My son loves Lego® and we build things a lot. I mean a lot. As an example, this week we built the Lego® Creator Transport Ferry #4997, (1279 pieces) [click here for a stop gap animation by Madaboutlego], the Lego® Creator Highway Transport #6753 (1294 pieces), and the smaller Lego® Creator Ferocious Creatures #5868 (416 pieces). This wouldn’t necessarily be a lot for an experienced builder, but my son is only 5 (as of the publishing of this post)!
After “shopping” (which is what he calls it when I help sort out the pieces for each step) so he can assemble, I get a little crazy and just want to have the satisfaction of putting a few pieces together myself! I didn’t ever get to play with Lego® as a child (I know, I was totally deprived!) but as an aesthetic child, the primary colors of red, blue and yellow, must not have called to me from the store shelves. So as a grown up, I decided to build my own model inspired by a vintage set (Lego 560 Town House) resurrected from my husband’s Lego® collection. Only, of course I had to redesign it to be more appealing to the little girl of long ago that liked more feminine colors.
This project has taken a few months of the middle of the night hours. It was a bigger challenge than I anticipated, because I was building virtually and have no background in 3d software or code of any kind. I’m not gonna lie, the learning curve is not for the faint of heart!
Lego® has a section on their website that lets a novice user design their own creation by downloading their free Digital Designer software, but I soon discovered that you couldn’t control how your instructions were going to look, and were limited only to standard pieces that are available on their sight for the moment. So I researched other options and discovered Lpub, Ldraw, Bricksmith, LdGlite, LDview, and Brickstore, all programs that could help me with the challenge at hand.
I should pause here to mention that there is a very large and brilliant Lego® community in this world, that I had never encountered before, and these devoted souls are creating amazing things, both in terms of models, and programs, and videos of their creations. My little 621 piece model with its step by step instruction book, and xml file that automatically fills your Lego® wish list at Bricklink is merely an attempt to put a little something within the reach of the girl who might enjoy building, but wouldn’t have considered it before.
I am excited to report that I was able to purchase most of the pieces from Lego® and the rest from Bricklink and build an actual physical model to test out the instructions. I have found that many people outside the serious Lego® community, are unaware of the Pick a Brick section on the Lego® website where you can individual pieces for your own building projects.
For fun, a listing for a PDF of the Instructions, parts list with part numbers, color quantity and description, and a Bricklink XML file is available for purchase on JBalyeat.com, just in case someone else wants to build La Petite Maison. Interestingly, in January 2012, Lego® did finally introduce a line of product for girls!
“For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.” Hebrews 3:4