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03 January 2021

Part 66956, Wedge 2x2 Pointed with Stud Notches: analysis and MOCs

Zachary Hill (@zachary.p.hill) explores a new LEGO® part from 2020 today, as well as briefly reviewing the set he first received it in, 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers. If you're buying from LEGO Bricks and Pieces, consider using our affiliate links: USA, UK or AU. New Elementary may get a commission.


Introduced in the autumn 2020 wave of new LEGO® sets, Wedge 2 x 2 Pointed with Stud Notches (66956) combines two existing wedge slopes into the first curved slope with five corners. This new mould has been thoughtfully designed to be more than the sum of its parts; with its pointed nose and unique underbelly this POOP offers builders a sharp take on slopes.

Pointing out 66956's features


The LEGO Group calls this piece Plate w/ Bow 2x2x2/3, 45 Deg. As that name reveals it occupies a total space of 2 x 2 x ⅔ modules, but the mould’s most prominent feature is a pointed tip making up the front half of the part which has two stud notch openings along the diagonal of that pointed tip. Predictably, this piece’s bowed top matches Slope, Curved 2 x 1 (11477), the “Baby Bow”, and its ever-growing family of related parts. As with this part’s siblings, no studs are present on the top of the new sloped wedge.


Flip the part over and rather than the 1 x 2 plate-sized cutout, you’ll immediately notice how angular its bottom is - all but one aspect of the structure is made of 90- and 45-degree edges. The exception to this load of lines is one welcome hollow post in the 1 x 2 area which allows the piece to be centred - say, on a hollow stud. This peculiar underside invites ornamental use - the unusual design is something onlookers might not suspect is actually the bottom of a part.


If you’ve ever put the long edges of mirror-image halves Wedges 2 x 1 with Stud Notch Right/Left (29119/29120) together (perhaps in a parts festival featuring them), you’ve seen this shape before. The meeting point of those older parts’ flattened tips are replaced by an uncompromised 90° corner. Stud notches on the smaller 2 x 1 wedges have more material which prevent the piece moving backward when a stud is in that space, while in this 2 x 2 no such restriction is present due to the ample space around the thin supports. In either case, the pointed section’s notches have no clutch.

Sets with the new 2x2 curved wedge

Ten sets released in late 2020 feature this new mould in a total of five colours, present in a moderate variety of themes including appearances in Hidden Side, Monkie Kid, Ninjago and Star Wars.

©2020 The LEGO Group

White:
  • 4x in 71722 Skull Sorcerer’s Dungeons
  • 2x in 71721 Skull Sorcerer’s Dragon
  • 1x in 75288 AT-AT

Medium Stone Grey/ Light Bluish Gray:

  • 7x in 71720 Fire Stone Mech
  • 2x in 70433 J.B.’s Submarine
  • 1x in 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers

Bright Red/ Red:

  • 7x in 71720 Fire Stone Mech
  • 2x in 80016 The Flaming Foundry
  • 1x in 71704 Kai Fighter

Dark Red:

  • 2x in 80016 The Flaming Foundry
  • 1x in 71705 Destiny’s Bounty

Black:

  • 1x in 71705 Destiny’s Bounty
  • 1x in 80014 Sandy’s Speedboat

Review of 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers


My first copy of this part arrived in 75280 501st Legion Clone Troopers which includes a single instance in Light Bluish Gray. This set comes with no other notable moulds or recolours besides the tweaked click hinge designs already covered by Thomas Jenkins in 75290 Mos Eisley Cantina, so I’ll focus mainly on the new wedge. 


Here it forms the nose of the set’s BARC speeder bike, further updating the BARC which has appeared in five prior LEGO sets. This speeder bike design most closely resembles 2013’s 75012 BARC Speeder with Sidecar (sans sidecar if you will) but with more pointiness and overall length. These changes have gradually built up over six iterations to cause what I’ll dub “BARC inflation” - a phenomenon which results in a bigger hoverbike each time it’s redesigned. Any petty complaints of mine are nullified by the set’s value - six minifigures, eight various (non-stud shooter) blasters, and two vehicles at £24.99 / US$29.99 / 29.23€ / CA$39.99 make an attractive offer for many Clone Wars-era Star Wars fans. How many fans is that? Enough to ensure three months after its August 2020 release, this set is still more often sold out than not on the US LEGO.com.

The LEGO System encourages rebuilding to your heart’s desires and what my heart desired was bigger figures. With inspiration from onecase’s The Emperor's Arrival MOC on Flickr, I scaled up Anakin Skywalker’s personal Clone legion to better fit their BARC speeder and AT-RT scout walker.


But enough about a set with just one single bowed 2 x 2 wedge piece - what could you do with dozens of them?

The new possibilities of LEGO part 66956

TLG’s Bricks & Pieces service sells every colour available to date of the 2 x 2 wedge (at least in the USA), but I’ve only added light bluish gray to my collection. This desaturated colour allows the part’s shape to take precedence and fits into a wide variety of builds. While simple necessity likely defined TLG’s choices of introductory colours, the largely neutral palette gives builders a chance to get to know the form before exploring wild colours which I hope will be added in due time. LEGO Friends, could you use this part?

Suit of armour


Challenging myself to use the part as much as possible has produced this suit of armour for some type of horned-owl-revering warrior. This awkward helmet-yielding challenge may have left aesthetics second but uncovered at least a few new usages which can’t be mimicked with older parts.


In this MOC the entire upper half is made possible thanks to the new 2 x 2 sloped wedge piece. The helmet tips and shoulder pauldrons are attached to hollow studs which centers the shape without additional bulk.

The footprint of this piece allows up to two bricks to be connected to the 1 x 2 cutout. The pieces forming the breastplate connect shoulders to torso, and while this build has enough support for 2 x 1 half-slopes to work, the new 2 x 2 piece binds the chest together with more stability.


Each arm support extending from the chest sides was built using a black Plate, Modified 1 x 1 Rounded with Bar Handle (26047) connected to a black Plate, Modified 1 x 1 with Clip Vertical (4085) under the two stud notches of a breastplate wedge. Since this bar end shares the dimension of a stud’s diameter it fits nicely where a stud would go, while the free end of that same plate can swivel until it is stopped by the wedge notch edges. Just over 90 degrees of rotation are possible. Recreating this arrangement with 2 x 1 pointed halves revealed it was possible but rotation was limited to less than 90 degrees due to the larger support material.

Gothic cathedral and cemetery


Not quite an ankh and not quite a crucifix but quite usable as a religious symbol, the 2 x 2 wedge’s support structure served as inspiration for a microscale Gothic tower and graveyard. I initially regretted stocking only light bluish gray wedges as white may have served better here, but I was able to turn around my regret with turntable undersides and other gray accents.


Upside-down 2 x 2 turntables as round windows are no longer unusual in LEGO builds, but playing with the bottom of the new wedge part inspired me to revisit other parts such as this one for inverted usage. Just a few elements have been flipped here but the new wedge reminds me every part in the LEGO System has a usable bottom given the right scenario.

Of course, forcing wild part usage should come as second to building whatever the designer likes. I’ve used a 2 x 2 wedge quite ordinarily to approximate a set of angled stairs leading into the sanctuary.

One sharp cookie

In time the strange but useful Wedge 2 x 2 Pointed with Stud Notches will surely pop up in more MOCs. The community of creative LEGO fans has plenty of discovery to do as I’ve only uncovered and shared a tiny fraction of the ways this mould can be used. 


What does this part inspire you to build? A bent baseball diamond’s home plate? A zipper for the world’s biggest jacket? An excavator bucket’s claws? No matter what you choose to make this part into, you’re sure to make your point.


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18 comments:

  1. I'd like to see this piece in some shades of blue to model flowing water.

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    1. Oh my gosh yes. Blues would be awesome for a cascading waterfall; is it too much to wish for translucent colors too?

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    2. I have seen/bought clones of 29120's in transparent colors, they're also great for windshields in microbuilds.
      I've never seen any curved slope from Lego itself in a transparent color, maybe the clutch would make them too hard to remove?

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    3. Larger curved slopes like the 1x6 curved slope have definitely come in transparent colors before. It could just be an aesthetic decision with how these smaller ones include a "step" that might look odd in a transparent color. If clutch were ever an issue for them I'm not sure it would still be now that Lego has largely shifted away from using polycarbonate for transparent parts.

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    4. Yeah but 1x6's can be removed using a brick separator, 1x2's can be tricky. That said the clone brand I'm playing with right now is perfectly fine. It doesn't look that great but it's pretty much the same thing with 1x1 cheese slopes (for which the clone also has 1x2 versions in trans clear, not sure why Lego never did it, especially when we're often asked to chain & align 1x1 trans cheese slopes & it's kinda tedious)

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  2. I wish Lego had instead released the opposite/complementary part, which would be a 1x2 slope with the cutout on the highest side.

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    1. Lovely idea, I'm sure it's "in a drawer somewhere in Billund". Fingers crossed!

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  3. I hope it is fair to offer some criticism - I find this article rather odd. This part might not be the coolest of them all but is it really so uninspiring that it needed an unwarranted review of a SW set with going on complete tangent about some upscaled figs? It feels to me that these got more attention than the following 'part exploit' section which IMO leaves a lot to be desired :) Don't get me wrong, I didn't have to read through, you do it as a hobby, all is fine. But I always admired this website for the eloquence and heaps of inspiration. Both of these seem to be somewhat lacking here.

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    1. Yeah, the article began life as the set review before growing to focus on its most interesting element. Which is why I managed expectations in the intro, but odd articles are always fine by me. Happily, loads of people were inspired by Zach’s ideas. I’m glad you recognise this as a free site run with passion and love, Anonymous, and not something that needs to strive to meet everyone’s expectations.

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    2. Thanks for the feedback! I've loved reading New E for years for the exact reasons you mentioned - hope you find future articles inspiring.

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    3. Kristof (previously Anonymous)5 Jan 2021, 15:00:00

      It sure was a take it or leave it kind of feedback. Bluntly put without burying it in too many disclaimers because I know you had no need to justify yourself ;) When the bar is as high as here, it's easy to see very good as average, but I think it is also the only way to keep the high standard.

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    4. I'm sure the writers will be highly motivated to know the Inspiration Police are watching.

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    5. I hope Zachary took less offense than you did, Tim. I will moderate my comments more carefully next time! :)

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    6. Yeah Zach seemed fine, and I was fine with your first point. Complaining that you weren't inspired enough is what I considered unhelpful. Zach proposed using the undersides of parts, and connecting supposedly POOP parts in ways that prove they're not POOP... that's what we're about here at New E. If you didn't like his execution, fine - plenty did, but don't claim he was insufficiently inspiring for New E.

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    7. POOP accusations are a funny thing. In some cases, they're justified because the resulting part is largely unusable for other things, but the system started with 2x4 bricks that were effectively rendered POOP with the introduction of 2x2, 1x4, 1x2, and 1x1 bricks. The problem is, you can't build anything with just 1x1 bricks except a skinny tower (or a thick rail). However, there's a guy in my LUG who prefers to build his skyscrapers with 1x2 bricks. His most recent one is big enough to fit three people inside, standing upright.

      The use of the undersides to justify them was a really weird angle that I don't think I've ever seen used before (and I don't generally use the undersides of parts aesthetically either). The simple fact that it increases stability is enough in my book. Small parts are great for some things, except there are hard limits to what you can do with some of them based on nothing more than lack of connection points. Did anyone complain when they rolled out the double cheese wedge? I systematically replaced paired cheese wedges in most of my MOCs as new colors became available.

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  4. Those poor battle droids don't stand a chance. I don't blame them for surrendering without firing a shot. Not one bit.

    Minor point: A crucifix and a cross are not the same thing. Crosses are _just_ the cross, as used in most Protestant iconography. A crucifix is a cross with the body of Jesus suspended on it, and is more commonly seen in the Roman Catholic and other more orthodox traditions.

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    1. Thanks for the point on crosses and crucifixes, I didn't know about that nuance but I'll remember it!

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    2. @Zachary:
      I used to think "crucifix" was just a fancier way of saying "cross" myself, and I know I got schooled on it at some point.

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