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How do you MOC? I'm curious where the best place to start is. I know some use digital designers, but I could never get the hang of it. I'm a very hands on type of person, but I don't really know the fastest/cheapest/best way to get a bunch of new bricks to experiment with. Rebrickable likes to point out that you can build a lot from GBHQ, but that's a bit higher than my price point for dabbling. Any ideas?

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7 minutes ago, Poly 30286 said:

How do you MOC? I'm curious where the best place to start is. I know some use digital designers, but I could never get the hang of it. I'm a very hands on type of person, but I don't really know the fastest/cheapest/best way to get a bunch of new bricks to experiment with. Rebrickable likes to point out that you can build a lot from GBHQ, but that's a bit higher than my price point for dabbling. Any ideas?

You could wait until black friday and buy the creator towers (last years was 10697)....or you could buy one now at the reseller scum price ;) 

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26 minutes ago, Poly 30286 said:

How do you MOC? I'm curious where the best place to start is. I know some use digital designers, but I could never get the hang of it. I'm a very hands on type of person, but I don't really know the fastest/cheapest/best way to get a bunch of new bricks to experiment with. Rebrickable likes to point out that you can build a lot from GBHQ, but that's a bit higher than my price point for dabbling. Any ideas?

If you do not already own a huge amount of different bricks I guess there's no way around spending serious money.

As for me I bought a lot of bricks at LEGO stores pick a brick wall and bought online (ebay, shop at home). Some bricks just because I could eventually need them ;-)

Didn't build a lot of MOCs yet but I'm still buying more and more bricks. Also using bricks of sets that I didn't want to build (because I don't really like them but wanted the minifigs ;-) and let's be honest, buying the minifigs seperately might be cheaper but if you're also into building it's not).

I guess some of the best ways are:

1. Start with what you have and use some inspiration from the net: For example you can find different threads here with topics like "castle goes space" or "updating the classics" etc. (OrcKing please lend me a hand here! ).

2. You see something and build it yourself. One of my future projects is building a LEGO tree or a LEGO wave. Also I just invested about 60€ (that's way too much...) bricklinking pieces to build a 200-300 parts bb8.

3. Don't give a **** and start big! ^^ Most expensive way I guess...

I would start small and build up a stock of pieces then go bigger. Or as in my case I just spend the money because I can *g* (borderline-ish... meaning I have enough money but I probably should save more of it for other things ^^ ).

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4 hours ago, Poly 30286 said:

How do you MOC? ... Any ideas?

If you're thinking of getting into modular mocs, there's no way around it, you'll need tons and tons of bricks. (average 2-3k per building, as the lego ones are... more if you want to go detail heavy on the interior). 

Looking for used copies of modulars is a nice way to get large quantities of required bricks at a discounted price point. You usually end up needing lots of larger plates, and tons of tiles for flooring and floor separation. Then obviously the bricks in the colour of your choice for walls. That's often the biggest sticking point for me... I've got lots of random bricks in gen pop (your term wasn't it? I liked it, adopted it) that I can do proof of concept with hands-on, but I prefer to build digital models so I can paint the bricks the proper colours and then get an inventory list to order from. I might recommend doing something similar, use your preferred hands on approach to build the section out of whatever bricks you've got on hand.... once you like it, replicate it in digital designer or somesuch program, paint appropriately, and move on, until you have a completed model with all the parts required. Then pull inventory from your collection, and order the leftovers still missing. I then use my digital model as reference as I'm building the actual thing. 

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Sometimes I find doing a 'half & half' of building what I can physically then recreating the model digitally or the reverse of building to a point digitally then making it in real life a beneficial (often back & forth) process. While the software does give almost limitless freedom, it cannot display the structural weaknesses that physics in reality can (unless there is a decent physics mod installed I guess). I am and have been more of a "hands on" creator but building via program can help with those trouble spots such as just getting started or figuring the best way to restructure everything without actually taking it apart.

I do wish LEGO's idea of brick buckets could reflect their Pick-a-Brick wall concept with having handfuls of useful sizes in a few good colors instead of barely a couple decent bricks in every color of their palette. 1,600 pieces yet only four medium blue 1x4's or three 1x6's in dark gray. The Pick-a-Brick option is the best when hoping to buy in bulk unfortunately the selection offered varies between locations and random chance.

Being creative with LEGO is easy; collecting the resources to build is expensive. :wacko:

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You could always try to get some bulk lots in order to build inventory. The price per piece drops significantly that way, but you'd have to deal with sorting it to see what you got. Pick a Brick cups will help you to add a bunch of specific pieces at relatively cheap cost. Buy stuff on clearance.

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The few MOCs I've done (mainly train-related) I've worked like this:

- I design in MLCAD (LDraw)

- Anything that requires a "fact check" gets built out of pieces lying around, e.g. mechanisms, particularly "innovative" solutions etc. Just to prove the concept.

- Because MLCAD does not check boundaries and constraints, inevitably there are overlaps and/or bricks that have been placed twice. When I think my model is complete, I turn my MLCAD model into instructions using LPub. This typically shows me where I have problems, which I can then fix.

- Once I'm done with both the model and the instructions, I export a parts list from MLCAD and start ordering pieces.

MLCAD and LPub have a bit of a learning curve to it - but the guides at holly-wood.it help a lot. I've recently learned about LDCAD, which is supposedly easier, but haven't tried it yet. This is also an LDraw compatible tool, so it makes models that work with other LDraw related tools such as renderers (BlueRender) and Instruction tools (LPub).

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I used LDD for designing the iPhone stand I posted earlier this week.

I had originally planned for it to be taller but just by laying things out I realized it would be overkill to go any bigger than where I ended up.

The learning curve for me was in two places - where to find the particular brick and how to rotate the drawing to make placements. After that I got the hang of it.

It took me a few hours to get my drawing done the way I want but overall I enjoyed the process.

You could always try to build something basic to give it a try. There's also a ton of official LEGO sets that have been done in LDD over at Eurobricks. You could always download one of those and see how something is constructed. There's everything from the GB HQ to Mixels.

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1 minute ago, Alpinemaps said:

I used LDD for designing the iPhone stand I posted earlier this week.

I had originally planned for it to be taller but just by laying things out I realized it would be overkill to go any bigger than where I ended up.

The learning curve for me was in two places - where to find the particular brick and how to rotate the drawing to make placements. After that I got the hang of it.

It took me a few hours to get my drawing done the way I want but overall I enjoyed the process.

You could always try to build something basic to give it a try. There's also a ton of official LEGO sets that have been done in LDD over at Eurobricks. You could always download one of those and see how something is constructed. There's everything from the GB HQ to Mixels.

I would've used LDD too if it weren't for the fact that I use Linux at home and there's no LDD for Linux. I've tried running it under WINE and it tends to randomly crash, most often right after a minute or two .... so that's a no go for me.

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On 6.7.2016 at 7:29 PM, Locutus001 said:

If you do not already own a huge amount of different bricks I guess there's no way around spending serious money.

As for me I bought a lot of bricks at LEGO stores pick a brick wall and bought online (ebay, shop at home). Some bricks just because I could eventually need them ;-)

Didn't build a lot of MOCs yet but I'm still buying more and more bricks. Also using bricks of sets that I didn't want to build (because I don't really like them but wanted the minifigs ;-) and let's be honest, buying the minifigs seperately might be cheaper but if you're also into building it's not).

I guess some of the best ways are:

1. Start with what you have and use some inspiration from the net: For example you can find different threads here with topics like "castle goes space" or "updating the classics" etc. (OrcKing please lend me a hand here! ).

2. You see something and build it yourself. One of my future projects is building a LEGO tree or a LEGO wave. Also I just invested about 60€ (that's way too much...) bricklinking pieces to build a 200-300 parts bb8.

3. Don't give a **** and start big! ^^ Most expensive way I guess...

I would start small and build up a stock of pieces then go bigger. Or as in my case I just spend the money because I can *g* (borderline-ish... meaning I have enough money but I probably should save more of it for other things ^^ ).

That's the BB-8 I was talking about earlier:

 

http://community.brickpicker.com/topic/1320-what-lego-set-did-you-build-today/?do=findComment&comment=608482

 

 

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I buy bulk bricks I specifically need on bricklink. Things like transparent windows, specific colors of slope pieces, bricks, inverted slopes, etc. I will scope out a specific lot / amount I want, find a shop where I can get them cheaply in great quantity, then poke around the store for other neat stuff I want. 

For example, I could also use a these dark bley slopes and bricks for mountains / rocks one day if I decide to do something other than a spaceship. Lego is a lovely medium because they are so reusable. 

I generally build huge spaceships as a project spanning multiple years. 

I find I have a color pallet I often build in (Dark Bley, black, various accent colors), so I build up those colors as a "base" for many of my mocs. I have all sorts of slope pieces and bricks in these colors to satisfy many styles and sizes, and array of different colored transparent pieces to help round out whatever theme I'm going for. 

This is just my style, I don't know how others operate. I assume others have their own sorts of color pallets they use, but I find myself constantly reusing the same colors as I already have a bulk of those colors and styles of parts. Getting a "base" dictated on what you build seems like a natural evolution for each individuals collection. 

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I've started my first MOC recently, a landscape for displaying the Christmas sets. Going to be 2 48-stud baseplates wide said and done.

I decided against trying to plan too extensively in LDD or another program; I've used them before and the time it takes me there vs. the time it would take just figuring it out with real bricks wasn't worth it. This build is more intentionally improvised / freestyle than it is planned.

So, I've bought a ton of basic white bricks and plates, to start doing the rough shape. I'm currently working out how to do a "mountain" or ski-slope and have a few ideas I'm trying using spare parts of any color I have in hand before buying bulk in the color I need (white). Will likely end up going through BrickLink for most of those and buying very large quantities. Keep the leftovers for future MOCs. Final pass will be for tiles and pieces I'll use to create trees and other accents.

 

Basically, my approach on this project is pretty much unplanned in terms of how many of each part I'll need. I have an idea of what the finished product should look like, and I know what colors I'll need. From there I'm buying large quantities of pieces I know I'll need and any leftovers are just for future projects. Not the most efficient in terms of costs, but the trade-off is less time/energy put into planning and more into just building the damned thing and figuring out what works. If it was a more "precise" build I'd be more open to prototyping sections with bricks, then planning more in a Lego design tool.

Edited by kensBricks
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29 minutes ago, kensBricks said:

Basically, my approach on this project is pretty much unplanned in terms of how many of each part I'll need. I have an idea of what the finished product should look like, and I know what colors I'll need. From there I'm buying large quantities of pieces I know I'll need and any leftovers are just for future projects. Not the most efficient in terms of costs, but the trade-off is less time/energy put into planning and more into just building the damned thing and figuring out what works. If it was a more "precise" build I'd be more open to prototyping sections with bricks, then planning more in a Lego design tool.

Haha this is word for word how i Moc! For my JP Paddock i bought a ton of green plates in various sizes only to discover i practically needed none. However my green plate bin is now fully stocked for the next creation :D And this applies to pretty much all my mocs, however this is the most I've gone overboard on estimating what i need.

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I did a winter village MOC last year to display my WV sets. I just went the Pick-a-Brick wall route and grabbed several containers full of all the white plates and slopes I could find. Ended up being 4 full large containers I believe. You can do a lot with just a few shapes. Pictures are somewhere on this forum .... cannot find them right now but they're there :)

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7 minutes ago, dimnico said:

Is it cheaper to go pick a brick or BrickLink? Or does it depend on what you are after?

For common pieces I would say Bricklink is cheaper but every once in a while PAB is cheaper.   When building my Minifigure stands I wanted to us the CMF stands as what they would stand on and PAB was much cheaper than trying to find a store in good quantity and price on BL.  Since I generally use "New" parts the prices are usually pretty close.  "Used" parts can start to save you a lot of money on BL but you never know what you are going to get. 

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2 hours ago, Huskers1236 said:

For common pieces I would say Bricklink is cheaper but every once in a while PAB is cheaper.   When building my Minifigure stands I wanted to us the CMF stands as what they would stand on and PAB was much cheaper than trying to find a store in good quantity and price on BL.  Since I generally use "New" parts the prices are usually pretty close.  "Used" parts can start to save you a lot of money on BL but you never know what you are going to get. 

Image result for life is like a box of chocolates

;)

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For common pieces I would say Bricklink is cheaper but every once in a while PAB is cheaper.   When building my Minifigure stands I wanted to us the CMF stands as what they would stand on and PAB was much cheaper than trying to find a store in good quantity and price on BL.  Since I generally use "New" parts the prices are usually pretty close.  "Used" parts can start to save you a lot of money on BL but you never know what you are going to get. 



Thanks for the advice!

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