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The chores of the brick

After I have done this, I have procrastinated a little to write this post. Not because I didn’t want to write this, but the so-called chores I did, really got me down a little. So “chores” is usually something you do around the house, do regularly or that is a nuisant duty. In this case, it’s the latter. But that is also my own fault, since I decided myself to keep my loose parts properly sorted instead of having a big box with all my parts like I had it when I was a kid.

What I am ranting about, is sorting away pieces. Often, it is not too much work. For example when I disassemble a system set. But after disassembling Sheepo’s Shelby GT500, I was confronted with a  rather big box full of parts. Over 3500 parts!

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Usually, when I disassemble something, I try to pre-sort the pieces directly. Liftarms, thin liftarms, bricks, connectors, axles, pins, gears, bushes, panels and special parts from suspension, fake engine and so on. This time, I only had a box, because I had none of my other boxes available. So I used the box I received with my last order from Lego (which I got the Exo Suit in) and put all the pieces in there. After 4 hours of disassembly the box was 2/3 full as you can see above.

So, before finally putting the pieces into the storage I usually do some pre-sorting. Double the work, but there was no other way. So here is how I do that to keep the time effort as low as possible. The procedure is divided in several steps that are repeated until the box is empty:

  1. On the layer you see, you take all pieces you can quickly find and put them in a separate box. E.g liftarms.
  2. After don’t see any of this part directly, go on with the next type of pieces, e.g. connectors.
  3. Again, once no obvious of the previous type are visible, change the type again, e.g. axles.
  4. Repeat and repeat and repeat …

The type of piece you choose is not necessarily in the mentioned order and there are more than just the three mentioned types. But, you should stick to the type as long as you can easily find pieces of the type. Then go on to the next type and again and again and again. At least that is how I do it. Mostly I leave out pins for quite a few steps until I mostly see pins.

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Here you can see how I do it. I still have a third of the pieces to sort. At that moment I was sorting out thin liftarms as you can probably assume from the small container that I placed on the edge of the box. At this stage, normal thick liftarms that were in my way were directly put into the other big cardboard box. That keeps a little dynamic in the process and liftarms are especially easy to sort out as well. Therefore I usually take liftarms in the first sorting step. After that liftarms are sorted out “by the way”.

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Here is a close-up picture of the box. I would now change the type of piece to sort out, since no thin liftarms are visible at a quick look. I could choose between axles, connectors or pins. I think I chose axles as the are somewhat more prominent than the connectors and pins being a plain nuisance. More than that, I just sorted out other pieces from the box until only pins were left. And in the end, I had this:

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The big box in the background is filled with liftarms, the few panels and the bricks. Left of that are the connectors. In the row in front of the cardboard box we have (left to right) suspension, steering and fake engine parts, then bushes and flex axles, gears, pins and then axles. In front of that two boxes with thin liftarms.

At this stage I could easily detail-sort the pieces and put them in the storage containers with similar parts.

Now the big question: How do you guys handle MOC disassembly? Do you do something similar? Do you have a process that is totally different? Please let me know in the comments.

 

When the thumbs hurt like hell

When your thumbs hurt like hell, then you probably have done something big. At least I did. In preparation for building the awesome Phantasm TwinTurbo supercar made by Crowkillers, I first had to disassemble Sheepo’s GT500. That was a sad moment, because this was such a cool car. No, it wasn’t just a cool car. It had a great design, it was really big, lots of parts, had very cool functions and very interesting techniques. But, I need the parts. So I disassembled it.

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This is the result of approximately 4 hours of disassembly spread over 2 evenings. ~3600 parts. Ok, something around 1100 pieces are pins, but I guess you understand now, why my thumbs hurt so much. Disassembly was really painful at times, because this car was so well-built and sturdy. And today (probably not 😉 ) I will start sorting all that. Usually I do some pre-sorting while disassembling a set or MOC, but all my boxes are filled, so I’ll do it the oldfashioned way.

The good news is, I finally have received my last Bricklink order last Saturday. That means, after sorting, I can start pre-sorting the parts for the Phantasm. And what you see here, are the complimentary parts for both versions.

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I’ll probably build it in a week, as there is something else I want to complete first. There is a very special contest currently running and I want to participate. And the deadline is already approaching. But you’ll get some information soon enough 😉

Preparations are on

I decided, that the next thing I build, will be Sheepo’s GT500. It has had a lot of praise on Eurobricks and every other site that featured it. In the meantime, instructions are available as well and some people already have built it themselves.

There are two versions available. One remote controlled and one manual. Whilst the remote controlled version uses several motors and remotes and has a linear transmission, the manual version has a regular transmission, no motors, but features a handbrake. Also there is a substantial difference in the amount of parts. The remote version sports over 4000 (!) parts, where the manual version only needs only nearly 3600 parts.

I decided to build the manual version. Not only because of the lack of motors or because the manual edition is cheaper, but because this will be mostly a display model. If you are interested in buying the building instructions, you can find them on Sheepo’s website.

So there are several stages in the preparation process. They are mostly complete and I hope to be able to begin building next week, when my vacation starts. So here are the steps that I went through:

  • Determine, which sets or MOCs I have on display currently and decide which can be disassembled
  • Disassemble those chosen sets/MOCs and sort the pieces
  • Get the parts list and compile a list of missing parts
  • Transform the list of missing parts into a Bricklink wishlist
  • Go back and forth between shops to see how missing parts can be ordered most effectily
  • And of course: Order these missing parts

This is a rather crude description of the process that I have gone through. And I am not yet finished. I still need to finish all the tasks. Currently I still have the Vampire GT to disassemble and sort the parts. Missing parts are all ordered and I am waiting for the last packages to arrive.

Contrary to past orders, this time I really had to order from quite a few shops. All in all I did eleven orders on BrickLink. I am ok with that, but I would have wished to cut a little on postage cost. Also I did my first orders from outside germany, which is a rather interesting thing as I have no clue how long it will take for them to arrive. The biggest problem was, that I waited too long. When I first looked for the availability of parts, it was pretty good. Now when I ordered, several parts where rather seldom available from within Germany. Most crucial were the flex axles, because this model requires some rather rare parts. But in the end, I found all the pieces. And even if this was quite an investment, I would guess that I came out of it rather cheap.

So far, I am pretty satisfied with my progress and I can’t wait to start building. But before that, more sorting, more preparing of pieces and of course sorting out the pieces for building.

Something super

I am always looking for great models. And of course I am also looking for things that I can build and put on the shelf to admire it.

And now there is something new for my list. A Shelby Mustang GT500 made by Sheepo. For those who do not know him yet, Sheepo is one of the major Technic builders who aims to bring more realism and authentic mechanisms into Technic MOCs.

The model is remote controlled and has 5 motors. It features:

  • drive
  • steering
  • sequential 5+r gearbox with gear indicator
  • disk-breaks with working breaks pedal

Non-motorized functions are:

  • openable hood, doors and trunk
  • folding front seats
  • back seats
  • a flip stand to raise the rear axle
  • McPherson front axle and 4-links live rear axle
  • Ackermann steering with working steering wheel

Sheepo also made a video to demonstrate functionality.

And the best part is: He will also provide instructions. For the motorized version and a manual version. That means, this is totally going on my build-list. And I was already thinking of making a manual version myself.

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