August 11, 2018 - New models and discovery of BriXtar
Half of year passed from my last blog report and I was busying myself with building new models and making instructions for some of them. I've also met Jonathan Jehander who is one of BriXtar founders. BriXtar is social network and application for smart phones. Its purpose is to connect designers of LEGO models with people who would like to build them - especially kids and their parents. I've begun collaborating with him so you can find me under nickname "buildinst" at BriXtar. I share some of my alternative models there and I've even built few models to order from BriXtar - chameleon and modified toxic dog from BriXbox (special LEGO set made by BriXtar team) and three alternative models from set 31079 (jet, dump truck and helicopter). You can learn more about BriXtar and download application here.
Besides models mentioned above I've built two new models out of LEGO Technic after long time. The first of them is freight helicopter built from this year's yacht (set 42074) and other is the second generation of shark from last year's jet (set 42066). Helicopter was inspired by toys and it spins both rotors when you are turning gear on its bottom. Shark is new version of my red shark from set 9394 that I built 5 years ago. It is bigger, better-looking, motorized and finally blue in comparison with original one. It features two motorized functions - moving tail and opening maw to eat moving fish. You can turn them on separately or together with help of two red levers on stand.
I would also like to mention few other models built out of classic LEGO bricks - series of alternative models from set 31056 (I have 30 of them now), prehistoric bird phorusrhacos from set 31073 and several BrickHeadz figures. I've discovered BrickHeadz with "Go brick me" set 41597. It is not surprise that my first model was me and my wife Viktoriya. Next creation was foursome of important Czech presidents. I've built them to celebrate 100th anniversary of establishment separate Czechoslovakia. These presidents are Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk with Czech flag (the first Czechoslovak president), Klement Gottwald with sickle and hammer (the first communist president), Václav Havel with files full of dramas (the first president of separate Czech Republic) and Miloš Zeman with bottle of his favorite herbal liqueur (the first Czech president elected directly by people).
February 18, 2018 - Awesome set 31056
At the end of last year I set myself daring goal: to build 20 alternative models out of set 31056 (green convertible). I already finished 9 alternates that time but I was still missing other 11 models. I began taking this set with me when I was travelling by train. It was really good idea because sometimes I was able to build even two new models during 3 hours long journey and same on way back. The greatest challenge was not to build model but to find new original idea. I made such a unique models as electric guitar, lawn mower or baby carriage this way. Since I believed it is impossible to build motorbike out of set 31056, scooter is the most significant model for me.
Besides models from set 31056 I was dealing with creative crisis at the turn of 2017 and 2018. I had many ideas for new models but when I took bricks into my hands I was not able to build anything. I began overcoming this period with sets 31060 (truck with planes) and 41129 (hot dog stand) that were lying on my table and waiting me to rebuild them. I've built helicopter from set 31060 and funny pick-up truck out of set 41129 that looks like from some cartoon. My latest model is cute rabbit built out of set 31044 (dog and ducks). And why did I build another rabbit? Since I haven't built any for a long time... :-)
And what can you look forward to in future? I would like to build something big from LEGO Technic - it could be new version of shark, helicopter, alternative model of Porsche 911 or Mindstorms vehicle. If you wait you will see result...
November 11, 2017 - New alternative models
I've mentioned two videos that I made for LEGO Life application in last blog report. The first is called "Beware of sharks!" and the other "How to build fish out of car" and you can watch both of them on my youtube channel now. I also promised you new alternative models built out of this year's LEGO Creator sets. So I built two trucks from sets 31054 and 31055, scorpion from set 31057 and toxic dog from set 31058. The latest models are four alternates built out of set 31056 - dachshund, plane, buggy and steam engine. The most difficult set for remaking was helicopter (31057) because it took me a lot of time to find good idea for alternate. On the other hand I really enjoyed building mutated dog from dinosaur (set 31058). Finally I also built few alternative models out of promotional sets (these sets are not sold in shops and you can get them as gift for your order in official LEGO stores). Elephant and rabbit built out of set 40251 (piggy bank) are the most interesting of them.
When I looked on my latest models I've got feeling that I prefer system bricks to Technic. So I've built couple of "studless" models to keep myself in good "Technic condition". These two models are RC bulldozer built out of set 42065 and off-road formula from set 42037. I wanted to add some playability to set 42065 and bulldozer was good idea because it has ability to push for example bricks on floor besides riding. :-) Formula has little bit stranger past. I began building it more than one year ago and got stuck with front axle. Then I abandoned it for about one year and finished it just few weeks ago. My original idea was that I want to build something resembling formula because main model doesn't resemble it at all even it is called formula off-roader. Building instructions for both models should be available during Chrismas.
In the end I would like to tell you about the most complex model I built so far. During last winter I was contacted by a man from Hewlett-Packard and he asked me: "Are you able to build LEGO robot that would supply Nespresso coffee machine with capsules?" It sounded interesting to me so I set meeting with him to know more. He explained me that they got coffee machine with bluetooth so you can turn it on from your smart phone. The problem was that you have to insert capsule manually into coffee machine and they were looking for some "remote control LEGO solution". Soon I began working for him and it took me about 3 months to finish this robot. It was built mainly out of LEGO Mindstorms Education and LEGO Technic Bucket Wheel Excavator. It contains about 2500 parts. The most difficult part of development was building this robot. Programming was piece of cake. You can read more about it here.
July 26, 2017 - Finally new website
Since Christmas I've begun moving all old building instructions to new website. During this process I've also rectified small defects that I found in them - mostly I was adding missing prints (eyes of older animals), missing parts (pull back motors) or changing order of steps. Only red shark from set 9394 was greatly upgraded to resemble real shark more accurately (I've rebuilt its back and moved fins further from head). I haven't finished new instructions for it yet so if you want to build this shark you have to use original instructions from old website.
Besides these building instructions I've added almost twenty brand new instructions for models built out of new LEGO Creator sets and for part of models I built for project called LEGO stavění (in English: Building out of LEGO) last year. Due to growing number of building instructions (there are more than 100 of them at buildinst now) I've divided them into four groups: Creator, Technic, Mindstorms and Miscellaneous. Group Mindstorms may also contain building instructions for models built out of other pragrammable sets in future and group Miscellaneous (labeled by question mark) contains building instructions for models built out of any other set. Finally I've updated my "LEGO story" with summary of last few years and my picture in case you are interested how I look like. :-) Later I also plan to add missing links to bills of material, themes of models (for example vehicle, animal etc. that will be used for searching) and galleries with pictures.
And now let's look closer to new models I've built since Christmas. I've begun with series of 5 alternative models built out of little green convertible (set 31056). In general this set is green remake of older orange convertible 31017 that I've rebuilt into 13 my own alternative models. So my goal with this set was very simple - I wanted to try whether I am able to build same models from it as from orange one and additionally to participate in competition in building alternative models. I have to say I like new models more than old ones and you can make your own opinion by comparing green crocodile, helicopter, motor boat and fish with their older orange brothers. I should also mention my alternatives for this year "ugly" LEGO Creator sets - dragon built out of robot, baywatch hut with shark from beach hut and tractor built out of motorbike (I don't assume this motorbike to be ugly but it is not very suitable for building alternative models thanks to its specific assortment of parts).
Finally I'm going to tell you about 2 projects I joined in - making short videos for application LEGO Life and organizing competition in building alternative models. I've made two videos: the first was how to build fish out of set 31056 and the other was how to build shark with baywatch hut out of set 31063. I'll add links to this videos as soon as they are released. Thanks to this project I've got all new LEGO Creator set released in the first half of year 2017 so you can look forward to new models built out of them. I've announced competition in building alternative models at LEGO forum kostky.org and was its main judge. We chose set LEGO Technic 42060 - Roadwork crew as donor of bricks. You can look what we've created out of it here. I've built formula with front axle steering and plane that whirls its propeller when you are moving it, to inspire others.
December 31, 2016 - Year in sign of LEGO
Although I didn't add much to buildinst last year I was literally waking up and going to bed with LEGO bricks. As I wrote in last report I began building alternative models for two different projects. Besides, I kept on leading courses of programming LEGO Mindstorms and WeDo for kids, showing my models at exhibitions, organizing few contests and finally I also built few models just for fun.
The first project I've participated in is called LEGO ReMake. Its goal is to show kids and their parents that they can build more than just one model out of each LEGO set. So I've built alternative models out of LEGO City sets for this project. You can see them at official web of this project and of course you can download building instructions for them there too. Another project is called LEGO stavění (in English: Building out of LEGO). It is channel with videos on Czech Youtube like web Stream.cz. There are two kinds of videos in this channel. The first of them features kid that builds official model out of LEGO set and then I build something else out of same bricks. Other videos are just records of me building my alterantive models from the first brick to the last so you can try to build my models following these videos. They are in Czech but speach is not important there. There are alternative models out of wide range of different sets from such themes like Creator, City, NEXO KNIGHTS, Star Wars and even Friends.
I would also like to mention three models I've built just for fun - CLEV3R CAR, dragster and woman in bikini. CLEV3R CAR is really clever and I've built it out of LEGO Mindstorms EV3 (set 31313). It is able to ride autonomously and avoid obstacles or you can teach is other tricks with your own program. You can see it in this video. Dragster is built out of LEGO Technic 42036 and building it was great challenge. My goal was to build vehicle on four wheels out of motorbike with just two wheels. Although this model is full of compromises if worths building. Last model is woman in bikini built out of old LEGO Creator set 4884 (lion, hyena and vulture). Honestly, I planed to build her naked but I had to dress her in bikini and boots due to lack in tan bricks. :-)
And what can you expect in nearest future? It looks like new web is almost ready for adding content so I will launch it soon. When it happens I'll release bunch of building instructions for alternative models of such themes like LEGO City, NEXO KNIGHTS, Friends and so on.
February 14, 2016 - Recapitulation of past half of year
I was so busy building new models past half of year that I haven't almost found time for updating buildinst. Summer has begun with couple of LEGO Friends sets. I've rebuilt one of them (41094 - Heartlake lighthouse) to carousel. Then for quite a long time I was building my biggest and most challenging alternative model so far - forwarder (log loader). I've built it out of set 8053 and it was inspired by real machine Noe NF410. It's also my first model that reached magical limit of 1000 pieces. It features 4 axles, working boom with grapple and considerable size. You can find detailed list of its functions and building instructions here.
At the end of September I became teacher of courses in robotics for children and began familiarizing with LEGO WeDo and Mindstorms. Programming was something totally new for me and I have to admit it intrigued me. I've already built two models out of WeDo set - propeller plane and sleeping dinosaur. Plane is supplemented with two levers that control steering of plane and speed of propeller. Dinosaur is much different - it's such an example of use of unpredictable behaviour. If you wake it up it will randomly choose one of five reactions before it falls asleep again. You can see it in action in this video.
By the end of the year I've joined in pilot project focused on testing new software for creating building instructions for LEGO models. Before I finished this project I've got invitation to another one. So now I'm building alternative models for LEGO CEE team. My dream is coming true...
Production of new website is separate chapter. I had this idea in my mind for a long time but things started moving by the end of last year. New web is almost completely programmed now. It just needs me to upload content. I hope I'll find enough time to finish it soon.