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Modular Buildings from Bricklink

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Modular Buildings from Bricklink Empty Modular Buildings from Bricklink

Post by Brickton on Sun 02 Oct 2011, 6:29 am

Hello All

I thought I would start a conversation on putting together the modular buildings "out of the box"...that is without trying to buy the original kit.

I have only relatively recently rejoined the world of light and lego bricks after long being in the darkness. This means the first modular building I was aware of was the fire station, having just missed out on the coming, and going of the greengrocer. Furthermore, I quickly discovered there were several other buildings even before the Greengrocer, namely: cafe corner, and market street. After nearly gagging in the $800-$1,000 AUD price tag on ebay or bricklink...I looked for alternatives. I did get lucky with the Greengrocer and managed to find a local here in Brisbane selling one through the paper, however the other two seemed forever out of my grasp.

So, what to do? The only option seemed to be to download the instructions...which incidentally for those who do not know are available through the lego website. Given the number that are on sale, I do wonder if more people are not aware of this...but then some may want the original instructions, but I digress. So I downloaded the instructions and after burning through quite a bit of ink and paper....printed them off, including the oh-so-valuable parts list legohappy .

I started with Market street as it was around 1300 pieces and hit bricklink with avengence. it turns out there are many pieces that are no so easy to find, and had to make a number of substitutions. At this stage I tracked the bits I needed manually....which turned out to be problematic and later switched to Excel, which is much better. One thing I did not count on was the time...time to find bits...order...postage...waiting to arrive...more ordering, more searching...then ordering and searching. After about 4 months I had just about everything I was planning to get...and only had to rely on my collection for a 100-200 bits in the end. Overall, the first project was very successful...I had market street with only a few substitutions that you would have to know the set to even notice...and it cost me around $250-300 dollars in parts...not counting the labour of course, which was considerable.

Next I tackled the Cafe Corner. This proved to be an even bigger challenge...just over 2000 pieces, and many of them not just hard to get, but downright unavailable. This time I used Excel to help track parts, which worked a lot better. I also ordered extra bits where I could and took advantage of any specials I could find. This time I also had the help of a few discount vouchers from some bricklink suppliers which helped, and a better notion of how to find those niggly little parts that are so hard to find. I also encountered some obvious price gouging by some suppliers as key parts which should have been around 10-50 cents each were upwards of $5-6 dollars each legoheadbang . Once again the time taken to get the parts together and gradually put it together with numerous trips between my collection to get those 1-2 bits I needed on a number of pages. Today I finished the final product and again have the full set, almost indistinguishable from the original

I should warn anyone that the instructions for this set were considerable and suggest not to print them at home unless you really have to. I am still calculating the final cost but expect it to be somewhere around $300-350 dollars in parts. It is going to take considerable effort to track down all the prices across multiple suppliers, and exclude all the extra parts I got along the way...but am confident this is about right. *<legotoungesmall

I would like to thank my partner for the great help she provided throughout. Again I learned a few things for next time, particularly on better managing where parts were substituted or where I was counting on my own parts to fill in gaps. I am happy to answer any questions people have and I plan to put some photos of the finished products for all to see as soon as I figure out how to do it.


Sheep Dog
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Number of posts : 33
Registration date : 2010-10-17

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Modular Buildings from Bricklink Empty Photos and Bricklink

Post by Rognys on Mon 03 Oct 2011, 9:13 am

Hey Mate,

Can you re-post the photos as they don't appear to have come through.

My first question on this topic goes to you and other bulk ordering people out there...

I know Bricklink has the ability to part out a set (for entering parts into your store) and I believe it can work the other way, parting out a set and adding it to your wishlist... Is this correct? if so, is it any good as a means to build together a set?

I know and trust the ole Spreadsheet, but what other options are there out there for order management?

Any developers out there, It'd be nice if there was an app for this legosmile2


Sheep Dog
Sheep Dog

Number of posts : 6
Registration date : 2011-03-22

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Post by Tsitra on Fri 07 Oct 2011, 8:51 am

I use the bricklink wanted list to track parts, I've recently done this for all the sets in the futuron space theme.

If you go to wanted list --> part set, you can have it add all the needed parts for a set and also choose weather you want the extra pieces, instructions and box for the set, you can have it automatically set the min quanities but i usually don't do this, as stores that have less then that quantity won't show as having it when you go to the wanted list by shop tab and some parts it is very hard to get more then 1 from the same shop. I usually put in the notes section what set the parts are from and the quantity needed and the quantity I already have.

After that I use the Wanted --> by shop tab and start buying the pieces from the shops with the most parts (and resonably prices), once a part is ordered i move it into another wanted list so i can keep track of which pieces are on the way.

I have used this method for all sets in the M:tron, Blacktron 2, space police 1 and futuron themes and am currently about half way through getting all the forestmen sets aswell as the airport shuttle monorail.

I find this the easiest way, as there is no need to change between programs and there is also the button on the orders page which allows you to view everything on your wanted list that is in an order, which makes moving the parts between wanted lists and removing them once recieved extremely easy.


Sheep Dog
Sheep Dog

Number of posts : 13
Location : Townsville
Registration date : 2011-07-01

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Post by Ajax on Wed 10 Oct 2012, 1:59 am

Thats a great story, I also missed the first modular buildings as I only started with Lego again this year. I may look at doing what you have done, good work.

Vegemite Eater
Vegemite Eater

Number of posts : 285
Location : QLD
Registration date : 2012-10-08

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Post by Kaila on Wed 10 Oct 2012, 7:45 am

Also missed the modulars and not even going to attempt to get green grocer or market square lol. Have pet shop and emporium atm will most likely get town hall soon though. Thank heavens I like trains better. Your post was very informative and helpful also so thanks Brickton.
Silver Fern
Silver Fern

Number of posts : 460
Location : Brisbane
Registration date : 2012-07-07

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