Brickworld 2017 has come and gone, and I’m almost caught up on all my sleep from the event. If you’ve never been to it, Brickworld is one of the largest, and one of the premier LEGO® fan events in North America. It draws some of the best builders in the country, and even a few from over seas. It is also the largest gathering of LEGO train fans, and train clubs in the US. If you love LEGO trains, you’ll be in good company at Brickworld.
Hello dear readers. Yes, I know our regular train content has dropped in recent weeks. Preparing for a major convention, Brickworld, and launching our new store has monopolized much of our time. But we’re back from Brickworld, we’ll have a full report later this weekend once all our photos and video are sorted through, and the store is now going. So lets get back to LEGO® trains.
Nothing too serious today. But I wanted to take the opportunity to spot light some nice LEGO train models that have appeared on line lately. So let’s do some LEGO Railfanning.
Cale brings us a timelapse video of the construction of a BMR boxcar, as per our instructions.
We needed something to try out the decals we received from Andrew Mollmann at OKBrickWorks, and what better to use than an actual BMR boxcar! We’re really happy with the decals and how well they fit on the model. And, for those who are wondering, we WILL officially be selling these decal sets for use on your own boxcar.
We’re really excited, and we are getting ever closer to finally releasing the boxcar premium instructions for sale. We’ll continue to keep everyone updated on our progress.
I’m a well known steam fan, but as a railroad fan, a very close second in my heart is trolleys. I’m a fan of any good trolley, tram or streetcar. Builder John Rudy brings us this lovely model of the horse drawn trolley from Disneyland’s famous Main Street USA.
Main Street, USA is the first “themed land” inside the main entrance inside Disneyland and the many ‘Disneyland’-style parks run by The Walt Disney Company around the world.
It been a while since we’ve seen a big articulated steam locomotive from LEGO® train builder Anthony Sava. But the wait is over as Anthony’s long planed model of the Duluth, Missabe, & Iron Range class M4 “Yellowstone” is finally completed.
CSX SD40-2 and Gunderson 60′ High Cube Boxcar by Aaron Burnett
I love coming across new (or maybe just new to me) train builders when perusing through flickr, or one of the other LEGO® train hangouts online. Especially when their models are as good as these two by Aaron Burnett.
The Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy” is one of the most recognizable locomotives in the world, and one of the most often built n LEGO. In spite of this, skilled builders are still finding ways to make a better version of this iconic engine. Nate Flood is one such builder.
His Big Boy, his second version of it, as he states, is wonderfully detailed. I am especially taken by the work he did on the pony truck and tender trucks.
This picture also shows one of my other favorite details; the use of chain links for the tender side ladders. Making ladders and steps for locomotives is really difficult in LEGO. The real things were usually much narrower and made of thinner pieces than most LEGO ladder options.
Central Railroad of New Jersey 1940’s Commuter Train in LEGO
This is my LEGO model of a 1940’s Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train. This train is typical of those that made up the CNJ’s short haul commuter service in the first half of the 20th century. You may have already seen the locomotive in my recent article on Vinyl Decals, or on a recent youtube livestream. Now that the locomotive is properly decaled, I finally took some time to photograph the whole train and write this article.
The seeds for building this train were planted several years ago while on a trip to visit Steamtown National Historic Site. While there one of the locomotives that caught my attention was an odd little Canadian National engine, no. 47. Canadian National no. 47 is what is referred to as a “Suburban” locomotive. These locomotives were built for short haul service on commuter lines. The Suburban type had its tender, carrying coal and water, integrated with the main frame of the locomotive, rather than having a separate “tender” car semi-permanently coupled to the locomotive. This gave the locomotive excellent dual directional capability, handy for when there were no provisions for turn the engine around at the end of it’s run. It was not uncommon to see these engines running backwards pulling their train on a return trip.
In my previous previous article I introduced the topic of this series – my process for building a LEGO steam locomotive, and discussed researching and choosing a prototype. In this article, I will discuss choosing motors for a steam locomotive, options for batteries and receivers, as well as how to integrate other electronics into a LEGO train, such as lights and sound.
In past projects, after completing my research, I would typically start building up the frame of my steam locomotive. I would focus on articulation between driving wheels, pilot truck, pony truck, and tender and make sure my design could handle standard LEGO track geometry. This time, however, I wanted to build more electronics into my locomotive than just a motor, so I needed to sort out all of the electronic issues before doing any building. Still, I began with choosing a motor.