MTM

winner of the train award - I'm not agreed

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Posted (edited)

Hi lego train fans,

 

today I noticed the winner of the "Brick Train Award", Ewout Rohling's green steam engine "LNER W1".

First: I'm not an envious person and I haven't submitted a model in the competion, because I had not enough time (I tried to finish a "single layout).

And, of course, I want congratulate Ewout (I don't know him) for his victory. 

I like all the curves, I like the clean nearby-studless design. That's nice.

 

But I'm not agree, that this model wins such a competition. 

So why I'm not agree?

 

The rules for the competition said: 

This category is for entries of models including any steam-powered locomotive. Entries may make use of some third party elements including:

  • custom bearings and axles
  • custom wheel sets
  • custom printed elements and decals
  • custom rods

Yes, the winning model uses this custom parts, Formally, it's allowed. I don't  want to argue about the wheels or rods in general. They could be necessary. But for me, in this model, they were used too much. He doesn't want to win a 3D-printing contest or sticker contest. It's a "with-lego-parts-building" contest!

The stickers for example (there are so many stickers used). Finally the stickers and the printed parts makes it to a LNER W1. I understand the rule, to use third party elements as an "add-on" or as a subtle decoration (like in the winner model of the categories "best freight wagon" or "best special" wagon. The wagons looks good even without any stickers, but have got the icing of the cake.

Would you say, LEGO set 75885 is the best "speed champions set"? It looks so empty without all these stickers.

And another thought is: He's using non LEGO parts. I know, the competition is called "brick train award" but, in the text everytime it is readable about LEGO parts (and also the differentation to third party elements). Next to wheels, rods and stickers, you can see more third party elements: the wedge plate in top of the front, the light gray bars at front - what lego part is this dark gray thing above the second axle? A glued lamp (?) at the smoke deflector, a cutted chain in the front, 

I've got it that way: "Entries may make use of some third party elements including:" In original rule at the brick train award website the word "some" is italic. But, here were used "a lot of third party elements". So for me the first place is disappointing. There are so some entries, were you can see that the builder has given more thought about the use of his parts - like at "Best TFOL steam engine". The decision is a little bit unfair for these great models.

 

What's your opinion about this? Are you with me - or do you see it differently. I'm excited for your answers.

MTM

 

 

Edited by MTM

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Posted (edited)

I think you're entitled to hold your opinion, but ultimately it's not down to us to decide what is or is not acceptable within the rules of the contest. They clearly have judged it to be within the rules and does not exceed what they consider to be more than just "some third party elements". That it may cross the line in your own eyes is, unfortunately, neither here nor there. I would expect that the judges are on the look-out for abuse of this rule and, although they did not specify why, a number of entries for this year's contest were disqualified.

In spite of your objections, there's rather a lot of LEGO engineering going on with Ewout's W1 in order to capture the shape of the original. It does use "some third party elements", but then so do some of my own builds. I have always printed my own stickers and have even cut or painted some parts in order to replicate parts that I cannot obtain any other way. I have recently started using third party wheels and rods and have supplemented my own stickers with O gauge waterslide transfers for numbering, lining and insignia. However, the third party or modified parts, or stickers, do not by themselves constitute any of my models and would, if removed, form only a very small pile of largely unattributable items. The remaining genuine LEGO parts would still constitute a recognisable (if incomplete) model.

Edited by Hod Carrier

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Posted (edited)

Unfortunately, Lego severely limits us when it comes to steam locomotive parts - IMO, way, way more than they do most other themes. Frankly, I believe these restrictions to be bordering on the absurd - we've had Lego trains chugging around for... what... 40 years now? And we still only have ever seen two sizes of driving wheels produced? That's lame - highly lame, especially when you consider the number of other specialized pieces that have been made (like, for example, buoyant boat hulls, of which there are something like 10+). This is why I almost never complain about people using custom pieces in their trains - because we've been crapped on and ignored by this company for far too long, yet still manage to constitute a sizeable sub-interest of AFOLs.

Like, just as another example - why is there only one magnetic coupler offered? And why is this magnetic coupler so limited in supply that you have to virtually break the bank to assemble one train? This is the reason you see so many people using after-market connections between cars - because Lego asks too much, and offers too little. Bully for the community for thinking outside the box, says I.

Edited by SteamSewnEmpire

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5 hours ago, MTM said:

 

 

I've got it that way: "Entries may make use of some third party elements including:" In original rule at the brick train award website the word "some" is italic. But, here were used "a lot of third party elements". So for me the first place is disappointing. There are so some entries, were you can see that the builder has given more thought about the use of his parts - like at "Best TFOL steam engine". The decision is a little bit unfair for these great models.

 

What's your opinion about this? Are you with me - or do you see it differently. I'm excited for your answers.

MTM

This was also my impression. Too much is too much.

 

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6 hours ago, MTM said:

Next to wheels, rods and stickers, you can see more third party elements: the wedge plate in top of the front, the light gray bars at front - what lego part is this dark gray thing above the second axle? A glued lamp (?) at the smoke deflector, a cutted chain in the front,

I’ve done some digging for you.

The wedge plates are the 6x3 variety (PN:54383/54384). If I’ve correctly identified the grey part over the second axle, these are track stacking pins (PN:bb0219), and the builder explains in the Flickr page you linked in your opening post that the bars depicting the handrails are modified antenna parts. That just leaves the supposedly glued lamp that I’m not able to discern.

Given the gravity of the accusations, I think it would have been prudent to have checked these details first. 

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I don't think there's a thing wrong with the model, tbh. The amount of modded parts seems pretty small, the custom parts are wheels and rods, but the biggest thing for me is this:

Ewout did a fantastic job capturing a lot of very complex and difficult shapes and has a model that's nothing short of stellar with or without the decals, custom rods, or the couple modded handrails. Replacing those with more "purist" solutions would still leave an incredibly impressive model. 

Compound, rounded angles and shapes like this model has are not easy, and doing them without seams is a real task. The roof of the cab has a subtle angle to it. Don't be fooled by the smooth surfaces and don't get distracted by the "extras" - this is a complicated build underneath it all, and I'm not at all surprised that it's done well.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Daedalus304 said:

I don't think there's a thing wrong with the model, tbh. The amount of modded parts seems pretty small, the custom parts are wheels and rods, but the biggest thing for me is this:

Ewout did a fantastic job capturing a lot of very complex and difficult shapes and has a model that's nothing short of stellar with or without the decals, custom rods, or the couple modded handrails. Replacing those with more "purist" solutions would still leave an incredibly impressive model. 

Compound, rounded angles and shapes like this model has are not easy, and doing them without seams is a real task. The roof of the cab has a subtle angle to it. Don't be fooled by the smooth surfaces and don't get distracted by the "extras" - this is a complicated build underneath it all, and I'm not at all surprised that it's done well.

The only thing that irks me about the model - and it's a truly minor nit - is that the diorama it's built on isn't Lego; it a track piece that's been ballasted and decorated like a real model railroad. IMO, while this doesn't detract from the engine itself, it is kind of lame. If you're going to feature more than track, any scenery should be done in bricks. This isn't enough to disqualify - the locomotive is outstanding, no matter how you choose to photograph it - but I think it should be included in the rules moving forward. 

Edited by SteamSewnEmpire

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, SteamSewnEmpire said:

The only thing that irks me about the model - and it's a truly minor nit - is that the diorama it's built on isn't Lego; it a track piece that's been ballasted and decorated like a real model railroad. IMO, while this doesn't detract from the engine itself, it is kind of lame. If you're going to feature more than track, any scenery should be done in bricks. This isn't enough to disqualify - the locomotive is outstanding, no matter how you choose to photograph it - but I think it should be included in the rules moving forward. 

Eh, I'd check out any of the official promotional pictures of LEGO train sets in and around the 90s. Seems "in spirit" to me.

Plus, I doubt the engine would have ranked any differently even on regular undecorated track. It's kind of a silly thing to try to split hairs over. 

Edited by Daedalus304

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4 hours ago, Hod Carrier said:

I’ve done some digging for you.

The wedge plates are the 6x3 variety (PN:54383/54384). If I’ve correctly identified the grey part over the second axle, these are track stacking pins (PN:bb0219), and the builder explains in the Flickr page you linked in your opening post that the bars depicting the handrails are modified antenna parts. That just leaves the supposedly glued lamp that I’m not able to discern.

Given the gravity of the accusations, I think it would have been prudent to have checked these details first. 

Oh, wait a moment.

I didn't blame anyone. And I checked the details first, of course. 

Of course, it is the wedge plate 54384 (but I can't see any lego logo at the studs) and I also know, these light gray bars are cutted antennas. It's easy to detect it..

I admitted, it's a very good build with some interesting and genius building techniques, because of this I congratulated him.

But: My problem is the amount of stickers and foreign parts (and for me, cutted parts are also foreign parts). And when I first saw it, I saw over 50 parts with stickers - on each side. And I see glue over the red line.

It's really okay to use all of these things, especially on steam trains. But when I read the rules, I understood them to mean that these parts should be used very rarely.

 

@SteamSewnEmpire 

I'm with you. Lego was not very friendly with us train moccers. There're a lot of important train parts missing or very expensive because they are not available.

That's a very bad situation and I understand, why people using third party elements. It's okay, because of me.

But in a competition it's an imbalance:

Some guys try to build with the few parts, lego have give us - and other guys design and print their own parts. I'm not sure, where the focus is.

 

@Daedalus304

"Replacing those with more "purist" solutions would still leave an incredibly impressive model. 

Thanks for that information. I didn't see this version. Can you give me a link?

 

MTM

 

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1 hour ago, MTM said:

Oh, wait a moment.

I didn't blame anyone. And I checked the details first, of course. 

You pointed the finger at these specific parts as examples of third party (in other words non-LEGO) parts. I quite understand that the identity of parts are not always immediately apparent, and I admit that it took a while before I could identify the track stacking pins, but I felt it important to put the record straight and show that these are indeed genuine LEGO parts.

1 hour ago, MTM said:

It's really okay to use all of these things, especially on steam trains. But when I read the rules, I understood them to mean that these parts should be used very rarely.

Fair enough. That's a matter for your own interpretation, and clearly there was a fair bit of leeway in the judges interpretation also. But in regard to the judging of the contest, it is the judges interpretation that matters the most.

I think I understand what it is that you object to, and it has nothing to do with the decisions made by Ewout regarding the design and build of his W1. What you seem to be objecting to is the way that the contest was judged and the interpretation of the rules. That being so, I don't think the way to do it is to come onto a public forum to critique the winning entry by what you believe the judging criteria should have been, because it's not very fair on Ewout. If you feel strongly enough about it to bring it to the attention of the judges, I urge you to contact them directly and make your views known so that they can be considered for next year's contest. The e-mail address given on the website is bricktrainawards@gmail.com which I assume is monitored throughout the year.

1 hour ago, MTM said:

Can you give me a link?

You had the link in your opening post. It takes you to Ewout's Flickr page which you can navigate to find an unlined render of the W1 prior to building.

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41 minutes ago, Hod Carrier said:

You pointed the finger at these specific parts as examples of third party (in other words non-LEGO) parts. I quite understand that the identity of parts are not always immediately apparent, and I admit that it took a while before I could identify the track stacking pins, but I felt it important to put the record straight and show that these are indeed genuine LEGO parts.

No. I didn't pointed at maybe-non-lego parts, but yes I've pointed out the parts that bother me. How else could I have explained what I mean to say?

And also I didn't criticize the stacking pins because I know these parts - I used them years ago.

 

41 minutes ago, Hod Carrier said:

Fair enough. That's a matter for your own interpretation, and clearly there was a fair bit of leeway in the judges interpretation also. But in regard to the judging of the contest, it is the judges interpretation that matters the most.

Of course it's my own interpretation. I told this in my first post. I told you my interpretation of the rules and ask you about yours. This was the topic of my thread. No more and no less.

It's a pitty, that in an forum you only could say: "Everything is awesome." "I like it, everything is fine" "You're the best." "This moc is out of the ordinary". 

Why it impossible to say that I don't like something? Or as in the headline: I disagree with something.That's not bad. It's my opinion and nobody needs to feel hit. That's why I asked for the opinions of the others. I wouldn't have received these opinions with an email to the organizers.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MTM said:

No. I didn't pointed at maybe-non-lego parts, but yes I've pointed out the parts that bother me. How else could I have explained what I mean to say?

I’m not going to argue any more about what you did or didn’t say. The words are there for people to read and decide for themselves.

2 hours ago, MTM said:

Of course it's my own interpretation. I told this in my first post. I told you my interpretation of the rules and ask you about yours. This was the topic of my thread. No more and no less.

I’m glad you’ve clarified this because up to this point it didn’t read that way. Instead it looked like you were strongly disapproving of the BTA judges decision and of the choices made by Ewout in designing and building his W1 model.

To answer your question, I will just say again that you are entitled to hold whatever opinion you like, just I am entitled to hold an opinion and everyone else to hold one too. However, in this specific instance it doesn’t matter what those opinions are because there are only two opinions that matter; the opinion of Ewout in deciding how to build his model, and the opinion of the BTA judges in deciding to award it a top prize. Whatever you and I happen to think, it has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the contest.

And this brings me to my point. What is it that you hope to achieve out of this thread? Are you hoping to influence the BTA judges into changing things for next year or is this just an opinion poll? If you’re hoping to influence the judges then you need to engage with them. If it’s just an opinion poll then fair enough, but leave poor Ewout out of it because it’s not fair on him.

2 hours ago, MTM said:

It's a pitty, that in an forum you only could say: "Everything is awesome." "I like it, everything is fine" "You're the best." "This moc is out of the ordinary". 

Why it impossible to say that I don't like something? Or as in the headline: I disagree with something.That's not bad. It's my opinion and nobody needs to feel hit. That's why I asked for the opinions of the others. I wouldn't have received these opinions with an email to the organizers.

If you must. I just think you could have done it in a more diplomatic way which would have opened the discussion up into a wider debate rather than focussing on one specific model which only invites criticism of that designer. I don’t know how Ewout feels, or even if he’s aware of this discussion, but I know how I would feel if I was in his place.

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For future MOC presentations (contests but also forums) I would appreciate more transparency. Like telling the MOCers personal rules:

- glueing

- cutting

- painting

- stickers

- third-Party parts

- custom Parts

Some of us accept cutting, for others it is a no-go. That is fine with me, but I would like to know.

For contests I would like to see additional images without anything of list above, so I can easily see what is somewhat 'modified or custom'. It is not to blame somebody, but to understand where building limitations exist.

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17 hours ago, MTM said:

But: My problem is the amount of stickers and foreign parts (and for me, cutted parts are also foreign parts). And when I first saw it, I saw over 50 parts with stickers - on each side. And I see glue over the red line.

 

17 hours ago, MTM said:

But in a competition it's an imbalance:

Some guys try to build with the few parts, lego have give us - and other guys design and print their own parts. I'm not sure, where the focus is.

I think BTA is trying to highlight the best looking Lego trains (or more specifically, trains built predominantly of Lego). The complexity of builds has come a long way and custom parts range from adding the "pop" to enabling the build. Most steam engines with more than 3 axles only exist because of the 3rd party wide radius curves that are available (and almost all of those that can handle R40 curves look ungainly when in an R40 curve). On the flip side, there are all sorts of new lego parts that make complex building easier. I still think cheese bricks should be illegal (grin). And don't get me started about the 1x1 x 1x1 brackets, builds that were impossible a few years ago have become trivial). I spent weeks working out the nose of my Pioneer Zephyr, but with the modern brackets it would have taken me an hour or two. But I wouldn't give up all of these great new parts.

There are amazing builders at all levels of "purity". I have the highest respect for people who are able to pull off great builds with no part modification or 3rd party parts, and even more amazement to those who do so after limiting their pallet to parts that existed prior to some particular year, e.g., the 12v era.

In that spirit, it would be great if BTA added a "pure Lego" category with no paint, no glue, no modified parts, no clone bricks, and no 3rd party parts. And if that proves crowded, in following years expand it accordingly.

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1 hour ago, zephyr1934 said:

In that spirit, it would be great if BTA added a "pure Lego" category with no paint, no glue, no modified parts, no clone bricks, and no 3rd party parts. And if that proves crowded, in following years expand it accordingly.

That sounds like a good idea.

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2 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

In that spirit, it would be great if BTA added a "pure Lego" category with no paint, no glue, no modified parts, no clone bricks, and no 3rd party parts. And if that proves crowded, in following years expand it accordingly.

Although.... competing to win 3rd party prices without being allowed to use said 3rd party pieces is a bit the chicken or the egg

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4 hours ago, Barduck said:

Although.... competing to win 3rd party prices without being allowed to use said 3rd party pieces is a bit the chicken or the egg

Ha ha, excellent point (I assume you mean pieces rather than prices), probably beyond a chicken or an egg and straight to ironic. Maybe TLG could be talked into parting with few copies of a crocodile for this category. But of all the impure thoughts, I would think using non-lego track is among the smallest sin.

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Is there a golden rule like "Don't bite the hand that sponsors your prizes."   :pir-classic:

 

 

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17 hours ago, Barduck said:

Although.... competing to win 3rd party prices without being allowed to use said 3rd party pieces is a bit the chicken or the egg

Wish Eurobricks had a 'like' feature for posts, so that I could express appreciation without having to post a comment that does not necessarily add useful information.

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1 hour ago, Tube Map Central said:

Wish Eurobricks had a 'like' feature for posts, so that I could express appreciation without having to post a comment that does not necessarily add useful information.

+1 Like.

15 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

But of all the impure thoughts, I would think using non-lego track is among the smallest sin.

LEGO doesn't mind this at all.  They're well aware their offering is lacking, it's just not profitable enough for them to pursue it.  They are perfectly fine with the various 3rd party suppliers picking up the slack.

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