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Plate versus baseplate height - how to align them?

lentillentil WisconsinMember Posts: 47
I've just started setting up a little town layout, and was planning on making a bottom layer partly with printed road baseplates, and part with regular 32x32 plates. But then as I was setting it up I realized (d'oh!) that these are different heights, so I can't build over them seamlessly. Do people have a good way of aligning them? I searched the forum and found some ideas involving building up a base underneath with 1-2 layers of bricks... but I have nowhere near that many bricks for the entire table! Is it possible to find some foam or something of the correct height to lift the baseplates up to plate height? Wondering if others have a nifty solution for this. Sorry if it's a noob question!

Comments

  • natro220natro220 USAMember Posts: 501
    I build my newer sets built on the new plate system on top of a baseplate.  I have tons of extra green ones from various older castle and town sets.  The newer sets end up one plate higher than the rest of the town, but that's easier to fix than dealing with the difference between the baseplate and plate, if that makes sense.

    but... that requires you to have extra base plates lying around...
  • davee123davee123 USAMember Posts: 795
    If memory serves, you can align the baseplates by "resting" them on studs (since they won't stud down properly), and get the same height as a single plate:



    So, it does mean adding some extra stuff underneath-- but keep in mind that that "stuff" can be whatever you want.  So you could also do this:


    Or you could use bricks underneath, or what-have you.

    DaveE
    dougtsReesesPiecesbandit778stluxlentilLegopantsmadforLEGOsnowhitiericecake
  • drdavewatforddrdavewatford Hertfordshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,031
    ^ Yep - that's exactly what I've done in some sections of my LEGO City layout. Works fine.
    CurvedRoadPlate
  • dougtsdougts Oregon, USAMember Posts: 4,098
    ^ Yep - that's exactly what I've done in some sections of my LEGO City layout. Works fine.
    and there are some additional benefits.  if you build little sunken sections that these baseplate can drop into, they become super easy to remove, move around, and swap in and out of your displays
    madforLEGOcatwrangler
  • lentillentil WisconsinMember Posts: 47
    Thanks @davee123 and others - that makes sense. Of course, it's a solution that requires me to buy a *second* layer of plates to cover the entire table... ugh. Pretty expensive for a layer of pieces that will be completely and totally hidden. Maybe if I could find some for nearly free somewhere - some damaged ones with marking on them or something. Otherwise, I'm probably not going to shell out for that...
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 952
    I have not checked the height yet, but I have seen adhesive felt pads designed for sticking to the bottom of table legs that might work. 
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Waxman-180-Pack-Cream-Round-Multi-Surface-Protection-Felt-Pad-Kit/3658196

    Or maybe just some felt from a fabric store could be glued to the bottom of the baseplates to adjust the height
    catwrangler
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 514
    My first inclination would be to add a couple layers of a thin cardboard under the baseplate. I'm thinking the cardboard boxes that frozen pizza comes in. The size is conveniently large and thin enough that I'm guessing two layers would be about right. Soda boxes might work too, but there are more folds.
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 18
    edited May 26
    That foam looks good.  I do something similar with cardboard.

    Most of the baseplates in my city are the Brickyard ones sold on Amazon.  They are really nice and they are real plates that are sturdy and can attach on the bottom.  Colors range from "quite close" to "perfect" match with real LEGO, and they are cheaper.  Plus LEGO doesn't even make blue baseplates anymore (which baffles me).  Nor do they have 32x32 light gray, if I recall.  The baseplates are the one official LEGO product I'm really disappointed in, though I guess it's too late for them to change now.

    Anyway, because I use the LEGO road plates I have the same issue where I need them to line up for sidewalks and stuff.  I've found 4 thin pieces of cardboard to be about right.  The pieces that come with the brickyard baseplates are perfect.  I also use cardboard from standard frozen pizza boxes (Red Baron, Digiorno, etc.).  Cut them to size and you can't even see them.  You probably wouldn't want to use corrugated cardboard as it may get crushed and uneven (I often have to put a lot of weight on the roads as I lean over the table to reach things in back).
    lentilcatwrangler
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,194
    Roobot said:
    That foam looks good.  I do something similar with cardboard.

    Most of the baseplates in my city are the Brickyard ones sold on Amazon.  They are really nice and they are real plates that are sturdy and can attach on the bottom.  Colors range from "quite close" to "perfect" match with real LEGO, and they are cheaper.  Plus LEGO doesn't even make blue baseplates anymore (which baffles me).  Nor do they have 32x32 light gray, if I recall.  The baseplates are the one official LEGO product I'm really disappointed in, though I guess it's too late for them to change now.

    Anyway, because I use the LEGO road plates I have the same issue where I need them to line up for sidewalks and stuff.  I've found 4 thin pieces of cardboard to be about right.  The pieces that come with the brickyard baseplates are perfect.  I also use cardboard from standard frozen pizza boxes (Red Baron, Digiorno, etc.).  Cut them to size and you can't even see them.  You probably wouldn't want to use corrugated cardboard as it may get crushed and uneven (I often have to put a lot of weight on the roads as I lean over the table to reach things in back).
    LEGO still makes 32x32 Blue baseplates, they just do not sell them in the stores. They also have 32x32 in light bley, Med Bley, and dark bley. They are not cheap though, about 8 bucks a piece.. at least.
  • lentillentil WisconsinMember Posts: 47
    Ooh, thanks @Roobot the cardboard is an even cheaper idea! I'm also using a bunch of those Brickyard plates (you can probably tell from the picture that the color of the "sand" on the right is a bit off). I had wanted to get Lego ones, but the cost of covering the whole table nearly gave me apoplexy. Also, wanted to make an ocean area with a blue base, and like you said there is no way to buy new blue 32x32 separately. I checked bricklink and they are actually even more expensive there!! Kinda baffling why Lego doesn't make these more readily available. Normally I'm a bit of a Lego purist, but I figure the bottom layer is not that important. Glad to hear the quality of the Brickyard ones is decent - was worried they'd be dodgy.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 952
    https://www.amazon.com/Brick-Building-Rollable-Sided-Silicone/dp/B00U7U1SHW

    I had forgotten all about these silicone mats. I don't like them as much as real baseplates, but they are good for covering large areas inexpensively and could be used as the bottom plate in @davee123's suggestion above. Note that they have System studs on one side and Duplo studs on the other, so the entire surface would have to be covered to get everything on the same level.
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 18
    LEGO still makes 32x32 Blue baseplates, they just do not sell them in the stores. They also have 32x32 in light bley, Med Bley, and dark bley. They are not cheap though, about 8 bucks a piece.. at least.
    Blue ones are listed as retired on their site (https://shop.lego.com/en-AU/LEGO-Blue-Building-Plate-620).

    datsunrobbie said:
    https://www.amazon.com/Brick-Building-Rollable-Sided-Silicone/dp/B00U7U1SHW

    I had forgotten all about these silicone mats. I don't like them as much as real baseplates, but they are good for covering large areas inexpensively and could be used as the bottom plate in @davee123's suggestion above. Note that they have System studs on one side and Duplo studs on the other, so the entire surface would have to be covered to get everything on the same level.
    Interesting, but they look like an awkward size (like 37 studs wide) with a big lip.  Probably would take a lot of cutting.  Not sure it would be cheaper than plates either.  $25 for what is about 3 base plates of area, I think.
  • Rainstorm26Rainstorm26 Chicago Burbs USA (and sometimes Ireland)Member Posts: 935
    Blue baseplate are included in multipacks on Amazon
  • worldofpenguinsworldofpenguins USAMember Posts: 13
    You can get blue baseplates from LEGO using Bricks & Pieces. Search using element number 4219691 or design number 3811. At least in the US they are available.
    stluxGjedwardsmadforLEGOsid3windrlentil
  • GjedwardsGjedwards UKMember Posts: 23
    It's in bricks and pieces (in the UK website for £6.10) but not in the pick a brick section, what's the difference between these 2 services? (Sorry for de-railing this thread)
    lentil
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,206
    Another alternative is to use the height difference to your advantage - keep the roads on the baseplates, then use plates for the rest and use the height difference as the kerb.
    catwranglerlentil
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,194
    edited May 28
    Gjedwards said:
    It's in bricks and pieces (in the UK website for £6.10) but not in the pick a brick section, what's the difference between these 2 services? (Sorry for de-railing this thread)
    Go to 'Missing parts' link at bottom of page - Buy bricks, but they likely are a bit pricey (over normal retail) if they have them.
    Gjedwards
  • AdzbadboyAdzbadboy London, UKMember Posts: 2,540
  • 19741974 Member Posts: 123
    Roobot said:
    That foam looks good.  I do something similar with cardboard.

    Most of the baseplates in my city are the Brickyard ones sold on Amazon.  They are really nice and they are real plates that are sturdy and can attach on the bottom.  Colors range from "quite close" to "perfect" match with real LEGO, and they are cheaper.  Plus LEGO doesn't even make blue baseplates anymore (which baffles me).  Nor do they have 32x32 light gray, if I recall.  The baseplates are the one official LEGO product I'm really disappointed in, though I guess it's too late for them to change now.

    Anyway, because I use the LEGO road plates I have the same issue where I need them to line up for sidewalks and stuff.  I've found 4 thin pieces of cardboard to be about right.  The pieces that come with the brickyard baseplates are perfect.  I also use cardboard from standard frozen pizza boxes (Red Baron, Digiorno, etc.).  Cut them to size and you can't even see them.  You probably wouldn't want to use corrugated cardboard as it may get crushed and uneven (I often have to put a lot of weight on the roads as I lean over the table to reach things in back).
    LEGO still makes 32x32 Blue baseplates, they just do not sell them in the stores. They also have 32x32 in light bley, Med Bley, and dark bley. They are not cheap though, about 8 bucks a piece.. at least.
    Baseplates in three different bleys?
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,206
    ^ No, just medium stone grey (LBG) and dark stone grey (DBG).
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO USMember Posts: 8,194
    CCC said:
    ^ No, just medium stone grey (LBG) and dark stone grey (DBG).
    Yeah sorry, got a bit confused because they a couple that are out of stock (likely a part number changed from the looks of things)
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 15,206
    They've changed the part ID on both grey coloursand have both in the list still.  For a minute I thought you meant really, really, really, dark stone grey (aka black) and went looking ...

    sid3windr
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 887
    I've never seen a 32x32 plate though... :o

    I padded the difference using unused crossroads (thanks TLG, for shipping them for free with my much needed straights).
    lentil
  • lentillentil WisconsinMember Posts: 47
    I'm sure TLG is thanking *you* @sid3windr for paying the equivalent of $12 US a pop for each straight (if you got the crossroads for "free")... That really burns me how they bundle them like that! I actually just bought the curves & T-cross packs, and used the T-crosses as a "straight" of sorts. There are some gratuitous crosswalks in there, but it looks ok for my purposes.
    sid3windr
  • sid3windrsid3windr BelgiumMember Posts: 887
    edited May 30
    Yeah, it hurts. The old plates I had as a kid were bundled with 2 identical ones... much better system, but the crossroads will have sold a lot worse.
    lentil
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 8,018
    sid3windr said:
    Yeah, it hurts. The old plates I had as a kid were bundled with 2 identical ones... much better system, but the crossroads will have sold a lot worse.
    I imagine someone in the Lego Marketing/Sales Department made the same astute observation.  (As I continue to grumble about my pile of ever-growing crossroad baseplates.)
    lentil
  • RoobotRoobot USAMember Posts: 18
    edited May 31
    SumoLego said:
    sid3windr said:
    Yeah, it hurts. The old plates I had as a kid were bundled with 2 identical ones... much better system, but the crossroads will have sold a lot worse.
    I imagine someone in the Lego Marketing/Sales Department made the same astute observation.  (As I continue to grumble about my pile of ever-growing crossroad baseplates.)
    The thing that grinds my gears the most is the supposed explanation that they are combined in packs of two because they don't want too many different SKUs for store shelves.  Okay...then it would make far more sense to put the straights in a pack with the turns instead off the crossroads!  You could make a fun winding road or city block with just straights and curves, and then buy a pack or two of crossroad/T-junction plates if you need them.

    It really just seems like like they do it because they can in order to exploit us.  Doesn't seem very green, either, to just make tons (possibly literal tons) of crossroad plates no one will ever use.
    dougtscatwranglerlentil
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