Site Highlight: MOCpages

Many Lego sites have sprung up, filling many different niches in the Lego community.  I want to help you find and use the most useful, pleasant sites there are for your Lego needs.  This post focuses on my personal favorite creation-sharing site, MOCpages.

What it is:  The name MOCpages is a combination of the common Lego acronym MOC (My Own Creation) and web pages. It is a kid-friendly site that allows you to share your Lego creations with the world by creating a “creation page” for each MOC.  These pages are commented on and rated by other builders.  You can also share your creations and talk with other builders in groups.

Why it’s cool:  There are lots of forums out there. Why use this one?  Firstly, it hosts your images.  In order for your picture to be displayed on the internet, it must be uploaded to a server that has the information constantly available to be displayed.  Most forums have severely limited to no photo hosting, so you have to post photos by copying them from a site that does host images, but might not have commenting capabilities.  MOCpages’ combination of a comment and discussion system and image hosting makes it very convenient to use, especially for those who are not familiar with the technical side of the internet.

It is devoted to Lego.  Non-Lego sites sometimes have a Lego community presence, but on MOCpages, you don’t have to sort through non-Lego content to get to the cool MOCs.

It’s very kid-friendly.  See the rules here.  No profanity, vulgar or offensive content, or bullying is allowed.  The site is well-moderated.  With the recent addition of the “Parental Guidance” feature, some creations involving content that is within the MOCpages rules but that younger children may not be able to understand or handle are flagged.  The default safe browsing mode blocks these creations.  You’ll find MOCpages to be wholesome, fun site.  Which brings me to our last and most important point…

It’s an awesome community!  If you want to share and receive feedback on your creations, the people of MOCpages are eager to leave helpful and encouraging comments.  MOCpages is an excellent place for Lego builders of all skill and experience levels to learn to improve their building.  You, in turn, can browse and comment on thousands of impressive creations.  If you particularly like a builder, you can add him or her to your favorite builder’s list, and be updated when they post another creation.

The downside:  Some Lego fans don’t use this site because they feel it is a kid site, filled with inexperienced builders.  While there are younger builders on the site, there are many people from all age groups, from kid to teen to adult.   Older fans are just as much an active part of the community as younger fans.  Check out the explore page to browse some of the many impressive, quality creations there- not all built by adults.

The rating system can be very misleading.  Today, most people do not click on the rating button when they visit a page, even if they love the creation.  A creation can have thousands of views but only 20 ratings.  Be careful not to take the rating system too seriously, and never be offended by a rating, or the number of ratings, you receive.

In conclusion, MOCpages is a great, wholesome site for sharing Lego creations that I highly recommend.  I hope this guide has helped you decide whether or not it is right for you.


Brick Geometry

It’s easy enough to play with a box of Lego bricks and figure out how they stack on top of one another.  However, as you begin to use more advanced techniques and connections, you won’t be able to fully appreciate and use them until you understand some basic Lego geometry.

Let’s look at the one Lego piece that serves as the foundation for the entire system.  All Lego parts are based on the measurements of this one part.  This is why all Lego pieces connect to all other Lego pieces, making Lego one big system instead of a bunch of random plastic shapes.  See, I told you it was important.

This is the 1×1 brick.  The bump on top of the brick is called a stud.  However, the term stud is also a measurement equal to the width of a 1×1 brick.  The top of a 1×1 brick is perfectly square; it is one stud wide and one stud long.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky.  Despite common belief, Lego bricks are not perfect cubes.  The 1×1 brick is taller than it is wide and long.  It is 1 1/5 stud high.  1 1/5 stud high is one brick high.  Like stud, brick has multiple meanings, including a measurement.

It’s time to introduce another important Lego piece- the 1×1 plate.  Like the 1×1 brick, it is one stud wide and one stud long.  However, it is 2/5 studs high.  2/5 studs is- you guessed it!- a plate.  Three plates stack up to be the exact same height as a brick.

Often, when building, you can use parts with their studs facing sideways.  (This is often referred to by Lego fans as SNOT, Studs Not On Top.)   When doing so, it’s often easiest to just remember that five plates equal two studs.

An actual stud (bump) is one half of a plate high, or 1/5 stud (length).  Although you won’t have to know this as often as other measurements, it is good to keep in mind as you start to make more complex creations.

Let’s summarize:

All measurements and connections of Lego pieces are based on the dimensions of the 1×1 brick.  This makes Lego parts a system.

Stud: the width of a 1×1 brick or plate.  It is equal to:

  • 5/6 of a Brick
  • 2 ½ plates

Brick: The height of a 1×1 brick. It is equal to:

  • 1 1/5 Studs
  • 3 Plates

Plate:  The height of  a 1×1 plate.  It is equal to:

  • 2/5 of a Stud
  • 1/3 of a Brick

The two most useful things to remember:  Always remember that 3 plates equal a brick and 5 plates equal 2 studs!