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About zephyr1934

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  1. zephyr1934

    Improving the 71044 Disney Train (WIP and Idea thread)

    Wow, that looks really good... does the door on the combine open? The red doors on the end are too high contrast in my opinion, but that might be prototypically accurate. Clicking on your photo stream, if you have a chance, please start a separate thread about your horsecar and monorail.
  2. zephyr1934

    train efficiency in PF

    Yes, the drive axle is also the pivot. In the truck there are 6 or 7 bevel gears to transmit the power to the wheels. The truck does pivot against the rail, so when laying out the gearng you want to set it so that the truck pivots to the left when going forward (the right rail has a small indentation at the rail joints that can serve as a catching point for climbing the rail, especially on 9v track). The bigger issue with the rail joints is a long wheelbase on the standard R40 curves, if you go clockwise around the curves you avoid this problem. Anyway, if you are worried about the truck pushing against the rail, others have built trucks with the XL motor integrated with the truck, so the motor itself serves as a very large axle that the truck and motor rotate around. But again, as long as you have the parts in hand, you can build up a test MOC and see if it meets your performance needs, then adjust it to fix any residual problems.
  3. zephyr1934

    71044 Disney Train and Station

    A few more things I left out, in the pictures the locomotive looks like a reworking of the Lone Ranger locomotive... which might be the case to some degree, but with the 8 wide cab and additional detailing, in person it definitely feels more substantial. I do have one more gripe. The stickers for the tender are split across two 2x4 tiles. It is hard to get these aligned just right. Those parts probably should have been printed. It's a small world after all (sorry... had to say it)
  4. zephyr1934

    Improving the 71044 Disney Train (WIP and Idea thread)

    Looking good so far Possible solutions: Simplest: 1x1 plate, round or square Impurist: cut the towball end off of this pin Expensivest: the uncirculated red half pins Futurist: these new axles just showed up but are not yet available
  5. zephyr1934

    71044 Disney Train and Station

    I was on the fence about buying this set (nothing wrong with it, I just prefer MOCs), but I did want to figure out how to retrofit it for rods since I've already had several inquires. I was hoping I could do the rod design without the set, and in fact I managed to come up with what I think is a really nice solution. Trouble is, it is hard to visualize how the prototype fits in to the set. So I broke down and got a copy of the set. After building the engine and first car, I must say that I am impressed with the look and feel of the locomotive. The proportions and general design really has the feel of a narrow gauge engine. I would say the train has the feel of an entry level G scale train set- short and wide rolling stock, and as noted, I think that works well for narrow gauge. Of course there is that nagging problem that it is essentially a bogie engine the way it's built, but that will soon be fixed. I could also see redoing the cab roof to have long flat slopes instead of the curves necessary to get Micky in the cab. (Once I have the retrofit documented I'll post that in a new thread)
  6. zephyr1934

    train efficiency in PF

    If you care about power and don't care about looks, you would be hard pressed to do better than a pair of XL motors. I've pulled over 70 cars with this design (plus some weight... a roll of pennies is a good cheap weight). Can be hidden in a boxcar. If you already have the train and PF parts then the best thing you could do is start with a simple design (e.g., the above link) and see if it works for your needs. It is quite possible that a pair of PF train motors would be sufficient for your needs. If not, then start looking for ways of improving the power. Definitely keep the track flat. Using two motors should not be a problem, using three motors off one battery might be. If money is no object, you could add additional power in the form of a second battery box, receiver, and two more motors. More weight on the motors is usually a good thing. If the engine is too light the wheels would spin. Similarly, less weight on the cars is a good thing. The motors work better pulling than they do pushing (less friction from the cars trying NOT to follow the track), but putting them under the first car behind the engine probably will not be an issue. First try with normal train wheels if you have them. If that doesn't work, then consider ball bearing wheels (Brick Train Depot or BMR) Coupling rods and quartering are for steam locomotives, almost all steam engine designs will bring extra drag. Especially because they use technic axle which are very high friction. If you are looking to push the limits of what you can pull, stay away from technic axle wheels if you can help it. Longer cars will create more friction in the curves. If you do not care about looks, for best pulling power I'd suggest that you do not go above 28 studs if you are using stock lego curves. Again, best to test your designs and see if they work with your loads. The pair of XL motors above will happily break magnetic couplings if the train is too heavy. And then if you strengthen those joints (rare earth magnets) it will pull cars off the track on R40 curves.
  7. zephyr1934

    Container stickers

    The material that I use goes on with a drop of water, can be peeled off later and reapplied (similar to colorforms if you are old enough to remember those). As a result, you do not get an instant "stick", which is nice for positioning, but not so good for going around corners... hang on... ...Okay, I'm back (did you miss me?). I just gave it a try. I would not recommend it using my normal material. I'm likely to do some printing with Andy Mollman in the near future for a run of traditional stickers (secret project), in the process I could probably include some of the container stickers. PM me and we can discuss further.
  8. zephyr1934

    Crane Locomotive MOC in 7777 style

    That build is very nice, and the features quite advanced for 1980's parts (I like the clutch on the crane, not to mention the whole crane mechanism). Very retro and yes, very 7777
  9. zephyr1934

    Suspension bridge

    Well, there was a recent post (past month?) with a very nice bridge using roller coaster track. Anyway, jumping back to the original post, none of the examples are suspension bridges (not even the one I'm about to give). From what I've seen most "true" suspension bridges in lego tend to sag. I would suggest building a bridge with a rigid frame below or on the sides that actually carries most of the weight, then use the suspension mostly for looks. I personally like a 6 wide box beam: 6xn plate, 1x4x3 panels along the outside, another 6xn plate and then the rails. Very rigid and light. I don't have any great photos, but here's a mediocre shot if you can't visualize my description.
  10. zephyr1934

    Fan stickers for trains

    Thanks for the kind words! Oh yes, these are not meant to be "exact duplicates" for collectors or folks recreating the great sets of old. Rather, these are for the folks who like the look of the original fan stickers and want to use them on their MOCs Heh heh, don't worry, I'm still all in the rods business. I'm amazed that people are still coming up with new spacing arrangements for me to do. I've also slipped in a few special features in the pure custom rods, like "fake pins" to replicate the flex joints in some driver rods. I'm also prototyping a new minifig utensil... but if it works out it will be a separate post.
  11. zephyr1934

    Fan stickers for trains

    I'm pleased to announce two new items in my shop that might be of interest to some of you. I've done a special run of kiss-cut fan stickers on a semi-metallic backing, very similar in style to those used on the Super Chief and Maersk locomotives. This image shows one sheet of four stickers, and then separately, a sticker from a different sheet applied to a technic disk. Just peel, add a drop of water, and stick. You can remove them later and reapply as you like. These disk stickers can be found here. Ah, but what if you are using turntables for the fans on your locomotive? I've got those covered too with a new size that fits nicely into the current turntable base, These turntable stickers can be found here. I've been using these on some of my MOC's already, http://www.TrainedBricks.com
  12. zephyr1934

    79111 Constitution with Powered Up

    Disney tender is a good call, without the tile it can be kept to 6 wide. You can download the instructions from lego customer service. Use headlight bricks to set the tile in a bit, or use brackets across the top of the battery box, then a plate, then tiles to keep it six wide without the "constitution" tile sticking out at all.
  13. zephyr1934

    79111 Constitution with Powered Up

    You would have to greatly enlarge the tender to hide the battery box, so you might be better off motorizing the first car behind the engine. I googled "powering Lego 79111" and got this hit. See here, but it also works with standard technic beams.
  14. zephyr1934

    New York Central 19000 Series Caboose

    For a pure lego solution, you could use four 1x1 trans clear bricks for each window. Though I suspect the stickers would look better.
  15. One word: "roller bearings!" I'm a recent convert, my double stack train grew to 21 wells. Using lego wheels I would need two super magnets between the engine and the first car. The engine was pretty heavy so I had no problem with wheel slip. After switching to roller bearings I do not need the super magnets and I was able to pull it with my much lighter Maersk repaint. Meanwhile, I have not had troubles with the bands on the PF train motor wheels slipping. Lego went through at least 4 different sets of traction bands on the wheels though. The first two generations were very loose, but I think those disappeared within the first year of PF (after lasting the entire duration of the RC train motor). In fact, my heaviest PF train would trip the overload resistor in the IR receiver before any wheel slip problems.