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Found 62 results

  1. alainneke

    TUTORIAL Custom power pickups

    What happens if you mix LEGO, black Delrin and some 0-gauge railroading stuff? Well, with the right tools you can make custom power pickups (no LEGO modification necessary). Here's how: Custom power pickup (parts) by alainneke, on Flickr From top left to right bottom: steel 0-gauge wheel, custom made insulated flanged bushing (which fits the steel wheel to a standard 2mm LEGO train axle), ball contact (rubs against backside of the wheel), spring (pushes the ball contact against the wheel), custom made flanged bushing (holds both the ball contact and spring and fits in a Technic hole), Technic brick, miniature connector. The steel wheel is manufactured by NWSL, the ball contacts come from a German website specialised in 0-gauge stuff and the connector is a standard Marklin connector cutted in half. The bushings are machined from an 8mm rod of Delrin on a mini-lathe (for the curious, a picture is in my photostream) and made to be a friction-fit to the wheel and Technic brick. Custom power pickup (partial assembled) by alainneke, on Flickr Putting these parts together, you get a train axle with steel wheels (both insulated from the axle) and a spring-loaded ball contact. Custom power pickup assembly by alainneke, on Flickr Combining these two, add a wheel holder and voila: a custom power pickup. Custom power pickup bogie by alainneke, on Flickr After soldering on some wires, I've fitted the pickups to one of the bogies of my Emerald Night tender. Emerald Night tender with steel weels by alainneke, on Flickr The diameter of the 0-gauge wheels is the same as the standard LEGO train wheels, but the flange is a lot smaller. This gives a nice clickety-clack on the turnouts, but can also lead to derailments. It turns out that the manufacturer of the steel wheels also makes 'pizza cutter' style wheels, and these have already been ordered... Emerald Night tender with steel wheels by alainneke, on Flickr The wires can be connected to the LiPo battery, a DCC chip, a PF motor, lights, ... The pickups actually work better than the ones on the original 9V motor: the wheels make contact with the railhead using the tread instead of just a little part of the flange. Please comment!
  2. soccerkid6

    Walk in the Snow

    Sir Glorfindel goes for a peaceful walk in the snow with his loyal husky. Snowy landscapes are one of my favorite things to build, and they are something you don’t see all that often in the LEGO community. I made this MOC to serve as a tutorial for snow-scapes. Hopefully it's helpful, and comments/suggestions for the build are welcome
  3. Hi everyone, I searched a lot and was surprised nobody has addressed the issue of extending and retracting the actuators in Lego Digital Designer OR I was unable to find it - be it through searching here, google, youtube or any other means. So I discovered a little trick to do this. If it already exists here in these forums, then I'm really sorry and please accept my apologies. The trick involves exporting the file to *.lxfml and editing the coordinates of sub-components of actuators manually with text editor and is easily doable by anyone without the need for expertise or special tools etc. Below is my video of this:
  4. Hey Eurobricks community. Just built a new alternate from the #31046 set and this time it's a Tumbler-ish concept car. I was really surprised that it's possible to create a vehicle with no yellow elements in the body since I thought that the inventory of the set is real tight. I couldn't not recreate every single detail in maximum accuracy because of the limited pallete, for example the rear part is a bit of freestyle but from the front and sideview the car looks really reminiscent with the original Tumbler. a link to video and some pictures with this alternate build. Thanks for watching!
  5. Microscale Tree Mini-tutorial This is a short tutorial showcasing a technique for building microscale trees. This technique was used to build most of the trees in my MOC Avalonian Countryside. The pieces needed are shown above. The centerpiece of the tree is the 6 stemmed plant piece (19119) which is essential for the design. The rest of the pieces are pretty standard, and some can be exchanged for other pieces. As seen on the 1x2 plate in the lower right, the plates need to have a little hole in the center column, as this will be attached to the stems. I believe the hole is pretty standard in pieces nowadays, but not sure for older pieces. First we put together the trunk. Nothing strange here, just attach the 1x1 round bricks to the telescope and put the plant piece on top. For the canopy we construct little building blocks that we will then hang on the stalks. These building blocks are easily constructed from 1x2 plates and a 2x2 plate as shown in the top right. We need three of these. We then proceed to hang these on the tree. They should hang on the 3 lower stems that are more horizontal. After hanging each part we will then secure it by attaching another 1x2 plate directly to the stem. This is done by inserting the stem into the little hole on the center column at the bottom of the plate. Our tree should now look as on the left. The next step is to add 1x2 plates to the top of the tree. These are again attached directly to the stems. I find they look best if placed in a kind of windmill pattern as shown in the center picture. We now have our completed tree as shown on the right. If all our trees look exactly the same, it won't look natural. So let's look at some modifications that can be made to break the pattern. Some of these modifications can also help if you are short on certain parts, or want to use colors that doesn't have certain elements. First some variations of the trunk. Instead of the standard telescope trunk, we could use technic connectors. It gives a thicker, straighter trunk, but is a bit more complicated to connect to your build. Another option is to use a regular bar, which gives a very thin trunk. We can also just use straight up 1x1 round bricks, and possibly mix in some 1x1 round plates in the mix. This works well if we want to do a tree with shifting colors, like a birch or similar. There are also endless possibilities to modify the canopy. Instead of building an anchor shape from 1x2 plates we can more round plates as in the top left. For colors like olive green we can't use a 2x2 round plate, but can instead use a 3x4 leaf element. The leaf is then hung from the top right hole of the leaf element. We can also just alter the orientation of the regular design, as shown in the bottom left, where we have put the anchor shape on the right side. It is a very small change, but still helps break the pattern. Also just want to point out that the 6 stem piece does come in different colors, so if you are building a canopy in dark orange, you may want to use a 6 stem piece in dark orange as well, as the green can sometimes be seen through the canopy. Some examples of what the finished trees may look like. There are lots of other ways to build trees like this, so just go ahead and try different things. If you lack a piece for something, just try replacing it with something else. It might just end up even better :) Happy building!
  6. Peteris_Sprogis

    [MOC] #legocity street racer

    how to build tutorial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AEqqHW02Cc Thanks for watching!
  7. Full Plate

    Axe Tree Tutorial

    Hi everyone! So, awhile back I created a new technique for making trees from axes and droid arms - the axe tree! I have since been asked numerous times how these are built, but as the building process is quite complex I decided that a tutorial would be the best way to explain it. This is that tutorial and hopefully it will all be explained here :) So if you want to try to build one of these trees - keep reading! Feel free to ask questions or give general feedback on the tutorial in the comments, either here or on the relevant pictures on Flickr. Enjoy :) First, let's take a look at what we need. The different types of pieces needed are shown in the picture. Tree bark: 500 x Droid Arm (30377) (dark brown) 200 x Axe (3835) (black) Building guides: 12 x Round Brick 1x1 (3062b) (brown, black or dark brown) 12 x Cone 1x1 (4589b) (brown or black) 12 x Bar 4L (30374) (black) 30 x Round Plate 1x1 (4073) 3 x Plate 4x4 (3031) (any color) 2 x Plate 6x6 (3958) (any color) 8 x Jumper Plate 1x2 (3794b) (any color) 1 x Jumper Plate 2x2 (87580) (any color) Support structure: 1 x Plate 2x2 (3022) (any color) 1 x Cone 3x3x2 (6233) (black) 5 x Technic Connector #2 (32034) (black) 5 x Technic Connector #3 (32034) (black) 15 x Technic Connector 2L (6538c) (black) 2 x Technic Connector Triple (10288) (dark brown) 25 x Technic Axle 2L (32062) (black) 2 x Technic Axle 3L (4519) (black) 2 x Technic Axle Pin 3L (18651) (black) 2 x Technic Connector with Axle Hole (32039) (black) 10 x Hinge Cylinder (30552) (black) 10 x Hinge Plate 1x2 (60471) (black) 10 x Bar 1L with Clip Mechanical Claw (48729) (black) Foliage: 150-200 x Leaves 5x6 (2417) (any color) 10+ x Plate 1x2 (3023) (same as leaves or black or dark brown) Now this is only a rough list of what we need. Many of the items are not strictly needed and can usually be replaced by something similar or even omitted altogether. The droid arms and axes are obviously critical to the tree design. The droid arms are not exchangeable, but the axes can be replaced by regular bars if desired. Axes are a lot cheaper than bars, but is somewhat more limited in terms of color. The axes also gives a different texture to the tree. If you do use bars, 3L bars are the easiest to replace with, but also the most expensive. 4L and 6L bars can also be used, but this will alter the design process significantly. The 6L bars also have the little protruding rings which further complicates things. I would go with axes :) The items for the support structure can be varied depending on how you want to design your tree. The items listed are what is needed to build the particular design in this tutorial, but as these elements are generally cheap I would advise to get hold of a range of technic connectors with different angles so you can design trees in whatever shape you would like. For the the foliage you can choose whatever color you would like. In this tutorial we will be using green and dark green. If you for some reason would like to use 3x4 leaves that is also possible, but I certainly prefer to work with 5x6 leaves and will not be using them in this tutorial. That is it for pieces. Let's start building! So how are these trees built? The tree basically consists of a support structure, “dressed up” with bark. The bark is essentially tubes built from just droid arms and axes. Tubes can be built in different sizes. I will refer to a tube's size as the number of axes in the circumference of the tube. That is, if a full circle of a tube has 8 axes, it is size 8. The picture shows tubes of sizes 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24. They can be built in other sizes as well, but multiples of 4 are easier to build. Size 8 is the absolute smallest that can be built though and the upper limit is somewhere around 28 or 32. First we will have a look at how to build the bark. In order to build the bark tubes we need to first build guides, which make the assembling process simpler. These guides are not part of the tree itself, and will be removed at the end of the process. We will have to build different guides depending on the size of the tube being built. The picture shows the bottom plates for guides of sizes 8, 12, 16, 20 and 24. We need one of each of these, so go ahead and build them :) In order to use the guides we build little pillars that we put on the guide plates. These are the connection points for the tubes and are simple to build. We need 6 of these for now. We'll start by building a size 24 tube as this will be the bottom part of the trunk, so go ahead and attach the pillars to the guide plate. This is one of the main building blocks for the tubes. We will be building a lot of these. The orientation of the bend of the droid arm is important. I also think it is a good idea to connect the thicker side of the droid arm to the axe. This is because it makes for easier connection to the rest of the tube, as the thinner side needs less force to clip on. Another thing to note is that the point on the axe we connect to is thinner on one side, so the droid arm needs to be connected perpendicular to the axe blade as shown, or it will not stick. Go ahead and build 6 of these for now. Now we connect these to the guide as shown above. I find it easier to connect them pointing outwards as on the image on the left and then just rotate them in once I've attached all of them. Do pay attention to the orientation of the droid arm bend. The result should look like the image on the right. Now for something similar, yet different. We now connect the droid arm at the other end of the axe. Again, pay attention to the orientation of the bend of the droid arms. We need 6 of these as well. Now things get slightly more complicated. We need to connect these on the guide just above where we connected the previous parts. But we will attach it from the opposite side, and the bend will also need to go behind the axe that we previously connected. Do zoom in on the left picture to get a good idea of how it is connected. We will then proceed and connect all of the six blocks the same way. The end result is seen in the middle picture, and from above in the right picture. At this point there are only two steps left to building the bark tube. These can be repeated as many times as we want to get a tube of desired length. The first step of the two is basically the same as what we did in the beginning. Attach another 6 droid arms to axes as in the left picture. We again attach these to the structure, but this time we connect to one of the axes rather than to the pillars. This requires a more careful touch and we need to apply counter pressure on the axe we attach to or things may fall off. Note that the bend of the droid arms goes behind the bar of the pillar as seen in the middle picture. We will go ahead and do the same with the other 5 and the end result should be like the picture on the right. Time for the second repeatable step. This is probably the most challenging, and the most finger-pain-inducing ;) What we do is that we connect 6 droid arms to bars/axes all around the tube. The left picture shows how one of these are connected. Now, in order to accomplish this connection I usually connect the droid arm to the bar on the left first, and then actually just push the other side of the droid arm down onto the shorter bar. This process is shown in the middle and right pictures. Make sure you attach the thicker part of the droid arm to the bar on the left as it is easier to push down the thinner clip. In subsequent repetitions of this step we will be pushing down onto axes rather than onto the pillars like here. This means we need to apply counter pressure with the thumb at the bottom of the axe we attach to, or the axe may slide down instead of the clip connecting to it. On the plus side, axes tend to have a rounded end which makes pushing down the clip on it easier. If you are confused about which two bars you should connect with the droid arms, just remember that the droid arms should be connected so that it goes behind the bar that is currently the tallest. Once you have connected one, figuring out the other 5 will be easy. Ok, so now we have reached the repetition stage. From here on out we just repeat the steps shown in the two previous images until we get the length we want on our tube. The top left, top right and bottom left, shows result of the next 1, 2 and 3 steps respectively, while the bottom right is the finished tube. Note that as we build the tube higher the axes tend to want to pull inwards. This is fine, and is because the bottom guide plate doesn't match the natural size of the tube completely. The same goes for the pillars which tend to want to bend a bit to the sides, which is quite visible in some of the pictures. We don't have to force them to stand straight, it is fine if they are a bit crooked. The pillars are there to help with the building, not to force it into a certain position. So there we go! A full size bark tube :) Now, let's take a quick look at the support structure that goes inside the bark tube. It is pretty simple and is built by technic connector elements. These do not connect to the tube pieces, but rather the tubes either hangs or leans on the support structure. As mentioned, the guides are not usually part of the tree. However, for the bottom part of the tree, a guide plate actually makes for a good connection point to the rest of our build. So we will leave the bark tube attached to the guide for the bottom tube. In the pictures the structure is shown without the bark tube to more clearly show how it is connected to the plate of the guide. Next we will attach this inside the tube we just built. Just attach the support structure inside the tube. Plain and simple! Now, this particular attachment of the support structure is adequate for smaller trees, but if you would like to build something bigger, or just want more stability (always a good thing) another, more sturdy, way is shown next. Or you can just skip ahead to the following picture :) This is an alternative, and more stable connection for the support structure. The downside is that you will have to use a different plate than the one used to build the bottom tube on, which means we have to detach the bark tube when it is done and then reattach it on top of this instead. It also has only 4 connection points, which means 2 pillars will be unconnected. It adds a lot of stability to the support structure though, and I would advise using something like this if you are building big trees. The added complexity is worth it. Now, whatever your choice, we need more bark tubes for the tree, so let's build them. First we will build a size 20 tube that goes directly on top of the size 24 one. The building process is very similar to the size 24 tube, except we are using a different guide plate with only 5 pillars on it. The other steps are essentially the same, so let's just go ahead and start building :) As you can see, the size 20 tube suffers from the same desire to bend inwards as well as the pillars wanting to bend slightly sideways. Again, this is fine so don't worry about it :) We will be building this tube a bit taller than the size 24 one. This is to make the tree look more natural as the thickness of real trees tend to have a higher rate of change close to the roots. The tube on the right is the result of 6 repetitions of the two building steps. We will now detach the tube from the guide. First, we gently pull the pillars from the plate, which will result in something like the picture on the left. The bottom plate and pillars may need some slight repairs afterwards. Second, we want to pull out the pillars from the tube. This should be done without harming the tube itself, which can sometimes be a challenge. The way I do it is to put my thumbnail in between the pillar and the first droid arm attached to it, and then pull gently. The result is shown in the next picture. Now, for each pillar you pull out, you will notice something loosening and perhaps even falling out. This is as it should be, and these pieces should be removed. The results of pulling out all the pillars can be seen on the right. You may have noticed that the axe heads on the tube points somewhat straight out, which definitely looks strange. In order to give the bark a smoother surface we now need to rotate all those axe heads in towards the bark. The axes can be rotated in two directions though, so which direction do we choose? We actually alternate the direction :) This is because the axe heads are lined up in a diagonal fashion around the bark and it will look unnatural if we just push all the axe heads in the same direction. If we instead alternate, we will break the diagonal pattern, and instead we will have “patches” of axe heads here and there on the bark. There is still a pattern to it, but it is not very noticeable. Pushing in the axe heads may sometimes make the axe a bit looser. This is because the side of axe handle is smaller on the sides, so the clip attaching right under the axe head will not be firmly connected once we rotate the axe. However, since the tubes are quite sturdy it will generally hold together well anyway. The exception is the end parts of the tube, where an axe may fall off completely if we rotate it. So at the ends we just rotate the axes to whatever direction will still hold the tube together. It is time to add the completed size 20 tube to our tree. But we want to make sure it is somewhat stable and doesn't wobble around too much. To do this we attach two 1x1 round plates on each side of the support structure as shown on the left. This will help hold the tube in its right place. We then add the tube to the tree. Make sure you put it in with the axe heads pointing down. Also, try to get the two tubes to interlock as much as possible. This is not that easy, as a size 20 doesn't line up that well with a size 24, but by trying different positions and applying a little bit of force it is usually possible to make the two sit quite closely on top of each other. It is even possible to attach some of the loose droid arms of the top tube to some of the axes of the bottom tube, but usually just 1 or 2. In the end, there will usually be a bit of a gap between the tubes on one side of the tree and you may feel it doesn't look that nice. Don't despair! We will deal with that later :) Do also note the result of the axe head rotations on the tube in the picture on the right. Let's add some branching to our tree to make it nicer :) To do this we will use the triple technic connector shown on the left. We just attach it at the top on the support structure and it should look some like the picture on the right. Apart from adding branches this also helps the stability of the tree as the triple connector will press down on the top tube, holding it in place. If the height of the tubes are right that is :) From this stage onwards we may have to do some small tweaking here and there. This tree is not built with exact and precise connections, and each tree we build will be different. So don't be afraid to change things up if they don't fit as well as you would like. Even if the tree collapses, the tubes themselves are very sturdy and you can easily rebuild the support structure and add the tubes back. A little side note. There are many ways to create branching of the tree. On this tree we used the triple connector, which branches equally on both sides, which is good for the balance of the tree. Another way to branch can be seen above. This creates one branch on one side while letting the main trunk continue straight upwards. In general, the technic connectors allows you to design your tree pretty much the way you like, so feel free to experiment with it :) As our tree has branched, we should again make the bark thinner. We start by making a size 16 tube. This will be the continuation of the main trunk. Again, the process of building the tube remains essentially the same. Just use the guide for the size 16 tube and get building :) The result is in the bottom right. We also need a tube that will be our branch. We will make that one size 12 so it is thinner than the main trunk. I am not even going to show you the process of building a size 12 tube, as it is, again, essentially the same as all other tubes we've built. The result is shown on the left. We now have two tubes that are ready to be added to the tree. Before we move on though, I would recommend that you stabilize the base of the tree a bit. As we are adding branches the tree can become a bit lopsided so go ahead and add some extra plates or something down there for support, just in case. Better safe than sorry :) Now that we don't have to worry about toppling our tree anymore, let's add to our tree. On the right we will build a bend upwards as this will be the side where the main trunk continues. We will then put the size 16 tube there as seen on the right. Try to get it as far down as possible, to avoid getting too many cracks, though some cracks in the bark are inevitable and will be remedied later. Time to put the size 12 tube on the left branch. Wow, that looks great! Fits like a glove ;) So what is wrong? There are actually two problems here. Firstly, the internal radius of the size 12 tubes, as well as size 8 tubes, are too narrow to allow connector elements with pin holes through. The only connector that fits it is the straight smooth one (element 6538c), so let's go ahead and build the left branch out of these instead. We do also have another problem though, and that is that the shape of the tube doesn't allow it to fit very well against the other tubes. So what do we do? We need to shape the tube in order to make it fit better. Shaping the tube basically means that we pull out some axes and droid arms to give the end of the tube a shape that fits better with our tree. In the left picture I have removed 2-3 layers of droid arms and a couple of axes on one side. When doing this there will inevitably be some loose droid arm ends. This is fine, just move them so they fit with the shape we're trying to accomplish. We then try to put the tube on again, with the longer part of the edge on the top. The result is a that the tube fits much better with the tree as seen on the right. There are probably still some cracks here and there around the branching point, but it is fine for now :) In order to add leaves to the tree later we need to add some connection points for the leaf elements. The connection point is easily built as shown on the left and is then attached to another triple connector. We then add this to the right side of the tree, and we now have a leaf connection point :) We need leaves on the left side as well, but here we will use a different technique. First, let's add another connector with a slight bend upwards as seen on the top left. We then create a leaf connection point that we can connect to the pinhole of the technic connector. If you happen to have any 41532 elements lying around you can use them instead (this is what I ended up using in the bottom right which is why it is not protruding as much). For the end of the branches we need some very thin tubes. These are the size 8 tubes, which are the smallest ones you can make with this technique. What is that you say? The technique for size 8 tubes are essentially the same as all other tubes? Good guess, but umm... no :) Well, it's pretty similar, except for one main difference: the orientation of the droid arm bends are all reversed! This means the droid arms will bend outwards instead of inwards as is the case in all the other tubes. Other than that the process is just like the others. Building the size 8 should be pretty easy, and since it is only two droid arms per layer they are very quick to build. The end result is seen on the right. We need two of these btw :) Remember that the size 8 tubes also can only fit the smooth, straight connectors, so we will build the inner structure with those here. We would also like to attach leaves at the end of the branches, so let's add some leaf connection points at the top of the size 8 tubes before we add them to the tree as seen in the top left. The hinges with axle hole can be put right on top of the axle handles. Another version is to use element 32039 to get a different angle, this can be seen on the left branch in the right picture. On the main trunk we will first add another size 12 tube (yes, we need to build one more) before putting on the size 8 on top. Let's also add a connection point to the main trunk similar to the one added halfway up the left branch, that is, above the size 12 tube but below the size 8 tube. This time though, we will have it pointing to the back, so we can have leaves all around the tree. This is shown in the bottom left. Now things are starting to look like a proper tree, kind of :) But the leaf connection on the extreme right looks a bit too bare. Let's do something about that. We will build another really short size 8 tube that is to be attached on the rightmost little branch. Now it looks less bare. Also we add some more leaf connections at the very top of the tree. And, that's it! What do you think? Pretty ugly isn't it? ;) There are quite a few holes in the bark here and there. Don't worry, we will deal with that later. Or... maybe not :O We'll see! You may also have noted that I did not take my own advice to stabilize the bottom plate. That cost me dearly as my tree toppled over when I was halfway through building the foliage. No fun :P So, do stabilize it :) Ok, this is actually my favourite part of the tree building, since this is when the tree actually starts looking like a proper tree. It can also be one of the more frustrating parts, as foliage can be quite fragile, and it can sometimes be very hard to reach places where you want to add more leaves. Whatever the case, it is certainly a crucial step to tree building. I have chosen to work with green and dark green for this tree. If you would like to use other colors, by all means, go ahead. I'm quite fond of the dark orange / dark red combination myself :) We also need some droid arms for the foliage assembly. We start with the darker colour, as these will be the leaves shadowed by the others. A good way to start is to just connect a leaf element to each stud of the connection points. It is not shown in the picture, but at this point we should also put a 1x2 plate of the same colour as the leaves over the two studs where the leaves are connected. This will help keep the leaf elements in place. Now before adding more leaves I will show the method used to give volume to the foliage. Just attaching leaves to each other will give a very flat feel to the foliage, and it generally doesn't look natural. Real foliage has volume, and in order to achieve this, we either need to build loads of connection point for leaves all over the tree, which is not really possible with this technique. Or, we can create a vertical distance between leaf elements to generate more layers of leaves. We use droid arms for this. The droid arms can be attached to the “beams” of the leaf elements, and we can then attach another leaf element on the other end of the droid arms. Using two droid arms in parallel helps create a more stable connection between the two. Apart from creating a distance between the leaves this also gives the option of putting the leaves at different inclinations, which helps preventing the foliage from looking layered. You can also have the top leaf be turned 45 degrees compared to the bottom one, by attaching it to different “beams” as shown the right picture. In general, anything that helps the foliage look less structured is good. We are trying to create an organic looking tree here. As a last note, I want to say that there are loads of other ways to build a nice foliage, and this is just one of many ways to do it. If you prefer to do it some other way, please go ahead :) Ok, back to building the foliage! Here we have first connected a few more leaf elements to the first ones we added. After that we use the droid arm method to created a few more layers to the tree, both above and below the leaves we already have. More leaves have been added. Try to keep it balanced, and add more where things look sparse. But don't add too many layers upwards just yet. That is what the lighter color leaves are for. Around 50-75 leaves of the darker colour should be enough before switching to the lighter hue. Now we'll start using the lighter color leaves. I just wanted to begin by showing this. As we now have already quite a number of leaves on the tree, things start to get more fragile. Attaching new leaves gets harder, especially when doing it with droid arms. So what I usually do it build them like this before attaching them. Do note that the thicker part of the droid arms is the one we attach to the leaf. This will then be attached on top of one of the darker leaves as we see fit. We will also need to support the bottom of the darker leaf while attaching, or things may fall apart. Here we have created a couple of new layers with lighter leaves on top of the darker ones. If you find it hard to connect these (and you probably will in the beginning), try to attach them at an angle, and when attached you can then adjust them as you'd like. It is hard to explain, but as you keep building you will get the hang of it :) Here we have added a lot of leaves on the right side of the tree. Once we have attached a leaf with droid arms we can just add more leaves to it by connecting normally with studs. Don't be afraid to create long chains of leaves like this. If the leaves bend downwards from the weight that's fine, it gives a nice curvature to the leaves and helps to make it look less structured. We can also attach some lighter leaves on top of the darker ones directly by studs. Now the foliage is pretty much done. There are probably 75-100 elements of the lighter colour used here. Note the layers and different degrees of inclination, which help give the tree a fuller look by obstructing the view through the foliage. At this point I have also learnt from my mistakes and created a more stable base :) Some closeups of the foliage to get an idea of what is going on. Ok, so we are pretty much done. But how about those cracks and gaps in the trunk that I mentioned we'd fix later? Well, at this point many of those are already either obscured by the foliage or they are no longer noticeable since the contrast between foliage and trunk is so much bigger. That being said, there are usually some things that need fixing. In the case of this tree it was at the branching points, which is often the case. At certain angles you can see through the tree, which is certainly not desirable. So how do we fix the cracks in the trunk? We fill them up with stuff :) Essentially we can use anything that fits and sticks in black or dark brown color. Axes, droid arms or any combination of the two work well. I also like to use the little short bars with clips on them. Four of those can be assembled into a little ball that you can stick into little holes and crevices in the bark. Do note that pieces added this way have a tendency to fall out when the tree is moved. So use it sparsely, or make sure that the added pieces are firmly stuck. That's it! We are done with the tree and this is the final result :) Now all we have to do is build a landscape to add the tree to. Here is an example of a landscape built around the tree. Landscaping is beyond the scope of this tutorial though :) Some thoughts on this technique: I have built quite a number of these trees since I developed the technique about a year ago, and though I do think it's aesthetically pleasing, I find that the instability of it limits its usage quite a bit. It's fine for just having and photographing, but bringing it to exhibitions is quite risky. I also think there are a lot of improvements that can be done to it, in particular when it comes to the supporting structure and foliage. With all the awesome technic builds I see floating around, I'm sure there are plenty of people who have the knowhow to significantly improve the stability of the design. I'd definitely be interested to hear thoughts and ideas on how to improve both the technique and the tutorial itself, as this is my first time writing one. And I'd love to see any trees you all build :) Happy building!
  8. Professor 'SteampunkDoc' here, and welcome to “Creating a Brick Flick: Part 1 - Pre Production.” This lesson will guide you through the very basics of making the perfect brick flick. Required Equipment: Patience/Time-Yeah, you’ll need a lot of both. Trust me. Computer-Just powerful enough to run the frame-capture software and some basic video/audio programs.You don't need anything super-fancy. Camera-Either a webcam advanced enough to enable manual controls, or a fancy digital camera/DSLR. Phone or tablet cameras are not recommended, and need software that’s $50USD just to adjust the settings and keep them on manual. (DarkDragon has done a tutorial on choosing a Camera, and you really should check it out.) Software- Frame capture programs are highly recommended, but only come free for webcams. They aren’t needed, with digital cameras, but lacking this step makes things a lot more difficult. MonkeyJam and Helium Frog are both used a lot, but also a bit buggy. Video software-Windows Movie Maker/iMovie, they’re super-basic, but free. And if used right, the results don’t look that bad. There are some really good and quite cheap video programs though, as long as you don’t mind sinking a bit of cash for a much better experience. (Sony Vegas Platinum 11 for one.) Audio software- If you plan on recording/mixing audio, plan on getting Audacity. It’s free, and beats out most paid programs. Individual frames-Photoshop or GIMP.-This isn’t usually needed unless you’re masking. Effects software-Don’t plan on spending any money on effect programs unless you want to spend several hundred dollars. Most everything can be done with a basic video editor and/or a photo editor. But don’t worry about the rest, you probably won’t start out with a Lego version of The Avengers complete with a CGI New York. And getting cool effects in-camera is nearly as effective, and a whole lot more fun. A Good Shooting Setup- You want a dark, closed-off room if possible. Plus a few lamps, an open desk, a wall, and a bunch of Lego. It’s pretty much the same as a normal MOC photography setup, but without an open door or windows letting any light in. LESSON #1: PRE-PRODUCTION THINKING UP AN IDEA So, you wanna make a brick flick, but you have got a problem. You don’t quite know where to start. Getting a basic idea is often one of the hardest parts. Normally these things start out as nothing more than a short thought, so if you ever get something that may be a cool idea, write it down. You may not use it for years, but you sure don’t want to forget it. And don't worry if the first thing thing pops into your head won't work. For that matter, I don't recommend going with your very first idea. Let it change, evolve and develop a bit before moving on. While I started out with a tale about a fiendish fish, that slowly evolved into a fiendish fisherman story, and that then evolved into the final tale of a frustrated fisherman. So, my final, finished idea could be stated like this: "A comedy short detailing the antics of a frustrated fisherman." GETTING A GOOD TITLE After you get an idea, you need a title. Of course, things such as titles can and often do change throughout production, but it’s a lot easier to organize the various elements if you have something to file them all under. You want your title to be catchy, not too long, and not too basic. Remember, when scrolling in a forum, people will only see two things about your film. The creator’s name, and the film title. And if you aren’t already famous and popular, you’ll have to rely solely on the title to bring viewers in. Here are some tips: Don’t name your film “Lego Star Wars-Clone Attack”-Why? It’s an AFOL site, so we know it’s Lego. Having the theme listed is an over-used trick to get more views and usually results in the film being written off as "N00b-ish" without it ever being seen. Lego Star Wars films are notorious for being the first thing new animators do, and are generally regarded as being on average lower quality than other shorts. Something like “The Destruction of Tatooine” sounds a lot more professional, and still gets the basic point across. It’s obviously Star Wars, and “Destruction” is a bit more ambiguous, and a lot more interesting than “Clone attack.” Keep your title creative and matching the film’s tone- Unless you purposely want to evoke a parody/comedy tone right off of the bat, you don’t want to have a title like: “Whatshisname and the Quest for the Golden Treasure of King Whatshisface in the land of Whoreallycares Part 2: The Temple of Obnoxiousness.” It can make a great title for a fun goofy film, but not for an R-rated ‘hack ‘n’ slash’ brickflick. If you want viewers to take your film seriously, show them that with a good title like “Unprofitable” “The Profession” or “How to Not Rob a Bank.” These hint a bit about the film’s content, but also get you thinking about it even before you’ve clicked the link. They’re also at least somewhat memorable. Generally short one word titles go with serious thrillers, but most movies don’t have more than a few words unless there is a really good reason for it. (Source material’s title, part of a franchise, Ect…) For my fisherman story, it’s going to be a comedy, so I’ll reflect that in a catchy, fun, and alliterated title: “Fred the Fed-up Frustrated Fisherman.” This gives viewers an idea behind the setting, (Cartoon-y) characters (Fred) and what the plot may be about. (Fred’s frustration) FLESHING THINGS OUT So, you have a title, and an idea. Next, you need a script. And this starts with fleshing out those original ideas. What is the basic story you want to tell? With Fred, I want him to have a bad day, give up on fishing, and then do something spectacular to redeem himself. Make a full character circle really. Hinckley has some fantastic lessons on the subject of creating and fleshing out characters and their stories, so if you haven’t, go check those out. (Lesson #1, and #2.) Anyway, our protagonist Fred will go through an arc in this. First, happily fishing, then getting mad, then giving up, sulking, and finally somehow doing something that will redeem himself. I also need to establish the other characters, like Fred’s rival, but if you’ve taken Hinckley’s lessons you should already know how to do that. This step is just a personal preference, but I also tend to write out, or at least think up the basic actions of the short before the actual scripting. For example: SCRIPTING So, I’ve got all that established and now it’s time to write a script. There are many, many different ways of writing/formatting a script. The more official, professional way is below, but if you’re just going to keep it to yourself, it doesn’t have to be this fancy. (But in the assignment it does.) Int. or Ext. PLACE, TIME Here goes a short but useful description of the setting, characters or important objects in the scene. This also includes any movements. SPEAKING CHARACTER’S NAME: What they say. SPECIAL TRANSITONS LIKE “FADE TO_” OR “CUT TO BLACK.” For example: There are also special dialogue markings such as “(V.O.) for a voice-over, and the little used (O.S.) for off-screen. I also recommend numbering each scene, such as adding “Scene #1” at the top of the example. It helps to keep things organized, and keep things straight during non-chronological filming. STORYBOARDING Once the script is done, you move on to storyboarding. This is a bit more controversial step, and not everybody does it. Well, not everybody does it physically. Some prefer to do this step all in their head, but it’s better to do real storyboards. Now, storyboards are somewhat similar to a comic, they are still frames/drawings that show what will be happening in that frame, where the camera will be pointing, and some basic details about that shot. They can range from simple sketches, to full-blown CGI renders. They could even be still shots of the set and characters. Their purpose is to give the animator a good idea of what will need to be in the shot, how much set needs to be built, and what movements will be performed. Here is an example of one of my hideous storyboards: (Click for larger size) As you can see, my drawing is horrendous, but hopefully you can still recognize what it is showing. Now, you don’t have to draw out your storyboards, you can instead render them in LDD, export the photos, and then add the text. Of course, while this looks a lot better, and is more clear and detailed, it takes a lot more time. Some people storyboard EVERYTHING, others only do the action sequences, and others don’t do it at all and only keep basic info in their head. It’s a preference thing, but it’s also very useful. You’re more than welcome to find what works best for you in all of this. Some storyboard, some don’t. Some can sit down and write a script without ever writing down an idea, and some don’t think up a title until the film is about to be released. You are more than welcome to experiment and find what works best for yourself. Only, you have to wait until after the test to do that. ASSIGNMENT: Find and write down a basic original idea. (No Licensed short this time, sorry.) Write this idea down in two sentences or less. And remember, your very first idea may not be what you end up with. At this stage, you want the ideas to evolve along. Just post the final idea that you decided on. Expand on your idea; write a paragraph or two detailing all the actions/events that will take place in your short. I’d like it to contain at least two locations, at least two talking characters. Get a good title, again, this can evolve along later, but you need something good to file everything under. Write your script. It doesn’t have to be long, a page or two is all that is necessary. And you don't want it too long, as you'll be animating it later. And finally, storyboard the entire thing. Present the above information in a new topic with the title of “Creating a Brick Flick: Part 1 - Pre Production”(You’ll need to post the idea, script, title, and storyboards.) The assignment will be graded on the creativity of the idea/script, naturalness of the dialogue, and overall quality of the work. Feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.
  9. Hellow everyone ! I'm new here. I just want to ask if anyone know that where I can find any tutorial video or webpage of the “open projects” in Wedo 2.0. I just can find some advertising videos about Wedo 2.0 online. Thanks a lot!
  10. Peteris_Sprogis

    [MOC] City Octan delivery VAN

    Octan delivery VAN with smooth body lines and good cargo capacity >> How to build video >> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxXrOMP_MXc Thanks for watching!
  11. I will let the pictures do the talking >>> + a video tutorial how to build one Yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=www.youtube.com/watch?v=va26M29tGCE Thanks for watching! #keeponbricking !!!
  12. Legostone

    Tutorial: Building Masts

    Hello everyone! As nobody else seems to be interested in making a tutorial for building masts, I'll have to do it myself! If you happen to have more techniques for making masts or just want to thank me for it - off course only after reading the full tutorial - go ahead and either show them or do what you think is necessary! This topic is just about building the masts, not the ship, ship, sails, sails, sails or the rigging, all those have separate topics. If you feel like there is something missing from this topic just tell me. Edit 1: Further tricks to stabilise connections between mast sections by Ejred: click here So, lets start: Lets begin in the year 1989. The Black Seas Barracuda just got released. It contains some interesting pieces, which I'll show first: Some of these parts were released later, but still fit well with these masts. Lets see what one could do with these masts: One could simply combine the different Mast sections, or: Stack them above each other. Could also be combined with another technique I show later on. Then there are the new Mast parts - first released with the 4+ Pirate ship which can also be combined with other techniques: And, as expected, one can just stack these above each other: I'll not show more of these, if anyone wants to show all the possibilities these give you go ahead! Now, on to parts that are useful to custom Mast building: Technic axles. There are also a 16 stud long one and a 32 stud long one, I didn't put those on this picture though. Technic bushes. All kinds of them. These can be combined to form the upper part of a mast: Just lengthen these sections and put them ontop of your bottom mast part - or use them where ever you see them fit. If you want to reinforce the round ones you can use flex tubes: Which are available in many colours and length, but they are, as the name suggests, flexible. Other parts that can be used for masts are these: I'll go into more detail with the 2x2 and 4x4 round ones now, as those are the most interesting ones for the biggest part of the mast. One can use a 32 long technic axle to get a decently sized mast going. But what if that isn't enough? Or maybe that is not exactly the length you want? Then the next part might be the solution for you: For this example we'll use two sections of 15 2/3 studs height and 3 platforms; this technique can be applied to any sensible size. I recommend at least two platforms to make it sturdy though. As you can see a 32 stud long axle is not exactly fitting for this kind of mast - the mast would just break of right above it. So, you ask, what do we use instead? Flex tubes? Those are both flexible and not exactly cheap to acquire in decent length - and you might even have to cut them. No, we'll use this instead: You need some round 1x1 plates in a colour that doesn't clash with your existing design, a pair of scissors (which won't be used to cut pieces nor will it be build into the mast), a technic pin, a technic axle of your choice (I'm using an 8 stud long one here, but you can use any length you like and a bit of string with a diameter of around 1mm. Warning! If you use this technique the technic pin and maybe one of the 4x4 round bricks with technic holes might be damaged. Next you take a bit of string that is a bit longer than your mast: I've taken a bit to much here, but rather take to much than to little. Next, you tie it to the technic pin: It just needs to be tied around in a way that the string won't move away if you pull on the string. Then you just pull it through your mast: Note: the technic pin is at the upper end, not connected to anything, just hanging there. Now you put the mast back together and pull the string tight. Next we use the technic axle to fix the string at the bottom and also give us a way to mount this mast really securely in our ship. Don't cut off the remains of the string just jet. While pushing the technic axle in, pull a bit on the string. Now, the part which might hurt some of you: You have to pull the string (which you just tightened with the axle) around to insert the technic pin into one of the pin holes on the round 4x4 brick with pinholes. Don't losen the technic axle for this, the string is a tiny bit flexible which should still allow this. Now that we've done this, it is time to check if this mast is already strong enough for our course: Well, this isn't strong enough for me(it might be for some of you - this already takes a bit of force), so lets go on and use some of those round 1x1 plates that I said to have ready: You see this gap? That is where you'll place your 1x1 round plates. It doesn't exactly matter if you go side by side or around, just place 4 of them. It should look like this now: In my case, this was sturdy enough. If it isn't in your case, just add those plates to the top platform too. Note: There are alternative solutions to the technic pin; for me it is the easiest solution - especially as both parts at risk are quite cheap. I've given some examples at how to built the upper mast, but if you feel like adding more examples go for it - I don't know everything about masts either. Also, excuse the bad lighting in some of these pictures - I hope everything is still well visible.
  13. Dunkleosteus

    Custom Hull Tutorial

    Tutorial https://www.flickr.c...../<br /><br />
  14. Posting Deeplinked Images from Brickshelf A Tutorial Welcome! Posting an image on Eurobricks is easy, as long as you know where it is. If you already know how to locate the proper URL (address) of your image, skip to step 6 to learn how to post it. When that image is stored on Brickshelf, it's absolutely necessary to get the exact address where the picture is stored before trying to post it. The only way to do that is through deeplinking, which also makes it possible to show images before their folder has been moderated, an added advantage. Fortunately, it's simple: just follow these easy steps. NOTE: These images were taken from Firefox. Different browsers may look different, but the steps involved are the same. 1. Go to www.brickshelf.com and log in to your account. The red circle indicates where to log in. If the file isn't yours, find the account of the user you wish to share the picture from and go there instead. The blue circle offers two ways to search for the user or image. 2. Click the folder that the image is stored in. If it is in a subfolder, click that and keep navigating until you see a thumbnail (tiny image) of the picture you want, then move to the step 3. 3. Find the picture you want to show in your post and click it. 4. You should now see the picture you want. After you click it again, it will look like Step 5. 5. Copy the URL (location) of the image from the address bar of your browser, which is shown here circled in red. The easiest way is to rightclick and select "copy". If you know how to post an image, you can skip the rest and go use the URL you just copied. Good job! 6. Return to the post you are editing and press the "Insert Image" icon. Paste the URL from earlier in the new box. In this example, you're about to post a sigfig to the "Your Sig-fig" thread. 7. Finish your post and submit it. All done! You've now added a deeplinked picture to your post. Congratulations!
  15. This tutorial shows how to increase the firmness of your LEGO tires! If your Mindstorms or Technic creation is pushing the tires down like a flat tire due to heavy weight, or if you want less rolling resistance from squishy tires, you've come to the right place! I hope this tutorial is a big help! NOTE: You will have to search around for the right size, depending on the tire. One size does not fit all. Typically, foam inserts from 1/16 scale RC vehicles should fit on tires from 42000 Grand Prix Racer, 8110 Unimog U400, or 9398 4x4 Crawler.
  16. This is a tutorial detailing how to modify a LEGO 9V train motor so that it may be powered independently of the track. This effort is part of a larger project inspired by Thorsten Benter’s article in Railbricks Issue 7 titled “PF and 9V Trains: The Best of Both Worlds”. Step 1) Open the 9V motor. This has been covered elsewhere, so it should suffice to say you carefully remove the 12 tabs holding the bottom cover on with an xacto blade or something similar. There is enough friction to hold the bottom cover in place later even without the tabs. Step 2) Remove all internal parts. Ignore the fact that I took this photo after completing step 3. Step 3) Use a rotary tool with a cutoff disk to bisect the metal strips in the top of the motor enclosure. These strips are exposed in the top studs, and we will later use them to pull power from the track and apply power to the motor. Very important: Be sure to apply NO PRESSURE when using the rotary tool. Instead, just lightly touch the spinning cutoff disk against the metal strip, and let the tool do the work. It will take some time, so be patient and careful. If you apply pressure, the metal strips will heat up and deform the plastic. If the plastic deforms, it will be impossible to interface with LEGO bricks and PCB adapters (like the one in the upper-right corner of the picture). Keep it light and easy. You will thank yourself later when you haven’t ruined your motor’s plastic housing. Step 4) Desolder the metal pieces from the electric motor. I don’t have a picture of this exact step because I used the electric motor from a Power Functions train motor. If replacing the 9V motor with a Power Functions motor, open up the PF train motor using a T6 bit, remove the electric motor, and desolder it from the wires. Step 5) Solder a short length of wire to each tab on the electric motor (do this outside the housing to avoid accidently melting it). I used 32 gauge DCC decoder wire, but you can use whatever you have that will fit inside the motor. Reassemble the motor with exception of the wheels and the bottom cover. Step 6) Attach the wires to the outermost halves of the metal strips; the innermost halves are connected to the wheels through the wipers. I used a silver epoxy for this. I chose silver epoxy for two reasons: 1) I didn’t want to risk melting the studs by soldering the wires to the metal strips, and 2) silver epoxy has a lower resistance than graphite epoxy. Step 7) Reinstall the wheels and make sure everything is running smoothly. This would also be a good time to lubricate the gears if you want to. Make sure you don’t get any lubricant on the electrical parts! Press the bottom cover onto what remains of the tabs, and you’re done! If you ever want to run the motor directly from track power, simply use a PCB adapter with a loopback connector or connect a LEGO wire (9V or light gray end of PF). This is what a PCB adapter looks like when installed on the motor. (I’ve updated the design since taking the previous photo.) And here is a connector leading up to the electronics (currently just a Power Functions battery box, soon to include a Bluetooth receiver) in my Horizon Express. The connector plugs into the PCB adapter. The PCB adapter is attached to the electrical studs on the motor. And the motor is pinned to the bottom plate of the locomotive. Now I can charge the battery in my train without taking it off the track, run it indefinitely on a mixed metal and plastic layout, and have non-line-of-sight control when I add the Bluetooth receiver. It really is the best of both worlds!
  17. MarkLaBarr

    Mark LaBarr Here!

    Hey guys! I'm a Blender artist and I just wanted to share some resources here. With this videotutorial series you'll learn how to create 3D Lego art! Final Result:
  18. As promised here's the third tutorial where I talk about how to group and move characters in order to animate them. This is my longest tutorial yet, it took me one day and half a night to make, so any feedback would be nice... Files: http://www.bricksafe...ating tutorials I challenge you guys to use te provided files and try making a simple animation. Thanks!
  19. Here's my second LDD tutorial, this time concentrating on how:to create models that are appropriate for animating purposes. You can download the LDD and image files here: http://www.bricksafe...ating tutorials P.S. Aint she cute?
  20. I did some research and posted results at bricklink. Details at http://www.bricklink...e.asp?ID=685097 In case dropbox passed bandwidth limit, here is more robust link for picture. https://secure.flick...tream/lightbox/ (EDIT added, edited from original post at bricklink.) Interesting. I heard of certain acrylic liquids that can fix some parts condition like scratches and such. I also decided to buy fairly worn parts from seller to fix to fix it up see if I can get it to great condition as possible. The windows was in decent but worn condition, at "raw" one is decent condition and other 2 had been bit discolored and somewhat "sandpapered" as you can see effect on paper behind it. There is also couple heavier than fixable scratches. After I used metal polish, then removed as much polish as I can and cleaned it, condition of parts was much improved. there was lot of micro-scratches after it but usable condition. Lot of discolor went away and pretty lot of "sandpapered" look went away too. Light reflection is worse I could get it to show up. (I wish I took better picture of that as by time I thought of it, I already dropped it into next step) (added: polish is really only necessary if there is deeper scratches than just "cloudy". It does remove ingrained stains very well, however. Do clean first so you can see if it needs polish or not.) The plate was in decent but well used condition, but I cannot polish it due to number of studs and difficulty on wiping polish off afterwards. Brasso probably will do better as it's more cleanable. After I left windows and plate in floor polish solution for couple minutes and dried it in few steps (very carefully as dust or fingerprint could mar it!) on wax baking paper. When it was dry enough (around 3 minutes) I got paper and dropped parts on it from inches off to shake off droplets. After 10 minutes I flipped it to other side and let it dry for other 10 minutes. Novus is recommended by other people but I used pledge floor polish which is also acrylic liquid. As you can see, results is pretty decent. You can see quite a bit of micro-scratches and few remaining deeper scratches. However, this liquid has altered refraction so it is not really visible when held in room without light refection or held up with light shining though it to your eyes. This is small improvement after metal polish. Notes on this: 1: If I ever decided to sell those (yeah right!) or any other parts done like this, I would disclose it. 2: Floor polish step is easy to make mistakes on. If there is dirt, it will be under very thin coating so it cannot be removed without metal polishing all way down again. Very good cleaning first is highly recommended! You can only touch parts of part drying in this coating where you don't care what those parts looks like. I used sides of windows and plate. (Added: if you want to see original, see reply #17)
  21. Horry

    [Tutorial] Cannons

    [pid][/pid] This tutorial has been sitting on my computer for ages and I only now decided to finish it and along with another project, end my micro-dark age. It’s about a piece of equipment almost as important as the ship itself: the European cannon. Please notice that while I do know a good deal about Asian Cannon and early Asian rockets I will not cover them in this tutorial! PART I – basics, material and history Cannon (from lat. Canna - “reed”) are projectile-launching weapons that were first used in the Far East and came into use in Europe during the High Middle Ages. It was the first gunpowder weapon on battlefields to be used at a large scale with effectiveness above that of a psychological impact. Although Cannon greatly varied over time and purpose in shape, composition, material, carriage and performance they still shared very distinctive features over hundreds of years. Cannon are always tubes made of metal that are mounted on a carriage (“Lafette”) and are almost always loaded via the muzzle. A gunpowder charge will be embedded between the thickest part of the cannon (the reinforce) and a cannonball. It is ignited by a fuse or a mechanism that is accessible via a small vent. The standard projectiles of cannon first were made out of stone, later metal. It quickly became common to classify cannon according to the type of projectile they could fire rather than the appearance of the actual cannon itself. A 12 pounder (a cannon capable of firing cannonballs that weighed 12 pounds) could look completely different in comparison to another 12 pounder just because one of them was being used on a ship and the other one on the field. Cannon came into use in Europe around the late 13th and early 14th century. The first major war to feature effective Cannon made of iron was the Hundred Year War. Most cannon, however, were being made from bronze at the time as this was a much more durable and reliable metal. With the propagation of improved cast iron (especially in England) in the late 15th century the European cannon got yet another material improvement and by the late 18th century almost all cannon were made from cast iron. European vessels were being equipped with cannon from at least 1330. However, designated battleships with sails came not into use until the early 16th century when the English Navy started constructing men-of-war specifically built for carrying large amounts of cannon. The first recorded purposely built gun deck was built around 1500. Until this time it was much more common to refit merchant ships like carracks, cogs, galleys and caravels into war ships if the need arose. Around the middle of the 16th century most European armies began standardizing their cannon size according to the aforementioned weight of the projectiles. Improvements in the gunpowder used and the quality of the structure of the bore allowed for smaller cannon that were actually mobile and allowed for much quicker advancing armies that could still fire over great distances. This development of siege possibilities also greatly changed the methods employed to construct fortifications (see the development of fortifications in this tutorial). While details such as transportation (limbers), aiming (trunnions) or better projectiles (cast iron projectiles) continued to increase the effectiveness of cannon they remained largely the same during the next few hundred years with the only notable exception being the mortar – a cannon designed to fire projectiles over large distances and send them across fortifications. Major change to the cannon was brought by the massive development of men-of-war in the 18th and the 19th century. The introduction of the carronade in the late 18th century supported quicker and more manoeuvrable ships: smaller, lighter Cannon being able to deliver 32 pound ordnance on short range that was able to virtually pulverize the hull of an enemy ship. Gunlocks drastically improved the speed, safety and accuracy of quickly loaded, hot cannon. In addition to improved accuracy and firing rates, new ordnance types (shrapnel shots and reliable explosive shots) brought new elements into field- and sea battle. The introduction of steel-Cannon in the mid-19th century made way for the demise of the classic cannon: although still being used until the early 20th century the cannon would eventually be replaced by steel-made field artillery and recoilless guns. PART II types and calibres This part of the tutorial will focus on cannon that were in use after the ordnance classification system had been well established. While a lot of basic cannon types will be described keep in mind that there have been well over 70 types of cannon in Europe alone and hundreds of specialized cannon series. Sakers - 4–7 pounders Sakers were relatively light cannon used en masse during the 16th century. Made from bronze they were designed for long range attacks against moving armies or fortifications. The early models still used stone ammunition but all later versions used the more modern iron ammunition. Sakers were very heavy and relied on a stable and heavy carriage due to the immense recoil the large gunpowder charge caused – thus they were used from fixed positions and were not moved during a battle. Culverins – 14-20 pounders Also used on sailing ships (merchant ships, men of war) Culverins were used from the middle to late 15th century until the early 17th century. They were made from bronze and featured a very long and thin bore (up to 5 meters) that could fire very different types of cannon balls. It was one of the first cannon to be successfully mass-produced and was able to fire cannon balls made from iron. A culverin was operated by between three and five gunners and was normally being transported on the mobile carriage with or without a limber. Mortars – 82 – 180 pounders Also used on sailing ships (bomb ketches) Mortars were used from the middle 15h century till the end of cannon. They featured a very short and large bore that looked more like a bowl than a barrel. Mortars had a high trajectory allowing for large range and the possibility to attack an enemy behind a fortification. The low velocity of the projectile also allowed for explosive rounds to be used. A mortar could be operated by two to four gunners and was very immobile due to the immense weight of cannon and ammunition. Full cannon – 42 pounders Also used on sailing ships (ships of the line) Full cannon were used during the 17th century and were normally made from cast iron. If they were to be used on a ship the preferred material was bronze in order to keep the weight lower. They were designed to take down heavy fortifications and to engage slowly moving targets at long range. On ships they were used on the top battery deck as the back bone of close range broadside attacks. Full cannon were immobile on the field and considered to be impractical due to large gunner crews of 5 to 9. Demi cannon – 32 pounders Also used on sailing ships (ships of the line, frigates) Demi cannon were used in the 17th century as a semi-accurate and close range cannon that was usually made from cast iron. The cannon required a gunner crew of at least 4 persons and would normally be used to attack advancing armies with regular shots and grapeshot attacks. Demi cannon were largely immobile due to their weight. Minions – 5 pounders Also used on sailing ships (all types of ships) Minions were the weapon of choice for close range anti-personnel attacks in the field and on ships. The small cannon was used from the 15th century till the early 18th century and could be seen as a “big brother” of the swivel gun. Minions could be carried by mobile carriage or by the gunner crew that could be 1 to 3 people. Minions were considered to be highly mobile weapons that could easily be used to defend advancing points during a battle. Howitzer cannon – 12-24 pounders Howitzers were a hybrid between regular cannon and mortars, being used from the late 17th century till the end of the age of sail. The Howitzer was mobile and could be quickly adjusted to various angles, making it a somewhat inaccurate but fast and flexible siege weapon. The Howitzer could fire a great variety of different ammunition, making it efficient in use against fortifications and army formations. A Howitzer was being operated by a gunner crew of three to 6 persons, depending on the size and the purpose of the Howitzer. Howitzers were mobile but larger versions could be difficult to move during a battle. Carronade – 6-42 pounders Mainly used on sailing ships (all types of men of war) The carronade was an immensely popular naval cannon presenting the complete range of cannon sizes. A short bore and a smaller charge chamber would fire a low velocity cannon ball with a short effective range. The low speed would damage the hull of the enemy and the deck behind it much more than high velocity ammunition. The carronade was being used from the late 18th to the late 19th century. While the short range did only allow for passing fights the high speed of the reloading process, the devastating damage and the small amount of gunners (2 to three) needed made it a perfect cannon for fast ships or ships of the line. PART III carriages, casemates and additional equipment As diverse as the cannon types were as diverse was the equipment used with them. Carriages featured large or small wheels, four or two wheels and very often no wheels at all. They would normally be transported with or on limbers that was also used to carry ammunition, cleaning equipment, aiming aids and so on. A single Culverin with equipment could need up to 4 horses to be transported. Many cannon featured different styles of trunnions that could be used to change the firing angle by adjusting the height of the muzzle. Cannon were also used in fortifications. They were often positioned on the top or within casemates. These cannon could feature very innovative carriages that were designed specifically to be able to quickly adjust the firing angle in order to compensate for the inability to move the cannon. Thank you for reading all the way down here! No go enjoy the lxf-file on cannon in LDD!
  22. Updated instructions for deep-linking Flickr pictures -- thanks for this tutorial go to Big Cam, Darkdragon, Artanis I and Clone O'Patra. Edit: And now Brickdoctor brings us a tutorial for iPod touch users! Method A Step 1: Find the image you want, and when you click on it, you should see something similar to this. Step 2: Once you've clicked those 3 little dots, you will see this menu. Select "View all Sizes" Step 3: Once at the select a size page, select the size you want, and once the image has loaded, right click anywhere on the image and copy the link URL. Do remember that pictures embedded on EB should be no larger than 800x600. If you are using Chrome, it's an option right when you right click (awesome, use Chrome). If you are using IE, you will have to right click, go to properties and then manually copy the URL address. If you are using Firefox, right click the image and select "Copy image location" If you are using Safari(apple/Mac), Ctrl+Click, or Right Click, then "Copy Image address" Step 4: In your post/reply box, click on the Image button (circled below) and paste the image URL from Step 3. You're done! Method B An easier way is if you are viewing the image normally, right-click it and you will see the "800px" etc links that you see above the image on the "all sizes" page. That will take you directly the size you want where you can right-click and grab the deeplink url like normal. Method C Another method to post any Flickr photo on EB is click on the share box (see below), select the BBCode option, select the size from the drop-down menu, then copy & paste the text directly into your post. This is the result: macaroni2 by -Fugazi-, on Flickr
  23. I had a whole stack of broken 12v light bricks where the bulb had gone. In particular they don't last that long when set in lamp posts. Sick of buying more so needed a way of replacing the bulb with a longer lasting LED. The first difficultly was finding the right LED with a built in resistor so they can run straight off the 12v power supply. I hadn't found 3mm white/clear LEDs before, just coloured ones, but found a supplier here for what I needed. These should also work fine for 9v. Then the other tricky bit was to open up the light brick without breaking it. This wasn't as difficult as I first thought, so here is the guide - no soldering and no glue! The tools used (almost common household items!) excluding the light brick and LED are : 1. A micro-screwdriver. 2. A bent curtain hook. 3. Some sharp nail scissors. Step 1. Using the screwdriver scrape off the plastic tab that helps hold into place the inner part of the light brick : Step 2. Using the holes for the plug as an anchor lever out the inner part of the light brick with the sharp end of the bent curtain hook until you can get under it : Step 3. If the inner part is still not loose rotate the other end of the curtain hook in the space made at the bottom : Step 4. Take out the inner part : Step 5. Use the micro srewdriver to remove the old bulb and contacts until the inner part is clear : Step 6. Throw away the old bulb and wiring and Insert the LED : Step 7. Bend the LED wires around the light brick making sure the LED is centred : Step 8. With the screwdriver continue to bend the LED wires into the plug contact holes : Step 9. Re-insert the metal contacts. This may take some force, but it will be this additional friction which means the removal of the plastic tab earlier doesn't matter : Step 10. Trim off the excess LED wires with the scissors : Step 11. Re-join the central part of the light brick with the cover (remember which way is up!) : Complete! Remember as it's an LED it won't work plugged in either way to the power supply, but that doesn't bother me in the slightest as you just turn the plug around / swap the pins if it doesn't work For train lights where the power will be reversed when you reverse the train I can recommend Janco's light bricks which are superb