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MOC: 4-4-0 Locomotive


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:17 AM

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Over the past several days, I've been trying to build a locomotive for my Santa Fe Train collection.  Inspired by the wonderful creations by SavaTheAggie (Tony), Playmobil's Western Train, and numerous images on the web, I finally completed this 4-4-0 locomotive.  What a difficult time I had from the boiler, to the wheels, to everything else.  Several rebuilds and a lot of experiments, and I must admit that I'm still not happy.  Trains are tricky, especially if trying to replicate an image/inspiration model (with limited pieces in the colors you need).  Here's the locomotive:

Posted Image Tender Sold Separately

#2 Rick

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:25 AM

View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 27 2010, 08:17 AM, said:

Tender Sold Separately
... is that on pre-order?

Nice locomotive. The end-result looks simple (in the good sense of the word... your style, set-like), but looking more closely it indeed must have been a challenge to get all the SNOT work on the front done.  :classic:

#3 WhiteFang

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:51 AM

This is a very nice western looking train, that is rather classic by nature.  :thumbup:

I like the design of this locomotive of yours, especially at the front driving cabin. I don't really understand why the front have 2 sets of mini wheels instead of using the same set of train wheels? Is that a special reason for it?

The colour scheme of this MOC complements each other, and it will be even better if you are able to make use of a darker colour tone for its cylinders. I wonder where you can get that part from.  :look:

Thanks for sharing it with us, and I will be sure to watch out more of such MOCs real soon, I am very sure of it.  :grin:

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#4 TheBrickster

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:17 PM

View PostRick, on Jan 27 2010, 12:25 AM, said:

... is that on pre-order?
I haven't got around to building it.  The locomotive has taken so much time.  I will be working on it next.

View PostRick, on Jan 27 2010, 12:25 AM, said:

The end-result looks simple (in the good sense of the word... your style, set-like)
While it really does look like a pretty simple build, the boiler and the wheels were anything but simple.  I didn't want the traditional octagon shaped boiler, a common design for many LEGO locomotives.  Figuring out how to attach the components by Technic pins added to the complexity, but ended up working.  -and Train wheels are a pain.

View PostWhiteFang, on Jan 27 2010, 12:51 AM, said:

I don't really understand why the front have 2 sets of mini wheels instead of using the same set of train wheels? Is that a special reason for it?
In looking at old train pictures, the wheels on a 4-4-0 seem quite a bit smaller.  I had considered using standard wheels, but then liked the look of existing LEGO locomotives that had used smaller wheels.

View PostWhiteFang, on Jan 27 2010, 12:51 AM, said:

it will be even better if you are able to make use of a darker colour tone for its cylinders.
I need one additional black cylinder piece with holes toward the front - only a few sets with the part, none of which I own, unfortunately.

Thanks for the comments guys.  More to come.

#5 Davey

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:18 PM

Looking good there Brickster!   :thumbup: :thumbup:  I love the design and I see the influence the illustrious Mr. Sava has had on you.  You took it your own direction though and I like the boiler design and the color scheme.  It goes quite well with the piece of rolling stock you built.  The cow-catcher design is different, but I'm not sure I am totally sold on it.  I've seen some other designs using the LEGO tubing with Minifig hands to achieve a nice wire-frame look.  Well done though.  I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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#6 TheBrickster

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 03:25 PM

View PostDavey, on Jan 27 2010, 07:18 AM, said:

The cow-catcher design is different, but I'm not sure I am totally sold on it.  I've seen some other designs using the LEGO tubing with Minifig hands to achieve a nice wire-frame look.
Thanks Dave.  I must admit that I hate the cow catcher design.  It's definately another difficult component to build in LEGO.  I tried a few different designs, but none of them worked.  I am looking forward to the Toy Story set, if only for the cow catcher piece.  This stuff is very challenging to create in LEGO (esp. for a more basic builder like me).

#7 lightningtiger

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:44 PM

Fanastic classic steam train 'The Brickster' - love it I do !
Although I didn't know that boilers were just grey - I took them as always painted black - pot belly stove black that is !
Keep on bricking 'The Brickster' ! :sweet:

#8 Captain Zuloo

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Posted 27 January 2010 - 10:20 PM

Hey TheBrickster, thank you for sharing another 100% cool MOC! I have a few comments on it:

MOC
The model itself is a nice design with some good contrasting colours. The use of the smaller wheels at the front is very effective, and it looks quite nice. I also like the smoke stack, the lantern and the poles at the front just above the cow catcher. My suggestion for improvement is that you consider using less yellow. The yellow stripe, being a bright colour, directs my attention from the wheels and other interesting bits to the stripe. By all means keep it as one of the base colours, but perhaps don't have it continue over the drivers. And would you be able to add working pistons that go right into the cylinder?

Photography
I'm always impressed by your visual eye, and your photography and imagery skills. Although this time I feel that the image is too dark. It is difficult to see the train because it is made up of dar colours on a dark background. Perhaps you could consider either a slightly different background, or darkening the background further and brightening up the image of the train to bring it out more. It's a cool MOC, and I would hate to see it suffer because of the photos being too dark. But on a positive note, your framing is nice, and you achieved the photo without much reflection on the plastic, which is always something difficult when photographing LEGO! One other thing: why is there no track on the box art of this model, but there is on the box art of your wagon?

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#9 TheBrickster

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 04:21 AM

Thanks guys.  Appreciate the comments. :classic:

View Postlightningtiger, on Jan 27 2010, 01:44 PM, said:

Although I didn't know that boilers were just grey - I took them as always painted black Keep on bricking 'The Brickster' !
Yes, I would have liked black, but grey is an actual color for boilers (at least I think it was).

View PostCaptain Zuloo, on Jan 27 2010, 02:20 PM, said:

I have a few comments on it...
Thanks for the constructive feedback Zuloo, and I would have to agree with some of your views.  I initially made this with a more colorful scheme, using red for the cab and red and yellow accessories.  I ended up thinking it was way too colorful and went back to black and grey with a stripe of yellow just to add a little unique color.  I see what you mean though.  

In regard to the picture editing, I must have taken well over a dozen shots of this engine from different angles, and I still don't like the picture used.  In fact, I hate it, but it was the best of those that I took.  The MOC truly looks 100% better close-up - it's just the pictures don't do it justice.  I tried a few different backgrounds as well.  The red sky is a bit dark.  Here's an alternate with blue sky:

Posted Image

I have some shots with track in front of Train Town, but I think I was so tired of trying to take a good picture and photo-cutting that I just shared what I had in the end.  I'll take a better picture and may modify again once I have a tender.

#10 SavaTheAggie

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 08:22 AM

Not too shabby.  Unless you've based this off of a real prototype, she seems to be sitting far too high above her drivers.  I also think if you're going to have a large red headlight, you'll need to bring the color red further into the design.  The domes, the cab, the roof, all of them could use some red to tie in the headlight.  Back in their inception, little western styled 4-4-0s were frequently the victim of gaudy paint schemes that added to their overall charm.    

It looks like you're using a flash with your photography?  If so, don't.  MOCs never look good with a flash compared to taking the extra steps to not have to use it.

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#11 peterab

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 01:03 PM

View PostTheBrickster, on Jan 28 2010, 03:21 PM, said:

Yes, I would have liked black, but grey is an actual color for boilers (at least I think it was).

I initially made this with a more colorful scheme, using red for the cab and red and yellow accessories.  I ended up thinking it was way too colorful and went back to black and grey with a stripe of yellow just to add a little unique color.  I see what you mean though.

I think the grey boiler is fine, Big Boys had them (at least partially), and I believe there were grey British and Prussian prototypes. Not sure about western prototypes, but generally if it can be imagined it was done somewhere.

I agree with Sava and Cpt. Zuloo, the colouring isnt right. I'd expect to see the decorative colouring on the features, ie the domes, cab, running boards. The yellow looks like only the frame has been decorated which looks odd. Otherwise I think it looks OK, though larger wheels on the pony truck, and perhaps trying to lower the boiler might still improve it.

#12 DaCheese

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 03:03 PM

Over all it looks pretty good, nice work Brickster.

The colour scheme probably isn't far off for later in these engines' lives. I expect towards the end of their working lives, when more powerful engines were taking their places on the most prestigious services, small Western-style 4-4-0s would have carried much plainer liveries. I agree with Anthony on the boiler height though; these engines worked on some pretty rough trackwork, so a lot of them had the boilers positioned low over the wheels to keep the centre of gravity down. Perhaps use shorter coupling rods and connect the cylinders to the wheels as well?

#13 Sérgio

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 10:01 PM

I really like this type of old western train, very beautiful, congratz

#14 Legostein

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:29 PM

Hello!

It's a great use of the 4-wide round elements for the bioler. It provides the perfect historical look. :classic:

I also like the use of the 2x2 window as headlight which reminds me to the two old western locomotives 396 and 726. :classic:

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#15 BMW

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 08:31 PM

Delighted to see your take on this classic American (4-4-0 wheel arrangement).  Some thoughts:

Prototype - The ATSF didn't run into Mexico (I thought your were going South of the border), but for classic Southwest flavor and heritage you can't beat the ATSF.  Needs a tender.  The gon is right on the money for character... but need trucks (the Europeans with their expensive high grade track got by with 2 axle cars).  Also, I think you want blind flanges on the front locomotive drivers.      

Proportions - I agree with the comments to lower the boiler height... also the stack and cab too.  Try to get the running boards right on top the drivers and the cab height should be <= to the distance from the railhead to the cab bottom.  Lastly, American boilers characteristically taper larger between the sand (front) and steam (rear) domes.  This is difficult to achieve in brick and is often skipped (I did so myself when I made the William Crooks 10 years ago http://www.brickshel...y.cgi?i=2643683 ).  You could use slope bricks to taper the height in just the vertical direction (since trains are mostly viewed on the side).  

Colors -  Prior to the Civil War, American locomotives were universally delivered in bright color schemes highly decorated with brasses, heraldry, etc.  Afterwards they retained their Victorian ornate details but mostly switched to darker, more muted paint schemes.  In the 1880s builders started loosing the brasses, details, and switched to mostly black paint schemes.  And yes, locomotives typically followed the same progression as they were rebuilt in service over the years.  Looking at your build I suggest that you lock on black with yellow highlights where the brasses would be.  You can carry an accent color sparingly (cab window, tender).  Also, switch to dark grey to represent the Russian Iron boiler jacket.  Here are two good schemes for your reference:
1) Governor Stanford - http://www.carto.net...team_engine.jpg
Note that prior to locomotive pooling in the 1880s, American locomotives were typically named... so why not name yours after your mother.
2) Reno Circa 1910 - http://www.virginiaa...motive/No11.htm
One of the most famous surviving American class locomotives of the famed Virginia and Truckee, and a life-long favorite of mine (by the age of 15 I could already sketch Reno's frame with every bolt correctly placed)

- BMW



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