OPC: Other People’s Creations

Written by TJ on January 12th, 2011

I get to announce a new MOC* about once every ice age (give or take). Since having kids and also taking a serious interest in photography, the time available to me for building is something like a quarter, or less, of what it used to be. (Not that I’m complaining. I wouldn’t trade my kids (or my cameras) for anything :-) )

* MOC: my own creation, a model NOT built from instructions produced by LEGO or any other source, i.e. something of my own design that is unique.

I thought I would start a series of posts titled OPC (Other People’s Creations). The purpose of this is to simply call attention to some MOC that I’ve seen that has attracted my attention and that I believe is worth sharing.

I’ll probably keep it in a Technic/ModelTeam theme, but I also like a whole variety of other stuff, like trains, so I won’t confine myself to any one or two themes.

The real purpose of this is to keep me active in the online LEGO fan community. Sometimes I go for months without setting virtual “foot” into an AFOL related website, and I miss out on good stuff and inspiring MOCs.

Keep an eye out for an OPC post soon! :-)

Welcome 2011 – News

Written by TJ on January 12th, 2011

A belated Happy New Year to you all! There are several things I’d like to announce and highlight:

Brick Fiesta: The first ever AFOL (adult fan of LEGO®) convention in the southern US is coming soon. Brick Fiesta will be held in Austin, Texas starting on June 30, 2011 and will run through July 3. TexLUG (the Texas LEGO® Users Group; my home-state LUG) is presenting this event. I will be there as a displayer of MOCs and also as a volunteer to help with the convention.

My Building Desk: The modifications and “upgrades” (that I previously mentioned) are done. I worked on it slowly through December, particularly during the Christmas break, but it’s finally complete.

And it’s awesome. I finally have an efficient, well organized build area. And no photos :-) I’ll get some up soon.

Various Projects: Seems like I always have multiple projects sitting around waiting for completion. Well, I decided to scrap some and finally pick up old ones and work on them.

• Crane Project: This started years ago as a study of some new ideas on heavy-duty designs for large cranes. I’ve decided to scrap the turntable design completely (instead of just revising it) and start a new one. This will be a long-term project that may not get finished for a long while (that should be a disclaimer on every project of mine :-)

• UP 844: Last year my family and I saw the Union Pacific heritage 844 steam locomotive (a 4-8-4) roll through town. Shortly after, I became greatly inspired and bought a set of BBB XL drivers. This project is only about 30-40% complete, and I finally picked it up last weekend and worked on it. I’m hoping to get it done in a month or so. It will be PF (LEGO® Power Functions).

• Trees: I recently built a large tree and fixed (or nearly so) the issue of the leaf elements falling off. This involves using very short pieces of flex tubing where leaf elements join together. I plan on re-doing all my previously built trees. Photos to come soon.

• Trains: Aside from the 844 MOC, I’m still very much interested in building new train stock. I’m not sure what I want to do just yet, but I do need more rolling stock as well as revision of my existing MOCs. For example, I’d like to re-do my UP diesel MOC to make it PF compatible. We’ll see… This is low-priority at the moment.

• Something Big: I’m set on building something new and quite large for Brick Fiesta. I’m not sure what it will be. Perhaps the results of the crane project? Perhaps something else? :-)

Desk Update

Written by TJ on November 18th, 2010

I have a lot of housekeeping to work on as well as a bunch of new ideas bouncing around in my head. I think I’m headed towards a spell of creative building, but I have to get my workspace in order.

the new plan

My current desk and system of shelves is inefficient and hard to use. I’m going to chop up my desk and remake it as well as install proper shelves mounted to the wall behind the desk.

This new “system” will make more efficient use of my workspace. I’m planning on tackling this job starting in a few days. Hopefully I can get going and start building again!

Brick Fiesta 2011

Written by TJ on November 18th, 2010

TexLUG (Texas LEGO® Users Group) is hosting the first international AFOL convention in Texas next year, scheduled for June 30 through July 3, 2011. I’m part of the TexLUG club and will most likely be helping out with this event as well as attending it with MOCs to display.

Please check out the Brick Fiesta site for more info:

Status Update

Written by TJ on August 27th, 2010

I’m sorry, but I don’t have much to update :-)

I actually dug out the Pennybacker Bridge model (or the pieces of it, actually), assembled most of it, and repaired the damage done when I broke it down after the last show. I’m thinking of maybe displaying it in my house somewhere, but it’s rather large and I’ll also have to keep it out of reach of my kids! :-)

Work, photography, and my home life has occupied my time. My sons and I have tinkered a lot, but I’ve not built anything serious since the bridge.

Actually, I do have a train project going. I need to finish it…

Pennybacker (360) Bridge

Written by TJ on 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:

click to view page

10-ft Arched Truss Bridge Page

Written by TJ on 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:

click to view page

The Crane Project Page

Written by TJ on 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:

click to view page

M-H Tower Model Webpage

Written by TJ on March 9th, 2010

My webpage for the Memorial Hermann tower model is done:

photo © D.Birkhead
(click to see more)

Projects & Stuff – Feb. 2010

Written by TJ on February 11th, 2010

TexLUG’s display at the Healthy Baby and Child Expo in Houston was a good success (see more info and pics here). Our modular tables (based on the MichLUG design) made their debut and worked quite well.

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It was very nice to have a flat, level surface (roughly matching LEGO dimensions) to set our stuff on.

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Finally… I have taken photos of my train work :-) I’ve been messing around with two things. The first is an 8-wide bogie for freight cars.

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I did a lot of test runs at the HBCE show, and the fatal flaw in the design is that the outsides of the bogie fall off. Their attachment to the inner frame is a little weak, and that’s something I’ll revise.

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My other train work has been on a compact, powered bogie. This design will be useful to make a powered (using LEGO’s Power Functions parts) boxcar or perhaps a tender for a steam engine.

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It’s problem is that the whole assembly torques to one side when running. This presents a problem when running through switches. I’ll work on debugging this design.

I’m making the switch to using PF trains and getting away from the old 9V system. One of my old 9V motors died recently, and it’s just the push I needed to move to PF. Aside from that, I’m really attracted to making PF trains because I get to design and build the drive systems. That’s Technic-related stuff and that’s what I enjoy.

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And finally we have Project X.

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More about that later :-)