In this video we look at the standard around building LEGO Scenarios. Thus all the parts can come together easily and you can spend more time on the themeing, rather than driving yourself crazy with the engineering.
Visit https://www.mattelder.com/scenario for all LEGO Scenario resources
NOTE: In the future, plan to release video instructions and plans so you too can build these … or your own versions.
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Transcript from the show:
G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of mattelder.com and in this video we are going to look at the developing standard around LEGO Scenario boxes. This is the 2nd video in the series and be sure to check out mattelder dot com forward slash scenario for the LEGO Scenario resource page. Lets get started.
Just want to talk briefly about the standard we’ve been developing around this, similar to how Great Ball Contraptions, GBC and Micropolis building have standards. Thus you can develop sections in modules and easy to interconnect. In this case too, when there are standard configurations and components, the drive components can more readily be plugged in.
Thus one can spend more time on just theming and being creative with the overall scenario, than spending days pulling your hair out developing the drive mechanics and gears (as I’ve done to date).
The Action box is built on a 16×16 base. In the middle of each side is a 1×4 technic brick with 3 wholes. This allows the modules to be interconnected on all sides. On the 8th brick high, another 1×4 technic brick with 3 holes is placed. This allows for the main axle height for any wheels to be placed. A drive motor is designed to be connected up easily at this height.
By doing so, it gives a 1 brick height at the base to place any other technic gears or axles and will be out of the way of any objects on the wheels turning and bumping into it. The height of the box is 10 bricks high with a finishing layer of tiles if desired. This can help securely connect any way bricks.
This 10 brick height enables maximum height of objects placed on the bracelet bands, and also hiding any of the visual noise of the action box components. 10 high also means it could be placed infront of any GBC module to theme out the GBC.
On the back side, drive axles will run 2nd brick height up, and in 3rd stud position along from each side. They are generally designed with a Technic knob wheel on the left (sitting a ½ bush out) and a Technic Gear 20 Tooth Bevel on the right (sitting flush). There is some flexibility with swapping these around but you’d have to update the driver on the power unit.
We’ve tried to design this so it is ‘hot swappable’ so you generally connect it up to the drive unit sitting under the billboard, subtle tweak to align gears and away you go. To keep it quick, simple and interchangeable
Looking at the billboard module, you can see the gear and Technic knob that will connect up to these. For the time being, I’ve made this piece readily detachable. At a later date it could be built in but find it is really hand for maintenance, little tweaks, and adds a little support for all the weight coming from the upper levels.
You have a space for the Power Functions L-Motor to slide into here and drive the main wheels. You can have a couple of gears come off the top here as well but just found that wasn’t providing enough torque.
The other motor you can connect into here – this probably needs to be refined a bit. Initially these 40 tooth gears are all about slowing the motor speed down. The wheels and billboard don’t need to turn at great speeds to get a nice effect. Actually the opposite is true, I find the power coming directly out of the motors will spin everything way to fast.
At this point here you have a corkscrew that slows things down again and this leads off to the main lower section to drive anything at the base. If we continue along and up, you’ll eventually get to the main gear that drives the billboard, and from here with a modificiation and a couple other gears, you can branch off and drive the top wheels. If you only wanted to use 1 motor and have enough torque to do so.
To take the billboard off to swap over to another one, take of a 1×16 panel and adjacent 2×16 panel. Then unclip both top and bottom and everything will come off. You then have 2 drive locations with the main axle running straight up here. It is like putting 2 tread mounts sideways and placing some lift arms in between. The lift arms and spaces take the weight down to the lower structure.
You also have a few guide posts here to stop the upper billboard from swaying too much. You are limited by the fact the treads have to flow over the top of this. There is also the ability to have this axle turn from the treads moving all these wheels. I just found the treads are a little too loose fitting to actually do this but sure some bright spark would be able to get it to work.
The back of the billboard is 2 rows of 20 treads each. In this case I’ve used a height of 16 studs, which leads to the treads being placed in this configuration. Theoretically you could use more of less, you’d just need to adjust the associated billboard sprockets height – which would be simple enough to do by adding or subtracting lift arms.
The billboard is alternating 1×16 plates and 2×16 plates. In this case I didn’t have enough 1×16 plates so used 2 lots of 1×8 plates and joined with a 1×2 plate. So I find this to be really flexible. They are connected to the threads using half pins, which plug into the plates anti-studs. There is something very satisfying about rolling this over.
We use the Technic, Link Tread Wide with Two Pin Holes, 57518 here. Surprisingly with just a layer of tiles, and plates, it does become surprisingly heavy. You could possibly use the smaller 1×3 link treads but they unclip really easily. With the 57518 treads, you really have to get at them to unlink. The alternating 1×16 and 2×16 pattern also means you have the 2 stud wide plates every other link. This is really handy for attaching minifig stands and the like.
I only built 1 billboard power unit but 2 of these billboard tracks. That’s why through the video you’ll randomly see either The Wave or Star Wars design on the billboards.
First up, remove the last 1×16 and 2×16 plate on each end of the treads. For the Wave, you can just lie it down and I try to align the join over these lift arm L pieces. Thus when you push down, you have something offering resistance so it becomes possible to clip the treads together. Place the 1×16 and 2×16 plate designs back on. 20 treads seemed to be the magic number for this configuration. 19 was just too tight and wouldn’t join.
And there you have it. A billboard design quickly and easily swapped over. I’ll give the gears a quick test to make sure it is rotating freely. And now it is ready to be joined up to the Action box.
The front display I’ve found visually works best when they are using a 8×16 plate. In doing so, the 1×4 3 holed technic brick can go in the middle of the long side. On the short side, place a 1×2 technic brick on the corners. Thus 2 can be connected up if needs be to keep the 16×16 grid working. The Star Wars one does cheat this a little bit but I’m not anticipating anything on the front, and onto sure you could get the crank arm in there otherwise off a standard connection.
In the 3 boxes we’ve generally used 1x2x5 bricks for the walls, but there is nothing to stop you using anything else. We just happen to have a number of these pieces and recently they have been on pick a brick walls so you can get a cupful pretty easily. They are also pretty quick to optimally stack, just grab a plate of the pick a brick wall and going them to it.
If you go to mattelder dot com forward slash scenario , it will bring up the homepage to this LEGO Scenario. It will be the main resources page where I’ll have videos like this one, the standard, instructions and other resources. It is only early days so plan on building out this resource over time. So do be sure to check this out and come back to it.
In the next video, we’ll look at the gears that drive the various wheel mechanisms and the origin of the scenario name. You can also check out Part 1 video that gives a more general overview.
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Thanks very much for watching. Here are some other videos you might find of interest. Until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.