d386 Lego Miscellany: T18, Trains, Haruka, Kagurazaka, MASS, and Cyber Derp


There’s been a fair bit of Lego stuff going on as of late (though I am trying to keep drawing on the side) so I figure it was time to make a post!

DRG T18 1001

This locomotive has been in development hell since May of last year. I think I didn’t get the final parts until late January; it was definitely after the end of the BayLUG Christmas show. The T18 is a steam-turbine and, unlike the 5AT and the ACE, it was actually built in 1920s. As you can see, it was originally built with some cowling that was gradually removed; I am modelling its least cowled iteration as depicted by this model.

The scale is the usual 77mm per LU, and the locomotive and tender combined are about as long as the 5AT. Also like the 5AT, the construction is mostly conventional studs up with a couple of SNOT bits in the tender. The articulation is 2-4-4-2 with an expansion joint between the last driver and the third idler, and this chassis has the somewhat odd property that the second idler shares the same “truck” as the lead driver, along with the turbine output shaft. The split side rods are linked together using Ben’s Gimmicky Gears (TM).

Overall, I think this a pretty nice model, but nothing too spectacular. The final Brickshelf gallery is there.


J and I took all of our trains to the February BayLUG meeting, and I took some video of mine (this is the first video of the T18 and the 5AT). Here is a compilation:

The freight train we are pulling has something new too. J and I are planning to make a bunch of simple gondolas where the objective is to have decent rolling stock with minimal effort. Cosmetically the idea is to have cars that will fit in with US and Euro locomotives; we’re tentatively calling it “Atlantic” style. They will all be based on the gondola in 4563 but with new click panels that stay upright better. We are planning to make at least 3 identical ones, and a couple oddballs, varying the type of panels, colors, and length. The dark grey one is the “main” design, and I think it looks pretty decent too.

The 5AT and the ACE have also undergone chassis revisions to improve running quality. The 5AT was practically inoperable during the Christmas show (I think) due to the excessive friction between the rear “truck” (with the drivers) and the body. The ACE actually had a geometry fault, which made the leading and trailing trucks “float” off the rails, even on flat surfaces. Both locomotives also have new side rod assemblies, which are pinned to the wheels instead of studded.


I actually can’t believe this one is getting built.

The light battleship Haruka is my third attempt to replace the Kagurazaka, and I’m more or less committed to finishing it (and therefore actually replacing the Kagurazaka this time) at this point. The idea of a ship composed of just a few rectilinear shapes came to me probably almost a year ago now, and at least by September I was thinking about it more concretely. Actual work started in late January, and the final design is just about set. I’m mainly waiting to put together some ginormous bricklink order and to modify some of the greebles and such based on what I can and can’t get.

The Haruka has some more involved mechanical features too, the likes of which haven’t really shown up since the ridiculously cumbersome pneumatic landing gear on the Narusegawa. If you turn one of the left/right engines or one of the front/back turrets, its partner will turn with it. If you turn hard enough while holding the partner, the engines and turrets can also be turned individually. All of this can also be controlled with the size knobs toward the back of the ship. All of this business use the Technic ribbed hose to friction the engines/turrets together, and there are also parts I don’t really use much like universal joints, turntables, and 32 length cross axles!

My biggest concern with the Haruka is structural integrity, but it’s a little different than usual. The body of the ship is actually pretty strong, especially when the hull is attached to the frame, but the engines and turrets are attached to Technic turntables which aren’t really sturdy in cantilever and subsequently sag a bit. I’m not really sure what, if anything, to do about it yet…

There is a gallery for this, but obviously it’s not done.


I am slowly dismantling the Kagurazaka now, but I took new pictures before doing so!

There is an updated gallery for this this too.


MASS, standing for Modular something something Standard (maybe) is a modular spacecraft standard that J and I came up with in high school. We quickly found out that it is very impractical for larger ships as it eats up a lot of parts and is relatively fragile (compared to a single piece ship). Nonetheless, all of my legacy ships from the Narusegawa to the Tsuruka were more or less MASS compliant, including the ginormous Aoyama. All of my recent ships have been single piece, and I think it’s been a great boon for aesthetics, structural integrity, and parts conservation, but J and I are thinking of revisiting MASS.

J and I brought the ISoC and Kagurazaka (the only two MASS ships remaining) to the February BayLUG meeting and mixed and matched the modules for shits and giggles. I think this is what he has in mind when he says “revisit MASS”, but I just want to rebuild my Tsuruka (I made the analogy of the anime villain who just wants to resurrect his dead waifu), in my opinion the best of my legacy ships. It should be easy with all of the parts coming out of the Kagurazaka. I am going to look at tweaking it a little, and I’m modelling it in LDD!

Out of laziness I am current planning to use one of the container modules from J’s ISoC, but you could say this is the beauty of MASS.

Cyber Derp

This is another J and me project that’s been sitting on the back burner for a while. Anyone who was into Lego in the late 90s should know of CyberSlam. Well, Cyber Derp is CyberSlam with Power Functions and a bucket of Derp. Each vehicle can drive forward or turn right going backwards (yes that means there are only two movement options) or activate it’s puncher. The goal is to hit the target (that’s the steering wheel piece) on the opposing vehicle in order to launch the opposing “driver” out of his seat. One motor drives the puncher through a worm gear, and the other motor drives the tracks through a differential. One side of the differential output is ratcheted such that it doesn’t move while the vehicle reverses.

Presumably this wasn’t planned to be as derpy as it turned out, but as built the vehicles were very slow with very slow punches, and it was very difficult to actually hit the targets (which were already enlarged from CyberSlam’s default 3×3 targets). The tall construction combined with the high, forward mounted battery boxes also meant that the vehicles were fairly unstable, and most knockouts were due to falling over. Hence, Cyber Derp.

And that’s it for now.

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