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  1. Great Ball Contraption (GBC) - General Discussion and Index This is a topic used for GBC general conversation, questions, hints, tips, etc. This first post will be used to maintain an Index of GBCs here on Eurobricks or other websites. Eurobricks topics LEGO GBC 8 + Building Instructions (5 modules - 2 motors) New Akiyuki GBC Instruction Index Other sources
  2. Historical background: The experimental Aerotrain was built by General Motors using hard riding Bus Bodies for coaches, a new untested (and quite complicated) air cushion suspension system, and an under-powered motor originally made for switching locomotives. Two of these trains were built in the 1950's as a way to entice passengers back onto the railroads and out of their automobiles. The hard-coupled unit had one engine and 10 cars attached, including the observation car. These low-slung units toured the United States as a test of it's abilities. Needless to say, it was a tremendous failure. It toured on four roads including the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe, New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, & Union Pacific before eventually being sold to the Rock Island for Chicago Commuter Service. In 1966, after less than a decade of service, one locomotive & two cars were sold to the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, while the other locomotive and two cars were sold to The Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri. The train can come apart (unlike the prototype Aerotrain) into 6 sections: 1 engine, 4 coaches, 1 observation coach. Model Notes: The original train had ten cars, which would be hard to do in Lego (and it's kinda pointless as 9 of then are identical) I have five cars on my train, four identical coaches and one observation coach on the end. My Inspiration for this model came from this Brickshelf account here: http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=497396 and i give 99% of the credit for the model to Brickshelf user enquete-art. The other 1% comes from me, such as the reworked front bogie, front and back windshields, window work and using this numbered tile in red: http://www.bricklink...sp?P=3070bpb063 I used a lot of SNOT to hold the diagonal windows & front engine slopes in place. other than that, it's pretty straight-forward building. I found this picture on Google. It comes from a 1950's General Motors ad for the Aerotrain. It has been used by several different blogs and groups according to my search, so it should be okay to post here. Comments, questions and complaints welcome!
  3. HEY All, LEGO We are two flourishing LEGO FANS who have decided to dedicate our Thesis research to an extensive study of the LEGO user's impressions on the LEGO Ideas platform and the fan contribution to TLG - basically on all of you!! SO, we would like to ask you 4 brief questions, which will be used as qualitative data in our thesis.1. How and why has the LEGO Ideas changed your perception of TLG?2. What would it take for you to feel alienated by LEGO in terms of their new ideas for co-creation? Or can LEGO do no wrong when it comes to creating with fans? 3. Would you say that LEGO co-creating with fans have made you more loyal to the brand? How? 4. Did the Lego Ideas Test Lab influence your perception of TLG? THANK YOU for any comments and responses!AND if ANY of you would like to help us even more - we would like to set up a skype-chat / informal interview with you, it will take no more than 10-15 minutes of your time It would be greatly appreciated!!
  4. This engine is modeled after the GE 44 ton switcher locomotive. Why 44 tons, you may ask? I give you the answer from the Wikipedia article on this loco type: This locomotive's specific 44-short ton weight was directly related to one of the efficiencies the new diesel locomotives offered compared to their steam counterparts: reduced labor intensity. In the 1940s, the steam to diesel transition was in its infancy in North America, and railroad unions were trying to protect the locomotive fireman jobs that were redundant with diesel units. One measure taken to this end was the 1937 so-called "90,000 Pound Rule" :[citation needed] a stipulation that locomotives weighing 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg) – 45 short tons – or more required a fireman in addition to an engineer on common carrier railroads. Industrial and military railroads had no such stipulation. The 44-ton locomotive was born to skirt this requirement. The loco is bi-directional, and doesn't have much to differentiate between the "front" or "rear" expect for the air horn and exhaust stack on one end in real life. My LEGO model lacks these, so it's only way to tell which is front is by the headlights: clear for front, red for rear. I am going to name this loco WFP number 7007. (WFP stands for Wabash Frisco & Pacific, which is the name of a 12 inch gauge ride-on railway in St. Louis, MO.) They don't have a real 44 toner there, but do have a Fairbanks Morse H10-44 (number 704) in the same color scheme, so I made this engine as a companion to the H10-44. In the spoiler tag below, you will find a real life picture of a 44-toner loco. (I got the picture from, It is NOT mine!) Just for comparison purposes, here is the H10-44 I was talking about. NOTE: The H10-44 is NOT included in the GE 44-ton's LDD file! The (updated) LDD file for the GE loco is available here. Build updated 3-14-17 with a better 44 ton GE unit, courtesy of Henry Durand over on Facebook's LEGO Train Fan Club. Thanks Henry! Comments, Questions, suggestions and complaints are always welcome!
  5. Introduction Since the theme came out last year, I wanted to do a Nexo Knight set review. And here it is! I choose set 70321 General Magmar's Siege Machine of Doom because it was the set that got the longest name, and so I knew I'd like it! More seriously, the minifigs looked great and the Siege Machine of Doom looked quite scary. Let's see if it's really the case! Set information Set Name: General Magmar's Siege Machine of Doom Set Number: 70321 Number of Pieces: 516 Theme: Nexo Knights Year Release: 06/2016 Prices: £39.99 / $49.99 / €49.99 (Euro prices may vary) #70321 on Brickset #70321 on Rebrickable Packaging The front shows the usual 2016 Nexo Knight theme, with the 3 minifigures included (Clay, Flama and General Magmar) and the 3 Nexo Power also included. The back of the box shows the set's play features of the Siege Machine of Doom. There's also a relatively big artwork trying to make us play the free game. Content of the box The box contains 4 numbered bags, two instruction booklets, a loose stickers sheet and six of these big spiked wheels. The stickers look really great, but I feel like they're too much of them... Instructions booklet As it seems to be the norm now with medium sized sets, we got 2 instruction booklets. The smaller one, which will gide us through the first part of the build has 79 pages, while the second has 64 pages. A total of 143 steps awaits us... Instructions are clear and easy to follow. The light blue background makes color distinctions easy. Bill of materials... Lots of promotional pages at the end of both booklet. Minifigures The set contains 3 minifigures: Clay, Flama and General Magmar, the last two being exclusive to this set. Clay got a dual printed face while both Magmar and Flama got back printed heads. I'm really fond of the different prints on Magmar and Flama. They look really menacing! Build With bag #1 we'll start building the Siege Machine... ... and get the complete Hover Horse in Clay's colors. It is built like every other Hover Horses that can be found in other sets. Bag #2 adds to the Siege Machine, with the beginning of the lifting mechanism. With Bag #3 the Siege Machine is almost complete. Ang bag #4 and the loose wheels finish it! A few spare parts... The complete set with the Siege Machine of Doom and Clay on its Hover Horse. The fight seems a bit unfair!... The build is rather interesting. Lots of Lego Technic beams and connectors in there. Lots of stickers too, but they really add to the beauty of the Siege Machine of Doom! Play features The main play feature is the ability of the Siege Machine to raise. In that position, it looks like a big monster with an open mouth. You can note that the three plateforms stay horizontal in both configuration. In lowered position, don't play with the disk shooter, as you could hit Flama in the head! In raised mode, we have acces to a prison cell hidden in the Siege Machine guts. You don't want to be in there when in lowered mode! The sets comes with the usual shooting thingies for a bad guys sided Nexo Knight set: nice printed 2x2 round plates and balls. We also got two Nexo Powers in addition to the one on Clay's shield, and the Book of Destruction! Conclusion Design: 9/10 - The Siege Machine is quite impressive in its design! The mechanism works extremely well! Parts: 8/10 - A very nice selection of parts with lots of colors. Again less stickers and more printed parts would be better. Build: 8/10 - Not very difficult builds, but rather interesting. Playability: 8/10 - A great playset ! Minifigs: 9/10 - While Clay's minifig is quite standard, General Magmar and Flama are absolutely stunning!. Price: 7/10 - With decent ppp of 0,097€ and 3 minifigs, this set's price is correct. Overall: 49/60 (82%) - General Magmar's Siege Machine of Doom is a great set. Not only does it have (2) great minifigures, but it is also very playable and looks nice, with a good selection of parts.
  6. This model is a combination of the best parts of sets 8095 and 7565, both of which are called General Grievous’ Starfighter. I consider both sets lackluster, so I combined both bad sets into one good one. The ship's name in the Star Wars universe is the "Soulless One", and is General Grievous’ personal vessel in Episode III and both the Clone Wars cartoon and mini-series until his death at the hands of a Obi Wan Kenobi, who then "borrowed" the ship and later abandoned it. Here, it is being re-purposed by Imperial forces, led by Admiral Oswald Lyons (my fictional character), who found the ship and claimed it as his own. The ship features a small change from it Separatist days: a Imperial symbol has been added to the side wings. (That 2x2 round tile is supposed to have this print: The ship features a slide open cockpit, which comes with a flight computer. The ship defends itself with two laser cannons mounted near the front of the nose, one per side. I heavily modified the tail, wings, and underside to attach better to the rest of the ship. Also, in case anyone is wondering, the wings and mostly from set 7565 while 98% of the body is from set 8095. Here is the LDD file: Comments, questions and complaints welcome!
  7. Usually I don't post topics like this, but I have been increasingly become frustrated over the past few years over the presence of "lego investors". I would like to invite discussion as to what people think about it. I do realize that people are free to do whatever they want - the secondary market for Lego is extremely valuable and they do provide a useful service, since they perhaps add liquidity to this market. Is lego investing that profitable? My first reaction when I started to think about this topic is whether or not is it worthwhile. These days it is starting to sound more and more like the day-trading movement - a crowded field driven by internet forums, filled with people trying to make a quick buck. I highly doubt it is that profitable. In the early days, there were probably a few people who got lucky since they had multiple copies of the UCS Falcon (or Green Grocer or whatever sets skyrocketed in value). They sold them, and now everyone wants to replicate that. However, the vast majority of sets do not behave this way. In terms of total time and effort "invested", it seems like a terrible idea. Suppose that one is a Lego investor of extraordinary ability and one is able to sell their sets with a 30% markup on average (note that a lot of series have not risen in value at all since their discontinuation). Over the course of one year, if one turns over $50,000 worth of Lego, one makes a tidy profit of $15,000 - seems amazing, right? However, first consider that $50,000 is about 500 mid to high end lego sets (average $100). To make this work, you would have to sell about $200 worth of Lego every single business day of the year!! The amount of work that must go into this must be insane - posting on ebay, reposting on ebay multiple times (due to expired auctions, no one buying your listing), dealing with flaky buyers, driving to the post office, spending time shipping at the post office, buying inventory. Also consider the hidden costs involved - ebay fees, taxes on new items purchased, shipping fees, gas, shipping supplies, the opportunity cost of not working somewhere else. Worse yet, some people "part out" their sets hoping to sell the individual pieces for more than the total value of the set. I once saw an internet posting where someone was complaining about the amount of work that needed to part out 80 (!!!) identical copies of a star wars set. These people must have either no other skills they can use in real life, or must be in a state of complete delusion to resort to this type of masochism. The other thing to consider is that a lot of inventory does not sell or move quickly. In order to sell this much lego over the course of the year ($50,000 in our hypothetical example), one would need significantly more Lego in inventory over the course of that time. Where does one get the capital to buy thousands and thousands of dollars worth of Lego? Where does one store all of this? Do they all live in storage warehouses? These people's houses must look like cases from a "Hoarders" episode. Analogously to the day-trader movement, the vast majority of Lego investors probably make nowhere near the amount of money they would like to - probably better for them to pick up overtime hours. Who buys these sets? These days, who are the people that are buying the Green Grocer (or Carousel or whatever sets these investors like) for $1000? Is it someone who actually thinks that the Green Grocer is intrinsically worth $1000 to them, and it brings them that much pleasure? Is it another investor (maybe more likely)? Are these sets actually being sold, or are they just sitting in the market? If anyone has insight into this, feel free to share. Why the obsession with minifigures? Why would I spend $25 on a few minifigures from a set, when I can purchase the entire set for $60? I suppose the only reason is that if I lost a minifigure and wanted to replace it. However, many times if I punch in a lego set number into Ebay, there are many more results for the minifigures in the set, rather than the set itself. Impact on me I am fortunate in that I am not that into the pet favorites of the Lego investor world (Lego SW, LOTR, Carousel, ...). If someone gave me a Green Grocer (and I didn't know the price), I would think it is alright, but I wouldn't get super excited either. Many times, on my local online buy and sell, I can sniff out who is a Lego investor. Their main characteristics are 1) Lots of listings for the typical sets, 2) High prices, 3) Refusal to negotiate. Most of the time, I just avoid them and purchase from someone who happens to be selling something I like for whatever other reason. Almost always, one gets a worse deal from a Lego investor. Killing the spirit I know certainly that if I got into lego investing (just for the sake of the money), it would kill my interest in Lego as a hobby. Who would enjoy spending countless hours each week parting out huge numbers of sets, constantly reposting ebay ads, etc.? It is also disappointing to search for information regarding a set on the internet, only to be greeted by a page which does a side-by-side comparison of the set with others on its investment merits (what is its ROI going to be? when is it EOL?), disregarding any of the characteristics that makes it an intrinsically good Lego set. What can we do? I am the last person to make normative claims regarding other people's behavior - Lego investors can do whatever they want, whether it is to their own benefit, or their own detriment. Some of my own thoughts: - To the contrary, I think that a complete set is worth more than the sum of its parts - I don't "part out". Furthermore, I don't value particular subsets of a Lego set (ie. minifigures) to be vastly more valuable than the rest. Parting out sets reduces the number of complete sets in the market, making the complete sets more rare and costly - I would hope that a non-investor recognizes this. - Whenever possible I avoid dealing with Lego investors. As mentioned earlier, this happens naturally, since almost always their terms are not favorable (high prices). - Prevent friends from being seduced into the delusional belief that they can make thousands by just buying and selling a few Lego sets. - Encourage Lego as an interesting and stimulating hobby and toy for its own merits. - TLG: hopefully they re-release some of the inflated sets - not that I want to buy them, but just to mess with the investors :) I've already seen this happen - within minutes there are floods of panicked messages on brickpicker coming from people who have loaded up on 40 copies of the set, only to see it being re-released at half the secondary market price. Comments, feedback and discussion are welcome :)
  8. Hello good peoples of the Minifig Customisation Workshop Taking a break from studying for my exams which are currently going on, I decided to create some decals based off characters from my films/graphic novel. Here's one of them, a German Major General called Angelo Vogel. Please lemme know what you think of the decal! His face: The face is based off the Collectable Minifig Series' Pilot ( Series 2 I think? ), but younger. I might re-make it with thicker Eyebrows and a deeper colour for the "wrinkles" and what not.. I'll throw in two reference pictures here, so people have an idea what the 'real' Vogel looks like. Here's the film one: And here's the Graphic Novel drawn version (In the center): The character to his right is the one who's decal I shall be making next, tomorrow night possibly. What is any decal worth if it's not applied to a minifig? I'm not sure, but I applied it to one of my minifigs, i've yet to get a proper camera, so here's a bad quality picture, sorry I might try making a bright-grey coloured "skirt" for him, some point in the future. I might make the tie on the torso darker too, it seems too bright. Anyways! Please let me know what you think, or what I could do more to capture the likeness? Axle