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Trucks and cars
by Rolands Kirpis
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Hi everyone!

I've played with LEGO not for a very long time, just about a few years. This started as a few technick sets, than a few creator sets. Honestly, I have like 10 or a little bit more sets. The thing is.. some time later I started to dislike those technick sets becouse of their big "holes", and creator sets were annoying becouse of stearing from somwhere behind or top - not from the stearing wheal. So I started to build my own MOCs. First two MOCs where imaginary. One was something like BMW Z4, another was kind of Cadillac. But I run into an annoying problem.. those sets I'd bought, had a lot of unuseful parts and I had no attention to spend a lot of money for nothing. So I started to search for opportunity to buy just the needed parts. This is were bricklink came in handy. Now what? What parts do I need? I had no idea... couse I had so little building experience.

Few months later I accidentaly run onto SR 3D Builder - a very cool software to build LEGO models. It is very easy to use and it supports almost everything you'll ever need, even simple hose bending now is awailable. I honestly suggest this ower any CAD program or LDD - they are in diapers.

In the mean time I run into very nice pics of some LEGO 1:13 scale trucks, made by one Dannish guy. This influenced me very much and my first real MOC had to be a truck. So I grabbed my newly installed SR 3D Builder and started building Renault Magnum. First chassis, engine, then the botton part of the fron, under the cabin, than rear section, than cabin itself. After that I printed out the partlist and made my first order in bricklink (That was big one, actually big few, as I needed some modifications, strengthenings during building process). It came out good, but not solid enough.. it collapsed during carrying from one place to another. Fortunately I managed to take pics of it, so here it is:

Later on I restarted work on it. This time the chassis where strong enough, but I had some other ideas about body work I this was were I was short of parts (again.....) and short of money too.. :(

But lucky me.. there was still my SR 3D Builder awailable and wly not praktice on it. I at least had some building experience with that truck, I figured out on what I have to pay attention, as the digital LEGO parts had no weight. So I took on challenge and started to build some ordinary cars with PC. Quite successful, I'd say. But sure it wasn't real parts, and comments on every digital MOC like "Nice one, now build it in real bricks" kept reminding me of that.

Finally I had collected some money, and also had some knowledge of what parts do I really need. Another brickling order full with white tiles, hinges and other stuff and... whuollaa.. the real brick building can begin. No skeches, no drawings, just a few googled images and my Nissan Navara King Cab was born:
Later on I produced step-by-step instruction on it and put it for sale on brickling.

And by this point I started to dig my way. As I always wanted to see something new from other builders, so I wanted (and still want) to present somthing not done before, something unique. And there was born my obsession with rare cars, at least cars, which hadn't been done in LEGO before. So was Nissan Navara, so was my next car Zimmer Quicksilver, Mayback Exelero, Noble M12, Mitsuoka Himiko... (actually all my digital cars were also unique - Chrysler C300, SAAB 9000CS, Pontiac Torpedo).

Many techniques I've been using since then, but just a few MOCs before I think I've found my way. And here it is:

I build only real cars or trucks so each MOC starts with finding blueprint for dimensions and some engine pics. If I suceed on finding this, then I search for other random pics and decide, if this car "speaks to me", do I really want to build it. That's step 1.

Step 2.
I put the blueprint on a "LEGO grid" - each cell is equal to 1x1 plate by its length, height and width. This is done by a graphical software Corel. This way I see how long or high or wide is each part.

Step 3.
Start building from somwhere, usually front. I spend about 10 to 15 hours in a weak by building. It usually looks like this - get home from work (if its working day, of course), do my uninteresting home stuff (no comments), and then start building. Each day the progress is very little - it can take more than weak to finish just the front. When it's about 9 o'clock, my daughter goes to bed and so I have to stop making "LEGO noise" as I dig thrue the stuff (not everything is sorted, the bigger parts are in one big box). After Laura is asleep, we have some TV time. I take my unfinished MOC with me and during the advertisement time I watch it... and watch it.. from one angle... compare it to the googled image by holding it at the same angle... than from the another angle... change something... think something.... and decide with what to continue next time. The thinking process usually continues at the next day too. I make no drawings, just a lot of thinking. I don't use any software too, so I constantly run into trial and error process too. While building one part, I usually don't think of others, don't care, how I'll attach another parts... when it comes to it, I deal with it.

As all my small parts are sorted and usually one MOC consissts of 80% small parts - 20% big parts - the search for that one piiiiii part time is small, maybe 2%, not more. The build time and thinking time is about the same - maybe 50% building and 48% thinking. One MOC can take from three weaks to two months (that's currently the longest) - starting from picking the car till the end of building. Taking pictures and editing them takes about two weakend days. I just have to wait for clear weather as I take my pictures outdoors on the hood of my car - that's why my pictures are at the dark greyish background as my car is black and it would look strange - "blackish" reflection on, for instance, reddish background.

So.. this is me. Have fun, leave some comemnts and keep building!!!

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