The Color Palette
Colors are a big deal when creating a mosaic, especially if you want to keep the costs reasonable. In this post, I’ll tell you about how we took the image that Rachael had created thus far, and then edited it to make sure it was something we could realistically afford to build.
When I first looked at the wishlist and clicked BrickLink’s “buy all” button, it looked like this was very easy – it suggested a single store that had all lots in their store and the price was under $50. It sounded too good to be true, until I realized that we had been linked to a store that had *some* of every part, but not *enough*. When I looked for enough of every part, I learned that I’d have to buy from about a dozen sellers, many of them overseas, and was looking at spending several hundred dollars on the parts.
There were several problems. The initial mosaic design made heavy use of some very rare colors. When it calls for sand blue 1×1 plates, which have only appeared in 1 set from 2003, that’s something that’s not going to be easy or affordable to source. In fact, there are only 112 of them available for sale as of this writing, and the average price for one single new piece is over $3.60! Maersk Blue was a little better, with just over 800 1×1 plates available for sale (at an average price of about 50 cents each) but would still blow the budget for this project.
The lack of availability/affordability in these colors forced us to find other acceptable colors that were more easily sourced. Fortunately, we were able to find a color we liked for the background which also was available in decent quantities in several sizes – dark azure. Dark azure only comes in 1×1, 1×2, 1×3, 1×4, 2×3 and 2×6 plates, but the costs of these parts were low enough to allow us to build the mosaic with a dark azure background. The other colors which appear as shading along the edges of the letters (blue, dark blue, green, dark green, and medium azure) were either common enough or required in small enough quantities to make them viable.
We gather this information by looking at BrickLink’s price guide for each of the parts that we’re asked for more than a few of. Any mosaic will require lots of 1×1 plates, and from this BrickLink page https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=3024#T=C you can quickly see the number of shops selling each color – if only a few shops have a color, it’s not going to be cheap.
Having found the right combinations of colors, our next step was to generate a wishlist of all the parts we would need. Rachael went back to the design tools and manually reworked the mosaic to use the correct colors, and to favor the sizes/shapes of plates that kept the budget reasonable and made sure we could buy everything we needed. Stud.io allowed the creation of a wishlist with all the parts needed. In the next post, I’ll talk about how we took that wishlish and turned it into a series of orders placed with various BrickLink sellers so we could actually build this mosaic.
Care about the colors and costs of your creations/projects? BrickLink and BrickOwl each have their own ways of searching for pieces in a particular color. It’s easy to look at a store’s inventory and see their parts sorted by color.
Take a look at the shops and see if we have colors you’re looking for, or discover colors you didn’t know LEGO elements came in!