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Planning your MOC

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Planning your MOC

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:13 pm

Hey everyone!

I'm new to Classic-Castle and MOC's in general, and I'm wondering how established MOC Masters go about planning the layout of their builds. Do you draw a sketch? Lay out the floor plan first and build up? Build a 3-D model in CAD? lol

Just looking for some tips, thanks! :D
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby subix » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:55 pm

The most important is the idea what you want to build.
Then you should know your limitations (number of bricks, space, time,...).

For small(er) MOCs not much of a planing is needed. It is crucial to know building technics and as many as possible brick shapes from your head so you can realise your ideas without delays for searching for both.

For big(ger) MOCs a planing is wise approach. I do not use very sophisticated tools. Paper, pencil, ruller and calculator. I convert all dimensions in studs, draw a simple plan with measeurments in studs and start building. All details I do when got to particular section or when I am inspired with idea how to do it. Such approach is not good enough to start building and finalise in one goal. There is a lot of building, rebuilding, trying ... and have fun with it.

Yes, you could use LDraw or any other virtual tool and produce a plan to last stud. Then build it from real bricks, but I do not practise that at all. Never even tried. Like having a date on Net, or smell flower with gas mask on face.
Of course, virtual modeling can be usefull, if you do not posses certain bricks. You can verify your ideas and if you are satisfied purchase bricks and build real model.

If you are new to MOCs, try everything and see what suits you most. There is no 'one wisdom solves all enigmas'. Go and have fun with bricks. It it is not for you, go try another hobby. Only you can make yourself happy. :eyebrows:
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Karrde » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:30 pm

I don't really plan, I usually just have a basic idea in my head of what I want to build. It's often not the most efficient way to go about building but it is fun :D
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby AK_Brickster » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:43 pm

Karrde wrote:I don't really plan, I usually just have a basic idea in my head of what I want to build. It's often not the most efficient way to go about building but it is fun :D


Yes, I currently build this way too. Now that I'm doing contoured landscapes and such though, I'm finding that I need to plan my hills/valleys/streams a little ahead of time so that, for example, the entrance to the castle doesn't have to come out in the middle of a hill. I guess I could always build a rolling landscape and then just take parts of it away to make flat areas for the buildings. I'm working on a 4'x2' layout right now. I'll have pics on my flickr account soon. Wizard tower is already up (though still in progress and have to integrate the landscape with everything else)! Please feel free to comment!
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Blego7 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:13 am

First off welcome to Classic Castle!

When I go about building castle scenes, I normally try to go with something unique and attractive to the eye. For example waterfalls, trees, rocks and water all add to the scene and make it much more interesting than a simple castle. Also, another thing I try to avoid is being too cliche as far as castle goes. As previously mentioned, you need some things to help brighten the scene, but you also need a great layout to help with the placement and viewing of the details. The castle needs to be original and not just a light gray square with a roof on top. Throw some personality, and details into it and make it your very own!

But perhaps the biggest piece of advice I can give you is, whatever your plan is in the beginning, don't expect it to look exactly the same as you imagined it. Very rarely will my original design and finished product look alike due to my continuous modifications and improvements.

I hope this helps you!
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby jediknight219 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:54 am

When I start building, I plan for the first iteration to look like total rubbish. If it's going to be rubbish anyway, might as well make it part of the plan. But hopefully I learn something in the process, so I can tear it down and do it again, but better this time. Don't be afraid to build, botch it up, and then start over. Right now I've got a window and a balcony that look terrible and are begging for a rebuild. This technique allows me to start building with next to no plan, only an idea or two. But the more you build, the easier it should get to think ahead.
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby AK_Brickster » Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:24 am

Thanks for all of the tips, everyone!
I've spent so many years just building standard, studs-up buildings that my biggest challenge now is trying to figure out how to lay everything out in a way that makes sense, and also integrate all of the new techniques I've learned in the last few months into my creations.
I met Josh at the last SEALUG meeting, and I'm really looking forward to becoming a regular contributed to Classic Castle in the future! Maybe I'll even make the home page someday!
Feel free to drop me a line anytime and please check my flickr stream every once in a while and leave me a comment on whatever I happen to be working on at the moment.
Thanks again, and keep the tips coming!
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Eklund » Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:33 pm

I'm by no means an
AK_Brickster wrote: established MOC Master
but what I first do is imagine the finished moc in my head. For example, I know a stream will be here, and a mountain will be here, this is where the buildings will sit... (etc.). Then, I will first build the landscape, leaving room for the features of the moc. Once I build the landscape, then the features will get built (Castles, civilian structures, even forests). After that, a lot of modification is usually needed until I am satisfied with the moc. It can also help to post WIP pictures, so that other builders can critique your moc even while it is not yet finished.
You would rather be building right now.
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby GillesGaer » Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:44 pm

Last time I built a relatively large moc, I had a basic idea of how things should look (i.e. a bell tower like my village's, a church on top of a hill, some kind of pattern on the floor). I also wanted to have stained glass windows eilonwy's style and church doors like rhox's (to improve my building skills). I started building small parts of the church as "studies", as in painting, with the intend of destroying everything and building it from scratch with these neat details I had worked on. Then because I'm lazy I did not destroy much... putting the built church on the landscape (made afterwards) was horrid, I wouldn't advise it.

Cheers

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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Aliencat » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:17 am

I always sketch the floorplan first on paper, and then build/lay out the floorplan. The rest from there is just improvisation, but a floorplan is something that I need to determine for myself first, before I can even begin to build, otherwise I just don't know where or how to start.
Between plotting to kill you all and chasing balls of yarn, I also build MOCs

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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Bruce N H » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:46 am

Hey,

In graduate school I wrote a couple of papers with a colleague and we had completely different styles. His method is to start by getting something - ANYTHING - down on paper, and then revise, revise, revise. I tend to think and think and think for a long time before writing anything, and then I'm pretty reluctant to revise, because I feel like I've already done several drafts in my head.

That's how I build. I don't get around to actually building as often as I'd like, so by the time I start putting bricks together, I've already thought through the MOC quite a bit.

One other idea, that I've done a couple of times, is to start by building the landscape, without thinking of the building that will go on top of it. Then imagine how the figs would fit their castle into this space that's already there, since that's how it would have to be in real life.

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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby OverLoad » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:37 pm

I am not an "established MOC master" but I will share with you my technique.

I first get an idea. Then I think of how big this idea is going to be, what bricks I will need and what else I should incorporated into the scene. Then I just go for it, changing whatever along the way. Not the most efficient, but it gets the job done. :D
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby Thoriun » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:06 pm

hi ppl

I start to plan by doing a few drawings in paper. but when i start to build i change the looks over time until i get a final build.

also when i build i tey to make it playable, and minifig scaled.
currently i'm trying t find my town medieval map, it's Oporto, Portugal. I'm looking for the town look 500 to 800 years ago.

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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby AK_Brickster » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:15 pm

Thoriun wrote:currently i'm trying t find my town medieval map, it's Oporto, Portugal. I'm looking for the town look 500 to 800 years ago.

Thoriun


Dude! That would be awesome!! Too bad we don't have really old cities here in the USA or else I'll bet a lot of people over here would love to try that. If you find the map and attempt to build it, be sure to post pictures on here! :D
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Re: Planning your MOC

Postby pijani » Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:14 am

Hi there ;)
I just put down baseplates, and GO :) not a single brick is planed; and while building, ideas come from every possible angle and I am usually just building next thing to mach the previous (like a music, it is not important what note you played, it is important the one that is next in line ;)

While building, I am trying not to repeat myself with patterns, windows and construction details

This is much more fun for me then following the predone concept or drawing

While building, I have few rules, interlocking (it must be firm) and playability, because I like to play with my castles (luckily my girls do not read this);

Minifigs are different story, I put everything on a desk and just tryout different combinations :)
Edit:
Thoriun wrote:currently i'm trying t find my town medieval map, it's Oporto, Portugal. I'm looking for the town look 500 to 800 years ago.

try contacting mr Bob Carney, if anybody could help you with that and understand your lego passion, it is him :) There is an e-mail in first sentance
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