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  1. https://www.fxbricks.com/fxblog/?post_id=26&title=fx-track-system-+-other-news No worries, I think they are just remodellng their website. Also, seems like they have almost finished the new injection molded PFx brick! https://www.fxbricks.com/fxblog/?post_id=32&title=the-new-pfx-bricks-are-almost-here
  2. OcTRAINber 2019: The Winners! Last year we published the results on December 9th, this year we are doing so on January 6th. Not everything can be a tradition after three years, but it seems that slow judging is definitely one of them. So, I’d say it’s nothing more than fair to cut the chase and just announce the winners of OcTRAINber 2019: The Technic Challenge! Grand Prize Winner The entry that got the most votes from all four judges on all three categories aggregated is none other than the Canadian Pacific 414501 250 ton Industrial Brownhoist Wrecker Crane by The Brick Files! Our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say about this build: Grand Prize Runner Up The entry that got the second most votes from all four judges on all three categories aggregated (by a very close margin!) is Casey Jr. from the Dumbo movie by Narmot (Chris Stone)! Our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say about this entry: Winner of Movement-Factor category The entry that got the most votes from all four judges on the main category, the Movement Factor, is the Railway Moving Box by FlipUS (Phil B)! Our Guest Judge Mahjqa of course also had to say something about this design: Winner of the Credibility category The entry that got the most votes from all four judges on the Credibility of the build, is the Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge by Robwd12 (Robert D.)! As per tradition, our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say: Winner of the WIP-story category Last but not least, the builder that kept us in the best way up-to-date about their build, but also tried to explain some of his building behind the scenes, is the Railway Test Bench with SNCF 140 C 314 Ajecta by denis.h.garnier (Denis Garnier)! And, ofcourse, our Guest Judge Mahjqa also had something to tell about this design: Prizes Yes, prizes, the most important part of any contest! This year we have been able, thanks to our sponsors FX Bricks, BrickTracks and TLC, to arrange five Prize Packs. Since we know that every builder might have some different ideas how to use any of these items, we are giving the first winner the first chance to pick one of these five Prize Packs, the second winner the second chance, etc. etc. all until the Winner of the WIP-story category, who will receive the final Prize Pack. One of us here at BMR will reach out to you on short notice (we promise, it won’t be as long as you have been waiting for the results) to arrange things with all five of you! PFx Brick XL Package PFx Brick M Package Bricktracks Parts Pack 1 Bricktracks Parts Pack 2 TLC PFx Brick 16 MB (new injection molded case!) PFx Brick 16 MB (new injection molded case!) 1 full circle (4x boxes) of BrickTracks R120 Curved Track 2x boxes of BrickTracks Short Straight Track LEGO 71044 Disney Train and Station XL Speaker M Speaker 2x boxes of BrickTracks Short Straight Track pinLABsolo Light Accessory Board pinLABsolo Light Accessory Board 4x Bright White Fx LEDs 4x Bright White Fx LEDs Words from the Guest Judge In fact, Mahjqa reviewed all posted models, so we thought it would be good to post these as well, just so you guys know what to do to score even better next year! Final Words First of all, you guys might remember we had a Direct Drive and Indirect Drive category where entries could be submitted. In the end we decided to combine both categories, because it turned out our differentiating between both categories was very unclear, even for us… We were again stunned by the high quality of the entries and the amazing functionality that you managed to cram into your designs. Even though some of you weren’t able to finish in time, and some even weren’t able to do so after the extension, we have seen some great stuff from all of you. Even after three years of OcTRAINber, the creativity still amazes us. Congrats to the winners, but definitely also kudos to all other builders that participated!! It has been a lot of fun for us here at BMR to organize this event for the third year in a row now. Yes, some things could have gone smoother, and we apologize for this. Running BMR, writing articles and also keeping a contest afloat takes a lot of time, definitely because it’s just as much a hobby for me as it is for any of you. Oh, and yes, we still very much would like to receive some feedback on this years OcTRAINber, and the two previous editions, so that we can come back with an even better OcTRAINber 2020. Feel free to drop your feedback in the comments! (crossposted from https://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2020/01/06/octrainber-2019-the-winners/)
  3. raised

    MILS tips and tricks - Educate me

    Haha these were exactly my wonders when I started building MILS. It's just soooo expensive, if you want to do it 'right' the first time. So here's my cheat sheet: 1. LUGBULK. Always LUGBULK. And if not (because your LUG for example only orders 20 types of leaves *ducks*), then try the following steps: 2. Don't try to build your whole dream layout at once. Just do it in babysteps, every year a bit. So this year you might build like 8 modules, next year another 5, the year after another 10. That keeps your balance in checks, and also, you don't have the time to build all of that stuff anyways. Trust me, building MILS can be pretty boring ;) 3.1 Always buy your baseplates in discount / second hand. Never first hand for full price, that's just crazy. (Or just do a long-term borrowing from one of your high school friends and never return them, so 10 years later they are yours due to both sides having forgotten about them...) 3.2 Use roadplates whenever you can. They are anyways a lot cheaper than regular 32*32s, and I'm pretty sure you will have some of them laying around from when you were younger. Or buy them second hand in bulk, then they tend to be even cheaper. 3.3 Remember that 2 48*48s is 3 32*32s in length. Nobody forces you to use 32*32 baseplates, as long as the numbers work, it's fine. 4. Always buy your filler bricks (2*2, 2*3, 2*4, 2*6, 2*8 etc) second / third / fourth hand. They can be totally weary and scratched, discoloured and everything: That doesn't matter, because you won't see them anyways. 5. Use your old Duplo stack for filler bricks when you want to elevate your builds. Or get them like step 4. 6. Be creative with the green / dk green / dk grey / whatever plates you want. Don't just go for the 8*8 because it's so 'handy', but rather buy the 4*4 because they are a lot cheaper per stud. And think outside the box: Do you really need a lot of green, or are you anways going to cover it with buildings or track? If so, you can also maybe use other colours. 7. Lego Friends is your friend. Those plates and bricks in weird colours like pink, dark pink, lavender etc. can be found pretty cheap. Just don't use them when they are needed to be in sight. Unless you want a Friends-themed MILS layout, ofcourse. 8. Make use of the principle of broken landscapes. Landscapes are never one color, but several. Meaning that you can combine tan and green, or brown for example, meaning you don't need to buy all those huge and possibly expensive plates (see the link above in hallidaynick's post). Also, small plates like the 1*2 and 1*3 are pretty cheap if you cram them in a PaB cup ;) 9.1 Try to find alternatives for the 1*1 and 1*4 tiles for sleepers. Maybe you can find 1*1 plates that are cheaper, or those 1*4 tiles with studs at the end. And then, just say they are rail spikes. Everybody will believe you, trust me. 9.2 Try to find alternatives for the dk grey ballast. Maybe you can use Lt Grey, or even old grey, if that's cheaper. If people complain about it, you can just say thats prototypical, which in fact is indeed the case. Ballast is never only one colour! 10. Don't overdo it. No need to be a huge pro after your first try at MILS. Maybe it looks silly the first time around, so what? If you combine it with others, they won't notice what is yours anyway. Also, it will anyways blend out if you do a group layout with MILS (which is the only reason to build MILS to begin with, keep that in mind!) 11. Accept the fact that this will be a 5 year programme MINIMUM. Set aside a couple of euros / dollars per month and go on a buying spree only once or twice a year. And then just keep that stuff in a box for 6 months untill you can afford new bricks again. Or when you are finally not lazy anymore and manage to get that stuff out of their boxes again. BTW, you could also just go to China and trade your kidneys for bricks. Just watch out they are the correct brand ;)
  4. This exactly. Remember why they axed 9v? Because TLC said Lego trains were becoming too expensive due to the manufacturing of metal rails. Changing to plastic rails back then was the only solution to make trains cheaper. So except for this AFOL-tailored train, I don't think any other 8wides will follow. Point in case: the new hidden side train.
  5. Hi all, Short update from our side. Just like last year it has proven to be a quite busy number of months for me, which means the judging has taken some delays again since coordinating the judging is my 'task'. We will try to get it done in max 2 weeks, so still before the end of the year. We will keep you updated on this proces as much as possible. In the same time, I'd also like to ask you guys for some feedback. OcTRAINber has been a succes for three years in a row for us over at BMR, but we are wondering how you actually think about OcTRAINber. What do you guys like about the contest? What are the reasons to participate, or not to participate? What do you guys think could be done better next year? We look forward hearing from you, to make OcTRAINber 2020 even better!
  6. raised

    New rolling stock & engine shed from Bluebrixx

    Nah, it's in the title. "LEGO train tech".
  7. raised

    New rolling stock & engine shed from Bluebrixx

    Yes, this. I know you can also get their instructions for free if you register, but their whole business model is selling their China made clone bricks. That's great and all for them, I'm all in favour of capitalism, but this is a Lego forum, not a clone bricks one.
  8. Thanks for the feedback guys, really appreciated. Since this years subject has been more of a challenge than the previous two years of OcTRAINber, we think it would be fair to announce a two weeks grace period so that the builds can be finished in same high quality as last two years. Therefore, the new deadline for this years OcTRAINber will be in the middle of Novvember ;) More specifically: This year's OcTRAINber will be extended to November 14th, 23:59 PDT!
  9. Only six days to go in this years OcTRAINber! How are we doing? Does anybody already know they need a grace period to make sure we get more entries? Also, due to personal Lego obligations at Legoworld 2019 in Utrecht I totally forgot to crosspost the prizes here. They are however so cool, that I decided to do so anyways even it's a week late ;) We’re halfway through the month already and we’ve seen plenty of unique and interesting looking WIP stories so far. This is shaping up to be a great year so far, and we’re looking forward to seeing the final entries! Of course, what would any OcTRAINber challenge be without prizes? We have some new prizes this year from our good friends across the community. PFx Brick XL Package This prize was donated by Fx Bricks, and includes the following: PFx Brick 16 MB (new injection molded case!) XL Speaker pinLABsolo Light Accessory Board 4x Bright White Fx LEDs PFx Brick M Package Also donated by Fx Bricks, and includes the following: PFx Brick 16 MB (new injection molded case!) M Speaker pinLABsolo Light Accessory Board 4x Bright White Fx LEDs BrickTracks Track Packs BrickTracks has donated plenty of track this year! We have split it up as follows: R120 + Short Straights Package 1 full circle (4x boxes) of BrickTracks R120 Curved Track 2x boxes of BrickTracks Short Straight Track Short Straight Pack 2x boxes of BrickTracks Short Straight Track Lastly, and certainly not least: LEGO 71044 Disney Train and Station Prize allocation will be covered in the wrap up article before winners are announced. We hope everyone is having a great OcTRAINber!
  10. Did you ever recieve the AliExpress aftermarket version? And what did you think of it?
  11. I'd say it could be possible if you connect it with a PFx Brick with the light & sound modules. I'm not sure however if that works, since I don't own a BuWizz at the moment.
  12. Dear Technic Fans, I must admit, I don't attend the Technic Forums that often here at EB. However, today I might have something that is interesting to share here! Since two years Brick Model Railroader has organized a yearly building challenge, OcTRAINber. Every year with a different theme, but always train-related. Two years ago the theme was 'build your longest', and last year it was 'build something from another continent'. This year however we have decided to up the stakes a little bit, and let the challenge be all about 'build something that moves, other than the regular train drive'. For that reason we have dubbed this year's building challenge "The Technic Challenge". Which in turn means it would be silly not to post it here as well! For more info about OcTRAINber 2019 you can go to Brickmodelrailroader.com, or check-in over at the EB Train Tech forums! Hope to see some of you attending this year!
  13. Small update: This year's guest judge will be none other than @mahjqa, the wizard of moving technic builds. I can definately recommend you guys have a look at his Flickr Stream for some extra inspiration!
  14. As we announced a bit over a week ago, this year BMR will again run the OcTRAINber contest. OcTRAINber is a contest meant to get outside of your comfort zone and build something you haven’t thought of before. You know, that one truly special build that will spice up your layout like no other has before. All within the realm of Lego Trains, but with a twist. So, let us officially introduce you to the contest and let’s get rolling! OcTRAINber First of all, the name. It’s called OcTRAINber, if somebody had not noticed after two years. Why OcTRAINber? Well, because it’s a great intermediate month between SHIPtember and November. Also, TRAINS. Mostly TRAINS. TRAINS. “The Technic Challenge” Second of all, the subject of this years OcTRAINber. Why the Technic Challenge? Two years ago we had a ‘build your longest’ theme, and last year we were all about ‘building that foreign dream of yours’. Both of them produced some really nice models, but, in essence, they were all static. Yes, some of them were motorized, and yes, some of them even had very fancy motorization that not even us had thought of before. However, in the end motorization was just a nice have-to, not a requirement, which is strange when you think about it. Therefore, we have decided that this year everything is forced to move. The more movement, the better! The Rules The Rules have already been announced in the previous OcTRAINber post, but for completeness’ sake we have pasted them here again: “Moving” is defined as: A movement of any locomotive, rolling stock, structure, or other railroad-related item that is NOT indented to propel the item forwards or backwards on track.Ofcourse, the item can have these movements (we even recommend doing this, because static trains are soooo boring), but you will only be scored on extra movements, like doors opening, or running vents, or a moving telehandler on a goods dock. So, you can enter your newly build Acela Express, and it can be 9V powered, but it needs to have some extra modes of movement included as well, otherwise we will disqualify your entry. I’m sure you get the point. Entries must be original models. No stealing. This also means no MODs, only MOCs. 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. Also, the building of Train-related builds which aren’t trains themselves (trackside structures etc.) is stimulated, so no need to even join the 6 vs 7 vs 8 wide wars this year! NEW BUILDS ONLY. We are willing to accept anything unpublished or anything that was not published before September 1st 2019 as new. We want to inspire and promote a challenging build, entering an old model doesn’t quite work in that regard. Type of Entries Unlike the previous two years, we will only accept real-life builds this year. This has everything to do with the subject of this year’s challenge. It’s just virtually impossible to show movement in digital builds, and to prove that it actually works. To level the playing field we have thus decided not to allow digital builds. However, we will have to separate categories of Entries: Direct Drive and Indirect Drive. To explain this a bit further: Direct Drive entries are entries that are/could be driven by a separate motor that is specifically meant for that moment. So think moving crossing poles, a truck that runs around, waggling ducks, a moving carousel… You name it. The Indirect Drive category in the other hand is meant for entries that move around because of a movement that is already happening. So think a train that is already running around due to it’s train motor, but that has some movement that is kinetically powered and only moves when the train moves. Does your Entry have both? Well, then you are in luck and you can enter it in both categories! That’s just a gesture from us here at BMR to stimulate some extra movement :) Third party parts BMR has always been positive towards third-party parts, as long as they have any way of added value to the hobby. So the rule of thumb is simple: Lego: Yes Third Party Parts meant specifically for use with Lego: Yes* Clones: No *Other than the previous years we have made some extra specification to the Third Party Parts. All Third Party Parts this year have to be meant for use with Lego. So BuWizz, PFx Brick, sBrick etc. are allowed, but Arduino and Raspberry Pi are not. Rule of thumb: If it has studs and/or connectors to one of the Lego electric systems, it’s OK. If not, it isn’t. Points Points will be awarded in three categories: Credibility, WIP Story and Movement Factor. First of all, credibility of the prototype. This means we will be looking at how much the build represents the real life prototype. This means the quality of the build, but potential scale etc. If you are sending in a fantasy model, we will look at how credible the build is; would it fit in, does the backstory make sense? (Please note that this means an entry does need to be based in the real-life in some way, so no fantasy universes like Star Wars, etc.) Second of all, the WIP story. This refers to both showing off your building process, but also to how and why you decided to model a certain prototype. The better the story and the more updates you give and the more elaborate your building story is, the better. (Also, feel free to cross-post these pictures in our WIP-thread while you are still building!) Third and last, the Movement Factor. This is all about the how of the movement of your build. So, is it powered in a special way, or does it have some crazy movement, or does it have some special functionality, etc. The more the merrier, but as always with OcTRAINber, it’s about quality first, and quality second. So it’s great if you have some wobbling pigeons, but if one of them also flies up and down… that could definitely add some points. The Judges This contest will have four judges. Why four? Well, because last year we also had four. Just like last year we will have a guest judge related to the building contest. This year our guest judge will be none other than Peer Kreuger, better known as Mahjqa, one of the most well-known technic gearheads out there. Almost (if not all) of Peer’s builds have some funky motorization in them, which time after time surprises and makes his builds even more fun. We are delighted to have him and we hope it will give you guys an extra incentive to build! Glenn Holland Cale Leiphart Gerbrand van den Eeckhout Peer Kreuger (This year’s guest judge!) Timeline We will be accepting entries from Midnight on October 1st (being right now!) to midnight on November 1st (meaning October 31st, at 23:59 PDT). There is possibility of a grace period to ensure those that need that one final Bricklink order have a fair chance Entries Entries are to be sent in ONLY via our own BMR Flickr! There are two discussions; one for the Direct Drive Entries and one for the Indirect Drive Entries. 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 do not count as entries. Next to that, please also add your pictures in the pool! Also, we have a special thread for WIP pictures, just to keep OcTRAINber going. However, do keep in mind that pictures in this thread don’t count as entries! The Prizes No contest without prizes! Just as last year we have some really nice prizes from several outlets. Which prizes specifically will be made public as soon as possible, so to keep the hype train running for a little bit longer! Spare Parts We here over at BMR are very, very excited about OcTRAINber 2019: The Technic Challenge and we are looking forward to all those entries. We are really looking forward to see what the community has to offer in terms of creativity and we hope that all of you will be stimulated by this contest to finally build that one amazing moving MOC that you always wanted to build, but never managed. Also, if there are any things that aren’t fully clear, you can always reach out to us by posting your message below. So pack your gear and get aboard OcTRAINber!
  15. Great to see the enthousiasm building up again! :) Feel free to come up with any questions that you have; we are more than willing to answer the, ofcourse. I wouldn't call it 'cheating' to build digitally, but the assumption here is absolutely correct: This challenge is all about movement, and as such digital just can't prove that something actually works. Therefore, instead of the first two installments of OcTRAINber, we have decided to not allow digital builds this time around. We are still working out the final rules, but yes, you can be sure we will ask for some sort of proof of movement!