Banned Outlaws
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Everything posted by SteamSewnEmpire

  1. About 900 pieces, with interior.
  2. I ditched the cage because it was just a bridge too far for me visually. The ballista is pure silliness, but, then again, so is the scale of this monster. Most viking longships were pretty darned small (though there were exceptions) - this is one situation where the Lego version was really probably oversized (at least in terms of width) compared to the real deal. So having some kind of offensive weapon seems applicable just fill up that mid-deck void (which is why I retained it).
  3. I'm not one hundred percent satisfied with the stern (something about the design just looks off to me), so I will probably be redoing it. And no, this isn't the other ship just cut down - it's completely new from the stern up. If anyone has any artwork or models to share of mid 17th century frigates, I'd be much obliged. I don't have any stern-on references for a ship of this size.
  4. SteamSewnEmpire

    [moc] URR/DM&IR 0-10-2 "Union"

    This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most complicated thing I have ever built in Lego. At first glance, it doesn't look like anything particularly noteworthy... except that the boiler is a full-rotation SNOT (studs up, sides, and bottom); the boiler is 5 wide on top and bottom, yet must still make room for three L PF motors, and transition to an 8-wide cab that is also angled forwards. The cab itself is almost entirely built with studs on the sides, in the process managing to squeeze in all the windows and the inlaid steps up to the door. I made every effort to get the details right to match this locomotive as-built (note: the lone survivor of the class [and it is a miracle that any of these odd birds is still in existence - you can singularly credit that to them lasting in service until 1963 on the DM&IR], #304 [#604 when working in Minnesota and Wisconsin] was significantly altered when she was transferred by U.S. Steel to the midwest following the dieselization of the Union RR in 1949. The booster was removed, and a lot of the in-boiler tubing was pulled to the exterior [via elimination of the jacketing] to ease maintenance headaches. Frankly, I prefer the contrast between the rather clean top half and extremely cluttered area between the boiler and the frame, so that's why I went with the earlier incarnation [ironically enough, it seems as if DM&IR also regretted the changes. With the booster removed, they wound up adding weight to the engine to attempt to compensate]). So what makes this engine unique? The 0-10-2 isn't a decapod that's been flipped backwards. Rather, it is a very modern 2-10-2 with its lead bogie eliminated by the (probably bewildered) draftsmen at Baldwin. Union (and parent U.S. Steel) went with this design because the locomotives were intended for transfer service and short, slow lugging duties, none of which required a forward truck. The most important consideration, however, was that the railroad had no desire to enlarge their existing turn tables (the majority of the rest of the Union's roster was composed of consolidations; tables had remained small). Thus, the easiest and most practical solution was simply to nix the truck and go slow. And, of course, she's just a brute - possibly the most beastly (if, obviously, not largest) locomotive to ever trundle the rails. The word "abomination" comes to mind (what with the high-mounted, puny headlight, stunted tender [with its rear truck pushed as far forwards as possible], and enormous air reservoirs mounted on the hips), except that I think there's something strangely comely about the whole package. I hope to visit the real thing the next time I drive back east. Anyway, here are the photos, first with the modernized loco: 'Clean' classic:
  5. SteamSewnEmpire

    [moc] Virginian AE 2-10-10-2 Mallet

    These were so large that the cylinders had to be removed when ALCO shipped these to the Virginia tidewater. They had the largest diameter boilers of any locomotive in history, and were considered the ultimate slow drag freight engine.
  6. SteamSewnEmpire

    Increasingly losing patience with Lego

    I love designing models - in addition to trains, I dabble in castle and pirates now and again. But with the passage of time, the more let down I feel by Lego with regards to trains - particularly as more and more (IMO in many cases completely stupid, such as the Big Bang Theory and Flintstones sets [though YMMV]) Ideas adoptions roll across the finish line. And that frustration is gradually metastasizing into despair and anger. The first Lego train set debuted, I want to say, in 1966? And yet, in that span of time - over half a century - we have received: A grand total of two - TWO! - sets of steam driving wheels (the current iteration, and those from this set). No specific part or even satisfying substitute for 1910s-1960s US/European steam locomotive stacks (like, a piece to be this simply does not exist). No driving rods (except those married permanently to 7760, as mentioned above). Third party and homemade rods rule the roost if you want something mechanically reliable and aesthetically pleasing. No wide radius curved track. Lego just punts on this market entirely, despite the fact that aftermarket track sellers routinely run out of stock. A completely insufficient supply of magnetic couplers. The part exists, and, in its scarcity, it is insanely expensive. One cow-catcher, suitable only for 1860s-1880s-era prototypes, despite the fact that locomotives built into the 60s continued to mount catchers (of much-reduced size/profile). No decent way to model small-diameter grab rails. MOCers have to literally break Lego pieces to get these. Very poor tools to produce boiler shapes. Yes, we absolutely improvise, but these shapes are not truly circular, and - while I totally applaud the methods that the pioneers on this forum and elsewhere established - let's be honest here: we're doing the best we can with very little. Enormously user-unfriendly battery options. Most of us have to conduct surgery (in varying degrees of difficulty) to get at our PF/PU battery packs. We live in a golden age of rechargeable EVERYTHING, and Lego has released (correct me if I am wrong) a single plug-in battery pack, which was in incredibly limited supply, and quickly phased out (so it is now ultra expensive and very difficult to find). And then, regarding the parts that we do have, nits still remains to be picked: The profiles of all flanges are comical. I get that this is a toy, but they don't have to be 1 and a half plates in depth. That's silly, and it just complicates everything. The forced incorporation of powered trucks of one size for people who want to run on electric track. This is the primary reason I have zero interest in the effort to bring back 9v - because you have to shove that obnoxious bogie into every trainset. Restrictive power cord lengths/the unnecessary bulk of the connecting wires themselves. Constantly shifting priorities when it comes to power sources, with no clear upgrade or improvement in performance/features. They got people to invest hundreds - even thousands - of dollars in electric track, just to pull the rug out from under the entire market; modelers gradually figured out PF, only for Lego to release PU, a product that is arguably less robust and flexible. Lego track is, just in general, dumb. To be honest, given the scale of minifigures (and yes, I know that this is a slippery slope) and the fact that most of the world's railroad tracks are between 3-foot and 4 ft 8 1⁄2 inches, Lego's track probably should have been 5w, and not 6w. It's too late now, of course, but it's dumb that their own preferred model scale of 6w has the same width as the track. One utterly unsatisfactory lighting option. I could probably name more. I get it - Lego is about improvisation and working with what you have. But I cannot think of a single theme that is suffering from this degree of inadequacy on so many different levels. And all it does is hurt the hobby; make it more difficult and costly to access. Almost every time I design a Lego locomotive, I'm looking at a good 150-200 dollar investment up front in custom wheels, rods, power options, and - most insultingly - couplers. We are absolutely buried as AFOL train modelers by the sheer breadth of Lego's parts paucity, yet, meanwhile, every few years they release a newly-molded floating boat hull, or a new set of aircraft wings... as if - forget adults - children don't like trains anymore (they like ships, but not trains? How many children routinely see ships? You cannot tell me that the number exceeds that of those who are obliged to stop and watch a train. I knew teenagers living in Illinois who had never even seen the sea, much less a larger watercraft than a Mississippi barge). I'm sorry. I'm not mad at anyone on this forum, and I speak for nobody but myself. But if someone at Lego is reading this: you're doing a bad job when it comes to trains. And no, the derailment-prone, obscure-prototype alligator (which managed to introduce nothing new when it comes to parts that we so desperately need) really isn't a good first step. Show me something fresh; actually invest in this theme, if only slightly (is it too much to ask for driving rods on the locomotive wheels? You put the friggin' holes in the things for rods and then half the time just leave them empty! C'MON, MAN!) - it's only been close to sixty years.
  7. Ah, the fallback. Well, you are nothing if not true to form. I can only pound this into your head so many times: it makes literally no difference if a model is built or not. Moreover, it's like comparing a draftsman to a welder - so the little builder can snap bricks together. Bravo. I wonder what the going rate on such a talent is? If I pulled up next to the nearest 7-eleven and waved down an itinerant, do you think I could convince him to do the deed for sub-minimum wage? "Hola! Tu letrero dice que pintas paredes. Puedo convencerte de que construyas un modelo de Lego en su lugar?" The art is in melding design with engineering, while keeping proportions as true as possible to the original - not in construction. Period. End of story. And don't even begin to lecture me about making the thing run. There are only so many ways you can skin a cat - the internals of a Lego locomotive are not deep space rocket science; we're dealing with a dozen gears and a handful of motors. Achieving the proper shape and scale of the engine utilizing the extremely limited parts available is the challenge. Because the guts of these things only vary by degrees. Pardon me for interrupting your virtual Shangri La by occasionally voicing dissent to the prevailing mind worm that you'd so DESPERATELY love everyone to just choke on. Believe me: I'm not posting any more projects after this - you don't deserve it. You think I'm going to continue to share work when the Eurobricks oligarchy promote intellectual theft? Oh, excuse - he built it. It must be his idea now. But before I go, let's dig a little deeper on that notion of snobbery. You honestly - truly - believe that the fact that this one-post-wonder has cash to burn, but no ideas of his own, that makes his work superior? Well, to answer that, your words do speak for themselves, so it's unquestionable that you do. We'd better get on with condemning all the unconstructed buildings, I suppose; setting fire to the unpublished books. They're inferior. After all, all the hard work has been done, but somebody didn't hand over a wad of cash yet. What a shame. If the above constitutes trolling and elitism, count me more than contented to stand apart from the rabble who would celebrate perfidiousness - being considered a rogue by thieves and their apologists is high honor indeed. And if that is too many words for you, then let me make it clear: you are a bad person, those who agree with you are similarly bad people, and I don't want to share your company anymore.
  8. So, I have ordered from BL in the past, but I know I'm doing something wrong here. I successfully uploaded a parts list and got all my ducks in order on that end. I get to this page... ... and then hit auto-select. Despite messing with the 'USA' or 'North America' or 'Anywhere' toggles, auto-select keeps spitting out just outrageous sellers - people asking $5 for a simple 1x1 clip piece, or 2x2 plate, and stuff along those lines. As a result, the price for a 2,000 piece model that's largely composed of very common black and DBG bricks suddenly comes back at me at like $1,500 and $2,000. Moreover, when I hit auto-select, the silly thing doesn't even assign all my lots - I wind up with, say, 90% assigned... and I don't even know how to tell what pieces haven't been purchased. Clearly, auto-select isn't the way to go on this. But how do I proceed with manually selecting shops? How do I tell that I'm not, say, massively over-buying on a given part, or doubling up on those assignments? Previously, I had managed to tease out reasonable prices with auto-select, but it's obvious that this time, that's not going to be posssible. Thank you for any help.
  9. SteamSewnEmpire

    2-8-8-4 AC-9 "yellowstone"

    God I hate Studio. Good luck recreating it :/.
  10. SteamSewnEmpire

    Where does this marvellous (promo?) layout come from?

    I miss the rails and ties being separate parts.
  11. SteamSewnEmpire

    2-8-8-4 AC-9 "yellowstone"

    Can we see the cab 'front?' Interested to see how you resolved those angles.
  12. SteamSewnEmpire

    Increasingly losing patience with Lego

    Some of the best space sets ever posted on these forums have hordes of custom pieces in them. --- I think the difference between HO and Lego - and part of what lies at the core of the 'purity' debate - is that in HO, you are trying to (generally) create a series of scenes that look as true-to-life as possible. By contrast, in Lego, you are trying to get as true-to-life as it would look if life were Lego. HO is attempting to mimic the real, and thus scratch building, gathering materials from the forest floor behind your house, chiseling rocks out of plaster, etc. are all not only encouraged, but celebrated - the end goal being to make the final product startle in its realism. In Lego, you're trying to make the final product startle... in Lego. Thus, the limitations in Lego become a part of 'the game.' Break the rules too much, and it stops being Lego. Basically, none of us would be playing in this medium if we didn't accept that the end result would be deeply flawed as a model that is representative of the real thing - nothing built in Lego bricks will ever 'be there' for any number of reasons: shapes, proportions, colors, minifigure limitations, dimensions of the bricks themselves, etc. HO is pursuing the real, and Lego - in many ways - the surreal. But I still maintain that, given how much Lego charges for this product, and how boutique private sellers on the web have been - for years now - picking up the slack for them, that they could do even modestly better in the parts department.
  13. Yes, I can see that your model is inferior in several distinct ways. However, you can call the titan arum by whatever name you like - the stinky rose remains plagiarism. This is not a case of "I did independent research and just happened to stumble onto the same brick alignment as you in every complex geometric shape on the locomotive" - you took the screenshots I posted, hunkered down, and spent many hours laboring to copy my work, then conveniently failed to credit me in what turned out to be your first post ever on the forum. Just amazing how lightning just strikes like that, eh? I worked for a solid week to achieve that something that you conveniently stumbled onto in one try. Man, coincidences. What astonishing things they are. For all that, you fell short, clearly, in certain areas - such as the chintzy terraced downslope at the front of the boiler, and the way that the cab and the running boards don't actually align (having the cab 8w and the running boards 9w makes for a 9w locomotive, btw) - but, make no mistake: your magnum-opus-first-postus is the fruit of nobody's tree but my own. Cheers.
  14. I don't even get a slight shout-out? All you had to do was just say 'thanks to Steamsewnempire for working out 95 percent of the body-shaping design, which I faithfully copied.' These forums. I'm done uploading projects. I expect people to imitate me - it's the nature of Lego. I also, however, expect credit to be given where it is due.
  15. SteamSewnEmpire

    Custom Train Wheels Combined Topic

    Kk thank you
  16. SteamSewnEmpire

    Custom Train Wheels Combined Topic

    You guys don't offer the regular, American bokpok with a large counterweight/blind in LL, do you?
  17. Wow, this is glorious. Love stuff built to-scale and full hull.
  18. That's definitely not spitting out the best price. Using filters on the page above, I managed to get down to around $650 at one point. Easy buy is asking $1,500+.
  19. SteamSewnEmpire

    Alternatives to PF?

    So, I priced out what it would cost to build my 0-10-2, and the 3 PF L-motors, 2 battery packs and IR receiver would be well north of $100. That's... a bit of a non-starter as far as I'm concerned (and clearly a result of continuing high demand after PF's phasing out). So... what's the alternative? I've read in multiple places that PU is more than a bit of a performance letdown... and I don't think the price is all that much lower. Is that my only option? Have there been any rumbles from Lego about rolling out yet another power system in the next year or so (in which case I would just wait on that)?
  20. SteamSewnEmpire

    Lego G scale (1:22.5) - narrow gauge Start Set

    Neat. I don't much dig (real) G-scale for a variety of reasons, but this definitely has a strong LGB vibe.
  21. SteamSewnEmpire

    Powered Up Metro train with tunnel

    The problem - not to veer completely off topic - is that the Hyperloop is an inherently unstable system, requiring a depressurized state to work. I'm pretty sure that the Beach railroad just pushed and pulled with the air currents generated from its steam plant. I'm not a fan of Musk, and don't believe this idea of his will ever work. Were the tubes in any way compromised, the result would be a total, near-instantaneous decompression of the entire network, likely killing or seriously injuring everyone in it. Pair this with his ambition to build it within a significantly active seismic zone and... yeah. I think there's a reason he's sort of strategically shifted attention to SpaceX in the last few years.
  22. SteamSewnEmpire

    Powered Up Metro train with tunnel Sort of. It worked, but it probably never was viable as a form of mass transit.
  23. SteamSewnEmpire

    Powered Up Metro train with tunnel

    It really reminds me of the old pneumatic tube subways.
  24. SteamSewnEmpire

    Alternatives to PF?

    Yeah. Okay. I'm throwing you on ignore. I can hit up the teenagers loitering outside the library if I want to solicit sarcasm.