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About Daedalus304

  • Birthday 03/28/1990

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  1. Daedalus304

    OcTRAINber 2022: The "Rebuilds & Retrofits" Challenge!

    Haha, yes, we've had a few entries from previous year's OcTRAINbers that would have fit into this theme pretty well. Both models need to be 'new' models. It could be a subject you've modeled before and are going back to tackle it again in a big do-over, of course, but it does need to be at least a mostly new build.
  2. Hello again, everybody! October isn't quite here yet, but it's just about time to get rolling for this year's OcTRAINber. We're going to be making a couple tweaks to the format this year that I'll explain later in the post, but for now let's get into the rundown on this year's theme: "Rebuilds & Retrofits". Railroads have had a long history of taking old cars or engines and trying to use them for as long as possible. Railroad equipment is expensive, after all. Old equipment is kept repaired and patched up as best as it can be, but sometimes these old pieces of stock end up being changed for something very different. Locomotives may be altered significantly to help them better fit in a different role, such as a tank engine having its tanks removed and replaced with a tender. Sometimes old passenger cars end up heavily rebuilt for a non-revenue role and go on to serve as Maintenance-of-Way equipment. Some freight cars end up rebuilt as passenger service cars, or stripped down and turned into a bridge. That, ultimately, is what this year’s OcTRAINber is all about. We’re looking for models of Railroad equipment that has been rebuilt or retrofitted to serve a different or altered function from its original intent. In addition, we’d like to see two LEGO models, one of both the before AND after – show us how the subject has changed! Hammond Lumber Co.’s 2-6-6-2t #6 was later converted to a tender engine and sold to Southwest Lumber, where it was re-numbered to #12 The Challenge Ultimately, we’re looking for major changes in the modeled subjects. While a boxcar with friction-bearing trucks getting an upgrade to roller-bearing trucks does indeed count as a retrofit, it’s not a very large change and won’t score many points. What we’re really looking for is something that has been changed to operate in a significantly different way, or something that has been altered to look drastically different. We realize that this year’s theme requires building two models – but we’re very open to options. There are several acceptable ways to reach this criteria: 1. Build both versions of the model in LEGO Bricks. 2. Build both versions of the model digitally 3. Build one version in LEGO, and one version digitally 4. Build and photograph one version in LEGO bricks, then actually alter it to the second version and photograph that. Both versions need not exist simultaneously; they just need to be photographed and submitted together in a single entry Southern Pacific removed the engine components from 9010 and rebuilt the nose, turning it into a camera car and re-numbering it to 8799 Rules Entries must be original models. No stealing. This also means no Mods (thus also no sets), only original MOCs. One entry per person, per category. You can enter as many categories as you like, but you can only enter one model in each category. We want quality over quantity. So pick your best model and make it shine. Third party parts are allowed, clone bricks aren’t. We know this can be a thin line, just walk it wisely, and we’ll do our best to judge fairly on this. We are making no rules for the scale you choose to model in. We are welcoming models of 6, 7, and 8 studs, and anything in between or beyond! However, we appreciate detail and accuracy. Reasonably sized models are usually better for that, but we don’t knock anything or anyone with serious skill. NEW BUILDS ONLY. We are willing to accept anything unpublished or anything that was not published before August 1st 2022 as new. We want to inspire and promote a challenging build, entering an old model doesn’t quite work in that regard. Entries MUST be made on our Flickr group in the appropriate thread. This is the ONLY place we will be looking for entries, nowhere else. Sending photos to us on social media or showing us in person does not count as entries! These threads will open on September 1st. We will be accepting entries from Midnight on September 1st to Midnight on November 1st (meaning October 31st, at 23:59 PDT). Due to the scale of the competition as well as helping efforts to expedite the judging, we’ve opted to start OcTRAINber early instead of having it run long into the holiday season. This also means there will be no extensions this year, so make sure you’re all ready by the end of October! Digital entries are allowed, and will be competing in the same categories as the physical models. As mentioned before, we are accepting “mixed-media” entries due to requiring two models, so you are welcome to submit one Physical and one Digital model to complete an entry. A second deck has been added to this New Haven flatcar to facilitate maintenance on the electrified lines Categories There will be four categories to enter this year, with a winner for each. There will also be an extra Grand Prize winner, as we’ve done in some previous years, for a total of five prizes. The Categories are as follows: 1. Steam Locomotives 2. Other Locomotives (E.G. Diesels, Electrics, Rail buses, anything that provides its own motive power) 3. Rolling Stock (E.G. Freight, Passenger, MOW, etc) 4. Buildings and Structures (E.G. repurposed stations, rail cars that have been repurposed as bridges.) If you are building something that could go in multiple categories, for example a flatcar (rolling stock) that has been repurposed into a bridge (structure), then we’d recommend entering it in the category that best fits what it has been adapted into. In this example the flatcar has been turned into a bridge, and should be entered as a structure. This ATSF Boxcar was converted into a bridge over a canal Judging and Scoring Entries will be judged primarily on these three criteria: 1. Accuracy to Prototype — How well do your models represent their real-life counterparts? Proportions, detailing, and functionality all help out here. 2. WIP Story — Include pictures and information on the real-life counterparts to your build, show the build process, and highlight the differences between the ‘Before’ and ‘After’ versions of your model. 3. Transformation Factor — This is focused on how significant of a change took place. Something like changing the trucks out to reflect a bearing type upgrade will score much lower than something that has been changed to operate or be used in a significantly different or unique way; or has been altered to look drastically different. As always, keep in mind that OcTRAINber is a ‘quality over quantity’ building event. This means that we encourage (and give higher scores for) higher-quality entries as opposed to several sub-par ones. Build your best, and don’t rush yourself to try to hit something in every category. While we’ve tried to give several examples for things that will fit into the theme, the examples listed are not exhaustive. We encourage you to explore and find some really amazing things to enter, so if you find something that you feel really grabs the spirit of the theme then go ahead. If it’s something really out there that won’t fit into one of the listed categories, feel free to ask for clarification. Final Words The last couple years, the judging for OcTRAINber hasn’t exactly been the quickest, and that’s something we would really like to change this year. November and December are filled with Holidays and train shows, and mixed with the growing number of entries it’s been getting quite difficult to find a good time to get through everything once Thanksgiving starts to hit. To help alleviate that, for all of you as well as for the judges, instead of extending OcTRAINber into November, we are going to start it earlier this year and will work to have the judging taken care of before the big holiday season starts up. Starting September 1st is certainly change, but we still end it in October, so it totally counts, right? We will have more articles posted in the coming months with more information as needed. OcTRAINber has always been fun for us, and we’re excited to see what you all come up with to enter this year. Thank you for reading, and we hope you have as much fun with the event as we do. Happy building! NYC’s #5344 Hudson has run both with and without the streamlined panels
  3. Daedalus304

    LEGO Trains 2022

    It's true, though. Wheels this large require a spacing far enough apart that the wheelbase is too long to fit through an r40 curve, and especially too long for an r40 switch. For even the Emerald Night drivers, spacing the flanged drivers for a wheelbase longer than about 14 studs starts to run into issues. The larger the driver, the sooner this becomes a problem - and this Hogwarts Express has a driver wheelbase about 16 studs long with drivers larger than even third parties produce right now. An engine with 4 of these drivers (close enough together) could probably deal with r40 just fine. A 6-driver loco like the Hogwarts Express... Probably not!
  4. Daedalus304

    LEGO Trains 2022

    To make it clear that the engine was not designed to run on LEGO's track, and that if you want it to do so it's going to take modifications. The XXXL drivers it comes with will certainly not make it through LEGO's tight r40 curves. If the engine is not compatible with their track system (and, even discounting the gauge, it's not), then making the deliberate choice to completely sidestep this incompatible similar product is the smart thing to do for them.
  5. Daedalus304

    New Hogwarts Express

    The new wheels seem to actually be XXXL, which as far as I know are not produced currently by third parties, so unless LEGO's including a set of blinds in the box without showing them, there's no matching blind drivers. Also, the crankpin spacing LEGO's uses here is not "standard", and likely won't work with third party wheels even if they were produced. Of course, it's not exactly likely a six-driver engine with drivers this large would survive r40 even with a blind axle.
  6. Daedalus304

    LEGO Trains 2022

    There is a pretty simple, though still likely deeply disappointing, answer to why the design has come through with these decisions that leave so many train fans baffled. Why is it 10-wide? Why does it have a different gauge? Why is the frame and undercarriage so under-detailed? And the many other things that seem like odd choices for a train set? The answer is simply this: This is not a "LEGO Train" set. This is a Harry Potter diorama collection in a Train-themed location. The details of the set are focused on the 20 Minifigs, the dioramas in the car, the train station itself, and the general shapes and basic functionality of the loco and car themselves are very close to the real thing - what's missing is the fine details and functionalities that the majority of the Harry Potter fan base won't care about. And the rest of the answers fall in place very easily from there. "Why is the train built 10-wide"? Because it worked the best for the scale of the dioramas and scenes they wanted to make, and it surely made certain things like the shape and detail of the boiler easier to keep in the proper proportions. "Why did they make the gauge different?" Because a train at this scale, with drive wheels this large and a driver wheelbase this long, would not make it through r40 (The only official track radius). This is meant as a stunning Harry Potter diorama, not a train set, so making sacrifices to the detail to try to get this thing compatible with r40 isn't going to happen. The solution is to build the engine for a different track gauge to make it clear that LEGO has no intention of this being a functional "Train set", and head off complaints and questions of "why won't it go through the curves" - there are no curves to try it with! It doesn't fit in with any of LEGO's other Train offerings because it's meant to be shelf mates with a different theme. The fine detailing on the loco and mechanisms too, are missing because to the target demographic that buys the $300 Harry Potter owl and the $400 castle, those details are not important. The dioramas are. The station is. The 20 minifigs are. The wheels spin and the rods move... and I bet LEGO's rightfully sure that the majority of their target demographic (Big-spender Harry Potter fans) isn't going to care about a whole lot more than that. And, from the sounds of it, they were right. It's a shame for those among us who were hoping for a highly-detailed "Train set", to be sure. But LEGO train fans are a pretty scrappy bunch, huh? We want more than what LEGO can usually commit to giving. We build things ourselves, our own ways. We make for ourselves what LEGO won't make for us. But, what this set lacks in the complete package, it does make up for somewhat in what new potentials it opens up. LEGO's produced a new (enormous) train wheel. That's nothing to sneeze at, and it does open up potential that they could do more with this wheel in the future; and it shows that they're willing to make new train wheel sizes at all. Perhaps a good proper high-end "train set" isn't so unlikely, someday, after all. But hey, I can't wait to see someone mod this thing to run on Bricktracks r104 track under its own power. The dedicated train fans will find a way, and it is going to be awesome to see when they do.
  7. Daedalus304

    OcTRAINber Judging

    Hey everyone, the OcTRAINber 2021 Results have been posted. Many thanks to everyone to participated, I always love seeing the entries. We understand that it was very, very late this year. We had issues with timing (and other factors) that set us back a bit. That said, we've got plans and ideas for the 2022 challenge and we should be able to get things running smooth again next time.
  8. Daedalus304

    OcTRAINber Judging

    Sorry about the delay on this, it was definitely quite a wait. That said, I do have good news - Cale, Matt, and I have finished judging all the entries tonight and we should have the results posted very soon. There were a lot of very impressive entries! Thanks a lot for your patience. We've talked about a couple things to try to hopefully get it wrapped up quicker next year.
  9. Daedalus304

    Train Wheel Size Naming

    That's great to hear! I am looking forward to purchasing some of them!
  10. Daedalus304

    AT&SF #2926 - 4-8-4 Steam Locomotive

    Firstly, I must emphasize your very correct choice of wording, so cue the bolding and italics: It tolerates r40, it by no means does well in them. As built in these pictures, the locomotive's XXL drivers were in F-B-F-B configuration, with the drivers pivoting underneath the boiler. The engine was very soon rebuilt (Again!) to have the drivers rigid to the boiler and directly powered, and with this came a change to the current F-B-B-F configuration. Somehow, still, the pilot articulates enough to fit through r40, with a very small tweak to the length of part of the pivot arm. In both iterations, r40 must be taken very slowly, with much creaking and groaning - I do not run the current variant on r40, if it can be avoided. Nowadays, perhaps I would be better to describe it as "it survives" r40? In either version, the pilot truck is split into a couple different areas of articulation, very much so inspired by the pilot of Jayhurst's original Big Boy. The pilot axle closest to the the drivers has a double-arm pivot like Jayhurst's model, with a more traditional single-arm link connecting the front axle. The back sides of the pistons have been built to be as thin as possible to provide as much lateral motion as I could squeeze out of it.
  11. Daedalus304

    BN SD40-2 from BMR

    Yes, I did the design for the SD40-2 and was heavily involved with the instructions. Again, I'm sorry to hear that the instructions gave you trouble. We spent a lot of time going through them to make sure that everything made sense and try our best to iron out all the issues, though a couple still made it through (Four separate 100+ page books for 1800+ part models is very time consuming to work out). We had many test builds and reviews of the instruction steps and these steps in particular never stood out as troublesome during the testing. I have ideas as to why, but that doesn't matter here and now - I'll pay extra attention next time for similar situations to try to avoid repeats of the issue. That said, I'm happy to have been able to help you out here. Do let me know if you have more questions. I hope the rest of your build goes smoothly, and I hope you enjoy running your SD40-2 once it's completed!
  12. Daedalus304

    BN SD40-2 from BMR

    Hey cbqmp27, I took these two pictures of the completed truck frame for you, and changed two of the minifig neck brackets from step 225 to Light Bluish Gray to help make it more apparent where they're going.
  13. Daedalus304

    BN SD40-2 from BMR

    Hey cbqmp27, sorry to hear it's giving you trouble. If you post the step numbers that are giving you a hard time I can help you sort it out.
  14. Daedalus304

    Common Bricks Used

    Curved slopes, plates, tiles, any sort of part with a clip on it, and some basic Technic parts will go a long way. The nice thing with Steam is that the good majority of them are mostly black, so you can focus on just 1 or 2 colors for parts. I would check if you have a Bricks & Minifigs, or any similar 2nd-hand LEGO shop, anywhere nearby. You can use those tables to get really good stocks of just the right parts at good prices. Otherwise, build a model digitally first in something like Stud.io, and order those parts directly off Bricklink. Don't worry about getting everything in one go - start with just parts for the chassis/trucks and when you get the hang of that move on.
  15. Daedalus304

    What To Do With R40 Curves

    Apparently Toastie is so old-school that the school is new again. The Train community does seem to be the most accepting, downright nonchalant really, about custom stuff. Even self-proclaimed purists use things like BigBenBricks drivers. Ultimately I can't help but think these loose ethics (tongue certainly in cheek there) just come with the territory. Traditional model railroading is possibly the most inter-disciplinary hobby there is, just because of the enormous breadth of what it takes to represent a railroad and how hard it is to isolate any one element and get a satisfying result - a train doesn't look right without track, and looks lonely without cars, and track looks odd without stations or hills, etc.. Not like an airplane that looks perfectly fine without an airport. And then you get to LEGO trains - they don't look right with blatantly mis-sized wheels, so BBB saves the day. We've lost some purity, but the models are better for it, and then you are of course well aware that we ended up on a slippery slope with a heavy freight behind us! I don't see that same sort of thing in other segments of the LEGO community. Some of them will dabble a little bit in this and that. Technic guys will play around with custom controllers or motors. Scale modellers will sometimes dabble in custom parts where nothing else will do. Even there, though, it's not really standardized into their whole community. Us train guys though? Well, it's a veritable buffet, and as a whole we're pretty accepting of people using what they want. Certainly odd to see coming from the general LEGO community - but in a lot of ways we're closer to the model railroaders, and they're not sure why we don't go further.