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About jmchisel

  • Birthday 03/27/1977

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  1. What a fascinating story it would be to find out about the masterminds of the Grey Era! They certainly took LEGO trains to the next level - just looking at @HoMa's brick list brings back a lot of memories, but also those pangs of regret - some of the sets were so advanced but so expensive! As train sets go, the iconic 7740, 7745 and 7750 were always out of reach for me as a kid, but after starting with a 7710 I was lucky enough to be able to expand over many years, adding a 7725 and 7730 - and you would certainly have been forgiven for thinking the entire thing was a DB promotional exercise - every photo, every building instruction, used the DB stickers as the default. The track/trackside accessories were really the standout though. Incredibly sophisticated and beautifully thought-out with the elegant clipping mechanism to add beside the transformer. How I loved that double-page spread in 7777 with the monstrously-huge, colour-coded control panel! The remote-controlled level-crossing was another unobtainably-expensive set, one I still haven't got in my collection. As a lucky/unlucky owner of a 7862 remote decoupler (it was a gift, but I really wanted a 7760 signal!), I can report that while a fantastic idea, it was *extremely* unreliable - a rare mistake from the Grey Era masterminds.
  2. have the Pet Shop and they also have a Boxing Day sale on. They have a bricks-and-mortar outlet in Brunswick, from where I just got their last Bike Shop @ 30% off :-)
  3. Myer Melbourne CBD is clearing out the last few examples of SW 9678 Twinpod Cloud Car; originally $16.95, then $8, now $4. About 8 left at lunchtime today, on the clearance table at the front of the toy area.
  4. [MOC] CP 2300 - Portuguese Passanger Train

    This is a fantastic build! I love the nose treatment and the proportions - windows, doors, the corrugated sections and the details (footsteps, vents, pantos) all add up to a treat for the eyes!
  5. 7 wide LEGO trains Vs O gauge size comparison

    Carl, as always your models inspire me to get out of any micro-dark-age I might be in. But this time, you've really gone and done it. Your comparison shots have shown me that 7-wide is the way to go. Up until now I have been afraid to take the plunge because of the parts requirements (particularly plates - e.g. carriage bases) but everything just seems to sit so well! I'm slowly working on a 1980's French diorama/layout (inspired by the orange HE/TGV prototype) so if anyone notices a shortage of orange plates/parts on Bricklink, apologies; that'll be me rebuilding the Horizon Express in 7 x 44!
  6. Many thanks to gavralcraw for the tip about 79109 Colby City Shootout - as a town/train MOCer I hadn't really considered the Lone Ranger sets for parts just out of habit - the Licensed sets are usually poor value in terms of parts per dollar. At $39.20, 79019 is a genuine goldmine for tan, dark green, brick-bricks etc (see BrickSet) and offers plenty of resale opportunities with 5 minifigs and accessories. Picked up a pair from Target Camberwell (VIC) - they have about a dozen left, no other LR sets visible.
  7. I don't know if this is a regular thing, but I was in KMart Northcote (Vic) this afternoon on non-LEGO business when they announced a snap 50%-off on "clearance toys" at the front of the store. Got there just in time to get two 4202 Mining Trucks for $35. They were already marked at $35 each (from $49.95) so that's 65% off RRP. Sadly they didn't have any other LEGO in the clearance aisles :-(
  8. MOC: NSB Di7 with carriages

    Your engine has that "massive" look that a heavy shunter should - looks excellent on the front of your goods train. Your "G4" wagons look fantastic too with the "planks" and the shape of the roof which is absolutely perfect. Your trackside constructions are great! I like the shingle effect on the roof of the lineside hut, excellent detail.
  9. MOC: Fully automated Traverser

    The ingenuity, design and photography could have been straight from the pages of the bible also known as 7777. Very inspiring!
  10. MOC: GN S2 4-8-4, 2584

    Exquisite detailing, incredible working valve gear, barely a stud to be seen, and no doubt it's almost as powerful as the prototype. Brilliant!
  11. MOC: Custom building mechs.

    The problem I'm having is one of slippage, primarily due to lack of tension. I've now freed up a tiny bit of extra space in my "engine bay" and changed the half-bush to a wedge belt wheel (http://www.bricklink...Item.asp?P=4185) and this has helped a lot with this aspect. Thanks for those links Annie - I've never had that gearbox part so I'd struggle to think of application too! I'm really enjoying seeing new possibilities for my Technic collection though, it's revitalised my interest in that stuff. Totally agree that a chain drive would be the way to get loads of torque to the wheels, and while I have seen shunters with such an arrangement, the prototype I'm trying to stay faithful(ish) to is not quite that agricultural! :-) I would have loved to use an "all gear" solution B n B, but I am trying to keep the mechanicals of this shunter into a very tight space. Basically, with the SNOTery I'm doing for the engine compartment, I have 1 plate + 2 studs + 1 plate of width in order to get the axial rotation from the motor geared down (these 4.5V motors are not strong at all), rotated through 90 degrees (in line with the axle(s)), and brought down to the axle level. I like using the 6588 gear housing because it holds the worm gear at the exact right distance to the gear wheel (as you can see in Locomotive Annie's original picture, it can be tricky to maintain this!) and it has handy holes for putting extra axles into that wouldn't exist in a brick-built solution. So that uses 2 studs of width in the centreline of the loco, and I only get one plate worth of space (each side) to get the drive down to the wheels! Hence the belt drive. But as I mentioned, using a larger wedge belt wheel has helped get some better tension on the belt, and I'm also using a belt on each side, which helps even out the forces on the axles and frees them up a little. I'm actually quite growing to like the belt drive + worm gear combination! The worm drive makes a tremendous grumbling noise, perfect for a dirty little workhorse diesel shunter. And the fact that it stops DEAD when you kill the power, combined with the stretchyness of the elastic bands, makes the loco do this little back-and-forth rock when you stop it - it's really cute and sorta-kinda prototypical, maybe! :-)
  12. MOC: Custom building mechs.

    Amazing - I was about to post some pics of my WIP shunter which uses a 4.5V motor and a worm drive! Annie, I think your other post about "hybrid" loco drive mechs must have got us thinking along the same lines. Here's the worm drive - I'm currently using a belt down to the drive axle for compactness, but it has hugely compromised the torque available! I can't find the part number of the Technic gear block housing :-( And here's the WIP shunter chassis with the 4.5V motor hooked up. The motor sits in the cab (it's a 6-wide and it's the only place wide enough) and the rotation goes through a Technic 6538 axle connector to a pair of 16-tooth gears which conveniently fit the end holes in the gearbox housing. I'll post more pictures in a separate thread once I'm happy with the performance: I tested this with voltages from 3V-6V and while it's beautifully slow, the belt drive starts slipping once you ask it to do any sort of real work. The problem is I have very limited space in which to get power down to where it's needed. Like literally the width of that Technic half-bush. Anyone have any ideas?
  13. Toyworld (list of stores: have a new catalogue out with 2013 sets (including an exclusive: 10655 Young Builders Monster Truck, $29.99) Here are the deals of note: 70006 Chima Cragger's Command Ship - $20 off at $109.99 6008 City Museum Break-in - $20 off at $69.99 3185 Friends Summer Riding Camp - $20 off at 129.99 79003 Hobbit: An Unexpected Gathering - $20 off at $99.99 60004 Fire Station - $20 off at $109.99 Peruse the catalogue at for some of the other, lesser ($3/$5/$10 off) deals.
  14. So PF, is it of any use for realistic operation?

    An interesting discussion about a topic I've been pondering myself recently. I have a large 12V collection but have been augmenting it with newer sets such as 7939 (the yellow cargo train) because when deals come on Amazon or wherever, I can get so much more train for my money than trying to win "classic" 12V sets on eBay. I agree with many of the responses so far - yes, 12V trackwork looks pretty terrible, but the flipside is the absolutely awesome control you have with remote points and working block signals. The 12V system was probably actually too sophisticated for the 12-16 year-olds it was pitched at. But it if you really love shunting your yard without having to have the "hand of god" constantly reaching in to operate turnouts, there's no better option in the LEGO world. Oh and if you try *really* hard, you can make 12V look pretty incredible - check out Carl Greatrix's old layout: Regarding the remote decoupler for 12V - that was actually the first 12V accessory/addon/plugin/whatever I had for my 12V system - my Dad got it for me in about 1985. Didn't work properly then, still doesn't work properly now. The subtle difference between the coupling catcher's "raised" and "lowered" position was simply not enough, even for completely stock LEGO rolling-stock. If you are running MOCed wagons, forget it, you'll almost certainly be either smashing into the decoupler all the time, or overshooting it completely when trying to use it. I wish he'd got me a 7860 signal instead - you can never have too many! I have too much of an investment in 12V accessories and track to just let it go, so what I'm planning to do is a hybrid - as outlined here: http://www.eurobrick...showtopic=63535 Basically this lets me retrofit PF motors with 12V control - so no battery box or PF sensor required. I'm yet to actually finish my first MOC with such a setup (still waiting on a Bricklink order or two) but will definitely be showing it here. Hope the links give you some encouragement at least!
  15. Hello from Melbourne, Australia

    Oh those aren't mine (I wish I had the skill, and the brick inventory!) - just my inspiration!