EDIT MODE

If there's one thing I love more than LEGO, it's space. And for the last several years, any fan of space is well aware of SpaceX and what they have achieved with their revolutionary Falcon line of rockets.

There are many Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rocket MOCs to be found, but when I came across this SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket by Eiffleman complete with building instructons on LEGO Ideas I had to build it. I figured this was a good chance to write about the process and demonstrate some of Rebrickable's features that make it so much easier.

Buying LEGO Parts

The Falcon Heavy by Eiffleman includes a parts list, which I have translated into a Rebrickable Custom List which you can find here: https://rebrickable.com/users/Nathan/lists/33702/. The list contains several parts in [No Color/Any Color] as they are hidden inside the rocket and can be bought in any color that's available. Thanks to this new feature, Rebrickable can use this information to find the cheapest parts for you.

I wanted to build this as a display model, so even though I had many of the parts already I wanted to buy separate ones just for this model. Well, except for some of the pins and axles of which I have about a billion, but I have added them all back to the list for public use.

Once you have the parts you want to buy in a Custom List, just click the Buy Parts tab.

 

 

The stores with the most matching parts are displayed along with their total prices. It's rare for a single store to have every part in stock, and those that do tend to come at a higher price. Click the   symbol for a store to see what parts they do and don't have in stock. Any stores highlighted in green have been marked as one of your Favourites (Pro Plan feature only).

If you find a store you are happy with simply hit the Add to Cart button. But in most cases, you need to place several orders across multiple stores. To do this click the Multi-Buy button.

Multi-Buy

In the last few months, I have made several small improvements to the Multi-Buy searches including:

  • Improved Minimise Delivery algorithm to find better combinations
  • Include store Favourite/Blacklist buttons (Pro Plan only)
  • Now supports multiple lots for a part - e.g. a store may have both new and used parts at different prices
  • Fixed some cell highlighting issues

Step 1 - change the default filters if you like, then click the Search Stores button.

This will search for the best matching stores and list them along with all the requested parts in a huge table. Clicking a cell in the table will allocate that part to that store, you can modify the quantity allocated. So, there might be multiple stores required to provide you the quantity you need for a particular part.

 

Step 2 - By default, the Cheapest Stores algorithm is used to pre-select stores. However, this does not take into account delivery costs and so is only used as a quick first guide to show you an estimated cost and if the parts can actually be purchased at all. Modify the delivery cost field to something appropriate to your location (it's only a rough estimate).

If you don't really care about costs, clicking the Largest Stores button will pick parts from the stores that have most of them in stock. This will give you fewer orders but usually a higher overall cost.

Otherwise, click the Minimise Delivery button which will attempt to find the cheapest prices in as fewer stores as possible. If the cost of allocating parts from one store to another is lower than the extra delivery cost, it will drop a store. It basically repeats this until it finds an optimal solution.

Step 3 - Now it's time to play with the data manually, move parts around and customise things to suit your preferences. There are several buttons available to help reduce the size of the table to only those parts/stores you are interested in changing.

Step 4 - When ready, click the Add to Cart buttons for each selected store. Sometimes you will find the store does not like your items because there are too few, or the delivery costs might be too high. In these cases, I usually Blacklist the store and start again.

Subtracting Orders

I followed the advice on the LEGO Ideas page and ordered the 2x 92591 payload fairing parts first as they are rare, along with some other parts on my BrickLink Wanted Lists. I waited a couple of weeks before ordering the remaining parts, which meant my Custom List now had a mixture of parts I have already ordered and parts I still needed to buy.

A new feature I recently introduced came to the rescue here - you can now Subtract parts when importing from files or BrickLink. Choose the Order and click the Subtract button and it will remove those ordered parts from your Custom List.

 

 

All up, it took 5 separate orders (I could have done it in 4 as I forgot about the Tesla payload until later) - 2 from BrickLink, 2 from BrickOwl and 1 from ToyPro, and cost me AUD $120 including about $40 in delivery fees. The fastest delivery was 5 days from an Australian store (physically located about 3 hrs away from me), and the slowest was 4 weeks from Europe. I understand that Australia is remote, but even internal Australian delivery sucks.

 

 

Unpacking

Once all packages arrived, I opened and counted all the parts to make sure they were all there. Four of the packages were perfect, but one of them was terrible. There were about 10 separate errors. I ended up with several extra parts I had no use for, but the main problem was that I was short a couple of critical parts. Luckily I had those two parts already in my existing collection (sorry Benny's Spaceship!), but I was trying to avoid using them. Needless to say, I have now added that store to my Rebrickable Blacklist (Pro Plan only) so it won't show up in search results again.

I'd like to hear what kind of success record you have when ordering parts?

 

Overall, I was pretty happy with the result and like to think Rebrickable makes the process as painless as possible.

In Part 2 I will review the building process and actual model of the LEGO Falcon Heavy rocket.

36 COMMENTS

  • 2 months, 2 weeks ago shibby67 (132)
    Just found this article definitely added to my list of MOC's to build. AS for BrickLink Vs BrickOwl I have only ever used BL so can't comment on BO but all in all I have always had a fairly positive experience at BL, if your not sure about a store just check out their feedback and base your decision on how good/bad their feedback is, seems to work for me. Just remember the store owners are human too and we all make mistakes sometimes.
  • 7 months, 3 weeks ago Vulpecula_nl (27)
    Thanks for the great build. I made the rocket my self. I even managed to get the rare parts of the rocket. Made a slight change on the tesla roadster because I couldn’t get the rear part.
  • 8 months, 2 weeks ago Pikachu1281 (320) MOC Designer
    I like it I would get parts but have no money but still nice build.
  • I already build this beautiful machine. I had some problems with the stability, solved it with a few technic axles.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago 200bricks (1496) MOC Designer PRO
    I may have missed something when I tried to subtract a BrickOwl order from one of my part lists.  The import dialog once I was seeing the orders, only allowed me to add parts.  I needed to add the parts and then subtract the parts twice.  Once to remove the addition and again to achieve the initial goal of subtracting the order.  A suggestion also regarding the subtract feature.  Sometimes I order additional parts that are not on my part list.  In this case I received an error and the import/subtract did not happen.  It would be nice to have these parts be skipped and then receive a message indicating that they were skipped as a match was not found, or the quantity order was greater than the quantity in the part list.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago TobyMac (110K) Inventory Admin ADMIN
    I've had a few problems with BL orders, but they were always quickly solved after mailing to store. I had to wait for shipping for 2 weeks once, but the store specifically said in it's terms that shipment was once in 3 week (had a store for hobby). That's the downside of the easy-buy order. I tend to skip the store terms because the cart i already waiting for me.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago mkrass (578)
    Is there a way to quickly exclude a shop from a multi-buy-order, similar to the "-"-Button on the parts? I often find my order doesn't match a shop's minimum total (or something like that) and would love to run the algorithm again, just without that particular store. Blacklisting it altogether is not necessary, as it's just that one (potentially small) order. Having access to the "second best" option would be a huge timesaver...
  • 10 months, 1 week ago ilcontepier (577)
    Thanks a lot, quite useful!!! i'll definitely take this as a guide for the future, i'm still "green" with this features so helped a lot.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago Hixie (46)
    Is there a way to go from someone's custom parts list (like yours here) to a list showing which parts I already have in my collection?
    Or a way to clone someone's custom parts list in order to fiddle with it before purchase (e.g. to remove parts I already have)?
    I couldn't find a way to do anything other that buy parts from the link you provided.
    • 10 months, 1 week ago TobyMac (110K) Inventory Admin ADMIN
      That's what the export and import function is for.
      You can export someones Custom Part list, or any inventory as an Rebrickable CVS file. This file can be used in the following import functions:
      - Add the parts to an existing Custom List or Part List, Or as inventory to one or your MOCs (append)
      - Add the parts to an existing Custom List or Part List, Or as inventory to one or your MOCs, while removing all existing parts in that list (replace)
      - Remove all parts in the csv file from an existing list/inventory (Substract)

      So for your first question: (gets a little techincal)
      -- Make your own costum list as a copy of the someone else's list with the export and import function
      -- Open the someone else's costum list, and use the build function to show only the parts you are missing. Export this list of missing items.
      -- Import the missing-items-csv into your own costum list using the substract function. This will remove all missing parts from your list, leaving you with all pats you already have.

      Parts-I-Own = Total-Parts minus Parts-ImMissing
  • 10 months, 1 week ago eiffleman (63)
    Thanks for featuring my project and thanks to everyone who has supported it on Lego Ideas. I noticed I was suddenly picking up support and tracked down this blog. If you like the idea of building rockets to the same scale as the Saturn V set then please check out my other Ideas projects - all of my NASA 1:110 scale ones have free building instructions. Being on Ideas means that I cannot profit from the MOCS so you should not see any Eiffleman instructions for sale.
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      Welcome to our little community, and thanks for the great model :)
      • 10 months, 1 week ago eiffleman (63)
        Thank you - I had looked at MOCs on rebrickable in the past but hadn't realised it was such a useful site to process a parts list. The any colour feature could save a lot of money on hidden pieces. I've joined now so can try out its features on my next model.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago jamesdm (1124)
    Great article. Looking forward to the next piece about the build.  

    One thing i don’t understand.  I looked up that rare part immediately on this site. It showed a price of €25.  I then looked at BL to find the lowest price new at €14. 10 available.  Used they are half again.  So the question is, when i use the functionality above do the same anomalies happen? Why is there such a big difference?   It can actually put me off building a set because I’m not going to spend €25 on one piece. Cheers
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      The price shown under a part image is the recent average over all stores that sell it in that color. I presume that's what you're looking at?
    • 10 months, 1 week ago TobyMac (110K) Inventory Admin ADMIN
      There is often a big difference, because Rebrickable makes an average of all parts for sale. But the highest priced parts usually don't sell that well. There are always some people thinking that LEGO is made of gold with diamond studs. That jacks up the average price.
      When you look at the average of parts actually being sold, you end up a lot lower.
      • 10 months, 1 week ago jamesdm (1124)
        Ok thanks. Some of the prices do amaze me!!
  • 10 months, 1 week ago DubbelDrank[NL] (1968) MOC Designer
    When something went wrong I always mail the store and ask them to correct the mistake.
    Directly blacklisting it seems a bit harsh.
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      I don't want to wait another 4 weeks for a few parts. Might be different if delivery wasn't an issue.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago Brickfan (6K) MOC Designer
    I do like the principle of subtracting an order from a wanted list once it has arrived, so you can make it more uptodate more easily. 
    I usually use bricklink to do my ordering, but next time I will give this site a go, and see how well it does :)
  • 10 months, 1 week ago oakchip (506)
    Looks a brilliant model. I am "into" Technic myself. Your comments on ordering were interesting. I always order through Brinklink, except where the Lego shop is cheaper (usually Power Functions items). I have only been disappointed once, and that was on delivery times (took 2 months!). the items I have bought were always delivered correctly, and where colour was wrong, it was my mistake! It does take a lot of effort researching who has which parts and in what quantity. I use an Excel spreadsheet to calculate the orders! Taking into account who has what quantities, minimum orders, and shipping costs is both time consuming and expensive. It is important to leave good feedback for good service!
  • 10 months, 1 week ago BertZelf (3K) MOC Designer
    Simply: Thanks from the Netherlands, Nathan.
    Looking forward to the next ;-)
  • 10 months, 1 week ago TechnicMech (4K)
    Well, this is actually sorta introduction of the new features instead of a building experience:)
    Looking forward to the model and thanks Nathan for adding those amazing features!
  • 10 months, 1 week ago barrystaes (102) PRO
    Well f.. now i am all out of excuses to not build my very own LEGO Falcon Heavy display. 😅

    Already bought the Rebrickable Pro plan for exact these features. My Yellow Bugatti Chiron is nearing completion!
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      Thanks for your support!
      • 10 months ago barrystaes (102) PRO
        Aaand all parts ordered. (except for the car) The multi-buy page is what makes this fun!! Used 2 custom lists to find stores: one list with most rare/expensive parts (had priority), one to find stores for bulk stuff.

        Found small bug with occasional NaN in total sum, notably after deselecting either new/used parts from 1 store with both. It wont snap out of that. 

        And one feature request; id like to manually add a store i prefer so i can select some parts in its column. 😀

        And i forgot to mention other bugs, with substracting bricklink orders, and with bulk copy parts to a new list.
        I'll better register on the forum to give feedback..
  • 10 months, 1 week ago Heaventree (8K) MOC Designer PRO
    I have only ordered at toypro before (funny, you from Australia, ordering at a store in ‘my’ small the Netherlands). I guess that’s not the one you blacklisted, because I was most happy with the delivery, both correctness and speed. Then again, internal Dutch mail is ok in speed, and the store is about 1 hour away.
    • 10 months, 1 week ago TobyMac (110K) Inventory Admin ADMIN
      Toypro is a good store with a lot of stock, but a bit expensive. I often check if ordering from multiple other sotres with multiple mail-costs is cheaper
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      Isn't everything about 1 hr away there :) Here it's 1 hr to the closest city.
      • 10 months, 1 week ago Heaventree (8K) MOC Designer PRO
        Small country 😁. North to south is about 300 km, east to west about 200. And a lot of highways, helps too.
  • 10 months, 1 week ago Shandyman (6K) PRO
    WoW! This is an excellent write up of the "process" and demonstrates the power of Rebrickable, some of its features and how they can be used. It will prove invaluable to new members of the site. Well done Sir!!
    • 10 months, 1 week ago bmerigan (951)
      Agree. Great write-up of the shopping process.
    • 10 months, 1 week ago janwillemthefactor (485) MOC Designer
      Indeed, I have never ordered something but it is nice to get an impression what the process would be like and how Rebrickable can help. Thanks!
    • 10 months, 1 week ago Nathan (64K) Site Admin ADMIN
      Thanks. There are a lot of features in Rebrickable most people don't know about, so thought I'd try and do something to help while I was going through the process anyway.
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