Hod Carrier

Eurobricks Knights
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About Hod Carrier

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    <p> Lego trains. </p> <p> Speed Champions Mustang. </p>

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    Good ol' U of K

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  1. Hod Carrier

    What would your reaction be?

    I always appreciate your views on things, Thorsten. You're a very sage chap. I'm totally in agreement about credit being given where credit is due. It's something that I try to do at all times whenever I show something I have built to someone else's design, even if I have reverse-engineered it from photographs. Heck, if the guy had contacted me directly saying that he liked my MOC and wanted to build one for himself I would have offered him the LDD file for nowt. If he'd then wanted to display it on the Studio Gallery or elsewhere I would have asked for a credit to be given. Yes of course. I am taking the polite friendly route with this because I don't want to try and enforce anything. I'd also be quite happy to reach a negotiated outcome with him that permits him to keep his model online but with an appropriate design credit. However, if it came to it I think I could easily prove plaigiarism to the satisfaction of the BL admin team on the basis of the timeline and degree of commonality alone. And that is the approach I'm taking. I've sent him a polite message and will see what happens next. If nothing else, I can always add my own credit in the comments section below his design.
  2. Hod Carrier

    Browsing Studio - Plaigiarism Alert

    Just a little gentle reminder to all of us to have a little look around and make sure no-one is nicking your ideas.
  3. I often have a little browse of the Studio Gallery as there's some really cool stuff on there. If you look for long enough you might even happen across something that looks incredibly familiar, as I did.
  4. Hod Carrier

    What would your reaction be?

    You're right. It's a question of trying to strike a balance between using a technique pioneered by someone else and just blatantly copying another person's homework. I just wasn't sure precisely where along that continuum this might be. I'm not sure that would be likely, as the only places I've published it are here and on Flickr. I suppose it's possible that someone else is hosting some of my photos elsewhere without giving credit, but every reference I've seen for this MOC should bring them straight back to the source. It looks as though it's been reverse-engineered from photos which means that structurally there will be some differences between the two models, although cosmetically they are virtually identical. I was careful when designing this MOC to make sure that it would be buildable which meant careful consideration of parts usage. This other designer has been less careful which means that his parts selection is more problematic. Thanks for the pointers so far. I just wasn't sure what the appropriate response to this situation might be, so I wanted to take the temperature of the community before deciding what action (if any) would be appropriate to take, as I didn't want to be coming down heavy on someone if it's not warranted. I think I'll just send the guy a friendly message through BL first and ask if he wouldn't mind taking his model down voluntarily and then see where we go.
  5. Hod Carrier

    Brick Train Awards Prizes

    I'm very grateful to all the guys behind these awards for all their amazing hard work and to the sponsors for their generosity. I don't imagine that any of them are making heaps of cash from what is a fairly small hobby community, so these donations no doubt represent a real investment in the goodwill of the LEGO trains community as a whole. To me the prizes really don't enter into my thinking because they aren't my motivation to take part. I just love to see what everyone else is up to and enjoy all the fabulous builds that a contest like this is bound to attract, and it's always good to see how your own builds match up against those from other well-respected designers. For the last three years it's been OcTRAINber (will that still be going ahead or will this replace it?), but this has the potential for being an even bigger stage for the community to show off the skills and imagination that we have. I'm really looking forward to this with huge anticipation.
  6. I was just recently having a little browse through the Stud.io Gallery on Bricklink to see some of the wonderful models that are being shared there. I find it a very interesting way to pass an afternoon and have bought a few excellent MOCs for my own pleasure from this source. As I was scrolling down I found a model that looked extremely familiar which instantly arrested my attention. It was a model of something that I had also designed and built a year ago and shared here and on my Flickr pages, so I thought I'd have a quick look and see how it compared to mine. The more I looked the more I could see where this model was not merely similar to my own but actually identical. From a cosmetic perspective at least, this model is a copy of my own with the author effectively reverse-engineering it from the photos I'd shared. That said, he hasn't done an especially good job of it as his model appears to use rather a lot of rare and/or non-existent parts which renders it effectively unbuildable. It also appears that it's being offered free, so there is no financial benefit to this chap from copying my design. My initial reaction was indignation that I'd been ripped off. But then I reflected on it a bit and came to the conclusion that I'd freely shared my own model and that perhaps imitation is the best form of flattery, as the saying goes. I know that I've copied techniques I've seen used elsewhere, but generally I always give credit to the source so that it's clear where it came from. I'm also happy to share freely with anyone who asks and have sent copies of LDD files and other designs to various people within the community. As a consequence I no longer feel especially aggrieved, although a feeling of injury remains. Given the extent of the commonality between his model and mine, would it be unreasonable to ask that he at least credits me as the original designer? What experiences have other designers had with having their MOCs copied?
  7. Hod Carrier

    Does anyone use decals instead of stickers?

    Waterslide transfers can be very easy to damage, even with a clearcote over the top. My feeling is that the finish on a LEGO brick is smoother than would typically be the case for a painted model so there is less for it to key to. I've used them on a couple of models, but you do need to exercise care when handling them.
  8. Hod Carrier

    4DBrix goes DIY

    I applaud you for taking this approach. It shows a maturity and an understanding of the marketplace and the differences between being a producer/supplier and a customer. I understand the desire to wants to support 4DBrix for the benefit of the marketplace and for the hobby as a whole, but I’m just not sure how to go about doing this. Holes have been pointed out in the range that 4DBrix could be going about filling (R88/R120, curved points and diverging mainlines, just to pick from @zephyr1934’s post above). If piracy is really a concern, perhaps the long lead times imposed by Kickstarter projects are not the way to go. I don’t entirely disagree with the sentiment that there should perhaps be a degree of cooperation between producers, but that is a somewhat naive approach to what is an open marketplace. Each producer wants to be able to corner enough of what is actually a very small marketplace so that their current project secures enough revenue to pay for the next idea. When the pie is so small it’s not likely that any producer will survive, never mind two or three, so each needs to find some way to ensure it gets enough to survive otherwise they all drop out. I think there’s actually very little wrong with consumers wanting to get something at a reasonable price or within a reasonable timeframe. We’re all working on something and when you hear that something is in the offing you factor it into your plans and hope to get it. If the lead time is too long or the promised item fails to materialise at all then people are bound to look elsewhere. If a producer/supplier can get that right then they are a long way towards securing themselves a future and a justifiable reputation. For all of TrixBricks failings (provable or otherwise), they do at least deliver what they promise.
  9. Hod Carrier

    4DBrix goes DIY

    I'm normally one to sit on the sidelines with things like this, but I fear that we're in danger of leaving reason behind and allowing this discussion to be ruled by emotion. It does pain me that another player is dropping out of the marketplace, but if there was any problems with perception it is perhaps that the "community" as represented here in some way owed one particular retailer/producer more loyalty (and therefore custom) than another. But this is not going to happen where that retailer/producer sells on the open market because there will always be competition, price considerations and so on that are going to inform people's buying decisions. Unless 4DBrix was going to employ some other business model his products would always be vulnerable to competition, and I don't see how this is anything other than a manifestation of the phenomenon. I also resist this notion that 4DBrix are the only ones innovating, as even a cursory glance at the TrixBrix range will show. These are not mere copy and paste pirates, but they are also turning out unique products not available elsewhere, such as their narrow gauge track options. Whether or not TrixBrix deliberately and knowingly copied 4DBrix designs is going to remain unproveable. You yourself use the word "coincidence" quite a few times, and it may be that this is precisely what's happened. @Toastie is right in his assertion that there is a piety about the AFOL Community when it comes to authentic LEGO, but that the limits of this is exceeded when it comes to third party parts. However, there still seems to be a whiff of piety about what we're being expected to believe about what we should be considering as "good" or "bad". In reality once you start down the path of molding/printing parts LEGO themselves don't make to suit your designs then you move out from underneath that umbrella and all bets are off. If the community decides that it's happy to accept the limitations of 3D printed track in order to make their budgets stretch further, especially where shipping and taxes make the molded alternatives prohibitively expensive, then that's just tough luck on the competition. If people are happy enough with Ford quality and availability why should they be expected to pay Rolls Royce prices for something that basically does the same job? I'm sure 4DBrix could have responded to the competition better by innovating itself out of this corner, for example by improving it's market reach into other territories to make it's products easier and cheaper to buy outside of the US. I understand that it's easier, quicker and cheaper to print rather than mold parts, and that's always going to count against 4DBrix manufacturing model as it's always going to be slower to respond with new products. I don't think that many people doubt the quality of the 4DBrix product and I'm sure many would have bought it over the Trixbrix alternative had it been more easily available and less expensive to buy. No doubt the change of policy over on Bricklink hasn't helped here either. Perhaps diversification or partnership is a better way to go instead of throwing in the towel.
  10. Hod Carrier

    Track Detailing - UK Outline

    @zephyr1934 Oh yes, definitely. The track could certainly be made 32x32 by doing away with one plate's worth of depth, or by not building up the shoulders quite as high. There are certainly workarounds to help achieve an easier and more practical solution to suit whatever mode of operation you use. I'll admit that I haven't yet looked at curves and how these might be ballasted, but I agree that they are likely to be less straightforward. As you say, the devil is indeed in the detail. Some of these designs are likely to be more (or less) practical and therefore won't suit everyone.
  11. Hod Carrier

    Track Detailing - UK Outline

    Thanks Duq. I'm glad I was able to provide a little light relief from your sorting duties. I would assume that most railway systems have similar or equivalent systems on their own networks, but I'm not sure precisely what the designs look like. I only know what we have here in the UK which I can see out of my office window. Thanks for spotting my mistake. I've corrected it now.
  12. Hod Carrier

    Narrow gauge "Odenwald-Express"

    That's ingenious!! I'd never thought of using the train motor turned on it's side like that. And as for using the TrixBrix dual gauge rails to make R40 narrow gauge curves, that's just inspirational. And as for the trains; well what can I say that hasn't already been said? The details, the proportions, everything is just spot on!! Fantastic work.
  13. Hod Carrier

    Track Detailing - UK Outline

    Thanks so much for the fabulous feedback that I've received so far. It's really amazing to have prompted such a response. I've been busy adding a few more details which I hope you won't mind me sharing. Don't worry, though. I'm not intending on reproducing every single piece of UK rail infrastructure. In order to reduce noise and wear to rails and wheelsets, flange lubricators (sometimes referred to as grease pots) are provided because, lets face it, no-one likes a dry flange. *Ahem*. These automatically apply a small amount of grease to the train wheels as they pass to help reduce friction. These are often found in areas where the route follows tight curves or at junctions. When clean these are generally yellow to make them visible, but over time, and through careless refilling, these eventually become black. Very simply, this is a drain. At some locations the ground or environmental conditions means that the ballast and formation of the track is insufficient to provide adequate drainage. In this instance additional drains are provided, either at the sides or between the tracks. I won't insult anyone's intelligence by showing the design in isolation, as I'm sure it should be clear. This is a Hot Axle Box Detector (HABD) together with it's associated small portable-type lineside equipment building. These detectors are dotted around the network and are used to detect an overheating axle box. These automatic installations sound an alarm at the signalbox and tell the signaller which axle and on which side of the train the defect is occurring so that the train can be stopped and examined. The central detector between the rails is offset to be nearer one rail or the other to help the system determine which side of the train the defective axle is. There are many different designs of point/switch motors in use across the UK, and this is just one of them. It is an older design that has since been superceded but which remains in operation in large numbers across the network. The design does not affect the operation of the switch and should not interfere with passing trains either. I would have liked to have had a go at one of the successor designs, but the studless nature of the standard LEGO points/switch preclude this, although third party offerings may be different. All of my designs so far have been made to be compatible with the PennLUG ballasting standard. While it's great for LEGO modellers by being compact and not too demanding in terms of parts, I don't think many operational railways would tolerate such a shallow bed of ballast. Certainly in the UK the trackbed is much wider and ballast shoulders are built up at each side. I suppose you could call them shoulder pads in that they bulk out the track ballasting to more realistic proportions. There are side sections and centre sections. Used together for a twin track arrangement (as in the previous picture) the total width comes out at 34 studs, two more than a standard 32x32 baseplate. Consequently I have shown the design split across two baseplates with the centreline as the join. To make this compatible with the MILS modules, the centre section is built in two halves to facilitate splitting of modules into individual 32x32 sections.
  14. Hod Carrier

    9V bar layout, including 90s sets

    Ha ha!! Apologies to you, Thorsten. I couldn’t resist adding that to your earlier post. No offence was intended. I’m more of a brown beer kind of guy, which we do so well here in the UK.
  15. Hod Carrier

    9V bar layout, including 90s sets

    ...probably.