While building 60150 Pizza Van, I noticed that the first few steps of building the eponymous vehicle have you place lime green 1x2 tiles in specific positions and black 1x2 plates in others:

These then get covered completely by light grey 2x16 plates (although you can still see them just behind the wheels and mudguards of the finished model):

A similar use of tiles appears in other LEGO City vehicles, such as the ambulance in 60204 LEGO City Hospital.

Why are tiles used in parts of the chassis construction? Is it to (slightly) reduce the number of studs holding onto the tubes of the 2x16 plates, thereby making them easier to remove when taking things apart later?

  • Note that I'm not asking about the use of lime green - that's to make it easier to distinguish them from the black 1x2 plates. – LegoSonicBoy Sep 6 at 7:58
  • 4
    Looking at the carplates of these two examples, we can guess the designer's initials, BD (for the pizza van) and ER (for the ambulance), so probably not the same designer. But ease of disassembly seems a likely explanation. TLG does some play tests with the target age, and if "it's difficult to remove this section" comes up in the feedback, the designer might come up with this kind of solution. Your intuition seems good to me. – rienafairefr Sep 6 at 11:35
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I asked one of the set designers at LEGO, Samuel Johnson, on Twitter. Here is our conversation:

This to aid in the building flow for children aged 5 and up. Easy to spot on the page, easy to find in the pile of bricks :)

https://twitter.com/Spider_Sam_LEGO/status/1037914372897681409

Ah! Do both the colour and the shape (studless vs studded) contribute to this?

https://twitter.com/NOVALISTIC/status/1037914613847740416

Depends on the model :)

5year olds aren’t very strong, so it can make it easier to build

https://twitter.com/Spider_Sam_LEGO/status/1037967767847227392

That makes sense. Too many stud-and-tube connections can make building difficult even for me at times. Thanks for answering!

https://twitter.com/NOVALISTIC/status/1037994518295994368

So, it's an interaction of several factors including ease of following the instructions, as well as ease of physically attaching elements together (and, presumably in turn, disassembling them).

Your Answer

 

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.