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Everything posted by Ralph_S

  1. Ralph_S

    MOC: 8-Wide Maersk Train

    I'm not much of a train lover. In fact, while I generally do look at MOCs posted in this forum, it's only the second time I post a MOC here myself. The first one I posted was the first train I built in about 20 years. When the first pictures of the Maersk Train set were released a few months ago I immediately liked it. I haven't yet bought the set, although I might buy one for the parts and for the stickers. I have taken a close look at pictures of the set and at pictures of the real engine that it is based on. LEGO's designers have really done an excellent job considering the scale. I think it really is one of the nicest LEGO trains they have ever produced. Completing my American tiller truck has made me think about building my own little US-themed layout, with a firehouse, a diner and all of the American cars I still have left from Bricksboro Beach, a collaborative project I was involved in with The Brickish Association back in 2009. I also would love to have a train track on it. I decided to build my own version of the Maersk train in my own style -the engine anyway. Regular 6-wide trains look too narrow to me and since I have no intention of having mine actually run on a layout and I therefore don't really have to worry about the radius of the curves, I decided to go bigger. WIP Maersk train engine by Mad physicist, on Flickr The blue isn't LEGO Maersk blue, but medium blue instead. It currently still is a work in progress, but I like what I've got so far and will keep posting updates until it's ready. Perhaps you'll enjoy reading about the experience of a non-train-builder building one. Cheers, Ralph
  2. Ralph_S

    lego and military sets

    I was one of the people contacted by CNN for this article and I exchanged several emails with the writer. The bit of the article that was quoted was a bit unfortunate, but I think the writer did a nice job. It's about much more than the Osprey set or about how LEGO making Star Wars sets might be at odds with their official policy. If I had to summarize it, it's about how LEGO itself has a policy against military models, but there's a worldwide community of LEGO military builders, as well as a few companies who sell military models. In a way, they're using LEGO what it's intended for: to make their own things. I am quite excited to have played a small part in this hobby being put in the spotlight like this by a major news organisation.
  3. In recent months I've been building more and more models with a Dutch theme. You may have seen some of them in the model team forum. For little more than a week I've been working on the latest MOC, a Royal Netherlands Navy SH-14D Lynx helicopter. This type of helicopter is used for anti-submarine warfare, for supporting the Royal Dutch Marines and for Search-And-Rescue above the North Sea. The helicopter was designed to operate from the small landing decks aboard frigates and in order to store it inside the hangars aboard ships, it has folding rotors and a folding tail, as does my model. The model has a few more working features, such as opening cockpit doors, opening sliding doors in the side and a rescue winch that can be extended from the cabin. It is built to the same scale as most of my larger cars (1/22), which makes it larger than my other aircraft and helicopter models. As usual more pictures can be found on flickr. Cheers, Ralph
  4. "Nobody has built one before" isn't quite accurate, although mine was not a Technic Model. I'm enjoying seeing yours. It's built to a similar scale, but it being a Technic model gives it a very different aesthetic. I;m well im pressed at how you you can build such a complicated shape with Technic elements. The new cabin is definitely an improvement. I do think the undercarriage should be slightly wider. Looking at the picture of the real thing it's clear that the track of the skids is wider than the fuselage. I solved this by using 45 degree connectors for the supporting struts. That does mean that they're not properly angled just above the skids, but there had to be a compromise somewhere as they're curved on the real thing.
  5. I know there are a lot of military builders who build for minifigs. I've built a few minifig scale military vehicles myself, but I prefer a larger scale. This is my latest effort: a US Army LMTV truck. In the mid-nineties the US Army started replacing a lot of their older trucks with a new 'Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles' or FMTV for short. The trucks were based on the Austrian Steyr 12M18 truck, but built in the US. FMTVs come in a large number of different versions, including 5t 6x6 cargo trucks, wrecker trucks and trucks with van bodies. The model I built represents the lightest version, the 4x4 M1078 LMTV 2.5t cargo/troop transporter, where LMTV stands for 'Light Medium Tactical Vehicle'. As usual with my large-scale models, I've added some functionality. The doors can be opened and the spare tyre, normally stowed behind the cab, can be lowered. Normally I don't spend a lot of time detailing the undersides of my vehicles, because they aren't visible anyway. However, because the real truck sits fairly high on its wheels a lot of the mechanical bits are visible, so I spent some time on making them look right on my model as well. One of the things I decided I wanted for this truck was a working tilt cab so that you can see the Caterpillar engine. Cheers, Ralph
  6. Ralph_S

    MOC: SB2C Helldiver

    As some of you may know, as part of Project Intrepid, a collaborative project between me and my friend Lego Monster, I am building a series of WW-II naval aircraft. After a TBF Avenger, F4U Corsair, A6M 'Zero-sen' I've now cranked out a classic dive-bomber, the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. The Helldiver had two crew-members: a pilot and a bombardier/gunner. The latter sat in a separate cockpit in the aft fuselage and operated two .30 inch machine guns in a somewhat odd arrangement. The upper fuselage section between the tail and the canopy could fold down, freeing the guns, as you can see in a photograph of the real aircraft. I didn't even try to make that work on my model. Like many carrier-based aircraft, the Helldiver has folding wings. When Helldivers first entered service they were universally unpopular. Compared to the Douglas Dauntless that they replaced, the Helldiver was bigger, more complicated, unstable, difficult to fly, less reliable and only carried the same weapons load over a similar distance. The only advantage the Helldiver had was that it was considerably faster. The aircraft received a number of unflattering nicknames, such as 'The Beast' and 'Son-of-female canine 2nd Class' (an obvious play on the SB2C designation). In later versions many of the aircraft's shortcomings were fixed, but the aircraft was never popular. Grumman and Curtiss used completely different ways of folding the aircrafts' wings for stowage aboard carriers. The Avenger used the unique Grumman 'sto-wing' in which the wings of the plane were stored parallel to the fuselage. Curtiss used a more conventional approach for their Helldiver, with the outer wing panels folding up. You can see the results: the footprint of the Avenger is much smaller than the Helldiver's This was the most difficult build so far and one that I wasn't looking forward to, but I am happy with how my version of the Beast turned out. Next: a Grumman F6F Hellcat. Cheers, Ralph
  7. @Legorigs Thanks man. @Milan Thanks for the welcome. Finally it makes sense for all of us Dutchmen to write in English to each other
  8. A forum, for scale models? I found it via Lasse's excellent review of Peter's book. I used to be active here a few years ago, but felt a bit of place. Were my models Creator or were they "misc" or city? I never knew. I've built dozens of new models since I last posted on Eurobricks, so I'll stick to posting the last two. Both are built to my usual scale of 1/22. The first is a Volkswagen T3 Westfalia camper van. I know the older rounder vans are probably more popular, but I built one of those a decade ago and I do like the more boxy models from the late seventies and early eighties. Getting the shape right was a challenge, I added a row of brick hinges just below the windows to give it the sides the right slope. Good fun. Volkswagen T3 Westfalia camper van by Ralph Savelsberg, on Flickr For years I've been building classic cars from a book that I bought in the UK about 15 years ago. It's a 1957 Chevrolet 3100 Stepside pickup truck. A much older incarnation of this model in regular blue, is still knocking around on brickshelf somewhere (remember brickshelf?), but I've now built a brand new and up-to-date version in dark blue. 1957 Chevrolet 3100 Stepside by Ralph Savelsberg, on Flickr Eurobricks, finally!
  9. I've known Peter for many years. He's an amazingly prolific builder with a style that is not very different from mine. As far as I am concerned, that only makes it more impressive that he was able to adapt his models such that they were suitable for being built using instructions that are compact enough to fit in a book and yet still look good. The Datsun and the Veyron are gorgeous.
  10. @Edwin KorstanjeThanks mate. I can't guarantee I'll be very active, but I am happy to find you guys here. @BricksonwheelsHa! Apparently we did. The reason I didn't find you guys sooner is a) because none of you bothered to tell me and b) because I've been working my butt off in the last year and travelling a lot. It's been doing wonders for my career, but is very much to the detriment of all of my LEGO activities, both on-line and in building. I used to build two or three models a month. Now, I'm happy if I manage one a month. There's just no time to do everything I want. @JopieKMy cars have been influenced a lot by pictures of the vehicles built for the parks, so I see that as a big compliment. Now, we don't have a park, but isn't a Discovery Center supposed to open in Scheveningen? That would be a stone's throw away from Madurodam.
  11. I think I may have a different perspective than most of you. I chose to build cars at 1/22 many years ago and that was determined mainly by the size of the tyres that I had at the time. However, ever since, most of my cars have been at that scale irrespective of the wheels. Why? Because I like all of them to fit together. I'd rather compromise a bit on the wheel size than on the relative sizes of the vehicles.
  12. Ralph_S

    Great Western Brick Show (STEAM) 2016

    I've become a lurker here in the past few years, but this thread brings me out of semi-retirement. I disagree with the notion that it was mainly sellers and that there were fewer exhibitors. In fact, there were so many that the organisers struggled to accommodate all of us. I was one of the exhibitors, you see, and this was my tenth time at this show. The stores that sold sets were all in a separate hall, which is used in addition to the two halls of exhibits that we've had in the last years. There were some sellers in the main hall, mainly selling custom stuff and they were a minority.
  13. Having built a lot of classic cars and sports cars in recent times, I felt like building something a bit more mundane: a current model Volkswagen Passat. Trying to build a recognisable model of a car that is not particularly spectacular represented a different challenge. Volkswagen Passat (1) by Mad physicist, on Flickr A few weeks ago, Lasse D posted a very useful little program here on eurobricks. It allows you to superimpose a grid with proportions that correspond to LEGO plates over an arbitrary picture. Normally I'd do something similar with a hand-made drawing, but I decided to give his program a try when building my Passat. I worked out how long it was going to be (27 studs), found blueprints, cropped those to the length of the car and superimposed the grid. The programme is still an early version, but it came in very handy. Thanks Lasse! Passat with superimposed grid by Mad physicist, on Flickr I know the Passat is not universally popular, but I like the car's understated looks. Dark blue seemed the perfect colour for it. Volkswagen Passat (2) by Mad physicist, on Flickr I always used to think of the Passat as a fairly large car. When I was working out the dimensions of the model, I realised that it would have to be only 10 studs wide, which after having built many American cars -which usually end up being 11 studs wide- seemed small all of a sudden. Volkswagen Passat (4) by Mad physicist, on Flickr Many Passats sold in Europe have four-cylinder engines. On the current model the engine is mounted transversally. Volkswagen Passat (7) by Mad physicist, on Flickr Part of the challenge of building one of these was trying to get it to recognisably look like the real thing, despite the real car not being particularly distinctive. I think that on the real car the grille and the tail lights are the main features that distinguish it from, say an older model BMW five series, a Toyota Camry, or a Buick Lacrosse, to name a few. However, I am reasonably pleased with the result. Cheers, Ralph
  14. Ralph_S

    MOC: 8-Wide Maersk Train

    Thank you. I think the containers on the Maersk train set are a massive improvement over the older 4-wide ones, but my minifig scale trucks tend to be 7 studs wide, so a 7-wide container fits better. The headlight bricks make the containers look just a bit less like a plain box. Thank you. I'll see that I take a picture of one of the bogies sometime soon. They have three axles and are very long, which pretty much rules out driving any of them. Despite the size of it, there's also very little room inside the engine for a battery box and say, a medium PF motor. All the SNOT work for the diagonal stripes and the lettering takes up too much space. Currently it is unpowered. I did buy a PF train motor with the intention of using it in one of the wagons (with the battery box and other PF elements tucked away inside a container), but haven't done it yet. Due to the length of the wagons and the engine and the large separation between the aft coupling on the engine and the point where its aft bogie is attached, the train cannot go through a tight curve. I don't think my house is large enough to fit a full loop of track with a large enough diameter! Thank you. I think it's best to consider the train a bit of an exception in my collection of MOCs. Although I did enjoy building this, I'm not really a train builder and I also don't do a lot of minifig scale stuff. I'm currently planning a few more large scale aircraft. Ralph
  15. Ralph_S

    MOC: 8-Wide Maersk Train

    Thank you. It is several years old, as is this topic, but by coincidence, I recently added cars to this model. This is something I did consider a few years ago, but I never got around to it. They are three TTX double-stack container cars, using stickers from the original TTX Lego set. I have built four containers in total, because I didn't have parts for more. Because the containers are built to scale with my trucks, they are 7 studs wide and the cars for them are just a tad wider than 8. The whole assembly can navigate a gentle curve built with flexible curve parts. As Murdoch17 mentioned, SNOT stands for Studs-Not-On-Top. This really has very little to do with whether or not the model has studs on top or not, but is generally used for build techniques where elements are mounted sideways or upside down, with their tops (where the studs are) not pointing up. The lettering on the side of the train is an example. It has been done in a few sets and I have done it on a fair few of my builds, such as this SWAT van. It gives a nicer result than using stickers and working out how to do it is a lot of fun too. If it would have had small silvery or white letters against a black background, I too would have preferred printed tiles, but since it has big black letters against a grey background, I had to do something different. I guess you could say I prefer to do whatever gives me a result that looks right for the situation ;-) Ralph
  16. Ralph_S

    Discussion Should LEGO make a Military Theme?

    I am sorry for your loss. Dutch troops have been deployed abroad ever since the end of the Cold War and that, perhaps unfortunately, isn't publicised. I think the mission in Uruzgan, in particular, was neither small nor just supporting. It involved about 1400 troops at any given time, excluding the Air Force F-16 detachment and it was very much in the news, certainly when people did get killed. The Dutch participation in Bosnia wasn't particularly small either and has been very well publicised, if only because of the failure in Srebrenica. That aside, I think we are actually on the same side in this argument. Perhaps a military theme is less objectionable to people who live in a country that hasn't been involved in a major conflict, but even in small a country with a small military that is usually involved in supporting actions, people will be affected. Ralph
  17. Ralph_S

    Discussion Should LEGO make a Military Theme?

    No offence, but I think the friends, relatives and colleagues of the 25 Dutch servicemen who were killed in Afghanistan would beg to differ.
  18. Ralph_S

    Great Western LEGO Show!

    Did we actually talk? I was near my table pretty much all the time during both days, albeit looking after the cars more than after the B-52. It's funny how on the one hand some people thing there was considerably less stuff on show this year than last and simultaneously people complain about it being busy. Imagine what it would have felt like if we would have had more stuff on display! Cheers, Ralph
  19. Ralph_S

    Great Western LEGO Show!

    This was my 7th time displaying at STEAM. The guys who normally build the central train display took a break this year and there was a bit more space in the main hall because of that, but I don't think there were significantly fewer models on show than last year. These are mine: Steam 2013 by Mad physicist, on Flickr Steam 2013 by Mad physicist, on Flickr Check out Drew Maugan's photoset for pictures of the other models and tell me they're not impressive. Steam has some of the best builders in the UK and, dare I say it, in the world. In my view, shared by many Brickish members I spoke at the event, the show keeps getting better and better. There is no special treatment for Brickish members. Those of us who display obviously can get in earlier to finish setting up and we may have a little time left, if our own set-up is complete, to have a look at some of the other displays, but we cannot go much beyond the museum opening hours. There is no official word yet on the visitor numbers, although the organiser (Martin Long) told us on Saturday that the visitor numbers for that day were about the same as for the Saturday last year. I personally had the impression that Sunday was busier, but it is hard to judge. I know I certainly was very busy. On both days it got quieter later in the afternoon, so I'd recommend being able then to get a good look at the displays without a lot of children running around them. Ralph
  20. Ralph_S

    Review Review: 31008 Thunder Wings

    That's cool. I always appreciate somebody pimping my pictures Cheers, Ralph
  21. Ralph_S

    Review Review: 31008 Thunder Wings

    It is nice to see this technique with wedge plates in an official set. The B-52 and Eurofighter aren't really good examples. They too use a combination of wedge plates to get an unusual angle, but it's done in a different way than in the set. On the set, the right angle of a right-angled triangle is wedged in the 90 degree corner formed by two wedge plates, which is a subtly different way of making a new angle. On those jets the wedge plates are lined up along their diagonal sides and connected with plate hinges. However, I have used the technique used in the set as well. I came up with it back in 2008, when I wanted to build an F-5 Tiger. I almost gave up on building it when I found that there are no wedge plates that correspond to the correct angle of the leading edge. I then started fiddling around with wedge plates and realised that a combination of wedge plates could do it. F-5E Tiger (7) by Mad physicist, on Flickr Of course, I can't claim that LEGO copied my idea. In fact, it's possible other people came up with it independently before I did and LEGO's designers are more than capable of coming up with new and creative ways of combining parts, but it would be neat if they had. Cheers, Ralph
  22. Ralph_S

    Recommend better forums than Eurobricks...?

    I've gone from being a reasonably active poster to a lurker a few months ago and my reasons are not dissimilar to those voiced by andythenorth. I still read EB, but on any given day I might find two or three threads out of the 8 pages or so vaguely interesting. I don't think that's a problem with Eurobricks as such. It's well run and properly, if firmly, moderated. It just doesn't match my interests. It seems almost inevitable that a lot of discussions on a forum about LEGO will be focussed on what LEGO does, and it mainly does sets. If sets are not you thing, that doesn't leave much else. I don't care about sets as anything other than as parts packs for MOCs and there's really not much to discuss about MOCs either, beyond whether you like a given MOC or not. What doesn't help is that I don't know most of the people who post here and they don't know me. That easily leads to misunderstandings and makes any sort of meaningful discussion difficult. A small forum, with people you actually know and who build things you're interested in, may work better than a large one and I think the Technic forum here is not too bad, actually, but I'm just not a Technic builder. I prefer flickr. It does have discussion groups, but it is mainly focussed on photographs. They're the starting point for exchanging ideas and build techniques and that works far better than a forum IMO. Another advantage is that it is easy to find people who do things I'm interested in and people who are interested in the stuff I do can easily find me. I'll go back to lurking now. Ralph
  23. I haven't been actively posting here in a while, but have been reading things and, I'm sorry, this thread is a bit mind-boggling. You see, I constantly work with scale when building LEGO models and enjoy doing it. I don't just want my models to look right (more-or-less), I want them to be right. Hobbestimus and Hrw-Amen, do you guys know how big or wide a tank should be compared to, say, an SUV or a helicopter? Perhaps it's not relevant to the sort of things you build, but I do, because I looked up the numbers, with this result (all scaled 1/22): US Army collection by Mad physicist, on Flickr Of course there are limitations to how accurate you can be with bricks. You can't really get to within a brick's width of the proper size of something, unless you're willing to make things really complicated and, certainly when building for minifigs, some compromises are inevitable, but I think you could say that my motto is that 'if the numbers are right, it will look right'. Green Castle, working out the size of a scale model really isn't that hard. I don't know whether you maths teachers in school scared you or what, but a scale of 1/16 means that, on your model, every length should be 1/16th of what it is in real life. That's all. It's not at all complicated. How about an example? Let's say the roof on a real building is about 8 ft. (or a little more than 2.4 m) off the ground, which is fairly typical. On a scale of 1/16 it should be 1/16th as far off the ground. Since 8/16=0.5, that makes it half a foot or 6 inches tall (a little more than 15 cm). Since a brick is 0.96 cm tall, this equates to a stack that is approximately 16 bricks tall. Hopefully this is a good starting point. Cheers, Ralph
  24. Ralph_S

    I'm Leaving! I'm Coming Back! Do it all HERE.

    This thread has been dead for a while, but it seemed the best place to put my message. I've been a member of eurobricks since 2005, but I spent much of the first years lurking, before becoming more active. However, in the last year or so I've felt less and less at home on EB and it is because of this that I have now decided to call it quits. It's been a blast seeing my MOCs being front-paged. I've also enjoyed seeing other people's models, have had some interesting discussions -some of them quite heated- and have gotten to know really nice people -some of whom I have also met in real life. I'm sure I'll run into some of you at events again at some point or perhaps see what you are up to through flickr. In any case, have fun. Cheers, Ralph
  25. If you support somebody's statement (which I apparently misquoted) and somebody else disagrees with you, referring to whoever made the original statement instead of supporting your position with an argument did strike me as a cop-out. I understand that this is unwelcome, but so be it. Anyway, a couple of pages ago I already wrote that this sort of discussion always strikes me as a bit pointless, to then get involved in it after all. That was bad judgement on my part and it ends today. Have fun.