Models (MOCs)

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Pennybacker (360) Bridge

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Formally known as “Project X”, I completed this model last weekend. Actually, I did not find the time to blog about it and properly tease viewers. Life got in the way.

However, the thing is done and I’ve put it in high gear and cranked out a proper webpage for it:
http://www.texbrick.com/model_pbridge



click to view page

10-ft Arched Truss Bridge Page

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

And here is another project that I’ve blogged about before. I’ve made a proper webpage for it, including a lot of photos and a write-up:
http://www.texbrick.com/10ftbridge



click to view page

The Crane Project Page

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

I’ve blogged about this project already, and I’ve finally gotten around to making a proper webpage for it on my site. Although at this point, the webpage isn’t finished yet :-)

At any rate, I just wanted to announce it and get it out there:
http://www.texbrick.com/model_craneproj



click to view page

M-H Tower Model Webpage

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

My webpage for the Memorial Hermann tower model is done:
www.texbrick.com/model_mhtwr/index.html



photo © D.Birkhead
(click to see more)

Update Jan. 2010

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

We’re already in the back-half of January 2010 and I honestly don’t know where time has gone. It almost makes a whooshing sound as it flies by.



My older son has been building a lot in the past several months. He’s built many small sets and has also started to use his imagination to make his own MOCs.



It’s been a lot of fun watching him build and play. A lot of my “LEGO time” is just being with him and helping him when he needs it.

So what’s new?

The complete Memorial Hermann tower model is pictured below. Sometime later, when they get the model in its permanent display, I’ll visit it to take my own photos.



I’ve been helping out our LUG (TexLUG) to build modular train tables. Here are some photos from Tony Sava.

I continue to tinker with PF trains and making powered bogies. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before here, but I’ve been wanting to “upgrade” my existing trains to PF, and I’m experimenting with various wheel and gear arrangements to find something that works smoothly and is durable.

My crane project sits idle. I disassembled the base and plan on building a new turntable. Rather, I need to finish the design that I came up with last year.

I’ve not yet disassembled the 10+ foot long arched truss bridge I built last year. I’ve decided to re-use it for an upcoming TexLUG event in March. But I’m going to widen the bridge by 8 studs to make passage of TexLUG’s monster-wide trains possible :-)

I think that’s it for the to-do list. Oh wait, there’s the white tower crane project as well….

So many ideas… too little time :-)

Memorial Herman Tower

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Whoops… I’ve let a lot of time slip by. I’ve been sitting on a special project for a long while now. It’s done as of about two weeks ago, but I have yet to upload the finished photos. Here’s a sneak peak of the unfinished model.



click for larger view

This is a 1:130 scale (roughly) model of a new hospital building here in Houston. I was contracted to built it, and planning and construction took place this past spring. I ended up passing along a portion of the model to another builder, Kurt Baty, so the MOC is actually co-designed and built by us.

Aside from that, nothing LEGO-related has been going on around here since the 10-foot bridge. I’ve messed around with some custom trucks for my train rolling stock, and I’ve played along with my 4-year old son quite a bit. He’s into building his own MOCs :-)

10-foot Bridge Success

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

The bridge made it through our train show (see photo gallery)! It held up great. I was quite surprised to find that no member or cross bracking loosened noticeably. Usually, on trusses like this, a piece of cross bracing will come loose at some point due to vibrations from the trains.



packed up and ready for the show (click for larger)

I packed up the model by breaking it into four sections, and then piggybacked two section pairs together.



at the show (click for larger)

TexLUG’s layout consisted of three 8-foot long tables on either end of the bridge. One of our members (Matt S.) brought two 2.5-foot small truss bridges, and we used those on one side of the layout.



inside view (click for larger)


Super Chief crossing (click for larger)

The bridge did endure some heavy loads. At one point, we had two very long trains on the main loop, and they managed to end up on the bridge at the same time. Both trains were longer than the bridge :-)



Tony’s Allegheny (click for larger)

Their were a few accidental human contacts, but it survived. The worse was when my 4-year old son was underneath and suddenly popped up. He buckled a section of deck with his head. I managed to press it all back together quickly before the train came back around :-)

A Few New MOCs

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Along with the major site update, I’ve also uploaded several new MOCs (My Own Creations, or models).

First up is a 4×4 telescopic boom crane I built in 2004. It’s an old model, but I’ve only recently created a webpage for it.



click to see model

The next three are all train related. I’ve recently updated an old UP diesel locomotive model that I built in 2002. I’ve also built a new diesel model. Both can be seen via this link:



click to see models

Last year I built my first steam locomotive. It’s a 0-4-0 dockside switcher:



click to see model

And finally, rolling stock. Two of the models are old ones I bulit back in 2002. There’s a third model (a tank car) that is brand new. You can see all of them via this link:



click to see models

Crane Project, Phase 1 Overview

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

About a year ago, I got the itch to build another large crane. I started a model and finished it in about two months. The final MOC (my own creation) isn’t really a finalized piece, but rather a project to test various ideas.

What really inspired me to build this were several ideas I had for a large crane, and this project turned out to be more of a testing phase than a real, finished MOC.



click for larger view

Specifically, I had some ideas about a new turntable design and also further development of using large plates to make beams for the framework (including joining them at an angle other than 90 degrees). I also spent the time to develop a compact winch package that could be reused on future projects.



click for larger view

I call this “Phase 1″ because I’m going to contunue to work on it. I created a 4-legged pedestal base for this crane to test out my ideas of joining built-up beams (made from large plates) at different angles. In “Phase 2″, I’m going to explore other ideas I have for a base – a moveable base :-)

In the next phase, I’m also going to redesign the turntable. The original design worked okay, but had its flaws. The most serious flaw is that it lacked the strength I wanted. The crane would just barely support 20 pounds on the main hook, and I I’d like to see 50 pounds supported or more.

I have other projects in the way right now, so it will be a while before I continue on with this crane. But first I need to take close-up photos of the components of “Phase 1″ so that I can present the ideas here.

More to come soon… :-)