Tuesday, 31 May 2016

How to ballast straight Lego train track

I love the look of ballast and sleepers on Lego train track, it really adds an extra level of detail to any train display. It is however very plate and tile intensive, so it needs to be approached with a budget in mind.

I make my straight section across two green 32x32 baseplates. The track is designed to sit 4 studs from the side of each plate.

I use either Light Grey, Light Bley, Dark grey and Dark Bley to add to the affect.
Step 1: Lay about the plates on your baseplates matching the format exactly as below.The Dark Grey?Bley plates MUST be this colour at the places as shown. The other 1x wide plate can be any colour you like.

Step 2:
Lay down the 2x wide Light Grey/Bley that run the length of the track. the 4x wide plate down the middle can be any colour you want.

Step 3: Place the train track down onto the plates. push it down firmly. I only use the old 9v track because it looks the best.


Step 4: Place Light Grey/Bley 2x4 plate in between the track as in the picture below.

Step 5:  The next step is to place 1x2 Light Grey/Bley plate along the edges of track to fil in the spaces. Then add the 1x4 Reddish Brown tile spaced 1 tile apart. Also add 1x1 round and square plate to look like loose stone.

Step 6:  The final step is to add the 1x1 Reddish Brown tile to finish off the sleepers off.

How to ballast curved Lego train track

I love the look of ballast and sleepers on Lego train track, it really adds an extra level of detail to any train display. It is however very plate and tile intensive, so it needs to be approached with a budget in mind.
I use either Light Grey, Light Bley, Dark grey and Dark Bley to add to the affect.

Here is how I start out with a curved 2 piece section.

Step 1:Using a mix of eight of the 2x10 Light Grey/Bley and one of the 1x10 Grey/Bley plate, I apply them to the bottom of the track.

Step 2: Add the remaining seven 1x10 Light Grey/Bley plates.

Step 3: Next is the eight 1x4 Light Grey/Bley plates that get held in place with the seven 2x4 and one 2x3  Dark Grey/Bley  plates across the top. Then apply the one 2x4  Dark Grey/Bley  plate , seven 2x3  Dark Grey/Bley  plates and two 1x3  Dark Grey/Bley  plates to the top and bottom right of the section.

Step 4: Now, it's time to turn the plate over and apply some more Light Grey/Bley plate as below. Eight 1x1 Light Grey/Bley plates along the bottom, eight 1x4 Light Grey/Bley plates in the middle section and eight 1x2 Light Grey/Bley plates across the top.
The reason we do this is so that we can apply the sleeper tiles.

Step 5: Now apply the sleepers (sometimes called ties) as shown below which consists of sixteen 1x4 Reddish Brown tiles and thirty two 1x1 Reddish Brown tiles.

Step 6: Additional 1x1 square and round plate can be added to show loose stones if required.

Monday, 30 May 2016

How I cover my sidewalks on Lego road plates

Lego road plates look good in any lego city, but are fairly bland if they are just put down as is without any proper paved sidewalks added to them.
I started out by covering them in light bley 2x2 tiles, but this became time consuming and the minifigs on them would fall over. I then started adding in light bley 2x2 tile with stud in middle so that I could stand up the minifigs on them.
The next step was to use light bley 6x6 tiles to more quickly and easily cover the tiles, but they would pop off all the time and were hard to find in quantity.
I finally decided to use a combination of plate and tile of various colours, because most sidewalks and footpaths have a variety of colours in the real world, and so should the Lego ones.
Here are some photo's of the finished plates

Straight plates using tiles and plates. I can place minfigs, bins, streetlamps etc at various places to give it a more realistic look. There is a 1 stud gap down each side so that the road plates can be joined with others plates.

Curve plates are built using more of the 6x6 tiles.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Completed pictures of my CVN-65 USS Enterprise Aircraft Carrier

I have completed the carrier now and have it on display at a Lego show In Wollongong, Australia.
I am very happy with the way it turned out and I have had excellent feedback from those who have seen it.
Here are the pictures.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Building the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier CVN-65

I had wanted to build a large ship for quite some time, and there is no better ship to honour with a large Lego build than the Enterprise. As the United States first Nuclear powered aircraft carrier, she packed 8 reactors and at over 1000ft long, was and still is the longest military ship in the world. Although made inactive in 2012, she is still floating, although in an unusable state.

When starting to plan the design by looking at 100's of images on the internet, I came across a user on Mocpages who had built it in LDD and so I decided to reverse engineer it from the images he uploaded.
Total build time window was 3 weeks with about 50 hours going into the actual build itself.

Sitting on a configuration of two wide and nine long of the 32x32 baseplates in blue, I built the ship to separate into 3 sections for transportation so that each section is on  a more manageable  two wide 3 long baseplate section.

Laying down the base: (with my trusty assistant)

After building up a base with cross sections to give it rigidity, I then started work on the rear of the carrier next so that I could wait whilst a  few orders of slopes required for the front of the ship arrived from Bricklink.

I used a lot of arches to give the ship it's core strength require for supporting the flight deck and also in making sure it doesn't fall apart when being transported. One of the key differences between models built for home display, and those built for shows are the level of engineering that has to go into the structural design. 

The back section was probably the easiest due to the fact that it is straight up and down, even though it has a bit more detail and greebling done to it than the rest of the ship.  The ship starts widening and elevators are marked out on the flight deck. I couldn't easily make the internal hangar, so I chose to install doors and non moving hangars. I may come back and retrofit motorised hangars at a later point in time.

The back section is mostly complete accept for tiling on the deck.  The structural design is clearly visible in the images below. They are spaced so that I can place a 16x16 plate on top to form the flight deck of the ship.

Work continues on the midsection below with the base of the island being installed and more of the curved sections of the hull.

More interior shots with structure using arches.

The work on the bow was some of the most difficult, and required lots of rebuilding to get the angles and dimensions correct. I eventually made the front 2 studs thinner to give it a more accurate look.

Some overall progress shots with more tiling done on the flight deck.

More pics of the redesigned bow, I finally got it right, but it took a lot of trial and error..

Finishing off the final part of the bow, and tiling of the deck. It is hard to get the lines on the deck to not look blocky at this scale.

At the 99% completed stage, just need to add some string across the deck to act as arrestors, build some jets for the deck, and add some waves around the sides of the ship.