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How to bricklink a set

Jackad7Jackad7 Wisconsin Member Posts: 483
So I've seen articles on people bricklinking the UCS Millenium Falcon. So I'm just wondering is it possible to bricklink smaller sets such as Jedi interceptors? say #9696 for the sake of having an example. Wouldn't shipping on getting these pieces from multiple stores make this more expensive than buying the full set?

Comments

  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 3,743 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 10,326
    Bricklinking any out of production set will be an expensive undertaking unless you are willing to substitute parts and forgo the instructions. I am one that wouldn't care to spend the time or effort to dave a few bucks on a retired set nor am I willing to substitute rate and expensive parts. Sometimes it is just easier to find a good price on a used 100% complete set.
    Jackad7kiki180703chuckp
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,404
    ^ Except stuff like a MF, GC, or other really expensive sets.
  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,580
    A lot will depend on how purist you are, how big the set you want to build is (bigger builds with lots of standard bricks & plates will generally be cheaper than a set half the size with lots of single rare elements), what parts are in the build and whether or not you are planning to keep it built or use the parts for something else. 

    I am not totally purist when it comes to brick-link projects as I do not have the space to display large sets for any length of time and I use the parts for other projects when the build is disassembled so for me, the builds can be achieved reasonably cheaply compared to prices on the secondary market.  (I have enough parts to build versions of #10221, #10143, #10030 and #10179 individually but not at the same time and without the mini-figs).

    If however, you plan to keep the build as a set and all original it can get very expensive, very quickly (one of the reasons I didn't get the mini-figs for the above builds).


    catwranglerAmanda1983
  • MattsWhatMattsWhat Studley, UKMember Posts: 1,643
    As people have stated above, it really depends on your attitude.  Bricklinking a set isn't easy, you have to know the parts you want and all the possible substitutes - it's not something you can just do one day because you're bored, or at least it isnt if you want to bricklink something of any size.
    My #10179 project is nearly 2 years and counting, and I am substituting whenever I can to save money, I just want to experience the build rather than have the set.  I'm taking ages as stuff comes and goes that I want to build or focus on and I just keep ticking off bricks and getting a bigger, bigger pile of stuff.  It'll be ready to go one day.
    As for the set you suggested, you can see all the parts required on the bricklink page, use the 'view full page' button and then sort by 'number of sets' (on the right hand side).  Any parts that only appear in the one set will be the ones that are hard to get and then they get easier (or cheaper) to get as you go down the page essentially. (It's crude but gives an excellent idea).  The next thing you have to do is create a bricklink wanted list for all the parts (turn off notifications unless you want a lot of emails!) and then start buying and ticking them off!
    bandit778Amanda1983
  • 77ncaachamps77ncaachamps Aspiring Time Traveler Stuck in the WestMember Posts: 2,050
    Great thread. Please add more perspectives fellow BSers.
  • chrisalddinchrisalddin UKMember Posts: 2,726
    edited January 2016
    bandit778 said:
    A lot will depend on how purist you are, how big the set you want to build is (bigger builds with lots of standard bricks & plates will generally be cheaper than a set half the size with lots of single rare elements), what parts are in the build and whether or not you are planning to keep it built or use the parts for something else. 

    I am not totally purist when it comes to brick-link projects as I do not have the space to display large sets for any length of time and I use the parts for other projects when the build is disassembled so for me, the builds can be achieved reasonably cheaply compared to prices on the secondary market.  (I have enough parts to build versions of #10221, #10143, #10030 and #10179 individually but not at the same time and without the mini-figs).

    If however, you plan to keep the build as a set and all original it can get very expensive, very quickly (one of the reasons I didn't get the mini-figs for the above builds).


    bandit778
    Hay. out of interest do you think you can make a part list that will give you all the needed parts to build each one of them set's one at a time. like you have?

  • bandit778bandit778 Docking Bay 94. Member Posts: 1,580

    @chrisalddin ;

    It started out that I was just going to do a brick-linked #10221, but after doing a lot of research on brick-linking various large Star Wars sets I decided that only doing the one build would be almost as expensive as buying a used set with box.

    As I would not be able to keep the set built due to space in my place being scarce, this seemed a bit pointless. So with the parts I required I decided to see what parts could be used in some of the other UCS sets that were no longer in production that I also liked.

    What followed was a XLS document with a parts list for the 4 builds I had chosen.

    As I started buying parts, that evolved into another 4 pages for each build with the parts purchased taken off each sheet as and when they came in and of the shops I had brought the parts from and the price paid Inc. postage (to keep a running total cost).

    I also had 2 other, separate parts lists, by part ID and by colour, so I could make use of variations that would not effect the final look of the build.

    I also kept track of the parts that I had to use as substitutions as the original parts would have made it way to expensive (for example the magnets and holders for #10030 were replaced with technic elements and pins).

    So in answer to your question, yes there is a parts list for all 4 builds but it is done in a way that I knew where I was with the buying process and it is not overly clear to the casual observer. 

    It still took over 11500 parts, a lot of time and A LOT of patience.

    Just for reference,  at this point in time, I could have brought 4 and a half Ghostbusters HQ with the proceeds.

    For me though, it was worth it, as at any time I can build 4 of the most iconic Star Wars Sets whenever I want (Just not at the same time).

    Amanda1983Jackad7legomentalGothamConstructionCo
  • hazz78hazz78 UKMember Posts: 10
    Great thread.

    I've only ever went thorough the bricklink process once about 5 years ago to recreate a 391 Renault and 395 Rolls Royce which were rather simple projects compared to the task I've now set myself. Having resigned to never being able to get my hands on a Taj Mahal (I simply just don't think that the price of even a used set is now worth it), I decided to start bricklinking one at the weekend.

    I'm still at the stage of finalising my "to buy" inventory. I've found the process of going through which existing pieces I already have to be very time consuming, as I'm studying the manuals in close detail to work out which pieces can be substituted. While I verge on OCD on some things, I'm not being a purist on this one and have decided to substitute non-visible elements (usually colour, but sometimes the element itself) where I can do so using my existing pieces or the cost of buying them will be reduced. I don't feel so bad about doing this as Lego routinely has non-visible pieces in other colours in many sets, including the Taj Mahal itself. 

    What are people's views on freely substituting non-visible pieces? 

    It looks like I already have about once third of the required elements so now the arduous task of obtaining the rest follows. I'll be interested to know how the remaining 2/3 will cost me! I'm looking forward to progressing this project. 




    bluedragonkiki180703
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,273
    ^ it only becomes an issue if and when you try and sell it. As long as you point out the substitutions, it shouldn't be a problem.
    Oldfankiki18070377ncaachamps
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,404
    hazz78 said:
    Great thread.

    I've only ever went thorough the bricklink process once about 5 years ago to recreate a 391 Renault and 395 Rolls Royce which were rather simple projects compared to the task I've now set myself. Having resigned to never being able to get my hands on a Taj Mahal (I simply just don't think that the price of even a used set is now worth it), I decided to start bricklinking one at the weekend.

    I'm still at the stage of finalising my "to buy" inventory. I've found the process of going through which existing pieces I already have to be very time consuming, as I'm studying the manuals in close detail to work out which pieces can be substituted. While I verge on OCD on some things, I'm not being a purist on this one and have decided to substitute non-visible elements (usually colour, but sometimes the element itself) where I can do so using my existing pieces or the cost of buying them will be reduced. I don't feel so bad about doing this as Lego routinely has non-visible pieces in other colours in many sets, including the Taj Mahal itself. 

    What are people's views on freely substituting non-visible pieces? 

    It looks like I already have about once third of the required elements so now the arduous task of obtaining the rest follows. I'll be interested to know how the remaining 2/3 will cost me! I'm looking forward to progressing this project. 




    I think the best and cheapest substitution you could possibly make would be the baseplates
  • xwingpilotxwingpilot UKMember Posts: 784
    edited March 2016
    Great thread. Please add more perspectives fellow BSers.
    I love that idea that we are all 'BSers' :-)
    77ncaachamps
  • hazz78hazz78 UKMember Posts: 10

    @SprinkelOtter

    Unfortunately baseplate substitution isn't an option for me with Taj Mahal as the blue baseplate is intentionally visible through the 2x2 white turntable bases and is thus an integral part of the design.

  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    Any savings gained during the acquisition period by substituting will be equally lost upon point of selling. Plus you're easy and quickness of selling will be substantially hit. So it will be a wash in the end if you sell it in the long run. But an immediate savings if you keep it forever.
  • Faedian7Faedian7 Member Posts: 48
    A couple of years ago I started the process of building the Emerald Night. For my project, I just built the locomotive and substituted the expensive dark green for red. I was able to get a model that I missed out on in a color variation (at a reduced cost) that turned out nicely.

    I'm currently in the middle of a much larger MOC project involving 12k+ parts. I created a spreadsheet of the parts needed and set aside the parts I have on hand. I have been steadily buying the remaining parts from Bricklink, Brickowl, etc. I have a little over 1/4 of the parts I need. The main thing that I have learned so far is that organization is key. I search out stores that have the rare parts I need and try to buy the common pieces from the same store to reduce the amount of stores I need to buy from. I expect that I may have everything I need by the end of the year.

    Oddly enough, it seems like the hunt for the needed parts is as enjoyable as building the model.
    bandit778Sethro3kiki18070377ncaachamps
  • monkyby87monkyby87 Member Posts: 207
    I've bricklinked parts of sets, but I've never done an entire set that way.  I always start with part of a set, and then bricklink whatever other parts I need.  As others have said, it can get expensive quickly doing this, so you do have to be careful and look for substitutes when you can if you aren't a purist.  But it's fun to build a set that you otherwise wouldn't have been able to.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 814
    I recently bricklinked a lot of classic Blacktron/M:Tron sets I didn't have as a kid. It is fun seeing all of them on my shelf now. Then I decided to MOC some M:Tron stuff, so I needed more reds/printed pieces that I didn't have. It is interesting once you do it for a while you really pick up on what a good price is and how "rare" a part is, even if you see them in a handful of stores.
    catwranglernatro220madforLEGOkiki180703
  • luckyrussluckyruss UKMember Posts: 858
    edited March 2016
    One of the key things for me is patience - if you must have the parts *now* then I think you tend to have to pay up for the less available / more expensive ones.  I've often combined a few projects together and other commitments mean I don't always get to build designs immediately so I'm happy to order most of the parts and then wait until the one or two rarer ones I want become available, or a single store lists enough of the parts to make postage worthwhile.  If I'm bricklinking a production set I tend to be more "purist" about the part so it's important for me to get the right one.

    Aside from having to wait, the other chore of combining projects is the time spent sorting orders - and keeping track of what parts are from what build (another reason I spend less time actually building!!)
    77ncaachamps
  • kiki180703kiki180703 Montreal, CanadaMember Posts: 987
    @hazz78 Hey, you're doing the same thing as me! I'm currently bricklinking the Taj. I'm currently missing roughly 1000 pieces and I don't plan on making any substitutions (except for maybe some mold variations).
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,267
    luckyruss said:
    One of the key things for me is patience - if you must have the parts *now* then I think you tend to have to pay up for the less available / more expensive ones.  I've often combined a few projects together and other commitments mean I don't always get to build designs immediately so I'm happy to order most of the parts and then wait until the one or two rarer ones I want become available, or a single store lists enough of the parts to make postage worthwhile.  If I'm bricklinking a production set I tend to be more "purist" about the part so it's important for me to get the right one.

    Aside from having to wait, the other chore of combining projects is the time spent sorting orders - and keeping track of what parts are from what build (another reason I spend less time actually building!!)
    Yeah, kinda doing this with a #4999 Vestas Wind turbine set.. Have most of the rare pieces I think, but in no hurry to buy the stickers and instruction book as those are rather pricey. I am a completionist in the sense that I feel I need the stickers and the original instruction to make a set officially, but that is just me (I know this is also a matter of opinion as to what constitutes a complete set.

    Sometimes you also have no choice but to wait if you are bricklinking a set only to find parts you need are no available on the site at all.
  • koshkakoshka UK/SwedenMember Posts: 193
    Another vote for patience but if you have the funds then snagging a good deal on ebay can save a lot of work in the long-term. With hindsight I wish that I'd been more focussed when I came out of my dark ages. I started a spreadsheet for Market Street and quickly decided that shipping costs meant that working on more than one model would be cheaper. Within three months the spreadsheet also had parts lists for Cafe Corner, Green Grocer and three MOC designs that had over 1000 parts each. 

    I'm now close to finishing all of these but somewhere along the line I added the Taj and a red/white version of the VW Beetle. Key things I wish I'd done from the start:

    1. taken the time to learn about Brickstock and Bricklink wanted lists.
    2. taken more care with my spreadsheet. Copying and inserting rows resulted in a few mistakes and I then borrowed bricks from others sets in order to start building.
    3. bought Cafe Corner and Green Grocer second hand. The rarity of many of the pieces has drive prices from under £300 to over £500 in the past 3 years.
    4. don't be afraid to buy from overseas. Hungary and the Czech Republic provided my best orders even after shipping.
    5. learnt about which sets contain the rare parts earlier on. I've managed to avoid substituting a lot of rarer parts as the builds have progressed. This is where patience counts. I finished Market Street last year and using non tabbed white hoses was one of the few substitutions. I've since picked up two of the tabbed hoses at well below the Bricklink average price. Incomplete sets on ebay can be good as long as they contain the parts that you need.
    6. Understood more about availability on the PAB wall, PAB website and Bricks and Pieces pages and bought less second hand bricks. For the Taj I'm trying to buy mostly new white pieces. Buying parts when there's a good promotion on will give you lots of VIP points and leave something like a Gingerbread House which could be sold to reduce the order cost by 20-50%.
    7. Set up a Bricklink store and used ebay to sell off spare bricks. In buying sets to get the rare bricks I've accumulated thousands of spare parts. Selling these should fund at least one of the modulars.
    I'm sure there's more that I've learnt but these are the ones that instantly spring to mind.
    bandit778Faedian7kiki180703
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 997
    Rebrickable has a really neat tool for figuring out what you can build from sets onhand, and what parts are short, with several filters to help narrow things down. It also provide links to Bricklink sellers that have the missing parts, suggestions for entire sets that can fill in missing parts, and a list of which sets you have to scavenge from to build your target set.  

    https://rebrickable.com/pick_set
  • monstblitzmonstblitz Alexandria, VAMember Posts: 559
    I have bricklinked my fair number of sets, get familiar with BrickStock and will save you a huge amount of time and make substitutions very easy.
    BrickStock + BL Wanted Lists are your winning ticket and for smaller project you can also checkout Brickficiency for cost optimization. For larger project, import the average sale price for parts in BrickStock, so it gives you a good idea where a store is price point.

    While I consider myself a BrickLink veteran (more thank 20K parts ordered, projects going from 25 parts up to 6K), it took me 1h to create all the orders needed for #3723 and #3724 together (3.3K parts) and less than 2h for the Taj Mahal using those steps:
    1. Import the set part list with prices in BrickStock, makes your substitutions based on parts prices or other choices (like I did a #10187 Beetle in Red/White instead of 2 shades of blue)
    2. Check PAB and B&P on S@H, some parts might be cheaper there, update your part list accordingly in BrickStock (manual task)
    3. Generate your wanted list, import into BrickLink
    4. Either go with a store with the most parts or the rarest parts. Create the order
    5. Import your order into BrickStock, subtract it from your existing part list
    6. Still have parts into your BrickStock part list ? Go back to 3 else you are done, wait for the invoices and then the parts to come in :)

    While still expensive, in average I was at about 50% (much less for Eiffel Tower, but more for Cafe Corner) of a used set but I had no box, no instructions and usually substitutions, however that didn't not remove anything from the build experience.
    This Brickficiency tool is pretty slick.  Is there an easy way to import the total part list for a set into it quickly?
  • ColoradoBricksColoradoBricks Denver, CO, USAMember Posts: 1,623
    @monstblitz Import the set inventory into BrickStock, save the BSX and use it in Brickficiency.
    monstblitz
  • monstblitzmonstblitz Alexandria, VAMember Posts: 559
    @monstblitz Import the set inventory into BrickStock, save the BSX and use it in Brickficiency.
    Looks like I can also import wanted list, I just wasn't sure how to add an entire set into a wanted list, but figured it out.  Thanks!  This is a really neat tool to play round with. 
  • monstblitzmonstblitz Alexandria, VAMember Posts: 559
    Are there any tricks to get Brickficiency to run faster? With only 3 store solutions the bricklink price on sets is higher than buying used.  Much higher.  I set it to 4 and it's still running almost 24 hours later. 
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