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Found 98 results

  1. Hi everyone, I've been mainly lurking and commenting occasionally these last couple of years because I've been busy building my latest layout, and rather than post WIP pictures as it went along I've been taking stills to put together into a time lapse video of the whole build. Here's a photo of the layout as it stands. Whole Layout (DSC09786) by andyglascott, on Flickr The video is on Youtube. Building started in December 2016 and for the first 8 months or so was fairly quick, then I got to the point of relying on monthly Bricklink orders. There is still a bit of work to do, particularly on the station, which as you can see is in a corner.... WIP Station (DSC09747) by andyglascott, on Flickr As well as waiting for monthly Bricklink orders, progress has also slowed as the birth of our first approaches next month, so I figured even though things aren't finished, if I don't post this now it might take a while to get to a "finished" stage! The top level of the layout is 9v, with just 2 trains on it, the bottom is 12v with 7 trains, 3 of which can run at any time (there are three 12v loops on the bottom). Enjoy. Andy
  2. Book Review (Review by Thorsten Benter) Almost a year has passed since initial publication of this book. There are a number of on-line reviews available – this one on EB seems to come in a bit late. Well, I don’t think so, in contrast. This book is a comprehensive how-to-build-a-train resource rather than a compilation of what is out there. And this sets the book aside from so many others. It will be up-to-date as long as The LEGO Company produces bricks and sets. Plus, with the arrival of the Powered Up system, more space becomes available inside the train body as compared to comparable PF functionality: The dedicated receiver becomes obsolete and no line of sight is required for communication creating some additional space – space for sophisticated building techniques! This books tells you everything you need to know about the historical LEGO train theme development at TLG, about scales and widths, about pivot points, microstriping, SNOTing and offsetting, and so much more with relevance to train building! (Note: A PDF copy of this review with higher resolution pictures will be shortly available at Holger’s website) Summary: A must-have for every LEGO train fan, for people entertaining the idea of getting into LEGO trains, and for people who still don’t know that they will become train fans after reading the book Superb photography of LEGO models, outstanding renders of CAD models In-depth analysis and assessment of the different LEGO train eras Demonstration and teaching of advanced building and design skills My personal LEGO book score: 10/10 About the book: Author: Holger Matthes Published: Oct. 2017 by No Starch Press Inc., San Francisco, CA, USA. Hardcover, 135 pages + 90(+) pages reserved for 4 full building instructions (ICE train, gondola car, Swiss Crocodile, and a vintage passenger coach), 150+ most relevant and educational figures (excluding the beautiful chapter openers or page breakers as well as the set building instructions), 20+ tables including bulleted lists. ISBN: 1-59327-819-5 Price: € 14 (Kindle edition, Amazon); € 23 (Print edition, Amazon) both as of 9-2018. $ 19 (ebook only), $ 25 (ebook and print edition, nostarch.com) both as of 9-2018. The present English edition published by No Starch Press is based on the initial German edition “LEGO Eisenbahn – Konzepte und Techniken für realistische Modelle”, which was originally published by dpunkt Verlag Heidelberg, ISBN: 978-3-86490-355-7. The initial German edition of the book based on Holger’s manuscript composed in 2015/16 caught the attention of foreign publishers: It began with the present English edition in 2017. It then took a bit longer until the Chinese publisher “Posts & Telecom Press” (who has already published a bunch of LEGO books written by fans) very recently released the Chinese version: http://www.ptpress.com.cn/shopping/buy?bookId=0ed0cd68-ca59-41fc-9bf9-193b06089996 (ISBN: 978-7-115-48419-2): After publication in 2017, No Starch Press’ English version became the reference for further translations. In summer 2018, the Spanish (“LEGO TRENES”; LEGO TRENES https://www.amazon.es/TRENES-Libros-Singulares-Holger-Matthes/dp/8441540179) and the Italian (“TRENI LEGO”; https://www.amazon.it/Treni-Lego-colori-Holger-Matthes/dp/8868956411) editions became available. And the Russian version is on its way (sorry, Holger couldn’t tell me any further information about its availability): (Note that the Russian cover on the right is purely made up by me – Google translator says the Cyrillic headline reads “in preparation” – but who knows …) About the author Holger Matthes is a hobbyist who has been building with LEGO since 2000. He was involved in the creation of various official LEGO projects such as the Hobby Train set #10183 and frequently presents his models and gives workshops at LEGO exhibitions worldwide [copied from Amazon website]. Table of content of the book (short version) Part 1: Overview and history Introduction A history of LEGO trains Part 2: Building your own train models (My own creations – MOCs) Basic principles Designing your own models Case studies in design Part 3: Building instructions A note on the included building instructions Appended to the body of the book, you’ll find four high quality and carefully composed instructions in addition to two free online instructions: Inter-City Express (ICE; driving and trailer cars, PF motorization, windshield designs) Gondola car Swiss electric Be 6/6 “Crocodile” Vintage passenger car Steam Engine BR 10 (as bonus online available at http://holgermatthes.de/bricks/en/br10.php) Steam Engine BR 80 (as bonus online available at http://holgermatthes.de/bricks/en/br80.php) There is further information available online. Holger directs you to https://www.nostarch.com/legotrains; but most of the very valuable stuff is actually hosted on his website. I highly recommend to visit his site: http://www.holgermatthes.de/bricks/en/index.php. You will find a wealth of background information, tips&tricks, how-to, and much more. The Book Let’s face it: Almost one year after initial publication, Holger still sets the stage with this book for LEGO train fans. It will be tough to get it much further; not on 135 pages (not counting the instructions pages), not with regard to the topics covered, not with regard to the width of the audience addressed. This book provides diverse perspectives on the art of building LEGO trains, coaches, and rolling stock – and is at the same time always determined, focused, and addresses most relevant “issues”. Train builders repeatedly face tough challenges: A train is not a building, which simply resides in all its beauty; rather trains are work horses – either hauling heavy cargo loads or endless passenger coaches, or switching rolling stock for hours and hours in a train show – or on your personal layout. At the same time, a LEGO train is “beautiful” and “esthetic” in the recognition of a train fan - as a building is for City fans. However, to be able to render real trains into LEGO models, regardless on the scale used, requires some serious knowledge about the myriads of LEGO bricks available, about advanced building techniques, and even electrical wiring skills. There simply isn’t much space in a LEGO train. Space as in “Space … is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” [Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, 1979]. It is usually >extremely< packed inside a LEGO train model, particularly when electrifying it. Shaping the outer appearance with advanced building methods such as SNOT or angled and carefully secured pieces usually eats up all the space inside the hull. And lastly: Trains need to be sturdy. They not only haul heavy loads – they also have to run endless distances on track – in the best case on long stretches of straight track and smooth curves, here and there a bit bumpy – in the worst case negotiating endless and sharply bent curves and switch points in complex rail yards. This is exactly what Holger addresses in his book: How to achieve a sturdy, reliable, and at the same time esthetic and beautiful train. And we should just get it straight from the very beginning: Stickers are frequently recognized as the “icing on the cake”. And this is certainly true. BUT: Believe it or not, you can also legally “build” tiny lines, sloped coloring, narrowly split windows and much more when using advanced building techniques! And that sets aside this book from so many postings, building instructions, and other resources: Holger shows us how to accomplish “brick-built stickering” by using the endless variety of bricks and plates to build streamlined and nicely accentuated and smooth surfaces – rather than using the bulky, essentially non-LEGO-philosophy-but-by-TLG-released ICE #55768 nose with stickers attached all over it … There is so much more in the book. This is what I am trying to highlight in the following. Holger’s book is a must for us all: Beginners, advanced builders, as well as Train Tech gurus! And those who believe that they already are. One more thing to add: Photography and CAD image rendering. Or: A picture is worth a thousand words. Holger says: “The biggest thank you goes out to my old friend and master photographer Andy Bahler, without whose pictures this book would have been useless. His commitment, night after night, was above and beyond expectation …” The pictures are spectacular – you will notice right away. Organization of the book There are three parts in this book, although there is no such explicit assignment in the table of contents. Holger tells us on page 2 though: “The first part of the book gives an overview of LEGO trains over the different eras, covers some history, and answers questions about how to combine old LEGO trains from the attic with today’s kits. The second part of the book is about building your own LEGO train models, also known as My Own Creations (MOCs). Using my many years of experience building LEGO models, I’ll show you how to create proper train models, covering both the possibilities and the limitations. Finally, the book ends with step-by-step building instructions for several models.” Usually, the table of content is a good starting point for the organization analysis. However, this book is extremely focused and self-contained in each of the chapters of the three parts. This is very helpful (and also very different from other books), as the LEGO universe, including train worlds, is as diverse as it possibly gets. The number of pieces alone currently available through TLC’s official channels such as LEGO sets, PaB, and LEGO stores – or even more so – through the uncountable BrickLink stores around the globe is truly mind-boggling. Well, it is not only the sheer number, but more so the endless combinations possible – and what you achieve with such. Chances are: One gets rapidly lost and a little frustrated. Exactly this is NOT happening when “reading” this book. OK. We do it differently – as it seems appropriate for a “different” book: We walk through, as the very nice and focused organization of the book simply allows that. Part 1 “INTRODUCTION Decades ago, the toy designers at LEGO likely never imagined how durable their work would be. Today, parents can dust off their childhood LEGO trains and play together with their children who have just received their first brand-new LEGO train set. And fans of all ages can revive older sets and parts to create entirely new models.” In order to prevent such an almost natural “disorientation” or lost in parts and ways to connect them, in part one the book begins with a review of on-line resources. Information-, instruction-, and brick-availability-wise. Holger lists only the most relevant internet locations. Start here and progress further on your own. It makes your building life so much easier. As with every printed book, online references may become outdated at some point in time. Holger names thus only most reliable web portals, which will most probably exist for a long time. “A HISTORY OF LEGO TRAINS Let’s explore the evolution of the LEGO train systems from the earliest set to the present.” Next, there is a historical review of which type of train system was available at what time defining an era. This is rather significant. First of all, this approach results in a theme classification rather than a temporal evolution of sets: The blue, grey, 9V, RC, and PF era. As the pieces from different areas are naturally largely interchangeable (otherwise it would not be LEGO!), you may mix them as you see fit. Nevertheless, each era has a certain typical appearance – if you want to capture that, you need to know what was going on during that particular era. As an example, people in love with the grey (12 V) era often capture the look and feel of that time – for example studs everywhere, not many curved bricks/diverse slopes (as they were not available at that time) – rather limited colors schemes, black, red, and yellow ... The reader learns what has been produced when and in what color scheme. There is also ample of information on the technical features of each era – it appears as if the author is deeply involved and well connected in the LEGO train community – all the way up to participate in the design of selected sets. Holger shares his knowledge with the reader – always in a concise and focused way. It is pointed out that Holger is not even attempting to compile a complete list of sets available within the different eras – in contrast, he is summarizing the unique era characteristics and features. He focuses on power sources, tracks (including switches and crossings), and other elements (wheels, baseplates, in addition to unique features, such as trucks, couplings and buffers). The grey (12 V) era sections stands out of course, as this was the most diverse and most creative train theme ever (IMHO, of course!). Here you will find an – again unique – compilation of “remote-controlled accessories”, “windows and doors”, “light bricks”, “weighted bricks” … What I personally find extremely useful – and it must have been a considerable effort – is i) a summary table, listing the most important features of each era, and ii) Holger’s evaluation of these features he headlines as “Seen from today’s perspective”. Even long-time and experienced train enthusiasts will surely find valuable information in this chapter! Part 2 “BASIC PRINCIPLES Let’s dive into the world of LEGO elements and explore the endless ways to connect them.” Now that one knows the individual features of the different eras, Holger opens part two of the book with a compilation of relevant LEGO pieces for train building. It is really surprising how many there are! I have built trains myself – seeing all the various elements nicely grouped and organized makes it so much easier to get an overview of individual pieces, select the ones you may want to try out – and compare them to other options. This section is extremely helpful when you start off with a new model – or when you want to overhaul an already existing train. In the following section, Holger introduces typical train specific building techniques (although you can use many of them throughout the entire LEGO universe!). And is not surprising that there are eleven dedicated pages on SNOTing and fractional-plate offsetting in all three dimensions. These are the most crucial techniques when shaping the look of a train. SNOT (studs not on top) is a powerful technique and has become very popular among train fans. Originally rather restricted to a few elements, which allowed to “reverse” the building order, the LEGO Company has released a broad variety of SNOT elements over time. These are of course also shown in the preceding chapter on relevant LEGO train pieces. I’d say that this chapter is extremely important for beginners and of great interest to experts as there are various approaches shown side-by-side. At least for me this chapter is highly inspiring. The same is true for plate offsetting, i.e., building with only one half stud or even less displacement off the stud grid. First, the look of a train becomes much smoother even when not using curved bricks; secondly, this technique allows you to literally “build” colored surfaces with fine structures and even thin stripes (called microstriping). Without using stickers that is … Ever used minifig guns to create pantographs? Or ice skates as door handles? No? Well – Holger shows you! “DESIGNING YOUR OWN MODELS You might be wondering if you’re ready to begin making your own models. Which train should you build? Maybe you should start with the commuter train that takes you to work every day, or a freight train? And who hasn’t dreamed of a beautiful steam engine in LEGO?” Now we are getting down to business. The following two chapters of part 2 are not about “building a train” – they are about “how to do it right”. We are talking about scaling and modeling rather than “pushing along”. Before Holger goes into details though, he points out the importance of thoroughly choosing a scale. This is an extremely important decision to be made when attempting to model a real-world train. How much detailing is required? How much abstraction is allowed? Citing Holger again (page 73): “Building a recognizable model isn’t about scaling every part exactly, although proportion matters. Intentionally omitting some details or exaggerating others is usually necessary. Scale modeling with LEGO is a bit like drawing a caricature: the end result may not be an exact likeness, but it is recognizable and undeniable.” We learn about model scales (1, L, O, HO …), alternative approaches (scaling by wheel size) as well as choosing a model width (6-, 7-, 8-stud-wide). Don’t mix these up – almost any scale may be used for any track width! There are so many diverse examples here on EB. Holger narrows the scope of widths covered in his book to 6 - 8 stud wide (see cover page of the book), as these are the widths most builders choose – in addition to the official 6-wide LEGO models. He discusses the advantages and downsides of each of these widths in detail. A very important aspect when designing and building a LEGO train – regardless of the model scale – is the official LEGO track geometry. Maximum distances of fixed axles, alleviation of this rather restricted distance using articulated single trucks (a theme repeatedly discussed here on EB), sliding middle axles in three axle trucks – you will find all the answers in this book. When it comes to attaching cars to each other – even more design aspects have to be considered, which are all discussed: Pivot points vs car distance, additional pivot points to reduce car distance, the effect of pivot points on design issues, to name a few. And then: Steam engine design: 7 full pages! As far as I am concerned, steam engines are the most challenging models to render in LEGO. To say it with Anthony Sava’s words: “I'd buy a set with a steam engine in it, but I have little interest in buying a box on wheels.” (EB Forum, April 2nd 2018). Holger shows us all the challenges and caveats. The remaining sections in this chapter are: Power and Control, discussing mostly the implementation of PF elements, Modeling Details, and Track Design and Layout. Again, extremely valuable information and guides are given. One comment on third party suppliers: At the time of writing this book, both SBrick controllers (as a replacement for PF receivers, featuring wireless Bluetooth connectivity) as well as ME Models (as a supplier of wider radii curves) were actively present on the market. As of now (i.e., August 2018) though, the new LEGO Powered Up system introduced lately makes SBricks for trains almost obsolete – and Me Models have gone out of business some time ago. There are a good number of very good 3rd party alternatives for additional track pieces – large curve radii, complex switch point geometries to name only a few. They come as superb injection molded pieces which are almost indistinguishable from original LEGO track, as well as 3D printed varieties. I believe that a book of the format Holger has chosen simply does have to deal in-depth with such developments as they are much more volatile than almost any LEGO product. Taking aside the LEGO RC interim solution of course. But again, Holger gives a full account of why RC happened at all and why its lifetime was even shorter than that of many 3rd party small businesses. I really enjoyed this section very much. Regarding very recent developments by TLG naturally not covered in the book (the original German manuscript was written in 2015/16): The introduction of the Powered Up system leaves much more space within a train engine so that all the building tips and tricks provided in Holger’s book become even more intriguing! It appears as we can even more freely combine advanced power/remote control options with the present advanced building instructions. Which makes this book even more valuable! “CASE STUDIES IN DESIGN Armed with the tools and knowledge about LEGO modeling covered in the previous chapters, we’ll now take a closer look at the actual design process using some of my own builds as a guide.” This chapter needs to be explored – interpreted – by yourself. This is – as far as I am concerned – the heart of the book. Here you will learn how to begin designing a model. I find this part the most difficult: How to begin – looking at the all the bricks, plates, slopes, clips, there are so many of them … so we should take this to our heart: “Designing a model is a creative and personal process: there’s no right or wrong way to build a successful model. The guidelines in this section are meant to get you started. You’ll certainly develop your own strategies along the way.” Along with: Decide on a scale and choose the width: 6-, 7-, or 8-wide? Decide how the train will be powered and what type of track it’ll run on. Choose a target audience: should it be a realistic, recognizable model, or are play functions more important? You will notice: This is about >you<! Nevertheless, you will also learn a lot in this chapter. Holger has chosen a regional express train (Bombardier double deck train), a powerful electric locomotive (Siemens Vectron engine), and a (well, Holger is German after all …) steam engine (BR 10) as case studies. This is a very clever selection – as the techniques he shows apply to almost every engine I am aware of – including American diesels as well as American steamers … or all the various European trains, Emanuele (EB member LT12V) is currently presenting here on EB … And finally … Part 3 “BUILDING INSTRUCTIONS! Get inspired with these step-by-step instructions for building an Inter-City Express, a simple gondola, a Swiss Electric Locomotive Be 6/8 “Crocodile,” a vintage passenger car, and a steam engine.” From page 136 to 227 you will find first class, high(est)-quality building instructions for the above referenced models. There is nothing more to add. As said: This book is a must … Play Well! @Jim Thank you very much Jim for giving me the opportunity of writing this review for EB - it was a great pleasure. And for sending me this wonderful book! @HoMa Thank you Holger for writing this book. And for all the additional information you gave me when writing this review and for your comments! Thanks for reading, Thorsten
  3. Hello all, I'd like to introduce my latest MOC, the Siemens Vectron locomotive of GySEV/ROeEE railway company. These locomotive appeared only months ago on Hungarian rails, the Austrian-Hungarian railway company, GySEV/ROeEE bought 9 of these with different equipment. Some of them are dual-voltage and run under 25kV, 50Hz (Hungary) and 15kV, 16.7Hz (Austria), some of them are capable to work with DC supply as well, and 2 of them with the two different AC-supply will get diesel units inside to ensure the locos can move on industrial tracks not electrified at all. When these locomotives started to appear I designed it in LDD, there was a little competition between Hungarian LEGO train fans with the design. I was the first who finished the virtual build and I loved it, so I decided to build it as soon as possible. This was the first versions, but only AC-DC locomotives have 4 pantographs, the AC-only types have only two of them. I'm quite proud of the angular green tile in the side pattern and also the angled front needed a little thinking around. I started to love the old hing plates with two and three teeth - these teeth do NOT brake the line of the hinge plate and the whole LEGO part fit into less space and easier to build other things on the top of these bricks. The slots for lights are also capable of to be lit by LEGO LED lights - another good invention introduced first in my Stadler FLIRTs to use the flexible exoforce tubes which are capable of bringing the light of PF LEDs where I need that light. You may ask why is that M-motor hanging around - it has a great importance in this model! As the real thing with two different AC-supply, my Vectron works under two different LEGO-voltages - it is compatible with 9V track and 12V track as well! The M-motor switches a polarity switch brick, which cuts off 12V pickups from 9V train motor's contacts - when the locomotive runs in 9V mode, the pickups for 12V track could touch the same rail when going through 9V points, and the loco could short circuit herself! When the loco runs in 12V mode, the polarity switch is ON, and the 9V train motors are supplied from 12V track. At the other end of the locomotive there is an another M-motor - it cuts off the 9V train motor from the output of the controlling SBrick - it won't be a wise idea to power that SBrick both from battery box and both from the 9V track, through its output... Look at the next image, how it works: So if the locomotive reaches the end of electrified track (12V or 9V), it still can carry her train forward - it can run on internal battery box as well. And finally, yes, these stuff did fit into the model: (Since the lower light on each side serves as red and white light on the real thing and upper slot serves for long distance lights at night I put white lights on the upper, red lights on the lower slots.) Also some other images and further details can be found in Hispabrick Magazine #29: http://www.hispabrickmagazine.com/sites/default/files/Descargas/HBM029_ENG.pdf Comments and critics welcome! Some other photos:
  4. Pelzer117

    (9V) RED train motor

    Hi everyone, I know I am asking for a "non existing" part, but I want to create a collective thread for this topic. Maybe someone will find a way.. I am not sure any more because in realitiy this part should not exist, but I can swear that somewhere I saw a german loco (BR 51 or 53) with RED side covers for the 9V motor. Sadly the only thing I found was a "dark red" or "brown" version, what is in fact on a chinese (AUSINI) train. But it depends on the photos. At some pictures it looks like more red then brown: Interesting is the video, where the motor is dyed (not painted), maybe this could be a way to "create" a red train motor. 9V Red Train Motor (dyed) I also thought about to convert a 12V motor into a 9V or PF motor (because of the red cover of the 12V). Did someone tried this out?
  5. JEB314 (James)

    60154 + 4564 = 37?

    First off, I would like to say that, no, I am not terrible at maths! All shall be explained! (Sorry, this may be quite a lot of reading!) The Back Story: First aspect: Some weeks ago, I was having a general look for sets that might be of interest to me. I stumbled upon a very good deal on the Lego City Bus Station (Set no. 60154). I decided in a spur of the moment purchase to pick up 2 sets, with no real plan… That’s what sowed the seed! Second aspect: In the not so distant past, I had purchased a huge Lego haul from eBay containing many train set items and accessories. In amongst this, was an incomplete copy of the Lego Freight Rail Runner (Set no. 4564) – (maybe 80% complete) – at the time I didn’t really know what to do with it. Over time I harvested the 9V motor, wheels, couplings, bogie plates, wagon parts and straight track – basically all the good stuff! Now, I’m a big fan of seeing people doing set combining! I have never seen anyone attempt something like this! (Correct me if I’m wrong!) The Hypothesis: “Is it feasible to make a decent looking locomotive of any kind, combining Sets 60154 and 4564? – Using minimal significant other parts, but in cases where necessary only using parts I currently have, and not resorting to ordering things. The locomotive should ideally use Power Functions with 2 motors, lights are not necessary. Also, the finished model should be sturdy, strong, and able to be played with by children.” Answer, Was It Possible? Yes, and in my opinion, it turned out rather well. What I attempted to build was a massively simplified Class 37, with much artistic licence! Here is the finished product: Thus, the idea for “60154 + 4564 = 37?” was born! What do you think? Any questions, thoughts, or criticism will be much appreciated. Regards, James :)
  6. When I saw the pictures of this train in @HoMa:s Lego Trains Book. I simply couldn't resist the temptation (particularly not after having seen TLGs miserable train news for 2018 ...) So I built it myself. A true pleasure with a very high degree of satisfaction. And another beautiful contribution to my train collection: A big praise to Holger for this very nice MOC which wakes many train memories back in the years when I grew up in Switzerland. This train is a 9V version with a total of four 9V motors mounted on the first two coaches. The interiors of the locomotive are therefore empty, i.e. no PF stuff. The Be 6/8 is built in Reddish Brown to match the colours of the Swedish iron ore train with the Dm3 and the Da locomotives. In addition, it is adapted to the challenges of the 9V Extreme layout, in particular the humps at the level transitions. And the rods by Trained Bricks really put the dot over the i ... PS: Imagine - a Swedish iron ore train together with a Swiss Crocodile in the midst of the Swiss Alps - goose bumps all over again ...
  7. Hi all First time poster, long time LEGO-lover! Hope you all are good :-) I recently did a major clean-up in my storage-room and found a bunch of my old LEGO's. Bliss!! Among all the wonderful bricks I found my old 4563 Train set. I set it all up... and it didn't work. Then it suddenly did. And then it didn't. When it WAS working, it seemed only to go when the control (4548) was set to full speed. And the speed was very inconsistent - slowing down/speeding up very sporadically. Maybe corners was especially slow (?). the other locomotive I have (4551) didn't go at all. I tried different lengths of track, but then remembered that the train could usually get going even though the ends were not connected. So here's the question(s): 1: Does anyone know of this problem and how to fix it? 2: Would it be easier to upgrade the "engine" to some of the new RC-stuff? 2.1: Are there any good guides out there for that? Any comments, help and suggestions will be highly appreciated! Revolver_Aage
  8. Haddock51

    Tutorials for 9V Train Motor

    In his Lego Train Book, @HoMa mentions that tutorials are available to access the internals of 9V train motors (#5300, #10153). Where can I find such tutorials? The only thing I am interested in is how to open these motors without damaging them permanently.
  9. These are the first pictures of the latest contribution to my train collection: a Swiss IC Train with an Re 460 locomotive (partially based on an idea by @Stefaneris). In addition to the locomotive, the train consists of five 1st class coaches whereof one is a panorama coach. The train has a total lenghth of 2.3 m and is equipped with four 9V engines. Quite fascinating to watch this unit climb all the way up to the Swiss mountains and all the way back to Knivsta Station - in two minutes! Goose bumps - and a touch of homesickness ...
  10. Just for laughs!!! The train has wrong colors and during the photo shooting I mounted the roof in wrong position...but it was a simple and fun experiment after all. BTW...I'm still pushing the hand railcar!!! Bye! Davide
  11. M_slug357

    [MOC] Narrow Gauge & 9V

    Hello fellow train heads, Today I have for your viewing pleasure a 9V system that's been adapted for Lego narrow gauge (4 stud wide) track: NG: 9V shunter (3) by Nick Jackson, on Flickr Here's the engine up close: NG: 9V shunter (1) by Nick Jackson, on Flickr And the underside: NG: 9V shunter (2) by Nick Jackson, on Flickr Now here's a video of it in operation: NG: 9V shunter (vid 1) by Nick Jackson, on Flickr It's pretty finicky in operation at the moment, so I'm looking for your input on ways that I can improve this system! The two main areas that need help are 1) the engine's traction and 2) the electrical pickups. Thanks in advance for your help! ~Nick J~
  12. Count Sepulchure

    [9v MOC] CMF vig: March Harriet

    Hello everyone! What kind of ideas pop into your head when you hear of a "cmf 8x8 vignette contest"? Mind you, I eventually thought of Micromotor, 9V, Fiber Optics and a matching figure capable of delivering the goods (hint: it did). Here's what came out of that idea... Just a dance club, folks! Nothing to see here, carry on... It is fairly tall for a vig, but it certainly works give the space restrictions. The dim lights were a pain to film in my setting, although I tried my best. The show must go on, no excuses allowed! And no regrets for that matter. Welcome the Catwoman from the Batman Movie franchise! Double the fun!! Some technical shots. The old 9V system is invaluable for how smoothly it integrates into Lego System. Fitting the fiber optics element into 8x8 was one hell of a task. At times I felt like a car thief on a job... The floor, oh, the floor! Don't even ask. Some bits and pieces. The pole absolutely had to be chrome - a choice afterwards regretted... I dare you to find a sound, functional and purist solution of proper length if you don't believe me. A rubber wheel was the only option of attaching the piece as far as my knowledge of pieces goes. ...And the heat goes on... Now that's a club I wouldn't at all mind visiting... Hope you had a great time here, be sure to visit soon! And something tells me you might just do that... Thanks for your attention! Let me know if you had as much fun as I did! x)
  13. Hey guys, Recently bought a large lot of vintage 9V train sets and parts. The 9V AC/DC wall plugs are the 230V European version. Anyone have any recommendations on replacements for 110V US? Was looking at these ones on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Planet-Waves-9V-Power-Adapter/dp/B00191WVF6/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&dpID=41UoeHnCcDL&dpPl=1&keywords=9v power supply&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&qid=1518564574&ref=plSrch&ref_=mp_s_a_1_3&sr=8-3 but not quite sure on the plug type... Thanks, Jeffinslaw
  14. Hi all, this time I'd like to show you something that is a bit different. It is more a study, or an experiment than a real model. It's is a very small narrow gauge locomotive, inspired by an hand-made creation of Mr. Akio Inoue (who is a famous live steam builder in Japan). The locomotive is depicted on Mr. Mori Iroshi site, which is of great inspiration to me. There's also a Youtube channel (simply search AKUBI LR on Google, you''l find it immediately). Let's say it is a mix between a DEKI-3 and a Rhatische-Bahn GE 2/2 162. Once it was yellow, now it has RhB colors. It's a bit "Japanese" since it has a super-deformed body, it is more tall than long. "Power" (HA HA HA ) is coming from a 9v micromotor mounted upside-down, and there's a working headlight. It needs a battery car to work. I use it on black narrow-gauge Lego curved track, but I recently discovered that LEMAX track has the same gauge and offers straight tracks (no switches, sorry ). It is sloooooooooooooooooooow! I hope you like this little,nerdish thing! It's name is PKZIP (like the file compression archiver for DOS PCs of the past)
  15. Hey guys new to the forum but not to lego. Just started a new Youtube channel where Im speed building all the old sets i got when i was a kid. They range from about 1990-2009. Im just getting going on the channel so the list of sets will build as I go. I have roughly 2-250 sets so if you're a fan of older sets check it out. Thanks Travis
  16. After many years of dreams, reflections, planning (starting Winter 2011/12), testing (starting fall 2013) and finally building (starting spring 2014), this project has finally crossed the finish line - probably one of the world's most extreme and most challenging layouts for Lego Train 9V! An indescribable feeling, great satisfaction and relief - and what a fantastic experience! First some introductory remarks: This is not a "usual" but rather a conceptual layout with analogue power supply and -management, without landscapes and buildings (except one train station). A particularly sophisticated construction with four themes: a one-track vertical climb, two double-track climbing spirales, a double-track high-level track 2.16 m above floor level and a rail yard. The layout is intended for Lego trains equipped with standard Lego 9V train engines. It is built with standard Lego 9V rails and points, some of which are modified. So are all four 9V Train Speed Regulators. With the help of points, the layout can be segmented into four sections (Loop A - D) which make it possible to run four trains simultaneously, independent of each other, with up to ten engines each. However, this requires more hands... To avoid/prevent spontaneous decoupling, all my trains are equipped with super magnets. I also would like to take this opportunity and thank all of you who have contributed with support, valuable advice, and encouragement during all these years. Without all this help, this project would have remained just a dream. And this is how it looks like: More pictures, facts and videos will be added to the first entry of this thread Addendum # 1: Technical Data and Details: Track lengths: Total track length (incl.sidings and dead-ends): approx. 173 m Total "Tour" length (from start to start): approx. 105 m Loop A (High-level track 1/High-speed track): approx. 32 m Loop B (High-level track 2): approx. 29 m Loop C (Climbing-wall from level 85 to traverse on level 175): approx. 46 m Loop D (Level 50 and level 85): approx. 21 m Rails: 949 straight, 263 curved and 37 modified (4, 8, 10 and 12 straight) Points: 13 standard points (whereof 3 are operated electrically) 6 crossover points (4) 11 half-curve points (1) Track Design Program: Track Designer Application (R) version 2.0 by Matthew D. Bates (Matt's LEGO (R) Train Depot) Electrics/Electronics: 1 Power Supply Unit VOLTCRAFT EP-925, 3-15 V(DC), max. 25A 4 modified Train Speed Regulators (4548) with LM350T regulators, 3A diodes, outside heatsinks (with a thermal resistance of 1.9 K/W), mini-fans and digital thermometers to measure temperatures inside the boxes 4 Control-boxes to operate 12 points electrically. The boxes are equipped with "memory-sticks" to memorize the position of each point since these are out of reach and sight. 12 PF Medium engines mounted on the electrically operated points 52 Power connections to rails 1 Control-box to selectively turn on/turn off 11 power connections Approximately 1000 m cable whereof approx. 850 m RK cable 1.5 square mm Märklin pins and sleeves 1 LED strand (4 m) with dimmer 1 IR-thermometer to measure heatsink temperatures Construction: 7 levels: Rail yard level (50 cm above floor level) Train station level (85) U-curve level 1 (115) U-curve level 2 (145) U-curve level 3 (175) Eaves level (195) Top-level (216) Max. gradient: 83 per thousand (The gradients are built in such a way that all trains can manage to get uphill and downhill with adhesion, i.e. without cogwheels). Min. clearance: approx. 12 cm Train shelves: Shelf system: Algot (IKEA) 15 train shelves type A (102x11x1.6 cm), 8 straight/shelf 27 train shelves type B (166x11x2 cm), 13 straight/shelf 12 train shelves type C (217x11x2 cm), 17 straight/shelf all train shelves are strengthened with 22x45 mm wood strips All in all 54 train shelves with a total length of 86 m (678 straight) and 108 railway buffers 2 "Trains-in-Transit" (TIT) Trolleys (Algot) Room dimensions: 5.5 x 7.3 m Occupied floor space (incl. train shelves): approx. 9 square m Construction materials: Wood (45x45 mm) and wood strips (22x42 mm) MDF boards (6 and 10 mm) Glass shelves (6 mm) Polycarbonate strips (3 mm) and rivets Cable conduits Steel cords (3 mm) with wire locks Perforated plates and angle irons Cable ditches and cabling towards cable terminal Cable terminal Power supply unit and cable terminal box Control center Addendum # 2: More pictures with some of my MOCs Glacier Express with Matterhorn in the background Trans Europ Express (TEE) "Rheingold" and TEE-VT 11.5 in alpine environment Swiss "Crocodile" (10183) with heavy RhB cargo transport in the steepest part of the entire track - a gradient of 83 permille! "Uppsalapendeln" in the midst of the Swiss Alps - imagine if this were for real .... Emerald Night on its way up to the mountains Track Cleaning Train at Knivsta Station - ready for new missions Track Maintenance Train on its way for a new mission Addendum #2A: Train shelves "Trains-in-Transit" (TIT) Trolleys with two Maersk and one TTX Train section(s) ready for transit Addendum #3: Videos
  17. I am so excited with Lego's news about their reselling the Taj Mahal, because there's always the possibility that this is just the start of something big, and we could be getting an affordable chance to buy classic sets that we missed out on, or don't want to pay the current online prices. I remember with the arrival of the internet how cool it was to go to places like Lugnet, and then to Ebay, and being shocked at how much trains had gone up in price, even just from 1980 to 2000. Then after everyone complained online about how they missed out on the Metroliner, it suddenly reappeared like a legendary phoenix. With the Club Car in tow! At the time, it made perfect sense bringing back the first 9v train while 9v was still going strong. 10 years seems to be the magic number for rereleases with Lego, as seen with the Legends line, and now Taj Mahal. So I was wondering, what if any trains do you think Lego could/should rerelease? Could they take old 12v and 9v sets and swap in Power Functions? What about the Train Shed, or Santa Fe Super Chief? Emerald Night? Are there any regular retail trains sold after 9v that people are clamoring for a return of, as we saw with the Metroliner almost 20 years ago? Is a train related rerelease even feasible with Lego today? I would love to hear what others think is possible / desired. Personally I wish I could buy more Santa Fe cars for regular retail price!
  18. Hi, I've been away for a while, and without writing a huge story about it, I'm wondering what the status of third party 9v track and accessories is. I was a backer for ME Models metal track - I was also one of the people who expanded their order back in the summer of 2016, and received my full shipment last January. I take it they are having a lot of problems now, and a lot of people did not receive their product. That's really unfortunate... we need some successful players in this market, even if it means higher prices to cover costs. I was recently able to finally set up the track for my annual Christmas train set up - the only time I get to keep out a functioning train layout. The ME track was... interesting. Coming from all LEGO, I will say the conductivity seemed flawless compared to years past, where I always seemed to have bad track along the way somewhere that made the train slow, even after cleaning. I was very impressed with it. That said, the larger radius curved seemed to suffer from not being perfect arcs when put together. Putting the track together - and keeping it together while trying to connect other track, was also fairly frustrating - and I ended up just not using the end plastic pieces that join sections together, and instead just let the traditional rail joiners hold them together. But I checked ME recently, and as we all know there is no more track available. I was so optimistic at the time if the campaign - even answering surveys of what I would like to see next (like new motors). So I searched here.... bricktracks seemed like it would have been worth a shot, but the campaign failed, probably because it was competing with the ME campaign, but I don't know. Still, bricktracks seems like a functioning business - but I only see plastic in the store. So is there any news that I'm missing? I really don't want to just give it up - I really dislike battery operated for a number of reasons.
  19. McWaffel

    Office Christmas Train

    It's 7 weeks till Christmas week from now and you know what that means? Tis Christmas Train season coming up quickly! Some of you may remember me setting up a little train layout in my office last year. All colleagues loved it very much and so this year me and some colleagues are expanding the office train for this year! Compared to last year the new office train will be about 60% more track, 70% more cars and can carry more than 50% more "real cargo" than last years train! This year's office train will feature the following: - T-Shaped 9V layout with 3 stations (calling at 3 different desks, so everyone in this particular office has access to the train) - 4 Track wide cargo cerminal and card - 20m of track length in total - 16 cars in total - Original Santa Fe Super Chief Engine upgraded with the original light brick - Candy wagon for storing and transporting real eatable candy - Band wagon for transporting a bluetooth speaker and stage for the BrickBand - PF shunting engine for the Power Functions yard - A small handcar (this is an inside joke with colleagues) - Winter Holiday Train which I built yesterday I'm super excited - construction will begin this week. We'll see how far we can build it during lunch breaks. Pictures will follow shortly after! But to get me started, I have a couple of questions: How does one operate a 9V layout with two transformers? Do they plug in parallel (i.e. exactly the same way on both transformers)? What power settings do I use when running a train with two 9V motors (power setting the same on both transformers)? Do I have to unplug one of them if I run a smaller train with only one 9V motor, or do I just not bring up power on one of them? Thanks in advance for answering my questions! Here's the planned layout for this year's office train:
  20. Hi there, I've noticed whilst testing 'Electric Technic Motor 9V Geared 480rpm' (47154) http://peeron.com/inv/parts/47154, it was making a strange buzzing noise whilst going both clockwise and anti-clockwise. Could this mean one or more of the internal gears are failing? Thankfully, there are four thin screws on the bottom which allow the motor to be taken apart. Are replacement gears obtainable? If not, then I have to have them either 3D Printed or cast in a silicone mold. Thanks.
  21. Hi to all, Here is a short video of the last event I participate with All spanish replicas of Renfe from Aitoruco and myself. 2 diferent loops with r104 custom curves (printed by blastem), 20Bps cable bridge (Designed by Sheppo), R104 trains (designed by Aitoruco and MTRkustoms) and also working narrow gauge (by MTRkustoms) Enjoy it
  22. Addendum to “Electrify your train switches” Dear all, much has been said and shown about ways to electrify LEGO 9V/PF train switches. Along with the EB electrify your train switches thread and some other posts on EB and elsewhere there hardly is anything interesting to add. But then … as said before, I am just wrapping up more than a decade of years of fun with my train layout. My switch electrification approach is far less driven by achieving “to scale modeling” or “most elegant solutions”, it is governed by “using as many diverse LEGO motors as possible” on a more or less standardized and simple drive base design “using as little parts as possible”. I simply like to make efficient use of the stuff in my LEGO boxes – since there are about 30 switch points on my layout. There are a couple of my personal design lines: Since some areas of the layout are rather “dense”, the footprint of the drive mechanism should be as small as possible A clearance that is a little greater as compared to the original configuration with the manual switch stand installed. The reason is that some of my rolling stock MODs/MOCs have a fairly large “overhang” in curves and thus need some additional clearance when passing switch points The switch drive should not fall apart even after prolonged operation as almost half of my tracks are hidden behind bookshelves and other furniture. No modification of the switch – this means that the force required to throw the switch is often considerable. The rendering below shows one very simple base design for my switch drives. It consists of a couple of Technic as well as plain bricks and plates. The rendering is already 5 years old – time is flying. This particular drive mechanism has one serious disadvantage: Operated with the full torque of the PF motors (e.g. with the PF bang-bang remote #8885) it falls apart after five or so cycles. This issue is rather easily overcome, when the torque of the driving motor is adjusted via power control and pulse timing using a programmable brick as for example an RCX or Scout. It took me ages to figure out how to accomplish that: Adjust the length (e.g. 0.3 s) and the power (on LEGO’s 0 – 7 range) for the motor “on” state. This LDraw file contains all the above varieties; the individual sub models combine to any of the drives shown. (Note that you may need to install the unofficial LDraw library as of 2016 to correctly load the files). Alternatively, paying more careful attention to the original EB switch point electrification thread entry (https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/44821-electify-your-train-switches/&page=3) would have told me that Jonathan uses his NXT to do exactly that – and for long! The switch is thrown by a lever, which fits into the space between the two mounts for the manual switch stand. By small variations of the actual gear configuration, almost all typical LEGO motors can be attached. The geared varieties [e.g., PF M motor (#8883), Technic mini motor (#71427, #43362), Technic motor geared (#47154), or even the Mindstorms MicroScout PBrick (#32344] are driving the lever with none or low additional gearing ratios; the ungeared Technic motor (#2838) requires higher gear ratios to work properly. The advantage of this drive design is the footprint (as measured on the floor, not height!), which is 3(x6) studs for clearance and 5(x6) studs for the base = 8(x6) studs. The picture below shows two MicroScouts on the bridge operating the two switch points on the right. There are light fibers plugged into the MicroScout’s light sensors; these do transmit the VLL code generated by a Scout PBrick (not visible) to control them. MicroScouts operating as “intelligent motors” for switch drives are fun. The “forward/reverse” “switch” is somewhat unique: When the MicroScout is put into “P” mode it pays careful attention to its built-in light sensor. In this mode, the MicroScout understands some VLL (LEGO’s Visible Light Link protocol) commands such as “motor on forward” etc. In other words you can operate the switch using optical signals from a VLL source. The rendering below shows a Scout controller operating 4 MicroScout switch drives. This version of a switch drive has the smallest depth I could come up with to securely operate unmodified switch points: I used that one on my layout here: Here is the link to the LDraw file. In the mean time I have slightly modified the “RailBricks #9 challenge” drive (a number of ingenious train experts have contributed to this one – see the "Challenge reveal" article by Benn Coifman in RailBricks #12, page 37) and reduced the size to 5-wide at the base. This drive never falls apart, regardless how much torque is exerted on the driving axle. The design is simply amazing! I have retrofitted almost all of my switch points with this version. When a MicroScout is operating the drive, it should be oriented such that you can easily get access to the buttons (on/off, select, run). There are several drive versions to attach the MicroScout in such way that is does not interfere with the required clearance on the point and good access to the buttons. Here are some real world examples: This folder contains all LDraw files Best regards, Thorsten
  23. Hi all, I recently picked up an old bundle of 9v stuff and I'm a bit stuck with son power issues and hope someone can help. I'm a 12v guy so I'm a bit lost! ?. The transformer seems to work. I can't get any power to the track. If I connect a cable from the transformer to the motor directly it works fine (or seems to anyway). When I connect the track connector cable to the track it just won't work. I've tried cleaning the track etc. Also, if I leave the normal 9v cable connected to the motor and then place it on the track with the track connector attached it cuts the power to the motor. Does that make sense to anyone? Haha. Hope someone can help as I'm baffled. Cheers!
  24. ColletArrow

    Using a 9v battery box

    I can't seem to find anything about this elsewhere, so I'm going to ask here directly. Are there any disadvantage of using the older, 9v battery pack (4760c01) that took one 9v cell to run power functions receivers and motors instead of the current, 6x AAA battery pack (87513)? I know it will require a converter cable, but from my view it looks as though a 9v battery pack would be better as it is smaller (in height) and available in more colours than just DBG, so easier to hide in 4-wide MOCs and such. Will this have lower power or current output to the motors, or discharge faster? Is it suitable for use in train MOCs, considering mine won't need to run very far or for very long? I was intending on using it with a rechargeable 9v cell or two, how often would I need to swap one out and recharge it? I'm trying to decide whether or not buying one, and a converter cable, is a good idea. (Or I could try bashing together a PF cable and 9v battery clip perhaps, like this.) Thanks in advance for any help!
  25. LegoMonorailFan

    9v battery + PF wire?

    Hi everyone. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with taking a 9v battery plug and joining it with a PF wire. Just like this MiniZip. Any suggestions, tutorials, or discussion is much appreciated. Thanks.