Tag Archives: train

Big Train*

Lego CP 1408 Locomotive

Just like your Mom, today’s model is much, much larger than you think it’s going to be. Riding on brick-built wheels (each made from nineteen pieces), Andre Pinto‘s CP 1409 locomotive is a seven thousand piece Goliath, with another seven thousand pieces in the brick-built tracks and base.

These engines were constructed in England in the 1960s for use in Portugal, where 67 of them pulled pretty much anything across the country. Andre’s creation replicates the original locomotives beautifully and there’s more to see at his Flickr album via the link above, plus you can join the discussion at the Eurobricks forum here.

Lego CP 1408 Locomotive

*The surreal British comedy from which today’s title is taken. Good if you want to see what Simon Pegg did before he was a famous movie star, not so good if you want to laugh…

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Iron Road

Lego Microscale Train Bridge

We’re a bit nerdy here at The Lego Car Blog, so sometimes we like a good bridge. OK, we’ll show ourselves out, but before we go and have a quite word with ourselves if you suffer from this unfortunate disposition too you can check out of more of Tim Schwalfenberg‘s (brilliant) ‘River Crossing’ at the link.

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Wagon Wheels

Lego Train Wagons

These four beautiful tanker wagons were discovered on Flickr today. Built by Alexander (aka narrow_gauge) they are some of the most intricately detailed (and wonderfully liveried) train creations we’ve come across. See more at Alexander’s photostream via the link above.

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The LEGO Trains Book | Book Review

The Lego Trains Book

Thump. It was just before Christmas, and a brown package slammed onto the hallway floor of TLCB Towers. A dozen TLCB Elves immediately ran towards it, but thwarted by its weight were unable to make off with their prize. A lot of post goes missing here.

Fortunately this TLCB writer is considerably bigger than a TLCB Elf and thus was able to pick up said package and, with some Elves still attached, retreat to the TLCB ‘staffroom’ (an ancient sofa in the corner of the office).

Usually heavy packages received here at TLCB Towers are ‘Cease and Desist’ notifications wrapped around a breeze block from The Brothers Brick, but this time we had a present! No Starch Press; we like you!

The Lego Trains Book

No Starch have been in the Lego book game for a while, consistently churning out books about our favourite plastic building blocks for some years. Their latest publication is this, the 230-page ‘The Lego Trains Book‘ by Holger Matthes.

In compact landscape format and produced in No Starch’s usual glossy high quality form ‘The Lego Trains Book’ really is surprisingly heavy, but does the content live up to the cover?

‘The Lego Trains’ book begins, after a brief Forward and Acknowledgements section, with a chapter detailing the history of LEGO’s official Trains line, following the range from its beginnings in the 1960s, through the battery era, live rail era (this writer’s favourite), to the latest remote control Power Functions sets. It’s a comprehensive compilation of the LEGO Trains history and one that’s sure to be of interest to anyone who loves the theme, although it is perhaps a bit too in-depth for the more casual Lego builder.

The Lego Trains Book

Chapter two is entitled ‘Basic Principles’, and it’s brilliant. Detailing building techniques and parts ratios it’s perfect for any builder of any theme (not just Trains) looking to create more advanced Lego creations. Utilising well-chosen digital depictions the author makes even the more complex techniques easy to understand, and whilst these aren’t quite as high quality visually as LEGO’s own they are good enough to make for useful teaching-aids.

Chapters three and four build upon these techniques with practical application, detailing the considerations and choices available when designing your own train models. This is a very thorough chapter offering insights into a variety of scales, how to ensure models can handle tight corners, how to connect carriages to one another, how to create realistic steam train mechanisms and such like.

It’s a gloriously nerdy section and as such Holger includes links to third-party products and design software that can help a builder reach the utmost level of realism. This may be a bit too in-depth for most builders (ourselves included), but it’s usually better to have too much information than too little.

The Lego Trains Book

The final chapter, which at 100 pages long makes up nearly half the book, is where ‘The Lego Trains Book’ comes alive. Continue reading

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Not a Car

Lego NSW AD60 Steam Locomotive

But one heck of a beautiful steam train. And who doesn’t like steam trains? This particular locomotive is a New South Wales AD60 Class, of which 42 were built in the 1950s. Coming right at the end of the steam’s reign on the railways the AD60 Class were the most powerful locomotives ever used in Australia and this 97 stud long replica packs a punch too, being powered by twin Power Functions XL motors. Alexander of Flickr is the builder behind this stunning recreation of the AD60 and there’s lots more to see, including some ingenious ‘how to’ photos detailing the hidden building techniques, via the link above.

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Blue Comet

Lego Blue Comet Steam Train

Operating from the late 1920s until the early 1940s in New Jersey, the Blue Comet pulled carriages between New York and Atlantic City, taking just three hours to complete the journey (including a ferry crossing to Manhattan Island), and able to reach speeds of over 100mph. This magnificent recreation of one of America’s most beautiful locomotives comes from Flickr’s Cale Leiphart who has faithfully recreated not just the locomotive, but the tender and carriages too. An extensive gallery of superb images is available to view at Cale’s photostream – click the link above to buy your ticket.

Lego Blue Comet Locomotive

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Not a Car

Lego Crane Train

But probably the nicest crane-train thingumy we’ve ever seen. Plus we like trains, and we like cranes, so it’s appearing here. Dario Minisini is the builder and there’s more to see of this lovely mini-figure scale build on Flickr.

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Once Upon a Time in the West

Lego Western Train Robbery

Yes it’s no use saying that you don’t know nothing
It’s still gonna get you if you don’t do something
Sitting on a fence that’s a dangerous course
Oh, you could even catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force
Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest
Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west

Our obscure British music theme continues here at The Lego Car Blog. If that’s not your thing (and if it isn’t, take a long look at yourself), perhaps try this alternative. Oh, the model! This superb Western train robbery scene comes from Flickr’s markus19840420 (there must be a lot of Markuses on Flickr) and there’s more to see by clicking here.

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Mr. Plow

Lego Snow Plow Train

Your Mom likes a good plow, so today we’ve got one. This is a replica of a PKP 411S-121, and it’s been recreated beautifully by Maciej Drwięga of Flickr. Exquisite detail abounds, and you can see all of the superb photos of Maciej’s build at his photostream via the link above.

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Between the Lines

Lego Town Tram

Trams are – if you’re a cyclist – fraught with peril. One second you’re happily riding along, the next your wheels have dropped into a tramline, and the next you’re in an ambulance. This Lego Town cyclist seems to have taken the ‘if you can’t beat ’em join ’em’ approach and hitched his bike to the front to go for a nice safe sit down inside. Either that or he crossed in front of it without looking and it now has a new hood ornament. Let’s hope it’s the former…

There’s more to see of this lovely Town-style tram on Flickr courtesy of Prison Brick. Click the link to take a ride over to his photostream.

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Not a Car

Lego Steam Train

The Lego Car Blog Elves didn’t find any cars for us to blog today, but they did find this; a lovely Town-scale replica of a German BR23 Epoch II steam locomotive. It’s been built by omega3108, it’s driven by Power Functions, and there’s more to see via the link above.

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Tiny Lego Wonders – Book Review

Tiny Lego Wonders Review

‘Where can I get instructions / How do I build it?’. It’s the single most frequently asked question that we receive here at TLCB – so just how do you start ‘MOCing’?

It’s a question we raised in our review of the superb No Starch Press produced ‘Art of Lego Scale Modeling‘ book last year, and one that, since LEGO discontinued their brilliant Ideas Books, has gone unanswered. Now though, No Starch Press have created a book aimed squarely at fulfilling this need.

Tiny Lego Wonders, written by LEGO-Ambassador Mattia Zamboni, features 200 pages of clear instructions for 40 wonderfully realistic miniature vehicles, from cars to buses via trains, aircraft, construction equipment and more. The book is divided into sections that categorise these models according to where you might find them in the real world, for example the airport, the harbour, and the construction site.

Each location section features a double-page spread showing all of the vehicles within it in a large brick-built scene. It’s a simple yet brilliant addition that’s very reminiscent of LEGO’s old annual catalogues and it’s sure to provide a huge amount of inspiration.

Lego Instructions Book

Every set of instructions starts with a high quality image of the finished model, just as any official LEGO set does, along with a parts list and a difficulty level. The instructions themselves are beautifully clear and the build process will be familiar to anyone who has constructed an official LEGO set.

There are perhaps slightly fewer steps and marginally more complicated sub-assemblies than you’ll find in LEGO’s own work, but if anything LEGO have over-simplified their instructions in recent times and Tiny Lego Wonders seems to have struck a good balance between conciseness and difficulty.

Lego TGV Train Instructions

Where Tiny Lego Wonders scores huge points is with its inspiration potential. All of the models featured use common non-specialist parts, but even so it’s unlikely that most builders will have the exact part and colour combinations to recreate the model piece-for-piece as per the instructions. However the instructions are so good, and the models so thoughtfully designed, that changing the colours or design slightly is really easy. And once you’ve done that, you’ve started MOCing!

Some sections also include images of additional variations of the model detailed in the instructions, showing what can be done with a few simple changes. Again, these are really easy to replicate (even though they aren’t included in the instructions) and having a go yourself will instantly turn you into a ‘MOCer’.

Lego Car Instructions

Are there any disappointments? Nope, not really. Perhaps a few of the large double-page scenes look a little over-polished / too digitalised to these eyes, but other than that Tiny Lego Wonders might be the perfect MOCer’s book. Which gives us a bit of a dilemma in giving a rating because, despite the general ineptitude in TLCB office, there are some talented builders here who would have limited use for such a book. However, Tiny Lego Wonders isn’t aimed at the microscopic demographic of ‘Lego Blogger’, and thus we can ignore our usage and rate it accordingly;

Tiny Lego Wonders

Buy this book! Even at just £13 / $17 for the hardcover on Amazon, Tiny Lego Wonders is as beautifully produced as all No Starch Press publications, but for it to remain pristine on a bookshelf or coffee table would be a great shame. Tiny Lego Wonders needs to look dog-eared, shabby and worn out, because the value of this book is in its use; Tiny Lego Wonders could be the launchpad you need to start your MOCing journey.

From now on when anyone asks us ‘How do I build it?’ we’re going to give the same answer; You start here.

✮✮✮✮✮

No Starch Press

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Hey Big Boy!*

Lego Union Pacific Big Boy Locomotive

This magnificent creation is the work of previous bloggee and TLCB Master MOCer Dennis Glaasker aka Bricksonwheels, and it’s something rather special. It’s a Union Pacific ‘Big Boy’ locomotive, and unlike most of Dennis’ builds it’s a relatively small 1:38 scale. But that doesn’t mean it’s a small build; at over a metre long it takes three Power Functions XL motors mounted in the tender to drive it, which is probably the most power any mini-figure has ever had.

Building such a huge locomotive presented Dennis with several building challenges. LEGO don’t make train wheels large enough, so Dennis worked with a friend to design and manufacture unique 3D printed wheels – complete with LEGO-compatible valve gear. A Tamiya RC battery provides the power, connected via an SBrick control module to ensure the battery power remains derestricted, and the train’s lighting is taken care of via a neat Brickstuff LED kit.

Lego Big Boy Steam Train Bricksonwheels

Whilst some way from a completely Lego build, Dennis’ creation shows how exceptional a model can be when LEGO bricks are used alongside specialist components.

If you’re interest in learning more about the Union Pacific build and the components used to create it you can visit the model at Dennis’ Flickr photostream here, where there are also links to the third-party suppliers and where you can see the other amazing creations that Dennis has built.

Lego Union Pacific Big Boy Train Remote Control

*In the voice of your Mom

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Train Wreck

Lego Steam Train Crash

The Lego Car Blog Elves don’t usually like trains. But they do like crashes. They like crashes a lot. So you can imagine their delight when this incredible scene from W Navarre was found.* Sadly the Elves haven’t figured out that this is a photograph, and not a movie, so the much anticipated crash will never come, but they will eventually.

You can check out the full scene on MOCpages, where there are some simply stunning details. Click the link above to climb on board!

*By ‘found’, we really mean ‘stolen’. Thanks Bricknerd!

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All Aboard

Lego Train

We don’t post trains here at TLCB unless they’re particularly lovely. This one by Flickr’s msbbanl is particularly lovely, and you can get a ticket at the link above.

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