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Patterned part summary

Patterned Part Numbers

In LDraw, a part with printing is called patterned. The decorative printing is the pattern. The number for a patterned part is the same as the number for plain, or base, part, plus a 'p' and a two-digit code. Like this:

BBBBBpCC.dat

BBBBB is the three- to five-digit base number, and CC is the code for the part. The code can have a mix of letters and numbers.

Getting a pattern number for your part
This isn't too hard - all you have to do is ask. Email Chris Dee, or post a message on forums.ldraw.org.

Maybe someday we'll have a nice reference table, with all the patterns pre-recorded, but we're not there yet.

Pattern Groups
Normally, the first digit of the code helps to identify which theme or product line the pattern appears in. This isn't a hard-set rule, both because many patterned parts appear in multiple themes, and because this approach to pattern-numbering has evolved over time. So there are a number of exceptions.

RangeAssignment
0xGeneral/Miscellaneous and Town
1x,2xTown, including Paradisa
3xPirates, Soldiers, Islanders
4xCastle
5x,6xSpace
7x,8xModern Town
9xOpen
AxAction (Adventurers, Aquazone, Alpha Team, Rock Raiders)
BxSuperheroes (including Batman)
CxControl Panels, dials, gauges, keyboards, readouts, etc.
CxyPatterned parts for Collectable Minifigures (torsos, arms, hips, legs) from numbered series:
  • x=series number : 1,2,3,.., y=sequence : 1-9,a-g (a=10...g=16)
  • x=0 for Collectable Minifigures from accessory packs (where these differ from series versions)
DxStudios
DxyPatterned parts for Collectable Minifigures (torsos, arms, hips, legs) from unnumbered series:
  • x=0 for Team GB; y=1-9
  • x=1 for Simpsons; y=1-9,a-g
  • x=2 for The LEGO Movie; y=1-9,a-g
ExOpen
FxFabuland and Scala
GxSoccer, Basketball
HxHarry Potter
JxIndiana Jones
KxCars (Disney Pixar)
MxMiddle Earth (Lord of the Rings)
NxNinja
QxPharaoh's Quest
Rx,SxStar Wars
Tx General Textual Patterns (lettering and numbers) and Trademark items (Corporate Logos, etc)
Ux - VxOpen
WxWestern
XxMiscellaneous (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Yx - ZxOpen

Digits to Avoid
We should avoid the letters I, L, O, and P for pattern codes. The first three are easily confused with the numbers 0 and 1, and the last is the letter used to indicate patterned parts - parts like 3001ppp would look odd.

Exceptions
These conventions are not applied to parts that contain letters of the alphabet. In this case it makes sense to incorporate the depicted letter into the file name, and the letters I, L, O and P are allowed. So for parts like 6309 (Duplo Tile 2 x 2) and 3005 (Brick 1 x 1) the 36 alphanumeric characters (0-9,a-z) are used in Tx codes. Any accented and composite characters, or symbols may use the Ux codes. In exceptional cases (such as part 3005 where more than one colour pattern exists), other code sets (eg. Vx, Wx) may be used.

Common Patterns
Some patterns appear on many different parts. An example of this is the Classic Space logo. So far, there are 8 different part files in the LDraw that bear this pattern. To make it easier to keep track of these parts, a common pattern may be assigned a specific code. Then all parts with that pattern should use that code in the part number. Of course, sometimes that's not possible - sometimes a pattern appears on the same part in different presentations on a single part, or the code may already be in use for a certain part.

Future Numbers
As people submit patterned parts in playthemes that have not been modeled in LDraw previously, we will allocate codes to these patterns and themes. It would be helpful if authors can catalog the various patterned elements in a theme; this would assist in planning. But it's not required.

For new playthemes, we hope to start pre-allocating codes to patterns. This would be good not only for LDraw, but also for other LEGO parts databases, such as Peeron.com.

- September 17, 2001
Data collected and tracked by Chris Dee, mangled by Steve Bliss

There are also some pages for mapping pattern codes to various minifigs: Minifig Patterns


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