BroKnight

Common Bricks Used

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I'm a tfol relatively new to the lego railroading hobby and I am currently searching for the pieces necessary for future builds. What are some common bricks you usually order in bulk/pieces that are commonly used in steam locomotive designs?

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Wheels! ;)

Regarding the rest: At least for German steam locomotives you need black and red pieces. A lot of long and thin plates (1x1 .. 1x12) and a lot of curved pieces for the boiler. The best bang for the buck -- unless you are a purist -- for getting those pieces is imho the Mold King 12003 QJ Steam Locomotive: You get a whopping red 10 L-Wheels (including blinds) and a lot of the aforementioned pieces from gobricks (which many consider as the currently highest quality bricks on the market). You can have a look at Marbleman's MOC which this product is based on.

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3 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Wheels! ;)

Regarding the rest: At least for German steam locomotives you need black and red pieces. A lot of long and thin plates (1x1 .. 1x12) and a lot of curved pieces for the boiler. The best bang for the buck -- unless you are a purist -- for getting those pieces is imho the Mold King 12003 QJ Steam Locomotive: You get a whopping red 10 L-Wheels (including blinds) and a lot of the aforementioned pieces from gobricks (which many consider as the currently highest quality bricks on the market). You can have a look at Marbleman's MOC which this product is based on.

Can we refrain from offering clone bricks as the first solution to a problem for which valid LEGO alternatives exist? I’m ok with the occasional discussion on alternative brick brands but this is and remains a LEGO forum.

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19 minutes ago, Phil B said:

Can we refrain from offering clone bricks as the first solution to a problem for which valid LEGO alternatives exist? I’m ok with the occasional discussion on alternative brick brands but this is and remains a LEGO forum.

Irrespective of me not even mentioning clones, how about just giving a valid recommendation? :/

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A lot of Batman sets actually feature the aforementioned bricks in black and red, so there's that. But I agree with Phil on the clone bricks thing, even though we trainiacs are more liberal.

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Admittedly I have never actually built a steam locomotive, but no in my mind the general idea for how to, having been on this forum for almost four years....

As @Black Knight said, wheels from Big Ben Bricks are a must, unless you're in the unusual position of LEGO's official wheels actually being perfect.  A thing you need to understand in the trains forum is that we accept a lot of third party parts, for power, wheels, track, and the like - trains is one of the most under-provided parts of LEGO's huge array of MOC builders.  Mould King on the other hand, is a clone brand and a direct competitor, so is a different issue, which is generally unpopular throughout Eurobricks.

If you have large driving wheels in a line of more than 3 or 4 (flanged, blind, flanged, or flanged, blind, flanged, blind), or larger than L size wheels, you will need wider radius curves, such as the ones provided by @coaster at BrickTracks.  The ones provided by LEGO are unrealistically and inconveniently tight.

With regard to other parts, I would say you want a lot of plates and the like, SNOT (Studs Not On Top) bricks and brackets, curved 2/3 tall pieces like 88930 (and smaller similar pieces), and clips and similar pieces for railings and the like.  Look around this forum, and search up some famous steam engines like the LNER A4 Pacific Mallard 4468 or the Union Pacific Big Boy in LEGO for, and you should get a good amount of inspiration.  

10194 is also a good starting point, but leaves much to be desired and improved.  Its prices are also extortionate.  Look for sets with a lot of curved or SNOT pieces, and buy them.  If you have access to a LEGO Store, you can generally get stuff on the cheap there too if they have it - they charge you per cup rather than piece, so careful packing can save money easily.

Hope this helps, good luck and happy building!

Vilhelm22

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Curved slopes, plates, tiles, any sort of part with a clip on it, and some basic Technic parts will go a long way. The nice thing with Steam is that the good majority of them are mostly black, so you can focus on just 1 or 2 colors for parts.

I would check if you have a Bricks & Minifigs, or any similar 2nd-hand LEGO shop, anywhere nearby. You can use those tables to get really good stocks of just the right parts at good prices.

Otherwise, build a model digitally first in something like Stud.io, and order those parts directly off Bricklink. Don't worry about getting everything in one go - start with just parts for the chassis/trucks and when you get the hang of that move on.

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11 hours ago, Vilhelm22 said:

Mould King on the other hand, is a clone brand and a direct competitor, so is a different issue, which is generally unpopular throughout Eurobricks.

Sorry to further derail this discussion, but this is not true. Mould King does have it's own set designs, they do not create clone sets. If you want a clone, you can easily find a 1:1 copy of e.g. the Emerald Express from some Chinese company but those are -- in contrast -- illegal to import in many western countries.

Bricks from TLG are spectacularly overpriced because of LEGO brand loyalty. Also TLG does not care much for trains anymore. If you are recommended to buy a Batman-set -- that even includes license fees to WB -- to build a train, that shows the sad state of trains at TLG. I really wish they would put more effort into trains like they did in the 80s and 90s. As long as people do not realize that they are treated badly by a company and change their behavior, the company won't change. If we all go and buy Batman sets (instead of trains), TLG will bring even more Batman sets. And this will bring even more train-people to buy from other manufacturers. This codependency like behavior is not only bad for the buyer but bad for all of us by driving prices and further weakening trains at TLG. I remember my grandpa buying me LEGO carriages and crossings and automated switches in a time when TLG was a much smaller and less profitable company. I would love to do the same for my own kids now, but I can't. Which makes me sad.

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If you start building big, you will also want to think about roller bearing wheels (lots of 3rd parties are selling them now, or search the forum and do it yourself). You probably do not need to start with them though, it is the sort of thing when you discover your locomotive struggling then you know it is time to upgrade.

 

18 hours ago, Daedalus304 said:

Otherwise, build a model digitally first in something like Stud.io, and order those parts directly off Bricklink. Don't worry about getting everything in one go - start with just parts for the chassis/trucks and when you get the hang of that move on.

Exactly this! The array of possible parts is mind boggling, and no way you could get everything you might possibly need. I started into this hobby with only a (relatively) small collection of bricks and building physical "sketches" with the bricks I had. Then I would go to CAD to explore variants of these designs. At this point I've flipped, and have to start with CAD, it is way too much work to pull the parts for sketching and then put the unused ones away when I'm done. With CAD I can take 10 min to try three different ideas and then delete the two that did not work. Since the CAD files are small, each work session I keep a new version. Every now and then I'm like, "wait, that idea I had a week ago would be perfect with this little tweak!" And so it is easy to recover those past over ideas this way.

The other thing I did was when I found pieces that I liked (e.g., curved slopes or certain colors) or I used a ton of (black plates) in the CAD builds, when buying parts for the current model I made sure to buy extra for future models.

 

19 hours ago, Vilhelm22 said:

10194 is also a good starting point, but leaves much to be desired and improved.  Its prices are also extortionate.  Look for sets with a lot of curved or SNOT pieces, and buy them.  If you have access to a LEGO Store, you can generally get stuff on the cheap there too if they have it - they charge you per cup rather than piece, so careful packing can save money easily. 

The EN is now a collectors piece. Well worth it for some, and insane prices for others. It is a great starting point though for MOCing. You can download the instructions from Lego and build it in a different color. Along the way update the parts to use things that did not exist at the time. Also see other threads about fixing some of the design deficiencies of the original.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Black Knight said:

Sorry to further derail this discussion, but this is not true. Mould King does have it's own set designs, they do not create clone sets. If you want a clone, you can easily find a 1:1 copy of e.g. the Emerald Express from some Chinese company but those are -- in contrast -- illegal to import in many western countries.

Bricks from TLG are spectacularly overpriced because of LEGO brand loyalty. Also TLG does not care much for trains anymore. If you are recommended to buy a Batman-set -- that even includes license fees to WB -- to build a train, that shows the sad state of trains at TLG. I really wish they would put more effort into trains like they did in the 80s and 90s. As long as people do not realize that they are treated badly by a company and change their behavior, the company won't change. If we all go and buy Batman sets (instead of trains), TLG will bring even more Batman sets. And this will bring even more train-people to buy from other manufacturers. This codependency like behavior is not only bad for the buyer but bad for all of us by driving prices and further weakening trains at TLG. I remember my grandpa buying me LEGO carriages and crossings and automated switches in a time when TLG was a much smaller and less profitable company. I would love to do the same for my own kids now, but I can't. Which makes me sad.

Mould King stole designs from AFOLs... And I'm especially aware of one MOC that Lepin also tried to sell as its own and couldn't... End of discussion.

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On 4/21/2021 at 2:06 PM, BroKnight said:

I'm a tfol relatively new to the lego railroading hobby and I am currently searching for the pieces necessary for future builds. What are some common bricks you usually order in bulk/pieces that are commonly used in steam locomotive designs?

I recommend you order many SNOT elements, such as brackets, headlight bricks, etc. These not only can be used to create tiled walls in a tender or something "along the rails" :wink: of that, but can be used to create some pretty interesting offsets and micro-spliting builds!

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