Kit 7764 JIA Polybulk Hopper Wagon Available


At long last, I have found time to complete the instructions for the British Rail Polybulk covered hopper (TOPS code JIA). This wagon design is quite robust and looks quite impressive in its striking green livery—a livery made possible with availability of 2x4 tiles and 2x4 curved slopes in green. I have road tested this wagon extensively during shows and it works very well.

At 535 pieces, it is quite efficient with parts for a wagon of its size. If you can build multiple copies, this wagon looks impressive in a rake of several vehicles.

Available now at the kit store.

Support the PFx Brick!


After many months of hard work, Jason Allemann and I are launching our Kickstarter campaign to hopefully bring the PFx Brick in to mass production. The PFx Brick has truly been a labour of love and we're super excited about its potential. The mix of emotions before launching a campaign like this is quite unusual. It is a combination of excitement, trepidation, vulnerability, and impatience. Exposing the fruits of one's labour to the collective judgement of the world in a focused 30 day period is quite a unique experience. It will be very interesting to see how this 30 day campaign unfolds!

Campaign start: Mon Mar 27, 2017 10:00am EDT

Campaign ends: Tue Apr 25, 2017

Happy Holidays from Fx Bricks

Fx who?

I guess I should come clean. A lot of the reason I haven't posted for while this year is because I've been working on this. No, not a winter village scene which can built from sets in 2 hours! :) I have been working on the electronics which power this scene as shown in this video...

These models are powered by the PFx Brick. A new product developed in collaboration with my good friend Jason Allemann (yes, the same Jason who designed the Lego Ideas marble maze). We've started a company called Fx Bricks, and we're hoping to bring the PFx Brick into production with the help of a crowd-funding campaign in the near future. We hope the PFx Brick will just be a starting point for many cool products aimed at integrating electronics with bricks.

I won't bore you with the details, you can visit for that. Suffice to say, what started as an effort to bring the awesome technology of the model train world (i.e. DCC sound decoders) to Lego trains, became a more useful and general purpose product. A product which can bring the magic of lighting, sound and animation to models of any theme, shape, or size!

Merry Christmas to all my Lego friends, and all the best for 2017!

Kit 7765 HEA Hopper Wagon Available!

As with all things, some projects finish faster than others. I was intending on completing the instructions for the Polybulk covered hopper; however, this wagon beat it to the store!

This kit allows you to build a British Rail HEA general purpose air-braked hopper wagon used for general mineral and coal traffic. This wagon design is quite sturdy and has swivelled single axle bogies with restraints on travel. I have road tested this wagon extensively during shows and it works very well. It is very closely based on my prototype version of this wagon here:
It has been updated and improved for this kit.

At 310 pieces, it is quite efficient with parts and lends itself to building multiple copies to form a handsome rake of wagons.

Available now at the kit store.

Polybulk Wagon Kit 7764 Test Drive (coming soon!)

Its been a while since I've posted. I must confess to being both busy and suffering from "builders block"! I just didn't feel the mojo for building for quite some time. Thankfully, that phase is over! I'm back to building!

I've been going through some unfinished projects. The first among these projects is the instructions for my British Rail Polybulk covered hopper wagon. As with most of my instructions, it has resulted in a complete redesign of the model! This revised design is much better in several ways:
1) Much more robust and strong
2) Hopper body profile is much closer in shape to the prototype.
3) The wagon's scale dimensions are nearly a perfect match to the prototype.
4) More efficient use of parts--only 535 pieces.

Shown above is my first "test drive" of the instructions. I kitted out the parts required and took this photo just before building a second copy of the wagon based on the instructions. This is a process I've had to learn to perform more rigorously than my previous kits. Its amazing how many errors, improvements, etc. that you identify when sitting down to build the kit from the perspective of someone else. It has to be more than proofreading the instructions themselves; you actually have to physically build it. You can't identify areas of structural weakness or inconvenient building steps unless you physically handle the model as you build.

In any case, I did identify a couple of improvements and have updated the instructions. I just have to prepare sticker graphics and then this new kit should be in the store at in a few days! Stay tuned!

SHIPtember 2015 Reveal!


We did it! Here's the overall sideview of the SHIP we call “Aries-K” (referencing the Greek name for Mars and a tongue-in-cheek nod to this classic!) as completed after 21.5 hours of un-interrupted building by a crew of 4.

The principal ship builders were:
Jason Allemann - mechanical engineering, rotating rings
Michael Gale - hangar bays, bridge, and electrical engineering
Kristal Dubois - engine nacelles, interiors
Lucie Filteau - interiors and crew

Key Specifications:
- 237 x 90 x 90 studs (L x W x H)
- Large rotating habitat ring powered by 2x Power Functions XL motors and fully fitted interior
- Smaller size rotating accommodation ring powered by 2x Power Functions M-motors also with fully fitted interior
- Rotating engine core using 1x PF M-motor and illuminated by 3x RGB LED light clusters
- 2x forward hangar bay decks for receiving small spacecraft
- 27x blinking navigation lights across the entire ship (red port/green starboard markers, white/red fore/aft marker lights on rings, white/red strobe nav lights)

Time lapse videos of the build:

Camera 1:
Camera 2:

A video showing the two counter-rotating rings:

SHIPtember 2015

I've always wanted to participate in SHIPtember, but due to other commitments or just plain "creative intimidation" I haven't.

Up until now that is.

For those who are not familiar with SHIPtember, it is an annual event (held in September) in which participants build a very large large spaceship that is at least 100 studs long in any dimension. The name SHIP is an acronym for Seriouly Huge Investment in Parts referring to how much brick is required to build something on this scale! You only have the month of September in which to build the ship and you are strongly encouraged to share your progress Work In Progress (WIP) photos in the SHIPtember flickr group.

My participation is going to be a little bit different. Firstly, it is a collaboration with my friend Jason Allemann. Secondly, we thought it would be more fun if we attempted to complete the ship in 24 hours rather than 30 days! There's no point wondering if your ship is any good or worrying about creative block if you give yourself these constraints:
1) 24 hours start to finish, no breaks
2) use only the parts & electronics on hand, i.e. no last minute purchases on bricklink
3) work with other builders and make it twice as big! 200 studs baby!

Not only will we build twice a SHIP, but we've got some electronic and mechanical tricks up our sleeves to add a new "spin" to SHIP building!

Join us Saturday Sep 19th 09:00am EDT.

Follow our progress as we upload hourly progress photos on:


Multiple camera feeds with time-lapse plus features videos during the build to follow!

Kit 7742 TTC CLRV Streetcar/Tram Available!


Finally, after a great deal of delay, I've completed the instructions for the Toronto CLRV streetcar/tram!

This model has generated the most feedback from folks wanting to build this model. Sadly, I've had to defer them–up until now that is! This model (like many of my others) has required redesign of many components in order to make it suitable for folks to build with relative ease. It also incorporates the use of a few helpful newer parts. One big change from my previous version of this model is the use of pivoting bogie trucks. This allows the model to be used on conventional LEGO® track including curves and switches. Initially, this model was intended as a static display model on straight track; however, a few folks asked if it could be made to negotiate all TLG track configurations--now it can!

Basic Specs:
- Piece count: 986
- Length: 57 studs
- Width: 10 studs
- Height: 83 plates (total), 49 plates (car body)

Available now in the store.

Thank You Blocks Magazine!


A little while ago Simon Pickard (aka brickspartan) from Blocks magazine approached me about doing a feature article on me (as part of a series of AFOL feature articles). I was chuffed and flattered for the recognition (and a little intimidated at the same time!) Simon and I had a great time during the interview and I'm really pleased with how well Simon put together this feature.

Its available in UK stockists WH Smith, Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons, and others(?). I believe its carried by Barnes and Noble in the US and available globally in digital form from the iTunes Newsstand app.

Blocks is a great read with high quality content and production. That should not be come as a surprise since most of the editorial team are mostly AFOLs.

Blocks Magazine, July 2015, Issue 9


I have started a new experiment:

L-Gauge is a unified "brand" or umbrella to capture useful information about the LEGO train hobby for both beginners and experienced alike. The name "L-Gauge" was chosen to assert itself among other traditional model train scales/gauges. It is hoped that "L-Gauge" will be perceived with the legitimacy and respect it deserves among our model train peers.

The L-Gauge logo is designed to be simple, clear, and familiar. It is an obvious acknowledgement of the familiar, yet abandoned LEGO Group logo for the Lego Trains theme. Lego Trains is no longer a distinct theme within the Lego group product range. Thus, "L-Gauge" attempts to be common voice to promote, share, and celebrate this hobby theme in the context of other Lego themes and other model train specialties.

L-Gauge is not a "standards" body. It has no official status. It does not dictate practice and methods. It is simply a community resource. A resource which I hope will be nurtured by the community itself.

L-Gauge will be built in the spirit of open source/creative commons. Its public website will share its content using the familiar WikiMedia platform as used by Wikipedia and countless other organizations. This content platform will allow it to grow organically and hopefully extend into other languages.

This is by no means complete or fully categorized; however, examples of the content that L-Gauge will attempt to capture include the following:

Basic Information

  • track geometry (standard and narrow gauge systems)
  • reference track configurations
  • suggested loading gauge(s)
  • wheel profiles
  • wheelbase and bogie geometries
  • magnetic coupler characteristics and methods


  • LDraw libraries
  • BlueBrick libraries
  • other addons, utilities, etc.
  • LPub templates
  • Ballasting standards
  • Useful bogie and truck designs
  • Coupler designs and methods
  • Common infrastructure items (huts, signals, bridges, retaining walls, etc.)
Track Design
  • Reference track configurations
  • Sample track plans
  • Big spline curve designs


  • Modular community/LUG collaborative standards
  • Other modular standards, e.g. MILS
  • Baseboards/benchwork


  • 9V & DC electrical reference
  • motor performance reference guide
  • sample/proven drivetrain methods
  • lighting and accessories
  • advanced topics: DCC, Mindstorms, etc.


  • new track product wishlist
  • new wheels, couplers, accessories wishlist
  • advanced control systems


  • About
  • Logos and branding assets
  • FAQs


  • links to other Lego train hobby sites
  • links to related commercial vendors (e.g. ME Models, Big Ben, etc.)

The L-Gauge "Expert" brand is intended for identifying topics, content, etc. which are more advanced either by complexity, cost, non-traditional/controversial methods, etc.

The L-Gauge "Digital" brand is a placeholder for now. However, I think there is a better future for integrating proven control systems like DCC into the Lego train hobby.

Initially, the MediaWiki platform will be edited by me in order to get it off the ground. Later, I will nominate additional editors/volunteers to act as a quasi-editorial board to add and curate additional content. I want all of the content on this site to be of the highest quality. It must be clear, concise and consistent. I am not sure if any "formal" governance structure will emerge or even be necessary--we shall see. For now it is a benevolent dictatorship! ;)

All I can say is stay tuned and hopefully I haven't over-extended myself with this experiment!

BlueBrick ME Track Libary Update v.1.2


I have updated the ME Models track components library to include all of the available sleeper/tie colour choices made by ME Models. These include all of the R104, R88, R72, and R56 curves as well as the double, full and half straight components. All of these components are rendered in 4 colours: Black, Dark Bluish Gray, Dark Brown, and Reddish Brown. Each colour will be identified correctly for the purposes of compiling a Bill of Materials for your layout, with the exception of Dark Brown. BlueBrick does not identify the LDraw colour code (308) for dark brown and therefore it is indicated as an unknown colour. Hopefully a future update of BlueBrick will remedy this very minor issue. For your convenience you can download each colour as a separate library or you can download the entire collection in a single zip file. Head over to the resources section to download this updated library.

Happy layout planning!

Universal Track Planning BlueBrick Library

A completely new BlueBrick library has been designed and created for detailed Lego train layout design. It is a universal library combining all available Lego train track components from different vendors. Most importantly, this library is illustrated in schematic symbol form. This allows track components and geometry to be easily interpreted from the drawing. Now that train layouts can combine components from different vendors as well as combine 9V and RC track, it is important to be able to identify these elements. Furthermore, with the new curve geometries offered by ME-Models, it is difficult to interpret which curve component is used without some form of identification. This library solves all of these issues with its unique crisply illustrated colour-coded symbols. This is a completely new library developed specifically for symbolic or schematic track planning. Its features include:

  • Universal: includes 9V and RC track from LEGO®, ME-Models track in both plastic and metal, and a range of custom track components
  • Colour Coded: elements are colour coded for easy identification. Red elements represent track products from LEGO®, orange elements are custom parts, and ME-Models components have different colours for each unique curve radius.
  • Plastic and Metal rails: RC/plastic and 9V/metal track elements are differentiated by colour saturation so that metal and plastic track can easily be combined in a plan, yet easily identified. Furthermore, metal track also include a small energy bolt icon to indicate that it is powered.
  • Custom Elements: a range of customized track elements are included such as single element stub switches (in both RC and 9V) and compound track arrangements such as pre-made/aligned crossovers (LH/RH in both RC/9V)
  • Complete: all track elements are properly identified by colour and part number (where applicable). This will be especially helpful when generating a parts list since it will itemize all unique parts.

This library is freely available for download in the resources section of this website. Happy layout planning!

BlueBrick Library for ME Models Track

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 2.54.34 PM
BlueBrick is a terrific open source software tool for designing Lego® based layouts. This tool allows you to arrange baseplates, track, and other items into desired layout configuration. You can assign different drawing layers for each item, generate parts lists, add text annotations, and much more. BlueBrick comes pre-installed with many different parts libraries, including Lego® track from the 4.5V era up to current 9V/RC track. Since the introduction of new alternative track items from ME Models, we can now build layouts with new curve radii options of 56, 72, 88, and 104 studs. I have created a BlueBrick compatible library for the ME Models track components which you can download from the resources section.

Happy layout planning!

Kit 7762 VDA Van Wagon Now Available!

Kit #7762 - British Rail VDA van wagon is now complete and available in the store. This kit features sticker graphics for the finished model with diagram numbers for different wagons. The kit takes advantage of current parts available from LEGO® and strives to optimize the type and number of parts for ease of part procurement and ease of building. Hopefully this kit will prove enjoyable to build, and as always, any feedback on the model is much appreciated.


Kit 7763 OBA Open Wagon Now Available!

Kit #7763 - British Rail OBA/ZDA open wagon is now complete and available in the store. This kit features sticker graphics for the finished model with diagram numbers for different wagons. Furthermore, this kit comes as a 3-in-1 kit with 3 separate instruction books to build different livery versions of this model. The kit takes advantage of current parts available from LEGO® and strives to optimize the type and number of parts for ease of part procurement and ease of building. Hopefully this kit will prove enjoyable to build, and as always, any feedback on the model is much appreciated.

New Kit 7756 EMD F59PH Locomotive Now Available!

The custom instruction kit to build a GO Transit livery EMD F59PH diesel locomotive is now complete and available in the store. This kit features sticker graphics for the finished model with road numbers for 3 different locomotives. Furthermore, this kit can be built either unpowered or powered by either LEGO® 9V or Power Functions systems. The kit takes advantage of current parts available from LEGO® and strives to optimize the type and number of parts for ease of part procurement and ease of building. Hopefully this kit will prove enjoyable to build, and as always, any feedback on the model is much appreciated.


Brickfête Ottawa a Big Success!

Brickfête Ottawa 2014 was a resounding success! The public response was overwhelmingly positive and both public days were very busy. I brought my Fareham Lego model train layout and despite a few hiccups, it performed solidly for 2 intense days of operation during public viewing. Displaying my layout at events is one of the few times I get to actually photograph and video the layout. This time I did take extra time to video trains in motion. I put together a montage video of trains operating on the layout and posted it to my flickr account and my newly created YouTube channel. I did not expect the immensely flattering response that the video would have! It was blogged by the Brothers Brick and by Gizmodo the next day! Thanks! The event attracted some great coverage in the local media even though they changed my name to Emmet due to being dressed up as Emmet from the Lego Movie during public days!

Brickfête Ottawa 2014


Brickfête is Canada's biggest AFOL show and is typically hosted annually in Toronto. Recently, Brickfête has added an additional "On the Road" show (starting with Montreal last year). This year, my home town of Ottawa was nominated as the next On the Road AFOL show.

Therefore, we AFOLs based in Ottawa have to make sure this is a rocking event! Despite the tight timeframe, transport logistics, etc. I'm going to bring my Fareham Lego model railway. I've started to put the layout together again in the basement and will be rebuilding damaged sections as well as adding a few new features. More rolling stock is planned as well as some other audio/video features :)

If you want to see my layout live, perhaps run some of your visiting rolling stock on the layout, and if you're in driving distance of Ottawa, Canada--come out and visit--better yet, if you're an AFOL, sign up to participate for the entire event! Visit for details!

New Resources Section

A new Resources section has been added to This section contains freely available content for you to download. Most of this content are items which I have created for my own use and thought would be of value to others. Examples include:
  • Bin Labels - these are labels designed to be applied to bins of sorted LEGO® elements based on a system I have evolved over time. Elements are roughly organized by colour (since I found this is the easiest to maintain over time) and by major category (e.g. wheels, windows, track, etc.). Bin labels are a combination of large and small format labels which can either be printed onto paper or self-adhesive label sheets. If the labels are designed for a particular self-adhesive label sheet product, it will be annotated as such.
  • Stickers - a collections of sticker graphics I have authored for some of my models which may be useful for others
  • Design Concepts - drawings, articles, etc. for items such as my custom LEGO® tables, brick ideas, etc.
  • Library/Template Files - custom library or template items I have made for LEGO® software applications such as BlueBrick, LPub, LDraw, etc.
  • Electronics - drawings, schematics, PCB layouts, etc. of electronic circuits I have made for LEGO® applications
I am sure there will be other categories added over time. I should emphasize that it will take me some time to populate this section of the site since I have a great deal of material to review and I want to take the time to clean-up and prepare it for public consumption. The initial content which I have uploaded are the labels I use for my collection’s sorting bins. Other content will be released gradually over time, so stay tuned! I hope these resources are of value to some folks and if you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to contact me.


Today, I launch as my portal to the world sharing my passion for building detailed scale models with LEGO® bricks. My model building efforts are mainly focused on building trains and in particular British and Canadian prototypes. I started publicly posting my creations on flickr around Nov 2012 and since then have earned 1+ million views. I am very gratified and appreciative of the positive feedback received by many different folks in reaction to my creations. Thank you! Along the way, I have made many friends in the LEGO® AFOL community and very much enjoy the company and getting the opportunity to explore the vast number of sublime creations made by other folks. Seriously, there are some folks out there who are seriously gifted at building the most amazing creations–not just visually, but also mechanically. Three years ago, I had no idea that it was possible to build an 8 speed sequential gearbox with just LEGO® elements!

As well as serving as a platform for me to share my LEGO® creations in the form of custom instruction kits, is also a portal for me to share other ideas, concepts, experiments, successes, failures, etc. related to my LEGO® building adventures. Currently, only one kit is available for sale (#7761 - Bombardier Bi-level coaches in GO Transit green/white livery); however, kit numbers 7756 and 7742 are in active development. These instruction kits take a great deal of time and energy to put together. I want these kits to be enjoyable experiences and therefore want these instructions to be clear and the models to be robust in construction and efficient with parts. I have strived to consolidate the parts lists into the fewest unique elements, using parts which are readily available, and with commonality among different models and model variants. Please be patient with my release intervals, I will try to get as many kits developed as I can over the next few months.

If you have any suggestions or feedback with respect to the kits, please don’t hesitate to contact me–I definitely welcome any and all input you may have!