Category Archives: Lego

Building the Lego Typewriter 21327

Back in July of 2021, I had the pleasure of building the beautiful Lego Ideas Typewriter 21327. It’s a stunning model typewriter, approximately half scale, that has occupied a feature space on my office desk ever since I completed it.

The action of the typewriter is truly satisfying, and even though all of the keys cause the same hammer to actuate, the way that the carriage moves from right to left as you type really sells the effect.

The first part of the build was repetitive, as there are two very similar mechanisms that make up each of the actuating keys. It took awhile to make these, and it was difficult at this stage to understand how these pieces fit into the finished project, but I got through the grind with the help of a podcast.

Soon enough, I could mount all of the key lever arms into a grid pattern and arrange them in the frame that makes up the back plane of the keyboard for the typewriter.

Next up was the hammer mechanism, a wide bar that is pushed forward any time one of the keys is pressed down. As mentioned above, every key on typewriter that can be actuated causes a single shared hammer to spring forward. Although it would have been nice to have distinct hammers for each key, I don’t think that it would have been possible at this scale.

In front of the hammer mechanism is a flat smooth track that the carriage slides on. In this model, the carriage is made up of a movable wheeled component that can move from left to right on that smooth track, actuating a ratchet system that prevents it from sliding back to the left. Whenever a key is depressed, the ratchet lifts and the carriage moves one notch back to the left.

With the guts of the model complete, it was time to turn start building the body that contains the inner workings.

The seafoam green colour of the body components is striking, although I’ll admit that I had difficulty differentiating it from Technic grey at times, causing me to mix up some internal and external parts. I didn’t notice the mistake until much later in the build, and had to backtrack to fix it. Being colour blind can be a chore at times.

This model is gorgeous. It looks great on my desk, and I’ve had co-workers on Zoom calls ask if it is a real typewriter. I had fun building it, and love to watch the mechanism at work. I’d call this set a must-have for any fan of Technic and of typewriters.

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Building the Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5

For a few years now, I’ve been in the habit of buying myself a Lego set to build over the Christmas holidays. Most years, I pick up a Technic set, but this year, I decided to purchase the Lego James Bond Aston Martin DB5 set, item #10262.

I recently finished building the model, and was very impressed with it. This is the first traditional Lego set that I’ve built in quite some time, so I have surprisingly little experience with models like this, given that I have a large Lego collection.

I was particularly interested in the building techniques that the designers used to model all of the curves and angles on this vehicle. Throughout the build, I was thinking about how designing a set like this must be a constant negotiation between the scale of different parts. Not only does the scale of the finished vehicle have to make sense relative to the diameter of the tires, but the curves on the hood need to be appropriate relative to the overall size of the model, and there are a limited number of Lego pieces to choose from when making those decisions.

As an infrequent builder of traditional Lego sets, I was also really impressed with the construction of the set. Even elements like the vehicle’s doors that you would think are straightforward to build are actually constructed from dozens of small pieces arranged in a really clever manner to achieve the shape that’s required.

The angles that make up the dashboard, windscreen, and trunk of the vehicle are all established by connecting clips and handles together at an angle that isn’t typical to Lego. This means that many of the bricks that make up these parts are at strange angles to the body of the car, instead of everything being built parallel to the ground.

Building techniques aside, I really enjoyed building this set as a James Bond fan. A couple of years ago, my wife and I watched every Bond film in chronological order, and the Aston Martin DB5 is a vehicle that features heavily in canon. True to the films, this model has a number of sneaky spy car features, including a working ejector seat.

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