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Pantographs: From Old to New

Locomotive Pantograph 7740 Horizon Express

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#1 roamingstop

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:00 AM

Im debating how to proceed with re-energising some of my older models; either leave them exactly as they were or bring them up to more modern designs; and it got me thinking about pantograph designs over the ages; and actually which ones work best. And importantly, if the models are updated (as in fact all real life locomotives were) would changing the pantographs make sense

Taking as an example 7740: brick built pantograph (plates and studs) - which wont fit nicely inside a 10027 Engine shed
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Through some I used on a custom MOC
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to Steinkopfs excellent ones
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And onwards to the Horizon Express Which are about as modern as you can get.
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My questions really are what to do with the older models - does it really make sense to update pantographs to more realistic versions; and if so; which designs are recommended? Would you go for realistic; or functional (assuming imagary wires); or lego-istic (7740 style)...

#2 cimddwc

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

That's a good question I've been asking myself too, especially for 7740. So far, even though I did modernize the dining car, removing its pantograph altogether and turning the kitchen at the end into a bar/small kitchen on the side, added a (not yet finished) carriage with control cab at the end, and had to modify the engine's roof for PF battery box access, I kept the original pantograph design for nostalgic reasons, because that kinda belongs to 7740 with its "classic Lego" look. So while the idea of having realistic MOCed pantographs doesn't actually seem bad, I'm not sure they would go together that well...

#3 roamingstop

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 11:23 AM

Looking at old TEE locomotives (assuming that was the inspiration for 7740)... we also see interesting diesel types


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So perhaps pantographs for 7740 were a simple addition?

I know Seelanderpublished a real nice set of TEE (tan and dark red) carriages some time ago - but for nostalgia the 7740 looks good.
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German TEE BR103 by Thomas Selander, on Flickr   And some nice carriage designs to be completing the 7740 series.
Sorry gone way off topic.... :devil:

Edited by roamingstudio, 28 November 2012 - 11:28 AM.


#4 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

It's a difficult question when it comes to the classics.  I like electric locos a lot and the pantographs and the associated electrical gubbins on the locomotives' roof is a distinctive feature.  With MOCs it's not an issue since you can freely build whatever looks best, but a classic loco like the 7740 should be displayed in its original condition.  A compromise could be to make a custom roof with updated pantographs for running the loco on the layout so it can fit inside loco sheds and the like, but when displayed away from the layout the correct parts are restored to their rightful place again..
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#5 Hechristensen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:51 PM

Dont you dare fiddle with the 7740 design! ;-) :-)
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#6 Electricsteam

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

Ignore what I posted before I thuoght we where talking about the pictures :wacko:  Anyways I prefer the older pantographs over the new ones becuase the new ones look way to thick. :sceptic:

Edited by Electricsteam, 28 November 2012 - 09:52 PM.

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#7 Hrw-Amen

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:20 PM

I would not fiddle with something that old. If you do it on a current model or a MOC fine, but that being a classic set should in my opinion be left as it is. For me i leave all my LEGO brand trains as they are made up out of the box. What I do on my own models is up to me, but I'd leave well alone an official set, at least from an appearance point of view. I understand people may want to change 12V to PF or 9V or whatever and that is OK as long as you are not changing the external appearance.

#8 Sérgio

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

when i do pantographs i try to make more realistic possible, here is an example.

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#9 roamingstop

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:34 PM

That is actually a very nice - elegant design. I think I might borrow some; as to revising old sets - I agree with most of the statements that any changes should only be for the better. That is what I did for the 4551 series... So perhaps it is more MOD then original. However it should be still instantly recognisable.

Edited by roamingstudio, 28 November 2012 - 09:35 PM.


#10 twenty6twelve

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:40 PM

In my humble opinion, it wouldn't do much to update the appearance of the pantographs and leave the rest of the train untouched. I think it'd make the most striking difference to go whole-hog and redesign the entire train to modern standards, or simply let classics be classics in their original and unaltered forms.

Again, this is personal opinion, and you're free to do as you like - I'm sure you'd find a way to make it look nice. :classic:

#11 LEGO Train 12 Volts

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:59 PM

In my opinion the new design are perfect for the new 9v trains but not for the old 12 volts set ...the 7740 is just perfect in the way it is! :wink:
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#12 LEGO Guy Bri

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 02:40 AM

View PostLEGO Train 12 Volts, on 28 November 2012 - 10:59 PM, said:

In my opinion the new design are perfect for the new 9v trains but not for the old 12 volts set ...the 7740 is just perfect in the way it is! :wink:

I agree, though 7740 and others were before, and some way before, my time, I would leave them as is. These trains never really appealed to me (don't beat me up too bad :grin: ), but their pantographs do look right for the era. Having some of these really realistic looking ones would throw it off, not to mention what cimddwc said "nostalgic reasons". Though, you could play around with some designs, if any with hinge plates of the same time. That my not be going too far  :classic:
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#13 peterab

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:50 AM

Since 7740 came out in my dark ages I decided to build my own http://www.flickr.co...rab/6110603909/. Since then I got the chance to buy 7740 at a good price so I now have both. I tend to keep my older sets original for nostalgic reasons, and build Mocs to the latest AFOL standards. As an example the pantograph shoes on the BR103 I linked are now Belville ice skates.

By the way the prototype E03 and early production engines of the BR103 had double diamond pantographs which were later updated to central arm types.

#14 Ashi Valkoinen

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:39 AM

View PostSérgio, on 28 November 2012 - 09:25 PM, said:

when i do pantographs i try to make more realistic possible, here is an example.

Me, too, I always care for realism and functionality.

http://www.brickshel...ew/img_1625.jpg
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#15 Steinkopf

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

Personally speaking my use of pantographs has been an evolutionary cycle, my very first pantos were the 2881Click variety that came in 4511 and I used some with the click hinge plates and others I modded by using technic axles with the click hinge cylinder pieces, I was generally dissatisfied with them due to their chunky proportions and unrealistic looks. I then decided to change to the original 2881 pantograph shoes with the hinge bars for use on my trains as they had a thinner and more realistic look to them, even then I was not totally satisfied due to the fact that they were not suited to some of the locomotives designs I have. I was also unhappy with the overall width of the 2881 pantograph shoe, in many respects I saw them as not being wide enough especially when you factor in the ratio of the contact surface and curved sections of the shoe as it was too small even for 6 wide trains. Then one day by chance when I was looking for something I dropped a container which my daughters had some of their Belville stored in, as I was picking up the parts I came across an Ice Skate and looked at it and thought hey this part looks like it has some potential, I then quickly scurried around looking for another one and when I paired them up to see what they looked like. As soon as I put them together I knew I had found the solution I had been waiting for, I then looked around at a number of Pantograph designs such as Namo Dens beautiful Diamond Pattern design, I then went about tying to figure out how to incorporate them and created my own hybrid designs such as this one.


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Edited by Steinkopf, 29 November 2012 - 11:46 PM.


#16 roamingstop

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:43 PM

I know most people said dont mess with 7740; and to an extent I agree. However I did come across this photo whilst doing a google image search. I have no idea who made it. The model was linked into a form of Danish auction type site; and was cached. I created a copy onto flickr - if you know who the original owner / designer is then im happy to make reference to it.

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7740-mod by [UNKNOWN] hosted by roamingstudio, on Flickr

Edit: It seems to be a listing from here- any of the Danish readers care to help? Google translate indicates that it is being sold as incomplete; wrong windows and no engine.

What interested me more than anything is how the simple red pantographs really dont look out of place for the old model. Indeed even changing the grey windows for yellow doesnt look too bad; and I think this could be an interesting solution to invest for my next 7740 - PF version. To be done over next months.

Edited by roamingstudio, 02 December 2012 - 09:00 PM.


#17 Richie

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:36 PM

I think the finger-hing variation of the 9V era (in 4558 for example) is the most realistic solution that's been released in an official set so far. For non-official solutions Steinkopf has some great solutions, but I like Sérgio's pantograph as well.

Now it's waiting for the first MOC with remote-controlled pantographs! :grin:

It's multifunctionomical.

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#18 1974

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

View Postroamingstudio, on 02 December 2012 - 08:43 PM, said:

I know most people said dont mess with 7740; and to an extent I agree. However I did come across this photo whilst doing a google image search. I have no idea who made it. The model was linked into a form of Danish auction type site; and was cached. I created a copy onto flickr - if you know who the original owner / designer is then im happy to make reference to it.

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7740-mod by [UNKNOWN] hosted by roamingstudio, on Flickr

Edit: It seems to be a listing from here- any of the Danish readers care to help? Google translate indicates that it is being sold as incomplete; wrong windows and no engine.

What interested me more than anything is how the simple red pantographs really dont look out of place for the old model. Indeed even changing the grey windows for yellow doesnt look too bad; and I think this could be an interesting solution to invest for my next 7740 - PF version. To be done over next months.

I know that auction/guy. It's not an original 7740, some parts have been replaced. He has a lot for sale. Some trains are MOCs by James Mathis, I think

Don't put too much into that auction pic, he probably just lost the bricks or moddded to suit his needs. I can send you his email if you like

About my own pantos .. I don't have any :grin:  All my trains are with a selfcontained supply of power. Also, pantos wouldn't clear my tunnels, mountains, monorails and whatnot. and that's more important to me

Cheers,

Ole

Edited by 1974, 03 December 2012 - 12:26 AM.

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#19 Locomotive Annie

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 01:24 AM

That 7740 is sooooooo beautiful with those pantographs.   Oooooooo I'm tempted to build a MOC copy :wub:
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#20 roamingstop

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:39 AM

Thanks for info Ole. I was in direct contact with the guy - his brickshelf pages are below (this original post got lost in the last forum rebuild).
Some of the movels were adapted from those done by James Mathis (e.g. his DB103) and others were his own design. He kindly allowed me to link to his other models; and I have to say that the 7740 colour scheme does work pretty well. I prefer the dark red and tan of the real life TEE - but this is still Lego.

For example; on this brickshelf page you see the original 7740 combined with a 7740 mod and red / black pantographs
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So I have to agree with Loco-Annie - the red / black pantographs do work well. And I might have to finish modding some 7740's in a similar way.

Actually looking back at the top pictures (way up this thread) it would almost seem as if the official 7740 locomotive is a bad cross between the diesel (2 wheel bogey; sloping fronts, but much longer) and the longer 3 wheel bogey electric version, but with rounded fronts.

So I know my next steps: slight modifications of the 7740 to match the correct locomotives carriages in Lego scale (red and yellow) and longer term to go into the 7-8 wide red and tan versions.

Edited by roamingstudio, 04 December 2012 - 09:44 AM.


#21 Hechristensen

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 03:53 PM

View Postroamingstudio, on 04 December 2012 - 09:39 AM, said:

Thanks for info Ole. I was in direct contact with the guy - his brickshelf pages are below (this original post got lost in the last forum rebuild).
Some of the movels were adapted from those done by James Mathis (e.g. his DB103) and others were his own design. He kindly allowed me to link to his other models; and I have to say that the 7740 colour scheme does work pretty well. I prefer the dark red and tan of the real life TEE - but this is still Lego.

For example; on this brickshelf page you see the original 7740 combined with a 7740 mod and red / black pantographs
Posted Image

So I have to agree with Loco-Annie - the red / black pantographs do work well. And I might have to finish modding some 7740's in a similar way.

Actually looking back at the top pictures (way up this thread) it would almost seem as if the official 7740 locomotive is a bad cross between the diesel (2 wheel bogey; sloping fronts, but much longer) and the longer 3 wheel bogey electric version, but with rounded fronts.

So I know my next steps: slight modifications of the 7740 to match the correct locomotives carriages in Lego scale (red and yellow) and longer term to go into the 7-8 wide red and tan versions.

Original...!? No, the true 7740 super fan will quickly notice the 9V bogeys and motor, and the front lights are clear white and not yellow.
What have you done... :cry_sad:   - :wink: :laugh:
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#22 andythenorth

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 08:21 PM

Ignore the weirdos, if modding it is fun, mod it.  It's a construction toy.

Edited by andythenorth, 06 December 2012 - 08:21 PM.

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