March 13th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Frequently Asked Questions:

Below is a list of the most common questions people ask me. Please read these before you ask me something – the answer may be already there, and it will save your time – not to mention mine.

Where do you buy all these things, and how do I get them?

I don’t buy these things, I create them myself. These are not official LEGO sets, just custom designs not available for sale.

Can I buy any of these from you?

Not really. There are basically two reasons for this: firstly, I only build every construction once and then take it apart, without creating any form of instruction. Hence, if I were to re-build a specific construction for you, I would have to rely mainly on my memory. Secondly, and more importantly, all my constructions are very ‘technic’ in nature – they contain a number of moving parts and mechanism that may get damaged and malfunction. If you want to buy them, you probably want to put their functions into some use, and it means I can’t guarantee they will work properly in every condition, not to mention the problems with shipping. They can’t be glued solid or reinforced – it’s just the way the bricks work; they can be put together, but they can be put apart as well. And I have no time for some emergency service or handling dissatisfied customers, sorry.

If the above does not discourage you, there is obviously always a space for negotiations. Be aware, however, that the specialized parts I’m often using and plenty of labour needed must reflect on the final price. We’re talking $1,000+ here.

Do you make instructions?

Usually I don’t, and there is a number of reasons for it. Creating instructions takes much more time than the actual building did, and hence it would drastically reduce the number of my constructions. I tend to use plenty of specialized parts that are rare and expensive – so even with the instruction in hand, you would most likely have to do a lot of shopping, and then perhaps feel unhappy about the way you spent your money. Finally, I deeply believe that creativity is what LEGO is about. So I’m taking many photos and I’m explaining how the mechanisms are built and on what principles they work. This plus your creativity should be enough. If you want complete, step-by-step instructions – go buy some LEGO sets.

You should submit your creations to LEGO Ideas!

No, I don’t. The LEGO Ideas program rejects vast majority of submissions, including every single Technic submission up to date, and there are strict guidelines which most of my creations don’t meet.

What software are you using to create 3D drawings and schemes?

I’m using MLCad for modelling and LDView for rendering, and LPub for making instructions.

Can you send me more photos of something?

No.  The construction you’re interested in is most probably already taken apart, and I really don’t keep any photos hidden from you. I only keep the photos I have published. If they’re not enough – sorry, there really is no more.

Does “Future Projects” page list all your future projects?

No. I have a number of secret projects, which are highly experimental and hence more likely to fail. I don’t list them there to avoid being hard-pressed, as they are more unusual and more difficult to complete than the regular ones. But if such a project enters a stage at which it’s very likely to be completed, it will be listed in the “Currently building” section under a code name.

Can I use any of your ideas?

Of course, that’s why I publish them. I believe that the ideas should be exchanged in the Lego builders community freely.

Do I have to credit you when I use some of your ideas?

Not necessarily. It will be nice if you do, but that’s not really the point, and I don’t require it. I’d rather see my ideas developed further and put into a good use, than look around for credits.

Are you keeping all your constructions?

I’m keeping none. I take them all apart in order to build something next, to re-use the parts. I have no regrets about it – anything I build can be recreated, and even if I kept it intact, I would feel compelled to improve something in it sooner or later. My need for building is simply stronger than my need for looking at my creations.

How many parts do you have?

Probably less than you think. I’m not a collector, I only buy necessary parts, and I’m re-using the ones I already have. Moreover, I want to hold all my parts within my workbench, and that implies certain limits.

What does your workbench looks like?

Messy is the word, I guess. The video below shows all the details.

Where do you get all your parts?

There are many sources available, starting with the LEGO Shop itself, including eBay and probably the most specialized: Bricklink.com. I’m shopping almost exclusively online, because the prices are more affordable that in local shops available to me.

Can you sell me some parts?

No. As mentioned above, there are numerous sources of LEGO parts available. Most of them are faster and cheaper than I could be.

Do you have some special technical education?

Not a bit, I’m a linguist by education and a webdesigner by profession. I simply have a strong interest in mechanics, and a plenty of experience with LEGO bricks. All I need to build is some mathematics, geometry and access to the Wikipedia.

You should show LEGO what you build, or work for them!

Thank you, actually the company is aware of my work, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to hire me or turn my creations into LEGO sets. It doesn’t work that way.

How come your photos look professionally edited?

I work as a webdesigner. Graphic design and post-processing of photos are essential part of my profession.

Are you a professional photographer?

No, I have little idea about professional photography. I’m using a DLSR camera, a pair of good lamps, and a big piece of paper as the background. Nothing really tricky.

What cameras are you using?

As of 2018, I am using Canon EOS 70D camera with Canon 17-55mm lens for photos, Lumix G7 for videos, as well as two GoPro cameras: 4 Session and 5 Black Edition.

Are you building with LEGO bricks only?

Usually yes. I’m using both LEGO and non-LEGO strings, rubber bands and pneumatic hoses, as these originals parts are most difficult (and least rational) to buy. Occasionally I use 3D-printed parts, which is always clearly stated, and sometimes I use third-party remote control devices such as SBrick or BuWizz, where LEGO Power Functions system is too limited or too outdated for comfortable use. This, again, is always clearly stated. Other than that, it’s all original LEGO bricks down to the last single part. And I don’t modify, cut or glue my bricks.

Can you build something from the Star Wars theme?

I have no interest in Star Wars theme at all, sorry.

What’s the difference between terms “Truck Trial” and “Trial Truck”?

Truck Trial is the name of the competition. Trial truck is the name of a vehicle built specifically for this competition.

Can you make instructions for some good Trial Truck?

No. It’s simply pointless – Truck Trial is a sport somewhat similar to F1 races, which means that there are no ultimate solutions nor ultimate vehicles. Construction of trucks used in the Truck Trial is continuously evolving, the improving of vehicles never really stops, and new solutions pop up every couple of months only to become outdated sooner or later. There are many different approaches to building, various builders focus on various aspects of their vehicles, and ever most successful trucks are being improved and experimented on. Some vehicles can perform excellent against certain types of obstacles while failing against other. I’m still trying to develop a decent, universal vehicle, but even if I succeed and create instruction, it will soon become worthless. Given the extreme complexity of Truck Trial vehicles and hence long time needed to create such an instruction, it would very likely be outdated by the time it’s finished.

How come you build so much?

There is a number of experienced builders who work really fast. In my case, I believe imagination is the key: I don’t have to try out every solution that comes to my head, because often I can imagine how it would work without touching a single brick. It’s not difficult, it’s just a matter of experience and knowledge on the LEGO bricks. There is also a matter of planning – when I build something big, I’m trying to plan it in theory as much as possible. I’m checking the exact size of the mechanisms I want to include in it, I’m trying to figure out the best way to put them together. It takes little effort, and it’s really helpful, or even crucial in case of the most complex constructions.

How long does it take to build these things?

That varies a lot, depending on the complexity of a given model and the amount of spare time I have at the moment. In most cases, it’s between 3 and 6 weeks, but some large, complex models can take as long as 3 years.

  1. Sariel
    August 21st, 2016 at 15:00 | #1
  2. Carlos
    August 21st, 2016 at 14:47 | #2

    I thought there was always a place for negociations ;). I love your website and I really think you are helping people to build her proyects using your great ideas. Is there any chance for you to help me buy or achieve to build one model like that? Wpuld really help me with my degree. Thanks again.

  3. Sariel
    August 21st, 2016 at 13:36 | #3

    1. No, of course I don’t do such thing. That’s why it’s so hard to make instructions.
    2. It’s not for sale, thank you.

  4. Carlos
    August 21st, 2016 at 12:00 | #4

    Hi. First of all I’d like to say that
    i love what you are doing, those custom builds are awesome. Im studying the last year of my degree in Spain (Industrial Engineering) and I’ve worked with Lego Technic models before. I would like you to answer 2 questions:

    I am very interested in knowing hot to build the Defender, and I know that making a manual of instrucctions is almost impossible as it would take a huge amount of hours and work, even more than building again the hole model. So:

    1. Do you build the model in some CAD program before the real construction? I mean like SolidWorks, Siemens NX, etc. If you do, I would like to know if we can negociate buying those files (for example one eDrawing file so I could see how the model is built and make it real).

    2. If not, I would like you to have a negociation with me (in private if possible) to know if there’s a chance to buy that model.

    Thanks a lot.

  5. Sariel
    August 5th, 2016 at 01:35 | #5

    @Jason Livingstone
    Thanks Jason. First of all, this is a very old, crude model and I have a new, much better version planned perhaps for 2017. Secondly, I take apart all my old builds and don’t sell them on a principle. In fact, a few years ago I was contacted by Hyster company itself, they wanted to order building several models of their machines, but their budget wouldn’t even cover the cost of pieces, I’m afraid.

  6. August 4th, 2016 at 23:40 | #6

    I recently came across your build of a Hyster lift truck (http://sariel.pl/?s=hyster). As a huge lego fan and father of a son whose an even greater fan, not to mention I work for Hyster-Yale (based in their Corporate Headquarters in Portland, Oregon), I have to say I was blown away by your design. I was disappointed to hear that you don’t appear to have this unit for sale. I’d like to ask if this is something that you would consider building and/or selling? Obviously any reasonable price would be considered but I’d be silly in not asking since I work for the company that designs, makes (and tries to break) these awesome machines. I appreciate your response!

    Jason Livingstone
    Director – Drive Systems Procurement

  7. Sariel
    July 17th, 2016 at 13:13 | #7

    Thanks but I don’t think so.

  8. Pumponchik
    July 16th, 2016 at 16:56 | #8

    Hi, thank you for your amazing ideas.
    Would it be interesting for you to join educational project to develop engineering ciriculum for kids?

  9. sohibil
    July 16th, 2016 at 12:24 | #9

    I am but I have a problem finding a shop that has enough parts I need for a reasonable price.

    What are your favorite stores?

  10. Sariel
    July 1st, 2016 at 18:52 | #10

    Sure. Use Bricklink.

  11. sohibil
    June 29th, 2016 at 11:29 | #11

    Can you give me some advice on how to buy large amounts of different items for the lowest overall price? What worries me the most is shipping fee. Most parts themselves are quite cheap.

  12. Sariel
    June 24th, 2016 at 15:50 | #12

    Thank you but I’m not interested in Armata tank.

  13. Андрей
    June 24th, 2016 at 15:12 | #13

    Hi, I am your subscriber from Russia can please make Armata tank T 14, and I really liked all your tanks.

  14. Cactus
    March 6th, 2016 at 22:58 | #14

    Yeah I get that without a very long description or the model it’s very hard to say. Thanks for your time though

  15. Sariel
    March 5th, 2016 at 16:20 | #15

    How can I know that without physically having your vehicle in my hands?

  16. Sariel
    March 5th, 2016 at 14:21 | #16

    These are second half 2016 Technic sets, they will be out, as usual, in the second half of the year.

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