Getting Started

What you get

In addition to the standard LDraw Lego modelling environment you get:

A library of 198 Minibrix parts, plus a couple of dozen primitives used to create them.

Note: The parts are all the building components that were ever issued in the Minibrix boxed and tubed sets. This includes the Tudor Minibrix range and the rainbow Junior Minibrix range. It also includes the “hidden” parts – the ones you would never normally see – such as the Universal Pin and the sets of Purlins. This is so that, if desired, you can create the full building instructions for making the real version of the model.

All the building parts that were never included in the standard sets: the Number 4 Roof, the green Roof Tiles and the Baseplates.

Thirteen new (that is, not Lego) colours, matched to the original Minibrix parts.

For rendering the high-quality ray-traced images, appropriate textures are set for the bricks (rubber), purlins (wood) and windows (translucent or clear).

The adaptions needed for some of the advanced Tudor models.

These are the cut-down pieces created with the aid of a sharp knife: the half windows and the split Ridge Tiles.

A couple of adaptions that make building easier and speed up the graphics performance.

The Tudor Half Bricks (one black, one white) come in two versions – with or without the dovetail. The dovetails should never show in a finished model, so only the purist (or the creator of detailed building instructions) will need the dovetailed versions. Using the plain versions will speed up the drawing and rendering processes without affecting the appearance of the model. In the real world, on the rare occasions that a stray black lug showed, it was normal to take a sharp knife and cut it off anyway!

Roofs folded in a variety of directions.

Roofs were a challenge, but I have created 12 standard combinations of slopes – those that involve lying on Angle bricks, Double Angle Bricks and flat surfaces. If you need something more complicated, you can build it using the individual half-roof sections, or out of individual tiles, then manipulate it on a fine grid setting of the CAD tool.

What you don’t get

The only parts not currently included are the plastic additions (plants, fences, lamps etc.) that appeared very briefly at the very end of Minibrix production, and the cardboard roofs of the very first sets.

Also, not so much an omission as a minor inconvenience: it is not possible to lay roof tiles over Double Angle Bricks using the default grid setting of the CAD tool. Because of the rules of geometry they do not interlock. Once a row has been laid, using the standard grid for the horizontal spacing, the row has to be shuffled into its vertical and lateral position on a fine setting. Sorry – don’t blame me, blame Euclid!

Requirements

The instructions here are for installing on a Windows platform. The Automated installer supports Windows XP SP3 (Home and Pro), Windows Vista (all versions), Windows 7 (all versions) and Windows 8 (all versions). On 64-Bit Operating Systems it will install in the “Program files (x86)” folder. For earlier versions of Windows the package can be installed manually.

There are equivalent packages for Macintosh and Linux, and there is no reason why the Minibrix add-on shouldn't work on these, too. However I have no means to test this. (Perhaps some day somebody will let me know if it works!) If you wish to experiment with non-Windows platforms, the place to start is the main LDraw “Get Started” page at http://www.ldraw.org/help/getting-started.html. When you have installed the appropriate LDraw software package, return to these instructions at Step 2 below.

Installing and using the software

There are four steps to getting your Virtual Minibrix up and running. Select each of the following pages in turn.

If you are already an LDraw user for the Lego modelling environment, just read Steps 2 and 4, which will tell you how to add and use Minibrix modelling.

 

Step 1: Download and install the base LDraw (Lego) software.

 

Step 2: Download and install the Minibrix add-on.

 

Step 3: Learn how to use the LDraw tools.

 

Step 4: Learn how to use the Minibrix add-on.



Page last updated 2 September 2015