Day: January 5, 2012

Gondola Car II

Published / by Bill

When I first saw the new bracket parts found in the LEGO Tipper Truck #4434, I realized I needed to use them to make a train car.

Gondola Car II

I used parts from 2 of those sets to make this, along with a few parts I had laying about from other sets I’d recently taken apart (mostly the Maersk Train 10219). It was a very simple build – the main part is just two of the tipper parts from the Tipper Truck set with just a few tiles rearranged. The undercarriage is just made of plain grey plates, and the wheel trucks are quite simple.

In 2008, I designed another Gondola car, using 1x2x2 panels with 1×1 bricks between for the sides. This was so much simpler, and arguably more realistic (thinner walls), though the older model has more details on the ends. Instructions for that older model are available, but the new part isn’t in LDraw yet so I can’t make them for this one for a while.

Fortnight of Friends – Day 3: Andrea’s Stage

Published / by Bill / 4 Comments on Fortnight of Friends – Day 3: Andrea’s Stage

The third LEGO Friends set in my “Fortnight of Friends” series is #3932, “Andrea’s Stage”.

Andrea's Stage

Like the two smaller sets for the past two days, this slightly larger box has a flap on the top that can be used to hang the sets on a display rack. And also like those sets, by pulling on that flap you can open the box rather neatly. I’ve gotten the hang of doing it a bit more neatly now; once you lift up the hanger flap, the whole top of the box opens nicely.

Andrea's Stage Box

This set features a new minidoll with dark skin named Andrea. This African-American (African-Danish?) character adds some racial diversity to Heartlake City. The legs this time are in the easy to open bag, and the torso in the stretchy plastic. The color matching between the legs (which are printed brown on white plastic) and the arms/neck/face (which are cast in brown plastic) is much better for Andrea than for the previous two minidolls. The hair is curly, which is rare for minifigs.

The first thing you build is a little boombox, with a nice printed red 1×4 tile for the speakers and CD player. Next comes the stage, made from quarter-circle purple plates, with footlights and a microphone. After that, you build the backdrop, with slopes representing red curtains drawn open, and a printed 2×4 tile with “Andrea” above it. I like the light purple half-arch pieces and the pale yellow 1×2 tiles. Finally you build the piano, which is a nice model of a baby grand, using white grille tiles to represent the keys. It comes with a wine glass (tip jar?) and a microphone stand. Although the instructions only show one microphone being used, they supply us with an extra one, which you could put on the piano.

I think LEGO made a big mistake in not having the wrists be articulated in these minidolls. With regular minifigs, you can have the figure hold the microphone up to his/her mouth. But with minidolls’ long arms and fixed hands, the microphone can’t go anywhere near Andrea’s mouth if she holds it in her hand.

I’ve also noticed that the microphone stand is made using a new piece. The traditional antenna piece has a rounded end, and has been around since the days of Classic Space in the late 1970’s. The length is the same, but the tip has been changed. I’ve always thought it would be better if it were squared off, even when I was a kid, and now it finally has been.

Tomorrow we tackle one that I’ve been really keen on, #3933: “Olivia’s Invention Workshop”