As I stared at the pieces, they reminded me of vinyl records (yes, I do remember what vinyl records albums are). This inspired me to build a tiny replica of the phonograph I used to have hooked up to my stereo (model: Technics SL-B30). This model has relatively few pieces. The base is 12 x 10 studs (it shrinks to 12 x 9 using "jumper bricks").
And yes, there is a rotating piece underneath the disc, so the record platter does actually spin. Here's another picture.
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Compact discs are, of course, just under 5" in diameter. Conveniently, a 16 x 16 LEGO baseplate is 5" square. By using plate hinges and lots of plates and tiles, I was able to construct a case that was 16 x 16 studs and just over 4 plates tall (the slight excess is from the thickness of the baseplate).
The CD is centered in the case by using a pair of half apex pieces to form a pyramid. The disc rests on this pyramid, is raised slightly above the interior tiled surface, and does not jiggle about when the case is closed.
I apologize for the model being mostly black; it doesn't photograph too well.
More pictures: 1, 2.
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I decided to build a small model of a Honda Element because my current assistant, Abby, happens to drive such a car (black in color). The model will be a thank you gift to her as soon as we finish our current project (which should be completed a few days after I write this webpage).
Now, I wanted the model to be a surprise, so I couldn't really stand out by Abby's car and take measurements and such... she would have gotten suspicious. Fortunately the Honda website had a few good photographs of the vehicle, plus one of those snazzy 3-D Quicktime viewers with the Element featured.
By choosing 1x6x2 arches as the wheel wells, I chose my overall scale and began to build. The Element not only has a distinctive shape, but its color scheme is unique. The arches about the wheels did not provide an exact match for color layout, and the dark gray bricks are a little bit lighter than the gray on the actual vehicle, but I think I managed to pull it off pretty well.
The bottom half of the LEGO Element is 10 studs wide, but it shricks to 9 wide starting at the windshield. I used plenty of Studs-Not-On-Top building for the front and rear of the vehicle.
Alas, there are no opening doors or tailgates. Remember, I'm admittedly no expert at this vehicle building thing. Besides, I wanted to have it done on time to present to Abby in a few days... I didn't want to obsess on making doors, engine blocks, and who knows what else.
Finally, I should mention a weird coincidence. On a Sunday morning after having decided to build this model and spending hours fiddling around with a prototype, I was watch a football game on television. Lo and behold, during one of the commercial breaks, here is an advertisement that shows a vehicle being built by oodles of virtual LEGO like bricks that are raining down from above.
When the commercial is done, the bricks have constructed a life size version of a Honda Element!
I kid you not (link to the digitized commercial).
Here are some more photos of my (much smaller scale) Element:
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