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About Daedalus304

  • Birthday 03/28/1990

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  1. Daedalus304

    Rechargeable battery alternatives

    Ah, I see. The Google Translated version of the mobile site was not so clearly laid out. I'll join you two in waiting for the official answer to "how much capacity is there?"
  2. Daedalus304

    Rechargeable battery alternatives

    First thing of note to me is that the Bluebrixx battery is advertised as having a 500mAh capacity, whereas the LEGO PF Rechargeable was 1100mAh. While I definitely love the concept of a third-party filling the Rechargables void, less than half the capacity/run time is just not a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
  3. Daedalus304

    Successor to Bluebrick?

    32 studs, the length of a standard Baseplate, works out to be 25.6 cm. In practice, they are ever so slightly smaller than that, but when you start building on them the bricks make sure they're spaced properly.
  4. Daedalus304

    New (Noob) Arduino Train automation project.

    I don't know about the older motors, but, the Power Functions IR Receivers use PWM (This is responsible for the whining sound made when not at full power). So, Power Functions motors and probably PUp motors should be able to handle it just fine.
  5. Daedalus304

    4DBrix goes DIY

    As for other manufacturers selling similar items without paying royalties - they either have presumably have done the design work on their own and are NOT profiting off of somebody else's work, or they've decided that they are happy to make money from somebody else's work without compensating them for it. Could be they have permission to use it royalty free, could be they don't care about supporting the person who made their business possible. I don't know about anyone else, but one of those feels an awful lot like stealing to me.
  6. Daedalus304

    How are articulated locomotives built?

    The "ideal" arrangement depends a lot on both your prototype and your layout. Fixed rear engines are definitely viable for shorter articulated engines, but your two most important factors for that are overhang and balance. Long articulated Locomotives with fixed rear engines absolutely can do some serious deforestation to your layout, and wipe out your second line at worst; unless of course you're running nothing but wide-radius turns. Finding the right way to articulate an engine takes a lot of work. In general, the further out your pivots are the less overhang you get, but it can make it harder to clear your pistons and detailing. You also need to balance the weight properly on your drivers, make sure the swinging engine works over height variances, curves, and a combination of the two. If you're serious about building an articulated engine, you really won't be able to know what the best way to articulate it is unless you build a chassis and run it through some tests. That will make it apparent fairly quickly what sorts of clearances you need, give you an idea of overhang, let you know what your tracking characteristics are, and also let you get started on figuring out what power options work best. Powering both engines? Just one? Forward or rear? Pushing with the tender? Each of those options probably needs a slightly different system, especially once balance is involved. And it's tricky (though not at all impossible) to get an articulated Locomotive to track really reliably if you're pushing it.
  7. Daedalus304

    [MOC] The Texas Eagle

    Oh, I hadn't meant to imply that you hadn't changed or modified it; I'd been trying to refer to the technique of framing the glass panes in the grille tiles and didn't intent to suggest that you'd just copied the whole construction wholesale. Poor wording on my part - I apologize!
  8. Daedalus304

    1225 North Pole Railroad

    Honestly, it adds up really fast. It's easy to know as a untested fact that these things are more expensive than they may seem, but even knowing that the actual costs of a full set don't really hit you until you actually try doing it. "$380" is itself a ridiculously low part cost estimate, given how many parts are Dark Red and Dark Green, the fact that these are all coming from the second-hand market and not directly from LEGO (And the fact that LEGO themselves don't really ascribe to 10c per Part, any set with large parts, custom molds, intricate parts, or low-production parts hit above this average - something easily seen in official LEGO train sets). Then you have to factor in shipping costs from lord-knows-how-many stores, plus all the train specific parts tend to be in the "Dollars per part" range and not "cents per part", throw in the loop of track, the PF equipment, the printed parts, and I could easily see this thing hitting $800+ bucks before you get to anything else involved. Throwing in high quality printed instructions, packaging, shipping on top all adds up too. The biggest thing nobody accounts for when talking about the prices of the custom kit stuff though is the time it takes. And like, holy crap, the time it takes. I've in the past sold some stuff as full kits, the easy ones were little 200 part ornament sets and I've done a 800~ part diesel locomotive for somebody. The amount of time and effort that went into designing and testing a reliable model, making the instructions, sourcing the parts, sorting, counting, double-checking, triple checking, from start to finish, even for a run of small kits, was enormous. And the costs were well above what I expected, even with my expectation being that it would be more expensive than I thought. A huge advantage to buying these custom "Full Sets" is that, for the buyer, all that work is taken out of the equation AND you get a much more premium experience. Someone still has to do the work - and the cost of labor needs to be factored in, too. But like, ok, that still leaves us at the end of the day with "This is still expensive" and "I could get a brass loco for less". Which is true! You could. And if you want to, you ought to. But different items in different markets will, well, have different values. And even in the same space, "Industrialized" versus "Custom" products have a huge difference as well. Custom work is always more expensive in anything out there - models, art, maintenance, you name it. Industries have advantages of production, scale, marketing, and make enough to be able to pay people to focus on the products full-time. You just don't have those advantages with custom work, in anything. And in any scenario, trying to cut down the expected costs to just the costs of the raw material just doesn't work out. You have to remember that you're paying for the time and experience of the people who are offering their service. The cost for this is high, but for everything involved and keeping in mind too the time spent, I personally think it's very fairly priced. Out of my budget right now? Sure. But maybe I can get one later. I'd certainly like to get one. But just because I can't afford it, doesn't mean it's not worth the cost. Could Bricktracks decide to cut down the price to something just barely above what they expect (But have no guarantee) that the raw materials cost will be? I mean, I guess. Would it be worth it to them to then sell that for no profit after hundreds of hours of work? Not really. The cost for this is high, but for everything involved and keeping in mind too the time spent, I personally think it's very fairly priced. Out of my budget right now? Sure. But maybe I can get one later. I'd certainly like to get one. But just because I can't afford it, doesn't mean it's not worth the cost. I think the general LEGO community in particular suffers from this blindspot really badly. Looking at a custom products, from just plain instructions to full sets like this one, there are always people who go "That's too expensive", and usually it's followed up with "I could do that myself for a lot cheaper". Sure, that's true in theory. When I go to Comic-Con, there's tons of artists there selling pictures of all sorts. Hand drawn stuff, paintings, digital art, etc., nobody looks at these and goes "Wow, $30? The paper is like 20 cents and the ink couldn't have cost more than another 50 cents. I'll do it myself!". Most people recognize that what's in front of them is more than the sum of the raw materials - it takes a lot of time, skill, and dedication to be able to take $1.50 of raw material and turn it into what you see there. Not even the artists who conceivably could do it themselves act this way. Most other communities understand and respect what goes into the artistry of the thing, and I just don't see that in the LEGO community. There are a lot of individuals who do, but it's definitely not typical of the community as a whole. Maybe we'll get there someday.
  9. "Minifig scale". Nebulous thing. Also, in terms of precision, kind of meaningless. Minifigs don't fit cleanly into any scale. Scale off height, they're too wide, scale off width they're way too short. Scales where they look "Good" range from 1:38-1:55, really. You'll find dozens and dozens of models touted as "Minifig scale" that all look good with figs but are outrageously out of scale with each other. For something like train building, you need something more solidly defined or you'll end up all over the place. If you're scaling at 1:48, which is pretty standard for 8-wide, then 57/56 inch drivers should be just shy of 9.5 plates. The LEGO train drivers are basically perfect for that. In 1:48, you're looking at: XXL = 80"-ish XL = 70"-ish L = 56"-ish M = 45"-ish All of which are "give or take an inch or two". There are also wheels out there that are in between these sizes so you can get a bit closer to "perfect" as needed. For scaling calculations I'd recommend using http://studs.sariel.pl/. Enter the scale you want to work with, enter the measurements, and it'll let you know what to shoot for.
  10. Daedalus304

    [MOC] The Texas Eagle

    It's the same technique Shupp used in his E7. There's no glue needed, but it is tricky to assemble and eats up most of the cab.
  11. Daedalus304

    Are smaller flanges possible on larger radius tracks?

    I think that if I were to build anything for a track that's not compatible with regular LEGO track, I'd probably rather just go for one of the other pre-existing model railroad tracks. O-Gauge or G-Gauge are both fairly close and readily available.
  12. Daedalus304

    Is it worth it to get into 9V trains now?

    I would say that right now, no, it is not worth investing in 9v with 1 slim exception. I'll explain. If you are excited about all the potential new 9v stuff that looks to be on the horizon, and are planning to get that stuff - the premiums you're going to be paying on current 9v track and motors is a waste (IMO). Expensive 9v train motors are also very underpowered compared to modern PF/PU motors of all types. Whether the new 3rd party stuff offers just a straight replacement for the old motors or a much more versatile power pickup, I don't see much sense in spending a ton of money chasing down the old equipment when you'll surely be able to get much better bang for your buck if the new stuff pans out. Which is sort of the second reason I'd say to hold off on investing in 9v right now - the old "Don't count your chickens before they hatch" adage. If you do invest some into 9v stuff now with the intention of supplementing it with the 3rd party stuff later, despite the costs thing mentioned before - you're kinda in a pickle if for some, any reason at all, the 3rd party stuff doesn't pan out the way you're wanting, hoping, or expecting it to. Good quality 3rd party LEGO train stuff has a lot of uphill battles and doesn't always come out the way anyone thinks it will - unless you've got money to burn and are ok going full-tilt into the current limited 9v options even if the 3rd party stuff doesn't come through, I'd stay away from it for now. That said, I don't think that means you have to put your whole hobby on pause while you wait to see what happens. Stuff like rolling stock, trackside structures, and your layout just don't care what your power option is. You can't go wrong building up more of that stuff. A lot of engines are pretty easy to retrofit - any engine you can build using the "Train Motor" can be swapped over to a 9v train easily later if you really want to, and depending on if/how a power pickup comes around, you may well be able to adapt a lot of other types of engines later, too. So basically, to sum up: There's a ton of really amazing potential on the horizon, for sure. If it works out perfectly, then there's little sense buying the much more expensive and old stuff available now. And if it doesn't work out, then you're stuck in an awkward position where you either have to keep going on the super expensive route or switch back to the PF/PU anyways. Patience seems to be the winning move right now.
  13. Daedalus304

    Does anyone use decals instead of stickers?

    I used some O-Scale Waterslide Decals several years ago when I built a PRR N8 Cabin Car for Cale. It took a little practice but they were not too bad to apply. I haven't asked how they've held up over the years, but I'd assume they should be ok. I also saw someone on Flickr use some Dry Transfer decals where you had to sort of "scrub" them from one surface to another. I can't say anything about how easy it is or how well it holds up, but they looked great.
  14. Daedalus304

    Lego 10277 - Crocodile Locomotive

    Really disappointed in those motor prices. I really want to be excited for PU and I've been pretty content to be patient and wait for it to become really good... But $35-$40 for a single motor is ridiculous. If these things don't get some serious price drops I'll probably just stick with regular PF. It seems like it'll probably take a while for those motors to become as expensive even in the aftermarket after they're not in production.
  15. Daedalus304

    BrickTracks: different curves, PF/9V compatible

    That's a fantastic price. I wouldn't have dreamed I'd be able to get all that for $40. I am very, very excited to convert over to these switches now. I was excited before, of course, but I thought it would take quite a while. Thanks for clarifying!!