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ProvenceTristram

[MOC] Great Northern Lima-built, reconstructed 2-10-2

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Blech.

Ever start one of those projects at a reasonable hour, and say something like "this'll be a piece of cake!"... and then 6 hours later realize that you're still not done? Well, I do. Frequently. And this turned out to be another one. 

So, this may look familiar, but I assure you - aside from the tender and cab - it is pretty much a whole new engine. And its familiarity is actually somewhat intentional. You see, GN's first 4-8-2s - the P-1s - were the basis for the design of the later P-2 (which I posted on here the other day). In 1928, GN took 15 of the old P-1s and rebuilt them into Q-2s for mainline freight service. The resulting steamers looked a lot like the earlier (and unrelated) Q-1 2-10-2s, and a lot like the P-2s, albeit with much smaller wheels. Confused yet? 

One distinguishing feature of these locos was their boxy Belpaire firebox, which, for the purposes of a model built in Lego, helps to break up an otherwise uniform boiler. I have no idea if they were ever painted in green - in every photo I have seen of them, the engines are so filthy that you can't tell what color they are (although I know at least a few had silver smoke boxes). Another oddity is that not one seemed to be configured identically to the others - some carried square cabs, others had cabs that angled forward; some had their compressors on the nose; others on the flanks. What I've produced here isn't any specific Q-2, but rather a mish-mash of details from the series.

Prototype photos (with a few Q-1s mixed in):

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Model:

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Non-Bluerender:

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I tried my best to cram as much piping as possible onto the sides to make it look a bit more accurate (and properly muscular), though I still think it looks less meaty than the prototype. I know for a fact that I can fit a motor into the firebox, so I may attempt to mess with that tomorrow (as well as try making the cab angle forward, although I hate to lose the forward facing windows by doing that). The cylinders are also too small, so I can mess with them, as well... though I may try something more radical, like lengthening it (although I am not sure how that would make it look bulkier).

Edited by ProvenceTristram

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Spent five minutes staring at it and fixed the cylinders issue. I can't decide if the locomotive is too short or not. To my naked eye, it looks too stubby. But then I line it up with the photos and angle everything properly, and the sizing is correct. Sigh.

Anyway, there is the fix.

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***Edit***

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Kay, I'm not nuts. The smoke box definitely needs to grow by about one stud. Bleh. Tomorrow, then.

Edited by ProvenceTristram

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You can add a decal to the inverted slope and "retain" the forward window...  Looks real good...  Your really crank oh no these out 

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Okay, I am confident that the problems have been resolved:

1) The loco appears to be about as close to a Q-2's proportions as you can come.

2) I dropped the running boards down one stud - this matches the prototype.

3) The loco now has a motor, and will be able to pull.

4) I didn't need to extend the firebox. Adding the angling to the cab produced the desired proportions on its own.

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2 hours ago, Roadmonkeytj said:

I think this looks pretty dang close 

Thanks! I think this is the one I am going to wind up building. I've decided that when it comes to the truly big engines, I prefer freight locomotives to eight-coupled passenger or dual purpose engines (with the possible exception of the Daylights - but those are kind of done to death). Even if burly 2-10-2s like this weren't speedsters, they exuded raw power, which - for me - is infinitely preferable to finesse. YMMV, of course.

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On 11/5/2018 at 8:11 AM, ProvenceTristram said:

Blech.

Ever start one of those projects at a reasonable hour, and say something like "this'll be a piece of cake!"... and then 6 hours later realize that you're still not done? Well, I do. Frequently. And this turned out to be another one.

That first post only took you 6 hours? Wow, even more impressive then. Another excellent build, but you have to slow down, you are making the rest of us look bad (grin)

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Posted (edited)

Part of the problem with starting with your favorite locomotive (or, more accurately, what became my favorite locomotive) is that, when you move on to other projects that you don't like quite as much and - in the process - improve your technique, the original starts to hover over you like a dark cloud, groaning and bellowing "fixxxxxx meeeeee" and "stop wasting time playing The Lonnngggg Daaarrrkkkk."

In fact, it was my reluctance to tackle this project again that brought a halt to all my building efforts earlier this spring - I just couldn't bring myself to engage all the problems associated with it.

And there were a lot of problems. In no particular order:

  • Only one axle of the original was powered.
  • The locomotive was driven by a single, smaller power functions motor. I wanted it to be capable of performing in a drag freight role like the real thing, so that obviously wasn't going to do.
  • I had originally designed this engine as a 4-8-2, then redone it as a 2-10-2. Before you gasp and clutch some pearls, the real locomotives were also 4-8-2s before being reconstructed. Still, the transition wasn't quite as smooth as I would have liked.
  • My first crack at the engine, I had accidentally constructed a Q-1 instead of a Q-2. The differences aren't enormous, but they are noticeable. While I had cleaned up this issue to an extent later-on, it really ransacked the model to do so. Essentially, we're now on the fourth iteration of this engine.
  • The front end of the boiler was a mess.
  • I didn't like the cow-catcher (note: what you see in the photos isn't quite finished; I want to use a part that I can't do in LDD to extend the prongs). 
  • The entire tender needed to be replaced - like, everything was wrong: proportions, trucks, details, etc.
  • The interior was a complete mess. It wasn't held together as well as I would have wanted, and there was a significant unnecessary part glut that needed to be redressed.

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Some of this I was aware of heading in... some of it I wasn't. I did know, however, that trying to cram a large motor into the rear, SNOTed portion of the boiler was going to be an utter nightmare... and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it was. I planned this morning to upsize the boiler by a plate in each direction in order to make accommodating the motor easier, but half way into it, I realized that the scaling was starting to come apart (plus, if you look at photos of the real thing, the Q-2s really didn't have large-circumference boilers when compared to something like an ATSF 2-10-4; they were kind of antiquated in this regard [which, again, had a lot to do with them being retooled 4-8-2s]) . So, I retreated back to the old boiler and completely gutted it end-to-end, then had to come up with some very creative work-arounds in order to sheath that friggin' motor (it actually is only concealed by a tile's thickness in places).

The tender wasn't difficult once I settled on a design, but it is radically different from the original. Plus, it also contains a SECOND large motor, thus doubling my tractive effort. Even if I ever have the money build this, I don't know if I'll get the opportunity to see it run... but I'd like to think that it would be a beast (albeit one that is limited to insanely generous curves).

I'm pretty satisfied with how it turned out - after about 8 hours of fresh work, I now believe that this is up to par with most of my other engines (there are a couple of others I have to revisit after this - I really want to do large motors across the board for all standard gauge locomotives). 

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Edited by ProvenceTristram

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Great work cramming the motor into such a confined space! The tender is a definite improvement too.

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It is just getting better and better. One point of note, I THINK GN steam had a green that was slightly darker than lego's dark green, whereas your model is in sand green. I only know this because I built a GN steamer and silly me, based it on a preserved locomotive that is wearing the wrong shade- something close to sand green (the Havre MT Northern). In my case I like the sand green better so I built it as such

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