All of the sets were purchased from Aliexpress.com. Thanks for looking!
Monday, April 17, 2017
If you didn't know already, I have slowly been converting my Hsanhe branded mini modular building sets into full fledged modular buildings. Of the original six building sets, I converted the Seven-Eleven convenience store, the KFC fast food restaurant, the Starbucks coffee shop and the Apple store.
I then set my sights on what to do with the Hsanhe Sweet Shop, pictured above. I was originally thinking about just expanding the footprint by doubling the space, so I bought another Hsanhe Sweet Shop set with that plan in mind. But the more I mulled it over, it just wasn't challenging enough because I had already executed this idea with the Seven Eleven store.
Also, the idea of adding a pink building into my Its-Not-Lego town (the Hsanhe Sweet shop is made up of mostly pink and flesh coloured bricks) didn't seem that appealing to me.
So instead of adding another new building to the town, I started to examine each of the existing modular buildings that already existed. The first floor of the Lepin Cafe Corner seemed like a very good candidate. It was sitting empty and had enough floor space to accommodate the Sweet Shop expansion.
I didn't want to change the structure or layout of the Cafe Corner , so any changes I made would have to fit within the pre-existing space. I started off by making a list of what I wanted to accomplish by merging the Hsanhe Sweet shop with the Lepin Cafe Corner. Here's the list:
1. Replace the existing black window frames with white ones
2. Retain existing brick facade
3. Remove the angular front door
4. Move store entrance to the side of the building
5. Retain the little tables and umbrellas
6. Retain the decorative element
7. Retain the awnings
8. Add a back door
9. Retain the colour pallet of the Sweet Shop
Ok, so with that in mind, let's look at the improvements, starting with the exterior. I was able to brighten the exterior of the Cafe Corner by replacing the first row of dark blue bricks with yellow ones. Then I removed all the black window frames and replaced the with white ones.
You can see that I managed to keep the awnings and small tables. The small tables were already yellow so fit into the exterior colour scheme nicely. I chose the yellow colour because I think having a pink exterior for the Sweet Shop would have been too much of an eyesore. Luckily Its Not Lego town has city ordinances to prohibit gaudy colours on building exteriors.
The Lepin Cafe Corner initially had a swinging door on the side of the building, so I simply made it the new main entrance to the Sweet Shop.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the Cafe Corner modification was what to do with the corner where the front door used to be. I tore out the door and the front steps and kind of left it empty being at a loss for what to do.
Then it occurred to me, that I had just recently completed building the Sheng Yuan Friends little shops. One of the shops had a rotating display. I could put this in the corner space and put a curved window in front of it. But then I discovered I needed more rows of bricks below and above the curved window. So that meant coming up with some curved bricks.
This Winner Ice Cream shop set was sacrificed because it had all the parts I needed to complete the Cafe Corner mods. It had the curved bricks and even a curved window with printed designs on it. As a bonus I would take the door also because of the printed OPEN sign on it. The bricks were more orange than yellow, but this is as good as it was going to get.
I thought I could use the curved white roof pieces from the Winner building, but I couldn't make them fit into the existing Cafe Corner facade without redesigning both of the awnings.
It turned out that the inside of the Winner Ice Cream shop had just the right piece I needed in the way of the blue curved countertop. It fit nicely over the curved window. My only gripe is that the colour is blue. If it had been white, yellow or even pink, it might have integrated better into the Cafe Corner facade. Oh well, beggars can't be choosers.
A closer look at all the newly added elements. It's still a bit kludgy looking but I'll try to refine it a bit more in the future.
I was still able to keep the decorative element above where the front door used to be and changed the mug to a cupcake.
Please feel free to try some of our free samples!
Ok, now that we have had a look at the outside of the new and improved Cafe Corner, let's move indoors shall we?
So here's the layout. As you enter the store, there is a huge U shaped setup along the back of the shop displaying all of the sweets for sale. All of these display cases come from the two Hsanhe Sweet Shop sets. I forget where all the buns came from, but I did use one of the brown crates leftover from my Lepin Market Street building mod.
On the other side is another wall of baked items, including a display case for pies and cakes, and next to that a cash register. You can see the little upright oven next to the rotating sweets display.
Against the window is the prep area. There's a small sink and mixer and bowl. Also a pan to make crepes. Against the wall, we got a shelf for tall glasses and mugs if you want a milkshake. Today's special milkshake flavour is banana.
As I mentioned earlier, I didn't want the whole Sweet shop establishment to be coloured pink, but I did want to preserve the some of it's history, so I put in a pink wall with the Sweet shop logo. In that wall, there is a passageway that goes underneath the stair case which was unused space in the original Lepin Corner Cafe. It can now be used to store stuff.
It also leads to a new back door where presumably deliveries will be made. In future I'll probably add an awning over the back door.
Here's one more look at the inside of the Sweet Shop. The two store employee minifigures also come from the Hsanhe sets.
Apparently, Storm troopers have picked up the scent of the new sweet shop. Prepare to be invaded!
Here is a list of the building sets I used for this mod:
1. Lepin Cafe Corner 15002 (knock-off of Lego Cafe Corner 10182)
2. Hsanhe Sweet Shop 6409-1 (2 sets)
3. Sheng Yuan Friends Shop SY759A
4. Winner Ice Cream Shop 7031
All of the sets were purchased from Aliexpress.com. Thanks for looking!
Monday, March 27, 2017
Hey guys, just wanted to share some finds with you today. Whenever I go to Walmart, I always stop in at the Toy aisle. I used to visit the die-cast car aisle to see the latest Hot Wheels, Greenlight and Johnny Lightning die-cast. I would blog about them on my other blogs http://hwpics.blogspot.com and http://mytoycars.blogspot.com.
These days, I tend to frequent the Lego aisle because my die-cast car collecting has waned. So as I'm wandering down the aisle, I see these new Lego compatible building blocks called Block Tech.
There's quite a large assortment as you can see from my picture above. Each box contains 250 brick pieces and they come in several colours. They have a box that contains all black pieces and another box that contains all white pieces.
Other boxes contain brick pieces that come in three shades of colour. For example, the gray box has light gray brick pieces, dark gray pieces, and pieces that are the older Lego gray colour. Other boxes that have coloured pieces also come in three different hues.
Here's a close-up look at one of the Block Tech building block sets.
Hete's some more colours in brown and blue shades.
There are even specialized parts sets such as vehicle wheels, trees, shrubs and flowers and even windows and door sets. All of the sets listed cost $9.97 CDN before tax. That's around $6 or $7 USD per box of 250 pieces. That's cheaper than trying to buy compatible Lego brick parts from Aliexpress.
Block Tech also makes some baseplates but these are 20x20 studs, not the more commonly used 16x32 or 32x32. There are two plates per package and they sell for $2.97 CDN, or about $2 USD.
I bought a gray colour assortment of bricks and a box of all white bricks. Here's the front of the gray box.
Here's the back of the box of gray Lego compatible pieces.
Here's how the building bricks are packaged. They have different size pieces, and shapes, such as bricks, blocks and plates. I used the gray Block Tech bricks for the recent mods I made to the Lepin Market Street building. Go on over to my other blog Its-Not-Lego to check it out. I used them for the the foundation, and floor supports and the clutch of the bricks is excellent. I haven't opened up my box of white brick pieces yet, but plan on using them for other Mocs or Mods soon.
I'm not sure if these can be found in the USA or other countries. Let me know if you've seen or used these bricks and if you liked them or not.
Brand: Block Tech
Model: Assortment of Lego compatible black, white and coloured brick parts.
Number of pieces: 250 per box
Price: about $10 CDN or $7 USD, baseplates about $3 CDN or $2 USD.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
I'm not really a fan of the Big Bang Theory, but I am a fan of these minifigures. This is the 7 character set from Pogo and the set number is PG8025. They cost me about $1 CDN each, so that's like 75 cents USD. I ordered these way back in November but just got them now. Shipping from Aliexpress is definitely taking longer and longer.
There's also another Big Bang minifigure set that has all of the same characters above but you get one extra Sheldon who is in a green lantern shirt. That set is put out by the Xinh brand (see pic below).
All of the characters have the two sided heads, you can compare the minifigs faces in the first and second pictures. The quality of the minifigs is good except for Raj's face that has a white streak right in the middle. That's not a light reflection, see second picture.
Not featured in my pictures are the accessories you get with most of the minifigures. Penny has a goblet as pictured. Raj has a briefcase. Howard has a rocket ship. Sheldon has a green lantern. Leonard has a doll of some sort. Amy has a newspaper, which surprisingly says The Lego News.
These minifigures will be nice additions as regular folks in my It's Not Lego town.
If you want to order the Big Bang minifigures separately from AliExpress you can search by the code as follows:
Entire set of Pogo 7 minifigures: PG8025
Entire set of Xinh 8 minifigures: X0125
Flash Sheldon XH339
Green Lantern Sheldon XH342