frideriko75

Best way to start in Lego Train with Steam theme

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Hello,

until now I was mostly in Technic and Creator, but I am interested more and more in Lego train universe (which I find awesome the more I read about it and discover some awesome MOcs).

Within the Lego train universe this is the steam engines that fascinate me. I would like to build one (and probably more I presume :)) but I wonder myself about the best way to start. Considering that I will not have the room space to create a rail tracks bigger than a train city set. This is the engine building and modelling that appeals me, in the same time I would like to have a MOC steam engine able to run on a track, in case of.

- Buy some City set to have PF train motor (really useful for steam engine, comparing to building technics involved in Emerald Night for example ?), proportionnal remote and some train tracks (I already have IR receptor and battery box from my Technic sets) and buy additional parts to build a steam engine ?

- Buy all the parts I need form Bricklink : some tracks, proportional remote, and all wheels and bricks needed ?

I missed Emerald Night set, set 10183 is out of budget, and I am not sure that a train City set is very useful; but on the opposite I would not want to miss an opportunity to but 60098 train at 110€ if it is an useful traiin parts source in steam universe perspective.

Thank in advance for your insights.

Frederic

Edited by frideriko75

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Most train parts like wheelsets and couplers are indeed crucial for a LEGO train. A set like 60098 could come handy for those pars. For a steam loco the lone ranger could be a good start with the parts needed for a steam locomotive. And you could perhaps try to buy a moc from someone who sells them.

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You could look at bricklinking Emerald Night in an alternative colour. I have always thought it would look good in the Black/Red DB colours.

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Gray also looks good for the Emerald Night. I have a thread talking about my various Emerald Night MOCs, and the 4-6-4 is in gray.

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You said you want to build a steam train MOC. While you can learn from building the Emerald Night in a different colour I wouldn't go mad on buying parts.

Buying a City train set will give you a lot of useful train parts like wheel sets and couplers so that would be a good start.

After that the best advice I can give you is to start small. Do a search for Holger Mathes' BR 080 for example or have a look at my own BR 70. The BR 70 does not have a motor, it's pushed by a carriage with a standard train motor (like you'll get in that City set) but it does have working drive gear.

Once you get a feel for how a Lego steam engine works you can go for something bigger.

Good luck and enjoy the journey!

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There are instructions for a few good steam engine designs in the Railbricks steam instructions gallery and many more tips in the magazine itself. Even if you never build any of those there is a lot of food for thought. Expanding on Duq's suggestions, yes starting on a design by someone else is a good place to start. When you build your own, it is easiest to start small, perhaps an 0-6-0 so that you do not have to worry about making pilot or trailing wheels work on tight lego curves (perhaps the hardest part of any lego steam locomotive). No matter what you attempt, when you get to your own MOC build the mechanicals first, make sure your design can make it around any curve, bumpy track or switch you'll want to put it through. Try both directions through any curve, etc.. Once satisfied, then figure out how to add the boiler, cab, etc. above.

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Frederic,

Having recently come out of the Dark Ages, my passion is also for steam locomotives. Since I do not have the space to store a Lego collection, I do most of my building using Lego Digital Designer (LDD). While I do have the Emerald Night set and have learned a lot from building it, I have also really enjoyed looking at photos of other people creations to see how they built some particularly challenging part. A lot of my creations I have rebuilt several times to get them just right. As for buying parts...my strategy is to build it first in LDD, even test to see if it will clear the tight corners, then order the parts from Bricklink. Just my thoughts. I'm glad you are interested in building steam locomotives! I think they are the coolest and most challenging!

ALCO

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You might consider finding the old LEGO® Hobby Train 10183 set. Even if you don't source a complete set, you may find steam locomotive inspiration within the model designs on offer.

http://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=15963

Maybe one more vote...? ;-) Only 21 days left on a (my) hapless LEGO IDEAS "Super Mega Steam Power Train Builder" project.

https://ideas.lego.com/projects/86744

One of the underlying fundamental 'ideas' of "Super Mega" was to provide the builder with a basic-generic-if-not-period-perfect steam locomotive platform. The modular design approach allows you to be the designer, able to fairly easily pick what wheel/axle configuration you want, then give some ideas for what goes on top of the basic running gear chassis, drive, and articulation mechanism. You customize the boiler, cab, and tender to your liking and deviate at will for livery and style.

https://ideas.lego.com/projects/86744/updates

Here is a direct link to the basic wheel configurations, running gear, tender and Power Functions bits (motor, IR receive, and battery box).

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?i=6195361

I invite you to download the LEGO Digital Designer files and explore the design further.

http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=550498

I have tested a real world brick built prototype of this Super Mega Steam Power Train Builder running gear (poor quality video not worthy of public consumption), but it was slightly different before I tweaked it in final LDD form for the LEGO IDEAS project submission.

I second all the great suggestions others have provided.

Good steam building to you.

- James "tootin' his own horn" Mathis

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