Thursday, November 25, 2010

Technic Elephant (An Alternate Model for set 8271)

Name of Model: My 26th alternative model of 8271 LEGO Technic set. The elephant leans and moves its head.
Created by: grohl666
Found at:
Details: I've thought for a while now that the field of alternate models should be more popular. Way too few LEGO hobbyists seem interested in building something small that anyone could build, and instead you see things head the other way - towards giant behemoths full of expensive parts, which often say more about how much you're willing to spend on LEGO than about how skilled you are as a builder. Coming up with alternate models for an official kit serves as a bit of an equalizer: it's all about what you can do with a reasonable set of constraints, and not about what you can afford. That said, even when people do experiment with building alternate models, they usually only try out a few simple designs. Not today's builder. If you look at his Brickshelf gallery, you'll find no fewer than 26 designs that are made entirely out of the parts in set 8271 - a small kit that only cost $20 and has exactly 200 pieces. While the part selection isn't that bad, I don't think anyone would have expected that so many decent models could be built without any additional parts.

...which brings us to today's model. It's an evocative design that is very clearly an elephant. Some simple gearing allows the head to sway from side to side when a knob is turned, and a lever in the back can move the head up and down.

1 comment:

dougalf said...

I completely agree. I wonder how many kids look at all the strange coloured spaceships and enormous dioramas and feel really discouraged. The reader's models in Bricks and Pieces would make me think 'Pah, I can do better than that. Hmmm, but it does give me a good idea though' and off I'd go. I'm sure my final result was no better but I was enjoying building.

I'm still proud of my alt8259 and I bought 8271 hoping to have as much fun but somehow inspiration never struck and I thought 'bad kit'. Man was I wrong! Big respect for grohl666. Do we need a new acronym: NSU "Nice Set Usage"? :-)