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A sampling of baseplates.
The term Byggepladen is Danish for baseplate and the name of a Danish LUG.

A Baseplate is a LEGO element with the following characteristics:

  • Made of a somewhat more flexible material than a typical LEGO element.
  • Has no bottom connection system, but has studs on top.
  • Studs are vacuum formed. As can be seen by looking at the back, there are irregular depressions on the back where material is sucked into the stud cavity.
  • Manufactured in large sheets and cut to size (based on speculation), as can be seen by looking at the edges and observing the color deformation caused by shearing of the edges.

Baseplates are used as their name suggests -- as a base on which to build LEGO creations. Some baseplates may be patterned or printed, and studs may not cover the entire baseplate. For example many road plates have large stud-free flat surfaces with printed grey, black, or dark grey surfaces (and lines in some cases).

LEGO train club layouts typically (but not always) use large numbers of baseplates, as their entire table surface tends to be covered with baseplates.

Many relative purists are more willing to cut baseplates than they are other sorts of elements since "the LEGO Company cut them to begin with."

Baseplates were first available in 1953 alongside the Automatic Binding Bricks. For years the only green elements were baseplates and trees. A "lunar surface" baseplate came with some of the early space sets. The 48 x 48 stud transparent (clear) baseplate is only manufactured for use inside the LEGO company. It has never been available to the public. Official model builders use it in conjunction with brickpaper and the LEGOizer software for mosaics and other similar projects. In 2007 a 16 x 16 stud transparent (clear) baseplate was introduced as part of two mosaic sets.

Detail of a printed baseplate.
Baseplate versus plate.
Detail of the reverse of a baseplate.

Bent Baseplates

A common complaint amongst fans is that baseplates are often warped or bent, especially those bought as part of a used lot. This results in baseplates that will not lie flat on a table. Some have had success in eliminating or reducing the bend in such cases by applying heat and weighing down with books or other flat, heavy objects [1].

External Links

  • Cutting Baseplates - Article
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