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  1. Want an SD40, but can't afford one? Here's a half-off deal for you: ...literally. These little locomotives are made by cutting an SD40 in half, attaching the frame to the truck, and installing a new and efficient prime mover and cab. I kid you not: Link to the manufacturer's website. I went about building this model the same way I usually do: Gather reference images, find an engineering drawing, and overlay grid paper over the scaling drawing. Complicating the matter was that the diagram in Tractive Power's specifications brochure was very obviously wrong -- there's no way the SD40 truck is that long! Comparing the drawing to photos of the real locomotive confirmed my suspicions. I overlaid a drawing of an SD40 truck on the diagram of the body, and worked from that. As with my Standard Class 2, I selectively compressed the wheelbase to make the axle-to-axle distance a whole number. This made building the truck frames much easier: After working out the frames, I worked on designing a drive train that would power all three wheels (once again, I picked a small prototype, which didn't help). Here's what I came up with: That's the ungeared 9V motor driving a shaft with a belt, powering all three axles with worms. The center axle slides to traverse curves: As a side bonus, I get to check another motor off my list of "motors to power a locomotive with". Because of the belt drive, unlike any of my other locomotives this locomotive's pulling power is limited by torque instead of weight (because the belt will slip first). It still has plenty of pulling power for something of its size. The locomotive traverses almost all track arrangements -- strangely, it will skip switches coming out of a curve, but only in one direction. The hood hides the battery box. One section isn't held on by anything, and comes off to reveal the power button: The other sections are only connected with one stud (and some interesting panel spacing to grab the power connector), making it easy to change the batteries. The receiver sits on top of the motor in the cab and receives signals through a hole in the roof. Unlike the other locomotives I've built, this one has great reception from all angles. I really wanted to build this locomotive in Curry Rail colors, but the parts I needed weren't available in either teal (too old) or bright green (too new?). So I built it in black, but left the frames grey to show the details better. Thanks for reading! Full Brickshelf gallery, pending moderation.
  2. Greetings Train Tech, This MoC was actually built over a year ago! I originally designed and built it for use as a "demonstrator" model for a how-to post on Power Functions steam locomotives that I haven't gotten around to writing (although the precursor post is available). While we're waiting on that, I figured I might as well post this model. Prototype History British Railways built this class of 2-6-2 tank engines for a mixed traffic role. Apparently they were very similar to the LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T, from which they were derived. While none of the class survived into preservation, The Bluebell Railway is rebuilding one of the related 2-6-0 tender locomotives into an example of this class. Engineering Details Usually when I build a MoC, I start with the prototype in mind, then work towards the model. This model began with the desire to build "a small steam locomotive to demonstrate Power Functions", which then determined the choice of prototype. The Standard/Ivatt Class 2 has a number of helpful features in this regard: Small tank engine Large bunker could hide a Power Functions receiver Side tanks can cover up other Power Functions components And indeed, that's how the locomotive is laid out: Even so, the locomotive is quite cramped -- there wasn't enough room for an M-motor based transmission, so I went back to the trusty 9V gearmotor. The output shaft of the motor is very close to the driving axle: ... and it took me a couple tries before I found a good solution: The side tanks contain a channel that allows a cable to pass through, connecting the motor and receiver: The power button is on top of the smokebox and is only held in by gravity: Thank you for reading. Full Brickshelf gallery here.
  3. Greetings, Train Tech! I build a lot of locomotives, but I hadn't really built any models of rolling stock with the same effort as I put into my locomotives. Until now. This is a model of a German Umbauwagen, or "rebuilt coach". They were constructed in the post-WW2 period by modernizing prewar compartment coaches, as the Deutsche Bundesbahn was strapped for cash at the time. They came in two main "flavors": the three-axle 3yg, and the four-axle 4yg I've modeled here. I initially learned about Umbauwagen while doing research for this passenger car (which itself was found while doing research for the glaskasten...). Inspecting an engineering diagram convinced me that it would be possible to build the 4-axle variant at my usual scale of 15 inches / stud (~1/48) and have it go around standard Lego curves. The main compromise I made was to reduce the length of the body from 51 to 50 studs. An even length made it possible to use the 2x8 double curved slope for the roof and the 1x4x3 train window. Since the window only comes in a limited palette of colors I wound up building in blue. My understanding is that Umbauwagen ran most of their lives in green livery, but I found photos of models in a variety of colors. I'd appreciate it if someone more familiar with these cars could shed some light on this subject. Of course, it's not much of a train with only one car... ... so I built two. I'm pleased with how closely the cars couple to each other while still being able to make it around turns. While doing background research for this model I came across Duq's rendition. Duq's model features an excellent rendition of the Minden-Deutz MD 36 bogie. Rather than just steal those, I decided to model the my cars with the Schwanenhals ("swan neck") bogies. These bogies have a somewhat American appearance with their arched outside frame. The buffers and stairs are attached to the trucks and rotate with them in curves. The trucks use Big Ben Bricks wheels. This may mark the first time I've completed cars without a locomotive to go with them. Full Brickshelf gallery here (pending moderation). Thanks for reading!
  4. Greetings, Train Tech. It's been about a year since CommanderWolf and I built the GE boxcabs, so here's another "boxcab": ... "glass box", that is. These locomotives were originally built for the Royal Bavarian State Railways with the designation "PtL 2/2". The unusual design featured a semi-automatic coal feed system, which did away with the fireman and allowed single-person operation. The boiler was surrounded by a cab with many windows, leading to the nickname of Glaskasten ("glass box"). During nationalization they were lumped into class 98 ("branch line locomotives"). Some survived the war to join the Deutsche Bundesbahn, which is the livery I've chosen to model here. This is another model with a large amount of SNOT-work; there are studs pointing in all directions. The frame is built studs-forward, the body features studs facing left/right for the doors and sides, and the side windows are upside down. Did I mention it's powered? The entire thing is powered by a micromotor driving the front axle: Note that the jackshaft doesn't actually extend through the locomotive; the 2x2 round plates on either side are carried along by the connecting rod between the front and rear axle. I used this technique to try to give extra grip to the BBB medium wheels. The battery box is in the cab. The smokebox comes off for access to the power switch: Here it is with the two-axle passenger car I posted a couple months ago. This loco struggles a lot more in turns than the 23-ton boxcabs did... Brickshelf gallery here (pending moderation). Thanks for reading!
  5. After the last boxcab, Commander Wolf and I figured we had to go smaller. And slower. So we decided that both of us should build a motorized model of a GE 23-ton boxcab. We agreed to build them models independently, then meet up and compare approaches. We started with the same scaling image: Since there was some variation among the prototypes, choice of details was a matter of taste. I took most of my references from here. Here's my finished model: The original locomotive is really tiny, so I tried to keep the model about 7 studs wide. There's a lot of SNOT in this model: The main chassis is upside-down, the deckplate and frames are held against that using Technic pins, and the body attaches to some jumpers on the deckplate: The battery box is mounted sideways in the body and the power switch is reached by jabbing an antenna through the window. The roof is actually only held on by gravity: Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to put the caution-stripe tiles on the frames, but codefox421 vouched for them. You can see the full Brickshelf gallery here. So, what did Commander Wolf do? Read on...
  6. I was looking at that thread about compact PF solutions, and I thought about posting this MOC. The Alco HH series is a line of very early diesel-electric switchers (made in 'Murrika of course) produced between 1931 and 1940 after which it was succeeded by the much more well-know S series. The HH1000 was the 1000HP variant of the HH series of which 34 were produced between 1939 and 1940. Because other companies' color schemes were more difficult to implement, my HH1000 carries that of Union Pacific. UP owned exactly one HH1000, numbered 1251, which it acquired from the Mount Hood Railway in the late 60s. It was probably retired not long after. The most difficult part of the prototype to implement in Lego was by far the cab. Ideally the columns at the corners of the cab would be something like 2LU x 2LU, but that is pretty much impossible in Lego. After much fiddling I was able to get 2LU gaps in the back, but the cab is too long by about a stud to accomodate 5LU columns from the side. You'll notice the PF receiver sticking out of the center window. To me the main feature of this loco is that it is the perfect shape to cram two M motors, the AA battery box, and the reciever into a body 30 studs long. The receiver is actually just floating because that's the only orientation that works. The tractive effort is a little less than what I was able to get out of the RF-16, a combination I think of less weight and shorter bogies, but for practical purposes it'll basically pull anything reasonable - just slowly. As far as I can tell having a gear ratio other than 1:1 is more or less impossible here. This model has been about 85% complete for the past month or two, mainly for testing, but I'm about to BL the remaining parts, so it should get done soon! I didn't realize dark gray/blay saber blades were so expensive; so spoiled by LDD now.