Annie, Thomas’ first friend

I’ve begun working on my next Lego project. I’m pretty happy with the way that Thomas has turned out so it’s time to make him a friend, Annie.  Also I need a carriage to contain the power and RF receiver for the Powerfunctions.

This is the first project that I completely designed in Lego Digital Designer first before building in Lego. Previously I would create some prototypes with the blocks I have. I knew I would have many of the part that I might want and it would a fairly simple build. That is it’s pretty much a brown box on wheels.

Quite early on I decided that Annie should be 7 bricks wide. There are two reason for this. Firstly her face, especially her nose, I wanted it to be centred in the middle. Secondary, I find it a little disappointing that with the Lego train sets that the interiors are often very basic and sometimes with sets just on one side. Going with 7 studs wide would allow for a gap of 1 stud to be at least a bit of a representation of a isle.

The rest of the design is petty basic, I wasn’t really sure how or what detail to add to the sides. Looking a pictures online I’m assuming that Annie would have many doors along her side.


Transformers MP-20: Wheeljack

Awesome! I’ve been waiting for MP-20 Wheeljack to come out. I never had Wheeljack as a kid but always liked him because I remember that he fixed other Autobots and invented stuff. Also he is quite a different shape to the other car Autobots

Wheeljack was delayed for a while and I’ve been holding out shipping out the other TF that I paid for ages ago. The others are Sound Blaster (I really just wanted Rat Bat), G2 Sideswipe and Silver Streak.

It’s time for some Pi

Yay, my Raspberry Pi arrived today. I open the packaged and pulled out all the bits a pieces and started to plugged them in. Then I realized that none of my monitors have hdmi. So my only option is to hook it up to the tv once everyone else has gone to sleep. I got as far as installing the OS and setting up the wifi.


My First Lego Digital Designer Creation – James

James was the first thing I built in Lego Digital Designer. It was based on the real one I made out of my old Lego bricks from when I was a kid. I wanted to see what it could look like with the nice curved slopes that are available theses days.

I also had a rough idea in my head of how to create the sideways arch. I remember as a kid with my first Technic set and learning the method of placing bricks at right angles to each other. <I’ll need to find or draw a diagram of this> Since then I’ve been very interested in the ratio of width, height and depth of a Lego block. I see it being similar to the ‘Golden Ratio”. There has obversely a lot of design gone into working out the best ratio a Lego blocks sides and height should be.

LDD James version3.2
Train driver of James

After a little while I stopped working on this model, for James is a Longer Train. Also I should work on one of my son’s favourites first. So will it be Thomas or Percy…..



Taking my Lego construction to the next level

During my daily trawl of various Lego blogs I came across one about the Lego Ideas project for Ghostbusters HQ had reached 10,000, . After watching their video of it being built piece by piece and seeing them looking a their laptop with the instructions on it and thought what is that.

Oh that’s Lego’s Digital Designer software. I thought what was just to make simple 3D Lego creations that I’ve seen on the Lego site ages ago. But hay that’s actually pretty great. So I downloaded and installed the software and begun…

It didn’t take me long to get up to speed with it. The only tricky part was finding train wheels. It turns out they become available when you load the extended theme which allows you to go nuts making ever piece available and in any colour.


The Tumbler – 2 kilos of black bricks.

When the Lego UCS Tumbler was released I just had to get it. As soon as I got home I opened it. Man there are a lot of bags, laying them all out took up both of my desks.


My 2yr son was very excited by the size of the wheels and I was too. This was a challenging build, especially with a 2yr wanting to help. He kept on saying, “Put the wheels on”. We had to stop for dinner, baths and bed.


As soon as he was asleep I started building again. It was another 4hrs until it was finished. I was very tired, but I wanted to get it done. It’s been a long while since I’ve stayed up late to get something done. This was a lot more fun than finishing an assignment the night before it’s due.



Here is where it all began

So it starts like this. My 2yr son likes trains, especially Thomas and I have always liked Lego. A few months ago we went to a model train expo and they had a Lego display featuring Thomas and James. I was inspired. So I pulled out my old Lego train sets and begun to build. Nothing special as I’m using bricks from the 80’s. The only feature of it is the half brick offset between the cabin and the boiler. My son loved it and so begun my journey into the land of Thomas the Tank Engine and curved Lego bricks available these days .