This is not a Library! This is not a Kwik-E Mart!!!
The Simpsons have been a favorite of mine for years and my son as grown quite fond of them as well. We did the Simpsons House about a year ago (and no, I have not tackled lighting that one up…. YET!!), so he as super-surprised when for Christmas, he had the Kwik-E Mart waiting for him as well.
This is a really awesome Lego to build in its own right, and if you’re a Simpsons fan as well, it is really cool; the detail in this one is absolutely amazing to me and I just couldn’t get over how much detail was included as we were doing the assembly. BUT, if anything makes it even cooler, it’s adding Rob’s lights to this one!
Again, my standard disclaimer here is that it is always easier to add the lights when you’re initially building, but it isn’t impossible to do after either… it just requires a lot more work! That being said, let’s jump into this one! And, I do have more detailed instructions at the end of the article in case you were looking for the page-by-page specifics from the instructions.
There’s actually two major parts to this project, the first one being Chief Wigwam’s police car. It’s completely separate from the building itself and will have its own power supply (the coin cell battery pack); also, because there is so little space inside the car itself to hide everything, you’ll have to use the flashing lights (rather than a controller) as well as hiding the power pack as best as possible.
First, start by wiring up the headlights and running the wires back, keeping them under as much of the Lego pieces as possible: (just using 2 standard white pico lights)
Next, assemble the light structure for the rear lights, again using two standard white pico lights placed beneath the red taillight covers:
Now, at this point, you’ll notice that there is NO room to hide anything in the car; the intent here is to have the coin-cell battery in the trunk of the car so that you can just open the trunk and turn it on.:
So, what this required is a little bit of re-engineering in order to get everything to work correctly. The next several pictures should give you a pretty good idea of how to reconstruct the rear end of the car:
Now, when you’re done re-assembling the car, you will have ample space to not only hide the battery pack, but also to hide the connector boards as well:
For the roof of the car, you’re going to use two flashing white picos and one 1x2 (small port) connector board. If you want to keep the wiring clean and neat, my advice is to drill a hole in the roof of the car (as shown) and bring the two wires through there, which allows you to hide all the wiring for the flashing lights on the roof:
Once that is done, attach the 1x2 to the 1x4 expansion board with a 1.5-inch connector cable and tuck everything in the back seat of the car:
After that, finish up Chief Wigwam’s police car!
Now that you’ve finished that part, it’s on to the main building… after all, the Simpsons do need a place to go shop! We don’t do anything as far as the lighting until we reach the parts on the video games (page 71 of the instructions). Here, we’re going to use a flashing red and flashing white pico along with some of the small adhesive squares to give some effects to the video games:
Next, when you get to page 121, you’ll start installing the lights for the cooler in the front of the store. For this step, you’ll be using three white pico lights with a small adhesive square for each one. And, you should go ahead and run a fourth white light as well towards the rear end (it’s shown in the pictures) as there is another section of the cooler that will be completed later and it’s easier to have the light set up for it initially.
On the very next page (122), you’ll be doing the front security camera. For this part, you’ll need a flashing red pico light and a 1x1 transparent red round brick: (the red 1x1 transparent plate that comes with the set will not work with the light mounted beneath)
On page 128, you’ll be installing the other light into the cooler that you ran on page 121; this time use the adhesive on the light blue 2x3 brick over the cooler:
Also on page 128, you’ll want to run a 12-inch extension cable towards the rear of the building where the PowerSauce display will go (as there will be a light strip mounted to the roof there as well):
Now, when we get to this next part, my pictures are WRONG. When I was drawing up the notes for this build, I made note of the fact that I wanted to use a 1x9 connector to tie all the light leads together, but there may not be room when the roof was installed. As it turns out, I was absolutely right! So, the pictures at this point of the assembly show a single 1x9 being used here, when in actuality, there are two 1x4 and a single 1x2 in place at the end (pictures later in the article will show that). There just isn’t enough room on this side to tuck the 1x9 board into the space above the coolers.
But regardless, on page 128, you will be installing all the connector boards for all of the lights on this side of the building AND installing an additional 6-inch cable that will run out of the front of the building (this will tie in the light strips and the spotlights in front and then carry through to the other side of the building as well.
Now, when you get to page 146, STOP!! (smile). You’re going to skip ahead to pages 163-166 to complete the donut and hot dog stands. It’s easier to get them built first so that you can have the wires in place to run under as much as possible: (all you’re using here are two standard white pico lights with adhesive squares to hold them in place)
Once those are completed, go back to page 146, and then you can run the twisted wires beneath the assembly of the coolers on that side of the store to keep the exposed wiring to a minimum:
Next, once you’re on page 160, take the two leads for the video games and run them back along the building wall space. Also, put a 12-inch extension cable in pace, with about 1.5 inches or so hanging out of the front of the building:
Now, on page 158, you can assemble the lights in the cooler for this side of the building. Use two standard white pico lights and two adhesive squares to hold them in place. For one of the coolers, you’ll have to remove one of the display items on the shelf for the light to fit correctly (notice the one blue wedge missing from the middle shelf in the picture). Run the wires beneath all the blue bricks and bring the wires towards the front of the building (in case you haven’t guessed, that big hole in the corner is going to come in pretty handy!):
Before you go further, skip ahead to page 168 and complete the security camera installation, using the same procedure as you did with the one in the front of the store:
Go back to page 158 and then work up until you get back to page 168, at which point you will use a 1x9 (yes it will fit this time!) to attach all the light leads on that side of the store as well as the 12-inch cable running to the front of the store. Also, you’ll be installing a LONG cable here for the leads to the roof. Personally, I used a 24-inch cable here so that I could remove the roof If necessary and place it to the side without having to disconnect anything, but that is a preference:
Next, we’re on to the roof. It was as I completed the first layer of the roof that I realized that original 1x9 would not work correctly and I had to replace it with the 1x4 and two 1x2 boards, as shown in the pictures below. Also, you can see where those two leads that you ran on each side of the store are not protruding from the front of the building:
Once you’ve made it to page 181, install two light strips on each end of the building in front and attach a 6-inch cable to each one (my notes had said you may need to use 12 inch cables, but 6 inches was more than enough). Those two 6 inch cables are run beneath the roof tiles and back inside the building, where there will be attached together by a 1x4 expansion board (don’t worry, you can tuck it away later too!):
On step 123, you’re going to assemble the store signage lighting. I’ve been using a pretty standard design for my billboard lighting and it works pretty well. If you refer back to my instructions for Big Ben (http://forum.brickstuff.com/t/x167qy/he-was-looking-for-a-place-called-lee-ho-fooks-close-to-big-ben), you can see the basic assembly. So, you use the following parts for each of the light assemblies:
- Male element (4565433)
- 1x1 plate with upright holder (255526)
- cross axle extension 2M (2512360)
- transparent clear stud (4073)
- standard white pico
Once all three light assemblies are put together, install them on the underside of the sign, and run the wires through the back and attach them to the 1x4 expansion board. You’ll also notice there is ample room beneath the roof tiles to tuck the 1x4 board in with all the wires inserted:
Also remember to mount the light strip over the PowerSauce display in the rear of the store when you are installing the roof tiles over that section:
You’re almost through… don’t give up now!
On page 247, you can turn the roof over and install four lighting strips as shown below. If that’s to much for your taste, you can certainly just do two of them however. The important part here is to make sure you have a 12-inch extension cable coming from the last one in the chain running up to the right side of the roof, as that will be your power lead:
Last, but certainly not least, install your power button on the roof of the building, and attach the lead from the underside of the roof:
Now, our building is completed, but it’s awful dark in there…..
Let’s open her up for business!
This is absolutely one of the more complex ones to build but also one of the most satisfying as well. As I said in the beginning of the article, this Lego has SO much in the way of details that I didn’t even go into during this write up… if you enjoy building Legos like we do, you’ll appreciate all the little things that are included in this model.
So, I’ve got one happy little boy and another awesome Lego for our collection here. Comments and questions always welcomed. And, as always… thank you Rob!!!
Wow, you're right, John, this model is definitely one of the more complex sets to light, but you've done a great job-- and thank you for all the additional time spent documenting everything for others in the community.
One additional suggestion-- just last week we released new warm white Pico LEDs with shorter cables-- 6" and 3"-- in packs of four. These would come in handy for keeping things tidier inside Chief Wiggum's police car for sure!Reply