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About coaster

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    Brrrrp! Tunip!

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  1. Yep. We're cruisin' right along.
  2. Originally, it was insufficient cooling time at the factory. They increased the hold time, and that mostly took care of it. It does seem to come up in the summer months, so there could be an issue with hot shipping trucks. Keep in mind, it takes only a very tiny amount of deformation for problems to propagate. A 1/2° of flex over 32 pieces of track translates to being more than an entire piece off. If any are way off though, just let me know and I'll replace them.
  3. The deformation is something we've battled with on and off. We initially had issues with them coming deformed out of the mold, but that's been fixed, and we do spot checks of circles with each batch. We do get comments on this occasionally, and seems to come up most in summertime. The best thing to do is pin them to shape with some 2x4 plates and leave them that way for a while. If needed, add a little bit of heat with either a hair dryer or put them in hot water. They should relax and return to shape. For finish, unfortunately, those are as good as we can get them. The first tracks we made were done in aluminum molds, and it is much more difficult to hold a high polish in the aluminum. The short straights and everything moving forward are all steel tools though, so they have a much higher shine like the LEGO ones. We are also starting to rebuild the curve tracks in the steel to improve the polish and implement a few changes which will solve the deformation issues for good.
  4. You should build in 1:38 (10-wide). It's prototypical to the tracks, and at 1 stud = 1 foot, it makes scaling easy. Yes, it's huge, but it looks soooooo good!
  5. I need to start making room for new things, and I have too many R120s in the way, so I've put them on sale if you were on the fence about getting some!
  6. To clarify, we hadn't gotten to the point of making that first mold; we found the issues during the mold design process. Instead we've pivoted from 1 larger mold to 2 smaller ones, but that's still a more expensive option. It's more important to get it right.
  7. Hi everyone, just an update on where we stand. Moldflow analysis showed that we were going to have some issues with deformation in the cooling process. LEGO might have just run with it, but since we'd all prefer our tracks to lay flat, I wasn't going to just leave it alone. We made a few tweaks that helped a little, but ultimately the best solution was to split the parts into two: This does add some cost as it requires another mold, but ultimately it's the right decision. This will also help facilitate the double cross overs when we do those. This has added some time to when we'll start seeing parts, but I don't expect too much of a delay. Like I will always say though, I'd rather it be late than substandard.
  8. coaster

    Replacement Wheels

    @Giottist We are working with an outfit in Europe to distribute these. And yes, the casual builders will simply adapt to the new wheelsets, but that is really not an option for the bigger builders. Also, you don't even have to drill out the Technic bricks. The .2mm is small enough that you can use a press or vice to press the bearing into place.
  9. coaster

    Replacement Wheels

    Mechanically, yes, you would be able to assemble them into the current (old) wheel holder, but because we removed the point, there is nothing to laterally retain them, so they would rub on the holder. They might work, but would be less than idea for this arrangement. Yes, we'll have tooling approval pieces sent before we hit production, so we'll be able to make any tweaks needed to get it just right.
  10. coaster

    Replacement Wheels

    In case you missed our Facebook announcement: With the new all-plastic train wheels evidently becoming the new standard, I thought it would be a good time to announce that BrickTracks has partnered with Brick Model Railroader, Brick Train Depot, and Brick Forge to produce replacement wheels for use with metal axles and ball bearings. We have deviated a bit from the LEGO design, in that we have replaced the point on the hub with a standard full-sized stud. We are also tightening up the hole for the axle so these wheels will be a tighter press-fit, eliminating the need for the wheel housing or glue. This will have no effect on the switch track development (I'll have an update on that shortly). We expect to have these wheels available by December.
  11. Short straights finally came in, after getting held up in customs. Unfortunately, the supplier went through the trouble of individually wrapping each piece, so, now I get to unwrap and repackage each one. Hurray! I've got a few long nights ahead of me...
  12. They'll start going out this Friday, the 19th.
  13. I think it'd be much more fun to make you guess who I am. :) I'm in the front row, looking all cool with my white shirt and blue hat.
  14. coaster

    Type E Coupler for LEGO Trains

    @Worldwide_build I'm afraid I've set this aside for now. I wasn't happy with how it was turning out, and the switch track project and a few builds have been occupying all my time. I've heard rumors also of someone working on an adapter for a simple Katy coupler.