Design By Building Blocks

Discussion in 'Gallery & Designs' started by JT Fox, May 27, 2008.

  1. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    After finishing my last project, a Dassault SuE which can be found in Jay's meta tutorial, I decided to stick to planes and start another one.

    However, I came upon the same issues I had with the SuE. Plan views and side views etc not the same size, the profiles are from a different variant to the side view etc.

    Though all my frustration I said to myself, "If only I could design using square blocks".

    It was then that the sun started to peak though the clouds. Lego do some fantastic looking models, and they're all made from blocks. Not only Lego, Mega Blocks too.

    A quick hunt though the little 'erns toy box and I found some instructions to a Mega Blocks "Start Jet".

    I though I'd have a good a building it in Meta, some research on the net to understand the size ratio of the various basic blocks and off I went.

    This is the result.

    Star Jet-1.jpg

    Star Jet-2.jpg

    Without canopy.

    Star Jet-3.jpg


    If I produce a paper version I breaking some law as it is a Mega Blocks design?

    What if I produced a model based on a real life product from instructions, could I turn that into paper?

    Cheers JTF
  2. Soaring

    Soaring Middle School Student

    Great job! Sadly, I'm not sure about the whole controversy between able to make something from mega blocks to a papermodel. I did sort of the same thing, however I used lego, and didn't use their products, instead, using one of my own creations.
  3. Nothing

    Nothing Longtime Member

    if it were free there shouldnt be a problem. by that logic almost every model out there would be in copyright infringement.
  4. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    I guess I could take screen shots, plan view, side elevation etc, and then convert them into line drawings.

    The line drawings could then be used to model in Meta and then into paper.

    That way I'd end up with my interpretation of the original model rather than a copy, if that makes sense.

    [FONT=&quot]Although it does seem a long way round.

    Cheers JTF
  5. SCEtoAux

    SCEtoAux Member

    Make it "in the style of":wink: instead of as a copy. :yep:
  6. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    There are several blocks I could combine. It would not then be a direct copy, but, as you say, "in the style of".

    Cheers JTF
  7. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Looks interesting... But doesn't the blocks have to be glued down, which beats the purpose of "building blocks"? Or am I missing the point... ?
  8. Mace

    Mace Member

    I personally think its a brilliant Idea.... If my memory serves me correctly there was someone else, who made modular paper building blocks of spacecraft.

    *dives into the dark and cold corners of his harddrive to find the website....

    Here's the site MODULAR SPACE STATION
    It's really good fun with the kids because it's easy to build and they can colour them themselves and then combine :)

    ofcourse this has totally nothing to do with the copyright question :)
  9. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Ah I remember that site! --But this one looks way more interesting...! :D
  10. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    Hi Lex

    If you look at the underside of the model there are five black blocks.

    They model will unfold them separately, they can then be built and glued together.

    I don't want to build a paper Lego/Mega Blocks model so my thinking is to re-model the Star Jet so the base is a single object, unfolded as such and then cut out and made as a single part to which others are glued.

    That way I'll end up with a stand alone Paper Model.

    I'm also working on a more complicated design, I'll post pictures when ready.

    Thanks for the link Mace.

    Cheers JTF
  11. keith

    keith Member


    I'd say simplify the model with 'making it from paper' in mind.
    Where you have lots of blocks to make a wall, make one block and use a texture to suggest it's made from smaller blocks?
    Replace OR Simplify any hard to make parts?

    Since you have this model already, use it.
    I can't see any problems unless you make money from it, after all, it is free advertising.

    Edit: beat me to it : - and don't click the link!
  12. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    I believe that's incorrect.

    If you are distributing someone else's copyrighted intellectual property without their permission, I don't believe it makes a difference whether or not you are personally profitting from it. Copyrights include the rights over modification and distribution.

    In this example, distributing a paper model of a Mega Blocks product without their permission could conceivably cost Mega Blocks in lost sales, as well as deprive them of control over the use of their design. Whether or not it's a free model, the sales and are still lost to Mega Blocks.
  13. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Cool!! Keep going!
  14. Mace

    Mace Member

    I totally agree with Lex that this would be waaaaaay more fun to build.

    What if you didn't make the megablock model but did create the building blocks like the squares ect. from paper and them made them into the megablocks model...... If my i remember correctly with Lego it's the stacking methode and the production of the little plastic blocks that's copyrighted....
    But I'm a bit fuzzy about the models themselfs.
  15. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    An interesting point. One could also say that if I designed an Me 109 and uploaded so it was available for free. Every download could mean a lost sale for commercial designers and retailers.

    I will however try to build my little model and damn the law. They'll never take me alive.sign1
  16. Mace

    Mace Member

    That's the spirit JTF :D

    Looking forward for the developments in this nice little model :)
  17. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    I'm not a lawyer, but from what I understand ...

    First of all, you can do anything you want for personal use. If you're talking about distributing a paper model of the blocks, then I believe it would depend on whether or not Mega Blocks patented or copyrighted the block design itself (I don't know anything about Mega Blocks). If not, I don't see why you couldn't. The design of the jet is a separate issue, also depends on whether or not Mega Blocks copyrighted/patented it.

    Sure, no problem with that - assuming it was your original design, and didn't violate anyone else's patent or copyright, including Messerschmidt's. ;)

    That may sound silly, but in another thread in this forum, poster Mark Crowel related how Chrylser took a die-cast model maker to court for producing an unlicensed model.
  18. Lex

    Lex Dollmaker

    Now now now... I think this has got to a stage where further discussions on intellectual properties can be kept via PM :D It that alright guys? ^_^
  19. JT Fox

    JT Fox Member

    I did ask the question at the start, and thanks for all the views about copyright etc, it is an interesting subject.

    I shall however keep my future post inline with the spirit in which the thread was started. That is, can you use a Lego/Mega Blocks building type system to design and create interesting and fun paper models.

    Cheers JTF
  20. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

    Lex, possibly you missed the opening post? ;)

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