OPC 6: Victorian House by Mike Doyle

Written by TJ on January 28th, 2011

Three Story Victorian with Tree by Mike Doyle

Click to view Flickr Page

(image © Mike Doyle)

Wow. Just wow.

My mind refused to believe this was made of LEGO until I checked out Mike’s blog (there’s a link to it on his Flickr page). The incredible amount of detail is astonishing.

The Desk

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

And finally, the long awaited photo of the new build area and desk:

Click to see larger pic

I tore down the old system of shelves back in November, which were not very sound and also not efficient with regards to storage space. I put up three new shelves directly mounted to the wall. The back of the desk’s surface serves as a fourth, bottom “shelf”.

The spacing of all the shelves was optimzed to fit my storage bins. I use the small-open-bin-type storage systems for the main storage. Storage of overflow parts (i.e. the parts that won’t fit into the small bins) go into the compartmentalized boxes (with lids) on top.

Protection of this highly-sorted bunch of parts comes in the form of hinged doors. When I’m done building for the day, I clear off the desk and shut these white doors. I still need to attach proper latches.

Click to see larger pic

“Protection” means I basically have to keep my kids from accessing these bins while I’m at work or otherwise out of the house. My 2-year old likes to get on my desk, pull bins, and dump them all over.

I also shortened the depth of my desk. It was 36″ deep, which made reaching the bins from a sitting position kind of hard (my arms aren’t THAT long). Now it’s 28″ deep and just right.

I kept the length of the desk (or width, as you look at it) the same: 8 feet.

In the past several weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time building, and I have to say all the modifications were worth it. I’m happy with the new set-up, and I think it works well for me.

LUG Showcase

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

I’ve created a “scene” for our (TexLUG) February LUG (LEGO Users Group) Showcase.

Click to see larger pic

The LUG Showcase program is program offered by the LEGO retail stores, and each store has a small display case for this feature. LUGs are invited to display a creation and advertise their club. The change-out of displays happens about every month.

Click to see larger pic

This is my first time to do a display. This display will go into the case in the Houston Galleria LEGO store on February 5. It will be up until early March.

Work in Progress: UP 844

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

I started this in April 2010, worked on it for a short while, then stopped building.

Click to see larger pic

Around the new year, I started up again and made significant progress. The main engine is pretty much done, except for some minor things and some “greebling” to be done. I also ran out of a few parts and I’m waiting for a Bricklink order to come in.

Click to see larger pic

I just started on the tender this past weekend. I’m working out the details of the wheels and linkages between wheel groups.

To recap: the engine is a model of Union Pacific’s 844 (4-8-4). It uses four geared 9V motors (pre-Power Functions), one for each driver set. The drivers are XL BBB (Big Ben Bricks).

It will be controlled by a Power Functions receiver and battery pack. Those will be housed in the tender.

I’m hoping to get this finished in a few weeks.


Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

Well, tree as in one tree, really :-) There will be more to come.

Click to see larger pic

I took the time to put together a tree with loads of flex tube. There is a single, long piece down the shaft (trunk) of the tree (the “trunk” is made of 2×2 round, brown bricks). There are four leaf pieces captured between every 2×2 brick, but then each leaf piece has a second piece connected to form a branch. There is a very short piece of flex tube at every one of these junctions between leaf pieces.

The problem with trees like this has always been that the branch leaf pieces do not stay connected. Any handling or vibration tends to knock them loose. When you pull something like this out of storage, there’s usually several dozen leaf pieces in the bottom of the bin.

The flex tube seems to fix this issue. I’ve let my kids handle the tree, and not a single leaf piece has fallen off.

OPC 5: Sandvik LH209L by Marek Markiewicz

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

Sandvik LH209L by Marek Markiewicz

Click to view MOC Page gallery

(image © Marek Markiewicz)

You don’t often see mining equipment MOC’d with LEGO. This beast is tough looking. I like the old, solid, large Technic tires.

Be sure to dig back into his other pages for his excellent Sandvik LH517L MOC.

OPC 4: US Truck 3 by Ingmar Spijkhoven

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

US Truck 3 by Ingmar Spijkhoven

Click to view Flickr gallery

(image © Ingmar Spijkhoven)

I love the tough look of the thing. Very well done! This reminds me of some of the great MOCs from builders years ago on Lugnet, like Dennis Bosman.

OPC 3: Caterpillar 772 Dump Truck by Richard Brown

Written by TJ on January 24th, 2011

Caterpillar 772 Dump Truck by Richard Brown

Digging back into Richard Brown’s photos on Flickr, I found many other great creations.

Click to view Flickr gallery

(image © Richard Brown)

Check out Richard’s photostream for more!

OPC 2: Komatsu PC5500 by Richard Brown

Written by TJ on January 13th, 2011

Komatsu PC5500 Supershovel by Richard Brown

It didn’t take long for me to come across something really cool :-) This popped up this morning on Flickr.

Click to view Flickr gallery

(image © Richard Brown )

Things That I Like:

The look. Richard did very well and achieved his goal, IMO. This does look very nice.

I like the cylinders, despite them being non-functional. He stated, “I toyed with the idea of using the Pneumatic rams but they didn’t look as good, as I was going for realism rather than function.“. I somewhat agree here, but my own preference would be to compromise on the looks a little bit and go with the pneumatics so that the MOC would be functional.

I love the dark gray (bley) and yellow color scheme. IMO, they are the perfect two colors for large equipment :-)

The scale. It’s about minifig scale, and makes for a nice-sized model. Not tool large but not too small either.

OPC 1: Manitowoc 4600 Dragline

Written by TJ on January 12th, 2011

Manitowoc 4600 Dragline by Emilus.

Note: this is the first in, hopefully, a long series of blog posts that will feature the creations of other people. My previous blog post explains this, but I simply want to feature MOCs that have attracted my attention and that I feel are worth sharing (and remembering).

Click to view Brickshelf gallery

(image © Emilus)

It’s been a long while since I’ve seen a MOC like this that could be classified entirely into the Technic theme. It has great detail but also really great functionality.

NOTE: If you step back into Emilus’ Brickshelf galleries, there’s a sister folder for this model titled “WIP” (work in progress). There are some detail shots of the inner workings of this model.

Things That I Like:

The functionality. It appears to be entirely motorized and controlled by PF (power functions). That should make it fun to play with, er… use :-)

The color. That’s a lot of yellow Technic right there. I like it!

Scale. There’s just something right about the Technic figure scale. And I like that there are a few Technic figs thrown in.

I’ve always been a fan of Manitowoc crawler based cranes (and draglines). I think they are simple, basic designs that translate well into a model. I like the choice of of the 4600 dragline to model.

The boom looks a bit rough, but I really like how it’s all mostly yellow. The constant color throughout its design really makes it look nice.

The turntable is pretty good! It’s a fairly compact design that uses rollers. It looks like it would function quite well.