CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

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CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:36 pm

Inspired by the fantastic polybag SSCs we've been seeing, eduty's BOM and PaB costs, and Soren's Conscript comments, I figured we could use another challenge.

The Cheapest Biped Challenge (not to be confused with Cambridge Brewing Company, which has its own, very different appeal) is to make a frame following a few basic rules:

  • The frame has to be a roughly humanoid biped. While open to some interpretation, that's the goal we're shooting for: Commisars rather than High-legs.
  • The frame has to be roughly within the scale of the original, canonical frames - so at least as tall as a Scrambler and within a 10x10x12 box. That'll put some entries closer to 4p range, but so be it.
  • All parts have to be available from the LEGO store Pick a Brick service and come in under $5 (making it cheaper than a mixel SSC)

If anyone knows of an easier way to list and/or browse the parts on the PaB service, please share the link (because the actual interface is nearly unusable). The only reason I even use it as a criteria for this is because it's available to everyone pretty universally and provides a more equitable baseline than some deal that one could get on Bricklink at any given moment.

Format for entries:
The frame's name.
Parts count (optionally with bill of materials / parts list).
Total cost using PaB's occasionally questionable prices.
The frame itself, in photos or renderings, and optionally an LDD or LDR file if you're so inclined.
Any fluff or design notes you may wish to share.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Sat Apr 23, 2016 5:20 pm

And here's a slightly repurposed 4p frame from [url]soriansj's 6PC thread[/url] that I was using to test the concept.

CBC-1 Alleycat
31 parts total, for the base frame. Parts list in the inventory.
$3.90 on PaB. Roughly $0.13 per part on PaB.

Image
Image
LDD file with base frame, exploded view, parts list, and optionally kitted out soldier config (which I forgot to price out)

The Alleycat is Ruxton Industrial's baseline entry into the burgeoning Rooftop Racing market. Intended to be cheap, safe, and highly modifiable, the Chimney Sweep's market rollout was actually more centered around the creation of the Ruxton Rooftop Racing Rally. "R4" is intended as the initial example of a grassroots, local racing club starter kit which emphasizes availability (making the cost of entry as low as possible), equal footing (all competitors use the same base model of racing frame... such as a Ruxton Industrial's Alleycat...), and administrative support for the local teams running the leagues. While a slightly transparent attempt to create a market for their own product, perhaps, the outreach and support aspect has been relatively well received and is slowly gaining a bit of traction in some circles.

Design notes: This is substantially smaller than I'd like to post - just under shoulder-high on the sizing Chub in the photo - but it was quick and handy and easy to tally. While using the online PaB service for the challenge, I thought it was nice to consider the recently-available PaB wall parts. Hence the green headlights (which are the most expensive piece used here) and slopes. The cheese wedges and tiles are in medium bley for similar availability reasons. The soldier configuration in the LDD file was intended as an example of parts someone might already own (hence the old-school shield and such, which don't match the rest of the parts list at all) rather than specific parts to buy. I should make an equipped version using more of the same core pieces.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby VitorFaria » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:01 am

That's a really interesting idea!

It doesn't impact me directly a lot since I don't have access to Pick-a-Brick, but the techniques discovered here can always be useful.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:14 am

VitorFaria wrote:That's a really interesting idea!

It doesn't impact me directly a lot since I don't have access to Pick-a-Brick, but the techniques discovered here can always be useful.


Sorry to hear it. I really thought the online PaB was widely available. That was a big part of using it as a baseline.


As far as the challenge goes, I got a much better entry, this time around.

CBC-3 Felon
34 parts total.
$4.35 or ~$0.13 per part on PaB.

(Photo coming soon)
Image
(LDD available)

The Felon is a knockoff Convict, made by Happy Best Frame Fit, LLC. Largely considered bottom-feeders, HBFF visually mimics popular frames and then attempts to undercut them with their own, frequently shoddy, designs. While many consider them counterfeiters (at best), their tireless pursuit of the lowest possible price per frame has actually come up with some rather clever engineering solutions. That certainly doesn't mean that I want to get in the cockpit of one, mind you, but as far as the economy of scale thing goes, they're doing pretty impressive work.

$4.35 for a Convict knock-off? Hells. Yeah. Also, the online PaB interface is so painfully cumbersome I'm about to throw the towel in on the CBC. It's just too much hassle to bother with pricing things out. Though I swear it was well-intentioned, the idea may not have been a good one.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby EvilGod » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:56 am

I really love the Felon!I never got the Convicts upper body to be stable.
I might change/simplify the leg design because i dont have enough motor bricks.

I also have a CBC Frame coming and will be posting it tonight. As for the rules: you did not include systems in your price. I was planning to post the cost of a soldier load out, but could shave off 0.50 cents if i didnt.

And yes, the pick a brick interface is sub optimal.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby VitorFaria » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:08 am

Luke_BMM wrote:Sorry to hear it. I really thought the online PaB was widely available. That was a big part of using it as a baseline.


As far as I know they only ship natively to Europe, North America, Australia and South Korea. I believe I could theoretically order from someone abroad as an import, but shipping and custom fees would jack the price up to the point of not being worth it anymore.

But as I said, pick a brick parts tend to be highly available in sets anyway, so you can still muster useful tricks out of it.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby EvilGod » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:15 pm

Minos
35 parts
3,75 Euro
Image

The picture and part count includes a jet pack (6 parts and 0,35eur), which was part of the original soldier load out. It's still included because i forgot to to remove it and i am too lazy to remove it now.

here is a picture with different load outs and more articulated arms holding the weapons:
Image
Last edited by EvilGod on Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Tue Apr 26, 2016 8:12 pm

That Mino is looking good. I think the shoulders/arms are particularly clever.

EvilGod wrote:I really love the Felon!


Thanks, although it's worth pointing out that xGundam05 deserves the credit. Although partially intended as fluff, it really is just a cheap knock-off ... but I happen to be a big fan of cheap knock-offs of the Convict.


EvilGod wrote:... As for the rules: you did not include systems in your price. I was planning to post the cost of a soldier load out, but could shave off 0.50 cents if i didnt.


Yeah, systems would be ideal and I have been slacking in that regard. In the first case it was because of what I had handy... and for the Felon, I was just saving systems for the bricked up version and a few slight variations:

Behold the glorious rebel commandos of the People's Front of Liberation!
Image
Image
d6W d6W
d6Rh d6Rh (implements of the common people)
d6B (strength of conviction, as represented by their banners)
d6Y (torso-mounted antenna)
d6G (backpack jump jets)
d8G (ranged weapons are the tools of the bourgeoisie)


The red one in this photo comes in at $5.05 and the brown one comes in at $4.95. I was shooting to make one $5 even and the other just under that but I had forgotten that the 1x2 inverted slopes are inexplicably more expensive than the 1x3s. Got it half right. In both cases, the jump jets are rubbish, but just enough to do the trick as a 4th system and are easy to swap out.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby VitorFaria » Wed Apr 27, 2016 7:54 am

Luke_BMM wrote:d6W d6W
d6Rh d6Rh (implements of the common people)
d6B (strength of conviction, as represented by their banners)
d6Y (torso-mounted antenna)
d6G (backpack jump jets)
d8G (ranged weapons are the tools of the bourgeoisie)


Loved the banner part :lol:
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:28 pm

Since all the cool kids are doing it, I guess I have to make a Lockon knock-off.

CBC-4 Lock-off
42 parts total, for the base frame plus systems.
$4.87 on PaB. Roughly $0.12 per part on PaB (now with new prices).

Image

d6G Maneuver verniers on the shoulders
d6Y Aerial on the back
d6B Riot shield in the left hand
d6Rh d6Rh Axe in the right.

Some of the color combinations are unfortunate and I'm really displeased that the 1x2 with cup on the end isn't available. The latter screwed up the legs a bit.

LDD file available
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby VitorFaria » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:29 pm

Really nice!

I love the utilitarian look it assumed under this challenge scope!
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Nfinity » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:35 pm

I hope it's not too small, but it tries its best in the simple category.
Presenting...
Krunch!

ImageKrunch

ImageKrunch dissected

Hope you like him! The hip joints have a really good range for their small size:

ImageIs he dancing or is he fighting?
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby tk4541 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:49 pm

Lego's PaB service is unavailable in my country so i went with the most basic elements i can find.

I present the ...
Box Borot
Image
15 part for the Frame plus 4 parts for the current systems
Image
(no cost due to lack of service)

Image
The Box Borot came about as a way to supplement the Mobile Frame worker detachment of the Grunebell Guard Corps. Its simple design and small size make it ideal for close quarters conditions in Grunebell mines. Built and designed by the Grunebell Guard, the Box Borot works alongside the massively more expensive VANIR v2 as Compact Mobile Frames or as Drones.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby VitorFaria » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:11 am

Those are great guys, keep it up!
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Luke_BMM » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:21 pm

The legs on the Krunch! are pretty great. So simple, yet such a wide range of motion and gives a lot of character right off the bat. Also, I'm a sucker for adorable boxy 4p frames, so Box Borot is right up my alley, too. Nicely done, both of you.

And again, the Pick-A-Brick pricing was just chosen because I thought it was available internationally. Even with the recent redesign, it's clunky to use, at best, and not even a good pricing model if it is available in your country... so try not to fret too much over that, everyone.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby darksyntax » Mon Nov 07, 2016 1:31 am

It may be double dipping, but I just priced out a PaM-30 Laborer in Soldier spec with an SSR: 35pcs at $3.59 US (in mostly light bley/black).
Image
- I added a tile clip for one hand and left the other as a gun with a 1x1 round brick. Includes shoulder armor. Simple sensor, jump jet, and SSR like in the PaM post.
- There are only 3 color options for the 2x2 curves right now: black, white, and SAND GREEN. :shock:
- Even if you were to get enough parts to round out the systems and allow for some options, you should still be able to get 5 frames in under $20. Not as good a deal as the PaB cup was, but certainly reasonable and a lot more accessible.
- LDD file
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Mantisking » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:44 pm

Image
Sentinel, on Flickr.

Here's my entry. 24 pieces at $4.47 per Frame. Comes out to $0.19 per piece. I'll have to tweak the color choices to make it more in line with what's available in the PaB system though. Depending on interest I may make kits of these for PAX East.
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Re: CBC - the Cheapest Biped Challenge

Postby Mantisking » Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:05 am

Image
Xeno-Princess by Raymond Bull, on Flickr.

My second entry. It's essentially just a simplified Lockon with bigger legs and longer arms. It has 38 pieces for $4.19, which is $0.11 per piece. It was named by Zeekhotep and Shades Corvid.
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