Retrieverfalcon

Official Builds from Multiple Sets

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Posted (edited)

Do we have a standard for adding inventories of official LEGO instructions that source their parts from multiple sets? I am thinking of things like the build for 10696/10698 found here or things like Mixel multiple set combo builds. I found an old question on the topic in the forum and set 4741-1 was referenced as an example solution but that was a released set (and the solution is kind of a mess). The other discussion I recall on this was the Technic 40th Anniversary Model (eventually added as Set 42063-40).That solution is much cleaner to me but it failed to develop a fixed standard for these type of models and requires manual cross-link references in the set descriptions. I've also seen MOCs listed as alternate builds to set kits but that relies on an official kit having been released (not always the case) and doesn't present the combo build on the alternate builds for the constituent sets. 

I prefer the Technic 40th solution of adding these as sets but I'd prefer using a new suffix that could be filtered so these sets don't interfere with the theme ownership charts.

I'd propose we add these in the following manner:

1. Add as a "B-Model" of the highest numbered set in the list of necessary sets. Note: this would be only used until @Nathan could add a few new options to the current "Submit Set" picklist, namely LEGO Idea ReBuilds (currently -c suffix but added as "Sub-sets") and Multiple Set ReBuilds (this idea) - ideally these would be new sections on the Alt Builds tab. Making this a B-Model for now, and hopefully a Multiple Set ReBuild in the future, will keep this set out of set searches unless the user explicitly adds the 'include B models' filter.

2. Number the set as the highest numbered set in the list with a "-m-#" number

3. Name the set whatever makes sense but always end it with a list of the necessary sets like (10696-1 + 10698-1). This will help the set come up if folks search on the set number. Include the -1 (or whatever's appropriate) suffix for clarity.

4. Set the year to when LEGO releases the multiple set instructions

5. Set the theme as appropriate (likely this will match the constituent sets but if they are from different sub-themes, use the top level theme)

6. Make the photo of the Multiple Set ReBuild.

7. Include only those parts needed to make the ReBuild (no spare parts). Since the current system raises warning errors on B-Models that include parts not in the parent set, this is a flaw to this plan but that should be corrected if we change these from fake b-models to true Multiple Set ReBuilds where the check could be against the combined inventory of the parent sets.

8. Include a set note that includes url links back to all of the constituent sets

9. Add a set note to all of the constituent sets mentioning that this build exists (and including a url).

Thoughts?

Edited by Retrieverfalcon
Typo

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well super models aren't b-models so they should have their own submission flow, instead of trying to make b-model code work for it. Personally I think the biggest set should be the parent of such super model rather than the highest number. This might be the same but if you lack the largest set your less likely to have the parts.

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I am not in favour of software changes and additional sections in the Alternate Build tab just to support half a dozen MSRB's. Functionally, I'd suggest handling them as kinda Value Packs.

Presuming these are mostly modern models, the multiple sets involved would normally have a -1 suffix. I like Bio's idea to use the set that adds the most parts to the combined model as base number, and simply add -2 for the combined model.

If LEGO officially published instructions for an MSRB, the instructions will have an official LEGO number (five or siz digits). In that case, I'd suggest using the official number of the instructions as a base number for the MSRB. We do the same for magazine/books sets.

I don't like having the set numbers of the sets involved within the set name. We started doing the same for Value Packs, and found that there were Value Packs that contained 6 or even 8 sets, which makes the set name way to long. So for a lot of Value Packs I removed those set numbers from the set name and added a note like this:

Contains four sets: 1887-1, 1888-1, 1889-1 and 1890-1.

where each set number is a link to the set. The search will pick up on this, and show the value pack when searching for one of these sets. I suggest doing the same for MSRB's.

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Well I was thinking ahead and wanted a system that would work for MOCS, ie custom alternate builds using more than one set. like those Space police mocs I once did. And still have them listed when looking at the original set(s)

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I agree with @biodreamer that a distinct workflow is preferable. That would definitely require code changes though so I tried to provide a solution that we can use now while those changes are being considered. I like the idea of attaching/naming the MSRBs based in the largest set. That's a very valid change.

As for not including the set numbers in the name, I am fine with that so long as there are valid cross links in the set notes. Something like "LEGO provided instructions for building this model using parts from sets XXXX-1, YYYY-1 and ZZZZ-1" with hyperlinks to XXXX-1, YYYY-1 and ZZZZ-1 on the MSRB. On the constituent sets, a note like "An alternate model using parts from this set, YYYY-1 and ZZZZ-1 can be found here" where YYYY-1, ZZZZ-1 and here are hyperlinks. Search should pick this up without any issue. 

As for @Simon's concerns that this would support only a half dozen or so designs, I'll mention that the Mixel MSRBs alone number around 30-40. I would imagine there could be 50+ if these type builds with a little hunting. Unfortunately, many of these only were published online (like the example I linked above) and these don't have a LEGO element number to use as the base like the magazine sets. If these instructions are eventually released in a set they should definitely be numbered as a -1 version. 

I don't like using a -2 convention. I'd rather reserve -2 for the cases of a) reused Set numbers of completely different sets, b) significant enough reissues of the same set that warrant a distinct entry rather than an alternate inventory or c) random set contents like the collectible minifigures. All of these are actual sets that have been released and had boxes on the shelf. More importantly making this a -2 set would make this a set which would appear in a theme search and the set would count as part of that theme. These sets are more akin to B-models or sub-sets in this regard - while ideally these builds would have a unique filter like "Include B-Models" (in this case, "Include Multiple Set ReBuilds"), I think they should distinct from the commercially released sets. Someone shouldn't own less than 100% of a theme for not including a MSRB any more than not owning a sub-set would occur. That's why I proposed the -m-1 suffix convention. 

Further thoughts?

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yeah don't like the -m-1 suffix, make me think it's a minifig subset. these sets has a offical name from the start, they are called super sets. so using "m" makes no sense, why not use "c" as in combined set and allow motorized sets into the mix where sets + motor set is a super set. and you get the number of valid sets to grow quite a bit.

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Posted (edited)

I can see -m thinking minifig. However, -c is already in use for what’s being called “LEGO Idea ReBuilds” - basically LEGO picture-only inspired MOCs from either Idea Books or the boxes of classic sets. In those cases, no instructions were ever produced. Obviously, -s for “super set” won’t work since we already use -s for “sub-set”. I also think the term “super set” has became overloaded. At times it has referred to this multiple set combinational builds. At others, it has been more akin to Value Packs or “kits” as LEGO [email protected] called them for a while (usually with a “K” prefix on the set number) where multiple sets were packaged together either physically (like the value packs) or virtually (like most of the kits which just provided a single purchase price for many boxes put in the same shipping box). In the latter case, when we’ve added them they have their own LEGO assigned number so we use -1 and a set-based inventory which makes sense. 

Should we just continue the trend of using alphabetical suffixes so the main (“A”) model doesn’t have one, B-Models (rebuilds from a single set which require disassembly of the A Model) get a “-b”, LEGO Idea ReBuilds get a “-c”, Multiple Set ReBuilds get a “-d” and Subsets get a “-s”?

Also, while I think this class of builds should be filterable from official sets, you’ve raised the idea of using it for MOCs - in the case of MOCs, filtering doesn’t make much sense to me but relationships might. Should we separate the naming/filtering issue from the “Alt Builds” tab presentation? Sounds like they may be related but need to be resolved distinctly. 

As for set + motor combos, I’m torn on those. If it is a major rebuild to add a motor and LEGO provided the instructions outlining which parts were added and which were subtracted than a MSRB makes sense to me. If it is just adding a motor or two and they were sold in a kit, makes more sense to add the kit with a set inventory showing the original set and the motors. A set note mentioning it’s exists might be enough in that case. The former seems one where a separate inventory, including only the parts needed to build with motors included and unneeded parts excluded, makes sense and would pair well with the “Build” function at the core of Rebrickable. So, these would be case-by-case but I can see the argument for some and it would expand the class I originally saw and still fit its basic definition - “LEGO-produced instructions using parts for two or more designated and separately numbered LEGO sets” (since the motors have set numbers when sold like this). That definition would exclude MOC combos so it may need tweaking before becoming the one we use for the site.

So, I see our outstanding questions as:

A. What is the definition of a “Multiple Set ReBuild”?

B. What is our numbering suffix for MSRBs?

C. How should MSRBs be filtered on search?

D. How should MSRBs be displayed on the Alt Builds tab?

E. How does all of this relate to use with MOCs?

Anything else? 

Edited by Retrieverfalcon
Additional thoughts

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Folks;

I think we should keep MOCs out of the discussion. Almost all MOCs use parts that have been released within official LEGO sets. Some MOCs use parts from only two of three sets, for others you might need parts from dozens of sets, but in theory, every MOC is a MSRB. If we create additional coding and new sections in the Alternate Builds tab, and allow MOCs to be re-defined as MSRBs, that system is bound to be misused, as MOC designers want to maximize their exposure. Again, I suggest adding MSRBs within the existing system, and only for sets.

As MSRBs are more like super-sets/value-pack, I can live with a numbering system akin to super-sets. Which means: if we have an official number from LEGO, we use that number, if not, we use an "M" followed by the set number that contributes the largest number of parts. We have done the same for value-pack, using a "K" for kit. The notes can be used to list the sets involved; and those sets get a link back to the MSRB. That solves the search issues.

This would indeed mean that both super-sets and MSRBs contaminate the theme ownership charts. But the same could be said for magazines (which are currently stored by theme). If and when this becomes a problem, there are several possible solutions: use tags to remove them from the theme charts, moving all these sets to special themes, or even adding an additional field.

Take care,
Simon

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