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2020 Summary & 2021 Plans

January 4th, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

Summary of yet another year of building and plans for the year ahead.

2020 was a difficult year for all of us. For me, a combination of several factors made it the year I have finished the lowest numbers of MOCs so far, and of course I’m not happy about it. The factors included the birth of my son, taking care of whom is obviously my #1 priority, the Glomar Explorer project on which I’ve spent about 10 months in 2020, and the growing level of complexity of my models which makes a single model as time-consuming to finish as 3 or 4 models a couple of years ago. That last factor is subjective, but it is something that I’m feeling very clearly when e.g. finishing my Abrams tank model which has been close to completion for months now, but turned out to require complex SNOT sections and several iterations of the turret design.

The result is that I still have 12 models in progress left from last year (I removed the O-I tank from the list, as I still haven’s started working on it), plus 4 new models that I’ve started building in the meantime. In order to reduce this number, I’d like to try a different approach in 2021: choose a single model to be my “monthly priority” each month and work only on it for as long as I have the pieces or until it gets finished. Ideally, I would like to finish one model per month, which I think is possible, but it remains to be seen how it fits together with my family and my job. In any case, I still keep getting dozens of new ideas for models, but I really need to focus on clearing by backlog.

On top of that, I’ve been fiddling with some experiments that I would like to complete and publish this year. These include: a 100% LEGO working submarine, a high-speed vehicle built to top my personal LEGO speed record of 20 km/h (which I believe can be doubled), and a solution that would allow a LEGO aircraft to “fly” while tethered. All of these are still highly experimental and I probably won’t publish anything about them until I have fully working versions.

To sum up, the plans for 2021 are as follows (in the order of being closest to completion right now):

  • M1A2 Abrams EV3 – a tank powered by EV3 Mindstorms, with a self-leveling main gun and ability to track an IR beacon by rotating the turret to follow it
  • Liebherr LTC 1045-3.1 mobile crane – a compact mobile crane
  • BTR-80 armored personnel carrier – with complete chassis, just missing the bodywork; currently includes 13 motors but that may not yet be the final number
  • TOG II tank/boat – a meme on tracks, I’m still trying to decide on final features here
  • Triggo urban vehicle – just missing the bodywork
  • A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft – in the process of another redesign; I’ve decided that the wings need to be reworked completely
  • Mercedes-Benz SSKL – simple fast racing car with complete chassis, just needs the bodywork
  • ORP Orzeł submarine – still in progress
  • Lamborghini Aventador – complete chassis and partially started bodywork
  • King Tiger XL tank – we are supposedly going to have harsh winter this year here, so I need to get this done
  • M4A2 Sherman tank – I’ve decided not to build another standard tank but to make this one into a bridge layer, possibly based on the British “Twaby Ark” design
  • Ural 375D truck – with nearly complete chassis that I think needs to be redone at least in the rear half
  • Monster Mustang car – mostly just missing the bodywork
  • T-34 XL – complete chassis with rubber tracks, I’m in the process of trying to find a sprocket design that could handle the immense traction generated by these tracks
  • MBT-70/KPz 70 tank – chassis only partially complete, still waiting for the Abrams model to be finished so I can use its road wheels
  • K-Wagen tank – design for a sponson gun complete
  • working LEGO submarine experiment – progress difficult to gauge
  • top-speeder vehicle – probably going to be completed this spring
  • tethered flight solution – progress difficult to gauge

Going forward, I would like to focus first and foremost on finishing my models. That means fewer reviews of non-Technic sets and generally as few distractions as possible. This year I don’t have any such massive project as the Glomar Explorer waiting to be completed, so I hope this will free me up to finish a reasonably large part of the list you see above.

Happy 2021!


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