michaelgale

Eurobricks Vassals
  • Content Count

    19
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About michaelgale

Spam Prevention

  • What is favorite LEGO theme? (we need this info to prevent spam)
    Trains

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male

Extra

  • Country
    Canada

Recent Profile Visitors

323 profile views
  1. Slick looking locomotives! Glad to see the PFx Brick put to good use and hope it's working well for you. The EMD 2-stroke prime mover would be a good sound profile to add to our small library of PFx Brick profiles. When we get some time, we plan to add more pre-configured train locomotive (steam & diesel) sound profiles giving you folks prototypical sounds to match your models. In the meantime, you can at least choose from our horn, bell and other sounds to enrich operation. Adding sound to LEGO trains is seriously fun!
  2. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    @Lasse: Awesome! Glad you got your PFx Bricks ok before your move. We look forward to seeing your PFx-powered vehicles!
  3. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    Michael from Fx Bricks: We'll post to this thread when the store reopens. Sorry we had to temporarily close it--we just had to get on top of our growing backlog and give ourselves some more breathing room! Also, we've had to order more parts for production to meet the increase in demand. Stay tuned!
  4. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    Wow! That's awesome! Thanks Sariel! Like I said previously, his review and evaluation of the PFx Brick was thorough, careful, and very detailed. He gave us amazing feedback which has been very helpful as we take the PFx Brick forward (hopefully to production!) :)
  5. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    Jason and I have received some great feedback from Sariel personally. He certainly took the time to carefully evaluate its capabilities and made some astute observations. Obviously, we would appreciate any public feedback and engagement from Sariel to the fan community. However, we have not obliged him to do so and it is his decision to offer any endorsement. We hope that we can count on our fellow builder community to support our campaign so that we can offer the PFx Brick to builders everywhere!
  6. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    We're approaching the last week of the campaign and still have a lot of ground to cover before the finish line. We're still confident that we can get there since many folks have told us that they're going to back the PFx Brick or have only just heard about it. Anything you can do to get the word out to help support our campaign will be hugely appreciated. Hundreds of backers have already shown their generous support for the PFx Brick and are excited and hopeful to be able to get one! We really believe the PFx Brick can offer so much value in one small brick package! It combines: advanced motor control multi-channel lighting effects sound effects processor multiple interfaces: USB, IR, and Bluetooth all in a 5x4 stud brick! We hope it will form the basis of broader range of compatible products such as: A PFx Lite - low cost light effects only controller A PFx Sonic - low cost sounds effects only controller A PFx Pro - 4x channel motor controller + lighting + sound and much more! Please check out the Kickstarter campaign page at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fxbricks/pfx-brick and our website at: http://www.fxbricks.com We are really hoping our fellow LEGO® fan community can help make the PFx Brick a reality for everyone! Thank you, Michael Gale and Jason Allemann (Fx Bricks)
  7. michaelgale

    PFx Brick for Trains, Kickstarter

    Thanks for posting the reminder about the Kickstarter! We're approaching the last week of the campaign and still have a lot of ground to cover before the finish line. We're still confident that we can get there since many folks have told us that they're going to back the PFx Brick or have only just heard about it. Anything you can do to get the word out to help support our campaign will be hugely appreciated. Hundreds of backers have already shown their generous support for the PFx Brick and are excited and hopeful to be able to get one! We really believe the PFx Brick can offer so much value in one small brick package! It combines: advanced motor control multi-channel lighting effects sound effects processor multiple interfaces: USB, IR, and Bluetooth all in a 5x4 stud brick! We hope it will form the basis of broader range of compatible products such as: A PFx Lite - low cost light effects only controller A PFx Sonic - low cost sounds effects only controller A PFx Pro - 4x channel motor controller + lighting + sound and much more! Please check out the Kickstarter campaign page at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fxbricks/pfx-brick We hope we can count on the LEGO® fan community to help make the PFx Brick a reality for everyone! Thank you, Michael Gale & Jason Allemann
  8. michaelgale

    PFx Bricks

    We've received so much feedback about omitting Bluetooth and we really misjudged how important it was to many builders. Luckily we were working on it. We reviewed the design and decided that we would commit to offering Bluetooth in addition to IR by default. The value proposition of the PFx Brick is pretty attractive if you consider that a single device offers 2x powerful motor channels, 8x channel lighting controller, sound effects processor, and remote control via IR, USB, and Bluetooth. In any case, all we can do is offer the PFx Brick to the market. Whether or not builders want the PFx Brick remains to be seen. We love the PFx Brick and really want it to succeed--but our passion for the project is not enough to decide the outcome. Ultimately, its up to everyone else. Any feedback and/or questions welcome here or direct to the KS page comments feed. Michael Gale (fxbricks.com)
  9. michaelgale

    Custom 9V tracks

    The price point of $75-100 per switch is totally in line with what O-gauge and G-scale switches retail for from manufacturers such as Peco, LGB, Piko, etc. And as you say, you need a custom curve to form a return parallel track which I would suggest should come standard in the pack.
  10. michaelgale

    Custom 9V tracks

    Absolutely fantastic! Thanks for all of your hard work on the design. Many of us look forward to it being available!
  11. michaelgale

    New LEGO Train Magazine - A Proposal

    I'm glad someone referred me to this topic--I certainly would like to offer some thoughts on a publication aimed at our niche hobby. Firstly, my sincerest gratitude to the entire team who contributed to Railbricks. It was a very high quality and inspiring publication to both experts and novices alike. In a way, it was *too* good--it set the bar so high that inevitably it burned out the valuable volunteer contributions that made it exist. I can only imagine how many hours were graciously contributed at the expense of other life obligations--such is the labour of love. I must admit that I somewhat cautious about the prospect of another Railbricks-type publication. Our hobby niche is quite narrow, isn't very big, and doesn't have the relatively buoyant commercial basis that the rest of the scale model train hobby enjoys. Whether you live in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, etc., and you will find at least one or more model train publications aimed at enthusiasts in their respective regions. Publications which have broad advertising from a variety of vendors of model train products. Enough advertising revenue to pay for a dedicated editorial staff and print magazine distribution. Our hobby could never achieve that level of support commercially. There is effectively one primary vendor (i.e. The Lego Group) and a collection of small (but extremely valuable!) cottage industries making alternative elements such as track, wheels, etc. TLG will likely not choose to advertise in a Railbricks-type publication (because they don't need to) and the smaller companies can likely not afford to buy advertising with a perceived return on sales. In contrast, a publication such as Model Railroader addresses many different scales and therefore many different vendors such as Atlas, Bachmann, Rapido, Kato, etc. Even publications such as MR complain of declining advertising revenue based on a shrinking reader base. And, we can only lament the fall of so many other publications from the past, e.g. Model Railway Constructor in the UK, due to a progressively shrinking reader base. Therefore, I am not confident a funding model based on advertising will work. What about subscriptions? Well, it all depends on how much we are all willing to contribute? Also, it will only satisfy those of us who want the publication in the first place. What about new-comers to the hobby? Would they be willing to commit to a subscription right away without first seeing what the hobby has to offer? Unfortunately, there is a quite a psychological barrier between free and any dollar amount. Also, if you charge folks for a publication, it better offer substantial content with high quality. There will be a perceived expectation of quality if you charge for it. Whereas a free publication is not obliged to meet any particular standard and doesn't expose its editors to the inevitable judgements and criticisms that surely will happen. Assuming a workable "business model" can be established for a Railbricks publication, what should it offer? I have read many 1000's of model train magazines over the years. The one factor that draws me personally (and others I'm sure) is the aspirational aspect of the content. The content should inspire you. It should should motivate you to improve your skills, your ambitions, etc. To do this, it must showcase the very best of what the hobby has to offer. The argument that this will intimidate novices and put them off just doesn't match up to what sports psychologists have long known. Athletes only aspire to improve their game when they are faced with playing those who are much better than they are. My skill in chess only improved by being beaten repeatably by a master! Showcasing inspirational models and layouts gives us a sense of collective achievement--that we are able to push this hobby into the same realm of any other scale model train standard. In doing so, we can share our techniques, methods, best practices, and give others the inspiration and confidence that they can do it too. Lastly, I would offer a few suggestions to any team willing to make this happen: 1) Make the publication no more frequent than every quarter. Even four issues per year is a lot of work. 2) Make sure you have a committed editorial board of at least 3-5 folks to share the work of content planning, strategic direction, etc. 3) Have at least one dedicated content editor and one dedicated graphic designer/producer. Maintaining the continuity of quality and consistency requires that both the content and its visual design have dedicated attention. 4) Keep the publication format as online PDFs which folks can choose to print if they so desire. 5) Don't invest in "value added" extra content such as hosting instructions, guides, forums, etc. Your content contributors can offer to host those extras if required/desired--the magazine can point readers to the right place. I hope haven't been too pessimistic and discouraging of this effort. Personally, I would love to see a publication like Railbricks succeed in this space and continue to be the champion for showcasing the fun, the creativity, and excellence possible with enjoying model trains made from a simple general purpose brick building medium. It really is quite magical what some folks can build! I know someone else mentioned l-gauge.org; however, as its curator I am quite happy to continue hosting useful, general purpose content to our hobby. If anything, to reduce the burden to others for providing "value added" content.
  12. michaelgale

    Custom 9V tracks

    Wow! These track component concepts are just fantastic! That switch looks absolutely gorgeous! I love the idea of using standard flat bottom rail extrusions threaded into rail chairs/clips moulded on to the sleepers/ties. The use of fishplates as rail joiners is also excellent. I bought a bunch of code 250 flat bottom Aluminum rail sections a while ago with the intention of scratch building some track (maybe switches) but haven't gotten around to it. I think any future metal rail product for L-Gauge is best off using off-the-shelf rail extrusions, either code 250 G-gauge or code 200, 124 O-Gauge. The magic is then the design of the plastic sleeper/tie components so that a variety of track elements can be assembled. Great work!
  13. michaelgale

    New Track Planning Library for BlueBrick

    BlueBrick Track Schematic Library v.1.1 Update by michaelgale, on Flickr I have updated my BlueBrick schematic track library to version 1.1. It incorporates the following updates: 1) Added RC/9V R40 radius half curves 2) Added RC flex track components. Head over to http://www.brickdimensions.com/resources/trains to download this latest version. Enjoy!
  14. michaelgale

    New Track Planning Library for BlueBrick

    You are correct, I did forget the flex track! I am not a big fan of the flex track elements and don't think I would use them myself. However, for completeness, it should include it--very likely in a new revision of the library. In the meantime, the 1/4 length straight element can be used as a close substitute. Also, their is a flex track element in the BlueBrick "Track" library folder which can be used as well.
  15. Now that ME Models is shipping its much anticipated alternative Lego train track components, I really wanted to see what sort of layouts could be built with these elements. Many of us use the superb BlueBrick software tool for designing layouts both for individual and collaborative use. BlueBrick does not have library support for ME track components and therefore, I decided to make a custom library add-on for BlueBrick to include ME track. I have created two BlueBrick compatible libraries to assist with train layout planning by expanding the range of elements available for design. ME Models Track Components - This can be used as an expansion pack for the existing BlueBrick Track parts library. Simply extract the downloaded archive into the pre-existing \parts\Track folder. Complete LEGO® Train System Schematic Elements - This is completely new library developed specifically for symbolic or schematic track planning. It is a complete library including track elements from LEGO®, ME-Models, as well as custom track elements such as stub-switches and crossovers. The library is freely available for download at my website at: www.brickdimensions.com/resources/trains ME-Models library: BlueBrick Library for ME Models Track by michaelgale, on Flickr New Schematic Track Planning Library: Universal Track Planning Library by michaelgale, on Flickr BlueBrick screenshot with schematic track planning components: Universal Track Planning for BlueBrick by michaelgale, on Flickr