Daedalus304

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About Daedalus304

  • Birthday 03/28/1990

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I did an 8-wide mod to the Emerald Night a long time ago, as well as an 8-wide mod to the Lone Ranger "Constitution" engine. The complexity of the project depends on what you're really after with going to 8-wide. The steam engines are generally easy enough to mod unless you're changing the drivers, trucks/bogies, or pistons. Their proportions don't look too poor widened out, either, at least not worse than the default builds. Engines such as the Maersk engine or the Horizon Express I would say are not easy "mod to 8 wide" models. Horizon Express because the entire nose area uses prefab 6-wide parts, and to rework that you may as well do the rest from scratch as well for a better overall result. The nose is the hardest part, so if you can customize an 8-wide version of that it's easy street to do the rest. The Maersk engine, if simply fattened out to 8-wide, would look quite pudgy IMO. If you are okay with that it should be an easy enough mod. If you are wanting something more realistically detailed and proportioned you would want to also extend it to make it longer, and the engine hoods would need a good number of other mods to get all the details and proportions lined up. The build posted above by Ralph_S can really in no way be considered a mod of 10219 and is a scratch built model of the same real-life engine. There are a lot of good LEGO models out there of EMD hood units like the Maersk locomotive that you could use for inspiration to build your own. In addition to that, BMR should at some point be releasing instructions for an 8-wide EMD SD40-2, which is the exact type of locomotive that wore the Maersk paint scheme in the real world, if you would rather go that route instead of designing it yourself. I don't know if or how much that helps. It's hard to say for sure without knowing exactly what you're after - but there are a lot of people here who would be happy to help with advice and input along the way.
  4. Daedalus304

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    That sounds awesome, actually, and to be honest it's the first I've heard of it. I haven't seen or heard anyone else talking about that, either. I'll see if I can look into it and figure out if/where there's documentation for it - if you have any pointers on where to look, that would be awesome. I really do think a lot of the stuff that PUp brings to the table is really cool and when it first showed up I was looking forward to it hitting a maturity where it would be a no-brainer to switch to, but PF got killed off before PUp hit that point - oof. Certain PF items like the L-Motor are quickly becoming very expensive and hard to find in the US, so the secondhand market is a temporary bandage on that at best. I really hope TLG can smooth out and fix their issues soon - I really would prefer to stay "on brand" for motors. I'll look into the controller thing you mentioned - it doesn't solve the big problems, but it's a good feature to know about.
  5. Daedalus304

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    Off the top of my head, sets like the Carousel and the Vestas Wind Turbine in the old PF days would also, with Powered Up, need the "technic" motors to be treated akin to the train motor. For current Powered Up stock sets - Ok, the Crocodile. They had to make an app profile for that to work properly where in the old system you click a couple plugs together and you're off. Being able to use a controller as a control device for an app completely misses the point of wanting a controller. LEGO produces a controller for Powered Up that has a lot of really cool things about it - I would love to use LEGO's products. I don't want to have to drain my phone battery to run a train. It's a shame that trying to use LEGO's Powered Up controller to control LEGO's Powered Up Train set is an obnoxious step back. It's a shame that for the first time in LEGO's history, they've switched to a motor and electronics system that has no inter-connectivity with the older LEGO power/motor systems. It's a shame that LEGO's decided that if you want to use their hardware, you're pigeonholed into one single use type - Power Functions had two types of controllers, one for each functionality. They're clever enough to come up with rotating button sets for the PUp controller but can't include some sort of mode switch between "bang bang" mode and a proportional control option? Augh. It's also a shame to hear even just the insinuation that LEGO may currently be in a mindset of "Play our way". If the only sort of compatibility or use that they care about for this product is specifically what they outline in their sets, I'd say that feels quite uncharacteristic of them. I'm aware that the app allows for custom control programming, but for the average user, let alone the average child, it's inexplicable. The vast majority of people who play with LEGO don't do it because they want to spend hours on end staring at a computer or phone screen learning how to program. And if that's really LEGO's answer to somebody ages 4-99, that they need to figure that out, I honestly don't think the cool new potential of the Powered Up system is worth it. If this "you have to program it yourself" model is how LEGO wants to do it, fine. At the very least make it easier to understand. Put in some sort of intermediary programming in there, that's easier to digest than the full "Okay kids and grandparents, it's time to learn about variables and motor direction increments". Make it possible for people to share the Powered Up control programs they've made with each other so that someone new coming in doesn't have to reinvent the wheel for every single model. You know what else would be a great quality of life fix? Let the hub remember the control profiles used with it. If someone goes through the rigmarole of setting up a control profile and then uses it with a hub, the hub can and should save that and then use that same control profile when a LEGO Powered Up controller connects to that hub. It's an easy fix. It's all software. The Hubs get updates from the app anyways. I would love to be able to love LEGO's new Powered Up system. I loved PF, despite the issues other people have. I am not, in fact, a person who generally complains at all about LEGO or its business practices. I get that trains are a niche, I don't think it makes sense for LEGO to invest a lot in train specific stuff and I don't whine about it if the new train stuff isn't to my taste. This new Powered Up system is, component for component, around 2-3 times as expensive as Power Functions was. That's a tough pill to swallow, it's hard to justify, but you know what? If it worked well and was even more feature rich than PF, I'd take it. But this whole Powered Up/Control+/WeDo nonsense is confusing and for all the advanced stuff that it can potentially do, it's a massive step back in so many basic fundamental ways that seem like they'd be nearly trivial to fix if the company cared at all. That said - if I am being unreasonable with my expectations (Those being set by LEGO's own previous product releases, mind you), and LEGO really has no interest in providing a product that'll do those things... ok. I'll go find a product that does do those very basic yet essential things. Chances are it'll be cheaper than what LEGO's charging, too. And when I'm at shows, and people ask about the motor system, frankly, it's going to suck to have to tell people "LEGO's current power system is missing a lot of good basic features and is kind of a mess, but here's another brand that works great instead". I think that's a conversation that a lot of people are going to be having at conventions and shows soon. I've been hearing good stuff about Bluebrixx's electronic component offerings - perhaps it's time I go learn about that.
  6. Daedalus304

    Powered Up - A tear down...

    Not just the crocodile, custom locomotives in general. There are a ton of locomotives out there that need to use M, L, or XL motors, sometimes a pair of them, and right now the only way to do that with PUp is either build something that can use the Croc profile with 1 L-Motor plugged in to slot B, or the user has to delve in to learning the PUp programming blocks. That's a huge learning curve and a lot of setup just to match something that was literally as easy as stacking two plugs in PF. Not to mention, I'd really love to be able to properly control my trains using M/L/XL motors with an actual controller instead of my phone. Being able to tell the box to treat all motors the same as the train motors would be fantastic. I think powered up has a lot of cool potential, but it's just absolutely terrible right now for any train that doesn't use 1 single train motor, and 80% of that trouble is just down to the controls being bad.
  7. Daedalus304

    Upgrading Emerald Night from PF to PU

    PF is going to be a little harder maybe to track down the components for at this point, so Powered Up does get a plus for availability. Otherwise, in this application, Powered Up has these two issues: 1, you're going to need to be okay with using the Phone App to control the engine, and 2, the tender will need to be modified slightly to accommodate for the fact that the PU wire comes out the side of the battery box and not the top. I'd say that, sourcing parts aside, PF is probably the easiest route to go in a lot of ways and I'd personally go with PF. But if you have a hard time finding the PF parts and don't mind those two stipulations that come with using Powered Up, you know what components you need. :D
  8. Daedalus304

    Upgrading Emerald Night from PF to PU

    Ah, for the EN you need either the XL Motor (8882) or the L-Motor (88003), since it uses gearing to power the drivers directly. For the Emerald Night, you could also use PUp with the Crocodile's control program in the powered up app. For that you just need a hub (88009) and an L-Motor (88013).
  9. Very nicely done engine. Designing a streamlining shroud that can articulate properly, through r40 turns no less, is no simple feat. I also really appreciate that you've got detailing work in the area between the chassis and the boiler. It's not something easy to see, but at those certain angles, it really helps complete the look.
  10. Daedalus304

    Alternatives to PF?

    Right, and getting the drivers and trucks and all of that to navigate track properly can be a very difficult task (Especially once pushing/pulling forces come into the mix) in ways that you really just need physical experience with. Not to mention development of solid, well braced gear trains. It's easy to be sure it'll work, and then, under some load.... Click, click, click - the gears are slipping. Unless someone's looking to just sell static models, you need to at the very least test build the mechanics of it before going and taking someone's money for it. Some problems are solved easily - some problems take huge amounts of rework, some of which may have impacts on how the rest of the model is designed or detailed. Running reliability is maybe the most important thing. The Emerald Night had a couple minor and easily fixed issues, but it really was not a bad engine, especially for $145 (factoring in PF). Despite that, to hear the community talk about it, you'd think it was basically un-runable. People who pay $800+ for a locomotive model do so with the expectations that it's going to work, and work well. It's not just the cost of physical materials that people are paying for, it's the experience and reliability in the development. I've seen a lot of train models sold and bought happily that are relatively light on the fine details. Other models where the proportions are off a bit. Even still, most everyone who buys those is happy with doing so because despite the visual simplicity, the engine just runs well and they don't have to worry about it. I'm not trying to tell anybody not to look into doing stuff like this, by the way. If you think you can or want to try, absolutely give it a shot. Just be sure that, at whatever you decide to charge, $300, $500, $800+, you definitely need to have the experience to be sure that they're not going to feel ripped off by their purchase. Customers talk, especially unhappy ones - if none of them get something that works, there won't be many.
  11. Daedalus304

    winner of the train award - I'm not agreed

    Eh, I'd check out any of the official promotional pictures of LEGO train sets in and around the 90s. Seems "in spirit" to me. Plus, I doubt the engine would have ranked any differently even on regular undecorated track. It's kind of a silly thing to try to split hairs over.
  12. Daedalus304

    winner of the train award - I'm not agreed

    I don't think there's a thing wrong with the model, tbh. The amount of modded parts seems pretty small, the custom parts are wheels and rods, but the biggest thing for me is this: Ewout did a fantastic job capturing a lot of very complex and difficult shapes and has a model that's nothing short of stellar with or without the decals, custom rods, or the couple modded handrails. Replacing those with more "purist" solutions would still leave an incredibly impressive model. Compound, rounded angles and shapes like this model has are not easy, and doing them without seams is a real task. The roof of the cab has a subtle angle to it. Don't be fooled by the smooth surfaces and don't get distracted by the "extras" - this is a complicated build underneath it all, and I'm not at all surprised that it's done well.
  13. Daedalus304

    Look at this crazy thing.

    My assumption would have been something that it's more like an early booster truck - use the small drivers for better low-speed power to help get it started or just better low-speed operations in general
  14. 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?"
  15. 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.