Hod Carrier

Eurobricks Knights
  • Content Count

    685
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Hod Carrier

  1. Hod Carrier

    import tax

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that only applies where the seller is in the EU and not for all overseas sellers.
  2. Hod Carrier

    import tax

    I've had a few LEGO related items come from the States in the past few years and I have found that the application of the VAT regulations seems to vary. Twice I've won competition prizes and have had to pay the duty on them before I received them, but then I have also ordered third party parts (including BBB wheels) and not had to pay a penny. I can only assume that there is something in the shipping declaration that has not attracted the attention of the excise men, but whether it was in how the contents were categorised or their stated value I could not say. Either way, it was the small parcels that seemed to slip through while the large ones got stopped. I think that you just have to accept that ordering items from overseas will attract costs that are built-in to the final price when buying from a UK seller. For this reason I try to limit my Bricklink orders to UK vendors and check part and colour availability during the design process, substituting as necessary. The other thing you need to accept is that ordering parts from the States means a long shipping time, potentially as much as 4 weeks. @Phil-B259's description of the process is correct and reflects my own experience.
  3. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Ex-GWR Collett Goods 0-6-0

    Ey up, chap. Now there's a lovely little slice of GWRness. Now I'll preface this with the caveat that I'm no great expert on steam locos, so my comments are based solely on the comparison with the OO gauge model you've posed your MOC with. My feeling is that the loco looks a little bit too short which is making it look out of proportion. I agree with @Phil B that the drivers are not evenly spaced, although I disagree in that the larger gap should be between the middle and rear driver. The other thing that stands out from the comparison is the shaping of the boiler. I've nothing to offer in this regard because I've never tried to build one, but I wonder if it could be made less square in section and whether you could incorporate the fairly obvious taper of the prototype. Got to echo @Feuer Zug's comment that it's really good to see the evolution of the model and how you've incorporated so many ideas so quickly. You're doing a grand job. With that I'll go back into my shell and play with my very square modern train models.
  4. Sorry to bump this thread, but has anyone who has used Circuit Cubes motors got any feedback on the amount of power they produce? I've seen @Sariel's video testing these little critters (link below) which does seem to suggest that they are pretty powerful, but does anyone else have any views? Circuit Cubes: LEGO-compatible motors and remote control: TESTED! - YouTube
  5. Hod Carrier

    WIP - SNCB/NMBS AM08 Desiro

    Well, I figure that using LDD is free so I'm not bankrupt yet. However, I have decided to dip a toe into the world of "proper" LEGO trains by knocking up this 8-wide rendering of an SNCB/NMBS AM08 Desiro passenger train. These EMU trains can be seen operating throughout Belgium on local and intercity services and are among the most modern passenger trains used by this operator. NMBS SNCB Desiro 08209 Zichem 01082016 by W Daelmans, on Flickr So far I've only got as far as designing the train in LDD but, unlike my earlier Desiro UK, this one is both buildable and intended to be powered. I wanted to make this model to scale, which is why it looks excessively long by LEGO train standards. I took the formula of 1 stud = 15 inches to arrive at a total length of 210 studs. I appreciate that this might make it difficult to operate on anything other than the widest of ME Models radii, but I'm taking looks over operation as my starting point. It would be possible to reduce the length somewhat if necessary, but I'm hoping to avoid that if at all possible. There is a gap between the black and dark bley arches at present because no brick exists that will fill that gap, or at least not on the LDD palette. The intention is to use a length of light bley pneumatic hose instead. Thoughts, comments and reactions are welcomed, especially as this will be my first venture into full-size LEGO train construction.
  6. Hod Carrier

    WIP - SNCB/NMBS AM08 Desiro

    Thanks for the compliment. @zephyr1934 is right about forum etiquette, but as a new member it's maybe something you weren't aware of. I'm sure many people here would be very interested to see more of your plans for your model of Antwerp Central, as it's a fabulous station in real life and would make for an amazing diorama as well as allowing you to unlock the private message function. We're also quite a helpful bunch and happy to share ideas, tips and tricks that you may find useful. The AM08 design is a bit outdated now and I think I'd want to make some changes to it before sharing it. I also don't know how strong or stable it might be because I've never built it in real bricks. I should also warn you that it is a monster at around 210 studs long and is not likely to want to go around standard LEGO curves. However, I would be happy to allow you to use the design "as is" and to modify it to suit your purposes.
  7. This is a model that I've been working on for a while but have only just got to the point of near completion. It was one of those projects that started quickly only to hit a wall and then sit idle for several months before coming back to again later, but I'm now at the point of asking for comments and feedback on some of the design choices I've made. The model is of the brand new Class 777 EMU that is currently undergoing testing before entering service on the Merseyrail network. Built by Stadler in Switzerland and based on the Stadler Metro platform, these trains will replace the existing fleet which has clocked up around 40 years of service. These trains will run on the existing 750V DC third rail electrification system but have the capability to be modified to run either on battery power away from the electrified network or on the 25kV AC overhead electrification, making new services possible. Class 777 777010 - Kenilworth Road, Ainsdale. by Martyn Hilbert, on Flickr My design is for a static model rather than a powered one, which permits a full interior. However, the model will still articulate at the bogies and between the cars. Apologies for the way that Stud.io renders transparent parts. They tend to show almost black, but I promise you that details like the headlights and cab windows really are there. The design is as good as finished, but I'm wondering if there are better ways to convey some details. The one I'm struggling with most is what looks like handrails along the lower bodyside but which are my attempts to replicate what I have been calling the Toblerones along the flanks of the real train (I presume that their function is to help prevent passengers falling between the train and the platform). They are an obvious detail that I don't think I could omit but they are not huge structures. I'm just not sure if I've gone about them in the right way. Also, the livery is a bit complex around the cabs and has required the use of some illegal building techniques in order to complete it as shown here. The primary component in this section is PN:92946, but some will require cutting down to 1x1 in order for the livery to work. Thoughts...? Comments...? Feedback...?
  8. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Thanks for the feedback. The cheese slope option does replicate the shape of the bumpers in that they are triangular, but I rejected the idea originally because they were too big. As you can see up-thread I did revisit the idea to see how it would look on the whole train, but I'm still not entirely convinced. Not only are they too big but there is a half plate overlap which creates a fairly obvious shadow.
  9. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Thank you for your excellent input. It's always great to kick ideas around and get the views of other builders. I totally agree that no idea is completely perfect. I've said before that the task of a LEGO builder is to find the least worst solution to any given design problem, as the building medium is necessarily restrictive. If we wanted total accuracy we would be following a different hobby altogether. My own opinion is to favour the shallow panels because it gives the cleanest finish. I agree that the hose looks good across the curved slopes and I would probably take that option except for the clips and tiles needed to secure it. As you said in your first post, it makes them look like pipes or handrails which is a view that I share. I also think that the shallow panels is the most satisfying version to design and build, even if the complexity of the structure will not be obvious to folk who see it. It's rather a lot of SNOTing and offsetting just to create what is effectively a rectangular box. There is an unevenness in the panels as presented here because of the 4L panels, but I'm currently unsure if that's a quirk of Stud.io or whether these parts really are thinner than the 2L and 3L versions as I don't have any to compare (or rather, I do but they are currently buried deep in the bowels of another build and therefore not easily accessible). If it is a difference in the part it wouldn't be too hard to use the more consistent 2L and 3L versions instead. The rounded corners may not be too visually jarring either as they are acceptable on cheese slopes and other parts. But you are right that a lot of these imperfections will disappear at normal viewing distances, especially as this is only one detail on a whole model. That's an interesting idea. I'm just not sure if it would protrude out from the shape of the curve at all as the thin part of the bracket is 2.5 plates tall and the total height of the plate portion plus the one plate recess plus the height of the thin end of the curved slope is also 2.5 plates. However, the geometry of the model does permit the cheese slopes and n x 2 curved slopes plus two plates between the bottom of the windows and the solebar, so maybe have a plate with door rail or a tile attached to the bottom of the bracket. The trade-off against that would be that it would interfere with the SNOTed livery around the cab which would require a bit more cheating with coloured vinyl. Hmm. Some food for thought anyway.
  10. Hod Carrier

    Funny Freight

    Ah yes. That would be me.
  11. Hod Carrier

    Funny Freight

    Just for a laugh, two little videos. Video 1 Video 2
  12. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Perhaps a little like this. The supporting structure necessary inside the car is not that much of a compromise after all, although I have had to change some parts usage in order to retain as much as possible of the interior details. This is a comparison rendered part way halfway through the conversion showing the altered and unaltered versions of the interior.
  13. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Some real bricks at last. A quick and dirty idea of how the "toblerones" might look using each technique. What do you think? Luckily I had a quick peek at this thread before putting my bricks away again. Do you mean something like this? It is going to make the exterior walls thicker with, as you say, consequences for the interior. However, I suppose you see more of the exterior so maybe there's a trade-off to be had somewhere. I'll have a think about it. That's one idea I had considered and not pursued. I'm trying to keep this model "scale" and as faithful to the original as I can. While it would make the build much simpler I fear it may also make the resulting model a bit too boxy and too wide, and I'm not sure I wanted to go down that route. I prefer your idea of pulling in the panels that extra half plate and see if it can be made to work without having to sacrifice too much of the interior.
  14. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    I don't mind one bit. If anything, I'm suffering with the opposite problem which is too much time to MOC. I had two weeks summer leave and then, just as I was about to go back to work, I got picked up by the NHS Covid Track & Trace service and have just had another week isolating (although I've tested negative). So I've had plenty of time to fill with this project. That's not a bad idea as a "cheat" which I'll keep it in mind if I come up empty with brick-built solutions. However, have a look at this first. I think this might be the new front-runner. Here's a sneaky peak inside to show how it's been done. I've had to change some of the structure in order to get the studs down orientation needed to support the panel pieces, but at least the result is clean and doesn't spoil the curve of the lower bodysides too much. I fear I may have created some structural issues elsewhere though, and the next job will be tracking those down and fixing them. Hopefully coming soon (provided that I can find enough of the right parts to do this).
  15. Hod Carrier

    Funny Freight

    That's not a bad idea. I'm not sure that the lines wouldn't get tangled up, but it could certainly help hold the sections together ahead of the big reveal. You're very welcome, James.
  16. Hod Carrier

    Funny Freight

    Bless you. You're not the first to have said that to me and I doubt you'll be the last. That's certainly one option. The other I'd already considered is some form of jig into which the parts can be fitted and held in place during assembly. The design already has indents and other aids to alignment and stability during construction and I have already reduced the number of elements from it's first iteration, but I'm sure I could take it further in order to get a quicker build. Just don't place the siding near the edge of a table, though. Please...?
  17. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Well I decided that I should try and push myself with this design. Most of the builds I have so far either have a simple livery or I have cheated with colour vinyls and so on, but this time I wanted to see whether or not I could brick build these sorts of features into the model itself. That's not to say that there won't be some cheating going on, but the extent to which I cheat will be less than before. I've gone back to the start again and, going on @ColletArrow's mention of them, decided to explore the cheese slopes one more time. Here's how it looks now. Part of the reason why I'm sticking with this approach rather than going all out for more extreme SNOTed solutions is that I want to keep the walls down to 1 brick thick to leave room for an interior and to permit articulation. Taking things up a scale might also be an option and might allow me to try a few other things like the tapering to the top of the body. I do appreciate your suggestions, though. Thank you for them. Keeping things at this scale is now looking like a quest for the least worst solution that is possible within the parts and colour palette that LEGO offers. It turns out that dark bley is not a good colour for hose and would require some relatively expensive purchases from overseas, and the double curved parts are not available in yellow. So I think it's a case of fronting up for the hose or using cheese slopes as nothing else seems to be possible. Mocking up some assemblies to check in real life is now the next step, as Stud.io renders tend to overdo the shadows and make gaps look worse.
  18. Hod Carrier

    Funny Freight

    Thank you, gentlemen. That's very kind of you all. Ha ha!! That's a wicked idea. I love it!! The only thing I'm not so keen on is having to gather up the bits and build it back up for the next victim participant. As you can probably imagine it's not the most stable construction, although each time I built it up I improved the technique and got a little faster than the previous time. It took quite a lot of time and more than a few design revisions to get it to the point where the model would hold it's shape but still break apart in the way I wanted.
  19. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Got some alternative ideas to get opinions on. Merseyrail 777010 by LiamBlundell, on Flickr On the left I have swapped the bars for flex hose which means that I can reduce the number of clips used to hold them in place. In the middle I have used the 1x1 double curved slope (PN:49307) and on the right the 2x1 45 degree slope with 2/3 cutout (PN:92946). To my eyes, the flex hose version still looks like a handrail or pipe, but it does allow the use of curved slopes on the lower bodyside. Both the other versions look squarer because the curve cannot be used except where the "toblerone" is not fitted. The middle version is likely to be unbuildable anyway due to the part not being available in yellow. Thoughts...? While I'm about it, here's a small update to the build. The model will ride on #4 size wheels rather than the standard #5 in order to get the correct ride height. If my maths is correct I think I've got the spacing right in this render. On the matter of the "toblerones", the lead two cars have reduced clips as would be necessary for use with flex hose.
  20. Hod Carrier

    [WIP] Merseyrail Class 777 EMU - Stadler Metro

    Thanks for the quick feedback, chaps. Yeah, I do pick some odd prototypes. There is a fair bit of SNOT in there which would make indenting the cab door tricky. In any case, the doors on the real train are flush and, apart from the droplight window and the door seals, the cab door is pretty well hidden. My intention will be to pick it out in much the same way as on the real thing, by outlining it with some thin black tape to replicate the door seals, and the same on the passenger doors too. Cheese slopes were my first attempt at a solution, but you're right to say that it affects the curve of the lower bodyside a bit too much. It really is more like a structure attached to the side of the train rather than being part of the shape. 777009 by LiamBlundell, on Flickr I've been referring to them as "Toblerones" because they look just like a line of Toblerone boxes stuck to the train. toblerone by bold-aslove, on Flickr I know my existing solution looks like a handrail or the piping down the side of a steam loco, and that's why I'm not very happy with it. I like your suggestion and can see how that would work, but it would mess somewhat with the proportions and require a fairly hefty redesign. I'll have a tinker later and see if I can make it work somehow. One tweak that I did come up with was to use flex hose. Unfortunately the rigid stuff doesn't come in dark bley and any rod longer than 4L has a molded collar that would prevent it from fitting. At least flex hose would mean that I could reduce the number of clips I'm using which might help to clean up the appearance a little.
  21. Hod Carrier

    Train Wheel Size Naming

    @ScotNick @coaster Thank you gentlemen for your swift and informative replies. The L-Gauge website page isn't fully up to date with regard to the offerings currently on the market, nor does it reflect the information contained within this thread, and doesn't actually mention the size I'm particularly interested in. However, it is a very good resource. As for the .dat files, I am content to wait and see what @supertruper1988 comes up with when he gets the time to complete the project. Hopefully he is going to include sizes smaller than #5, but clearly he has much more pressing priorities to attend to first, and it's right that what is a hobby activity needs to wait. Thanks again.
  22. Hod Carrier

    Train Wheel Size Naming

    Apologies for boosting an old thread. I notice that the table shows the tread diameter in both mm and plates. How much extra should I allow for the wheel flanges to permit clearance against bodywork, etc? Is it 1 plate on each side (2 plates in total) or does the flange depth vary? Also, on a not unrelated note, is anyone out there working on .dat files for the various sizes to permit them to be imported into your digital building software of choice? I know that some wheels are already available to download (e.g. BBB) but I would be interested in other sizes also. Thanks.
  23. You may already be aware of this, although I wasn’t until I’d got hold of some 88013 motors. It’s 8 studs long compared to the old PF L-motor which is 7 studs long. Standing one upright is going to make any model quite tall, especially once you’ve added any gearing to drive the axle.
  24. Hod Carrier

    [MOC] Differential Drive - Variable Reduction Gearing

    I'm glad you're not trying to be destructive because we're not going to fall out over this. I will just say again, however, that I am not trying to get more power or speed out of this idea. That was never the idea to begin with. It is just a way of trying to give LEGO trains a larger usable range of speeds by means of a compact variable reduction gearing. I am also well aware that some PU motors allow for slow-speed control due to the in-built rotation sensors, but would remind you that this functionality is not currently fully supported by the 2 I/O "City Hub" that is favoured by train builders due to it's size compared with the more capable 4 I/O Technic Hub. It's also worth stating again that this idea is not specific only to PU but can be used with any Technic motor and is, therefore, of potential use to those builders still using PF motors. I understand that you consider this idea to be useless, and that's fine. Not every idea is going to resonate with every builder and I accept that there is always likely to be a whole range of reactions. Some builders may be happy to embrace third party electronics and other components in order to achieve certain functionality, but not everyone is confident to follow that path, and I include myself in this. I simply wanted to explore another path to achieve these outcomes that falls more easily within my comfort zone.
  25. I’m very cautious of using the word “new” to describe anything I do because I know that in LEGO, as in life, there is very rarely anything completely new under the sun. With that in mind I will just preface this thread by saying that this is not something that I have seen done elsewhere, so I’m going to bring it to the attention of the community. But first, a little diversion by way of explaining where my inspiration came from. I had been doing some reading about British Railways No 10100 which is better known as the Fell Locomotive. This was a prototype 2-D-2 locomotive that was perhaps the oddest (and oddest looking) loco to have graced the UK rail network and was an attempt to build a 2000hp mainline diesel engine using a mechanical transmission. Most mainline diesel locomotives use either electrical or hydraulic transmissions which are better suited to coping with the high power demands of mainline use, with mechanical transmissions usually used on railcars and small shunting locos. However, the Fell Locomotive took a different approach using four 500hp V12 engines mated to a transmission which utilised differential gears. Not being very mechanically minded I had no idea what this meant or how it worked, but then I happened across this old newsreel hosted on another forum which explained things in layman’s terms and the scales fell from my eyes. The transmission was brilliantly conceived and it is clear how it would suit the needs of mainline operation. But then I had a Eureka moment and realised that this might work well in a LEGO loco too. Well, not the whole four engines and three differentials thing, but with two motors and a single differential it might be possible to increase the controllable range of speeds achievable. The original idea was to have a sort of two-speed loco that could run at half it’s normal speed with a single motor and then access the rest of it’s performance with the second motor, but then I realised that by altering the speed and direction of rotation of the motors relative to each other it would be possible to almost infinitely adjust the loco’s gearing. Suddenly I was looking at the possibility of running models that could do low speed as well as high speed without having to make compromises with the gearing. So for the past few months I have been working on a couple of prototypes. The first is a rebuild of my own English Electric GT3 4-6-0 and the second is a modified version of @Commander Wolf’s bijou little Fairbanks Morse H10-44 switcher. Each loco would have a different motor and gearing arrangement to test how they work with different types of loco design. This is the new power arrangement for GT3. There are two L-motors in a stacked arrangement with gearing to take the power to each end of the differential. The gearing gives a final ratio of 1:2 which, when added to the model’s XL drivers, should give a decent increase in speed. The H10-44 has a slightly longer geartrain due to the need to power both bogies. This loco use a pair of M-motors placed at either end of the differential. The model was built with the option to alter the final ratio by sliding the relevant sized gears along the driveshaft to engage with the differential, with either 1:1 gearing for some proper slow speed switching capability or 1:3 for higher speed running. The gearing arrangement that allows for these two different final ratios is quite simple and can be achieved without any major rebuilding, as the shaft arrangements are identical. As well as the physical arrangements of motors and gears that were necessary, to get the best out of the system I decided that I would also need some form of control. I suppose that, if you were dexterous enough and deft at using one, it could be done manually using a remote, but I didn’t think that I could manage that. I opted to use Powered Up as this has been the de facto hardware for a while now, but you could use any system you like. As it doesn’t appear to be possible to share Powered Up profiles I have given a full description of how I built the custom control profile, but I have hidden it as a spoiler so that those who have no interest can easily skip on ahead. With models and a control profile built it was time to go testing. Here are a couple of videos of the two prototypes strutting their stuff. Each one accelerates slowly up to maximum speed before slowing to a stop. (Apologies for the quality of the video. Unlike the SBrick app, the Powered Up app doesn't have a "set and forget" feature, which means that I've had to resurrect an ancient digital camera to record these videos.) The H10-44 is running a 1:1 final ratio as I discovered that even with two M-motors there just wasn’t enough torque to turn the higher 1:3 gearing. Even when it could be persuaded to move the performance was erratic as often one motor would stall even at high power input levels. It’s much happier running with the 1:1 gearing, which is appropriate for a switcher. GT3 benefits from having more power thanks to the L-motors and a degree of intelligence due to the in-built rotation sensors on the motors. This means that the motors can adjust the amount of power they need depending on how their speed compares to the input values from the control profile. As such it shows a good range of speed and is able to maintain that speed even when taking tight bends. The Powered Up app still isn’t especially stable when controlling the L-motors and will sometimes drop the connection to the hub, but it doesn’t happen every time so I can live with it. So what are the negatives? Well, you need to have two motors and enough space inside your model to take advantage of this, but dual motor set-ups are fairly common in train builds these days. Also, the longer and more convoluted drivetrain is bound to generate more internal friction and battery life may be reduced due to the greater demands. I still have more things that I would like to try. In particular, I’d like to uprate the H10-44 with some L-motors and see if it can manage the 1:3 final ratio. I’m sure that there are some tweaks to be made with the control profile too to give better control and flexibility. But as I’ve been talking non-stop for such a long time I think it’s time for me to shut up and hand over to you for questions, comments and feedback good and bad.