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Friday, March 1, 2013

More LEGO orders placed!

That's right, with my review queue shrinking almost every day, I've already ordered up the next batch of stuff to throw into the mix!

From LEGO direct, I ordered 7 sets ranging from polybag to $100 size, along with another random series 9 minifig and more Power Functions items for trains. Over on eBay I picked out two vintage sets, one that I thought was an absolute smokin' deal, and another from the same seller that seemed overpriced, but that I really wanted.  I guess the two even each other out. At Bricklink I picked up 800 new parts in 174 separate lots (different types and/or colors of parts) from two sellers.  Though these orders include a really wide variety of general-use parts, my primary motivation for both was to fill in parts that I need to complete a MOC-in-progress. 

As previously mentioned, I wasn't satisfied with the Horizon Express TGV train set I built, and the recent red City Passenger Train I built had a few nagging annoyances in its design.  I decided to combine elements of both of these sets to create a one-of-a-kind train.  My hope is to end up with a high-speed commuter train that's compact enough to look comfortable on a small layout, fully outfitted with seats that you can see through transparent windows from end to end, and powered by the current line of Power Functions components.

In other news, I've been using the free PC program called "BlueBrick" to work on train layouts and made great progress this week.  It has been incredibly challenging, trying to figure out a way to squeeze everything I want to do into the space of a single room.  Here are some of the important elements I'm hoping to incorporate:
  • Two train track loops that can be used by two trains simultaneously or as a single folded figure 8, where a train can run one entire loop, cross over and do the second loop, and then return to the first loop without stopping.
  • A train yard with room for at least four separate trains, plus a custom train washing station.
  • A passenger train station with hopefully a little bit of automobile parking.
  • A freight harbor with space for a medium-sized freight ship serviced by a crane that spans one train siding and at least one truck lane, in addition to having access to a docked ship.
  • A small marina, likely attached to the freight harbor, to store custom boat MOCs as they're made.  This may need a Coast Guard hub to be integrated with it at some point.
  • A purely residential area
  • A town area with at least one full-length straight street.  This needs to include all of the typical LEGO utility structures, including a police station, fire station, hospital, and gas station, in addition to various shops. I will not be using the popular official LEGO modular buildings.
  • A central park area that can be completely re-decorated for various seasonal events.
  • At least a part of a military and/or space travel base.
I would have loved to include an elevated monorail-style commuter line, too, but I just don't think that can physically fit without reducing the main town to a tiny, cramped rectangle.

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