So you've picked up LEGO set after LEGO set and you've been having a blast, but now you want to try something a little more ambitious? Maybe you've heard of a LEGO MOC, but you're not really sure what it is, or where to get started?
Whatever the case, you're in the right place to hear about all things MOC today, as we'll take you through what it is and all the tips and tricks you need to get started. Ready to find out more? Then read on to find out how to build a LEGO MOC.
What Is MOC?
MOC stands for My Own Creation, and they are basically designs that are created by LEGO fans and the LEGO community, but not by the official brand themselves. LEGO sets are great fun to build yourself by following the instructions, but the MOC community also see LEGO bricks as the perfect tools to help them build something of their own, ranging from replicas of entire streets, to specific models of cars, planes, and helicopters - whatever you can imagine. With LEGO bricks, anything is possible, so it's easy to understand the appeal of LEGO MOCs.
How To Start LEGO MOC?
Now you know what one is, you might be thinking of starting your own MOC. But before you jump right in, there are a few tips and tricks about how to start LEGO MOCs and building a LEGO MOC for beginners, so let's take a closer look at these first!
The Basics: Bricks
The first thing you need to understand is the classification of LEGO bricks so you can start thinking about how they might be put together. Let's start with the size.
The size of the bricks depends on the number of studs that are taken up. A 1x2 brick is 1 brick stud wide and 2 studs long. A 2x4 brick is 2 studs wide and 4 bricks long, and so on. It's easy enough to understand. What's more difficult is the type of brick you're using. So here are the names of them so you can look into them further to better understand each one, and their purpose in a build:
- Round bricks
- Modified bricks
- Technic bricks
- Modified plates
- Technic linkers
- Technic beams
- Curved slopes
Picture from brickhello site
By understanding these, you can start to understand how they fit together to create different things in LEGO sets.
Nail Down Your Sets First
Speaking of LEGO sets, the first step in creating LEGO MOCs is getting to grips with your LEGO sets. As your building by the instructions that LEGO has provided, stop and analyze why you're using that particular brick at that particular time. How is it effecting the design and creating functionality in the finished product? By asking these questions, you learn building techniques that you'll need as you get started on your own LEGO MOCs.
Forget The Instructions For A Moment
Now you've mastered LEGO sets, you're ready to learn how to MOC LEGO, but the first stage is really just experimenting. Take the LEGO set you've just built and improve on it. If you're thinking of starting an MOC, then you've probably built lots of LEGO sets, so take out these bricks and use them to improve on the set you have in front of you. Add decorations, make it bigger, add to it to create more of the scene.
Whatever you can think of, just give it a go. Sitting down and thinking of the steps you need to go through to create something of your own is the first skill you need to practice before doing a completely original design. Practice makes perfect, so keep on going and improving until you're confident that you know how LEGO bricks work together to create a worthwhile set.
Take What You've Learned And Design Your Own Set
OK, now we're getting somewhere. Here is the part where you take the LEGO bricks you have from the previous sets and build something similar but unique. Say you have many Harry Potter themed sets, but you want to reimagine what a different wizard's school might look like. Take those parts from the Harry Potter sets, and design something entirely unique.
Remember, every creative pursuit starts off terribly, so your first few builds like this won't be great. All you have to do is keep going though, by tearing it down and starting again, improving the steps you take and thinking more deeply about the purpose of every brick you place. Eventually, you'll create a MOC that you're proud of.
The Final Stage: Your Own Design
This final stage is all about you stepping out on your own for the first time. Now you're ignoring LEGO sets, you're not thinking about improving them, and you're not even considering how to build things in LEGO's style. Instead, you're taking an original idea of your own, and you're going to design a set and build it yourself. Look online for inspiration, but just remember that anything is possible with LEGO if you just think carefully about the design and experiment a little!
Check Out BrickLink (Studio)
Here are a few extra tips for you, starting first with Studio at BrickLink. The studio allows you to design your own set and really forces you to think about brick types, sizes, and colors, so you create something that's both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Once you've finished tinkering with the design over there, you can create a wishlist on BrickLink that'll show you where to buy the parts you're missing.
Check your own inventory first, because maybe you have a lot of the parts already from the sets you've been building over the years. Once you've finished playing and displaying certain sets, take them apart and store bricks together by size and type, but not by color (or else it's difficult to see if you have the parts you need for your own MOC). Once you've acquired all the bricks from your own inventory or BrickLink, you can start building your MOC to see if it works!
Build Other MOC Sets From Places Like Rebrickable
Our final tip is to head over to a website like Rebrickable if you're unsure of how to make LEGO MOCs for yourself, because you can find plenty of MOCs on these websites that others have designed. Just follow the instructions they provide to complete the set so you can understand how others have done it before you. This will give you confidence to have a go yourself.
Ready For The Next Big Step?
For us, there's nothing more satisfying than creating a LEGO MOC yourself, because it shows off your creativity in a way LEGO sets alone simply can't. However, there is one last step you need to take to make the most of your MOC, and that's lighting!
Check out our DIY LEGO lighting section to make your MOCs truly display worthy! It's the best way to make them stand out and show off your creativity to any guests you have in your home. Trust us, a MOC is impressive, but a MOC that lights up - it's mind blowing!