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About TaltosVT

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    RAILBRICKS editor
  • Birthday 12/19/1972

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  1. TaltosVT

    Introducing Brick Model Railroader

    I haven't spoken with Cale about this yet, but adding the back issues of RAILBRICKS to the site, in some form, is definitely something that I would like to do as part of our resources section. Echoing Cale, I'm excited to see this project receiving such great enthusiasm from the community, and I look forward to contributing as I can in the future. -Elroy
  2. TaltosVT

    New LEGO Train Magazine - A Proposal

    There has been a lot of thought and analysis put into this. I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions. Unfortunately, even with the excitement shown here, there's not enough of a market for me to create a self-sustaining magazine given the costs and logistics, especially for world-wide printed distribution. My wife and I also just had our fifth daughter (yeah, five girls), so my time is even more limited than it was. There are some other ideas being thrown around, but they are not being driven by me, so I can't really speak to them in any detail, especially since they are just ideas at the moment. This definitely shouldn't stop anyone else in the hobby from pursuing a similar idea if they have the time, passion and connections. While I'd love to kick off a magazine again, it's just not possible for me at this time. -Elroy (Former Editor of RAILBRICKS)
  3. TaltosVT

    Has Anyone tried doing an Operating Session in Lego?

    There was a group many many many year ago (back in the LUGNET days), that did a prototype meet. Sadly most of the information on the session has been lost. I've been wanting to do a prototype layout ever since I read about it. I do have a layout plan, industry plan with siding lengths, and operations plan all written up for a possible session, I've just never found time and space to set it up. I've considered setting something up at one of the conventions sometime for the train heads to play on after hours. It's definitely easier these days with PF since more than one train can run in various sections of the layout, so a few engineers and conductors can be kept busy. Hm. Maybe I'll dig that stuff up again and start planning for BrickFair NE next year... -Elroy
  4. TaltosVT

    New LEGO Train Magazine - A Proposal

    Thanks again, everyone, for the replies here and via email and PM. As some have mentioned, this is a business proposal, and this was just a first step to gauge interest from the target market. Judging by the response, I think it's worth my time to look into the financial side of things to see if it is feasible. I'll try to keep the community updated if/when I move forward, or if I decide not to pursue things further. -Elroy
  5. TaltosVT

    New LEGO Train Magazine - A Proposal

    First, I'm super happy to hear that there is interest. I agree with, and would promote as best I can, all the suggestions for the type of content that would be included. Tony answered the main question on folks minds: Ideally, I would love to use the already known RAILBRICKS name, but it's not mine to use. I did pursue taking over and/or purchasing the name and assets, so rest assured that avenue has been explored. I completely understand and respect the owner's wishes on this point. Starting new gives us more leeway to run the organization as a business, and puts us in a better position to pass that business along to others if a major partner needs to move onto other projects. As for print vs. digital, I'd love to do it in a print format. The downside to that is that we'd need a minimum number printed, which would then need to be sold in order to pay for themselves. This may not be achievable with a small readership. I'm definitely open to looking into it more though. Please keep the comments coming! There's a lot to think about. -Elroy
  6. TaltosVT

    ME Models Rail Update - March 2016

    I still haven't received my plastic track from the Kickstarter campaign. I've sent a couple of emails, but had no response. Eric, could you look into it for me? Thanks, -Elroy (Backer #9, full loop of ABS R88 if that helps track it down)
  7. All, I have a proposal that I'd like to run by the community. Many of you know me as the last editor of RAILBRICKS, the magazine dedicated to LEGO railroading. For various reasons, RAILBRICKS has faded away. Much of this was due to me, personally, not having time to work on the magazine, but other factors were at play as well. The past few months, I've been thinking a lot about the magazine. I really loved it, our readers, and the community it served. Several times I've consider resurrecting the magazine, but I knew that I could not, and can not do it using the model that we had previously used. My proposal, simply, is to let RAILBRICKS stay in the past. Jeramy Spurgeon did an incredible job bringing it to life, and I'm proud that I had a part in extending his vision a few more years. It was awesome, but as hard as we tried, the small group that worked on it were not able to keep it going. The next part of my proposal is to start again. A new magazine. A new website. A new name. And a new business model. RAILBRICKS was run on an all-volunteer, no income model. Those who brought you the magazine dedicated their own time and money to keep it going, allowing it to be free for all of our readers. We relied on volunteer authors to provide us with content, with no reimbursement, to keep us going. We worked on it in our spare time, which sometimes meant not working on it. Unfortunately, this is not a sustainable business model, as much as we would all like it to be. Costs for website hosting, software, occasional mailings, and time need to be covered. If a major volunteer needs to drop out, and no one else is available to step up, those things are not covered, and a valuable resource goes away. With a new magazine, I'd like to try an income and reimbursement model. That is, the magazine, as a business, would have money coming in as well as out, and authors and volunteers would be paid for their time. I don't envision this as a for-profit business, where the goal is to make money. Instead, I see it as a non-profit, where there is enough income to cover expenses, and the goal is to serve the LEGO train community. I'd also like to keep the focus on the magazine. With RAILBRICKS, I think we tried to take on too much with the website, forum, instructions repository and magazine. With a more limited focus, we can put our efforts into one place. Now, I haven't formulated thoughts around details of how this would work. Generally, a subscription and/or advertising model would be needed. This is one area where I need to reach out to the community for your thoughts. Would you be receptive to the idea of an all new LEGO railroading magazine? Would you pay for a subscription to a LEGO railroading themed magazine? Would you buy advertising in a LEGO railroading themed magazine? Would you be interested in volunteering to work on such a magazine? Work areas involved include reporting on community events, interacting with authors, photographing exhibits, graphic design work, writing, website design, website administration, financial accounting, among others. Would being reimbursed for your time factor into your decision? Would you be interested in writing articles for such a magazine, provided you were reimbursed for your work? There are many free outlets available. What would be your best incentive for writing for a magazine? Finally, I want to thank everyone who has ever been involved with RAILBRICKS in the past. It was awesome, and incredible. Without all of you, it wouldn't have lasted as long as it did. Specifically, I'll call out the last RAILBRICKS team: Steve Barile, Benn Coifman, Tim David, Didier Enjary, Steve Jackson, Cale Leiphart, Larry Pieniazek, Colin Redner, Anthony Sava, Jordan Schwarz, Jeramy Spurgeon, David Stannard and Ronald Vallenduuk. If you're still with me, thanks for reading the long post. I'm really interested in everyone's thoughts, and excited to see what we might be able to do in the future for the community. If this idea doesn't take root, hopefully we can at least give RAILBRICKS some closure. -Elroy Davis (TaltosVT) Train addict & former editor of RAILBRICKS
  8. TaltosVT

    What happened to Railbricks?

    Hans and all, First, I'm still alive and well! Unfortunately I did fall into the LEGO abyss, which I hadn't actively realized until a couple of weeks ago. I literally haven't even opened the RAILBRICKS email account for a few months, or checked any LEGO forums, been involved with my local LUG, or even walked down the LEGO aisle at the store. Knowing that I was going to be busy, the RAILBRICKS team and I talked about a transition plan for the magazine earlier this year. We started to get a plan together, then everything just sort of stopped, with all of us sort of dropping out of site. We do still have material to print, including the article by Hans, which is an excellent piece that really does need to be shared with the community. It'll take me a bit to get back into everything to see where we left off. The website is another issue altogether. We don't really have a single point person for it, so it tends to get neglected. Again, the team had some ideas for it, but we never followed through. I personally haven't even looked at the site there for a few months. I'll follow up with the team and see if we can at least get some of the spam cleaned up. For now, I'm not going to make any promises on dates, but right after this post I'll send an email to the rest of the RAILBRICKS group and see if I can rally the troops. For me personally, I'm going to try to dig my way out of my 2nd dark-age and at least check email occasionally. Apologies to everyone! -Elroy RAILBRICKS Editor
  9. TaltosVT

    Where is RAILBRICKS?

    I wanted to give everyone an update on the next RAILBRICKS issue, as I realize that it's been some time since you've all heard from us. First, there will be a new issue! I have the articles and photos, and some layout work has been done. I was hoping to have it available for everyone in January, but I've fallen behind for various reasons, including the addition of a baby girl to my family last week. Thanks everyone for your patience. I hope to have the new issue out soon. -Elroy RAILBRICKS Editor
  10. Thanks to everyone who entered the RAILBRICS Set Design Contest! We had some amazing entries, which made judging very difficult. The concepts and building techniques of all of those who entered was top notch! The winners are: Diesel/Freight Category: First Place - Joshua Sanders (Joshua Sanders) - Local Freight Express Second Place - Steffen Rau (Asperka) - Auto Racks Third Place - Tamas Lapszanski (Lapsznski Tamas) - Diesel Switchers Steam/Passenger Category: First Place - Stephan Pakbaz (Apojove) - Logging Shay Second Place - Michael Gale (michaelgale) - GO Coach Set Third Place - (Bricknerd) - Classic Passenger Track Side Structure: First Place: (Hole521) - Gravel Pit Second Place: David Parsons (davempar) - Oil Refinery Third Place - Scott Roy (ecmo47) - Water Tower We'll be contacting the winners within the next few days to work out shipping details for the various prizes. In the mean time, head on over to the RAILBRICKS 2014 Set Design Contest Flickr page to check out all the wonderful entries: https://www.flickr.c...icks2014design/ Congratulations to our winners!
  11. TaltosVT


    Absolutely. The number and types of models for the set are up to the designer. -Elroy
  12. TaltosVT


    The number of cars is up to the designer, so it can be only a locomotive if desired. -Elroy RAILBRICK Editor
  13. TaltosVT


    Thanks for the questions. The designs do not have to be created between now and Dec. 15th. Previous designs will be accepted, although we'd prefer newer designs if possible. Keep in mind that the design must use currently available parts. By "set", we do mean a collection of parts that make up a buildable, playable model. The number of models that make up the set are up to the designer. Designs will be judged on the criteria listed in the rules. Namely, the set should buildable by the target audience of children between 6 to 12 years old, and encourage play and imagination. We will be shipping the sets ourselves once they are recieved from TLG, so yes, they will be available for shipping to the UK and other countries. Thanks! -Elroy RAILBRICKS Editor
  14. RAILBRICKS SET DESIGN CONTEST! Still don't have a copy of the 2014 LEGO City train sets? The LEGO® Group and RAILBRICKS are teaming up to help you complete your collection! From now until December 15th, submit your best set designs for diesel locomotives, steam locomotives, or track-side structures for a chance to win one (1) copy of one of the 2014 sets! Prizes for this contest are being generously donated by The LEGO Group and RAILBRICKS. There will be three prizes awarded in each category, with three categories for builders to choose from. Categories: Diesel & Freight: Show us your idea for a diesel locomotive or freight car set! The set should be able to be built by a target age group of 6-12 years old, use current parts, and encourage the values of play and imagination. The set design should work with standard LEGO track. If creating a locomotive, the model can be either powered by Power Functions elements, or left unpowered as a push-along toy. Freight car sets should be able to be coupled to existing trains that have been produced by The LEGO Group in the past. Steam & Passenger: Create a steam locomotive or passenger car set! The set should be able to be built by a target age group of 6-12 years old, use current parts, and encourage the values of play and imagination. The set design should work with standard LEGO track. If creating a locomotive, the model can be either powered by Power Functions elements, or left unpowered as a push-along toy. Passenger car sets should be able to be coupled to existing trains that have been produced by The LEGO Group in the past. Track-side Structure: Build a structure that would be seen along a railway's right-of-way. Buildings could include storage sheds, passenger stations, or maintenance buildings. The set should be able to be built by a target age group of 6-12 years old, use current parts, and encourage the values of play and imagination. The set design should be able to fit within the space of a standard 32x32-stud baseplate, including any track that may be part of the design. Prizes: There will be three winners in each category. Winners will receive the following: 1stPlace Prize: A new LEGO City train set, provided by The LEGO Group. Winner of the Diesel & Freight category will receive one (1) copy of 60052 Cargo Train (a $200 value). Winner of the Steam & Passenger category will receive one (1) copy of 60051 High-Speed Passenger Train (a $150 value). Winner of the Track-side Structure category will receive one (1) copy of 60050 Train Station (a $65 value). 2ndPlace Prize: Each 2nd Place winner will receive a custom-made set of instructions for your set, courtesy of RAILBRICKS. RAILBRICKS volunteers will work with you to turn you design into a printed set of instructions. 3rdPlace Prize: Each 3rd Place winner will receive a RAILBRICKS t-shirt! Photos of the winning entries will be published in an upcoming issue of RAILBRICKS magazine. How to enter: Between now and December 15, 2014, upload images of your set idea to the RAILBRICKS Flickr group https://www.flickr.c...icks2014design/. Photos of physical builds or images of LDD or LDraw designs are acceptable. Please submit no more than 5 images in each category. Images should show the playability and originality of the set, as well as any special building techniques. You may enter in more than one category, but please limit entries to a single design per category. Contest is open to all RAILBRICKS readers, and is being administered by RAILBRICKS volunteers. By entering the contest, you are agreeing to allow RAILBRICKS to publish your designs online and/or within the RAILBRICKS magazine. All designs, however, remain the property of the designers. Judging will be done by popular vote of current RAILBRICKS volunteers (those folks you see listed on the magazine's masthead). RAILBRICKS volunteers may enter the contest, but will be ineligible for winning a prize. Physical prizes will be mailed as soon as possible after the contest ends. Members of the RAILBRICKS volunteer staff will work with the winning designers to create the instruction sets.
  15. TaltosVT

    What happened to Railbricks?

    We have been pretty quite lately, waiting for some more article submissions. Never fear, though, we haven't gone away! In the mean time, we've been working on something pretty exciting that I was finally able to release today: The RAILBRICKS 2014 Set Design Contest! -Elroy