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MOC: Balin & Sons Mining Co. Ore Train


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#1 Laura Takayama

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 04:59 AM

I've had the locomotive for this train done for some time now (like since August of last year), but was having some difficulty with the rolling stock.

Seeing the Mining Train in the leaked pics of the LEGO City mine sparked my inspiration, and I spent the better part of this evening after work making some mine carts to go with the loco.  The mine carts are based on the ones in the Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom set, but using sturdier overall building techniques.

Anyways, without further ado, here's the train:

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NG Train by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

Along with some closeup shots of the locomotive.  You can see my attempt at duplicating the look of the drive shafts for the wheel bogies in the first pic.  This Loco is a Heistler-style geared Locomotive, but with multiple speeds, meaning that on a straight, level stretch of track, it can get up a pretty good turn of speed.

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NG Loco by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

Front view:

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NGTrain2 by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

...I Might have to see if they start making those 1x1 round tiles with numbers so I could use it as a proper number plate.

Here is an interior shot of the locomotive, with Ori manning (or more properly, dwarfing) the controls:

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NG Loco Interior by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

...And now on to the ore carts themselves:

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NG Ore Cars 1 by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

....and a shot of the dumping action of the ore carts:

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NG Ore Cars 2 by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

This is handy for unloading the ore at the junction with the standard-gauge line so you don't need one of them crazy rotary car dumpers like AussieJimbo made a while back.

Now for a little background information:  Balin & Sons is a large Dwarf-owned Mining Conglomerate based in Harrisburg, PA, Richmond, VA, and Cincinnati, OH in the Federal Republic of America.  They have built miles of Narrow-Gauge track to facilitate hauling Mithril, Iron and other minerals from their various deep-shaft mines to standard-gauge lines nearby.  This particular train belongs to their Harrisburg Division, which has been in continuous operation since before the Final War, and mainly serves the Mithril Mines near Halifax and Duncannon, PA.  Mithril is only found deep in the crust (far deeper than most humans are capable of mining) and is a small, but key ingredient in the manufacture of the important Unobtanium alloy.  In keeping with the Federal Republic of America's policy of using renewable energy whenever possible, most of the locomotives are wood-pellet burning steam engines, although they do have some biogas-electric locomotives for use on their busier lines.

Comments and criticism are welcome!  The ore cars, BTW, are sorta Table-scrappy builds, since I didn't really order any parts special for them, but rather used what I had available in my parts bins.  I think they turned out rather well regardless, and I kinda like how no two ore carts in my consist are exactly alike.  :classic:
-Laura/Hikaro Takayama

Gender-Fluid Christian and proud of it.

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."  - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta


#2 AussieJimbo

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 07:10 AM

Nice work, HT, and thanks for the plug.

I like the design of the little dumper cars and the coupling mechanism.

The loco looks good too, particularly that front view.

:classic: :classic:

Edited by AussieJimbo, 17 February 2012 - 07:11 AM.


#3 lightningtiger

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Posted 17 February 2012 - 09:01 AM

Great little train 'Hikaro Takayama'. :thumbup:
Any more planned ? :wink:
Brick On ! :grin:

#4 Laura Takayama

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 01:44 AM

Thanks guys!  Glad you like it.

AussieJimbo:  The coupler device was kind of trial and error:  I initially tried to use the ball-hitch and socket devices available through Pick A Brick, but the ore cars kept derailing on the turns, so I tried to combine two ore cars into one, but it would derail on S-curves with the semi-rigid coupler, so after thinking hard for a few minutes, I realized that what I needed was a coupler that was, in essence, a Universal Joint, so I happened to have some technic axle-ball sockets and axle joiners, and there you have it.  I just last night finally decided to take another look at my Narrow Gauge train and see if the improved U-joint couplers would work with the 8-long ore cars and they did!

LightningTiger:  I've got some LDD files of other NG rolling stock, such as an intermodal car, a 2-bay hopper (based on the East Broad Top Railroad coal hoppers) and a caboose.  I'm also analyzing pics of the upcoming LEGO City mine train (as well as downloading the LDD file that was recently uploaded onto EB) to come up with an improved in-mine locomotive, preferably in the Balin & Sons Red & Black livery....

I MAY actually have enough parts to make one of the 2-bay hopper cars... I'll have to see.  The rest I can't really even start building.
-Laura/Hikaro Takayama

Gender-Fluid Christian and proud of it.

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."  - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta


#5 AussieJimbo

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 05:45 AM

Yeah, the couplings need to be double articulated or the cars will derail on the change of direction in S-curves. I've used 2L or 3L thin liftarms previously. On my current small scale train I'm just using small rubber bands looped over those tow ball pieces.

:classic: :classic:

Edited by AussieJimbo, 18 February 2012 - 05:48 AM.


#6 Asper

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:27 AM

This is a nice little train! The picture  with the front view is great.

This scale looks very interesting...

#7 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

This mine's train is excellent ...very original work!  :wub:
The coal wagon are totally cool!  :wub:
Posted Image   Posted Image

#8 Laura Takayama

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:58 AM

Thanks for the kind words, fellows!  Yes this is an interesting scale, but as I said before, living near one of the oldest continuously operational Narrow Gauge railroads in the world has kind of given me a soft spot for Narrow Gauge trains.

...Not to mention that it's different than your run of the mill standard gauge stuff.

Anyways, I was at the fiance's place all weekend otherwise I would have replied sooner.  Now, as promised a quickie LDD screenshot of some of my other Narrow Gauge WIPs, including a very WIP-y Balin & Sons electric Mine locomotive (for use in the mines), based on the LEGO City mine's NG mine train:

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WIP Narrow Gauge stuff by Hikaro Takayama, on Flickr

The hopper, as I said, is loosely based on the East Broad Top Railroad hopper cars (even though most of theirs are 3-bay), and the intermodal car is meant to hold containers like in the LEGO City Harbor set that came out in 2007 (7994), which I've decided to adopt as my standard shipping container size (I already have one on the MV Merry Maid, my armed merchant ship).
-Laura/Hikaro Takayama

Gender-Fluid Christian and proud of it.

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."  - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta


#9 roamingstop

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

Are you also aware of the work of Space2310 who posted some very nice PF narrow gauge trains. He made some elegent solutions for switches and powered bogeys which could add more to your series.

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bogie by Space2310, on Flickr

#10 Laura Takayama

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:47 AM

Thanks for the info, Roamingstudio, but I was already aware of at least two different attempts to use PF on the NG track...  Both this one and Aussiejimbo's.  I, however, am on a fairly tight budget, and a single PF unit would cost my entire monthly budget, not to mention that I generally prefer to push my trains around by hand, or just have them set up to look pretty anyways (I don't even have enough curved pieces to make a full loop of standard gauge track at the moment).

I might see about doing something down the road (most likely if/when I get around to modelling East Broad Top RR's M-7 55-ton GE center-cab diesel), but for the foreseeable future, I'm going to be prioritizing my budget for actual bricks to build rolling stock and such over PF stuff.... :sceptic:
-Laura/Hikaro Takayama

Gender-Fluid Christian and proud of it.

"Wot's faster than a warbuggy, more killy than a warbike, and flies through da air like a bird? I got no bleedin' idea, but I'm gonna find out."  - Kog da Flymek, pioneer of the Deffkopta





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