Bank Holiday Bash Fest 2017 Review

Twice a year, one of my favourite RC events happen just outside Welford, England; Bash Fest. I’ve always thought the name was strange since I imagined it would be more ‘racey’, but in fact it is very ‘bashy’.

In the past I have taken my trusty (ironic) Losi DBXL to Bash Fest, but this year I had a new toy, a Sony A6300 and an adapter (Metabones). This allowed me to attach a big Canon 100-400mm lens; this meant I could film the the 5th Scale cars at a magnification, quality and frame rate better than anyone else there. But I digress.

I knew a few people at Bash Fest, mainly from Facebook groups, so it was really nice to connect to them face to face. I also meet some subscribers of my YouTube channel which was great listening to their feedback.

Below is the YouTube video I made about Bash Fest 2017. All opinions are my own and is not meant to offend anybody with my thoughts and views.

Enjoy!

RC crashes at Bash Fest 2017

Without doubt, the highlights of any RC meet are the crashes; they are visually spectacular and it just so happens I’m recording some of the RC crashes at Bash Fest 2017.

Don’t get me wrong, filming 5th scale RCs tearing up the track is great fun, but seeing a 30 pound, 50mph car fly through the air after a collision is joyous!!

Check out my video below to see some of the RC crashes in glorious splendour.

Losi 5ive B, the best track car ever?

At a recent 5th Scale bash meet I saw my first Losi 5B. Initially I was simply curious about the setup; it was lower and proportionally wider than most 5th scales out there which suggested it had terrific turning abilities. I imagined the lower centre of gravity would prevent tipping during fast turns on the track.

Once these cars hit the ‘very vague’ track course (essentially an old golf course), they felt right at home up with the BAJA animals, and the elegant (yes “elegant”) LOSI DBXLs.

The Losi 5ive B, to give its official title, hugged the ground in unnatural ways. The track was uneven but not difficult, however blasting through it at 40mph will mean a very bumpy ride. The Baja’s had a rough time but they have pure speed to battle their way through; the DBXLs were fine but mine needed better ‘grass’ tyres to really bite for grip. The Losi 5ive Bs were setup perfectly it would seem; in my eyes they were outturning everything else, and in the straight line it looked like they were keeping up with the Baja’s.

However, after all is said and done, I will not personally invest in one; for a car like this I would really need to run it on a track; green flat fields would not do the financial investment justice; the Losi 5ive B needs to be on a track turning, burning and jumping.

Watch my YouTube video below for a rundown on the amazing Losi 5ive B.

10179 UCS Millennium Falcon part Lego 4592c05

So it has been a few weeks since I’ve committed myself to building the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon and it has not been simple. and one part has slowed my progress. The part in question is Lego 4592c05.

Lego Collectors Millennium Falcon

I have been able to substitute most of the expensive parts (see below) however the part that has eluded so far seems son insignificant that I wondering what I let myself in for.

“…they cost from £0.02 to £4.96”

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The UCS Millennium Falcon needs 60 pieces of this small inconspicuous part; on Bricklink.com they cost from £0.02 to £4.96 if you wish to buy in bulk.

At the lower prices they are in limited quantity, if I were to buy the lever in small quantities from different sellers, the shipping costs would ridiculous!

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I could not justify spending that amount of money for a single unique piece, so in the end I found a Bricklink seller who made custom levers which he simply painted and varnished. I won’t know the quality of his work until I see them but I know it is a compromise I’m willing to make.

In the meantime I have a huge stockpile of Lego pieces in various states of storage. One thing I did not fully account for was the specific type of storage and sorting this project would require.

Many people on various Lego forums and on Facebook have suggested the actual “Blueish Grey” colour of the Lego 4592c05 isn’t necessary, but I part agree; I am not prepared to pay over the odds for such a tiny piece that is purely cosmetic to the build.

I am currently trawling Bricklink, Ebay and other sites to see if I can find this part but in a different colour however at time of writing even the variants of Lego 4592c05 are rising up in price!! I don’t think Gold goes up in value this quickly!

*** UPDATE ***

Someone is selling Lego 4592c05 specifically painted to match blueish grey, see below. I have ordered some and let you know when they arrive.

Lego 4592c05 for Millennium Falcon

Lego 4592c05 for Millennium Falcon

 

Lego Stormtrooper incorrect helmet

Just a very quick post to let you know about an issue with the Lego Stormtrooper helmets.

I ordered 10 Lego Stormtroopers from Bricklink.com specifcally LEGO SW036. They came from the Netherlands so it took just over week to arrive so my anticipation was palpable.

Upon arrival I hastily ripped open the small cardboard box and inside were my Lego Stormtroopers in various pieces. I put them all together, lined them all up and I felt a very silly smile across my face.

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This is how my Lego Stormtroopers arrived

I wanted to photograph my latest Lego haul so I got out my macro lens and shot various close ups and scenes and duly posted them up on my photography blog which you can see here. I must point out I have digitally corrected those images on that page.

However it wasn’t until I shared the link on a Lego group page on Facebook that the helmets look odd; in fact he described the Lego Stormtroopers has having “French mustaches”, upon a much closer look he was right!! Once you see it, you can’t “un-see it”

Lego Stormtrooper with French mustache.
Lego Stormtrooper with French mustache.
Left Stormtrooper has correct helmet, the other two are incorrect
Left Stormtrooper has correct helmet, the other two are incorrect

You could argue that it is such a minor detail that it isn’t worth raising, but to me Star Wars Episode 3, 4 & 5 Stormtroopers are as iconic as Vader and Skywalker! So it is important to have them look right.

Lego Stormtrooper with correct helmet
Lego Stormtrooper with correct helmet

I have contacted the seller from the Netherlands and we are working towards a solution; she says she has sold many Lego Stormtroopers without issue; I do believe her but Stormtroopers with French mustaches just doesn’t work for me!!

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10 Lego Stormtroopers posing

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What do you think? Am I making a Montagne out of a taupinière? Comment below, let me know!

It has been brought to my attention that the French mustache Stormtroopers are possibly fake. Can anyone comment and let me know? I paid £4 (€5.5) for each Lego minifigure.

Lego 8042 motorized excavator photos

It is currently December here in Buckinghamshire so there isn’t much daylight to shoot anything outside, and also it is very quiet in my photo studio. So, since I have recently rekindled my love of Lego I took my latest purchase the Motorized Excavator, Lego 8042.

I have several backdrops one of being a colour called ‘Mandarin’, I was concerned the colour might be too close to actual colour of the Lego kit but after a few test shots they compliment each other well.

For the noir shots, I did have issues with the flash syncing on a cheap flash, my Canon 600EX was fine; but you can read more about that soon on my photography blog. Subscribe to learn more.

You can read build log, in the meantime let me know what you think? I’m always curious about other people’s opinions on my work.

Enjoy!

 

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Building the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon cheaply

Thank you for taking time to read my journey to build the  Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon. This post you are reading will be in updated over time; obviously I cannot acquire all of the pieces while I build so please subscribe to my website to keep up to date.

Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon Box
The Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon can fetch as much as £5000 on eBay!!!

Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon: 12 December 2015: An Idea Awakens.

If you are reading then there is a chance you have coveted the one of the most sort after Lego sets NOT available. Lego 10179, also known as The Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon, has brick statistics that would make any Lego fan drool! This Lego set has 5,195 pieces, it was originally priced at $499.99 back in 2007, now it can fetch upwards of $5000 in mint un-boxed conditions. It measures 33″ (84 cm) long by 22″ (56 cm) wide and 8.3″ (21 cm) tall. IF you’re still reading then you know the rest.

Ever since I knew this existing, which unfortunately has only been a couple of years, I really really wanted it but money was tight and it was not a priority. Now in 2015 money is less tight but I still cannot be irresponsible on what I buy, after all I have a cat to feed. There is no way I will spend over $1500 on what is essentially a collectable toy, that’s insane. However there is another way…

Looking for gold in tiny brick shaped forms.

Lego is EXPENSIVE! I appreciate it has been marketed as a toy but I consider Lego to be a luxury toy, before the internet any hope of building a model without buying a set was difficult. Now in 2015 we have BrickLink.com which is like the stock exchange for Lego parts.

You can buy all the parts for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon not only as the original retail set, but also as a sum of its parts. There are BrickLink retailers who have already sourced the pieces together with the exception of a few rare and expensive bits, and they will sell it to you as a set but minus the stickers, the manuals and the box (which can retail for £300+ buy itself!).

BrickStock is your friend.

My first point of was a page I found while researching; Dag’s Bricks has a page devoted entirely to building the Millennium Falcon on a smaller budget. I strongly recommend reading his page for some great tips on cost cutting. From that page he links to Brickstock which is an intelligent way of cataloguing Lego pieces you need while informing you of the current prices.

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25 Dec 2015. Brick Stock interface.

Brickstock is the best tool for keeping track of prices and in some way the pieces that you have ordered. The Lego Ultimate Millennium Falcon has over 300 unique pieces; combined that equates to over 5,000 individual pieces. Thankfully you can import the Lego pieces from an existing database.

If you have a Bricklink.com account (if you haven’t then I strongly suggest you do) then you can download and import your ordered items. There is a function to ‘subject’ your ordered items from your list but it does not work correctly, after several attempts I’ve taken to subtracting the ordered items manually.

First batch of Lego parts from Bricklink.com. Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon
First batch of Lego parts from Bricklink.com

Tips for sourcing and purchasing

As of 25th December 2015 (Happy Christmas everyone) I have ordered several batches from various BrinkLink supplies totalling £274 ($408 US). Below are my sourcing and buying tips

  1. Use a cataloguing system that suits you; that can be a simple spreadsheet, paper & pen or Brickstock. Do not be afraid to try a few methods initially after your first small order
  2. Form a budget, but be flexible. Lego parts are like the stock exchange; the value of a individual part will rise and fall on a daily basis. If you are clever, then you can use software like Brickstock to set maximum prices you are willing to pay, then you export that a data file to Bricklink.com. As a guide, I’m keeping to a budget of around £500 ($750 US)
  3. Be flexible about the parts. When compiling the bits for the Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon you will come across some very minor items which are ridiculously expensive. As I write this, the panel known as “#3456 Plate 6 x 14 DARK RED” is £20 per piece! I am sure you could find the same item in a slightly different colour that would still work.
  4. Buy storage containers. The Lego Millennium Falcon has over 5,000 parts, you will probably gather a majority of those parts before you can build because you won’t be able to source the parts chronologically according to the manuals.
  5. Commitment, this is a marathon, not a sprint. The quick way to get a Lego Ultimate Collectors Millennium is to spend £3,000! The longer but cheaper way is to be patient. This will take weeks or even months to compile everything together. Don’t panic and just buy everything in a rush without checking the value first which leads me to…
  6. Search multiple sources for the best prices. You will be buying some parts in bulk so every penny counts. I have found some of the bricks cheaper on eBay but they not in the right quantities; in those cases I had figure out if the additional postage would be worth it. Most of the time if a seller has the quantity I want but costs a ‘little’ more then I’m happy to do that.
  7. Often buying used parts is cheaper than buying new. You will have to compromise on some of the bits finer details; some of the bricks I have bought used does show wear and tear. Personally I am happy to do that if it means I can save several pounds, like I said I’m all about cutting corners where I can.lego-collectors-millenium-falcon-brickparts-waitingoutside

 

Currently I am nowhere near to the actual building, I will update this post as and when I make progress.

In the meantime, please comment below if you have any questions.

 

Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon UPDATE: 24 Jan 2015

I’ve been pounding Bricklink for the past few weeks looking for bargains. One massive tip I can offer  you is try and try to buy the parts locally in your country; the cost per brick in the UK is generally higher, but unless you’re buying in a large bulk then it is worth it.

The Lego Millennium Falcon parts are slowing coming in from Europe and the UK.
The Lego Millennium Falcon parts are slowing coming in from Europe and the UK.

I live in the UK so Lego parts are generally more expensive. I’m a month into this project and it is more daunting that I first appreciated.

Low volume parts order from your country, bulk items order in Europe.

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Some parts are stupidly expensive; for example Lego 4592c05 can cost as much as £5 per brick!! That’s crazy expensive when you consider I need sixty of them!! Currently I’m hoping to get Lego 4592c05 cheaply by having them painting in the correct colour!

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Lego 4592c05. Very expensive!
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Sorting bits. The Falcon is epic!!

As the parts come in from the UK and Europe, the magnitude of what I’m attempting is a bit scary; the logistics of checking what parts I have ordered, if I have ordered enough of a unique part and making sure I tick orders off the main Brickstock list!

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Another tip is look for storage boxes with little compartments, it really does help the sorting process. And you have to do the sorting, it is tedious but well worth it. I’m currently building the Lego Death Star which comes under 3000 pieces; if I didn’t sort then it would be very slow process.

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Storage. The vertical boxes cost me £30 on ebay.