Commander Wolf

Eurobricks Citizen
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About Commander Wolf

  • Birthday 01/06/89

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    c0mmander w0lf
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    Glorious California


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    United States

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  1. TTX Articulated Intermodal Spine Car

    The twenty-foot containers are 6x16 (except for the RailBricks ones with the doors - those are nonstandard at 6x17) and the forty-foot containers are 6x32. The nice thing about 6x16/32 is that they will work with some official sets, ie the old Maersk train. For the truck, there is nothing special: on the prototype those stands can fold up and collapse, but on the model, everything is static: The blue thing (which is a window on the actual model) connects to the trailer and gravity does everything else! I'll admit, these aren't the sturdiest things in the world, even though they're way better than my first attempt with the well cars. As far as I can tell, the trick is just to use as long of plates as possible! Even though that makes the cars sturdy enough to not fall apart while running, if you press down hard enough (ie even trying to attach the containers), the connections holding the lower parts of the spine will separate from the top parts. The best thing to do is put the containers on the cars first and then put them on the track.
  2. [WIP] 1:350 Scale Imperial Japanese Navy Kongo

    An update! Finally finished a first pass on the lower hull after much struggle: From the top and sides I think the lines generated by this form are pretty close to what they should be: From the bottom I think the front curve (blue) needs to have slightly more of an S shape and then back curve (green) needs to have slightly less of an S shape... but despite all the model kits out there I haven't been able to find a good hull underside picture for what this part is supposed to look like:
  3. TTX Articulated Intermodal Spine Car

    If you're building it entirely from scratch, my guess is maybe $20 to $25 from Bricklink for each of the five sections. Every 40-foot container's worth of container is probably another $10 to $15. There's definitely ways to do the containers cheaper though if you either reduce the detail or increase the weight. For example if you made the large containers from basic bricks and small plates, they'd cost next to nothing, but would probably weigh twice as much as the ones I've built from large panels and large plates. EDIT: I explicitly haven't used any super rare or super new parts though, so at the very least all of the parts should be very readily available.
  4. TTX Articulated Intermodal Spine Car

    This project started, in a wholly different form, several years ago in response to two thoughts I had: "How can I make a long train without making excessively expensive?" and "I really want some modern rolling stock". Originally the obvious answer was articulated well cars. Well cars have very little structure to build, and Jacobs bogies mean relatively few wheels and even fewer couplers per unit length (compared to a train of the same length made up of "regular" 4-axle, 2-bogie rolling stock), both of which are particularly expensive parts. I would need to build containers to "fill out" the train, but that did not seem to be a big issue. Unfortunately the articulated well car project got to something like 95 to 99 percent completion when I pulled the plug. The car looked fine, that was never a problem, but they turned out to have more operational and structural issues than I had hoped: most poignantly they couldn't clear switch handles right after turns and the bottoms would fall out after extended running. Furthermore, to make the car look "filled" enough, I would need to build something like 15 to 20 TEU worth of containers, which increased part count and weight. Double-stacking containers also decreased stability and made the bottoms more likely to fall out. So the well cars ran empty at like one BayLTC show, and then they were shelved while I tried to think of solutions that I never found.Fast forward another year and I found out about articulated spine cars. Spine cars are similar to well cars in that they are articulated and intermodal, but spine cars trade density for flexibility: they can't carry as many containers per unit length as well cars, but they can carry containers or trailers and can fit in a small loading gauge. From a modeling perspective, spines have even less structure than wells, and more importantly can be filled with half of the 15 to 20 TEU worth of container, saving more weight and more parts. So here's the model: The car itself is 214 studs long and comprises just 1018 parts, giving a part per stud length of 4.76. For comparison a relatively tame looking "regular" piece of rolling stock like my flat car is 33 studs long with 335 parts, giving a part per stud length of 9.85 - almost twice that of the spine car, so that gives an idea of how efficient the spine car actually is. Construction is very simple. Everything is studs up save for some of the trim. The center of each section is actually pretty strong since it's just stacks of plate, but there is still a bit of structural non-integrity around the bogies since the spines have to taper down to a single plate for clearance. The most difficult part was of course making sure nothing scraped or interfered with anything when the car goes through a full R40 curve: I mocked up three sections of the car before committing to the final build: And of course, the build would not be complete without containers. With the well cars, I built an ad-hoc collection of 20 and 40 foot containers, each with a slightly different design, partly because I didn't feel like it was the main part of the build, and partly because I needed so many. Since the spine cars would need much fewer containers to load up, I decided to make them good. There's essentially two kinds of containers here: a "detailed" type and an "efficient" type. The detailed type is actually what I call the "RailBricks Container", which appeared in issue 14 of the now defunct(?) publication. The efficient type is just made of panels and detailed with a sticker in order to be light, but all the containers at least have tiled roofs to clean up the lines. There is also a trailer mostly designed by @jtlan And all the bits put together: All the weight-saving seems to have paid off as the loaded car doesn't seem to be that heavy - even my EMD Model 40 can handle the whole thing just fine. Having run it at several local LUG meetings and a full-day event, I think I have run it long enough to verify that the cars don't develop structural issues after long periods of activity. There is of course video from these runs: 0:23: Test run with the Model 40 0:31: Clearing the switch handle 0:43: Running under 9v power Full gallery here, and have a nice day!
  5. This is very nice... I go to Hong Kong every year and I see these all over the place. What distinguishes a "Hong Kong" variant from similar trucks in other parts of the world?
  6. [MOC] Miscellaneous Train Projects

    How are you attaching these to the motor itself? I had played around with custom frames on 9v motors some time ago, but forming a sufficiently strong connection with the motor brick made the bogies really tall or really long, and I wasn't happy with it.
  7. Questions - small layout possibility

    Or get a 4.5v train and the do the same without any modification
  8. [MOC] Miscellaneous Train Projects

    Side project number two: GE U30B R2 In 2015 I built a Norfolk and Western U30B. This was dismantled not too long after in favor of other models, but now it's back! A few many months ago, I was playing with some brick weathering schemes, and one of my samples was the U30. Reaction from various sources was fairly mixed, but in the end I decided that I needed to build something to see what the weathering really looked like. And thus the U30 came back. Some of the feedback I got did suggest that the weathering was too aggressive, so I did end up scaling it back before building: And here it is in all its weathered glory: I actually think it's pretty darn good, but I still have mixed feelings about implementing similar weathering patterns across the board, but a big part of the experiment is to keep it around and see how I feel about it. I've brought it to a few local LUG meetings, and for better or for worse not too many people have commented on the weathering. People have commented on the sound: more on that in a bit. Fundamentally the build is the same as the last one, but I did make some small tweaks: the greebles on the bogies are a bit different, and I've used real flex tubing for the handrails. I also altered the drivetrain(s) within the bogies to use two short shafts rather than one long shaft. This is because the bogies flex a little, and one long shaft sees a ton more friction than two short shafts when the truck flexes under load. But the biggest change is actually in the rest of the drivetrain! This engine is powered by two of the old ungeared 9v Technic motors! This is actually the main reason I chose to implement weathering on this model as opposed to the other candidates. Like I said in the previous post, I'm on an informal mission to build trains using every practical motor - for fun and to explore the performance characteristics. I originally built the U30 to accept multiple motors, but even then it was a little difficult to use the ungeared motor as it needed a second gear reduction stage. I originally wanted to make the first stage a belt drive (LEGO does this for all official implementations because it will be much smoother than gears), but I couldn't find the space. I may revisit this in the future, but for now the 1:3 reduction with the crown gear is hilarious, and almost makes a diesel sound at lower RPMs. 13s: low speed pass 32s: top speed pass 50s: heavier loads I didn't look at the numbers again until after I had completed the model, but the power output of the old geared motors is actually comparable if not slightly higher than PF Ms. As such the performance is actually quite good: decent low speed torque, and the top speed isn't bad either. The second reduction stage could almost be 3:5 rather than 1:3, but these are all things to experiment on in the future. Other pics of the old and new unit, whenever the gallery is moderated, but that's it for this mini-project. Til next time.
  9. It's multitrack drifting!

    Pretty neat video... what software did you use to make it? How did you get the LEGO model out of whatever LEGO CAD program you used?
  10. MOC: Victorian Railways AE Passenger Car

    Nice. The greebles on the bogies are quite interesting. Clever use of that telephone piece.
  11. [WIP] 1:350 Scale Imperial Japanese Navy Kongo

    Thanks all, I put this here because I felt it met the guidelines, but if it doesn't please feel free to move it! Thanks for sharing @Edwin Korstanje... definitely been dragging my feet on the lower hull because I think it will be a pain, especially the rear end! How do you go about building your hulls... just a matter of guess and check or do you have a process?
  12. Hey folks, this is my first time doing a proper scale model that isn't a train, so I wanted to get some thoughts before progressing. Don't see too many ship models either, so hopefully adding some variety too! Kongo was one of four battlecruiser-turned-fast-battleships that served in the Imperial Japanese Navy in World War I and II. The lead ship of the class, Kongo was built in Britain between 1911 and 1913, upgraded many times throughout her life, and ultimately sunk by torpedo in late 1944. The prototype I am referencing is presumably of the ship as she looked around the time of her sinking: I'd been reluctant to try my hand at a ship because the complex curves of a hull appear to be very difficult to model well, but I've also been playing World of Warships for the past few years, and it's inspired me to try my hand at this. The Kongo is of course The Best Ship in The Game. Worrying about the shape of the hull seems to be unfounded so far... once I decided to build it studs-out, I just traced my drawing in plates and the curvature seems pretty smooth (warning this is a big picture). I've made a first pass at everything above the waterline at this point sans some internal structure. I'm building the upper and lower hull separately such that the ship can hopefully be displayed as a waterline model or as a complete model depending on the setting: Overall, most of the features of the ship are probably slightly too tall, but I'm generally pretty happy with the result so far. Any thoughts are appreciated!
  13. [MOC] Miscellaneous Train Projects

    Ha ha, sadly no, I'm from California. I built the P54/MP54s because they were contemporary to the T1 and short: longer passenger cars seemed like they'd be a little too awkward on R40 curves. It's somewhat by chance that they were also a PRR design, even though they would not have actually run with the T1. Thanks Zephyr! The T1 has also gotten a few upgrades over the years, though they are less drastic than those on the P54s. I'm actually looking at doing (better) PF drivetrains for my older unpowered locos, hopefully they will make a showing here if I can make them work!
  14. My locomotive builds.

    This is pretty sadly a common problem with many years of 9v wiring. We've been able to rewire some of the regular connectors, so it may be possible to rewire the track connectors as well. Haven't tried yet, though. Another solution is simply to solder a set of leads onto one piece of track and wire the other ends up to one of regular connectors. This is what our club does for 9v layouts and it's fairly robust.
  15. [MOC] Miscellaneous Train Projects

    Finally getting around to posting some of these... I've been doing a bunch of small projects this year that I don't feel warranty their own thread, so this thread is going to be a home for said small projects. PRR MP54 Some years ago I built a set of PRR P54 coaches to go with my PRR T1. At the time I thought a fun future project would be to convert the cars to MP54 spec - the EMU version of the same car. Well, the future is now! Over the past few years I've been trying to build trains using all of various the LEGO motors, and the PF train motor was still on my hit list. I don't like the PF train motor that much because it doesn't have any low-speed torque, and the wheel spacing hasn't been correct for anything I've made so far. Recently I remembered about the MP54, and I thought it would be the perfect application - fast and doesn't need a lot of torque. Here is one of the original P54s as built: And here is the MP54 conversion: Of course the main difference is that there is a battery box, receiver, and motor in the MP54, but I've also updated the original model over the years, most noticeably by slowly collecting all the frames and glass. Other minor changes include the addition of headlights and a more vanilla bogie design to match the PF motor frames. Of course you want to see it go: I was really entertained by how fast it goes! Usually I prefer gearing down such that you get more torque and less speed, but watching this zip along is a fun change of pace. The pulling power isn't actually all that bad either, but as expected, you need to be going pretty fast before the PF train motor is generating any torque. One more interesting thing is that I'm actually using BBB wheels on the PF motor instead of the usual tyred wheels. I originally tried with the official wheels, but I due to the low torque I felt like it was really bogging down in the corners, so I tried the BBBs. This is a much smoother configuration, and it doesn't feel like I'm losing all that much grip. It can definitely pull at least the other two P54s and maybe another car or two. Okay, more to come soon. Hopefully.