21 posts in this topic

Hey EB, it's time for another train MOC!

Today's locomotive is the EMD Model 40, a small industrial switcher made in very limited quantity in the early 40s. The model is approximately 1:48 scale, contains about 360 parts, and weighs about 360 grams. Much like my PRR A6b, this locomotive is an oddity among American locomotives in that it only has two axles, but that's what makes this model possible!

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The genesis of this build goes way back to the micromotor boxcab I built a few years ago. I was not too happy about various aspects of my implementation, and the model was dismantled after not too long. I had been wanting to try my hand at another micromotor locomotive since then, but I was also waiting for a good prototype to show up. So when forum member jtlan showed me the Model 40 a few months ago, I of course first thought, "hey maybe time for a new micromotor model".

d11.jpg

Alas, initial investigation indicated that the Model 40 was probably not a good candidate for micromotor traction: the locomotive turned out to be much larger than it looked - almost double the size of the old mini boxcabs. I was going to stop there, but I had a suspicion that prompted me to keep looking at different drivetrain layouts, and eventually I began to realize the size of the engine was more blessing than curse because... 

emd_model_40_16t.jpg

At 1:48 scale the Model 40 is probably the smallest locomotive by volume in which you can put a full PF drivetrain.

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Figuring out how to fit everything in there certainly took a couple nights, but there's basically two "tricks" I had to recognize:

1) The cab is just big enough to accommodate the battery box, but it must be in a studs-sideways orientation
2) What I call the "monkey motor" (because it came from a Creator set that made a motorized monkey) has the output shaft mounted lower than the "usual" 9v geared motor

The second point is important because it allows me to connect the motor to a shaft below it with only one gear stage and without excessively large gears (a little more on this in a bit).

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After solving the layout problem there were of course the usual challenges of how to bolt everything together and actually model the various details of the engine. 

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While the motor and receiver fit perfectly in the two hoods, it was difficult to tile all the sides of each end with the limited peripheral space available: the front and rear grill panels are actually attached from the bottom by hinges. The running boards are only connected near those panels and simply rest on the fuel tanks, which attach to the chassis. 

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The battery box and the cab are connected by gravity: they simply rest on each other such that it's easy to remove the roof to access the power button and it's easy to remove the battery box to access the batteries.

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Two more neat details I thought were worth pointing out:

1) I used a set of click hinges to create a structurally integral step, which allowed me to mount the battery box one plate lower than otherwise:

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2) There's a little bit of business done to allow 1:1 gearing with 16-tooth gears, and I'm quite happy with the torque/power curve with 1:1 gearing.

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The underside of the chassis:

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At this point some of you might be going "waitaminute...", and you might be correct! Until I tried it explicitly, I didn't think installing the 16-tooth gear at the same height as the driving wheels was supposed to work. If you do it with the old 9v wheelsets, the teeth of the gear will fall below the railhead and contact anything at that height. However, the official wheels with the rubber bands are just big enough such that the teeth now clear the railhead, even if just barely! 

You can see I applied permanent marker to the teeth of the lower gear for testing. None of the ink got scraped off when passing over switches, etc.

img_3279.jpg

Other random thoughts:

  • The livery was not intended to be a prototypical. Since all of the 11 units built went to different industrial operators, and many seem to have changed hands some, I felt that the colors of some fictional industry was plausible. The number is kind of an easter egg, but I dunno if anyone will get it.
  • Many of these pictures were taken in a DIY lightbox that jtlan and myself put together. This is the first time either of us have tried photographing models in such a thing, and for the amount of time we spent on our box, the results seem quite good.

Other than that, I think there aren't any other construction details worth mentioning that aren't obvious in the pictures. There's a couple more pics in the gallery, but the model's so small there's not that much to see!

Video coming eventually; have a nice day!

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Insane amounts of design and engineering in that MOC!!!

I think you've just unlocked the next level - please insert coins to continue!

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507 = SOT = Support Our Troops? Might be fitting for the 40ies era... but maybe it is just "Sot" because that model was built with the expense of beer :)

Nice little shunter, awesome technique in that gnome of a locomotive.

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1 hour ago, Younge said:

Insane amounts of design and engineering in that MOC!!!

I think you've just unlocked the next level - please insert coins to continue!

Heh, trying to build super small is not usually my thing, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up. If you ask me, building small is all about choosing the right prototype!

 

Just now, Capparezza said:

507 = SOT = Support Our Troops? Might be fitting for the 40ies era... but maybe it is just "Sot" because that model was built with the expense of beer :)

Nice little shunter, awesome technique in that gnome of a locomotive.

My hint would be that it's related to this old moc :wink:

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I thought, hmm, that's a nice little shunter, then I saw it had full PF in it and thought... WOW *huh*. Very impressive getting it all in such a tiny space! How many wagons/coaches can it pull/push successfully?

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2 hours ago, Commander Wolf said:

My hint would be that it's related to this old moc :wink:

HTTP-Code 507, insufficient storage? As for 404 - not found? :D Damnit, I just don't get it :laugh:

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OMG, this is awesome! I love little models like these when they function as such a small package! Fitting the battery box the way you did is perfect. I'd love to see a video of it running. Two thumbs up.

I really wish Lego could rerelease their four-by-four motors in a updated, PF version. :sceptic: Motors like those are great for models like yours.

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Wow...

I need to study this on a real screen ( not my phone ).  There seems so many ideas for PF drivetrains to take in.

 

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15 hours ago, ColletArrow said:

I thought, hmm, that's a nice little shunter, then I saw it had full PF in it and thought... WOW *huh*. Very impressive getting it all in such a tiny space! How many wagons/coaches can it pull/push successfully?

It's actually got a surprising amount of torque all things considered. Even if it's small, it's not actually that light considering that you still need all the PF components and batteries (that aren't LiPo) are heavy.

I'd say you could probably pull 3 or 4 large passenger cars of the same scale... will see if I can take some videos of max pulling power in addition to the clips I already have.

 

15 hours ago, Capparezza said:

HTTP-Code 507, insufficient storage? As for 404 - not found? :D Damnit, I just don't get it :laugh:

Ya, that's it. It's just an HTTP code referencing something small :grin:

 

14 hours ago, LegoMonorailFan said:

OMG, this is awesome! I love little models like these when they function as such a small package! Fitting the battery box the way you did is perfect. I'd love to see a video of it running. Two thumbs up.

I really wish Lego could rerelease their four-by-four motors in a updated, PF version. :sceptic: Motors like those are great for models like yours.

Gonna say, the form factors of those old geared motors are very nice, but I've had a huge number of them fail on me over the past decade, and it's very disappointing. Cracked magnets in the "regular" geared motors and cracked pinions in the "monkey" motor. 

It's still TBD how well the current PF motors hold up over time, but if they do remake the old motors, I sure hope it's with better quality.

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Awesome model! I love that you were able to pack all the electrics into the little body. There is a Model 40 in my local museum that one switched in the area. I may borrow some of your design ideas to build my home town 40.

8528942440_828578f025_c.jpgIMG_0285 by Cale Leiphart, on Flickr

Cale

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Well done.  Great job squeezing in all the PF.  Looking forward to the video.  :classic:

 

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Are you able to share the LDD file?

 It would be great if you could, as this is a beautiful little shunter.

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Wonderful MOC! Great job fitting all the PF stuff into it.

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On 6/24/2017 at 7:23 AM, dr_spock said:

Well done.  Great job squeezing in all the PF.  Looking forward to the video.  :classic:

 

... and here is the video showing the general performance of the engine:

The 1:00 mark shows full speed.

And another shorter clip, showing the loco pulling close to its limit; you can already see it losing grip around the front of the loop:

 

10 hours ago, Vilhelm22 said:

Are you able to share the LDD file?

 It would be great if you could, as this is a beautiful little shunter.

Let me see what I can do; I'm not sure how up to date the LDD model is.

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Amazing shunter!

Good idea with the battery standing sideways, I have used the same technique with the old 9V battery box in a Robel maintenance train.

Thanks for sharing.

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Cute, awesome, and innovative all in one. Great work.

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Impresive ! Really good work hete. Quite some clever thinking to get something this small look good and work perfectely.

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Well done! Lots of nice detalls and clever engineering. I must remember the trick with the monkey-motor, that could come in handy.

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On 7/2/2017 at 1:35 PM, Duq said:

Well done! Lots of nice detalls and clever engineering. I must remember the trick with the monkey-motor, that could come in handy.

If you ever find yourself looking for a monkey motor try to find one with a metal pinion (though I don't know how you can easily tell without physically looking at the motor). As I've said all of the ones I've received or owned with plastic pinions have failed, and it's really disappointing. You can tell if a motor has a cracked pinion if it clicks when you run it. 

For folks looking for the lxf, I've uploaded it to the Brickshelf folder, but out of curiosity if I ever made instructions for something like this would anyone want to buy them?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the LXF and the inspiration for building neat and small shunters :thumbup: This will definitely come in handy.

Regarding buying instructions: I'm definitely not into this. Maybe because I don't like to copy something 1:1 but am more interested in getting inspirations for my own models (hopefully to come, some day). But that's just me.

Edited by Capparezza

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