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Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Discussion and planning of large-scale Castle Themed displays and events

Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby Bruce N H » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:28 pm

Hey,

Since I've never been to a major fest, I can't really add anything to the discussion. I do very much agree, though, that an updated standard would be a great idea. If other people agree on a standard, I'd be very happy to help make it into an article. We should definitely have all of the various standards linked as resources here at CC, so when people are planning a collaborative display they can say "let's use CCC 1.0", or "base-8" or "new-CCC" or whatever. Also in a related subject, a couple of months ago there was some discussion of Flickr of designing a micro standard along the lines of the very successful Micropolis standards. Such a micro standard should also be linked here. Another great article that I would love to have someone write up would be some sort of 'tips and tricks' for designing a collaborative layout, including some of these details like dealing with tables etc.

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby SEdmison » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:40 pm

Bluesecrets wrote:
Can we move the table-leveling and similar kinds of concerns to another thread? This thread is really about updating the Classic-Castle.com City standard.


It IS a problem that needs to be discussed. There needs to be part of the plan and standard that these things are accommodated. Even if that means part of the standard is a statement of "you need to bring extra bricks, plates, and slopes in the colors at the edge of your build for the ability to seamlessly attach to the build beside you."

You can talk about colors and construction all you want, but if you don't come up with some kind of plan about dealing with the issues that really do exist, then the display will still have them and not be seamless or fluid.


Yes, but my point is that regardless of what specific colors and building standards we use there will be a need to level baseplates, etc., and regardless of what techniques we use for leveling baseplates we'll still need some sort of building standards in order to make the MOCs look uniform. Those are separate concerns that can be discussed separately. The fact that lots of things are worth discussing doesn't mean that they all need to be discussed in the same thread.

So, returning to the topic at hand, I'm interested to hear people's take on simplicity versus complexity in the standard. For instance, if we changed the water standard to be one plate or tile high, that would allow people to use translucent blue or clear tiles to create more realistic-looking water, but of course it means that we can't cover as much of the table as quickly by just throwing down blue baseplates. Personally, I would be amenable to having the standard apply to pre-built sections, but to bend the rules for situations like covering ground. (So if you need to fill a large area, you can throw down green, blue, or tan baseplates and just have a bit of transition back up to the baseplate-plus-brick height where it connects at the edges.)

With regard to scale, can we decide that 1 story of a town building should be, say, 5 bricks tall or 6 bricks tall or whatever, so that whether I'm building a small house or a guildhall, when we throw our buildings together that they look about right? I don't care a whole lot on the particular number; here I'm more just asking whether folks like the idea of having a number. I think that just by imposing some sort of standard to the height, that the length and width will tend to work itself out (and that some differences in the sizes of buildings is actually quite acceptable, because the buildings in a town are not all cookie-cutter templates anyway).
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby Formendacil » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:48 pm

SEdmison wrote:Yes, but my point is that regardless of what specific colors and building standards we use there will be a need to level baseplates, etc., and regardless of what techniques we use for leveling baseplates we'll still need some sort of building standards in order to make the MOCs look uniform. Those are separate concerns that can be discussed separately. The fact that lots of things are worth discussing doesn't mean that they all need to be discussed in the same thread.


Given that discussion of unlevel tables rose out of the discussion of a building standard and flows back into it (i.e. it is the sort of real world problem that a perfect system would attempt to solve or a good system take into account) there will not be a separate discussion of it.

[quote'"SEdmission"]So, returning to the topic at hand,[/quote]

Bearing in mind that tone does not translate well on the Internet, adding emphasis in italics comes across there as suggesting that the topic has not been at hand. Now, that may be you opinion, but you should avoid expressing it snarkily--not least when said snark would, if real, seem to be directed towards one of this forum's administrators.

SEdmission wrote:I'm interested to hear people's take on simplicity versus complexity in the standard.


And, for the record, this is a place where real world concerns--such as the levelling of tables--is relevant. For example, a simple standard might be better able to deal with misjoining tables because the different pieces aren't directly built together, while a complex system (one that plans ahead for interlocking different components is what I'm thinking of) would not necessarily have that flexibility.

Personally, I think that simplicity vs. complexity needs to be a con-by-con sort of thing. The more the builders know each other and are actively planning together from the ground up (think: Tigelfah) the more complex (i.e. standardised) the rule can be. On the other hand, when the goal is simply for as many people as possible to contribute to a single display, the more simple the standard--and the fewer the rules--the easier it is for people to participate, either because they don't know the other builders (shy) or because they're throwing something together last-minute. Also, that makes it easier on the coordinator...

The genius of the CCC Standard or Base-8 is that it is that simple: just barely enough uniformity to make it work. Rather than overhauling the theoretical rules of these standards or creating a new standard just for the sake of having one, I'd be much more interested in seeing concrete plans for a particular convention. For example, if a bunch of LCCers were planning to go to West Dakota Con and wanted a collaborative display, it would be easier to take CCCS and say "okay, we're going to use this, but add some house rules: only dark blue for water, two bricks deep for "level" to allow building down, etc." Rather than talking in the abstract, I think the practical results of such an experiment would be more helpful. If the house rules rule, then PRESTO! we've got a new standard--but if they still need tweaking, there would be no more need than there is now to rewrite "the Rules"--just more input for the next coordinator to think about when coming up with house rules for the next West Dakota Con.

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby ffilz » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:14 pm

SEdmison wrote:That's a point that I admit to not having considered at the time, but I'll be more aware of it this time around. Part of what is tricky is that everyone shows up at different times, and with different scales of displays, so as a theme coordinator it can be hard to know exactly where to put everyone. In your case, you did tell me ahead of time about what table space you would need, but just as a general observation, let's say that I know ahead of time that I have two builders who have each built base8 or CCC sections and want to anchor a collaborative section. In that case, I can put them together. On the other hand, let's say that we put out the call for collaborative build sections, and one guy shows up with a ton of stuff, and then 2 or 3 or 4 other people each show up with 1 32x32 baseplate each. Maybe part of the expectation in that case just needs to be that we will make on-the-fly adjustments, and that we might separate out otherwise compatible sections into smaller displays in order to accommodate difference in scale of contribution, scale of buildings, color palette, style (old-school Castle versus LotR versus whatever). So if we start out with the idea of connecting some sections together, get them in place, and find that someone's not happy, then we adjust.

(Of course, much of this can be prevented with enough planning and communication up front, but there will always be the newcomer, lurker, or person who just doesn't feel comfortable contacting the coordinator ahead of time.)


Good wisdom. The more participation we get in the collaborative displays, the easier (in some ways) this adjustment will be. A few big contributors, some medium contributors, and some minor contributors? Group the minor contributions as best as possible.

We could also think about some large signage that would help the public understand this is a collaborative display (though many of the public would ask me what portion is mine - the old name bricks from old conventions also help, I've seen members of the public noticing them along the front of my display and get the idea of what portion is mine). The tricky part would be if one or two people contributed a MOC that gets put in the middle of a large contribution (adding a couple buildings to my town for example). The trick there would be to find good ways to call out the separate contributions (and for everyone to be comfortable that to some extent those individual MOCs become part of the big display section).

Frank

SEdmison wrote:So, returning to the topic at hand, I'm interested to hear people's take on simplicity versus complexity in the standard. For instance, if we changed the water standard to be one plate or tile high, that would allow people to use translucent blue or clear tiles to create more realistic-looking water, but of course it means that we can't cover as much of the table as quickly by just throwing down blue baseplates. Personally, I would be amenable to having the standard apply to pre-built sections, but to bend the rules for situations like covering ground. (So if you need to fill a large area, you can throw down green, blue, or tan baseplates and just have a bit of transition back up to the baseplate-plus-brick height where it connects at the edges.)


My suggestion is to allow both, and make it clear which sections of water are plain baseplate, and which are baseplate plus one plate.

It's just a matter of grouping similar styles and making transitions that aren't too glaring.

With regard to scale, can we decide that 1 story of a town building should be, say, 5 bricks tall or 6 bricks tall or whatever, so that whether I'm building a small house or a guildhall, when we throw our buildings together that they look about right? I don't care a whole lot on the particular number; here I'm more just asking whether folks like the idea of having a number. I think that just by imposing some sort of standard to the height, that the length and width will tend to work itself out (and that some differences in the sizes of buildings is actually quite acceptable, because the buildings in a town are not all cookie-cutter templates anyway).


I wouldn't worry too much about the height of a single story. There's lots of variation in the real world. I think a building with much more than 8 bricks for the height of a single story will likely be a large scale building (like a ballroom, guildhall, great hall, whatever), otherwise the minifigs would look too out of scale. Large scale buildings can either be judiciously used, or grouped together in a separate town (maybe near someone's 5'x5' castle, while the smaller scale buildings are grouped together in villages near the smaller castles).

Actually, the thing I'd maybe most like to see is enough table space (with someone supplying enough green baseplate and brick if needed) to separate out when we have too many castles, such as what happened to the right of my display in BrickCon 2011, like in this picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/squidgeyflint/6204670530/

Frank

As to complexity of the standard, I think Base8 actually is a pretty solid standard and will allow for a lot. I added a 16 brick high cliff definition because I needed to gain height fast, it's a simple extension. I also added some different river widths to better use the various river base plates. Again, a relatively simple extension.

So let's propose some alternate color palettes, and we can work some transitions so older modules can be mixed.

Let's also add an optional water standard that uses baseplate plus plate or tile, but also acknowledge that people may want to do different things with water, and as long as they cooperate with their neighbor or make a transition, or make their water self contained, things will be fine. Some folks will want to do SNOT brick water for example - that won't as easily transition to base plate or base plate plus tile/plate water, but it could look great if it doesn't have to connect to the other water.

I should write up my new cliffs and river widths. Hmm, also maybe my wharf height (I'd love to see another building or two added to my wharf scene sometime).

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:49 pm

ffilz wrote:Actually, the thing I'd maybe most like to see is enough table space (with someone supplying enough green baseplate and brick if needed) to separate out when we have too many castles, such as what happened to the right of my display in BrickCon 2011, like in this picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/squidgeyflint/6204670530/

Frank
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I think the problem that we ran into that year was that we just didn't have enough space for everything. Maybe it was due to your absence this year, Frank, but we had TONS of room at BC2013 in the collaborative area to spread out. I agree with your sentiment though.

The problem that you run into when spreading out is that you end up with a lot more "filler" that is of pretty underwhelming quality compared to the main contributions. :?

Perhaps that is just an inherent problem of large displays that can't really be remedied though.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby ffilz » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:57 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:
ffilz wrote:Actually, the thing I'd maybe most like to see is enough table space (with someone supplying enough green baseplate and brick if needed) to separate out when we have too many castles, such as what happened to the right of my display in BrickCon 2011, like in this picture:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/squidgeyflint/6204670530/

Frank
*Raises hand as guilty party* 8)
I think the problem that we ran into that year was that we just didn't have enough space for everything. Maybe it was due to your absence this year, Frank, but we had TONS of room at BC2013 in the collaborative area to spread out. I agree with your sentiment though.


Yes, we were definitely pinched in 2011. I'm not sure Hogwarts was expected, I know when I arrived, I couldn't immediately set up because Hogwarts was where I needed to set up...

So yea, with more generous space, we shouldn't need to squash things in so much. Even one row of baseplates between things would have made a lot of difference. I also felt bad for the folks whose MOCs were in the back row there, which is another issue to consider in event planning.

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby SEdmison » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:57 pm

ffilz wrote:So let's propose some alternate color palettes, and we can work some transitions so older modules can be mixed.

Let's also add an optional water standard that uses baseplate plus plate or tile, but also acknowledge that people may want to do different things with water, and as long as they cooperate with their neighbor or make a transition, or make their water self contained, things will be fine. Some folks will want to do SNOT brick water for example - that won't as easily transition to base plate or base plate plus tile/plate water, but it could look great if it doesn't have to connect to the other water.

I should write up my new cliffs and river widths. Hmm, also maybe my wharf height (I'd love to see another building or two added to my wharf scene sometime).

Frank


Yes, yes, and yes. :) I'm going to try building and photographing some base8-type sections with some alternate palettes, and maybe a few other minor tweaks. I think it would be interesting to compare notes once we've each built a few of those to see what aspects we still agree make for good standards versus what aspects we want to leave to builder preference.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby BiggerJim » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:21 pm

ffilz wrote:As to complexity of the standard, I think Base8 actually is a pretty solid standard and will allow for a lot. I added a 16 brick high cliff definition because I needed to gain height fast, it's a simple extension. I also added some different river widths to better use the various river base plates. Again, a relatively simple extension.

So let's propose some alternate color palettes, and we can work some transitions so older modules can be mixed.



I think this was the whole point of Base8 - to be able to connect and transition at the edges. What you did in the middle was more up to you. For that reason I would think you would want the standard as simple as possible. Then on a case-by-case basis (or con-by-con) the various coordinators can set other guidelines or not as they, or that community, wishes. While I agree the standard needs some updating, I think it still needs to be simple enough that the various scales folks build in can be accommodated.
The lack of a current updated standard has hurt the collaborative community I think. Updating it will help.

AK_Brickster wrote:CURRENT SUGGESTIONS:

- Updated color scheme (primarily, roads as dark tan and trans dark blue as water)
- Improved aesthetic (updated photos showing more detailed sections)
- More interactive planning process (Google Docs)


I support all of these so far. As other have said it will be hard to get away from blue baseplates for large sections but that can be dealt with as it comes up.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby Bluesecrets » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:18 pm

*non-related post*

Gentlemen please remember the TOS. Specifically this part of it:

7. Double posting Do not double post. Posting two or more times in a row is not necessary. There is an edit button for all posts you make, and it should be used. (There are some exception regarding the Classic-Castle RolePlay)


I have cleaned up your thread.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby Tedward » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:34 pm

I would like to propose two major changes to the standard and one new minor substandard.

Wall Module Setback
I think we should make the setback match the Base8 standard and have the wall sections shifted so that the inside of the wall sits on stud 11 and the outside of the wall sits on stud 14 when using a 32x32 baseplate.

The large area outside the walls allows for details of defensive works, siege works or action to be included in the build. 10 studs on the inside wall should be sufficient for most details that need to be attached to the walls.


Standard Base
I would like to move to a modified Baseplate plus Brick (BpB) instead of just baseplates. Specifically I propose that under the wall and continuing on from the exterior of the wall to the edge of the baseplate, BpB would form the base. Inside the walls would remain as plain baseplate.

This small rise in level achieves two things:

1) Allows for greater detail: a single brick thickness allows for many details not possible with flat baseplates.

2) Improves stability: as anyone who has moved CCC modules knows, the baseplates are very flimsy and lifting and moving are delicate operations. Adding a layer of bricks (or even better: mixed layers of plates) makes the modules much more rigid especially where you will have placed figs approaching the walls.

I think the increased demand on builders and their collections is justified for the benefits of more detailed terrain.

I also believe that leaving the interior at the baseplate level allows for the ease of location of buildings and reduces the investment in time and brick that might deter newer builders.

Moated Walls
While this could simply be a pre-arranged modification for a specific event I thought it might be useful to create a sub-standard as a reference point.

Using blue baseplates - "half" (16x32) or "full" (32x32) we create a moat on the outside of the walls sections (assuming the modifications above) with the following specifications working on studs from the interior to the exterior:

1-10: If using a full blue baseplate these studs need to be covered in one plate depth at the edges in an appropriate colour (green or brown). If using a half green plate no further plates are neccesary. [One plate depth is an acceptable transition and can be easily accomodated.]

11-14: the wall section sits on top of a layer of bricks either dark or light grey.

15-16: slope bricks in light grey on top of any colour brick.

17: Light grey slope brick continues to the "water".

18 - 28: "water" made up of bare blue baseplate.

29: brown plate

30:green plate

31 - 32: green "brick". [Could actually be green plate sitting on top of two more plates - the height of one brick is what matters.]

IMPORTANT NOTE:
this only applies to the edges of the module. Within the module the moat could be wider or narrower with small patches of ground on the outside of the wall if you like or the water could come right up to the wall.

I should also note that it would not take much to join a moated and non-moated section together. A few brown and green plates and you have a transition to the non-moated section. Sometimes moats were not finished. :eyebrows:

I will try to build a sample for the moated section when I get a chance and post a pic to clarify.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:43 pm

Sounds interesting. I'd definitely like to see a picture of your moat idea. :eyebrows:
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby ffilz » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:40 pm

Tedward wrote:I would like to propose two major changes to the standard and one new minor substandard.

Wall Module Setback
I think we should make the setback match the Base8 standard and have the wall sections shifted so that the inside of the wall sits on stud 11 and the outside of the wall sits on stud 14 when using a 32x32 baseplate.

The large area outside the walls allows for details of defensive works, siege works or action to be included in the build. 10 studs on the inside wall should be sufficient for most details that need to be attached to the walls.


That sounds good, so the wall is centered on a Base8 row.

This will force people to rebuild corners, and may force some gatehouses and structures against the inside of a wall to be built on a non-standard base size.

Maybe better would be to no longer specify in terms of 32x32 baseplate?

[/quote]
Standard Base
I would like to move to a modified Baseplate plus Brick (BpB) instead of just baseplates. Specifically I propose that under the wall and continuing on from the exterior of the wall to the edge of the baseplate, BpB would form the base. Inside the walls would remain as plain baseplate.

This small rise in level achieves two things:

1) Allows for greater detail: a single brick thickness allows for many details not possible with flat baseplates.

2) Improves stability: as anyone who has moved CCC modules knows, the baseplates are very flimsy and lifting and moving are delicate operations. Adding a layer of bricks (or even better: mixed layers of plates) makes the modules much more rigid especially where you will have placed figs approaching the walls.

I think the increased demand on builders and their collections is justified for the benefits of more detailed terrain.

I also believe that leaving the interior at the baseplate level allows for the ease of location of buildings and reduces the investment in time and brick that might deter newer builders.

[/quote]
I would go with Base8 inside also though. Folks may build structures on Base8 with the original intention that they sit in the countryside, but maybe want them in a town. Hmm, of course if you want to be able to place structures catty corner as you set the town up that's not so easy (but best plan there is to have structures that aren't on any baseplate at all.


Moated Walls
While this could simply be a pre-arranged modification for a specific event I thought it might be useful to create a sub-standard as a reference point.

Using blue baseplates - "half" (16x32) or "full" (32x32) we create a moat on the outside of the walls sections (assuming the modifications above) with the following specifications working on studs from the interior to the exterior:

1-10: If using a full blue baseplate these studs need to be covered in one plate depth at the edges in an appropriate colour (green or brown). If using a half green plate no further plates are neccesary. [One plate depth is an acceptable transition and can be easily accomodated.]

11-14: the wall section sits on top of a layer of bricks either dark or light grey.

15-16: slope bricks in light grey on top of any colour brick.

17: Light grey slope brick continues to the "water".

18 - 28: "water" made up of bare blue baseplate.

29: brown plate

30:green plate

31 - 32: green "brick". [Could actually be green plate sitting on top of two more plates - the height of one brick is what matters.]

IMPORTANT NOTE:
this only applies to the edges of the module. Within the module the moat could be wider or narrower with small patches of ground on the outside of the wall if you like or the water could come right up to the wall.

I should also note that it would not take much to join a moated and non-moated section together. A few brown and green plates and you have a transition to the non-moated section. Sometimes moats were not finished. :eyebrows:

I will try to build a sample for the moated section when I get a chance and post a pic to clarify.


I like this, will have to think how to transition that to Base8 rivers, but that's not going to be hard.

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby Tedward » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:48 pm

OK, I should have tried to build a section before describing it above. I was a little off in the description.

Here is a sample module. One end is open for connection to an adjoining moat module and the other end has been closed in to join with a (new) plain module.

Image
Image
Image

The buttresses at the ends would be part of the standard (in either 1x or 2x slopes) but the ones in the middle are totally optional as is the amount of "mud" and "grass" at the base of the wall. Obviously if using a half-plate for the moat the minimum of mud/grass would have to be 2 studs out from the base of the wall.

ffilz wrote:I like this, will have to think how to transition that to Base8 rivers, but that's not going to be hard.

I never thought of that. Perhaps knowing what the "moat" standard is, if someone wants to join a river section they just come up with their own compatible transition? My suggestion would to be to build a module (probably a corner one) that includes an opening for a "river" section.
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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby ffilz » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:44 pm

Tedward wrote:OK, I should have tried to build a section before describing it above. I was a little off in the description.
The buttresses at the ends would be part of the standard (in either 1x or 2x slopes) but the ones in the middle are totally optional as is the amount of "mud" and "grass" at the base of the wall. Obviously if using a half-plate for the moat the minimum of mud/grass would have to be 2 studs out from the base of the wall.

The buttress at the end probably should just be 1x2 slope, otherwise two adjacent 2x2 slopes will be awfully wide.

The other option is to suggest there NOT be a buttress at the end.

Actually, no matter what the standard is, joining wall sections that are very different in style may look odd.

ffilz wrote:I like this, will have to think how to transition that to Base8 rivers, but that's not going to be hard.

I never thought of that. Perhaps knowing what the "moat" standard is, if someone wants to join a river section they just come up with their own compatible transition? My suggestion would to be to build a module (probably a corner one) that includes an opening for a "river" section.


Hmm, right. The moat ends themselves will never connect to a river. Someone can make whatever river connection they desire. I should have thought about that since I have a moat around my black castle...

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Re: Updating the CCC Standard - Discussion

Postby SEdmison » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:36 am

I love the idea of realigning CCC wall sections to base8 alignment.

I love the idea of standardizing on baseplate-plus-brick as the height. In fact, for a lot of the stuff I've been building recently, I've been using baseplate-plus-brick-plus-plate. This allows me to put 1x2 bricks with Technic pin holes or Technic axle holes to allow connecting sections, and then to have a plate over them to anchor them to the rest of the section (to keep them from sheering off).

There are examples in this set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sedmison/sets/72157637864919275/. (I can't figure out how to get the post UI here to allow me to include images in a post or I'd embed an example.) Here I really tried to push the envelope a bit in terms of the palette, the complexity, and the level of detail over what might be built with CCC today. My intent was to create a dirt road (dark tan) with wagon wheel ruts (brown and a little dark brown) cutting through a lush section of bush (brown ground to indicate mud with lots of green grass and weeds growing over it). I went a little nuts with the Technic connectors; I didn't necessarily have to have that many connectors all the way around the section, but you get the idea.
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