Commander Wolf

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About Commander Wolf

  • Birthday 01/06/89

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    c0mmander w0lf
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  1. ... and a bonus video with the freight cars in action testing the layout at our annual Christmas show. Come visit the display if you live in the SF Bay Area!
  2. This is the sort of thing I've been messing with, and I'm going to be testing at least one car with this config at the BayLUG Christmas show: I like this metal-axle-in-railing thing because it's both purist and reversible. I used this technique in my PRR P54s, and they seem to have held up well, but on the freight cars (or at least the tank car, which I am testing) there seems to be a lot of friction from the wheels (not the axles) rubbing against the rails. I need to find more of the newer wheel-axle assemblies so I can insert washers between the wheels and the rails and see if it makes a difference The other downside is that the bearing things aren't quite aligned with the centers of the axles, but you can almost not tell:
  3. I was going to contest you on that, but I think you are right. Somehow I thought that these had bottom doors, but looking again, that doesn't seem to be the case. Good catch! From a functional perspective I would definitely prefer to use the stock wheelsets, but they are so egregiously hard to build around if you want an American truck aesthetic that you basically have to use the Technic stuff. You can mitigate the friction a little with lubrication, but even then you are limited to trains of maybe 4 to 5 cars if you are running on 9v power (which our LUG does). It's on my to do list to see if I can make a reliable truck with popped out wheelsets, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
  4. Wow, that's unfortunate news; thanks for the heads up. Without BBCode does that mean there will not be any way to write formatted content outside of the editor and have it display properly?
  5. These are indeed 1:48, 15" per stud. I may someday do a full writeup on the well car if I can make it more usable. The trucks are the same on the tank car and the gondola, though the pivot points are slightly different; I think this is a pretty good representation of any modern American bogie, albeit a little wider than I'd like: The truck on the flat car is a bit different, partly because it has to represent a slightly older truck design, mainly because it needs to clear the side panels: All the wheels are BBB wheels such that the side frames can be as narrow as possible (the net effect is more than just the difference in wheel thickness because you generally have to use 6L axles with official wheels). I haven't built multiples of any yet, I started gathering parts for a second tank car, but I want to build a few more unique models, see which ones I like most, and then duplicate those. So more to come soon on that front!
  6. Hi all, I wanted to comment on the forum upgrade: I think it looks great, but I'm sorely, sorely missing the raw editor functionality. When I'm writing a long post, I don't feel comfortable keeping it in the editing box for fear it could be deleted by whatever random event. I typically write long posts in a text editor with BB code and then paste it into the raw editor for final adjustments - without the raw editor I can't do this anymore, and without explicit saving functionality in the WYSIWYG editor, I'm still not comfortable writing a long post directly in the site. Please consider bringing back the raw editor if possible! (or let me know if it's actually right in front of my face) Thanks!
  7. Hi EB! I haven't posted in a long time, but I have actually been building stuff. I promise. I had been looking to put together an american freight train for some time now: I originally thought I could get away with building a long articulated well car (which would make up the entire length of a practically sized lego train), but the well car has proven to have more restrictions and less reliability than I would have liked, and as such it was time to build some regular freight cars. Tank Car All of these freight cars were actually designed in maybe 2014, but at the time I did not actually intend to build them, preferring the aforementioned well car instead. This tank car was completed first because I was able to acquire almost all of the parts through my local LUG. The only expensive parts were the 8x8 dishes on the ends, which are apparently quite rare. As much as I hate to be imprecise, the car is a little bit of a freelance: I did work off a drawing to get the proportions, but I apparently could not find a photo or model of the thing in the drawing, so the greeble around the the dome and platform is a bit of a guess. The ladders are also a bit disproportioned, but that is more of a convenience. This car probably has the most interesting construction of the three here: I wanted to use the various 8-wide circle parts, but I did not want them to make up the load-bearing structure (so you can't pull the car apart). Therefore the load-bearing structure is actually a Technic frame that kind of moves up and down such that the top and bottom set of circle parts can connect at alternating bulkheads. Flat Car Like the tank car this is a little bit of a freelance, but I really wanted a flatcar such that I could put random stuff on it, and modern flatcars at our scale are far too long to run on R40. I found two models for reference, and I believe my drawing is for the bottom one, but the car itself really takes more from the top one. This one was actually the toughest one to build. As I designed it in 2014, there wasn't nearly enough structural integrity and the wheels would easily rub on various other parts in curves. It took me quite a few iterations to increase the structural integrity to an acceptable level without compromising the overall appearance of the car (mainly not making it too tall). As you can see the details of the final design look nothing like the details on my original LDD build. Build-wise, the key to making it structurally sound was to make the studs-out sides the load-bearing element, and the difficulty was doing that while still giving the trucks enough clearance to pivot fully in an R40 curve. If you press on the car in a turn there is still a but of scrubbing, but for now I consider that acceptable. Hopper Car Unlike the other two, this car is actually based solely on a specific model! It is the latest one to be completed, and I think it is actually my favorite of the lot. It took me a while to get around to it one because I thought it would need a lot of parts, but it was mainly just the 1x2 rails (something like 100 of them) and they were relatively cheap. Construction is mainly studs up for the chassis and studs forward/backward for the sides. Each side is a studs forward and a studs backward section held together with rails on the top and bottom with some additional SNOT needed to go around the ends. It's probably the sturdiest of the three cars, but also the heaviest. Well that's it for now. There is a full gallery with a few more pics if it ever gets moderated. I do have a new locomotive in the works too, and it will be interesting.
  8. The LDD model has two battery boxes because I ultimately wanted to have the entire power train in the locomotive itself, but I originally didn't have all the parts necessary to thoroughly test that configuration. I would consider this a feature though; you can choose to power it whichever way you like! I also originally had the idea of putting an old smoke generator in the engine and that probably would've needed a separate battery pack... Yes! Finally got around to taking new pics and videos this weekend: So yeah, here is the final, cleaned up and polished model: It was actually a pain to configure it with the lipo battery and all the electronics in the loco. In my original design the receiver was literally half a stud too far forward for the cables from the motors to reach, but structural integrity issues prevented me from moving it any further back. Thus, I had to move it forward and jam a whole PF extender cable into the gap in order to bridge something like 2-3 studs worth of space. Super, super lame. That being said, it's way more convenient to have the power functions contained exclusively in the loco, and you get rid of those goddamn cables. With the removal of the cables I tried to make some sort of cowling/flaps to fill the gap between the engine and the tender, but I couldn't make anything that worked. Nonetheless, the placement of the battery box means that you can push on the rear of the dome assembly to power the loco on and off, a la the similar mechanism in set 60052 - also very convenient. I was unable to reduce the gear ratio below 1:1, but I did manage to fix most of the switch/joint picking issues by moving making the 2nd axle the tired axle instead of the 4th and using a thin O-ring for traction. For reasons which are still not quite clear to me, the 2nd axle has better grip such that it doesn't need a fat O-ring, and the thin O-ring greatly helps keep it on the rails. This unit is numbered as IAIS 7081, which is the least modified of the 3 QJs here in the US. I originally wanted to use the Avery 18865 labels that forum member dr_spock had recommended because they worked very well on my FM H10-44, but they don't seem to work well on dark base colors, so I had to keep using my tried and true but not-as-good 3M labels. ... and that's that for this project. There is a full gallery, but most of the pics have already been posted. Have a nice day! Looking forward to this one too; I didn't find any other Lego QJs before mine, so I'm curious to see what other people do.
  9. On the "boxcars" (did you mean "gondola"?) I think the wheelbase should be a little longer; ie the bogies should be at the edge of the cars rather than the 2-ish studs in. Otherwise nice job!
  10. Thanks for your thoughts folks. Will try to post some video once I can clean it up a little more. Yeah, the wires definitely need to go. I need to get the LiPo battery before I can jam all the wiring into the locomotive itself, but hopefully soon. I've attached the latest LDD file I had before going to build the real thing - it's probably 98% complete relative to the current state of the model, but it should be easy to figure out the last 2%. Like I said I've never tested the configuration with the LiPo battery (though the LDD file will tell you were it's supposed to go) so you'll have to see if that works. Do post if you make one though, especially if you can improve on the design! qj_small_150831.lxf
  11. ... annnd here it is in the flesh! After placing and receiving all the various bricklink orders I needed, it took another week to put the thing together and work out the first round of mechanical issues. I would say it's in a good 'beta' state now where the appearance is close to final and it'll drive forward and backward through all the Lego track geometries and pull a decent amount going forward as well. I was pretty replused by the BFBFB driver arrangement for a long time, but it looks a bit better in brick than in LDD and probably is more accurate in the end. This wheel arrangement still tracks more poorly than the fully articulated wheel arrangement though; the wide spacing between flanged wheels (idle and driver) tends to make all wheels more prone to picking switches, and even moreso the little guide channels in the switches. Still don't have a LiPo battery so I haven't tested the configuration where the battery box and receiver are in the loco rather than the tender, but I'm pretty confident it should work - it'll also get rid of those damn wires between the cab and tender. I really like this tender though; almost as cool as the one on the T1. Still on the to do list: Stickers for logos, etc. Fix/replace a number of greebles that are crappy/don't work Gear ratio is currently 1:1, but ideally should be more like 1:1.5/2ish; currently there's really not much torque until you get to notch 3ish. Make it not derail going backwards through s-curves while pulling/pushing something heavy Still missing various parts from window panes to lipo battery Lubricate - maybe Load test
  12. Well, this project got derailed for a while because a) World of Warships open beta came out and b) I messed up. Long story short, I read some numbers wrong, and very late in the game I found out that I was making the loco too big relative to all of my other locos - the scale was about 15% bigger. This was really annoying because things were already tight and I'd have to make a lot of compromises to shrink the loco just 15% - but after a lot of Warships and mulling over it occasionally, I acquiesced and completed what I call the 'Small QJ'. Fundamentally, the idea is the same as the big QJ: The engines are in the body and connected to the chassis via a series of universal joints going through the pivots. This is such that I don't have huge amounts of overhang when going through turns, and it will be more stable than having the body fixed to what is effectively a very short center chassis. The main difference is that due to the smaller scale, the chassis has to have a non-articulated BFBFB arrangement, which I consider a huge tradeoff as I really don't like the difference in apparent size between the B and F drivers and how the drivers hang off the rail... Otherwise, much of the construction, layout, and greebles are about the same as the larger iteration. At this point, the first version of this design is more or less complete; much of the work that needs to be done is tweaking the drivetrain - there's a lot of funny business in trying to keep the weight on the drivers, especially on the axle with tires - and then just making sure the model actually builds in brick. It's probably in a state where I can start ordering parts, and looking at the inventory it might not be that many, Hopefully won't be another 2 months before the next update. At the very least I should be done before our LUG's Christmas show -_-
  13. Is it a permanent display? If so, does it gather a lot of dust and/or how do you keep it clean? I leave Lego in my room, and after a month it's already covered in dust...
  14. Made a fair amount of progress on this model over the past few days: Placing the battery box and receiver was more annoying than I'd have hoped. There's a lot of lengthwise room in this boiler, but the placement of the sliding-rotational joint above the front driver means that the receiver and battery box can't go right next to each other, and that there will be a lot of dead space. I tried to keep all the dead space together in order to fit cabling, etc, and initially put the battery box directly in front of the motors and the receiver all the way at the front of the boiler. There's actually a trick here that I'm using to get wires around the battery box to the receiver: I've made the bulk of the boiler 6-wide using the curved slope tiles which are 2 plates tall - this means that on each side of the 4-wide battery box, there's 1LU of space in which I can run wires, and hopefully that will take care of that. There's another trick here, though I'm not sure how well it will work. In jtlan's AGEIR boxcab he put a "len"s above his pf receiver such that the receiver could be recessed. I tried this in my FM H-10-44 and it work pretty well, so I'm trying a similar thing here with a 1x1 clear cylinder such that the receiver can fit within the diameter of the boiler. With the chassis in what I thought was more or less good shape, I spent time sketching out the body of the locomotive in more detail. As you can see, the general process for me is to first find the part and placement to suggest a particular feature, and then go back and see how to support that part (if possible). The idea is to start with the ideal and then backtrack or compromise if that isn't possible. Then did some work filling out details on the cab and making some greeble for the valve gear. You can see a close to final rendering of the cab: Typically, I only use the drawing to determine the placement of large features, and a model to determine what to do for individual details. It was at this point that I found some potentially showstopping flaws in the chassis while doing load testing with rubber tires. Because of the way this chassis is geared, with the motor driving the 5th driven axle and each subsequent axle then driving the axle ahead of it, the gear on the 4th driven axle tends to climb up on the gear ahead of it and derail the 4th axle if there is a lot of load. I've temporarily solved the issue by making the sliding rotational joint not loading bearing and redistributing that weight right between the 4th and 3rd axles, but there's going to be some balance between the derailing force and the weight of the locomotive that I'm not sure will balance out. That being said, here's a clip of the current chassis pulling some heavy stuff:
  15. I think all the aforementioned solutions are reasonable depending on what you value. Some quick tradeoffs I can see: For 9v the big benefit is that you can run the trains forever without swapping batteries, etc. The biggest drawback is the price. For the rechargeable Lego battery, it's still expensive compared to other batteries, but cheaper than 9v and probably has better energy density than Eneloops in the AAA box. Another drawback is that you can only use it with Lego. Eneloops are cheaper than the Lego battery, but it's easier to loose them, more trouble to charge them, and again, probably has less energy density than the Lego battery. Another plus is that you can use them for other things as well.