Thursday, April 22, 2010

Universe mode in Lego Digital Designer

There are many people out there who build from virtual bricks. The feeling is different but it has some pros: you never run out of bricks and spend less time searching for that brick too.

If you would like to design your model on a computer you can choose from several programs. Nevertheless, the alpha and omega is Lego Digital Designer (LDD), the official free designer tootl from the Lego Group. It has many advantages but its biggest limitation was that the available bricks and colors were very limited. Not any more.

Many LDD fans were already suspicious that LDD knows many more bricks and colors than available in one of the DesignByMe, Mindstorsm or Creator modes. Now with Lego's blessings the activation instructions has been published.

The new mode is called Universe Mode. The image below shows the bricks available before and after. The new mode does not show separate colors because there are so many bricks:

Detailed instructions are available here. It disallows me explicitly to include it here but it's all very easy, just a one line change in a config file. (Source: Eurobricks.)

Technic fans have started building immediately - this is an offroad car from parts never seen before in LDD:

| Image: zblj | album | Source: TechnicBRICKs |

Creations built in Universe mode cannot be ordered in the online shop of Lego but I hope that is not an issue for anyone. One excuse less why not start building right away!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Off road

Nice weather is coming, builders feel inspired to build something for outside - it is tempting to build new truck trial vehicles.

The first truck for today is the "TT10" from Nagy Abonyi Attila. He took a Kraz 255 as sample for his newest creation. It got so famous that even TechnicBRICKs has covered it. It uses 3 XL motors as well as working suspension and military camouflage. More images in the Brickshelf gallery of Attila and this video:

The second creation comes from Sariel who has built a double cab all wheel-drive Tatra T815 with one medium and two XL motors. As usual he has included a detailed description.

As the image shows there is a big emphasis to make the suspension like the original. More images on Brickshelf.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

USS Intrepid aircraft carrier

Lego Monster is not an average man. Of course there are others playing Lego, but he prefers scale like no one else. Judging from the dates of the photos he started before last Christmas that he builds an aircraft carrier. At scale, of course - as dictated by the size of a minifig. He already had reference material so we had little doubt that he means what he says. This is his previous project, HMS Hood:

His current project is the USS Intrepid (CV-11) aircraft carrier. She served in the United States Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater. The master started with the hull:

He spared no time to get the details right, like the air defense:

Elevator for the aircraft:

Look at this boat:

Slowly it all started to come together. As one can see, size does matter:

The crew is starting to assemble:

An aircraft carrier needs aircraft too. I could not imagine anyone better suited to the task than our old friend Mad Phyisicist. A TBF Avenger and an F4U Corsair are ready for their first mission:

Meanwhile the engineer is working on the island:

The whole project did not reach 100% yet but as I see it it does not need much more. Of course we will report when it is ready. Meanwhile take a look at the gallery of the project and stay tuned for more news bits on twitteren.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 1st roundup

The "Fascinating Lego Model of the Day" has made an an excellent roundup of this year's April 1st jokes (we were caught by one of them on our Twitter feed).

The NXT STEP blog has announced the arrival of NXT 3.0. It includes axles of length 50, a memory card reader and mirrored motors. It is set for arrival in August.

The Brothers Brick has announced that that they will get rid of one of their editors because he was arrested for drug abuse.

One of the more important news is that the Hello Kitty Duplo line is set for debut in the near future.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Build your own Mustang!

I wrote about the mini Ford Mustang on the blog several times. The video is on YouTube and it is one of the most popular videos. Many commenters demand that I provide building instructions so that they can have their own.

Since I am not an LDraw pro, I could not do something as beautiful as _lichtblau_ does. You will need Lego Digital Designer (LDD), but you will have a way to build it.

  1. If you did not so far, go to the LDD website and install Lego Digital Designert.
  2. Download one of the Mustang models (or click a picture below) and open it in LDD.

Once this is done, you can use LDD to pimp the car as you like it: new colors, roof, spoilers, anything.

When ready, you can do the following:
  • In "View / Building guide mode" you can create your own building instructions and click it through. If we have all the bricks then this is it, you are ready.
  • In "View / Check Price" you can check how much it costs to order all bricks from the Lego company..
  • In "View / Send model to" you can upload it to (and make it viewable by anyone) and also buy it. You can design your own box, instructions, I do not go into details now.

If you compare the LDD model to the original red Mustang you will find some differences:
  • LDD does not have all the bricks in all colors. Because of this neither of the downloadable LDD models are red. If you are brave enough you can try to order the bricks in all your favorite color from Bricklink.
  • The hood of the car on the video is made of this part. Unfortunately LDD does not have this at all. If you would like to have this hood you can order one on Bricklink.
I have put a couple of new images here and these are the old ones from the red Mustang.