Sunday, October 31, 2010

When 1 is good, two is better...

Since first laying eyes on the 3180 tanker truck, I wanted to see how it would look as a rail car. What luck when I ran across a BOGO sale on the 3180 at K-Mart last week! Kit-bashing two of them into a single rail car affords a more realistic profile, I think. Catch more pictures of the model on Brickshelf. Now I really want to buy about 4 or 5 more!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Super-Size Me...

Most attempts at Lego narrow gauge train models involve minifig scale trains on rails mounted closer than 6 studs apart. This post showcases some of my attempts to 'go the other way'. These locos, wagons and scenery are all built to Miniland scale making the standard Lego track about meter gauge. Instead of starting off with a beautiful Swiss prototype, I've opted for an industrial flavour. Granted, this results in a very broad gauge for this sort of prototype, but the feel is quite good I think - and my modest brick inventory is not unduly overtaxed!

Wagons are coupled using #35 O-rings from Lowe's (the same ones I use to upgrade the traction tires on my PF locos) I hope you enjoy! (PHOTOS)

[Take Notice!] TallTim of The Brickish Association has made some fabulous narrow gauge models.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Fall is well under way here on the NY/Canadian border (happy Canadian Thanksgiving BTW). With shorter days and cooler temperatures comes the shutting down of the layout for the winter months. Today's picture is a special treat then:

Notice this track joint. One of these sections is fresh 'out of the box' and the other has spent the entire season outside! Which is which? The only way I can tell is by the fact that one is straight and one is curved!

This then is the final word on weather it is feasible to use RC/PF track for a 'permanent' shaded outdoor layout.

Unfortunately, the turnouts didn't fair so well. After a season outside, they are stiff to throw and sloppy at staying thrown! A bad combination. I have not dissected one but if there are metal parts inside the base that might explain this problem.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Well that just stinks...

I'll be the first to admit that the latest wrinkle in my Lego empire is peculiar at best. It would seem that a mother skunk has chosen to construct her den not 7 meters from track-side! Four adorable kits now frequent the clearing at all times of day and night.

They're all just lucky I'm a patient sort - and a nature lover.

The pictures show the den in relation to the track and a closer picture of the opening. And no, I will not be posting any close-ups of the inhabitants, thanks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thank You,

I just wanted to take a moment to extend a great big "Thank You!" to the folks at Railbricks for featuring my 'empire'! I have always loved their site and was astonished to discover that they were the source of much of my new traffic. And, if you happen to be unfamiliar with, please visit them today.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Armchair engineer...

Between a hectic schedule and a two week long record hot spell, my outdoor Lego activities - and by extension this blog - have languished! While I wanted to relate an observations about RC/PF operations, I was loathe to post sans some new eye candy! Thus the accompanying shot of my Greatrix inspired intermodal flats.

I posit an observation that is undoubtedly common knowledge to anyone who has built more than a few Lego layouts, but since this is my first graduation from the family card table it was a hard lesson for me: Dog-bone loops in Lego cause a disagreeable change in train speed! This was something I never encountered with the more "prototypical" geometries and performance of HO scale trains. If and when I rebuild my outdoor empire, I will be going with more of an oval design to keep the extent of individual curves to a minimum.

BTW, I want to pass along a great site covering prototype motive power: - Be sure to check it out!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Visiting power spotted...

Glad I had my camera with me today! Seems this unit was a Lego Group demonstrator. The loco features the new Power Functions prime mover. Must be the I&L is shopping around for new motive power...

The design boasts almost 30% more tractive effort than the aging L41s they would be replacing.

PS: The photos also document the completion of the second main between East and West Loops!