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Taking my Lego models to the next level!
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Taking My Lego Models To The Next Level!
Project 2015-11-28 21:49:15 +1300
The flesh of the project:
It's amazing to witness, the joy on each childs face when they open a new toy. Such was mine when I was a young boy, aged 6, opening my first lego set. It was a small red formula 1 race car, which I would zap around the lounge in a circle so fast the wheels would eventually come spinning off their axles, at which point I would put them back on and race it around all over again! Little did my parents know, this was only the start of a hobby which I would use to help bring joy and amazement to many others in New Zealand.
As a young boy, I remember dreaming of becoming a lego designer, in my mid 20's after picking up the hobby again my dream changed. I no longer wanted to be a Lego employee, I didn't want the constriction of brick counts and production costs for the models I made. Instead, I wanted to start my own lego themepark in New Zealand. No rides or cafes, just lots and lots of fantastical builds in a large warehouse for the public to enjoy. I started building again and taking my models to the Christchurch Brick Show.
After a bout of life changes in 2014 which saw me sell off my previous collection, my vision is simple: To re-build my lego collection to a size where jaw-dropping models are once again a reality, then provide these large models to various brick shows around the country, and even to display these models in various toy stores around the country - where the whole NZ public has access to view them. My vision is to inspire the next generation of NZ children through a medium (Lego) which supports play, art, design, and technical construction - all at the same time as providing them a positive way to exert energy and brain power through problem solving.
Above: Medieval Village. My Medieval Village, which won the award for 'Best Scene', at the Christchurch Brick Show 2014. Taking up 2sqm of area and using in excess of 30'000 pieces, this is my largest build to date - it is also only half of the scene I was wanting to display. The second half which was planned would feature a vibrant village market place, a more prominent castle feature, a village entryway and a portion of forest.
Below: A lesson in Forced Perspective. Forced perspective is making a scene deliberately out of scale with itself, and then using photography to make the scene appear to have much more depth than it actually does. My build below showcases how an incomplete scene, can look like an entire scene from a certain viewpoint - forced perspective. The four small images are to show details such as holes, out of scale buildings, a front corner angle much larger than 90° and a build depth of only around 15 inches. The final shot gives you the feeling that the corner of the building is 90°, and that the city block is in scale and extends a few feet back.
I always have projects on the fly in my mind, from stand alone scenes which take up a single baseplate, to monstrosities which need in excess of 26sqm. Outlined below are a few of the projects I currently have in mind:
Garnet Cave Castle - We all love a great castle, right? How about a castle in a cave full of garnets? The castle itself will be inverted in shape - hanging from the ceiling of the cave instead of being built from the bottom up. The base of the cave will have plenty of rock formations, each displaying rich garnet ore. A mining facility on the base will transport the red gems and crushed rock from the cave floor into the castle, where the gems will be sorted from the rocks, and taken to the surface above the cave. This build will include a train for transporting the gem/rock mix from the mining areas to the lift which carries the mix into the castle. Garnet Cave Castle will be built on either a 2x2m base (4sqm) or a 3x3m base (9sqm), I estimate it to use close to 60'000 pieces for the smaller version and 180'000+ for the large version.
1:45 scale Christchurch Pier and New Brighton Library - Originally meant for the 2015 Christchurch Brick Show, this build has already been 70% planned in Lego Digital Designer. It will measure 0.7x8.5m and use close to 60'000 peices once complete. See images below:
Can I deliver?
Lego is my creative outlet, jumping back into the hobby when I was 24, I have the vision to create scenes large enough for people/families to walk through and under. In New Zealands LUG (Lego User Group) community, I am known simply as Anthony, in the wider world I am known by my avatar, Thoy Bradley. I am most famous on the website MOCpages.com and have had many of my models re-blogged about, a google search for Thoy Bradley will yield multiple results.
Awards I have won include:
First place over all in show - Christchurch Brick Show 2012
Second place over all in show - Christchurch Brick Show 2013
Best Scene - Christchurch Brick Show 2014
I also worked on and did the film work for the Noble Discoverer, a project owned by Greenpeace New Zealand.
I want to be building again. I want my builds to be enjoyed by the masses. I want my builds to be giving enjoyment to the NZ community again. I need support, I need you.
Remember, lego collections have no limit, and nor does my imagination; feel free to pledge even after the goal is met - you will be helping me deliver an even better experience for everyone to enjoy. Thanks!
The People Behind Taking my Lego models to the next level!
Update #1: Isn't $20k a bit ambitious/selfish?
03:25PM Sun 31/01/16 on Taking my Lego models to the next level!
Raising $20'000 is an ambitious target, because of this I think it is important that I be as transparent as possible. It's only logical that any serious investor/pledger wants to know that the cause they are supporting has solid planning, ensuring the success of the cause. At the end of the day this campaign only needs 1000 people to each pledge $20, I really do believe this is achievable :)
If you have ever brought Lego sets before, you don't need much convincing to know that it is an expensive product - really good quality, but expensive. In fact, after the experience of my first collection years ago, I learnt that buying Lego sets from shops with 20-30% off worked out to around $200/kg. After extensive experience using Bricklink, I managed to cut this down to around $160/kg including shipping - a 20% saving!
With these figures in mind, lets imagine I had put a target of $2000 on the campaign, perhaps much more achievable. But after rewards and campaign expenses that is only going to purchase 10kgs of Lego, perhaps enough for a 1sqm build. That build can be very impressive, but at the same time it doesn't really get a crowd raving for more. $20'000 will allow me to work on those much larger models strait away.
How will the $20'000 be spent?
An important question. I estimate around 15% ($3000) will go towards the rewards. There is also a success fee involved. I am estimating around $16'000 to go towards the purchasing required for large exhibition models.
$16'000 still seems like a lot, how does this figure get justified, what will it be spent on?
While the following numbers look like they are arbitrary, they are actually based on maths, with a little bit of extra to allow flexibility with building. Past experience showed that shipping cost fluctuated depending on volume of package or price of parts, so I always use a flat-rate estimate of 30% for shipping. The prices below were correct at the time of doing this research, Bricklink prices tend to be very stable.
Landscape foundations: Total = $2440.00 + shipping
64x Baseplates @ $10.00ea = $640.00 (local suppliers)
1000x 1x8 Bricks for edging @ $0.32ea = $320.00
8000x 2x2 Bricks for surface support @ $0.05ea = $400.00
4000x 2x4 Bricks for surface support @ $0.12ea = $480.00
4000x 4x4 Plates for landscape surfacing @ $0.15ea = $600.00
Rockwork landscaping: Total = $2685 + shipping
5000x 2x2 Dark Gray Bricks @ $0.17ea = $850.00
3000x 2x2 Corner Dark Gray Bricks @ $0.11ea = $330.00
3000x 2x3 Dark Grey Bricks @ $0.17ea = $510.00
4000x 2x4 Dark Grey Bricks @ $0.21ea = $840.00
500x 2x6 Dark Gray Bricks @ $0.31ea = $155.00
Beach landscaping: Total = $131 + shipping
200x 1x1 Tan Plates @ $0.06ea = $12.00
200x 1x2 Tan Plates @ $0.04ea = $8.00
100x 1x4 Tan Plates @ $0.07ea = $7.00
100x 2x2 Tan Plates @ $0.08ea = $8.00
200x 2x4 Tan Plates @ $0.08ea = $16.00
500x 1x1 Dark Tan Plates @ $0.06ea = $30.00
300x 1x2 Dark Tan Plates @ $0.06ea = $18.00
400x 1x2 Dark Tan Tiles @ $0.08 = $32.00
Water feature landscaping: Total = $124.00 + shipping
300x 1x1 Light Blue Plates @ $0.07ea = $21.00
400x 1x2 Light Blue Plates @ $0.04ea = $16.00
300x 1x1 Blue Plates @ $0.07ea = $21.00
200x 1x2 Blue Plates @ $0.04ea = $8.00
200x 2x2 Blue Plates @ $0.08ea = $16.00
200x 2x4 Blue Plates @ $0.06ea = $12.00
200x 1x1 Dark Blue Plates @ $0.07ea = $14.00
100x 1x2 Dark Blue Plates @ $0.11ea = $11.00
Landscape texturing: Total = $2365.00 + shipping
25000 x 1x1 Round Plates @ $0.05ea = $1250.00
5000x 1x2 Plates @ $0.05ea = $250.00
5000x 1x1 Grass Stalks @ $0.03ea = $150.00
2000x 1x1 Bamboo Leaves @ $0.08ea = $160.00
500x 3x4 Tree Leaves @ $0.15ea = $75.00
1200x 5x6 Tree Leaves @ $0.40ea = $480.00
So far, including shipping expenses, this is looking close to $10'000 - and the 75'100+ pieces only cover construction of the foundations and landscapes. The money which is left over will be spent on parts for buildings, vehicles, mini-figures, and electric functions.
I hope this has helped bring some transparency to the target. In my next update I want to tackle my building strategy, to show why the brick quantities are required in such large numbers. Thanks.
Comment on this update:
2016-02-07 09:42:37 +1300
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2016-01-16 11:23:13 +1300
Jayne Ihaka has pledged on 2 campaigns.
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I want to embed this project somewhere
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