Glue? No thanks...
Thanks for the review. A launch pad would be nice for the Saturn V. As mentioned the blue stands are a little naff and not worthy of the rocket. Still I'm not sure I want glue anywhere near my plastic blocks :/
The recently retired (and hopefully soon to be re-released) Lego Saturn V is an impressive beast, but for the more committed rocket fan it lacked that special something: a launchpad. Today we look at a kit aimed at plugging the gap. The Lego Ideas Saturn V was huge, standing the best part of a metre tall, and a fun build. …
I always found this line rather touchingly naive on Lehrer's part. It's very sweet to have thought that widow's pensions might have been large (or enough to live comfortably on) during and after the War, but I fear that the reality in Britain at the time was rather different.
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That always struck me as a fail, they had all sorts of people including engineers looking at how to make a load bearing beam in Lego. They couldn't do it. I figured it out as an eight year old: use the Lego sideways on to its usual orientation. Make up a beam out of flats that way around and I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually stronger than timber once you get to 4x4 or above.
Really not that big a deal, use CA gel, tiny dabs is all you need, will separate with no damage, failing that get some acetone or naptha (lighter fluid/bbq lighter fluid [not gel!!]) will debond CA glues. If you read the material safety sheet for CA de-bonders you find that main ingredient is naptha, but rather than spend £5+ for 30ml of the stuff, spend £1.99 on a litre of bbq lighter fluid (it also works great for softening and removing old silicon sealent off of surfaces you dont want to scratch like chromed rails on a shower screen)
qtip dipped in acetone applied to the seam works well, just rely on capillary action to get it where you need, i generally find naptha to be easier to get hold of and works as well though, with less potential for damaging most plastics (will bugger a clear peice though so dont use it to remove a cockpit canopy some muppet super glued on when they should have used pva....)
... some acetone or naptha (lighter fluid/bbq lighter fluid [not gel!!]) will debond CA glues.
I'm not sure what plastic Lego blocks are made from, but test those solvents on a block you don't care about as it may dissolve. If so, any solvent running into the cracks between blocks will cement them fairly permanently.
It is advisable to wash what ever you separate with washing up liquid or washing powder after, and as i said above you dont want to bathe what ever your separating a drop or 2 at most.
FWIW ive had no issues using the lighter fluid trick for years with styrene and resin scale model kits, kids toys and lego your milage may vary compared to the experiences of a random bloke on the internet ;-)
LEGO (R) is ABS, hence my concern.
Way back when I was studying engineering at Poly (yup, that long ago) I asked if I could do my placement at a certain company in Denmark. Lecturer thought I just wanted to play with bricks but was surprised to hear that I wanted to learn about injection moulding from the real experts - try explaining poor tolerances to a six year old (i.e. why bits don't fit together). Didn't get to go there though :(
> It's cool and all, but I can't help thinking of all the plastic that goes into this stuff which is now going to sit around for maybe 1000 years.. :(
For better or worse, that's the same for the vast majority of plastic which is used for anything, whether it's "productive" or for a hobby. Though it is a bit scary to think that there's more lego minifigs than humans on the planet; a potential Dr Who plotline if ever I saw one!
It's a fair point to be concerned about excessive plastic use, although at least in Lego's favour, it's the sort of thing that usually gets passed on to younger relatives or friends' children, and so does get "reused".
On that basis, I'd eventually expect new Lego sales to eventually tail off to some extent, were it not for the unfortunate fact that humanity still seems determined to breed an ever growing number of people…
If you ever happen to meet someone who throws away Lego (rather than giving it away as next years presents or passing it on to various kids/cousins/neighbours kids/etc.) then by all means give them a good whacking for adding to humanity's plastic waste.
But Lego is one of the few bits of plastic that I've never heard of people throwing away. Maybe the occasional piece that gets broken, but even then I certainly remember having more then a few broken bits in my Lego box back in the day... So if people dont throw it away, it cant be counted as waste right?
Even though I passed my Lego on many years ago, I do now have a small collection of random pieces. These I have gained through digging the garden of my house that was, 23 years ago, purchased from a family who'd had kids. I think their kids must have thought that planting various toys* in the garden might make them grow into a new crop.
* Not just Lego - also in my collection reside (the remains of) tanks, cars, plastic soldiers/infantry/native Americans (though they were probably called Red Indians at the time they were manufactured). Many of the latter are missing a limb or three, though they don't complain about it. I also have what I presume to be a single boot from an Action Man, a few battered glass marbles and several bits of old clay tobacco pipes. Oh, and a toy whistle. No actual treasures, unfortunately, though a dig in a previous garden when living with parents unearthed a rather thin and somewhat bent/battered 1575 sixpence.
I wonder how you go about the application for planning permission for a Saturn V launch tower?
Well, if your powers of persuasion aren't up to convincing officialdom that your Saturn V launch tower comes under the "permitted development" rules (no more than 2.2 metres high, not blocking the neighbours' light, etc etc), just build it regardless, on the principle that "'tis better to ask for forgiveness than to beg permission". Chances are the neightbours wouldn't notice it for weeks anyway.
Simple. First construct a Lego volcano to conceal your Saturn V, tower, VAB etc. The volcano should be large enough to live in, thus concealing yourself and your rocketry from prying eyes. Plus you'll almost certainly end up with plenty of Lego landmines strewn around to deter invaders.
The greatest set I was ever gifted with was the yellow medieval castle. I have practically an entire trunk load of bricks of every kind, plus the moon set that some parent graciously gifted me before my 10th birthday.
It is impossible to count the hours that I have spent building and tearing things down with all those bricks. Everything could be repurposed, set to another use, and it was always fun.
Now, of course, I'm an old fart and don't really like kneeling for hours any more. But whe, three XMASes ago, I saw my nephew get the Saturn V, I was initially impressed. Of course, on XMas morning, he started about building it. I watched, bemused, as he spent about three hours putting it together. And all the while he did so, I was asking myself : and what else can you make with those specific parts ?
LEGO has changed to a point that I can no longer wish to follow. It used to be that you could use everything in a myriad of ways. Now, parts are so specialized that you can only use them in the set they were intended for.
That's a shame.
I've only been a Lego fan since 2000. Hasn't stopped me filling my living room, however.
Pascal, try looking at different sets. E.g. the long running "Modular buildings" sets. They are loaded with regular parts that are easy to re-use, but are more interesting than plain bricks. E.g. bricks with mortar patterns, different colours, different kinds of connectors and decorations.
Sure, I've accumulated some specialty pieces I don't want - some of those eventually do get used, or I can trade them with other local Lego AFOLs (Adult Fan Of Lego). E.g. white partial cylinders I've used for a group of 4 white tanker train cars.
Another group of sets worthy of collection (at least by me) is the "Winter Village" sets, which are Christmas themed. This year's is the "Elf Clubhouse". These sets also have lots of useful pieces, although they do tend to like to use the little light bricks.
Some of our local fans *prefer* the stranger pieces for their own constructions. We have several who are huge Star Wars fans gobble up many that Lego produces. One of them has been slowing increasing in size his custom spaceship - made harder by him choosing to do it in yellow!
I understand where you're coming from, I too was re-introduced to LEGO when my son started getting some and so exited my own Dark Ages. The Saturn V is and Ideas set, and as such is as you say quite specialised but actually most of its parts will have been part of existing new Space and Star Wars sets and so on. What's happened is that the breadth of available parts has broadened significantly and yes, some you could consider shortcuts and are quite bespoke - cockpits and the like with lots of curves that weren't around in my day.
This does however bring opportunities, I for example tried with moderate success to recreate the Bluebird rocket boat that crashed on Coniston and the new parts were a great help in trying that in a way that didn't result in a lot of jaggedness. You can still buy boxes of what is termed Classic LEGO, that don't necessarily even have a specific build in mind - you can also find digital instructions, and buy parts through a vast number of sellers to build them with. LEGO is still very much LEGO, it just had to adapt to survive, bu the Adult Fan of LEGO (AFOL) is very much alive and well. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a 1989 Batmobile to construct. Maybe after I've moved house...!
Now, parts are so specialized that you can only use them in the set they were intended for.
Last week I stumbled across this: https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/bygglek-201-piece-lego-r-brick-set-mixed-colours-20436888/
IKEA is now selling a kit containing 201 pieces of mostly generic blocks. At a not wholly unacceptable price. And of course they have some nice storage boxes (that you can incorporate into your builds) as well.
The specialised part thing has been going on a long time. The first Lego kit I ever had, way back in the 60s, was a house complete with a dedicated base, a garage door that couldn't be used apart from that base, and a car. Not one of the later 4-studs-wide vehicles but a single piece moulded car. Even as a seven-year-old I didn't think that was quite right.
If you would like to see a crawler, there is in fact a current LEGO Ideas project that you could support (not mine) https://ideas.lego.com/projects/ffbe8819-6300-4f61-92c9-3778feaa57de
On the plastic front, LEGO is I believe experimenting with organic and therefore degradeable bricks and is also looking at replacing its plastic brick bags. My own projects on Ideas are more science fiction than science fact I'm afraid, but search up Gerry Anderson and you'll get the Idea(s)!
It's not the first one.
There was at least another crawler Idea that came along with the tower to complete the Saturn V set.
Lego is being picky on which set from Idea gets the green stamp nowadays as they have a large amount of 10K support builds. When only a few ( 1 to 3 build ) reached 10K they weren't that picky.
Crappy manual, needs glue...
And you need LEGO to use this...
I know lockdown is getting to everyone but couldn't you at least made something more techie? Like make a functional Apple II with LEGOS?
Then how about....
Do a Nintendo 64 with LEGOS, one that works!
Please note that the gentleman whom I believe to be the designer of this model submitted this to LEGO a couple of years ago, and while his design was rejected for being too niche, he alleges that the copy reviewed here uses his design with no acknowledgement or payment. The result is that he has taken down the build instructions and parts list, stopping others from making their own copy of the LUT. And a friend of mine purchased a Millennium Falcon kit from the same supplier several years ago and found that some bits were missing and some duplicated. Not a happy experience.
Although LEGO has had some success in battling firms taking its own sets, the difficulty with this sort of thing is that although the IPR passes to LEGO when you submit an Ideas set I'm not sure if they would then police against sets they chose not to commercialise themselves - 10,000 votes only gets you a review, with no guarantee of your Idea becoming a set. If you then choose to make your plans public it does open the door for the unscrupulous to profiteer with their own bricks, and as an individual you are a lot less able to fight for your IPR. I believe there have been a few instances of this from Ideas because they're so public and obviously demonstrably popular. The one plus side of the "alternative" market is that LEGO steers well clear (broadly speaking) of modern day weapons or overly violent themes, meaning that it often falls to third parties to create sets based on the likes of Battlestar Galactica. Now, whether or not those are properly licensed is a separate discussion of course...
Thing is, if you're buying knock-off Lego you're already into dubious territory regardless, so shouldn't be that surprised that they're nicking other people's intellectual property.
Lego bricks are made with surprisingly accurate tolerances that the knock-off versions don't come close to. I suspect that's where the glue requirement is coming in.
Would be good to know if glue is required if you use the pick-a-brick service from Lego along with a copy of the MOC instructions direct from the author.
While I'd like a launch tower to go with my Lego Saturn V I don't think I'll be getting one of these.
I'm not a Lego* fan and the Saturn V was the first Lego model I'd ever made aside from a very small Star Wars Land Speeder.
I was most impressed with the internal structure of the Saturn V. I know the fuel tanks were probably only there to add structural strength to the model but as I say, I was impressed.
This tower doesn't look like it has a 'wow' factor. Just a slog of clipping girders together. That was the reason I didn't get the ISS model.
* It's not the fault of Lego. I just don't have the ability to knock-up anything from my imagination. Minecraft is something of a dark art too.
I was categorically not allowed Lego as a child. My parents said it was too expensive. otherwise I might have been a happy architect or engineer of some sort, instead I got to be a mathematician who had to prostitute his intellect and patience for money.
So many pretty colours ...
We were a Betta Bilda household which was I believe an Airfix product. Much more limited with building houses and castles the most it would really stretch to even with a vivid kid's imagination.
I really enjoyed pushing the roof tiles together to build roofs. Which may explain why I got into embedded assembly language.
I think we had some of that. There were also meccano-like struts, nuts, and bolts etc and you could stick the bricks onto the struts with the help of little pins.. Can't remember the name though ... did it begin with T?
Also we had a very random - but not especially small - collection of lego accumulated from who knows where. I don't think there were ever any build-a-specific-thing sets, although there was most of a battery powered train and some track.
most of you lot are *much* older ... and still playing with toys.
I fall to my knees and thank god we weren't reliant on your infantile minds 80 years ago when everything mattered.
Let the stoning commence - I wear it as a badge of honour to get -1'ed by you man-babies
Starting in 1939, a group of folk came up with such weird stuff that Department MD1 became known as Churchill's Toy Shop.
Later, Major General Percy Hobart was the instigator of a whole range of mad devices which helped make D-Day a success.
Just a thought - anybody up for approaching the original designer and waving some beer tokens in his direction for copies of the build instructions? I'd dearly like to build a LUT at some time, but in the short term I'd be prepared to pony up some funds for a look at the build instructions/parts list, with a view to costing the project. (BTW: At 67 I still find time for toys. Even if they are techy work gadgets. And of course LEGO(tm). Oh, and had two uncles in the WW2 RAF. Lancasters. Re-arranged parts of Europe.)
Sorry I beat you to it and I,m sorry I did. Sorry I ever bought it. That’s what I was doing when Covid hit. Everything you mentioned was spot on don’t waste any time or money. Only 1 out of 20 pieces fit and it had to be glued together and even with that it fell over way to many times. To attach a other piece you could not even push enough for the piece to snap together it then knocked out 15 other pieces and no help from China. What a rip off but when you want something so bad you make bad decisions. All I can say don’t buy it ....ever....never...just walk away. Wait for the real LEGO one.
in NE who has a better tower with a crawler for the saturn 5, I can only regret there is not a picture he has on line
I've seen it at our scouts (figure this out if you have to) and has models in te local LEGO store.
Got t love the LUG (LEGO/Linux User Group)
I'll be at the back of the Brick Alley (hint)
Blox - sold in Wilkinsons in the UK and about 30% of the price of the real thing (less if on offer).
Almost as good, my daughter has about 25 sets of the stuff. Not quite as technically correct maybe in some cases but the instructions are good (she started them at 7 years old) and they seem to last as well as the real thing.
For some reason when I look at the Saturn V launch pad, I feel it should be constructed out of Meccano parts. Not the dinky plastic version we got today, but the full-steel version, with fiddly bolts, large metal plates and some metal work to bend the prospective beams in just the right format before installation.
It'd be glorious, not require any glue and weigh only a bit under 50 kg :)