Under New Management

Palixa and the Bricks’ modified Cafe Corner building has come under new management and they have spared no expense in renovations, not only redoing the facade, but also adding a whole new floor to the hotel.

Budgets were clearly not an issue with this renovation.  Each room has its own ensuite and has been beautifully furnished with bright, modern furnishings.

Even the attic has been converted into an opulent suite.

Modifying the Cafe Corner like this not only looks great, but also allows you to experiment with colour combinations and essentially have one of the originals modular buildings without the expense.  Best of all you don’t need a copy of the original model, as you can download the instructions (BrickSet).

Head over to Flickr to see more of Palixa’s modified Cafe Corner.

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.

Modified Cafe Corner

For those of us who only came out of our dark ages in the last few years, getting one of the earlier modular buildings can be an expensive exercise.  The alternative, of course, is to make your own version, which is exactly what Palixa and the Bricks has done. And done really well, I should add!

Unlike the official version, this modified Cafe Corner is also fully furnished.  I love what Palixa and the Bricks has done with the cafe on the ground floor.

But this is only the start.  Check out the rest of the interior, including the hotel rooms on the upper floors, on Palixa and the Bricks’ Flickr stream.

London Hotel

oirad72 (Dario Minisini) was lucky enough to stay in a traditional London Hotel recently and has shared this experience with us through this gorgeous model of the hotel and pub.

There is a lot of clever parts use on this building, like the flippers for the roof shingles, the upside down legs for window trims and the 2×8 plates with rail for the window sills.

Oirad01

My favourite details are the mouldings on the wall, particularly what you can see from this view below.

Oriad02

The interior is fully furnished and equally impressive, in terms of both the parts usage and the detailing.  Check out all the exterior and interior views on oirad72’s flickr set.

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.

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.