in dark red, olive green bricks, the curtains, etc, etc.

With so many details and interesting techniques, the Parisian Restaurant was also a great modular to build. 

I only have one gripe and that is that my shells didn’t want to stay closed.  The picture above is taken on a time delay with me holding the shells closed until just before the shot was taken.

PS. My image shows a few more minifigures than actually come with the set.  My daughter insisted that all the girls should have dinner at the Parisian Restaurant.  The photo doesn’t include the ones that were lining up outside for their turn!

PSS.  My original title for this post was going to be just “Perfection”, but in French.  However, according to Google Translate, the translation for “perfection” is “perfection”??

Reviews of the Parisian Restaurant (10243)

Parisien-Restaurant-10243I’m currently very jelly of Nathan at Rebrickable and Huw at Brickset, who were both sent early release copies of the Parisian Restaurant (10243) for review.

Unfortunately, mere mortals like myself will need to drool over Nathan’s review or Huw’s review until the set is released to the public.

One step closer

A BrickLink order arrived today with these little beauties …

DarkRedRoofTiles

This works out at less than 70 cents (AU) each, which I’m really happy with.

I don’t think I’ve been paying enough attention lately because I could have sworn these were selling closer to $1.80 AU.  However, a quick glance at the BrickLink price guide shows these have been available at the price I paid for quite a few months.  Oh well, better late than never, I guess.

Grander Palace Cinema

Superfunked has taken the 10232 Palace Cinema to a new level, modding it to be non-corner building and adding the grand staircase a building like this deserves.  I think I like this MOD better than the original!

Superfunked-PalaceCinema-Front

The ground floor of the modded Palace Cinema looks fantastic with the grand staircase and carpeted floors!Superfunked-PalaceCinema-Ground

More images on Superfunked’s flickr photostream.

Bon Appétit

When I first learnt that LEGO’s next modular building was going to be a Parisian restaurant, I think I said I wasn’t going to imagine what it would look like in case I was disappointed.  Well, I didn’t heed my own warning and have pretty much been visualising a typical Haussmann building in tan or light bluish grey.

The 10243 Parisian Restaurant is not a Haussmann, but it is definitely a beautiful building.  Actually, that’s not right, it much more than beautiful … it’s awesome, it’s gorgeous, and it’s packed with clever details and building techniques.  And it has a scooter!!

Enough of my rambling, time to drool over the box image …

Parisien-Restaurant-10243

Better still, we don’t have to wait until March, with the Parisian Restaurant scheduled for release in January 2014.

Head over to Eurobricks to see lots more high resolution images.

To B or not to B?

If, like me, you came out of your dark ages some time after the first modulars were released, you’ve probably pondered this question: Should I “BrickLink” the Cafe Corner (10182) (or Green Grocer (10185), or Market Street (10190), etc)?

10185-1

The original modular buildings are just stunning, especially the Cafe Corner and Green Grocer.  So, for me, the answer was a resounding yes!

Or so I thought.

I made up the big spreadsheet to work out exactly what pieces I had and what I still needed.  I put together the wanted lists and started doing a lot of orders from BrickLink.  Each little package that arrived was a step closer to being able to build these buildings.

Unfortunately, some of the parts for the original modulars are quite expensive.  I didn’t rush out the buy these parts, and looked instead for alternatives.

The only exception to this was the 1×8 bricks in sand green for the Green Grocer.  I was lucky enough to buy these for around 50 cents a piece, if I recall correctly.  There is no way I would pay $3.00 or more for a single brick!  And you don’t have to.  For the Green Grocer, you can easily substitute 1×2, 1×4 and 1×6 bricks, which are available in abundance thanks to the Haunted House (10228).

In the end, I never did get all the parts for the Cafe Corner or the Market Street.  For the Cafe Corner, I made the following substitutions:

  • 3308 1x8x2 arch in dark bluish grey instead of dark blue
  • 3861 1x4x5 doors in plain white (not a great substitution)
  • 43888 1x1x6 pillars in dark bluish grey instead of dark blue
  • 60593 for the 2x4x3 windows with 60608 panes, in place of the 4132 windows with 4133 panes
  • 4460a and 4460b black roof slopes in place of the dark red ones
  • 60593 windows in place of the 1x2x3 panels

10182-1

The missing parts are still on my wanted list, but I’m happy to wait as long as it takes to get those parts at  what I consider to be reasonable prices.

Why?

Because I realise that while I like the official modular buildings, I would much prefer to build an MOC!  I’ve only built the older modulars once or twice, and I broke them up almost as quick as I built them.  Unfortunately, I didn’t know that when I first started putting together all those BrickLink orders.

It doesn’t mean I regret what I have spent to date on BrickLinking the older modulars.  I get satisfaction out of knowing that I can build them if I want (albeit with substituted pieces) and building these modulars taught me techniques that I can apply to my own modular buildings.