LEGO Scenario: Star Wars, London, Great Wave OFF Kanagawa MOCs Part 1 DOTs Mosaic Micropolis Diorama

In this video we are going to look at what we are calling our “LEGO Scenario” creations. You might be looking at this and wondering what exactly is it that I am looking at. We like to think of it as a LEGO version of a snowglobe, or a diorama.

Think of it as a cross between LEGO building with micropolis, mosaics, technic, architecture and Dots techniques all thrown into the mix. Add a little motion and wrap it up in a narrative.

#legoscenario #scenario #legodots #mosiac #legomosaic #LEGO #legomoc #legoart #moc #legomocs #legobricks #afol #mocs #legobuilder #legoideas #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #afolclub #legomania #dotyourworld #legostarwars #legostarwarsmoc #starwarslego #greatwaveoffkanagawa #greatwave #london #london4all #legolondon #legoarchitecture

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of and in this video we are going to look at what we are calling our “LEGO Scenario” creations. You might be looking at this and wondering what exactly is it that I am looking at. We like to think of it as a LEGO version of a snowglobe, or a diorama.

Think of it as a cross between LEGO building with micropolis, mosaics, technic, architecture and Dots techniques all thrown into the mix. Add a little motion and wrap it up in a narrative.

This is a Family Bricks video. Be sure to hit that like button, share or be super awesome and subscribe! Click the bell and select “All”, to be notified of new videos as they are uploaded.


In this video we’ll be covering what these LEGO Scenarios are, the main components, a look at the 3 different themes created here, the standard developing, look at the individual components, the gears involved, origin of the name and ideas on the future direction. This is going to be a longer than usual video.

The concept is based upon wrapping one of these new DOTS bracelets around standard LEGO wheels. Once you do that and pop an axle through the wheel, it opens all sorts of possibilities for motion and storytelling. Sometimes have to think this would have been the furthest thing from the minds of the designers of the bracelets. That is the joy of LEGO – people will mould it for their own uses beyond its original inception.

3 Themes

Here we’ve themed out 3 “Scenario” examples – one being based around Star Wars, another being the city of London, and another the famous 19th century Japanese print “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”. Each of these have varying levels of complexity so hoping to create an entry point for various ranges of abilities.

These Scenario boxes we like to think of as a blank canvas or framework. Then they can be “skinned” or themed out in any creative way you can think of. A lot of the time when building something mechanical with moving parts, it becomes a single use design and can’t be adapted for anything else.

The goal was to try to come up with a universal base design so don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel each time. So, a fair amount of time was spent on the engineering side, prototyping, reaching dead ends, cycling back and starting again. I’m not a Technic guru and know enough to get by. I’m sure these can be further refined by experts but gives a solid foundation.

At this size, feel that it will enable one to create scenarios based around favourite scenes from books, movies, TV shows, artworks, cities or any other popular culture idea or subject matter. It also means you don’t need thousands and thousands of pieces and months to build. Thus, it helps to keep it accessible to everyone.

Main Components

There are 4 main components to a LEGO Scenario – The Action/Wheel Box, Front Display, Billboard and Drive source (either a hand or a motor). Designed it around a 16×16 plate and interconnecting modules. This seemed like a striking a good balance between size and ultimately cost. It hooks into the already existing design language of micro builds. Connections can be made to micropolis layouts and add motion to cities.  

Lets start off by looking at each of the 3 themes.

Star Wars

This is the Star Wars Scenario. It is based around Episode 4, apart from the minifigs. The front box has is the trench run scene with Luke’s x-wing, which moves side to side. Also has a gun turret that spins around trying to shoot down rebel ships. There is this maintenance panel which opens so you can get in and make any subtle adjustments to the gears if you need to. This is my first attempt at any serious grabbling, or creating the hint of detail and was a fun process.

Moving to the action box you have the rebel ships on the middle wheel flying in one direction, while the Empires ships on the other 2 wheels flying in the opposite direction to intercept.

Ships here are the Tie Fighters, Tie Bomber, and a couple of Star Destroyers. For the rebels, an X-wing, Tantive IV and or course the iconic Millenium Falcon. A few colours might be slightly off but just dealing with the colours and pieces that we have available to us.

On the billboard we have the Death Star in the process of firing the primary weapon. The Death Star itself does have a subtle light relief effect going on over the space of 4 tile heights. Tried to have the main dish area a little countersunk. Being the 16 bricks wide, think it has a nice rotation effect.

The other scene is from the climax of Empire Strikes back with Luke and Vader fighting it out on the Cloud City platform. Been challenging to create the platform in alternating 1 and 2 brick wide sections. Think it has turn out OK and really opens up possibilities with being able to include minifigures. Yes there is some slight inconsistency with scale but think of it as artistic licence. Like when you see movie posters with giant background heads and tiny foreground elements.

My apologies to any Star Wars purists out there. We are probably casual Star Wars LEGO fans so the minifigs have all been mixed up and we only have a handful (yes I know Luke wasn’t wearing his orange flight suit in this scene but you get the idea).

One thing to note, due to the tight tolerance of one of the Star Destroyers, the wheels will only rotate in one direction (as the Star Destroyer can be massaged through the gap. If it tries to go the other way, it just gets stuck. That’s why you might hear a slight clicking sound as the Star Destroyer goes around).

London City

Next up is the London Scenario. We’ll start off with the Action box as it has the icon London red double decker bus. Here we’ve mixed up the colours of the bands to go with the ground type. The first band is teal with trees and parkland type environments. The next band is a road with the bus, car and pickup truck. The next band has a train and some track.

The blue medium azure band is a water way with sail boats and a cargo ship. The last band rounds out with some more trees and foilage, and a plane flying past.

The holes that allow you to adjust the strap while wearing are slightly larger than a stud so if you try to put anything into the hole, it will just fall out. We did find however that if you have a cone piece inverted and push it in, it will start to clutch the cone piece. The clutch isn’t brilliant but enough to hold the cone if you get it just right.

That was how we managed to get some of these trees in. Otherwise as the band goes around, it will have ‘gaps’ where no pieces are attached.

Onto the billboard. The billboard is a 16×16 design so you have to get creative with any mosaic image you come up with. Here we’ve gone for Big Ben and a cloud in light relief. The bottom 3 or 4 rows you always have be careful when designing as you get the elements from the spinning bracelet bands possibly getting caught on them. The front display is a general waterfall scene over some rocks. It gives away to get from top of the Action Box down to any other micropolis base you might want to connect.

This Scenario I did want to keep simple without too many crazy and elaborate building techniques. The 5 bands in the action box we’ve gone a little overboard to show possibilities of planes, trains, automobiles and everything in between. If this wasn’t so much a demonstration piece, I’d probably lose on type of transport and just let the Action box “breath” a little more.

Great Wave Off Kanagawa

Lastly is the “Great Wave off Kanagawa” Japanese print design. Here is laid out the moving billboard image and the design it is based off. This shows the LEGO Scenario can be applied to other media, in this case artworks and designs.

Again used subtle relief for depth as the waves in the front are slightly higher than those in the back. We’ve used quarter circle white tiles to give the wave a better feel of organicness as originally it feel very blocky. Also used transparent blue round studs over blue plates to give a couple subtle shades of blue. There is Mount Fiji in the background but like the original print, it is subtle.  

OK, we’ve wrapped the design around the drive train for that and now we’ll move onto the middle wheel action box. This box is driven by a series of pulleys and rubber bands. The effect that I was going for is the waves closer to you move faster and break more dramatically. The wave in the back has that effect of being further back so slower moving and more subtle. Much like if you stood on a beach looking out at the waves – those closest to you are crashing with quick movements, those in the far distance moving a little more slowly.

The middle wheel has a fishing boat, also present in the original image but more of a second read item. It travels in the opposite direction to the waves and at a speed that is slower than the fastest wheel, but faster than the slowest wheel.

For purposes of this demonstration, I’ve done the back 2 sides in transparent pieces. Thus you can see more the gears, pulleys and what is happening inside the Action box.

The front display is imaging what might be below the water line, so very much where you can start to make your own creative interpretation of extending the scene. So there is some green seaweed locked in between 1x6x5 panels, along with some transparent blue studs.

In the middle is actually a whole section of these studs. I’ve also put a little wheel mechanism in there so it can churn up all the studs. The mechanism is a little undercooked as the little studs can make it really difficult to turn and needs further refinement. But conceptually showing you what else could be don e.  and trying to add a further dynamic motion of the sea churning.

End of Part 1

I’ve decided to split this video into 2 or 3 parts and here seemed like a natural breakpoint. Check for the next video in the series around this one which will cover a more detailed look at the developing standard, mechanics and how it may develop into the future.

This is a Family Bricks video. Be sure to hit that like button, share or be super awesome and subscribe! Click the bell and select “All”, to be notified of new videos as they are uploaded.

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.

How to Sort and Store LEGO. Tips for Sorting & Storage Bins. Tutorial: Create Labels for LEGO

In this video going to show to sort LEGO and keep it sorted. We will also look at some space saving techniques and what I call “Tetrising” of LEGO. I get asked about storage a lot so in this video I’m going to give some ideas. I don’t believe in a 1 size fits all approach. I think it depends largely on you and your kids building style and play pattern.

What do you do for storage? How do you manage LEGO? We are always on the look out for new ways and ideas so sound off in the comments below.

Affiliate links that help support the making of these videos and the channel.

Von Haus 44 Multi Drawer Storage Cabinet:

Brother PT-700 Label Maker:

Arko-Mils 64 Drawers Plastic:

Sterilite 3-Drawer Organizer:

Label PDF that can be downloaded from Brick Architect as either PDF or Brother P-touch label printers:

#legostorage #sorting #legosorting #legos #legopickabrick #lego #legocollection #legoparts #legotour #legovideo #legoparts #legoafol #afol #legoman #legolife #legobuilder #legoideas #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #afolclub #legofun #legomania #legoart #legostagram #legofanart

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of here and in this video going to show to sort LEGO and keep it sorted. We will also look at some space saving techniques and what I call “Tetrising” of LEGO. I get asked about storage a lot so in this video I’m going to give some ideas. I don’t believe in a 1 size fits all approach. I think it depends largely on you and your kids building style and play pattern.

3 Approaches to Sorting

There are generally 3 approaches to sorting and storing LEGO:

  1. Dump everything into a box / tub and store away. If you only have a small amount of LEGO and won’t / can’t keep things sorted, this is probably going to work best. Downside to this is that it can be a lot harder to find parts. If the majority of the time is spent looking for parts, going to be less likely to want to build and end up being less creative. Then there is the constant clean up of all the LEGO at the end of each session.
  • Sort by Colour. Literally what it says. You get containers and sort into colours ie all blue pieces go into blue containers. Good if your building style is more decorative, where colour really matters. So if you are building a red fire truck, you’ll have all the red pieces together. I did this a lot when a kid but the colour palettle was a lot more restricted. Also handy for mosaics. Complications can start arising when parts have more than 1 colour and you mentally have to create rules around how it is sorted ie is it sorted by a dominate colour, function etc
  • Sort by Part Type. This is where you look at the individual part and sort by it, or similar groupings. So all bricks go together, all plates go together, all wheels go together etc. This is better for when you are more interested in getting the model constructed in a certain way, or rebricking other models. Ideally everything would be of the same colour but with limited parts, you substitute as best as possible.  

We mainly do the 3rd style with sorting by type, with sub sorting by colour and having a bit of a temporary building and dumping ground. So we’ll focus on this more.


Originally the kids did build models and have a large tub to store stuff in. This very quickly become problematic as when they were playing with the models, they might start to lose bits, everything would get dumped into the tub and not really played with again. It also didn’t really encourage them to pull the model apart and build other things.

Von Haus 44 Drawer

Thus we went for this approach to sort things into draws and label the drawers. There will be an affiliate link around the video for these Von Haus drawers. We get a small commission from each sale and it massively helps support the channel and delivering these free videos.

Here is a quick unboxing of one Von Haus 44 drawer, so you can see what you get.

They are really storage for trades, for screws, nails and bits & pieces. In America I think something similar is these Akro-Mils Drawers. For me I’d prefer the Von Haus as these drawers are all small sizes where as the Von Haus has 32 small drawers, and 12 larger ones. I just think that providers more flexibility.


We’ve also seen some American’s use Sterlite drawers, which generally aren’t for sale in Europe (in a cost effective manner). I did manage to get some medium size ones at a clearance sale. While they are quite nice and stackable, the thing I really didn’t like is these drawers don’t come out. So later on if you are reorganizing, you can’t just swap drawers, you have to empty them all out and change the labels over – which really isn’t appealing.

We like these 44 drawers models as they have a mixture of small drawers and larger drawers. So it gives you a range of options to fit small and large LEGO pieces all at once.

Why we like them

one of the reasons are particularly like these drawers is they actually fit Lego really well and they’re an ideal size because you can get 16 studs along and then six studs across and then in bricks three bricks high and it fits really snugly without being too tight so these are you know 2 by 8 bricks so got to put in the back then 2 on top I’m just dropping a couple in so cos you’re six studs wide and you’ve got your 16 goes back and obviously 16 being a nice multiple number then gives you lots of different combinations being able to do other things

another stacking so there’s three high that will fit in there not together it like super tight so later when you want to get back at them they’re relatively easy just to take apart and they fit in snug but still enough that you can get in and get them out relatively easy or yeah of course case naari just take the drawer out and tip it out it’s no big deal and it’s nice because the the drawer when it’s got in the unit itself the two little teeth at the back and the runners so you just gotta get them to the end angles in them up and pop them out like that so they don’t slip everywhere otherwise

Kids Access

We have them down low and the kids can easily access them. Being trade storage, there are holes in the back where you screw them to the wall or anchor them if you are worried about kids pulling them down on top of themselves. They are also handy if you just want to take a couple of them to a specific resorting area or get better access.

Open Backs

One thing to note is the backs are open. So if they do fall over the wrong way, or get held at the wrong angle, stuff can all fall out and get mixed up. That said, if any pieces get the drawers wedged closed, you can always come around the back and just move things around, or take them out, so they can get un stuck and open again

Originally we got 4 of these Von Haus drawers. We initially sorted into plates, bricks, curved and in between, and the last draw had a combination or car parts, technic and minifigs and accessories. We’d also have a draw or so for what I like to call the “weird and wonderful” drawer. Its just pieces that you might only have 1 or 2 of, never likely to have more and don’t really fit nicely within any other drawer.

How to Start Sorting

We’d start off sorting into the smaller drawers and as the drawers filled up, split the parts up further into smaller drawers, or if only one part, put them into the larger drawers. As more and more LEGO came and we sorted through it further, we’d add extra drawers. With spaces allowing for future expansion.

I generally like to start with smaller pieces/studs on the left, and have them increasing as you go to the right.


and then as you go along add to them so you start off here with one by ones then one by twos two by twos two by threes and so forth and then as you go down you can also add so this is a 2 by 4 and then down here you’ve got four by sixes and then six by sixes so then it’s really easy to remember as you stud count increases that you’re generally going left to right and then sometimes down as well.

One thing that you run into pretty quickly with Lego is running out of space these are two two by four drawers which will be at least full and overflowing but optimized space like to go through and I just call it a tetrasing process trying to get as many of the pieces in a nice snug fit so they can take up a minimal amount of space.

So you can make the most effective  use of space that you have so we sort of see it at the moment this drawer is completely full and you wouldn’t be able to get any more in because it won’t close and then we still got some left over here but then we do have on other models which are currently being made

Lots more pieces here’s just a base of a little peacock thing the boys has made and you should do what lots of two by fours around the outsides of that there so you just want to make it so that there’s plenty of excess capacity but can be used up a new space in a really efficient way so go through and quickly do a little Tetrising process and you should be able to get everything into this drawer and still have some space left over and see how we go

Now we have it through a process of tetra Singh we’re basically able to take what was one and a bit and get them all into one and you could probably still get another couple of bricks along here the other nice thing with doing it like this if you do it by colors then if I’m building anything and I need Red’s you know two by four you know I can automatically reach in and grab whatever I need.

Or I can start to say okay well I’ve probably got these are in heights of four so there’s 16 there so I only need 10 I’m good if I need 20 or 30 then I might be running into problems so by doing this tetra setting process you can always go through and just optimize your space and just push it a little bit more and gain that little bit extra.

Labelling is Key

Next thing which is also important is to label the drawers. Brick architect has created a PDF with labels for 1,200 of the most common pieces which can be downloaded here . They are sorted into the major categories.

As a cheap and effective entry point, just print a PDF page, take some scissors and cut the labels really tight. From here, take some sticky tape, or stock tape, stick the label to it, then stick it onto the drawer, job done.

In another video, I’ll cover the Brother P-touch labeler and even how to create your own labels for pieces that aren’t part of the 1,200 done by Brick Architect. It’s a bit more advanced but the PDF, scissors and tape will go along way, and will be more than enough for the vast majority of people.  

Value of Pictures

These labels are really good as they have the pictures on them. So for any kid that can’t read yet, they can easily understand the pictures. Most people aren’t going to have a clue as to the real names of pieces in any event.

How many people would know a fence piece that is a 4x4x2 Quarter Round? But if you see the picture, you’ll instantly know the piece. It is also great for helping to learn the more technical names and the element ID numbers are also handy for any future ordering.

If a drawer is labelled, if someone happens to empty all of the drawers contents to make a model, you’ll know for later the drawer was actually designated for something. Without a label, you’d have to remember. Doesn’t sound like that big a deal. When you have hundreds of different pieces, you’d need a super memory.

LEGO Table

For us, we have this as a designated LEGO table. It is actually an old Thomas the Tank Engine train table. The track around the edge is great for stopping pieces rolling onto the floor. Underneath it, It also have some larger tubs that can store further larger pieces, they can also come out as well for easier access.

Having it as a work surface is great as the kids can build models, have works in progress, have a play area etc. When it comes time to pack up, all the pieces can end up on the table, and act as a magnet to attract any pieces throughout the house, and be sorted later.

Its great cause them can get all the LEGO off the floor so it doesn’t end up in the vacuum cleaner.

Sort Fest

Which then brings us to the sort fest. Over time LEGO accumulates on the LEGO table and does need to be resorted again. So we sit down with the kids and have some sort sessions to put everything back away. Naturally it isn’t the kids most favourite thing to do. This timelapse here took several hours over the course of several sessions over a weekend.

That said, it means when they have just dumped things previously on the LEGO table and not had to clean up, just shifts the job to doing it in one batch. Which is going to be a more efficient use of time in the long run.  

Generally I’ll break the models down and group pieces together. The kids will then sort into drawers. Start with the larger pieces as it feels like low hanging fruit and makes it easier to see smaller pieces.  I always think of engineering time and motion studies when doing this and encourage kids to create strategies to do things in an optimal way. Have Moses go to the mountain, not the other way around. Kids always seem relieved when last pieces are put away

It is always a matter of striking a balance. Want the kids to explore ideas and models, but not be scared off building cause every part needs to be put away every session. They also take pride in having a clean LEGO table at the end of a sort feast session.

Key Combination

We think the key is the combination of dedicated LEGO table and the sort feast. Know some others who have drawers and taken the time to do the initial sort, and create labels. But very quickly LEGO ends up everywhere else and the drawers not being effective and seeming like a waste of time, and undoing all the hard work to get together initially. The key seems to be the table and sort fest.  

Over time, do have some sorted into colour as well – hang over from Dinosaur and Jack o Lantern pumpkin projects. Click around the video for FREE instructions and time-lapse videos on these LEGO builds.

Really Useful Boxes

I know others use these “Really Useful Boxes” which seem really strong and sturdy for stacking purposes. I haven’t looked into them too much and don’t know the type of tray insets they can have, which would be the key part for me. I think for larger items they might work really well but the downside would be not having them with quick easy access. Here is the better part of 1,000 different parts, all of which can be accessed in seconds so don’t have to play musical boxes.

Technic Expansion

With anything that’s been going along recently and sorting out some Technic like to create one of these weird and wonderful drawers we sort of put all the pieces which do quite neatly fit within quantities elsewhere. And then over time you notice that you actually start building up enough to create their own separate drawer.

I like to leave the spaces so it allows for future expansion for instances like this so just come along pop it in your drawer pop in the new label just going to be a six tooth small sprocket depend all the printout get the bag tape off their labels on there and then just go through wonderful

joy that’s nice man some ones which are left now just the other sorts of circles and fan blades and things like that and that’s how you can easily expand the rest just don’t have labels on yoke just go to here around to doing it it is possible that if you then wanted to completely read you get everything just take that over go up swap and I am

What do you Do?

What do you do for storage? How do you manage LEGO? We are always on the look out for new ways and ideas so sound off in the comments below.

In another video, I’ll cover the Brother P-touch labeler and even how to create and customise your own labels – so be on the lookout for that.

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Thanks very much for watching, I know this has been a long video but wanted to cover in depth a number of aspects so you can go off successfully and implement your own strategies. Here are some other videos you might be interested in. Til next time when we talk about all things LEGO

How to Create A LEGO Mosaic Portrait from a Photo with Tips, Suggestions & Time-lapse Tutorial

In this video we will show how to create a LEGO Mosaic Portrait from a photo. There will be tips and suggestions on how to do this, along with a full time-lapse so you can see everything start to finish.

The topics that are covered in the video are:

– software used to create LEGO Mosaics from a photograph
– how to figure out parts required and where to order them from
– base plate considerations to build your mosaic on
– suggestions for the optimum photo, tweaks and considerations so you get the best result
– an approach to the actual tile application.

A selection of mosaic makers can be found on my website at:

Affiliate link to Fun Haven base plates used in this video

#mosiac #legomosaic #LEGO #legoafol #legomoc #photobricks #instalego #legoart #moc #legomocs #legobricks #afol #legoman #legolife #mocs #legobuilder #legoideas #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #afolclub #legophotography #legofun #legomania

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of here and today we are going to cover off how to create a LEGO mosaic similar to this one. This is going to be the first video of a 2 or 3 part series. In this video we’ll give an overview of the whole process and in later videos we’ll go into  a lot more in depth on certain aspects.

We’ll start of first by talking about mosaic maker websites and downloads, to create a mosaic from a photo.

Please visit and subscribe so you can always be kept in the loop with new videos and exclusive content regardless of any YouTube’s algorithm changes

Mosaic Maker Links

To find a list of links to mosaic makers you can go to my website and then you can scroll down to the November 2019 archive. Give that a click and then if you go down to the one on the 14th of November, Lego mosaic image makers.

There is the one which I’ve done and then below here is the list of different mosaic makers out there and as i find other ones which work, I add them into the list. So you can always come back here and check it.

The one which i used to create this image was the So if you click on that, pictobrick here. The Einstein one.

There is a download which you can download to your operating system which I quite like so once you’ve downloaded then, you’ve got it forever. Whereas some of the other ones, they’re hosted online, so if they ever go down then you won’t have access to them again.

And in the tutorial there, it just runs you through a few different options on how to use it in the mosaic maker.


Once I’d uploaded my picture, adjust to the size selected the colors, I was then able to output these documents. Which tell you a whole bunch of information. So this is the actual image to work off in your image and then if you go under bill of material, it will then tell me here all the different colors I selected, 1 by 1 tiles.

And it’ll tell me all the different colors and how many I need of each then under building instruction. It will tell you row by row, column by column, what each piece should be so you can only use the row by row and column or you can just go back to the image that was created.

Getting Bricks

From this, we then ordered the pieces required from the secondary marketplace , and this is what came back.

Okay I can go to a package it’s got most of the bits which we need. You open it it’s quite heavy for what is 2 kilograms. no the pieces so I’m looking at about almost 9,000. Lime, white, Light Bluish Grey, Dark Tan, Dark Green, Medium Dark Flesh, Reddish Brown, Dark Bluish Grey, Tan, Black.

Base Plates

Normal base plates you get the Lego ones these are 32 by 32 studs which is about 25 by 25 centimeters or once that 10 inches by 10 inches usually get these. But what we want for this one is one a red color and they generally only come in the greens, blues, <white> or large, the grays which near which

reason for that is if you have any little gaps and things showing through, you’ll see the greens or the blues or whatever it is. From art, whenever you do things underneath you generally, for flesh and stuff like that, always start with something room which is like a red. Because if you use a blue or a green, if that shows through or if somebody’s got a slight blue or a green tint to them, they look and feel sick.

So I couldn’t get them in the Lego ones. I managed to get one of these ones here which will give a try. So a fun Haven one could be interesting. The other thing at universities and petrol normal Lego one’s actually gonna be the thickness to them Lego ones

Differences and Clutch Power

What’s that?! Maybe one or two mills. These, a little more like three or four yeah. You can nice and the difference is on the back. This is just a standard tool one wears this it’s got some regular legged fits stick pieces into it. Knowing of these you can’t build it up and put anything underneath it.

So if we just take the normal base, put a couple of these two by ones by fives on each corner and they can all go into the under side and that’s pretty rigid. You can start stacking them.

Usually I stay away from anything which is non LEGO as found the quality or the clutch powe,r which is how they stick, be quite poor so things come off. These ones, just want to try see what they like want to do the demo test on them. They seem to stick pretty well actually.

So I’ll see how they go. I’m going do two of these at once. Actually I’m do it there’s a 64 by 64, so two there – they’re probably going off camera. You know you got a square and then for the second one another for these.


And now onto the timelapse. We’d actually taken that final image from the mosaic maker, and printed quarters of the image on standard A4, 8×11 ish inch paper. Thus each red base plate was a quarter and just made doing the mosaic easier and more manageable. Every couple of rows that we go along, we’ll mark off on the printer out. Just makes it easier to keep track of where you are up to.

Colour Considerations

The thing with LEGO is that not all pieces are available in all colours. Thus some of the programs that generate the mosaics aren’t smart enough to work out if that colour is available in that brick, or tile or plate or whatever it is you are using.

Other times it might be available in that colour, but really expensive. Where as if you just moved to another similar colour, it is more readily available and far cheaper / cost effective. So it might be suggested to use a Maersk Blue, where as a Medium Azure would be around an 1/8th the price.

Check out our other video where we’ve developed LEGO brick and tile colour wheels / guides. These go into this is a lot more detail and really handy for anyone doing My Own Creations, or MOCs.

We’ve used flat 1×1 tiles but you could have just as easily used 1×1 plates, 1×1 bricks or whatever sizes will fit the colour lengths.

Base Plates

Around this video we’ll also provide an affiliate link to those Fun Haven base plates as they seemed really reasonable. Having the ability to stick bricks on the back makes it easier to join them together with other plates and mount them.

We’ve also discovered that 64×64 studs is just slightly larger than 50cm x 50cm, which seems to be the last standard frame and memory box sizes. So once you go beyond a standard 48×48 stud base plate, mounting and framing become more challenging considerations.

Photo Considerations

For the actual portrait, for best results you want something that has good contrast. Basically this means a photo taken in daylight where there is some shadow on the face. Using a flash will be the worse kind of photo as it flattens the face.

Once you’ve taken a photo, which you’ve probably done on a phone, most have got away to increase the contrast or play with a few filters to make the photo better. It is definitely worth doing this as you will be spending some time on the mosaic part. Thus you want the best possible photo you can get.

Head Size

Try to make the head as big as possible in the mosaic. This just gives the best chance for the eye, nose and mouth shapes to be distinguishable, and characteristic.

Even at the large size of 64 x 64 studs that we’ve gone for here, it still isn’t a lot of detail you are playing around with (even though it is still 4096 1×1 tiles). We did spend a bit of time up front selecting the best image, and tweaking the brightness and contrast. If we couldn’t get something that would work, we’d try with another photo.

Time Considerations

For this one, by the time you select a photo, make adjustments, source pieces and sit down and apply 4096 1×1 tiles, you don’t have much change out of 15 to 20 hours. I might be bias but think the result came out pretty well. The bulk of it is grey tones, with pops of colour just to break up the monochrome look and give a little bit of bounce to the image.

Tiling Approach

The approach to applying tiles would vary but generally start with a row and column and work out hole length. It just became easier to judge tiles relative to one another and prevented too many mistakes. Then might try to block out large patterns of single colours. Which then became easier to place other colours.

As going along, found you could use the edge of a brick separator, or the edge of a plate to align the square tiles. When they don’t sit in straight lines, a slight zig-zag pattern can develop, which might drive anyone with OCD crazy.

This was one of a pair of mosaics we did at the same time, so in the end, dealing with over 8000 1×1 tiles. They were done as gifts and well received. They can be impressionistic like in that when you stand from a far, they appear as a photo. When you get up close however, they dissolve into the square geometric pattern.

All Coming Together…

And here is how the 4 quarters come together…. And here is how they come apart.

If you’d like to get your own custom portrait or pet mosaic, for yourself or as a gift, drop me a line at If you have any questions or comments, let me know in the comments and may try to answer in subsequent follow up part videos. If you enjoyed this video, smash that like button or be awesome and subscribe.

Here are some other videos you might like. Until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.

LEGO Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon Time-lapse & Review Speed Build, Set 75212

A review and time-lapse speed build of LEGO Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon, set 75212, from the Han Solo movie. This is also known as the “White” Millennium Falcon due to the use of largely white LEGO bricks, as opposed to the usual grey look. In this video we give a run down of the basic structure, play features and other tid bits. Is it worthwhile buying?!

#legomillenniumfalcon #legostarwars #lego #starwars #afol #starwarslego #moc #geekalert #legos #milleniumfalcon #hansolo #millenniumfalcon #legomoc #starwarscollector #nintendo #nintendoswitch #freighterwars #rare #ultimatecollectorseries #ucsmillenniumfalcon #giant #huge #biggestlegoset #scifi #rebrick #milleniumfalconlego #rebrickcontest #collectorsitem #playstation #bhfyp

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder here and in this video we are going to do a quick time-lapse / speed build of LEGO Star Wars Kessel Run Millennium Falcon Set number 75212. For an extended kids play and review, check out our kids version of the video, which should be linked on or around this video.

Please visit and subscribe so you can always be keep in the loop with new videos and exclusive content, regardless of any YouTube algorithm changes.

There are 1414 pieces for £170 pounds or around $200 US dollars. So that works out to 12p or 14cents US per part. It was released in 2018 and still available at time of recording this video (so you maybe able to pick it up cheaper).

The finished set is a really good size, and much bigger than what we expected. It is really sturdy as the kids have been bashing it around. They can also pick it up and swoosh it around without any real issues. This model has the better part of a dozen hinged plates to access the interior of the model. The latest Rise of Skywalker Millennium Falcon set 75257 has fewer, larger hinge pieces to access the interior.

This version has a detachable escape craft between the two front forks. So you can choose to have it with or without, if you are after the more classic look of the vehicle. There is also a center gunners bay that slides out on rails and can hold minifigures.  

The white, with hints of blue, colour scheme is a nice change from the usual grey colour schemes, and I do quite like it – although not sure how well it fits in with the Han Solo movie it was based off. Hence it has become known as the white Millennium Falcon version.

There are 6 minifigs and 1 droid which seems to be a really good number for a set like this. There are also a couple of spring-loaded missile shooters in the front for additional play features.

To get the curve on the rear engine it’s done by assembling these little hinge pieces and connecting them together. A bit of flexible tubing is used to get that blue engine feel archways interconnect of four main play areas in the Millennium Falcon. Thus characters are able to move from area to area.

There is an entry ramp on a hinge joint which opens and closes so characters can get in and out of the Falcon. There are fixed landing gears so the model can always be put down and it doesn’t have much impact when kids are playing around with it and flying it through the air.

Drop in the central Gunners detachable piece. The Headroom for the minifigures can get a little bit crowded as you go more towards the perimeter of the Falcon but there are plenty of studs to connect the minifigures to for when the vehicle is flying around and not becoming loose during flight.

Here you can see the dozen hinge pieces being attached and open showing you how the mechanism works to get to the interior. The detachable escape craft or cargo hole feature is also something which is really quite interesting and unique to this set.

The cockpit allows two minifigs to sit in it and comes on and off relatively easy but it is connected to a solid wall of studs. So there’s no way for the character to walk through from the cockpit to the rest of the ship

And there you have it. The white version of the Millennium Falcon based upon the Star Wars Han Solo film. A great set even for just a casual Star Wars fan or somebody wanting a Lego spaceship.

What are your thoughts? Leave it in the comments below I do try to read everything and respond to everything. Here are some other videos you might like. Please subscribe to our newsletter on or this channel.

Until next time when we talk about all things Lego

Desert Safari Tour Dubai: Dune Bashing, Sand Boarding, Camel Riding, Belling Dancing, Fire Performer and Local Food Review

This is our review of a Desert Safari Tour we did in Dubai while staying at LEGOLAND Dubai. This was the VIP tour done with Arabian Adventures. In this overview / review, we cover the dune bashing, sand boarding, drinks at sunset, camel riding, belling dancing, fire performer, spinning dancer and local food. A great way to spend an afternoon / evening.

#deserttour #desertsafari #dubai #desert #desertsafaridubai  #travel 

#dubaisafari #dubaitour #uae #rajasthan #desertsafarideals #mydubai 

#dubailife #safari #eveningdesertsafari #morningdesertsafari #emirates 

#dubaidesertsafari #camelsafari #dubaitourism #tourism #travelphotography 

#dubaivacation #dubaitrip #eveningsafari #uaelife #dubaidesert #bhfyp #legoland

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of here and today we are going to talk about a desert tour we did while staying at LEGOLAND Dubai. It is independent of LEGOLAND. A desert tour was a great 6 hours or so which covers 4-wheel driving, sand boarding, drinks at sunset, camel ride, and a meal with some local entertainment. We did ours just outside Dubai with pickup and drop off from our hotel at LEGOLAND.

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Please feel free to comment on the videos and let me know any other topics you’d like to cover. I read through them all and try to answer every one of them. Back to the tour.

We did our tour with Arabian Adventures. There are 2 levels of the tour, one standard and 1 VIP. The VIP limits the group to 40 people while the standard takes almost as many people that book. We did the VIP tour so these shots are from that. It means we had a 4×4 to ourselves with a driver, which having little kids with us, didn’t put off anyone else who may have ended up with us.

First stop at the park was to let some air out of the tires to travel across the soft sand, as opposed to hard road. At this point, you start to realise how many other people do these tours when you see another 30 or so 4x4s all in the queue.

Off into the desert and you get to see different types of gazelles. On the VIP tour, the first stop was sandboarding, and the standard group would come after. It was good to have a relatively small group and able to go at a leisurely pace.

It is no coincidence that we sand boarded in the shadow, as  it was still at balmy 33 degrees Celsius at this time in the afternoon. Good bit of exercise as the sand is really soft and you sink straight into it. Surprisingly, this sand hill didn’t have the hard, course, graininess of beach sand (guessing it doesn’t have fragments of marine life in it).

Sand boarding was really fun as if you aren’t confident to be able to stand up, you can still go down seated and enjoy it.

And now you take photo. <laughter>

Then we had 10 minutes of bouncing up and down in the sand dunes while the 4×4 was being thrown about. One of the kids loved it wanting to go higher, faster, longer, while the other, just wanted it to stop. Are you enjoying? Yeah!! One is, one isn’t.

While the red jeeps might look good, they don’t have the power of the Toyota Landcruiser’s (and are better suited for larger rockier formations with the higher ground clearance).

Next stop was some drinks at sunset. Great just to relax, watch the sun go down and get a few good happy snaps. As all kids will do, it was time to play in the sand on the sand dunes. Sometimes with little kids, you do wonder about travelling when the only priorities will be soft plays, playgrounds and sand pits.

It was a quick drive to our evening meal area. Out front where camel rides and weird to have to lean back while they angle up into the air. They are up higher than horses. With little kids, 2 people can ride the camel at once so the parent can be there to reassure any little ones that aren’t too sure.

Next into the seating area for an extensive 3 course meal – the food just keeps coming and coming, and was really tasty.

Throughout the evening entertainment is provided, starting with a belly dancer.

After this was a fire performer. He got really up close and personal with the guests, leaving a great many tales to be told later on.

This was followed by a spinning dancer. I’m always amazed how these guys go on for the better part of 10 minutes spinning around. I spin the kids around a couple of times and have to stop or risk getting too dizzy. Again, there was an interactive element whereby audience participation was encouraged. One of our little ones gave it a good shot too.  

You can also sample arac (as I think it is called), and kick back with a smoke.

The guides will indicate the end of the evening, without prompting a hard time to leave. With little ones we were happy to be back in the 4×4 around 8:30pm for the 45-minute drive back to the hotel.

For next time, we may consider spending a night staying in the desert. We were fortunate that our guide had been with the company for 12 years and in the country for 23, so very experienced and knowledgeable.

One hint I would give is to make sure you have some local currency as tips are expected.

Overall a great experience and would definitely recommend it. Haven’t done the standard tour but happy to pay the extra for a more intimate group and just being able to go at our own pace.

Here are some other videos you might like. Please subscribe to our newsletter on , this channel and/or leave any comments below. I do read and try to respond to them all.

Until next time.

LEGO Christmas Tree Review and Speed Build Time-lapse – Set 40338

A kids review of Lego set 40338 Christmas Tree, which we got as a promotional “free with purchase”. The kids give a run down of all the key features from their point of view. There is also a time-lapse speed build of the whole model.

How to Make a LEGO Cupcake Stand MOC with FREE Instructions Speed Build DIY Yin Yang Design

This tutorial video shows How to Make a LEGO Cupcake Stand MOC* through speed building and commentary (pointing out key design features). FREE PDF instructions here:

This was done as a cupcake stand for ours kids birthday parties.

*My Own Creation

#LEGO #legomoc #legomocs #legobricks #afol #legoman #legolife #mocs #legobuilder #legoideas #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #afolclub #legophotography #legoart #legofun #legomania #familyfun #cupcakes #cupcake #cupcakestand #cupcakeoftheday #homemade #legocupcakes #legocupcakestand #legoparty

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of here and in this video, we are going to show you how to make a cupcake stand with a Yin Yang design entirely out of LEGO.

This was made for son’s birthday which had a ninja theme, hence the black and red colour scheme, and going for a yin yang design in the cupcake stand design. We’ve created FREE Instructions for this, which are available on our website There should be a link around this video. Later in the video is a time-lapse showing the full build.

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Build Introduction

The actual build we’ve tried to keep pretty straight forward, using pretty standard LEGO blocks and techniques. So, if you have a modest collection of LEGO blocks, you should be able to build it. If not, you could go into any LEGO branded store and they should have a “pick a brick” wall with loose bricks. It may not be in the colours you want however so failing this, you may be able to order bulk lot parts of eBay relatively cheaply.

Check out our other video showing a full breakdown of our custom Master Wu LEGO MOC with instructions.

We’ve found this cupcake stand not to be a single time use, and used the cupcake stand at other parties. Here is our other son’s party which had a Dinosaur / Jurassic Park theme. Here you can see it in use and works just as well. You can also find FREE building instructions for our custom 5 and a half thousand-piece Triceratops Dinosaur and video on our website

Build Commentary

Now onto the build. As always, we’ve presorted the colours to make for a faster build. We start by building out the base which has a cross shaped, feet arrangement. Then we build the vertical stand part, and then add the “wings” in to both tiers.

You build the wings up at the same time for the top and middle tier. In building these wings, it is the only time don’t use the thicker 2 by something bricks. Thus, if you didn’t care for the yin yang design, these wings could be built more simply.

If you wanted something even stronger, you could use some technic beams and pins. We kept away from this to keep the design simple and accessible to everyone. As it stands, we were able to put a large 5kg/ 12 pound object on the top and it was supported fine. So you could put a regular cake on the top.

One Construction Trick

There is one trick here to connecting the base to the vertical stand part. On the vertical stand, you do need to pry apart either side at the bottom just slightly. Then slide it onto the base bricks and squeeze all the bricks together.

Alternatively, you could remove the middle tier and reduce the height on the vertical stand and create a pure cake stand. If you’d like to see a cake stand modification, get in touch and let me know.

 The whole model turns out to be relatively light. The feet to the model have a little flex in them, so you can bend them ever so slightly if not on a dead flat surface.

The yin yang is missing the 2 smaller circles. They weren’t put in as by doing so, it would just weaken the wings on each tier.

If you do make your own versions of the cupcake stand, we would love to see them. Please email with any photos, videos / social media links etc. and we can share your creations out (if you like).

And there you have it. A cupcake stand with a Yin Yang design all made out of LEGO bricks. Be sure to check out our other video showing all the various bits and pieces we sourced relatively cheaply to theme out this LEGO ninja birthday party theme.

Finishing Up

If there is anything else you’d like to see built, feel free to drop a line.

Please visit and subscribe to our mailing list so you can be kept up to speed with new videos and exclusive content.

Here are some other videos you might be interested in. And that brings us to a close. Happy building until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.

TOP 5 LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland Models – Indoor Walkthrough Tour of Iconic Buildings in LEGO

In this video, we count down our top 5 picks for the best LEGO models at LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland. This searches out the best models based upon buildings in the middle east. Does your favourite get a mention in our list? This is an indoor walkthrough tour of some Iconic Buildings in LEGO!

Please subscribe to our mailing list so you can be kept up with the latest videos and exclusive content:

#LEGOLANDDubai #Top5 #Miniland #themepark #LEGO #review #LEGOLAND #Themepark #DaysOut #DaysOutWithKids #thingstodoindubai #dubai2019 #legofan #legocity #amusementpark #burjkhalifa #hanginggardensofbabylon #petra #ishtargate #tajmahal #grandmosqueabudhabi #sheikhzayedmosque #AFOL #lego_hub #legolover #legolife #legoinstagram #legocommunity #afolclub #legomania

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder of here and in this video we are going to countdown the TOP 5 LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland Models. The great thing with LEGOLAND Dubai is they have models that are Middle East focused, so different from western LEGOLANDs and their models.

There will be snippets of the Miniland Dubai light show but see this video here for a more comprehensive review. My apologies if I mispronounce any names as I’m not use to them.

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So without further ado, lets count them down.

Number 5 – Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is very much the centerpiece of LEGOLAND Miniland Dubai, and  is the tallest building in the world. Construction began in 2004 and finished in a short, 5 years later.

The building is 828m tall and this LEGO model is 1:50 scale, being 17m tall (that is 1774 LEGO bricks stacked on top of each other). This is the tallest LEGO building that I’ve come across. This took over 5,000 hours to design and build and has 439,000 LEGO bricks.

It also has its own water fountain sequence set to music. The real Dubai fountain is the world’s largest with 6,600 lights, 24 colour designs and shoots water up to 152 metres high. The Miniland version has 112 jets and took 3 months to build

Check out some of the other tallest buildings in the world, made out of LEGO, right behind this Burj Khalifa model

Number 4 – Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world. It is a tomb to the emperor’s wife. It was commissioned in 1632 with the majority of work finishing in 1643 (other phases continued on for another 10 years). It is made from an Ivory white marble, and sits on a 17 hectare site. The estimated build cost would be about $800 million dollars in today’s money.

It expands upon the design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. It is visited by some 8m visitors a year, a four fold increase from 2 million visitors in 2001. No polluting traffic is allowed near the complex, so visitors either walk from parking areas or catch an electric bus.

This Miniland Taj Mahal took 2020 hours to design and build, and is made up of some 281,000 bricks. The whole thing weights about 645 kilograms.

Number 3 – The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Ishtar Gate

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world. It was described as a remarkable feat of engineering with an ascending series of tiered gardens, resembling a large, green mountain constructed of mud bricks.

It is partly the story of myth, as it is unsure where it was, and no definitive archaeological evidence has been found in Babylon. The Miniland Hanging Gardens took 1,283 hours to design and build, using 73,000 bricks, and weighing in at 163 kilograms.

The Ishtar Gate was the main and eighth gate of the city of Babylon, constructed around 575 BC. It was covered in lapis lazuli – a deep blue, precious stone. There are alternating rows of lions, dragons and flowers, representing powerful gods. These were on enameled yellow and black glazed bricks, symbolizing the Goddess Ishtar. It was excavated in early 20th century and reconstructed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

The Miniland version has 34,000 bricks, took 286 hours to build, and weights 75 kilograms.

Number 2 – Petra

Petra is a historical and archaeological city in southern Jordan. It is a combination of caves, temples and tombs. In 300BC it became the capital city of the Arab Natabaeans. Originally Petra was on an important land trade route but declined with the advent of sea trade routes.

The Monastery is probably the most famously recognizable, having appeared in films like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Mummy Returns and the 2nd Transformers film, Revenge of the Fallen. Hence why the little Easter egg of Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee …. Although they are in the G1 incarnations, as opposed to their movie versions.

There are several versions of the monastery and this one has a Sponge Bob Square Pants hidden away in it. It is a little strange seeing pop culture characters in these ancient Arab buildings.

The Miniland Colonnade is made from around 20,000 bricks and took 485 hours to create.

Here is a series of tombs known as the royal tombs, due to their levels of decoration.

Number 1 – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the largest in the UAE and located in Abu Dhabi. It was constructed between 1996 and 2007, seeking to unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. It was named after its founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.

This LEGO version is 1:30 scale and took 6,300 hours to design and build. It is made from 537,000 bricks. You can also crawl through a little tunnel and come up inside the model. Thus you can get another view from inside the model looking out which is fun to do, and see all the details.

It is really a quite impressive model and why it takes the number 1 spot on this list.

The one comment I would make about LEGOLAND Dubai Miniland is that the models on display have very little information on the signs about them. Thus, it is hard to get a good sense of their importance and history. A large portion of the information in this video comes from subsequent research.

Do you agree with our list?

Please visit and subscribe to our mailing list so you can be kept up to speed with new videos and exclusive content.

Check out our other LEGOLAND Dubai videos such as a full time-lapse walk through of the park in under 3 minutes. You can find these in the LEGOLAND Dubai playlist.

Happy building until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.

LEGO Mosaic Image Makers

Below are a list of links / programs that will take photographs and turn them into LEGO Mosaics.

Mosaic Maker With File Select by Pennyforge (python script in a zip file):

Feel free to drop us a line, or comment below if there are others you know about that work well

What is a LEGO GBC (Great Ball Contraption)? Review Time-lapse Fire Rescue First Responder to GBC 34

What is a LEGO GBC (Great Ball Contraption)? Here we review LEGO Fire Rescue First Responder set 42075 and see it converted to a Great Ball Contraption module. This is done through FREE instructions produced by PV-Productions: “GBC 34 Tilt Lift Workshop Module”.

A time-lapse is shown of the breakdown and build of this GBC module. I also have a subtle design tweak which I think improves the module.

lego #gbc #customlego #moc #legomoc #afol #legoafol #legomodel #greatballcontraption #legogbc #leoggreatballcontraption #legos #motorizedlego #legomachine #legomotor #gbcmodule #leogmodule #legodisplay #review #timelapse #legocreations #legoinstragram #legofan #legocommunity #afolclub #legofun #legomania #familyfun

Transcript from the show:

G’day Everyone, Matt Elder here and today I’m going to review turning this Fire Rescue First Responder Lego set, 42075, into this Great Ball Contraption module. The second part of this video has a time-lapse breakdown and build of this.

What is a LEGO GBC?

First you might be wondering, “What exactly is this I’m looking at, and what does it do”?

This is a single unit which has an entry point for these little balls, and then moves them along to an exit point. You join a number of these modules together, so it forms a continuous loop. Thus, balls move along the system in perpetual motion.

This is a sub-genre of LEGO building called the GREAT BALL CONTRAPTION, or GBC for short. My apologies to any purists out there, I’ve only just discovered this so might be butchering any explanation.

Online Instructions

I was looking around on the internet and discovered . They happened to have free instructions on how to convert this First Responder set to a single module. My son only recently got the set and thought this would be an easy entry point, he was also very excited at the idea.

We have some of the larger technic sets PV-productions make into more elaborate GBCs so thought this would be a good  chance to see the quality of their instructions. Their instructions were reasonably easy to follow, although a couple of steps weren’t super clear. The build is probably a medium Technic challenge.

Rather than constantly having to feed balls in, you can bring this boom piece across. Thus, the motion will continue with a set number of balls in it, and is quite rhythmic to watch.


Now for the time-lapse on how the model was broken down and built.

First up we must break down the Fire Rescue First Responder vehicle. I have a trades screw box and some plastic bowls off to the side to sort pieces into. This just helps when building the model to find pieces rapidly, as this isn’t exactly coming in the standard numbered bags out of the box.

I’m always amazed how people can come up with the alternative MOC models with the fixed number of pieces in a given set. I would love to know the thought process or what critical elements of the build get done first. This even manages to use the engine blocks and pistons. Very cool.

Wheel Positions

One of the things to appreciate with this build is the wheels don’t actually rotate. One set of wheels also need to have enough clearance so can slide up beside part of the frame. This was a little hazy in the instructions and can be difficult to tell where exactly the wheels should sit.

I found the more angle you could get on the moving ramp, by adjusting the wheel height, the more likely the ball would be pushed along to the exit point.


You can hand crank the ramp, but you really do need a separate power functions motor, which we had but doesn’t come with the First Responder set. As at time of recording, November 2019, you can still get these motors but believe in a couple of months, they will be retiring the motor.

As our first attempt at a Great Ball Contraption module, we think this came out rather well. The kids spent a fair bit of time tinkering around with it and they have been asking questions around gears and seeing the inner workings.

Also being kids, they have been sticking their fingers into the gears, and finding out the gears that will hurt. They have loved loading up the balls … and sometimes chasing them around the room when they overloaded.

Thoughts on Instructions

The PV-productions instructions are pretty good in the main but you really do need to watch the orientation of the build as you go. Having made some of my own instructions for builds, I know how fiddly it can be to make instructions.

There are around 70 steps in the instructions and will take a solid couple of hours to build. They even include a little piece to build, to put on your power functions on/off switch. This blocks the switch being turned to the wrong direction. The gears can go in both directions, but only 1 really works to get the ramp action working correctly.

Design Tweak

There is one design tweak I would make. There is a gap here where balls can get stuck. Looking at PV-productions promo video, they have balls that get stuck in there too. It just creates a little pocket where balls can sit and restrict the general flow across the module.

I discovered you can just roll this piece over here on either side, and it creates enough of a barrier, balls can’t get stuck in there anymore.

PV-Productions also password lock the PDF file. While I get this in terms of protecting their IP and the time and effort that goes into these, when every page has your email address on it, it is a little annoying. I also found my Chrome downloader manager corrupted the PDF so had to download the file normally – first time I’ve run into that problem.


This was fun to do and really got the kids excited and engaged. Will be checking out more of PV-Productions instructions and more of these Great Ball Contraption modules.

That’s it for another video and please give a like if you found useful. Here are some other videos that you might find interesting. You’d be a superstar if you subscribed or share this video, as it helps us keep producing more videos. Happy building until next time when we talk about all things LEGO.