21 April 2022

The LEGO® 5x5 Curved Plate

Posted by Tom Loftus

What's this? A chopped-up blue onion? Nope, it's a handful of Plate Round 5 x 5 Macaroni (80015) - a new LEGO® element for 2022, and the subject of today's article. 
It's the third element in the relatively new category of one-module-wide curved plates, and comes in five colours so far. But with recolours coming thick and fast, it’s likely this list will get outdated pretty quickly: 
  • Aqua / Light Aqua (6370300)
  • Bright Light Blue / Light Royal Blue (6383092)
  • Dark Azure (6365941
  • Dark Turquoise / Bright Bluish Green / Teal (6377247) 
  • Black (6372045) 

The other members of the family are Plate Round Corner 3 x 3 with 2 x 2 Round Cutout (68568) and
Plate 2 x 2 Round Corner with 1 x 1 Cutout (79491) - the latter currently only available in Yellow (6365891). Like its smaller counterparts, the new 5x5 plate follows an existing radius with one module extensions on each end - in this case a 4x4 module radius, making an overall size of 5x5. 


Sadly until we get 3x3 quarter round bricks or cylinder panels, it's unlikely we'll get the missing link in our line-up.


As is the case with the 4x4 variant, the extensions are very handy for securing curved panels and bricks to adjoining walls. Previous solutions for this would involve unsightly overhanging plates or awkward full quarter circle plates like Plate Round Corner 6 x 6 (6003) pictured in Dark Purple, neither of which are ideal in certain situations. Its inner curve matches that of Plate Special 4 x 4 with Curved Cutout (35044) shown here in Dark Blue - a parts combo that can be found on the roof of 10299 Real Madrid – Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.


I couldn't resist playing around with some fun shapes using multiples of the part to help conjure up some ideas for more complex builds.


Well, that, and because they look pretty! But how could these parts be useful in builds? Does the new plate solve any building conundrums or open up possibilities hitherto unknown? Let's find out.

Inthert's MOCs using the 5x5 Curved Plate

Curved Door Mechanism


To take advantage of the extensions, I was keen to see if a sliding door could be made - a rather ambitious concept for me as I rarely attempt builds with mechanisms. After several iterations I managed to get a proof of concept model where both doors open to reveal... a mass of ugly Technic beams that slides forward! 


My hope is to build off the Technic to create a microscale landing pad that rises up out of the hangar doors. Other possible uses could be a telescope with a retractable roof, a concealed display case for a superhero's suit or, with some rearranging of the mechanics, I'm sure the opening could be turned into a usable doorway. 

Checkpoint   

The curved plate's underside has a more bubbly texture than most elements, which I thought would work well for the swirling magical stuff that videogames use to indicate interactive objects.  


In order to have the curved plates sit flush with the stone surface, I nestled each one between a Tile 3 x 3 Curved Macaroni in Light Bluish Grey (6362965 | 79393) and a Brick Arch 1 x 5 x 4 in Light Bluish Grey (6075066 | 14395).


I didn’t feel like injecting too much action into the scene so I went for a tranquil checkpoint on the fringes of the blue ice mountains - a place to recharge and swap stories with the friendly sentry droid. I hardly ever find myself using Aqua even though it’s one of my favourite colours in the LEGO palette, so I'm glad to finally have an excuse to use a decent quantity of it in one go. It also matched the calm vibe I was striving for.

Deckchair

Speaking of calming vibes, after all that technical problem solving and pretending I know what I'm talking about when it comes to video games, I'm in need of a little rest and relaxation.  
 

So I’ll round off the mocs part of this article with a trip to the picturesque white void beach - complete with a curved plate deckchair.

Closing Thoughts

I've found the 5x5 curved plate to be one of those practical elements that doesn't necessarily inspire a creation by itself  but will no doubt prove useful on a wide variety of builds - Particularly when combined with 4x4 curved elements. That makes it one of the less extraordinary recent additions to the inventory but one that I, and I'm sure many others, will be pleased to have around.

READ MORE: Building MOCs with Sword No. 20 in Satin Trans-Black from Marvel's Eternals

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10 comments:

  1. A beautiful piece and lovely models. I especially like the deckchair, as it seems to be quite identical with one that Porco Rosso sits on on my desktop image I've had for 6 years.

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    1. Thanks! An unintentional resemblance but I definitely see it!

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  2. I love all the details in Checkpoint, such a lovely looking build!

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    1. Cheers! I was determined to add those gems even if they had a tendency to tumble over!

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  3. that deckchair is a stroke of genius!
    KEvron

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  4. Instead of doors, think of it as a large clamshell bucket

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  5. Great review of a part that's more than meets the eye!

    I like your sliding door mechanism, which reminds me of the doors of Pokémon Centers in some of the Pokémon games. If you wanted to make the doors usable for figs, the easiest way would probably be to hide the mechanism beneath the floor—there's been some compact door-opening mechanisms in themes like Ninjago (albeit with traditional doors) that might serve as inspiration.

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  6. Does this new plate align with the new banana gear from the AT-AT? Just curious if that might be an alternative way to create the sliding doors, without having all the technic in the way

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    1. Nope, that gear rack is 6x6 with a larger radius than the 4-module radius of this part.

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