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  1. “Everything that happens once can never happen twice. But everything that happens twice will surely happen a third time.” If there is one thing at BMR that this could apply for, definitely now that September is coming to a close, it would be the month of OcTRAINber. And yes, just like last year, we would like to announce that this year there will indeed be another OcTRAINber building challenge! Just like last year and the year before, OcTRAINber isn’t just a regular challenge, it’s a themed challenge. Two years ago it was all about ridiculous long trains, last year it was all about foreign trains, and this year the challenge is… The Technic Challenge! As you know, OcTRAINber is all about building outside of your comfort zone. Ofcourse, all of us motorize our trains, be it with PUP, PF, IR, 9V, 12V or anything in between. But in real life, not only the wheels move. There is so much more going on in trains and trackside structures that moves around, or wiggles, or turns, or whatever it does, as long as it makes a movement. So, for this year, we thought it would be fun to challenge our Lego Train community to come up with as much train-related stuff that makes movement, other than just the regular motorization of a locomotive. And, different than the last two years, this time it doesn’t have to be a train, it can also be a trackside structure! As long as it has a form of movement not necessary to let it run on the tracks, you are good to go! Rules As per tradition, we won’t tell you as of yet any of the specifics we will use to score builds until October 1st, but, as per tradition, we will give the general rules that are necessary to enter your builds and start planning! “Moving” is defined as: A movement of any locomotive, rolling stock, structure, or other railroad-related item that is NOT indented to propel the item forwards or backwards on track. Of course, the item can have these movements (we even recommend doing this, because static trains are soooo boring), but you will only be scored on extra movements, like doors opening, or running vents, or a moving telehandler on a goods dock… So, you can enter your newly build Acela Express, and it can be 9V powered, but it needs to have some extra modes of movement included as well, otherwise we will disqualify your entry. I’m sure you get the point. Entries must be original models. No stealing. This also means no MODs, only MOCs. We are making no rules for the scale you choose to model in. We are welcoming models of 6, 7, and 8 studs, and anything in between or beyond! However, we appreciate detail and accuracy. Reasonably sized models are usually better for that, but we don’t knock anything or anyone with serious skill. NEW BUILDS ONLY. We are willing to accept anything unpublished or anything that was not published before September 1st 2019 as new. We want to inspire and promote a challenging build, entering an old model doesn’t quite work in that regard. Entries MUST be made on our Flickr group in the appropriate thread. This is the ONLY place we will be looking for entries, nowhere else. Sending photos to us on social media or showing us in person do not count as entries! We will be accepting entries from Midnight on October 1st to Midnight on November 1st (meaning October 31st, at 23:59 PDT). There is possibility of a grace period to ensure those that need that one final Bricklink order have a fair chance. Entries and Prizes Keep in mind that OcTRAINber is a ‘quality over quantity’-building event. This means that we rather encourage you to build one amazing build than several sub-par ones. That’s why, just like last year, we will restrict the number of entries to only one per person. We are not accepting digital entries this year to emphasize the spirit of the challenge. We haven’t finalized on prizes yet, but since this is a building challenge, we will for sure have some, just like in previous years. Just like last year, we want to encourage you to show off your WIPs this year as well, to make OcTRAINber really a month that is all about trains within the Lego community. Therefore, extra credit will be given to the best WIP stories and/or pictures during the event. Specific information about WIP points will be mentioned in the kick-off article, but the rules will be pretty much in line with last year’s event. We will pick the winners after we have announced the official close of the competition and have stopped accepting new entries, which will be some time after November 1. Once the judges (who, just like last year, will be announced in an upcoming article) have come to a sound conclusion regarding the winners, we will post one final article announcing them, and then we will be in contact with those winners regarding their prizes. So, that’s it for now. We are very excited about this years’ installment, hopefully the same goes for all you train-heads out there! Stay tuned for updates on the start of the challenge, the judges and the scoring when OcTRAINber starts on October 1st. So pack your gear and all aboard OcTRAINber! BTW: For more information and extras it's always wise to check out both Brickmodelrailroader.com, our Flickr and our Facebook, but we will ofcourse try our best to also answer your questions here on the famous Train Tech forums!  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- As we announced a bit over a week ago, this year BMR will again run the OcTRAINber contest. OcTRAINber is a contest meant to get outside of your comfort zone and build something you haven’t thought of before. You know, that one truly special build that will spice up your layout like no other has before. All within the realm of Lego Trains, but with a twist. So, let us officially introduce you to the contest and let’s get rolling! OcTRAINber First of all, the name. It’s called OcTRAINber, if somebody had not noticed after two years. Why OcTRAINber? Well, because it’s a great intermediate month between SHIPtember and November. Also, TRAINS. Mostly TRAINS. TRAINS. “The Technic Challenge” Second of all, the subject of this years OcTRAINber. Why the Technic Challenge? Two years ago we had a ‘build your longest’ theme, and last year we were all about ‘building that foreign dream of yours’. Both of them produced some really nice models, but, in essence, they were all static. Yes, some of them were motorized, and yes, some of them even had very fancy motorization that not even us had thought of before. However, in the end motorization was just a nice have-to, not a requirement, which is strange when you think about it. Therefore, we have decided that this year everything is forced to move. The more movement, the better! The Rules The Rules have already been announced in the previous OcTRAINber post, but for completeness’ sake we have pasted them here again: “Moving” is defined as: A movement of any locomotive, rolling stock, structure, or other railroad-related item that is NOT indented to propel the item forwards or backwards on track.Ofcourse, the item can have these movements (we even recommend doing this, because static trains are soooo boring), but you will only be scored on extra movements, like doors opening, or running vents, or a moving telehandler on a goods dock. So, you can enter your newly build Acela Express, and it can be 9V powered, but it needs to have some extra modes of movement included as well, otherwise we will disqualify your entry. I’m sure you get the point. Entries must be original models. No stealing. This also means no MODs, only MOCs. We are making no rules for the scale you choose to model in. We are welcoming models of 6, 7, and 8 studs, and anything in between or beyond! However, we appreciate detail and accuracy. Reasonably sized models are usually better for that, but we don’t knock anything or anyone with serious skill. Also, the building of Train-related builds which aren’t trains themselves (trackside structures etc.) is stimulated, so no need to even join the 6 vs 7 vs 8 wide wars this year! NEW BUILDS ONLY. We are willing to accept anything unpublished or anything that was not published before September 1st 2019 as new. We want to inspire and promote a challenging build, entering an old model doesn’t quite work in that regard. Type of Entries Unlike the previous two years, we will only accept real-life builds this year. This has everything to do with the subject of this year’s challenge. It’s just virtually impossible to show movement in digital builds, and to prove that it actually works. To level the playing field we have thus decided not to allow digital builds. However, we will have to separate categories of Entries: Direct Drive and Indirect Drive. To explain this a bit further: Direct Drive entries are entries that are/could be driven by a separate motor that is specifically meant for that moment. So think moving crossing poles, a truck that runs around, waggling ducks, a moving carousel… You name it. The Indirect Drive category in the other hand is meant for entries that move around because of a movement that is already happening. So think a train that is already running around due to it’s train motor, but that has some movement that is kinetically powered and only moves when the train moves. Does your Entry have both? Well, then you are in luck and you can enter it in both categories! That’s just a gesture from us here at BMR to stimulate some extra movement :) Third party parts BMR has always been positive towards third-party parts, as long as they have any way of added value to the hobby. So the rule of thumb is simple: Lego: Yes Third Party Parts meant specifically for use with Lego: Yes* Clones: No *Other than the previous years we have made some extra specification to the Third Party Parts. All Third Party Parts this year have to be meant for use with Lego. So BuWizz, PFx Brick, sBrick etc. are allowed, but Arduino and Raspberry Pi are not. Rule of thumb: If it has studs and/or connectors to one of the Lego electric systems, it’s OK. If not, it isn’t. Points Points will be awarded in three categories: Credibility, WIP Story and Movement Factor. First of all, credibility of the prototype. This means we will be looking at how much the build represents the real life prototype. This means the quality of the build, but potential scale etc. If you are sending in a fantasy model, we will look at how credible the build is; would it fit in, does the backstory make sense? (Please note that this means an entry does need to be based in the real-life in some way, so no fantasy universes like Star Wars, etc.) Second of all, the WIP story. This refers to both showing off your building process, but also to how and why you decided to model a certain prototype. The better the story and the more updates you give and the more elaborate your building story is, the better. (Also, feel free to cross-post these pictures in our WIP-thread while you are still building!) Third and last, the Movement Factor. This is all about the how of the movement of your build. So, is it powered in a special way, or does it have some crazy movement, or does it have some special functionality, etc. The more the merrier, but as always with OcTRAINber, it’s about quality first, and quality second. So it’s great if you have some wobbling pigeons, but if one of them also flies up and down… that could definitely add some points. The Judges This contest will have four judges. Why four? Well, because last year we also had four. Just like last year we will have a guest judge related to the building contest. This year our guest judge will be none other than Peer Kreuger, better known as Mahjqa, one of the most well-known technic gearheads out there. Almost (if not all) of Peer’s builds have some funky motorization in them, which time after time surprises and makes his builds even more fun. We are delighted to have him and we hope it will give you guys an extra incentive to build! Glenn Holland Cale Leiphart Gerbrand van den Eeckhout Peer Kreuger (This year’s guest judge!) Timeline We will be accepting entries from Midnight on October 1st (being right now!) to midnight on November 1st (meaning October 31st, at 23:59 PDT). There is possibility of a grace period to ensure those that need that one final Bricklink order have a fair chance Entries Entries are to be sent in ONLY via our own BMR Flickr! There are two discussions; one for the Direct Drive Entries and one for the Indirect Drive Entries. This is the ONLY place we will be looking for entries, nowhere else. Sending photos to us on social media or showing us in person do not count as entries. Next to that, please also add your pictures in the pool! Also, we have a special thread for WIP pictures, just to keep OcTRAINber going. However, do keep in mind that pictures in this thread don’t count as entries! The Prizes No contest without prizes! Just as last year we have some really nice prizes from several outlets. Which prizes specifically will be made public as soon as possible, so to keep the hype train running for a little bit longer! Spare Parts We here over at BMR are very, very excited about OcTRAINber 2019: The Technic Challenge and we are looking forward to all those entries. We are really looking forward to see what the community has to offer in terms of creativity and we hope that all of you will be stimulated by this contest to finally build that one amazing moving MOC that you always wanted to build, but never managed. Also, if there are any things that aren’t fully clear, you can always reach out to us by posting your message below. So pack your gear and get aboard OcTRAINber!
  2. I've decided to start a thread where I hope that BMR fans can share their experiences with building the various BMR freight cars that are currently available. I have just completed my 9th car which is a 10,000 gallon, two-dome AC&F type 27 tank car. This is from the third set of instructions that the BMR gang has released. Here are some building notes, comments and tips that I thought may be useful to other builders. 1. Overall, the instructions are a superb. The wealth of information that they contain really shows the dedication, skill and knowledge of the BMR team. I love the histories that begin each instruction book. The blueprint pages are very helpful in some situations. This set of instructions will build 6 different variations of the AC&F type 27 tank car. This leads to a parts list that will take some careful reviewing to insure that you are ordering the correct parts for the variation that you choose to build. BMR did a great job of making this as clear as possible but you will need to pay attention! To create a manageable parts list, I re-created the variations I wanted on LDD and then turn that file into a Bricklink parts list. Before anybody asks, no I will not share my LDD files. That would deny BMR their compensation for the effort in producing these fine instructions. As a side note, I was able to get 95% of the parts for three tankers from one USA Bricklink dealer for about $160.00. This did not include parts for 6 sets of trucks which I had already built. I'd estimate I spent about $100.00 on this car including the decals but not the price for the instructions. 2. Ok, on to the actual build. The first part of the build is the black frame which is standard to all variations. Black is a tricky color to print and all is clear until you get to page 11 where you build and install the brake rigging. One thing that was a little confusing was that you build the rigging on page 10 and then for the install, you have to flip it upside down which is not readily clear or easy to do. I think it would be better to build the rigging the same way that it is installed so you're not having to do mental 180's. The bigger problem on page 11 is that it is virtually impossible to actually tell where sub-assembles 12 and 13 actually get installed. Number 12 is not too hard to figure out as there is an obvious spot for it but Number 13 is impossible from the graphic printed. A better picture of the area is on page 14 and page 5 (some what). After consulting these other photos, I determined that there is an error here. It looks to me that both sub-assemblies are installed on the same plane. The problem is that there is no obvious spot of #13 to go like there is for #12. If you attached #13 one plate-width off of #12, it will interfere with the rigging install. I solved the problem by removing the 2x2 corner plate (installed back on the very first step on page 6) to create a spot for the #13. I then filled in the rest of that area with two 1x1 plates. Here is a photo of that area to clear things up. 3 The frame is fragile. It fell apart many times during construction. I have considered making the two middle struts two studs wide so that they would catch the ends of the 1x8 tiles but have not done so yet. It would be an easy mod. You can see in this photo that the lower running boards get miss-aligned very easily. This fragility is not much of an issue once the model is complete but will lead to some choice words during the construction phase! 4. Building the tank. I substituted a 2x14 plate on page 15, step 1 and Page 20, step 5. Tank construction went smooth until I got to installing the side panels an page 45. When I tried to install these, the headlight bricks would "crush" inward and not affix smoothly to the 2x8 plates. I fixed this by re-doing the tanker core. I did not take a photo of the change and I will try to explain as clear as possible. Basically, what I did was install a 2x2 (2x4 for the center) plate on the back of all of the blue headlight bricks. So on page 16, step 6, change the black 2x2 plate to a 2x4 so that is catches the back of all eight blue head-light bricks eventually installed. You will have to re-order your building steps to accomplish this. On page 18, step 9, delete the yellow 1x2 and substitute a 2x2. Four more 2x2 plates will be needed to finish this mode. I hope this makes sense. There is a small goof on page 52, step 6. It shows that four 1x1 tiles are to be installed but it only shows the placement for 2 of them. Pages 53 and 54 show where these are to go under the running boards and behind the rails. 5. Apply the decals before installing the hand-rails, top running boards, or the tank to the frame. First off, I love the BMR decals! They are very easy to install compared to other decal methods. Those that have struggled with the old-fashion "water-slide" ones know what I'm talking about. Installing the decals on a curved surface required a little care to make sure they were straight. I built a simple cradle to hold the tank to prevent it from rolling at a critical moment with installing a decal. The "Esso" decal was the trickiest to get in the right spot. I trimmed the decal as close as possible on the right side so that it would fit a snugly next to the 1x1 clip holding the upper running board. Make sure that the bottom lettering ("Products") is lined up exactly along the bottom of the curved slope pieces. If you do, the spacing will work out nicely. You will be able to see the word "Dependable" between the running board and the hand rail. 6. Hand rails. I departed from BMR plan here and resorted to one of my favorite Lego tricks - copper wire! As you can see, I was able to achieve a nice smooth curve around the ends of the tanker with 3mm rigid hose and without those minifig hands. The first step is to find some 12 gauge copper wire with the insulation removed. This gauge of wire fits perfectly inside 3mm Rigid hose. I used 2 pieces of part number 75c36 (rigid hose, 3mm, Black). It's a little rare but not expensive. You can use what ever lengths you want; just keep threading pieces on to your copper wire. You will need about 21 inches (70 studs) worth of tubing to encircle the tank. I cut the copper wire so that about an inch stuck out both sides. I then clipped one end on to the tank so that the copper wire is centered on the side of the tank. Bend the hose around the end of the tank using gentle pressure The 6x6 radar dish will form the curve. Keep bending the wire until you can clip it in on the opposite side of the tank. Use a pair of needle nose pliers to sharpen the corners. Repeat on the other end but start by sliding the 2nd piece of hose other the exposed copper wire from the first install. Bend this hose into place and sharpen the corners. Mine looked like this at this point. I then trimmed the copper wire so that the ends met and cut a short piece of hose that would fill in the gap over the copper wire ends. The end result looks like a seamless loop. That's about it. This was a very enjoyable car to build and I look forward to the next model which will be a flatcar with a load. Cant wait to see what "load" the guys will come up with. If you have any questions, please ask. I will back-tracking and will give an account of both the boxcar and the hopper. Look for those over the next week along with several boxcar variations that I have built.
  3. Dear everyone, we hope you all have a great start of your autumn! With September drawing to a close, and October quickly approaching, the time has come to announce our latest installment of our OcTRAINber build competition! This year, the challenge is… The Foreign Challenge! The goal of the foreign challenge is to promote outside-the-box thinking and change up people’s build lists. In general, most builders tend to stick with what they know, which is often what is local to them. As such, not as many people break that mold and build something that is not local to them. Hopefully all participants can appreciate building something out of their comfort zone! BMR is certainly excited about this challenge, and we hope to see many rise to the occasion. Rules: “Foreign” is defined as: Any locomotive, rolling stock, structure, or other railroad-related item that was NOT designed OR used in the native country of the builder. So, being from the Unites States, I could not enter legitimately with a United States locomotive such as a Santa Fe F7. I’m sure you get the point. Entries must be original models. No stealing. We are making no rules for the scale you choose to model in. We are welcoming models of 6, 7, and 8 studs, and anything in between or beyond. However, we appreciate detail and accuracy. Reasonably sized models are usually better for that, but we don’t knock anything or anyone with serious skill. NEW BUILDS ONLY. We are willing to accept anything unpublished or anything that was not published before September 1st 2018 as new. We want to inspire and promote a challenging build, entering an old model doesn’t quite work in that regard. Entries MUST be made on our Flickr group in the appropriate thread: real-life entries in the real-life thread, and digital entries in the digital thread. This is the ONLY place we will be looking for entries, nowhere else. Sending photos to us on social media or showing us in person do not count as entries. We will be accepting entries from Midnight on October 1st to midnight on November 1st. There is possibility of a grace period to ensure those that need that one final Bricklink order have a fair chance. Entries and Prizes We are allowing digital entries and real life builds, but everyone is limited to one entry only to keep things fair. We will have three prizes available: Top staff pick of the real-life entries Runner up real-life entry Top staff pick of the digital entries We want to focus on and inspire some real building here, so this explains why more prizes are available for the real-life entries. Prizes will be revealed in an upcoming article on BMR. Different from the previous year, we want to encourage you to show off your WIPs this year as well, to make OcTRAINber really a month that is all about trains within the Lego community. Therefore, extra credit will be given to the best WIP stories and/or pictures during the event. Specific information about WIP points will be mentioned in an upcoming article on BMR. We will pick the winners after we have announced the official close of the competition and have stopped accepting new entries, which will be some time after November 1. Once the judges have come to a sound conclusion regarding the winners, we will post one final article announcing them, and then we will be in contact with those winners regarding their prizes. Judges will also be announced in an upcoming article on BMR. Thanks for reading, and now it’s time for some building! Again, we will only accept entries after midnight on October 1. Until then, start planning! We are seriously looking forward to this competition, especially after how much fun last year was. If there are any questions, please feel free to ask us; we are more than happy to provide clarification. Happy building from the Staff of Brick Model Railroader! BTW: For more information and extras it's always wise to check out both Brickmodelrailroader.com, our Flickr and our Facebook, but we will ofcourse try our best to also answer your questions here on the famous Train Tech forums!
  4. JEB314 (James)

    BMR Discount Code

    Hi people, Over the next 24(ish) hours until midnight est there is an amazing opportunity to get EVERYTHING from the BMR (Brick Model Railroader) Shop at 10% off! The discount code is: BMRFLASH6318 Here is the link to their shop: http://brickmodelrailroader.com/index.php/shop/ (I have no vested interests in this, just thought I HAD to share such a rare opportunity to save money on such amazing stuff!)
  5. BMR Boxcar 003 by Cale Leiphart, on Flickr BMR has a successful first week! Today, January 6th 2017, marks our first official week at Brick Model Railroader. And we have to say that the response so far has been awesome! We can’t thank you readers enough. It is for you and the LEGO® train community that we wanted to start BMR. You have all been wonderfully supportive of us as we get this project off the ground. In our first week of BMR being online we’ve had 5,500 views to our site, 64 registered users, 15 published articles, and 275 likes to our Facebook page. And this is only just the start. We look forward to growing and serving the LEGO train hobby for a long time to come. But in the meantime, to celebrate our first week we have something special for you, our readers. RAILBRICKS Issue 12 front cover RAILBRICKS Magaizine now available for download through Brick Model Railroader RAILBRICKS was a LEGO® train fan magazine produced from 2008 to 2014. 15 issues were produced in total. Several of the staff here at BMR were contributors to RAILBRICKS. While we were all sad to see the magazine fade away, we are proud of the issues produced, and the legacy that the magazine left behind. Without RAILBRICKS, BMR may not even be here today. The RAILBRICKS issues themselves still hold up amazingly well and contain a treasure trove of information for the LEGO train hobbyist. So we are very pleased that we can now offer the entire run of RAILBRICKS magazine, through Brick Model Railroader, free for download. Download RAILBRICKS Magazine So thank you for reading Brick Model Railroader. We hope you like what we’re doing and will keep coming back. We will continue to be a LEGO train news and hobby resource, and we will continue to keep growing and serving the hobby for many years to come. Visit Brick Model Railroader Cale Leiphart
  6. I would like to invite the members of Eurobricks to check out our new web site.brickmodelrailroader.comBrick Model Railroader is a project I've been working on with a few friends. What is it exactly?Brick Model Railroader is a LEGO® Train Hobby, online news and information resource. We want to provide train fans with articles on LEGO Train news, building techniques, layout planning and operating practices, LEGO train events, building inspiration, and highlight the best LEGO Train creations from around the globe, and the builders behind them.We're just getting started, but I hope you'll like what we have so far and want to keep coming back. And we welcome any suggestions on what we can improve, or add to better serve the LEGO Train Hobby. Cale Leiphart BMR Driver 07.1ai by Cale Leiphart, on Flickr BMR Boxcar 001 by Cale Leiphart, on Flickr