Updating everything

The past few months have been quite hectic so I’ve been having some difficulty finding time to build. The good part is, my room renovations are (almost) complete with my display cabinets now fully enclosed in glass, my LEGO workspace has been greatly improved, and I’ve finally reworked my visual theme for my LEGO uploads. The not-so-good part is, I’ll be leaving for around a year for the provinces which means no LEGO for me (among other things). I don’t feel so bad about it since moving away isn’t a permanent thing and it’s a good investment for the near future 😀

Room renovated

My old display setup (photo was taken back in 2014)

Ever since I had my cat, Momo, back in 2010, I’ve encountered the issue of having all sorts of cat hair and dirt accumulating on my collections (comprised mostly of GFF – Gundam Fix Figuration figures and Revoltech Mechs). Cleaning it would be the logical solution but doing so every few months became taxing and I didn’t really want to move any of the GFF as some of them were problematic to pose. When I asked a friend to propose a renovation plan, the display shelves now had to be enclosed and well lighted.

room renovation display side
Proposal of the new setup. Basically had more space for an extra monitor / TV if I needed one and illuminated and enclosed glass display shelves. (Mockup c/o Michael Cheng)

Aside from the shelves being reworked, I wanted to maximize my workspace more (I use a dual monitor setup with my HDMI monitor connecting to my game consoles). We also decided to just add more lighting everywhere since my room felt so depressing due to the poor lighting.

The finished new setup. Looking a little crowded in the picture but looks just right in person. Also, the middle cabinet is lacking some lighting due to not having the same LED strips as the right-most display cabinet but I no longer have the time to have it reworked.

All-in-all, really happy with how this turned out and at least my mecha collection is now relatively free of dust 😛

More LEGO storage

By the end of 2015, I had run into an unlikely LEGO issue… running out of storage space for newly acquired parts and purchases. It was an odd dilemma to have and while one would argue to just stop buying LEGO, we all know that’s not possible (haha!) My old LEGO worktable was also just a makeshift table with a wooden board just placed on top of plastic storage containers and a hardware workbench converted into an extended build area. The renovations would have to address both the storage issue and the increase in workspace.

My old really messy LEGO workstation. The mess is mostly due to having overflowing bins and badly needed more containers.

A few design solutions came up while I was digging through Flickr and Pinterest for storage ideas. Ultimately, we decided to create these modular drawers using plastic kitchen trays and with grooves in the holding container to slot them into (the idea came from watching a video of an AFOL converting his basement into a LEGO haven 😀 so props to that guy and his awesome room).

room renovations - Lego side.jpg
The proposed plan for the LEGO workspace + bedside area of the room. The LEGO side was extended all the way to the door to maximize space and underneath the table, I’d have modular drawers on wheels. (Mockup c/o Michael Cheng)

We also decided to incorporate into the space all the multi-compartment drawers I had for smaller LEGO pieces that I usually work with. My old containers were divided into 9 columns of containers but with the increase in parts lately, thi would be bumped up to 13 columns. They would be divided into a shade per stack of containers as listed below:

  • White
  • Black
  • Light Blueish Gray / Light Gray
  • Dark Blueish Gray / Dark Gray
  • Red / Dark Red / Sand Red / Trans Red and any other shade of Red
  • Blue / Dark Blue / Sand Blue / Turquoise / Medium Blue (Good lord LEGO all your shades of Blue)
  • Green / Dark Green / Lime / Sand Green / Trans etc.
  • Yellow / Medium Yellow? / Trans
  • Browns / Tans / Reddish Brown
  • Purple / Magenta / Pink and Trans counterparts
  • Orange / Trans Orange
  • Gold / Silver / Clear
  • And an extra stack just for expansion or misc. parts
The current setup, still slightly messy but had limited time before leaving for the province. Was lucky enough to acquire the new shorter cabinets from the local distributor before heading off to the province.

Images redesigned
Also on the LEGO side of things, I’m also updating the design and feel of my MOC images. During my downtime, I gave my early 2016 look a second look, reevaluating it and realizing how cluttered and busy that design looked.

The old, cluttered look
The newer cleaner template I’m working with. I might also apply this to the previous releases to clean up my current 2016 works

I felt that it took away too much focus on my builds and made everything just too much. Decided to strip it down to the bare necessities, cleanly separating the front and back views and enclosing everything in a clean border with all the necessary details. I’ve also lightened the background gradient to a lighter shade of grey. The old black to white gradient was too strong considering the background should only be an accent to the foreground.

Moving on
The next few months will definitely be full of new experiences, being based mostly in the remote provinces for work. The biggest issue is having to be in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend but we’re optimistic about things and we both see it as a necessary step in our future so it’s all good.

I’ll try my best to still push through with Mech Wars 2016, planning it remotely and creating most of the new materials in the next few months (I’m stocking up on the photos while I can and hope these will be enough to work with). Just glad LEGO hasn’t given up yet on the LDD with the latest patch bringing in a lot of the new elements.

Next few articles
In-between the LEGO downtime I’ve had during the renovations, I’ve bought the Razer Blade Stealth (as a work laptop… ehem ehem), sampled the Korean-made MMO Tree of Savior, and have been enjoying Gundam Breaker 3 on the Vita. All of these I hope to write about soon.

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