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About scruffulous

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  1. scruffulous

    [MOC] Midi Scale Trains *(Oil Tanker)*

    Would it look better with the wheels flipped to the other side so the "flange" is smaller?
  2. scruffulous

    [MOC] Totternhoe: Narrow Gauge Railway

    So, I've been called nuts over on Flickr and insane here on Eurobricks - are you guys trying to tell me something ;-) The kids at the show loved it when there was a "spooky" gap between the rolling stock.
  3. scruffulous

    [MOC] Totternhoe: Narrow Gauge Railway

    Thanks. I'd booked this layout idea into Brickvention way ahead of OcTRAINber, but it took me a long time to realise that I could use a test-build as an entry for that competition. Actually, I'm not sure I would have been able to present a working layout if I hadn't done that - OcTRAINber allowed me to iron out some of the technical issues. Puffing Billy was integrated into the VRLGM Victorian Railways layout, which was appropriate. This layout, which is based on narrow gauge railways in the heart of England, would be out of place there, so will most likely stay as stand-alone (but will hopefully improve in quality and size). Thanks. I feel the same way about the gauge. I really struggled to get the dimensions right for the tilt skips. The ones I built for OcTRAINber were all wrong, but I think they're pretty close now.
  4. scruffulous

    [MOC] Totternhoe: Narrow Gauge Railway

    Can't upload the LDraw file here, but there aren't that many parts, so you should be able to figure it out from this exploded image. Tilt Skip Exploded by Mike Pianta, on Flickr
  5. scruffulous

    [MOC] Totternhoe: Narrow Gauge Railway

    Thanks all. I actually deliberately haven't coupled the wagons together - one advantage of not coupling them is that I can decouple the hidden carriers below without my hand interrupting the view from above. It's not as straight forward as using stronger magnets. I'm already using pretty strong ones, and if I go stronger the attraction/repulsion between magnets on the carriers causes the carriers to tip over (even when weighted). Yeah, if the loco/wagon is too heavy, or the track is too uneven, the carriers (below) separate from their rolling stock (above). A thinner base does help (my OcTRAINber prototype, which was straight track, had a thinner base), but I need the current thickness to build the points and other tricky track geometry. I'm hoping to get my steamer running soon. I've got the tilt skips in LDraw - would that be useful?
  6. This is the narrow gauge train layout I presented at Brickvention 2019, based on the idea I developed for OcTRAINber 2018 (i.e. using a hidden subsystem of L-gauge train "carriers" connected to the visible narrow gauge trains above via magnets). Totternhoe - Brickvention 2019 by Mike Pianta, on Flickr You can see it in action in this video: Totternhoe by Mike Pianta, on Flickr While the layout worked well enough to give me encouragement to continue to refine it, there were a number of issues that meant, at first, I couldn't reliably run most of my locos. The green simplex is a loco with the cab removed to reduce weight. This was the most reliable loco I had because it was light. I had to rebuild the yellow diesel to reduce the weight, and it ended up being fairly reliable. I did get the base (i.e. no cab) of a steam loco (not shown) round the loop, but ran out of time at the convention to fully test it with the cab. I think I can get it there, though. So, lots of issues, and dealing with them meant that I didn't have time to detail the layout as much as I would have liked - I think it looks a bit plain. I'm hooked, though - I love the challenge, and the cuteness of the narrow gauge trains is irresistible.
  7. scruffulous

    [MOC] Motorised tiny narrow gauge trains

    Thanks. There are no secrets. I'm not the first to do this type of thing (although perhaps the first to do it with trains). Happy to share; hope others find it useful. The lower magnets run very close to the smooth bottom of the baseplate (they actually brush it in places where the baseplate sags a bit). The upper and lower magnets are separated by about 6 plates, with the baseplate and track ballast in between. The magnetic attraction is strong enough to fairly reliably keep them connected across that gap. The height of the lower system is for a few reasons: it allows for the PF components, it matches the height of the standard LEGO supports (so it's convenient), and there's enough room to reach my arm under if there is a problem. I used PF primarily to get better speed control. I don't see any issues using 9V, although you might run into issue if you mount the magnets too close to the 9V motor. You can run them pretty fast. Speed actually helps overcome some issues with uneven track - the momentum of the rolling stock helps ride over bumps. In general, though, uneven track is a problem. I use custom tables that can be accurately leveled to minimize this. Reducing the separation between the magnets can help, although it can also make things worse - reducing the separation increases the magnetic force, which effectively makes the rolling stock "heavier", which can make uneven track worse. Hope that helps. If you are interested in more detail, I've given a fairly complete account of the development of the system in this discussion on Flickr (search for the scruffulous entries):
  8. scruffulous

    [MOC] Motorised tiny narrow gauge trains

    Thanks. I'm working on a full layout based on this approach for Brickvention (a LEGO convention here in Melbourne). I've gone even more narrow gauge, with one stud between the rails, which is closer to scale gauge (in O scale, or 1:45). Needless to say, points/switches are tricky!
  9. scruffulous

    [MOC] Motorised tiny narrow gauge trains

    Thanks. Here’s an example of the magnets in the base of the tilt skips: These are the magnets below for three tilt skips (i.e. one magnet each): And here’s an example of the magnets for the loco.
  10. It's been a long time since I've posted a MOC over here on Eurobricks, but I thought some of you might find the narrow gauge trains in this video interesting, given they're based on trains from Leighton Buzzard in the heart of England (built for the OcTRAINber Foreign Challenge). The black loco is a Hudswell Clarke "Ganges" class, with a rake of tilt skips filled with sand. Watch to the end of the video to see how I motorised such tiny trains.
  11. scruffulous

    LEGO Train Bogie Problem

    You will probably need to compromise to get this train to run reliably. The simplest solution would be to use a double bogie at each end, but hide the innermost wheelset on each bogie behind a shroud that mimics the under frame detail. This approach would allow you to easily motorize the train, and will give you a reliable runner.
  12. I know I've had a bit of a hiatus from building, but I can't believe it's four years since I posted anything on Eurobricks! I'm trying to slowly ramp up my building again. Here's my latest model: a Victorian Railways AE passenger car. There are more photos in my Flickr album. These passenger cars were found mainly on longer distance intrastate passes. AE 51 was air conditioned around 1962, was recoded to BE 51, and then in 1983 was recoded back to AE. This model was built for BMR's OcTRAINber competition. It's built in O-scale (1:45), which ends up being 8 studs wide and 63 studs long (coupler to coupler). The model contains 120 yellow flags. I have a love-hate relationship with flags - I love the thin line they produce and the building challenges they introduce (getting them into the doors was particularly challenging), but I hate the extra weight due to the extra parts needed to incorporate them in a build. Same goes for the modified plate with handles (this model uses 60 of those in rare dark blue). Purity Declaration: This is a pure LEGO build apart from the use of bearings for the wheels, vinyl for the yellow lettering and printed labels for the white lettering. The integrity of the model does not rely on any of these non-LEGO elements.
  13. These railmotors were used by the Victorian Railways (in Australia) from 1922 into the 1950's, and were pretty successful. They provided passenger services on lines where passenger traffic didn't warrant a full train. On busier routes and at busier times they could be seen pulling one or two passenger trailers. AEC Rail Motor Car by scruffulous, on Flickr This is my entry in the Rail Buses Mini-challenge on Flickr. The challenge is open until the end of October, so there is still time to have a go at building a rail bus. Prototype
  14. It's been a while since I've posted anything here on Eurobricks, but I thought some of you who don't get onto Flickr much might like to see some of my more recent Victorian Railways builds. Follow the links if you would like more information. Y Class Locomotive by scruffulous, on Flickr T Class Locomotive (flat top) by scruffulous, on Flickr J Class Steam Locomotive by scruffulous, on Flickr VFTY Timber Wagon by scruffulous, on Flickr C Guard's Van by scruffulous, on Flickr