MOC: R Class Single Fairlie (WIP)
Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:07 AM
Just so you know what I talking about this is what a New Zealand Government Railways 'R' class single Fairlie looks like. Sorry about the quality of the photo, it's a little difficult to find nice clear 'this is an R class' type photos, but if I find something better I'll replace this photo. There was a version of the R class with longer side tanks as well and there was also another class of single Fairlie called the 'S' class. These had the long tanks, a larger cab and were a heavier loco than the R class. I may build one later, but I chose the R class first because being the more lightweight class it was found on lighter laid branchlines, some local council tramways and even working on the occasional timber tramway.
And this is my WIP R class Fairlie. Some of the parts in the picture are placeholders and will be replaced with the correct items when my Bricklink orders arrive. I have used a degree of foreshortening, but I may yet make the boiler a little longer as these locos always looked low and long as compared with later NZR loco classes.
It didn't take too long to build something that looked like an R class, the fun began when I found that it kept wanting to break in half. Part of the problem is that I'm short of 8 wide baseplates and once my Bricklink order arrives I should be able to replace the dreadful lashup of joined baseplates that are holding the loco together at the moment. I ended up being so absorbed with rebuilding the loco body so it was strong enough to handle and bump about that I stayed up far too late and ended up being bleary eyed this morning. Worth it though
After a bit of fiddling I was able to get my loco to go around a standard Lego curve. Yay for BBB blind drivers because that trailing driving wheel pair really does need to be flangeless. As I mentioned in another thread this loco is inspired by the MOT locos which is why I've stuck with using the same boiler building method. A nod in the direction of the source of my inspiration and all that.
Motorising is definitely on my 'to-do' list, but at the moment I'm not so sure how I will achieve that. I thought it best to try and build something that looks like an R class first and then figure out how to motorise it latter
Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:00 AM
One thing about building steam locos in Lego though is that it's really hard to get the chimney/funnel/smokestack looking like it should. Loco chimneys are quite characteristic pieces of kit and in many cases it's possible to identify the builder of a full sized loco just by the shape of the chimney alone.
R class locos that worked in rural areas were usually fitted with a spark arresting chimney and that is what I've done with my loco. I guess this is an illegal method, but I cut a piece of black 3mm Technics plastic tubing and forced a round section wooden toothpick inside it. This expanded the tube enough that it held the cone piece and the round brick together reasonably firmly. It's still not a good representation, but I can live with it for the moment.
Posted 14 November 2012 - 12:46 PM
Further progress. I lengthened the boiler by two studs and by using a 12v motorblock and 12v wheel assembles to make a new rear bogie I've now got the loco looking low and long like a 'R' class Fairlie should be. The ashpan and the safety valve are in placeholder colours and will be replaced once my Bricklink order arrives.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:34 PM
Posted 16 November 2012 - 08:29 PM
I agree too about smokestacks being very important parts of a loco's shape, and they certainly can be a bit of a challenge. With a couple of the posts in here about having trouble getting upside-down cones I thought I'd share a couple of the solutions I tend to use - very simple ones too!
For the third one I wanted to highlight the 1x1 round stud, because that cone won't connect without it. The Technic part's probably a bit tall for your Fairlie and the first method may not be right for you either, but I thought perhaps they'd be handy references for the future.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:51 PM
Thanks for your comments about my Fairlie. They have been my favourite NZR loco for a long time now so I wanted to have a go at building at least one and making a reasonable job of it. One member of the 'R' class has survived as a loco on static display, but there is a vigorous campaign being waged by a preservation group who want to restore it to full working order.
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