2021


Another year comes to a close there is Thirdwiggville, and wowzer, was it a big one. As a review, here is what I made for the year: Ionos Sports Sedan, Unimog U400, Unimog U430, LEGO 42126 V-8 4×4, 8854 Update, Compact Telehandler, Kickboxer Diesel, LEGO 8850 Update, Compact Loader, Unimog U500.

I accomplished a good deal of last years goals:

  • A motorcycle (completed)
  • A sports sedan (completed)
  • Another midsized car (EV) (Nope, but I count the Ionos)
  • Something yellow (completed x2)
  • 7 completed builds (completed)

This year I was able to build more than I have in the past couple of years. Some of this is due to some smaller builds this year, and the Unimogs were similar enough to each other that I was able to double up the work on them. Additionally, I built two contest MOCs, which are time sensitive, so that sped up those builds. Also, the 8854 Update won the Eurobricks TC20 contest, which was incredible!

Two other notes: First, the Unimogs and the Ionos car(s) are two of my favorite builds in quite a while. The Ionos was a fantastic build, and I’m proud of the work that went in the car and all its versions. Likewise the Unimogs were beautiful, and will adorn my house and office for a while.

Second, this year I taught myself how to use Bricklink Studio, and now I’ll never look back. I am now able to make instructions that are clear and easy to read in a way that the Photo Instructions I have done in the past never were. For the time being, I have committed to making a Studio file and Instructions for each MOC going forward as this seems to bring a lot of value to the LEGO community, and I’ll slowly update the old photo instructions for MOCs in the past. I am conflicted on if I should charge money for these instructions. I have a lot of builders who taught me a lot over the years, and this was due to freely available information. I would like to pay this forward for other builders coming behind me, so I hope to keep a lot of these instructions free. As always, feel free to find my instructions at Rebrickable.com.

For 2022, here are my goals.

  • A Combine to match the Atmos Tractor
  • Another 42126 MOD
  • An attachment for the Unimogs
  • A Garbage Truck
  • A small truck
  • A system airplane
  • A remake of 8440

We’ll see if I can make all this work. As always, I try to be flexible to where my current interests are and other considerations such as contests and home life. Feel free to watch The Queue to see what is coming up. Happy Building and on to 2022!

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2020


Another year comes to a close here in Thirdwiggville. A couple of little MOCs were completed in a year that was different. As a review, here is what I made this year. For 2020 I made the following: 2C Sports Car, 1E.R Track Car, John Deere 5115, LMP C Turbo, 8081 SRT Tremor, 8640 Update, and the Atmos Tractor.

Recapping last years goals I accomplished a good deal.

  • Another Unimog!!!! (Nope, but watch tomorrow)
  • Something PF (Nope)
  • An excavator (Nope)
  • A mini helicopter (completed)
  • An LMP car (completed, but not what I expected)
  • Thirdwigg Motors first EV! (Completed)
  • 7 completed builds (Completed)

This year was a little more prolific than last year, which saw more builds than 2018. Each of the builds were small or mid-sized, which is becoming my design language. Additionally, I am finding myself not making anything electrified. It has now been three years since I have made something powered. Finally, I am finding more of my builds are system based in that they allow lots of different additions and modifications of one main build. Tractors and Unimogs work well in this regard.

I loved the 2C Sports Car. It was stiff, functioned well, and met my aesthetic desires. More of these kind of “Thirdwigg Motors” cars will be coming. The Atmos tractor came together very quickly, and all the options I made for the front and rear kept my creativity going for much of the year. Frankly, it was like I made another four MOCs based on the time it took for all the trailers and implements. 8640 Update was a fun little quick build that turned out great and brought a smile to my face.

One final note, last year, I expressed concerns about LEGO buying Bricklink.com. So far no significant limitations have been implemented, which is great. I hope this continues in 2021.

For 2021, here are my goals.

  • A motorcycle
  • A sports sedan
  • Another midsized car (EV)
  • Something yellow
  • 7 completed builds

After 2020, it will be interesting to see what 2021 looks like, but I hope to continue some more fun builds. As always, watch The Queue to see what’s coming up. Happy Building!

2019


The final year of the decade closed here in thirdwiggville. As in years past, I am creating fewer MOCs than in years past, but with each completion, I am happy with the result. For 2019, I completed the following: Hunter Mk.III, John Deere 6130R, LEGO 42098 Car MOD, Iveco Skip Loader, Porsche 911 RS, and the 8081 110.

Again, I would have liked to complete a few more builds during a year, but I did increase from 2018, and small win.

Of the 2018 goals, here is what I accomplished:

  • A tractor (completed)
  • Car (Yep, two, and another tomorrow)
  • Skip loader truck (completed)
  • Something PF (Nope)
  • Another contest build (completed, Hunter MK. III)
  • An LMP car (Nope, but something is in the works)

I was very pleased with the Deere and the Skip Loader projects. Both were started in MID 2018, so it was nice to complete them. Both received lots of praise, which I was happy with.  I hope to create a couple more implements for the Deere before I take it apart. I was also great to do another 8081 MOD. Maybe more… Last year’s 3T Sports Sedans turned out a great, and Thirdwiggs Motors will be release another car tomorrow to flesh out the offerings a little more. Hopefully another MOC can be added in 2020.

For the third year in a row, I have completed only Bricklink.com order per month. My volume of parts is not expanding very quickly any longer, which is a great exercise in restraint. I only bought one set last year. I started using LEGO’s Pick-a-brick in 2018, and I am finding this more useful. Late in the year LEGO purchased Brinklink, and I am a little concerned about the changes that are coming. Bricklink.com has been one of the most significant websites to me, and I hope it will continue to be so.

For 2020 here are my goals:

  • Another Unimog!!!!
  • Something PF
  • An excavator
  • A mini helicopter
  • An LMP car
  • Thirdwigg Motors first EV!
  • 7 completed builds

My life is busy, so we will see how long I keep making MOCs. I am still motivated, and enjoy the builds. As always, check The Queue to see what’s coming. On to 2020, and another decade. Happy building.

 

2018


Another year closed here in thirdwiggville. The production level was down a little bit as compared to years past, but I was pleased with what was build. For 2018, here is what I completed: Claas Atos, Cat 914K, Unimog 437, 3T Sports Sedan, and the Volvo Ibex.

The accomplisher in me wants to complete a higher number of different project, but this year felt alright because some of the projects were a lot of work, and ended up being something I was quite proud of. Maybe I will do more next year, but completing quality builds might be better than a high quantity.

Of the 2018 goals, here is what I completed:

  • Something pneumatic, completed
  • A tractor, completed (and I had so much fun, I am doing another one)
  • Something big and PF, nope
  • A Car, completed
  • A model team build, nope

I was very happy with how the 3T sedan turned out, and the Unimog 437 was a lot of fun. It was a comprehensive modular system, which was a new type of project for me. Both were popular with other builders, and they were popular with me: both are still on my desk at work, and I have no interest in taking them apart. One note, the 3T was so much fun for me, I am going to keep the theme and scale going. Thirdwigg Motors will release another car in 2019, and maybe something else a little crazy.

I have now gone two years with only one Bricklink.com order per month. This has been a hard project, and has helped me focus on what parts I have, rather than mindlessly purchasing more parts. I will say, LEGO’s Pick-a-brick continues to improve. The interface is still a little clunky, but I can get new parts quickly which is reducing my need for purchasing new sets.

For 2019, here are my goals

  • A tractor
  • Car
  • Skip loader truck
  • Something PF
  • Another contest build
  • An LMP car

My life keeps getting more complicated, so we will see how long I keep doing this, but I still keep having fun designing and completing these builds. As always, check The Queue to see what’s coming. On to 2019. Happy building.

2016


2016 was another productive year in Thirdwiggville. I did some fun builds, some big builds, and a couple of quick builds. I participated in four online contests, finished some projects that had been brewing for a while, and shut down one project that was not going anywhere. As a recap, here is what I built: Snowblower/Tractor, Porsche 911 Cup Car, K-TEC 1233 Scraper, Kalmar 180, 9393 Updates, Porsche 714, Volvo FE Refuse, International Tow Truck, and Concept Bulldozer.

Some reflections on 2016:

First, I completed some of the goals I set from last year.

  • Work on no more 3 WIPs projects at a time: Mostly Completed
  • Do what I can to get to Brickworld 2016: Not Completed
  • Finish the Ferrari 333 SP: Not Completed
  • Complete a garbage truck: Completed
  • Make a small scraper: Completed
  • Make a pickup truck: Not Completed
  • Participate in another contest: Completed
  • Maybe another tank, or a Honda 2×4. Neat: Not Completed

My MOCs are getting a little let complex, and I am happy to keep this going. I think I have found an appropriate level of Lego building for my life season. Having two little Wiggs in the house, limits my building time. Building less complicated builds keeps me motivated to keep projects going until completion. With the below plans in mind, there are a couple of complex builds that will be interspersed into less complicated builds.

Yesterday I was able to organize all of my Lego room. No loose part is on the floor, or on the building table. Everything is in its right drawer, bag, or place. It is perfectly organized. I hope to continue this. It keeps my frustration level lower, and lowers my chances of ordering a part I already have. I am thankful for having a dedicated Lego space. It is time for me to use it well.

With the above in mind, I hope to keep to the build three rule, where no more than three projects are occurring at the same time. Again, this keeps me from buying what I do not need, and keeps me more focused on completing a current build. I will try to keep The Queue updated so you may see what is currently being worked on.

I would like to keep to one Bricklink order per month. Keeping myself from acquiring what I do not need with be the theme this year. I have enough Lego parts to do most of what I want to build, so it is a exercise in prudence and planning to keep my accumulation of new parts to a minimum. I’ll report back on this at the end of the year.

With the above in mind, here are my goals for 2017.

  • A Model Team airplane
  • Another airplane
  • A motorcycle
  • A small truck (dump)
  • A big truck (PF, rolloff)
  • A pickup truck (PF)
  • A Large GT car
  • Something pneumatic

To 2017! Happy Building.

2015


Another year comes to a close at Thirdwigg.com. Thanks to those of you who visit, read, comment, and build. In many ways 2015 was a frustrating year for me as I was finishing or attempting to finish many projects that were stalled, or ones in which I had lost interest. In retrospect, I should have cut ties, and moved on to something I would have enjoyed building more. Because of this and other responsibilities, my completed MOCs were down a little for this year. As a recap, I completed the Cadillac ATS, Windrower, CAT 586C, OCTAN Air Racer, MD600N, 2045 Mercedes Benz Athane, Audi allroad, and T-55.

To reflect on this year, some things come to mind. First, having a dedicated building space is a plus and a minus. It’s nice to be able to have a functional space to keep things organized and separate from the other parts of my life. But it also keeps me away from other good things in my life, so I do not find myself casually building while something else is going on. Also, I can hide my mess in the room which contributes to a lack of focus on projects. This bogs me down.

Second, I am very proud of some of the builds I completed this year. The MD600N and the Cadillac ATS were projects that were outside of my comfort zone, and the time spent completing them reflected this. Though this reminded me that as building time become more limited, I should be careful to limit my difficult projects.

Third, I think I have finally found a good, consistent, and repeatable photography system for my MOCs. While my pictures are not quite 100% perfect, they are 90% perfect 100% of the time now. This is a great improvement, and allows me to take photographs more often regardless of light or weather (particularly instructions).

Finally, I need to stop making supercars. I get excited by planning for them, but I do not find building the exteriors very exciting. Because of this supercar projects drag on for far too long.

For 2016 here are my goals.

  • Work on no more 3 WIPs projects at a time. More can be planned, but not built.
  • Do what I can to get to Brickworld 2016.
  • Finish the Ferrari 333 SP.
  • Complete a garbage truck.
  • Make a small scraper.
  • Make a pickup truck.
  • Participate in another contest.
  • Maybe another tank, or a Honda 2×4. Neat.

Let everything else flow as it comes up. With thirdwiggville now filled with four wiggs, it’s about time for me to acknowledge my temporal limitations. I will update The Queue as things come up.

To 2016! Happy Building.

Thirdwiggville


About a year ago, Mr., Mrs., and Jr. Thirdwigg packed up some boxes and left Chicago for Grand Rapids. Along with many other changes, this relocation provided myself a room devoted to LEGO; well at least until it will be commandeered (shared?) as a family play room.

LEGO Room

It is not too fancy, but it works well. The room is in the attic of the house without heating or cooling; the summers get a little hot, but the winters are fine. I have two little tables on which I do my building, and four organizing shelves that keep many of the high use parts close at hand. Tires, books, and empty bricklink packages are strewn about, at least until I can muster up the gumption to put them away.

LEGO Table

Organization is always a work in progress, and as you can see, some things need to be put away. Careful eyes can see some projects from The Queue that are getting close to completion.

LEGO Shelf

The room has some nice build in shelves on both sides of the room. As you can see, I keep a lot of infrequently used parts in bags off to the sides, and some of the larger Wheels and Tires. I also keep an large box on the floor for when small children want to come over and play in Uncle Thirdwigg’s LEGO room.

Happy building. More MOCs will be finished soon.

2014


Another year comes to a close here at Thirdwigg.com. A lot happened this year. Let’s recap. 2014 started with Thirdwigg Jr., it continued with Brickworld, and the addition of some projects that were not part of The Queue. I moved (without the loss of any LEGO elements I might add). It also included one of my MOCs being published in a book. It was a year that was a little more prolific than I had originally planned, while some of the MOCs I planned were not completed. As a recap, I completed the 8081 RT, Iveco XTR, JCB 714, Business Card Holder, Hawker Typhoon Ib, Silly Fat Penguin, JCB 531, Octan F1, Kenworth T47, and Updated 8386.

Here are some reflections. I built my first animal and it was a fun project. The Octan F1 turned out much better than I would have expected. The Typhoon was much better than the Spitfire, and it worked very well. I very much enjoy the small projects, but I learned this last year. I find these projects challenging for the driveline, and for the space constrictions. Also I find the bodywork frustrating as MOCs get larger. This may be part of my adversion to supercars.

My photography and productions skills need to improve. This will take some time, but hopefully I can learn some new skills to make this better. It is good to remember what I haver learned and accomplished in the last ten years. That time has flown by.

The Queue has been a fun addition to this blog. It keeps me motivated, and allow me a space to document ideas. OK, I also have a Google spreadsheet, but that’s a little like a mind dump, so I do not need that here. Plus I can add additional pictures there, and that’s always fun.

For 2015, here are some new goals. Last year, there were some large projects that were planned, and some were smaller and developed organically. While it is good to set some goals, allowing for some space for other ideas to work in is a good idea.

I started the Cadillac ATS 11 months ago. It needs to be done.

Finish the MD600. It’s close.

Create a small scale all-wheel drive car.

Design another working forklift.

Build another tank.

Make a midicar and make it power function driven.

Create a complicated trial truck.

Complete another garbage truck. I’m looking forward to this. I love garbage trucks.

Again, two small projects with about 500 pieces. Most likely manual functions, and one will be yellow. We’ll see what pops into my mind. I take suggestions.

Here’s to 2015. Happy building.

Review: Incredible LEGO Technic


Every once and a while you get the chance to participate in something that is bigger than yourself, and you do not full realized the significance until you are fully immersed in the project. Pawel “Sariel” Kmiec is well known in the LEGO Technic Community, so I was surprised when he sent me an email last February. He was putting together a book of various Technic MOCs, and he wanted to know if I would be interested in having my Spitfire included in the publication. Absolutely.

Cover

After emails, photos, photoshop, drafts, and other small tasks, I was part of the project. After months, I have finally received a copy of the book. Incredible LEGO Technic: Cars, Trucks, Robots & More is published by No Starch Press (San Francisco, CA, USA, 2015) and will be one sale in the coming days. Sariel is the author, and Eric “Blakbird” Albrecht is the Technical Advisor.

After a great forward by Conchas, and a heartfelt introduction by Sariel, the book dives right into the MOCs. Starting with Agricultural Equipment, it is organized into chapters to group the MOCs in like categories; airplanes, cars, supercars, trucks, things with tracks, and others. For this content the organization works well. For the most part, builders only have a single MOC presented, so having it organized by builder is not necessary.

Chapters

With each passing chapter, we are given about four pages for each MOC, complete with a short writeup, and listing of features. Each MOC has about 6-10 high quality pictures devoted to it, and some have great renders of their functions. While many of the models I know well, the renders are a helpful tool for persons who are new to Technic or to the MOCs. Understanding the complexity and mechanics of each MOC only increases your awe for the builds. Each MOC lists the builder (by screen name), and the year the build was completed.

MOC Page 2 MOC page

At the end of the book, all the builders are listed with biographies, and a small picture of the person (some get only a smiley face…boo). The final page of the book gives websites for each of the MOCs, including video and instruction information if applicable. It’s a nice feature, and having them all at the end keeps the chapters clean and absent of a whole bunch of URLs.

Builders

The book has a broad diversity of MOCs, builders, types of creations and time periods. The work of Blakbird is incredible, and is used to a stunning effect on many of the models. While I understand the work that goes into each of his renders, it would have been great to have them included for more of the MOCs. It’s clear the MOCs for which instructions are available, are the MOCs for which a technical render is given. As is expected, anything Sariel produces will have excellent photography. The presentation of the MOCs is truly stunning. All the photos are top notch and highlight the breathtaking MOCs.

MOC Page 3

The book features many different builders, and not many are featured too frequently. While Sheepo, Crowkillers, and Madoca are fan favorites, it is nice to see some space give to some other excellent builders as well. While it is understandable Sariel has a number of MOCs in the book, you do not feel like it’s an advertisement for his Youtube account. Also, his best MOCs are on display, though I never was too excited by “the Bat.”

I found a couple of typos, but I guess you could find a couple at thirdwigg.com as well. I did not find them distracting, and most people will spend most of their time looking at the great pictures and stunning renders. The purpose of the book is to highlights many builders rather than the skills of Blakbird, but some of the technical renders could use a larger space. Additionally, there are some great small creations out there, and it would have been great to have more of them included. While I appreciate the diversity of the builds, it would be nice to have a couple more that are not replicas of something else. While the modeling on display in this book is great, the creativity that some express with LEGO without a template would be great to see.

Looking through the final pages, it great see some of the greatest builders of the LEGO Technic community listed all together with pictures and biographies. I am honored to be among these builders. I hope you enjoy the book as I have. Pick one up; you’ll be glad you did.

Business Card Holder


Thirdwigg.com will be in Schaumburg this weekend at Brickworld. I understand my readership is rather international, but I you find yourself in the area, stop by and say hello.

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When you say hello I’ll send you home with one of my flashy new business cards, and you can take a look at my new business card holder. It even has suspension to keep you fingers safe from the impact due to your excitement.

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