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Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pieces?

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Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pieces?

Postby dljbae » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:31 am

Hey hey,

I'm a newbie to the Star Wars sets. Caught on a bit too late, so someone care to explain this for me?

As time passes, a star wars UCS set gets retired and the price usually goes up. My question is, do u guys buy individual pieces to recreate the set instead of paying that crazy price on ebay/amazon?

For example, I just did a quick google on the UCS naboo starfighter (187 pieces). The set is going for $200+ USD. I understand some pieces are chrome, but technically can't ppl just order individual pieces from LEGO for a lot cheaper and recreate the thing? Is that why there are UCS sets on ebay without the box and stickers?

I mean I can understand why someone might not want to individually search for the 5000 pieces on the falcon, but all the other 1000-1500 piece sets, cant they be individually pieced for a lot cheaper?
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby Draykov » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:16 pm

dljbae wrote:I mean I can understand why someone might not want to individually search for the 5000 pieces on the falcon, but all the other 1000-1500 piece sets, cant they be individually pieced for a lot cheaper?


This question has been posed around these parts fairly regularly in various contexts. Basically, it's going to amount to:

• the price of parts (certain individual rarities can be quite expensive on their own)
• the number of orders you'll have to make in order to gather all of the parts you need and the associated shipping/processing costs
• whether or not you intend to acquire the original box/instructions/parts/minifigs (count on at least $5 per minifig for licensed properties)

It's certainly possible that you could part out a set for less than you'd spend on a new one MISB after it's been retired, but that all depends on certain variables.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby jmm7375 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:20 pm

You could certainly try to do this. The instructions now list the parts with images and number of each, the problem you face is that the older sets didn't do this as well as they currently do. Not sure it would be worth the time and effort.

I bought my UCS Millenium Falcon (used) for $950 with box and instructions. Loved the build, glad I got it used. If it were sealed I'd be afraid to open it. Good luck!
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby sparkart » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:13 pm

The Pick-a-Brick selection from LEGO is not extensive. Generally, I don't think it's possible to recreate any but the most basic of LEGO sets from Pick-a-Brick alone.

Bricklink is the definitive place to get parts at market prices, but, in my experience, it takes orders from many stores to get everything you need, even for simple models. Factor in the cost of your time and your effort to use Bricklink's somewhat ponderous search, shipping costs, and I don't think you're getting a UCS anything for a lot cheaper by recreating it yourself with Bricklink and PAB.

Don't mean to discourage anyone from trying to recreate a UCS set, just want to temper expectations. Good luck!
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby Trooper10 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:14 pm

Agree with the previous posts and I'd add that there are usually a few rare or unique parts in sets that are priced at a few dollars which start to skyrocket the total price. These parts on Bricklink are similarly sensitive to supply and demand and price rises. My main Lego-regret is not getting the UCS Falcon but at nearly $1000 in Australia it was kinda ridiculous to start with...
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby hatcher » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:46 am

I was able to make a pretty decent looking UCS Falcon but I had to rip apart a lot of my existing models, buy close to $150 in parts from Bricklink, do some creative colour substitutions and part replacements ( for example, the satellite dish was going for like $10, so I bought a non printed version of the same sized part for $2 instead). Collecting all the parts and figuring out what parts I needed to buy took me close to six months, plus the actual build. I don't regret it at all, it was totally worth the time and effort. My only regret was not getting up at midnight the year they put these on sale at shop@home. I could have gotten a real one for $170. Oh well.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby dljbae » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:21 pm

Ah kk thx for the info guys!

I thought the older lego sets had all their parts listed and it was easy to obtain individual pieces. I guess it isnt worth the headache to individually piece a set together unless it has become really crazy expensive like the falcon.

Gosh i wish I had knew about these UCS sets earlier lol I wouldn't have to be chasing these out of production sets now

thx again
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby emtfl » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:26 pm

peeron.com has been around for ages now and gives you a set breakdown showing what parts are required to build a set. I've used it several times and purchased the pieces separately on bricklink :)
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby Joedward » Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:45 am

dljbae wrote:I thought the older lego sets had all their parts listed and it was easy to obtain individual pieces. I guess it isnt worth the headache to individually piece a set together unless it has become really crazy expensive like the falcon.


As far as I know BrickLink has a function where once you've searched for a set you can see a list of all the pieces it contains and then just click a button and it will add all of them to a wishlist. One more button and it will show you which sellers are selling which pieces/how many of them.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby boomers » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:32 pm

I built the Millenium Falcon by ordering parts from Bricklink except I did it entirely in black with the exception of a few parts that don't exist in black. I knew from the start it would cost me more because I wanted everything in black so I did pay top dollar for a few parts. In total it probably cost me about 2k, maybe more, I stopped counting. :facepalm:
I recently posted pictures on another site, I would post 1 here but i'm on my iPad right now so that's a no go.

I wouldn't recommend any sane person do what I did, it was a long painful process...not to mention expensive. If there's ever a LEGO show in Montreal i'd love to show it off there.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby boomers » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:50 pm

The advantage of building piece by piece is that you can do whatever you want but be prepared for a lot of work if it's a bigger set. I took the challenge of doing the Millenium Falcon a couple of years ago, it took about a year to complete and cost over 2k. I'll post a pic in the MOC forum in a minute...
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby dljbae » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:53 am

Would u guys piece together the 10174 at-st and the 10175 vader's tie advanced? Maybe I missed something, but they dont seem to have any real special pieces. 10174 goes for around $200 new = 19cents/piece, and the 10175 around $300 = 25cents/piece.

Thx lego gurus! haha if only I was in the game wayyy back, i would havent missed these sets. Especially knowing they were being sold for only $50-100 at the time.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby boomers » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:04 pm

The parts might not be special but a particular color of a part may be and this is what will cost you. What I do now is I upload the inventory to my wanted list in Bricklink and then check by store. If I can get most parts from 1 store I add them to my basket and see what the total comes to. It's not an exact science but it gives you a good idea of what it's going to cost. For a $200 set I probably wouldn't bother though, I would just buy it new and save the hassle.
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby Gingerbeard Man » Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:15 am

Colours can be substituted to a certain extent, depending on how much deviation from the official set you are willing to tolerate. The same goes for printed pieces, e.g. the dish with TIE Advanced hatch pattern or the slope with the trench computer pattern. Those two aren't particularly expensive, but if you happen to have a plain 6x6 dish lying around you might think twice about ordering the patterned piece.

The "big" special piece for 10175 Vader's TIE Advanced is the cockpit windscreen. That alone can set you back around $50 and there is no substitute (other than the TIE Inteceptor windscreen, which costs about the same).
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Building 10179 Falcon from sourced parts

Postby jmfbtb » Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:35 pm

Hi,

I am new to FBTB and recently back into Legos after a 25+ year hiatus! My wife and I put together some Lego sets with our nieces and nephew and had an absolute blast! Forgot how much fun it was. We ended up getting several more sets and I decided to collect all of the parts needed for a 10179 Falcon.

I got most of the parts on Brick Link and a few on eBay over a period of 1 month. It was challenging to find parts for a reasonable price and shipping. I ended up getting the radar dish from a seller in Poland. I made color changes based on recommendations I saw in another forum for the interior. Some of the Technic bricks were switched to black including the Yellow 90 pieces. All of the parts outside including the dish will be original color except for the boat rigging over the engines. It may take me a while to put it together, but I have been told not to leave the dinning room table this way for too long ;)

~5200 Parts Sorted:
Image

Frame Progress:
Image

Jeff
Last edited by Draykov on Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: corrected image links to Flickr
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby dljbae » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:51 am

Wow, keep us posted Jeff!

Mind sharing how much it cost to piece together the individual 5200 pieces? Are the savings substantial compared to the going rate of a new in box set on ebay? I missed out on the Falcon also =( I just started collecting sets within the last half year. Been away for a long, long time...
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby SDIronClaw » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:01 am

Wow, that is impressive. It's a great model you won't be disappointed.
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Re: Building 10179 Falcon from sourced parts

Postby boomers » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:23 pm

jmfbtb wrote:Hi,

I am new to FBTB and recently back into Legos after a 25+ year hiatus! My wife and I put together some Lego sets with our nieces and nephew and had an absolute blast! Forgot how much fun it was. We ended up getting several more sets and I decided to collect all of the parts needed for a 10179 Falcon.

I got most of the parts on Brick Link and a few on eBay over a period of 1 month. It was challenging to find parts for a reasonable price and shipping. I ended up getting the radar dish from a seller in Poland. I made color changes based on recommendations I saw in another forum for the interior. Some of the Technic bricks were switched to black including the Yellow 90 pieces. All of the parts outside including the dish will be original color except for the boat rigging over the engines. It may take me a while to put it together, but I have been told not to leave the dinning room table this way for too long ;)
Jeff


Too bad I didn't know you were looking for the dish, I have a spare since I didn't use it.
The boat riggings are the one part that are crazy expensive in grey, probably because they are only from this set. On Bricklink they run around $60 and the black ones are about 50 cents.

Good luck, looks like you've planned it well.

here's a pic of mine if you didn't see it in the other section

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=8517
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby jmfbtb » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Made some progress on the 10179! The Landing gear is quite a bit taller then Han:

Image

Under the port forward frame superstructure:

Image

Top View with the engine and forward port frame in place:

Image

Higher resolution photos are at Flicker:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27495078@N08/sets/72157632136506578/

I reached a stopping point since several of the hinge bricks had a vertical instead of a horizontal tab for attaching the forward frame section. The seller shipped the wrong pieces since they look very similar.

I am not sure on the total cost since I had ordered parts for another model at the same time and had some from another kit. I would guess in the $5-600 range. The most expensive part was the radar dish. I found it on eBay for $30. Sellers on BrickLink have listed them at $90 now. I just didn't want to go with the plain dish even though it was a dollar. Used sets are going for ~1500 and new for 2000+! The longer you wait the more expensive it will get.

Other part substitutions:

The full grey levers are also expensive and hard to find in bulk. I bought levers with a black base and grey arm and ones with a grey base and black arm. I just swapped the bases to get the full grey lever for a fraction of the cost.

Check out this post on Rebel Scum Forum:
http://forum.rebelscum.com/t1055998-17/

There is a link to an Excel spreadsheet that has recommended substitutions posted by user btoTHeg "Rob". I used it to keep track of my orders and additional substitutions. He listed the number of black technic pieces you need that are not visible from the outside.

Also check out Lego's "Pick A Brick" purchasing site for parts that are over 20 cents on Brick Link to see if they are more economical. You may have better luck calling Lego Direct. http://shop.lego.com/en-US/Pick-A-Brick-ByTheme

If you have never used BrickLink before, I would start with a smaller project. I am sure I could have reduced costs now that I know how to use it better. If you are making a bulk order, consider selecting "By Shop" and then "Show All Items this store has on my Wanted List (All Items)". That way you can get a partial order of difficult to find parts across multiple orders to save shipping costs. Of course you have to manually update the spreadsheet and your BrickLink wish list. You can spend a lot of time trying to find the best combination of price vs. shipping costs.

Hope this helps! It is a blast putting it together!

Boomers: Wow - All black looks wild!

Jeff
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Re: Recreating expensive UCSset by purchasing individual pie

Postby boomers » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:45 pm

There's one dark red plate 6X14, do you know if it's visible once built, I beleive it go's in the back on the bottom. I'm trying to figure out which expensive parts can be swapped out but keep it looking identical to the original when completed.
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