Pick-a-Brick Wall

I visited my local LEGO Store (Watford, UK) yesterday and filled up three Pick-a-Brick cups. I posted photos on my Flickr to show what part are available.

Here is the low-down on my haul:

IMG_2651With care, it is possible to get loads of pieces in each cup. Here you can see how I put larger plates (the red ones) in later, around the edge, after filling the bottom with smaller parts. Those googly eyes are irresistible!


I filled a small cup too. Around the edge of the cup are tan 2×6 plates partially connected. In the middle is a block of 2×4 bricks. Into the gaps, I pushed a whole bunch of small black wedge-shaped pieces (these parts). On top of these, I threw in loads of 2×4 plates. I could have spent another hour stacking them, but I wasn’t quite that patient.




The third cup is similarly stacked full of small parts. Back at home, I use these sorting trays to sort out the parts. These are from Really Useful Boxes, and they have sufficient curve at the bottom and sides of each compartment that it is easy to pick up the parts.


In the UK, large Lego PaB cups are £11.99 and small ones are £6.99. If you re-use a cup, you get a discount (75p off the large cups, 50p off the small cups). I also had a voucher and some Lego VIP points, so I got all three cups for next to nothing.

The geeky bit:


  • Weight with cups 943g.
  • Total 1525 pieces
  • Weight of small cup (empty) 55g
  • Weight of large cup (empty) 83g

Cup 1: 244g incl. cup. 189g excl. cup 183 pieces.

  • 29x black cheese 1×2
  • 11x tan plate 2×4
  • 17x tan brick 2×4
  • 50x tan plate 2×6
  • 76x white plate 2×4

Cup 2: 248g incl. cup. 193g excl.cup. 581 pieces.

  • 62x red tile 2×2
  • 157x grey tile 2×2
  • 4x tan brick 2×4
  • 28 dkgrey hinge 1×2
  • 21 yellow hinge 2×1
  • 22 grey hinge 2×1
  • 77x black round plate 1×1
  • 52x green headlight 1×1
  • 148x white round tile 1×1 eyes
  • 1x grey plate 1×2

Cup 3: 450g incl. cup. 367g excl. cup. 761 pieces

  • 13x red plate 2×8
  • 134x yellow tile 2×2
  • 129x grey plate 2×2
  • 106x dkgrey plate 1×2
  • 3x orange round plate 1×1
  • 2x black round plate 1×1
  • 4x tan brick 2×4
  • 8x tan plate 2×4
  • 25x white round tile 1×1 eyes
  • 85x white jumper plate 1×2
  • 87x white jumper plate 1×2
  • 30x black hinge plate 1×2
  • 30x pink tile 1×2
  • 67x black cheese 1×2
  • 38x brown plate 2×4




Can you make a jigsaw?

I was messing around with slopes, trying to make a jigsaw-puzzle.


I discovered a problem: the 45 degree slopes don’t exactly match. If I try to align a slope and an inverted slope, the bricks aren’t all aligned. The top image shows the bricks aligned: there is a growing gap between the slopes rising from left to right. The bottom image shows the slopes aligned, exaggerating the effect in the bricks. IMG_2235 IMG_2236

When applying this to my jigsaw puzzle, the effect looks untidy:


There is a simple solution – turn one of the pieces upside down. Then the slopes and the bricks line up very nicely.



The result is reasonably satisfactory. Unfortunately the gap where the studs are (at the top here) is less than a plate tall, so I can’t easily fill it with a normal piece. The gap at the bottom is even thinner. But everything is nice and square.

EDIT – immediately after posting this article, a friend suggested I read about a new 1×2 slope piece that LEGO produce. There are two of these: the older new one has exactly the same slope angle (and problem) as the traditional 1×2 slope, but the newer new one has a different angle, and solves the alignment problem without having to turn one part of the jigsaw upside down.

Sculpture No. 2

Here is my second attempt at a sculpture.


The only use of a computer to plan this sculpture was to determine the size of the circles for the cross section of the spirals, and to work out the placement of each on top of the next. For this purpose, I used a “Minecraft circle generator” to work out the pixels. The rest of the design was done without a computer, and without a drawing.

When I first started making sculptures, I thought I would just need loads and loads of 2×4 bricks. It turns out that this sculpture uses 1×4, 1×6 and 2×4 in exactly equal proportions for the spirals.

My wife tells me that I have too much Lego. I can now prove that I don’t, because I’ve run out of 2×4 bricks in yellow.