Propping up the bar

Bar and clip technique

I don’t think I’ve ever blogged a technique before but since this one is fast becoming one of my most ‘favorite’d pictures on flickr I thought I might share it more broadly. I came up with the idea after seeing Peter Norman (swoofty) post these incredible (and complicated) stripes. As I am lazy I wanted to simplify them.

Many of you will be familiar with studs-not-on-top (SNOT) techniques and many of those will actually know what it means (for the rest it means building with the studs not pointing vertically, not building a smooth model). Commonly this is achieved using certain popular bricks such as headlight bricks, bricks with studs on two or four sides and brackets as well as plenty of others.

What many of us forget (myself included) is that bars and clips provide an alternative way to change stud directions which is sometimes more compact and simpler than using bricks. It can be easy to get caught up in trickery [1] and neglect the simple answer. I would guess that set designers more often use these techniques than AFOLs and I suspect that part of this is that they are working to harsher constraints than we are. Their models must be simple.

Anyway, the point of this rambling is that LEGO so often provides many different ways to achieve the same result and that sometimes looking outside your usual tricks can be a good way to find them. You never know, it may save you an hour of work.

[1] On the topic of overcomplicating things I can remember one memorable occassion where I spent about an hour trying out various SNOT techniques for a train windscreen. One of my friends then pointed out that a windscreen piece would do the job perfectly. It did.

4 comments on “Propping up the bar

  1. Nolnet

    Ha, I remember constructing the undercarriage for a Power Miner MOC, trying out various twisted lime green SNOT solutions until my head hurt. Then I realized that b r i c k s, stacked on, you know, e a c h o t h e r, did the job perfectly and even looked way better!
    Sometimes Lego life is just like that :-)

  2. Thanel

    This is a great technique lesson on so many levels. Something for new builders to learn as well as a good fresh look for veteran builders.

  3. Ryan H.

    Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about! I really love the posts here that discuss techniques rather than creations. Not that those are good, too, but there’s just something special about discussing individual techniques and their variations.

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