Hod Carrier

Eurobricks Knights
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Posts posted by Hod Carrier

  1. Thank you, gentlemen. 

    @Asper @Feuer Zug It’s a model using parts ancient and modern. :laugh:  These were the best techniques I could find to recreate the various vents on the roof.

    @Ts__ I agree that the side window is the wrong size and shape, but that was the compromise that I had to make to ensure that the slope and taper of the cab could be made. There’s quite a lot of snotting and supporting structures going on inside that had to be accommodated. I spent a lot of time wondering if I could have done that detail better, but concluded that the only way I make it better was to make the rest of it worse, so I decided that I could live with it 

    There have been a lot of compromises made, such as the inset headlights. The original design was closer to the real train, but it would not have been possible to include LEDs. What you see here is probably the most buildable version in the closest design I could make.

    No news on the prize as yet.

  2. Sorry for not posting anything up for a while. I needed a bit of a break after the hullabaloo of OcTRAINber. I thought I'd share what I'd been working on prior to OcTRAINber taking all my time. I had intended to build this but I'm unsure if that will now happen, so I'm sharing this as a virtual MOC.

    The Stadler Flirt has been a feature of European railways for several years, but it's only recently that Stadler has been providing these trains to the UK. Obviously this meant that the design needed adapting to suit the UK rail network's requirements, but I think that the resulting train is a very handsome thing which is proving popular among those who use them.

    The first versions to arrive in the UK were for Greater Anglia and came in two forms; a semi-articulated 12-car electric train (Class 745) for services between London and Norwich and Stansted Express, and a 3 or 4-car fully articulated bi-mode train (Class 755) for regional and local services. I had wanted to build a version of this train, but the livery used by Greater Anglia is quite complex and would be difficult to reproduce in LEGO.


    745009 Stowmarket 13/05/22 - 1P51 1600 Norwich to London Liverpool Street by Ryan Hayward, on Flickr


    755412 Turves 20/04/22 - 2E76 1156 Ipswich to Peterborough by Ryan Hayward, on Flickr

    Luckily for me, a second batch of Flirt UK trains were under construction for Welsh operator Transport for Wales, and the livery that was being applied to their trains was a lot more LEGO-friendly. As with the first batch, these units for Wales would come in two different forms; a 4-car single-mode diesel-electric train (Class 231) and a 3 or 4-car tri-mode train (Class 756). At the point where I started work on the design, the single-mode Class 231 was the only version in existence, with deliveries and test-running only just having begun. As a result, this was the version that I based my model on.


    231002. by curly42, on Flickr

    And this is my version, rendered in UK-scale friendly 7-wide.


    There were a few challenges to overcome with this design. The train has a very distinctive body profile as well as that cab shape. It took several attempts at both to get to a final design that would be both buildable and look right as well as be able to take lights in the cab front.


    Power and control would have been distributed throughout the train. In common with the LMS Articulated Railcar, the Flirt would have train motors mounted on their sides together with weight bricks within the body in the windowless sections just behind each cab driving Technic bogies, as conventional use of these motors would be too big. There would have been a battery box hidden in the train toilet with a PFx Brick in the central "power pod". I had been busy researching magnetic connectors for the wiring runs between cars when I broke-off from working on the design of this model.


    The sloping cab tapers towards the front of the train, which I've had a go at capturing. Roof-mounted equipment has also been modelled as accurately as possible.


    The "power pod" containing 4 diesel motor-generator units. The detailing on the sides has necessitated a fair amount of "snotting", but it looks OK. Hopefully it would be strong enough when built.

    As always, thoughts, comments and feedback are welcomed. I doubt that this train will ever get built, as I'm currently busy with a non-railway project, but who knows how I'll feel about it later.

  3. As we say in the UK, I think you was robbed. Your standard of finish and presentation was waaaay better than mine and I had you down as the overall winner this year. No doubt your wonderful creations will be getting lots of admiring attention this weekend at Bricking Bavaria, which will be richly deserved.

    Congratulations nonetheless for your win. 

  4. Thank you everyone for the support and amazing feedback throughout the design and build process. I haven't always enjoyed every stage of this build, but I have learned a lot that I can take forward into future projects. It's never certain how the judging will go, and there was a lot of really good competition.

    Now I'm going to have to think of a layout to make best use of these switches. :look: :laugh:

  5. Scale is always a very personal thing, unless of course you're part of a group, in which case a scale would need to be agreed upon. It something that not even TLG themselves seem to agree upon, as there's a huge difference between the size of various official offerings that might be expected to go together. So in this regard, there is no "wrong scale" for anything. Indeed, we have regular contributors here that build in scales outside of what is considered to be "normal". However, all that said, where scale has not formally been agreed, there is an almost internationally understood formula regarding overall size which allows for flexibility of operation and for cooperation between designers and builders. Anything that falls outside of this removes that capacity.

    My own personal view is that the LEGO Minifigure has such unnatural proportions that I wouldn't base any decisions about scale around it. For trains, it would be far more logical to scale according to the track gauge we've been given to use. Employing the back of a fag packet, I worked out that LEGO track gauge is around 1:38 scale. In this case, your designs are probably much closer to scale than most others.

    The obvious problems that go with a much larger scale are size and cost. If my eyes are not deceiving me, your Allegheny design is 12-wide, which makes it 50% bigger than a regular 8-wide design and, therefore, at least 50% more expensive. As your render of the loco on R104s shows, it also needs much more space in order to be run. If your proposal is to offer these designs as kits, this may become a limiting factor on their desirability. It's already been proven that larger scale models allow for greater detailing and accuracy, and it may be that the demand for these models will be more for static display rather than for running purposes.

    Ultimately it's going to be for the market to decide. It would be interesting to know how you would price the Allegheny once you've included packaging, instructions, marketing, shipping, etc, etc.

    6 hours ago, XG BC said:

    for european ones i think the smaller scale is better though.

    The great thing about scale is that it is universal. If you decide upon a certain scale then you will find that US, European and British models will all appear correctly proportioned when compared to each other. The problem is that the LEGO trains community as a whole has not done this, but rather has decided upon a formula instead which takes no account of scale.

  6. It’s a thought that has never occurred to me at all, and I really don’t think many people would be worrying about it. In fact, I’m not sure about the nationality of most builders (I’d never have known you were American if you hadn’t said it) and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

    I’m sure we all build whatever appeals to us wherever it comes from. My own record is mostly British, but that’s really just because I know more about British prototypes than, say, American, for example. I do find, though, that I do get inspired when I travel abroad. My most recent trip was to New York, so maybe I’ll build something from that region next. 

  7. On 10/31/2022 at 9:36 AM, Ts__ said:

    Somehow I scored an own goal. I could have ordered the red wheels immediately at the start of the project in early September, then they would already be there and I could have done the 2nd conversion already. So I have to wait now just yet, will probably happen in December.
    I was at the start of the project but also not sure that I get it done in time and that it is also what good.


    Ah, that’s really galling. But sometimes you just don’t know how things will go when you place these orders.

    But it doesn’t take anything away from the stellar work you’ve put into all of these builds and designs. You’ve really achieved some fantastic results and have worked very hard to make not just two but three versions. 

  8. @Ts__ Thank you for your very generous praise. I always find myself getting immersed in the story of the prototype and like to share what I have learned as well as sharing any techniques that I've used. The techniques I've used in these models may be familiar to many builders, but I have learned so much by seeing the techniques other people have shared and I always like to think that there might be someone still gaining experience who will find it helpful to see how I've achieved certain aspects of my builds.

    I know exactly what you mean about it being almost a full-time job. OcTRAINber always absorbs a lot of my time at this time of year, but I think that this year has put a really heavy demand on entrants. The need to design not one but two models to competition standard, even if only digitally, has meant that we've all had to work so much harder than in previous years.

    @Shiva Thank you.

    @XG BC I did!! I really did!! :head_back:  Thank you so much.

  9. I am pleased to present my entry for OcTRAINber 2022 in the "Other Locomotive" category. My model is of the LMS Articulated Railcar in both its original and rebuilt forms.

    In 1938, Britain's London Midland & Scottish Railway (LMS) unveiled a radical new diesel railcar built at its Derby carriage works. Three coaches long, the railcar was intended to be an experimental train to help the company assess the relative operational costs of diesel against steam operation as well as to gauge the use of railcars on secondary routes.


    During the inter-war years most of the major rail companies in Britain were experimenting with diesel railcars. Most of these were single coach trains such as the GWR diesel railcars with the option of adding a trailer coach if the need for more accommodation ever arose. However, this LMS streamlined 3 car articulated railcar was quite unlike anything before, being a multi-car multi-engine fully self-contained train.

    Painted in bright red and cream with a silver roof, the shape put a lot of people in mind of the record-breaking German "Flying Hamburger" diesel train, mainly due to the streamlined cabs and lower bodyside fairings which gave it a futuristic appearance.

    The train was powered by six 125hp Leyland diesel engines, two per car, each powering one axle each through a hydraulic transmission. Weighing just 74 tons the train was intended to reach 75mph but actually hit 82mph on an early test run. After initial tests the train was allocated to the Oxford to Cambridge route where it ran a limited passenger service before being moved to the London St Pancras to Nottingham route. Early experience showed that the train suffered with overheating due to the lower paneling restricting the airflow to the radiators. Remedies were sought, but in the end the lower panels were simply removed.

    The outbreak of the Second World War saw the operation of the railways change to address the national need and many modernisation programs were simply shelved. This railcar was no exception. It was withdrawn from service at the outbreak of war and stored for the duration of hostilities.

    With the end of hostilities in 1945, the railways were in a poor state and the railway companies not in any position to restart any experimental schemes that had been underway prior to the war. The main priority was rebuilding and re-establishing a peacetime economy. Nationalisation and the creation of British Railways followed soon after in order to deal with the backlog of maintenance and to make good bomb damage to the infrastructure and losses in locomotives and rolling stock.

    It would seem that the newly nationalised railway had no interest in developing the LMS railcar any further, but it still remained as an asset. It was decided to convert the railcar for use as an overhead line maintenance train on the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham route, which had been electrified before the war. The advantage of using a diesel railcar rather than a steam hauled maintenance train for this purpose should be obvious.


    It would seem that the railcar saw little use as a maintenance train and was moved from depot to depot before finally ending up at Longsight in Manchester. Here it fell into a state of dereliction and was finally disposed of in 1967.

    My own interest in this train is down to various reasons. What first drew my attention was simply due to the way it looked. Along with the original AEC railcars built for the GWR it looks outstanding, especially when compared to other railcars of the era. But as my job is to drive this train's modern descendants, it impressed me with its modern technology. It contains features that are still familiar to me in my work, such as a door interlock circuit that prevents the train being driven away with the doors open as well as stopping them from being opened while the train is on the move, and automatic engine shutdown in the event of low oil or coolant.

    As a consequence of all these factors I had bookmarked this train in my mind as a possible future build. I like to pick unusual trains that maybe people have not heard of before and to bring them to wider attention, and this was a perfect candidate. Knowing what happened to the train once it re-emerged after the war made it perfect for this year's theme and gave me the push to try and build it.

    And here is the fruit of my labours.




    The two versions of the railcar side-by-side contrasting the stylish looks of the passenger railcar with the extremely practical features of the maintenance train.

    The original version of the railcar is distinguished by its curvy body profile and streamlined cabs. In order for this train to be suitable for the contest I would have to work out how to recreate these features. The vast majority of my LEGO train builds to date have been conventional in their design and build, but this was going to push me quite a long way out of my comfort zone.


    A lot of time was spent on trying to come up with a form of parts that would work but, after quite a lot of trial and error, I arrived at a shape that I was happy with. I had never really used "Clip SNOT" techniques to such a degree so it was a bit of a voyage into the unknown.




    The coach bodies are built of a number of sub-assemblies that are attached to the chassis.


    This version of the railcar also uses a form of close-coupling to improve the look and movement of the model. It was a bit of a "bend to fit" solution, not having been envisaged for use on an articulated model like this one and not being entirely suitable for such use, but overall it works well enough. The coupling gap has had to be extended a fraction to permit the train to take R40 curves, but it can manage these successfully.



    Where possible, the model has full interiors.


    Although I wanted to use the LEGO Train Motor to provide drive, I was unhappy about using one in the conventional manner. These make for very large bogies, especially on a 7-wide model, and I was not prepared to compromise on the looks of the train. Consequently, I mounted the motor on its side inside the car body and used a conventional Technic-style bogie to take the power down to the wheels.


    Although there are not a huge number of sources for the original version of the railcar, the design of the second version of the railcar was hampered by an almost total absence of information. Whenever I found any mention of this train, reference was always made back to a single magazine article from December 1949.

    When I finally tracked the article down, I discovered that both the explanation and accompanying photos did not provide me with very much to go on. Although I could see the basic form of the rebuilt train the details remained incredibly sketchy. Even a trip to the British Library to see an original copy of the article provided very little additional information. Layout of equipment, door and window arrangements and even the livery that the train wore would have to be guessed at. I decided that I could either worry about this or just press on and try to make the best of what I had. Naturally I chose the latter.


    I have taken the decision to use dark green lined with tan on the basis that the photos showed a lined livery, and this is the colour scheme that passenger railcars at the time would have carried. Other discernable features were the rollers over each cab to protect them from cables being run out (or in), battery boxes and the ladders that were stowed underneath the solebar on each car. I have also included other detailing below the floor, but all of it is conjectural on the basis that I have no pictorial sources for them.


    The structure of the rebuilt railcar differs from the original version in that it uses fewer "Clip SNOT" techniques and a few more conventional ones. Although some techniques are common to both, the two builds are individual and quite different.

    Although the railcar lost its centre car during the rebuild, it gained a wire wagon. This was based on the chassis of a former Midland Railway coach which would have originally been built sometime around the end of the Victorian era. As with the rest of the rebuilt railcar, there is very little information to go on with this design, so I have simply opted for what I think it could have looked like and just given it three cable drum stands.


    This model contains a couple of bonus features that reflect real details of the actual train which are worth a look.

    As part of the rebuild process, the bodywork was cut back from the inner ends of the cars to give a couple of open working platforms which could be extended if needed to aid access to parts of the overhead line under maintenance. This part of the train was equipped side panels that could be extended as well as an elevated section of roof.



    On the real train these would have been hand-cranked, but for the model the elevated section uses a scissor jack driven by a Technic M Motor linked to a linear actuator inside the car.

    Two months ago, way back at the start of the contest, I joked that I was going to come out swinging this year and really embrace the "quality over quantity" message after just playing for laughs in the previous edition of OcTRAINber. I thought it might have been hubris to have said as much and wondered whether or not my mouth was signing cheques that my abilities couldn't match.

    To come up with these two builds I have really had to work hard and push myself to try and master new techniques in pursuit of accuracy. It's been hard work and not always very enjoyable at times and I have come very close to hurling one or other of these builds across the room in frustration. But I'm glad that I pushed through and persisted with them, because I now have two very satisfying models that I can sit back and enjoy.

    Although I consider them to be finished from the perspective of the contest, I am still looking at them as works in progress. There are one or two issues that are still outstanding, either from a structural or operational perspective. However, the overall look of the two should remain unchanged and, in that respect, I am happy and proud to be able to present them.

    More photos and narrative can be found in my Flickr OcTRAINber album.

  10. When I got married, we had our reception at a local golf course. If my own experience is anything to go by, I would blame the photographer for putting the happy couple in harm's way on the bridge. Looks like the guy in the golf cart is doing an Alonso and should probably be moderating his speed a bit.


    In our case, the "snapper" wanted to take some photos under a willow tree on the front of the 18th green. Play continued unabated and we got peppered with golf balls from some very disgruntled golfers.

    Great way to present your build. You've really brought it to life in a very creative way.