A while ago I was messing about with some transparent boat studs (2654) and thought they would make interesting cladding for a Micropolis building. However, the difficulty using them is having to build the walls with plates facing studs-inwards. No the end of the world, but not as easy as studs-out would be.
It’s very straightforward to build square stuff with LEGO, but I also wanted to challenge myself to build something a little different, so I opted for an octagonal shape, mainly due to having an octagonal plate with open centre (6063) in my parts drawers, which I thought could possibly form the basis of the roof structure.
Getting the geometry right to make the plates fit snugly under the roof plate was tricky. I spent ages faffing about with various designs. The sides which were aligned orthogonally with the studs weren’t too difficult, but those on the 45° were proving to be a right pain. Eventually, I came up with this bracket arrangement. It wasn’t terribly stable and required some packing behind (the white plate and magenta tile in the picture) to stop it from wobbling.
The assembly was also quite tall, and I wasn’t sure how I was going to cram in another one lower down for stability. This would be required as otherwise the walls were liable to collapse at every opportunity. It was getting rather frustrating.
Eventually I came up with this internal bracing arrangement, connected in the middle vertically too, in order to stablise things as much as possible.
I got all eight walls up and the roof plate attached. So far so good. But then I put just a little bit too much pressure on one side when I was picking it up and – boom! – it was in pieces again.
Annoyed with myself, I gave up and went to bed.
As is the way with these things, a good night’s sleep brings fresh ideas. I kept the orthogonal pillars the same and reworked the angled versions. These are all held onto the plates via a stepped-off jumper (lime green in the picture) pushed into the hole of a 1×2 Technic brick (blue and bley).
The originals (with yellow bricks) had a decent gap between fixing points at each end of the big red plates. But the stud geometry, and the need to have a jumper plate on top of the diagnonally mounted walls meant they were a little closer together for those (see pillar with pink bricks). However, both versions were still much more stable and less prone to collapse than the first right angle bracket bodge had been. So I pressed on and reworked all four of the pillars for the 45° walls.
Right angled walls were held in place on the floor by being 1 plate lower than the tiles the remaining structure rests on. Diagnonal walls are mounted on an open stud at the bottom. The lowest plate’s middle tube underneath rests snugly in the hole in the round stud.
At the top under the roof, each of the yellow jumpers’ studs key into the single square extra pieces of the octagonal plate – marked in red here.
It’s much easier to see what’s going on from this low angle picture of a half-built structure.
As the roof wasn’t one continuous plate, I decided to put a pillar in the middle too, so it could rest on that if too much pressure was exerted in the wrong place on the roof. Once all the pillars were in place, it required a little bit of jiggling to get them all to line up with the underside of the roof plate, but when they do, it’s all rock solid!
I had proved the structure, but I didn’t want my building having red walls. Also, I didn’t have enough boat studs to cover them all, and what would it be?
In the course of ordering boat studs from Bricklink, I chose four different colours and thought they would look like stained glass windows. With some white versions around the base, I decided this would be a modern place of worship, St. Octavius’ Church. A few days later all the bits arrived and I am pleased with the way it has all come together.
The main entrance is on the corner of the intersection, with a statue outside. Landscaping and flowers around the sides give another splash of colour. I wanted the structure to have a bit of stature too, so I left it on the 12×12 plate it had been designed on, and added white tiles to give a little step up all around the building.