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  1. Over the last two months we have seen an amazing amount of WIP stories and entries for this years installment of OcTRAINber. We are really very happy to see so many Builders having fun with this years contest!

    As we had communicated in our previous posts, there was a possibility of a Grace Period, if it was deemed necessary. In the last two days we have received several such requests, and thus we have decided to indeed do so.

    Seeing how far most of the non-finished entries are, we think one extra week should be enough for everyone to finish their buids. This means we will extend the deadline to Saturday November 7th, 23:59 PST.

    Everyone currently contesting can make use of this extension, meaning that if you in the next days decide on any changes in your already submitted build, you are allowed to do so. Just re-upload your entry in the respective threads (edit your post, or just enter your entry again with a note that we should judge this version of the build, not the previous one).

    Good luck with the last days to all!

  2. 22 hours ago, Toastie said:

    Phew - I missed out that one completely.

    That is (probably was - as said, I missed that) sort of a game changer, isn't it? I mean, once they do really live up to expectations - well then ...


    Seriously?! Wow. They have been out for over two years now I think? Coaster (the owner of BrickTracks) is even a recurring member here at EB. Anyways, they are awesome. And yes, they have been a game changer. Both the R88, R104 and R120's that BrickTracks has. In fact, our current layout doesn't use any R40 at all anymore, it's all BrickTracks curves:


  3. 1 hour ago, SteamSewnEmpire said:

    Why is Diaorama's possessive?



    But seriously, most probably because I'm Dutch and in our language the plural of Diorama is with apostrophe - S.
    Thanks for noticing though!

    Fascinating to see how it took over a month after my initial post before somebody noticed










  4. OcTRAINber 2020: Entries are open + Prizes

    It’s already October 7th, and that means OcTRAINber is in full swing! We have seen some pretty amazing WIPs in the last month that show us extending OcTRAINber to also include SepTRAINber seems to have been a good idea, which we are very glad of!

    Entry Threads @ BMR Flickr

    As of several days ago, the entry threads have officially been opened up over at the BMR Flickr. Because most probably not everybody had been aware of this, due to a lack of proper update functions on Flickr, the threads will be shown underneath:

    Real Life Entries – Small

    Real Life Entries – Large

    Real Life Entries – Huge

    Digital Entries

    As you can see, we have seperated the Real Life Entries in the three respective categories. We have chosen not do so for Digital Entries, becuase in the end BMR always tries to stimulate IRL builds. So if you enter a Real Life build, you have three times more chance of winning!


    Now, what would OcTRAINber be without prizes? It would just be OcTRAINber, but without prizes. And thats no fun. So, just like the previous three years, we have reached out to some of our favourite third-party L-Gauge related suppliers. We are glad to say the again reacted very positive, which means this year we can again give away a lot of amazing prizes!

    PFx Brick + XL Speaker Package (x2!)

    This prize was donated (twice!) by Fx Bricks, and includes the following:


    Bricktracks R104 Switch Pack (x2!)

    BrickTracks has decided to donated their amazing new R104 switches this year, also twice!


    BMR Knuckle Couplers (x4!)

    All winners in their respective categories will get a pair of BMR Knuckle Couplers of their choice. Winners can choose one of the respective four versions:


    Lego Crocodile Locomotive

    And, like every year, we also have the current Lego Train Set as a prize. This year that means obviously the 10277 Crocodile Locomotive! And this year, this set will be sponsored Brick Model Railroader!

    Krokodil Locomotief 10277 | Creator Expert | Officiële LEGO® winkel NL

    Extra prize: OcTRAINber Printed Bricks!

    We don’t have a sample yet, but all winners of OcTRAINber 2020 will win a printed brick, commemorating their win in OcTRAINber 2020. This will be a one-off product, which will finally give the winners some visual bragging rights. We are very excited by this extra prize, and hope to show the design of the Winners Brick as soon as possible!

    Wrap up

    So, that’s it from us at the moment. Good luck with building, and happy OcTRAINber!


    (crossposted from https://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2020/10/07/octrainber-2020-entries-are-open-prizes/)



    Also, if you guys want to lurk over all the amazing WIP stories that are being posted, I highly recommend checking out this Flickr thread:


    Happy building, happy OcTRAINber!

  5. Update: WIPtember is over, time for OcTRAINber! The respective entry threads have been opened, see below:

    OcTRAINber 2020: Real Life Entries - Small

    OcTRAINber 2020: Real Life Entries - Large

    OcTRAINber 2020: Real Life Entries - Huge

    OcTRAINber 2020: Digital Entries



    Later today / tomorrow another post over at BMR will follow with the most exciting part of this contest: The prizes! And they are pretty good again this year, I can assure you of that!


  6. OcTRAINber.jpg?w=1038&ssl=1


    Due to COVID-19 a lot is different this year. However, we didn’t want the community to miss this years OcTRAINber due to that. So, we decided that for the fourth year in a row, OcTRAINber will go on!

    This years theme will be “Diorama’s, Diorama’s Everywhere”. Like the previous installments of OcTRAINber, the idea of this building challenge is to actually challenge builders. To get us out of our comfort zones. We Trainheads build a lot of trains, but we tend to put less emphasis on the stuff that goes next to a train, the stuff that really makes or breaks a picture. And, we must admit, most of us at BMR do exactly the same. In fact, almost all of my pictures are just trains with a white background… So, we decided that building train themed dioramas should be the ideal theme for this years OcTRAINber.

    After last years OcTRAINber (The Technic Challenge) we did a little evaluation to find out what things we could improve upon. Two really stood out: The re-introduction of a Digital Builds category, and an extended timeframe to plan and build. And since you, the community, make OcTRAINber, we decided to go with both.

    So yes, that means OcTRAINber officially starts today!

    The idea is simple, from today onwards you as a community have one month of pre-building in which you can already do your planning, post your WIP stories or just start hyping yourself up. Everything is allowed to do already as if it would be last years OcTRAINber, with one small difference: The Entries page will only go live on October 1st.


    Just so you have some guidelines on what to build, we have made a set of rules that should be enough to get you building. The first two rules are a bit different from previous years, where we had some really though rules about what qualified as an Entry. This gives builders more flexibility, hopefully you will also be able to apply this!

    • We will keep the idea of what a “diorama” is on purpose as vague as possible. Just go all-out with your creativity.
    • Every diorama must have some form of track, and some form of a train. It’s an Bulding Challenge hosted by Brick Model Railroader after all. Just go all-out with your creativity here as well.
    • Entries must be original models. No stealing. This also means no MODs (thus also no sets), only MOCs.
    • Third party parts are allowed, clone bricks aren’t. We know this can be a thin line, just walk it wisely.
    • 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 2020 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 do not count as entries! These threads will open on October 1st.
    • We will be accepting entries from Midnight on October 1st 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.
      NOTE: If this is the case, please let us know at least one week (ie. 7 days) before October 31st, so that everybody has a fair chance to use this extension.


    This year there will be three categories you can enter in, depending on the size of your diorama: Small, Large and Huge.

    Depending on the number of Entries we will decided wheter we will do three seperate categories for digital builds, or just one (in the first two years of OcTRAINber there were significanty less Digital Builds compared to Real Life Builds).


    Keep in mind that OcTRAINber is a ‘quality over quantity’-building event. This means that we rather encourage you to build one amazing build than several sub-par ones. That’s why, just like last year, we will restrict the number of entries to only one per person.

    Just like last year, we want to encourage you to show off your WIPs this year as well, to make OcTRAINber really a month that is all about trains within the Lego community. Therefore, extra credit will be given to the best WIP stories and/or pictures during the event.

    However, other than last years, the WIPs can be posted from September 1st onwards, so that we in fact have an extended WIP pictures period of two months.


    Points will be awarded in three categories: Credibility, WIP Story and Diorama Factor

    First of all, credibility of the prototype. This means we will be looking at how much the build represents the real life prototype. Both the diorama itself, but definatly also the train that is on it. 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?

    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.

    Third and last, the Diorama Factor. This is all about how you build your diorama. is it extra funky, does it have strange connections, is everything build on it’s side, is everything off grid… The more creative, the better, but as always with OcTRAINber, it’s about quality first, and quantity second.

    Prizes & Winners

    We haven’t finalized on prizes yet, but since this is a building challenge, we will for sure have some, just like in previous years.

    We will pick the winners after we have announced the official close of the competition and have stopped accepting new entries, which will be some time after November 1. Once the judges (who, just like last year, will be announced in an upcoming article) have come to a sound conclusion regarding the winners, we will post one final article announcing them, and then we will be in contact with those winners regarding their prizes.

    Final Words

    So, that’s it for now. OcTRAINber has officially started, even though it’s just September. Now the only thing you have to do is start building, and show those diorama’s everywhere! Happy OcTRAINber!



    (crossposted from https://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2020/09/01/octrainber-2020-dioramas-dioramas-everywhere/)


    Since announcing OcTRAINber 2020: Diorama’s, diorama’s everywhere, we have seen a lot of enthousiast reactions, which we are very glad about. This post is the first follow-up post, and several more will most probably follow in the coming weeks, to keep the well-known Hype Train going.


    As part of this years Challenge we will host a BMR Podcast this Sunday over at Youtube, be sure to check it out!

    The Fourth Judge

    As has become tradition, OcTRAINber is judged by a panel of three BMR Judges, combined with one Guest Judge. Just like last year the BMR Judges will be Cale Leiphart, Glenn Holland and yours truely.

    Our Guest Judge this year will be Falk, who is better known as Bricknerd over at Flickr. Falk is very skilled in building little dioramas that – if his train designs weren’t so awesome – would surely stand out in any build!

    Clarifying the Rules

    We also however received some requests for clarification on the rules, which we would like to give.

    First of all, let us say one thing: For the last three years OcTRAINber has been a building challenge that both challenges and brings out the creativity. For this reason we on purpose stay vague on the rules, because we like to see exactly that creativity.

    1. Diorama?

    The first question was about what a diorama actually is. It’s always a bit shady difference between the two, but with layout it at least implies that some form of operations is possible, whereas a diorama can be totally static. However, as is the case with most layouts; if you just take a part of it, it becomes a diorama quite fast.

    Google has the following definition: “a model representing a scene with three-dimensional figures, either in miniature or as a large-scale museum exhibit.”

    The emphasis here lays on the scene part. Other than a layout, a diorama is a scene that tells some form of story. That story can something big like a train robbery, but can also just be a field of green with cows. Just as long it’s a scene, it’s fine.

    2. Train & track?

    In the rules it is stipulated that every diorama needs to have some form of train and track. This being a Brick Model Railroader hosted Building Challenge this is kind of a must-have. However, different than the last three installments of OcTRAINber, the train & track don’t have to take center stage this time around.

    That means that for the first time in the history of OcTRAINber, you are allowed to enter a Lego train set, a MOD or any other Instructions-based third party design. However, the choice to do so has to be an integral part of the diorama. This means that instead of judging the trains for their build, taking a look at them and how/if they fit or enhance the scene will be how they are viewed.

    Just for an example, take this motorized diorama by bogieman that has a minifig loading crates into a boxcar designed by Jeffrey Fonda over at BTD. That’s a build where one would say having the train there is essential to the story of the scene, and that level of integration will be scored higher for tying it all together.

    3. Movement?

    Last year OcTRAINber had the “Technic Challenge” theme, where it was all about movement. Even though this year is about diorama’s, the whole ‘scene’ thing that is part of a diorama does mean that if some movement is ‘necessary’ for the scene, it is for sure allowed.

    4. Procedural Building?

    As we found out in last years survey, a lot of builders were not able send in their Entries because for the first time we lacked a Digital Builds-category. Here at BMR we are very much in favour of IRL builds, because that’s in the end the best way to grow our hobby: To show those trains and let them run! However, we understand that not everybody is able to have huge piles of Legos laying around, let alone have the space for a full Diorama. Therefore, we have decided to allow Digital Builds this year again.

    We know there are some things happening in the Digital World with Procedural Builds, which means you could technically build amazing pieces of nature with just one click. However, because a diorama is so much more than some pieces of rock, we don’t see a bit problem in this. We will however keep an eye out on this, so that it won’t take over the creativity (and fun) of this building challenge.

    (if more questions will come in, we will add them to this post)

    (crossposted from https://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2020/09/05/octrainber-2020-podcast-judge-rules/)

  7. I also thought it was your model that won. Fascinating to see, because at first sight it seems to be almost identical, but if you look twice, the model of of the BTA looks like it has a very different building style, like a "less sophisticated version", as far as you can say that with this building style. Just look at the roof (not as lovely curved as yours, and no grill tiles!), the wagon ends (remind me more of Shupp's version), the wheels (same), the doors (you did properly recess them, these seem to be slapped on) and the two rows of grill tiles above the windows with a gap that hurts my eyes compared to yours.

    BTW it's amazing to see so many takes on that ribbing of the Budd coach. I think I have seen at least four now; two old ones by Matt Csenge and Gerrit Carstensen, the one that won the BTA (it would be nice of those builders would show off their builds a bit more than just a 800px picture? Are there any more deeplinks available @BricksMcgee?) and ofcourse yours. Out of which yours was the first one that ever managed to finish their model, so hats of to you!

    (Oh, and yes, there is Shupp's, which is still my personal favorite becuause it's so sleek, but that one doesn't use grill tiles so doesn't count...)

  8. 9 minutes ago, Coolusername said:

    Shipping date goes back and forth now. It was 20 august this morning, now back to 15 september. They have no idea what to do:smug:

    It seems they are about to produce a new batch of sets from scratch. I'd expect them to have at least two months lead time, so I can pretty well understand the bump to september 15th to begin with. I think they are just relying on the production dates of the factory, maybe they even automatically change those everytime the factory gives a new date indication.

  9. The tram is great, loving how you used that hideous piece as a roof, well done. However, I'm even more impressed with that pavement. So much even that I'm pretty sure it will be in my next layout as well!


    Well played zephyr1934!


    (Proof that I actually did build it immediately:




  10. 4 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

    As it was related to me, Lego would make the plastic of the 9v track, ship it all off site to have the metal applied, ship it back. The crimping machines (or the guides for the rails) were wearing out. So they ran them until they got to the end of the line and then stopped there. It wasn't an unforeseen end point, rather, a decision not to renew the machines. The main factor was that they did not make money on the 9v track even at $2 per segment retail (at least compared to strictly plastic elements).

    This for me is the most interesting bit. Because as I understood it (and so does the folder I added to my post), TLC was planning to keep on selling 9V through S@H / Lego Direct.

    On the other hand, I might, as a teenager, have misread posts over at Lugnet.com/trains. So I thought it might be good to re-read some of those old posts...

    I must admit, Lugnet is a horrible place for searching old posts, but I just re-read one by Steve Barile, back then president of ILTCO, which in my mind said "Lego is making a Hobby Train Line", but which, in retrospect, reads more like how Holger talks about it in his post, ie. not a Hobby Train Line, but just a Hobby Train... In the same way, Eric Kingsley in his role as Ambassador said the following:

    1. Quote
      1. LEGO is still finalizing the plan for what they call the LEGO Hobby Train which will be based on the current 9v system.
      2. LEGO will continue to sell the current 9v system including the train motor, metal tracks and the speed regulator through LEGO Shop at Home and LEGO Brand Retail only, from mid 2006.
      3. In early 2007 the decision will be made – based on sales performance of the 9v system during the fall of 2006 – if LEGO will continue the 9v System with metal rails after 2007.
      4. LEGO will release more information about the “LEGO Hobby Train” project in August 2006 at the latest.

      Which could be read both as this indicating there was a LINE or just a SET coming up, definately if your English wasn't that good back then (looking at myself hehe)

    Then again, this post by Reinhard 'Ben' Beneke indicates that I at least wasn't the only one that was thinking that the word "Line" was meant as "a whole array of 9V products"...

    HOWEVER: I might have found the culprit: Jake McKee himself. He seems to have said in a keynote that the new plastic track (and horrible RC system) line was going to be called "Play Train", thus indirectly saying that the "Hobby Train" was also a total line of products, but 9V. At that point the "Hobby Train" guys were already under NDA, so even though they already knew what was going to happen, "we" as regular Trainheads, could just guess...

    Also, yes, I'm cherry picking from Lugnet. As said, horrible search function ;) (Also: wow, there was a lot of drama going on at Lugnet back then. Wow. Great site, great forum. Too bad it all fell apart at one point... But that's with almost all oldschool communities on the internets...)


  11. I was discussing this afternoon with my fellow club members about the 10183 Hobby Train and the whole Save 9V campaign from 2006-2008. If I recall correctly, at one point in time, before ditching the 9V Line all together, there was an idea that Lego would continue the 9V line as the Hobby Train Line, with the RC line being the 'kids' line. There were rumours about other radii and all that kind of stuff. You know, like the good old 12V times.

    Or, at least... That's how I remember it. But my fellow club members say I'm making up stuff, and that I remembered this wrongly, it was just the Hobby Train 10183, and nothing more... And for some reason I can't find anything about the whole Hobby Train Line, because internet is being clogged with talk about 10183 (turns out 15 years later it DOES sell!) instead of the whole Line.

    So, my question is: Whatever happened to the Hobby Train Line?!

    /Edit: found this gem in my collection, seems my mind at least wasn't totally playing tricks on me!

    Lego Hobby Train LineLego Hobby Train LineLego Hobby Train Line


  12. I did a small article on exactly this end of last year over at BMR; https://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/2019/08/21/alternatives-to-the-lipo-battery-box/

    I'm currently both using 9v lipo blocks (works like a charm with pfx brick) and Chinese lipos. Just watch out with charging the latter ones, sometimes the load chips that prevent overloading aren't working properly, which already resulted in a burning battery of one of my fellow LUG members during an event last year...

  13. 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!

    250 ton Wrecker Crane

    Our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say about this build:


    “TheBrickFiles; Wonderful looks and great functionality; this is pretty much everything I’d wish for in a model.”


    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)!

    OcTRAINber 2019 - Cartoon Train: Casey Jr.

    Our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say about this entry:


    “Narmot: Impressed by all the functionality, the writeup about animation principles really sold it for me. “


    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:


    “FlipUS: great concept, fun to see everything in motion.”


    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.)!

    OcTrainber 2019: Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge

    As per tradition, our Guest Judge Mahjqa had the following to say:


    “Robwd12: Solid model, very interesting function. Most novel movement function this year. “


    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)!

    Test bench with locomotive side 2

    And, ofcourse, our Guest Judge Mahjqa also had something to tell about this design:


    “Denis H Garnier: Very unique concept, good looking model. “



    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!



    “ColletArrow: Solid model, lots of functionality in a small package. 

    Brett Wiebold: Gorgeous model, doesn’t skimp on functions. 

    The Chestertonian: Very entertaining concept, works like a charm.

    Sparks Again: Great concept; wish the function was more functional instead of just decorative.

    William.Cooper: Love that you managed to fit a very functional mechanism in such a tiny model.

    Beck: A very solid effort overall. 

    JMChisel: Very out-of-the-box, it’s obvious a lot of effort went into this.

    Brickmodder: Hilarious function, very appealing.”



    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/)

  14. 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 ;)

  15. On 10/28/2019 at 2:10 AM, SteamSewnEmpire said:

    As much as I'd like to think that 8w is the future (since it is far closer to scale than 6w), the fact is that Lego is generally averse to raising part counts for little tangible (or tangible in their eyes as it related to children) gain. 

    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.

  16. 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!

  17. 11 hours ago, Toastie said:

    Woah! Capitalism? So this forum is a closed-shell, non-competition, socialist, 5-year plan environment? With The Masters shuffling it all out?

    Sometimes I remotely do get that feeling here - when the speculations (count the topics) are going crazy about what "The TLG" will be giving us next.

    Wait: Here it is::sarcasm:



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

  18. 20 hours ago, supertruper1988 said:

    BlueBrixx uses non-lego parts in their kits. This is a lego forum :thumbdown:

    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. 

  19. 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!