April 11, 2021 - Buildinst has been here for 10 years!
It was exactly 10 years ago when I launched website buildinst and now it enters the second decade. It started with building instructions for 4 models built out of 2 different sets. Today there are building instructions for 271 models built out of 112 different sets at buildinst. So let's look at important milestones in history of this website:
- April 11, 2011 - Buildinst gets online with 4 building instructions for formula 1 built out of set 5763 and rabbit, frog and dachshund from set 4916. Building instructions for these models currently available at buildinst are not originals from 2011 because I updated them when I was moving website to new domain. They were not the first building instructions I ever made either. I made my very first building instructions as photo sequence in December 2010 and they are still available in my brickshelf gallery.
- May 9, 2011 - I added the first building instructions for Technic model - wasp built out of set 8048.
- October 16, 2011 - I added the first building instructions for model built by another designer - motorbike build by Morten from set 5763. At the beginning I planed to make building instructions for models from other builders because I thought I couldn't create enough models on my own. It turned out later that I underestimated myself so I've lost interest in making instructions for models from others. There are only 3 building instructions for models from other designers at buildinst now - can you find them?
- November 25, 2011 - You can download building instructions in PDF format from this date. Initially they were available only as online slideshows.
- January 18, 2014 - This day I shared my "LEGO story" with you. It got update in June 2017 and I think it is good time to update it again.
- April 27, 2014 - I gave you option to donate money for development of buildinst via PayPal. It turned out to be very ineffective because almost nobody uses it.
- November 6, 2014 - I added ratings for models so you can imagine how difficult to build, playable, solid and stable is model that you are going to build.
- December 31, 2016 - I added the first building instructions for Mindstorms model - CLEV3R CAR built out of set 31313 and it became my most famous model.
- June 30, 2017 - Buildinst moved to this new domain, it got new content management system and number of building instructions exceeded 100 including instructions for models from themes like City, Friends and Star Wars.
- April 16, 2019 - I introduced premium building instructions - paid instructions for bigger and more complex models. There are 11 premium building instructions in total at buildinst now. This way of getting money for development of website proved to be much more effective than PayPal donations I mentioned above so I will continue in it.
- October 5, 2019 - Number of building instructions at buildinst exceeded 200.
- April 11, 2021 - Buildinst celebrates 10th birthday!
Now I prepared two charts for you - left one shows number of new building instructions (blue columns) and number of site updates (red columns) for each year and right one shows growth of total number of building instructions on site (blue line) and number of different sets that are covered with alternative models (red line). As you can see the most productive year was 2017 when I moved buildinst to new domain and added 60 new building instructions. On the other hand the least productive year was year before it. In 2016 I added only 7 new building instructions and made 2 updates in whole year. It was mainly caused by moving to new flat and working on its renovation. I was also working on new website and other projects ralated with LEGO so I didn't have enough time for updating buildinst.
These all facts were about history of buildinst but what can you expect in future? Well, I plan to add more building instructions. :-) I was also thinking about making more videos, writing reviews of sets that might be good for building alternative models and finishing translation of site into Russian language. All these topics are interesting but not as much as building new models and creating building instructions for them from my point of view. So you probably won't see anything like this happening in nearest future unless I find someone who would do it for me. If you are interested in doing reviews or videos of my models or in translating content of this site from English or Czech into Russian language, please let me know via email and we can make a deal.
It would be bad celebration without gifts so let me introduce you 10 special alternative models that I found in my archive. All of them got building instructions with "10 years issue" label to commemorate 10th birthday of buildinst. The first couple of models are buggy and car built out of set 4939. They are the oldest models I built that I found in my archive and they were really between my first attempts to create something out of LEGO bricks (the only older models were few animals built out of set 4884). I built them in 2007 before I found all those cool SNOT (Studs Not On Top) techniques so they are pretty basic. They also started my fear of building ordinary cars because model called "car" looks just like another ugly buggy...
Next model is retro convertible built out of set 4955. I built it probably in 2009 and it is bigger and looks better than previous two models so you can see some progress. It features simple interior and opening doors. I don't have any pictures of physical model and I already don't own set 4955 either so you can look at just these two renders of it. I liked set 4955 much because it was neither too small nor too big. I also started building another car inspired by Shelby Cobra but never finished it.
The forth model is propeller plane built out of set 8048. It is one of ten alternative models I made from this set and the first plane of this kind I've ever built. It spins its propeller when you push it around. Its tail is made mostly from axles because set 8048 lacks liftarms. There is one more alternative model from this set without building instructions - T-Rex trike and I don't plan to create them. This model doesn't look too good and its functions doesn't work properly.
If we move to year 2014 we'll find two models that I built in order to get job in LEGO company. I applied for designer in Creator team and made alternative models for sets 31008 and 31025. So I turned mountain hut 31025 in gold mine. It features three separate locations connected together by little story: Tim the gold digger returns with his dog by canoe to hut in mountains. He dreams about better life that he could buy for gold from his mine. He goes to hut and takes lamp and pickaxe to keep on digging in mine. But when he is coming in it he wakes up bear sleeping there...
Then I took set 31008 and turned it into building concept called "Custom Trucks". This concept is based on building from modules and it should help children to build their own creations. I built one front module and three different rear modules to demonstrate it. You can combine these four modules to get dump truck, rocket truck or tractor truck or you can take just one module (rear or front) and build rest of the truck with your own imagination. So in the end you don't have to build from scratch (it can be pretty difficult) because you have something to start with and when you get enough confidence you can build whole truck on your own. In 2017 LEGO released few sets featuring building from modules in Creator theme (31054, 31055 and 31060) but I think they didn't understand its potential. Their idea was just something like let's give children easy way how to make strange looking vehicles by combining parts of steam engine, race car, truck and planes.
Last two models were created last year when friend of mine asked me to build something from DOTS theme. Since these sets contain a lot of little tiles and just a few useful parts I had to combine two sets to get enough bricks for building alternative model. I chose sets 41905 and 41906 and built helicopter and propeller plane out of them. Both features spinning propellers or rotor blades and enough studded surfaces for placing little tiles. To be honest when I was adding all those quarter tiles I found out this theme is definitely not for me. And that's all Folks! ...at least for now. ;-)
January 11, 2021 - Recapitulation of year 2020
The year 2020 was... how to say it decently? - It was strange year full of never-ending "virus revue" that turned over our lives. And things got even worse when I twisted my ankle at the beginning of May and got my leg in plaster. On the other hand I've got a looot of time for building out of LEGO.
At the beginning of lock-down I rebuilt T. rex from set 75936 into life-size model of chicken that I call C. rex ("C" like Chicken). It was real fun to build it and write fake review for it. Finished model takes a lot from original Tyrannosaur especially legs are almost unchanged. The rest is more or less rebuilt to resemble contemporary successor of dinosaurs. So if you are tired of your T. rex you can give it one more chance by evolving it into C. rex. :-) At the same time I was also building my first ordinary car ever - pullback racer from set 42106. I built it for "Small Car Contest" organized by Eurobricks.com. Honestly I didn't participated in contest to win it (and I didn't) but it was good excuse for opening the ugliest Technic set of year 2020 (not counting Top Gear Rally Car) and start making something better out of its parts. It turned out later that set 42106 became my favorite set of 2020 (not for its original design but for its parts assortment). So back to my pullback racer - it is not ordinary pullback car because it also features steering and you can easily switch between pullback mode with disabled steering and steering mode with disabled pullback motor for better playability.
Then I twisted my ankle and had to stay at home. It should be no surprise that my first model, after this accident heppened, was wheelchair built out of motorcycle 42036 (yes, I am lover of black humor). :-) With more time at home more models began coming and most of them were various helicopters. I even built helicopter out of Friends hedgehog 40171 and give it name "Hedgecopter". Another noteworthy helicopter was from set 42075. It features custom pullback motor built out of shock absorber and gears.
When I was able to walk again I've finally made video presentation of my improved LuuMa 2.0 robot together with my Shark Mk II. Then I focused on two projects for The LEGO Group. The first was for our local LEGO Trading and was all about building small models out of polybags and few Classic sets to promote LEGO sets in Albert (Ahold) stores in Czech Republic during Christmas time. I've designed several models and made building instructions for all of them. You can find these building instructions at Albert website. Another one was for LEGO Lead User Lab and is still secret. Since both these projects were about building out of System bricks I've got fed up of them little bit. So when I wanted to build something just for fun I took Technic, specifically set 42106. And I built series of pullback vehicles. The first was race car I mentioned above. The second was plane with two propellers, the third was helicopter (another one), :-) the fourth was steam engine, the fifth was hovercraft and off-road buggy was the sixth. And it is not all. Currently, there is half-finished pullback truck lying on my desk.
Do you wanna know what you can expect in year 2021? We will celebrate the 10th aniversary of buildinst website! I plan to release building instructions for several old alternative models that I haven't published yet. I also plan to keep on building and releasing building instructions for alternative models from 2020 and 2021 sets.
April 4, 2020 - Looking back at past year
After long long time I'm bringing you few lines in blog to let you look in my LEGO workshop. I'm gonna begin with the most important events that happened from last report till now. Then I will mention the most interesting models I built and finish with few things that you can look forward to in future.
In December 2018 I went to Denmark to participate in AFOL Designer Program (ADP) organized by Bricklink (the largest online marketplace to buy and sell LEGO parts) and LEGO company. It was competition with goal of releasing limited amount of sets designed by adult fans of LEGO (AFOLs) and definitely the most remarkable project which I participated in last year and half. In general it was very similar to LEGO Ideas concept. The main difference was in set designs - LEGO Ideas takes just an idea and LEGO's designers create new set based on this idea while ADP was about taking original design from AFOL and creating building instructions for it. I didn't participated as contestant in it but as member of jury and external consultant together with few other distinguished builders, LEGO designers and Bricklink representatives from all around the world. It was awesome week spent in Denmark full of building, reviewing and fixing design issues of selected models that went in crowdsourcing later. Besides ADP I also worked on models and building instructions for two Christmas promotions in Albert (Ahold) stores in Czech Republic.
Another news is indroduction of premium building instructions that I began selling via website rebrickable.com. Currently there are 4 premium building instructions available for sale there - each of them is for big LEGO Technic model built out of approximately 700 to 900 parts. I want to continue releasing such building instructions for big models in future to get money for operating website buildinst and buying new LEGO sets. Instructions for small models will stay for free. The last news is change of software I use for building digital models for my building instructions. I definitely stopped using obsolete SR 3D Builder and began using Studio from Bricklink. Studio is intuitive and easy to use software ideal for building out of System bricks. It is not very suitable for building from Technic parts so I use LEGO Digital Designer (LDD) for Technic models. And I still use LPub for generating building instructions.
So let's look at models now! I would like to begin with this trio of LEGO Technic models - after shark from set 42066 I built helicopter from set 42077 then wheel skidder from set 42081 and recently snow groomer from set 42094. All of these models are pretty big and they are among the best models which I build out of LEGO Technic so far. Helicopter is built out of rally car and features spinning rotors, fake engine with moving pistons and main rotor can be tilted by lever in cockpit. It is also really huge - about 70 cm long! Wheel skidder is big too and new tractor tyres fit it perfectly. It features articulated steering, working decking blade, dual-function arch and grapple. Snow groomer is the smallest out of trio. It is big bro of snow groomer that I built from set 9391 six years ago. Snow groomer features lifting snow plow and clever mechanism for lifting rear blade - I used two shock absorbers to keep rear blade in two positions - up and down.
Speaking about models from System bricks I would like to highlight alien queen built out of set 70827 (Ultrakatty from the second LEGO Movie) and almost twenty alternative models from set 31087. I got inspiration for building alien queen from amount of thorns and spikes included in set and also wish to build real alien instead of those creatures from Duplo bricks. :-) I would call set 31087 as successor of set 31056 (at least untill release of set 31100). It contains lots of all-purpose bricks same as set 31056 so you can use it for building many varied models from motorbike to parrot. My best alternative models from this set are wheel barrow, wheel excavator, parrot and agricultural trio.
And what can you look forward in future? I began building my first supercar from set 42056 and new model from Mindstorms EV3 waits just for making video. I also have crazy idea for modification of tyrannosaur from set 75936 and I want to build some cool car from Mustang 10265.
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.