Top 10 bricks missing from the Lego Architecture Studio
While the Lego Architecture Studio includes a great selection of bricks for creative architectural sketching, I found the selection of bricks is lacking in two main areas: bricks needed for advanced building techniques, and specialty bricks for accents and detail work. Over the course of my Lego Architecture Studio 30-day challenge, I’ve identified the top 10 bricks that were not included in the set but should have been.
Later in this article, I’ll teach you how to buy these bricks to augment your Architecture Studio.
The top 10 missing bricks…
#10 – 1×1 Technic Brick
The Technic 1×1 and 1×2 bricks are very versatile for two reasons. 1) They allow you to attach a normal stud at a 90 degree angle allowing SNOT construction. 2) They have a hollow stud on top which allows you to attach bricks on top with a 1/2 brick offset.
|#6541 – Technic, Brick 1 x 1 with Hole|
|#3700 – Technic, Brick 1 x 2 with Hole|
I used a couple of 1×1 bricks to attach the sign to the top of my #17 Art Deco Theatre model.
#9 – Cones
The set includes a nice selection of 1×1 and 2×2 round bricks. I don’t know why they didn’t include some cones to add some nice accents to your models.
|#4589b – Cone 1 x 1 with Top Groove|
|#3942c – Cone 2 x 2 x 2 – Completely Open Stud|
I used the 1×1’s for light fixtures on #22 Craftsman home and #20 Castle, and I used the 2×2’s for the lamp in #8 Furniture.
#8 – Flags
Flags make excellent accents to buildings, and they can also be used to represent tapestries or hanging art in your models.
|#2335 – Flag 2×2 Square|
I used them for wall coverings inside rooms in #28 Living Room and I should have used them to decorate #20 Castle.
#7 – Bars / Antennas
Sometimes you need a slender component when building a detailed or microscale model. I prefer the versatility of the bars which can be inserted into a jumper to use it vertically, or held horizontally with clips.
|#3957 – antenna 1×4|
|#87994 – Bar 3 L|
|#30374 – Bar 4L|
I used these in several models including projects #30 Library, #26 Ski Lodge, #22 craftsman, #11 skyscraper and #8 furniture.
#6 – 2×2 Jumper
Any brick which can allow me an 1/2 brick offset is an immediate winner. The 2×2 jumper allows offset in both directions, replacing the use of three normal 1×2 jumpers. (I also tripled the number of 1×2 jumpers in my collection, as they are extremely useful!)
|#87580 – Plate, Modified 2 x 2 with 1 Stud in Center (Jumper)|
|#3794 – Plate, Modified 1 x 2 with 1 Stud (Jumper)|
I used these in most of my projects, notably for light posts in #22 craftsman and to attach the castle to the baseplate in #20 Castle.
#5 – 87087 – 1 x 1 with Stud on 1 Side
The Architecture Studio includes a good number of this brick’s cousins with studs on more sides (4733 or 47905), but I find the simplest version with an outward facing stud on just one side to be the most versatile, because the second stud on the version with studs on 2 sides can get in the way when you don’t need it.
|#87087 – Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Stud on 1 Side|
|#4070 – Brick, Modified 1 x 1 with Headlight|
The Architecture Studio set includes plenty of the more common 4070 Headlight brick (also known as the Erling brick), but I find the 1/5 brick indentation to be unattractive and inconvenient.
I just got these, so I haven’t been able to use them yet!
#4 – Clips 4085 / 6019 / 2555
Clips are necessary to attach slender round components, Minifigure accessories, and can grab the side of plates. (Minifigure hands have the same diameter opening as clips.)
|#4081b – Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip|
|#6019 – Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Horizontal|
|#4085d – Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Vertical|
|#2555 – Tile, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip|
I used these to attach the ski racks in #26 Ski Lodge and to attach the wall-mounted lights in #30 Library. They can be a substitute for a hinge in some instances.
#3 – More Tiles!
Architectural models look a lot cleaner with a smooth surface. I’ve added well over 50 additional white tiles in a variety of sizes to my set, and I still wish that I had more (I especially like the 2×2 and 1×8 plates, and recently ordered a few 1×3 plates to help with odd-width models.)
|#63864 – Tile 1 x 3|
|#4162 – Tile 1 x 8|
|#3068b – Tile 2×2|
Prominent use of tiles included the gate for #20 Castle, the sign and sidewalk in #17 Art Deco Theatre, and were critical for #5 Shed home.
#2 – Hinges
It boggles my mind that the set included so many bricks but absolutely no hinges whatsoever. Each type of hings offers the ability to bend your model in different directions. For example, the 2429/2430 hinge is great to build walls in unorthodox angles, and I have found the 60478/63868 hinge to be incredibly useful for building large peaked roofs using common plates, and the 44301/44302 locking hinges are nice as they click into specific angles for more strength.
Examples of their use include the roofs in #27 Rustic Cabin, #22 Craftsman, #5 Shed home or in the front-facing SNOT facade for #17 Art Deco Theatre.
#1 – Baseplates
Suffice it to say, the set should have at least included a white 16×32 or 32×32 baseplate. I really like using a colored baseplate with these stark white bricks, so you might also want a green or blue baseplate.
|#3867 – Baseplate 16 x 16|
|#3857 – Baseplate 16 x 32|
|#3811 – Baseplate 32 x 32|
Almost all of my projects used at least one baseplate!
Where can I buy specific Lego bricks?
There a couple of ways to buy these crucial “missing bricks” to make your architecture studio more versatile. Before you go any further, I encourage you to make a list of all the parts you would like to acquire and the # of each brick you would like to buy. This will help you decide where to shop.
- Bricklink is an online marketplace with 1000’s of individual sellers offering Lego bricks for purchase. Think of it as an online hardware store, but instead of selling complete Lego sets, most sellers are selling individual bricks. It is probably your best option if you need to buy a lot of specialty bricks. Unfortunately, no single seller will have everything you need, so you will need to make multiple purchases to get what you want. (Note: Based on my limited experience, you can save by buying used bricks, but confirm their condition before making payment. Also, pay attention to the per-brick cost! Some stores will sell one brick you really need for a great price, then charge too much for other bricks that you need. Take your time and shop around. (Brickowl is the same idea, but has less selection.)
- Pick-a-brick wall at your nearest Lego Retail Store. Lego stores let you fill a plastic tub with bricks for 17.99$ . This can be a great value, *if* they happen to have exactly the brick you need in exactly the color you want. I haven’t been lucky enough to have my needs match what is on the wall, so I have not done this yet. (wallofbricks.com tries to maintain a current inventory of Pick a brick walls around the world.)
- Lego’s online pick a brick website has many bricks to choose from, and you are guaranteed that they are brand new. Unfortunately, the selection is much more limited than bricklink, and the prices can be inflated.
How should I sort all these bricks?
I’ve already posted an article describing my portable Lego Architecture studio, so I’m not going to do that again. I did want to mention that I’ve added 4 small Plano boxes with adjustable dividers to organize my small specialty bricks. Each box has a focus: hinges, SNOT connections, Slopes and Trans-clear bricks.
The following links might inspire you to organize your collection:
APPENDIX: My Wishlist
While I’ve already called out the top 10 bricks which are “missing” from the Architecture Studio set, there are many more bricks which may make a valuable addition to your collection. I’ve decided to include the longer list below as it might help you acquire additional bricks which will enhance your creative opportunities.
Thanks for this. I have bought some extra parts but I need/want loads more. This list is great.
Thanks for the list, I found it very very useful (and again will) when ordering some needed parts to expand my Architecture Studio.
Overall, some nice reading in your blog, thanks for inspiration!
FYI, the link to the portable architecture studio article repoints back to this page.
Interesting , really thanks for this, I just found your website, searching about Lego architecture estudio, I have one and i was searching for inspiration.
Do you have an xml or bricklink file of your long list of desired added bricks?
I do not have an XML file at this time. The best way to do this is to make your own wishlist based on the parts you have and the additional parts you want. This is easy to do using the BrickStore app.
P.S. I did create a downloadable list of the parts you need to buy to build all the models featured in my book, The LEGO Architect. (link: http://brickarchitect.com/book/bricks/ )
For anyone looking for the correct link for the portable Lego Architecture Studio article, it’s here: http://tomalphin.com/2013/10/portable-lego-studio.html
Richard, thanks for pointing out the broken web link. I just fixed it!
Thanks again Tomfor all you do for the Lego community, 3 more Akro-Mills to be delivered today. The wallofbricks link is no longer active. There is ‘Pick A Brick Wall Exchange Group’ on Facebook.