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Posted (edited)

Hi all,

after a very long time, dedicated to my retrocomputing hobby, I finally got back to Lego trains :classic:.

What made me come back to drawing and studying was a very cheap copy of G-Gauge LGB trains, made in China by a company called Newquida. These trains also offer a specific track, only proposed in Radius 1 (600mm), all made by brown plastic. So I gave this track a try (for 25 Euros I got a full circle, two points and an half circle). Apart the 45mm gauge, the track is all in all very similar to Lego standard geometry. 

Currently my two prototypes are not G-gauge perfect, they simply are 12v Lego trains with their size multiplied by 2. They are a 7810 and a 7720 on steroids, basically.

WP_20180628_22_08_10_Rich

After getting the track, I widened the bogies of my Lego prototypes of "big" Lego trains from L-gauge to G-gauge and I made a test run...the result is...I'll never go back to L-gauge (only for for trains which are so big and heavy :wink: ). This track is cheap and quite solid. More than enough for the moment!

WP_20190529_21_56_34_Pro

So, having the opportunity to properly test my locomotives, I bought three LGB cars (the ones used on standard sets) at quite a bargain price.

Immediately, I understood that some ideas I got from photos, catalogues , Eurobricks members ( @Tenderlok :wink: ) were correct, others were quite right at a first sight, but totally wrong.

First thing to think about: dimensions - The scale 1:22,5 is the one commonly used by LGB for Narrow gauge trains running on 45mm tracks. It means that real trains running on  tracks around metric gauge (950mm/1000mm/1067mm, but also smaller ones) are quite standardized to this scale. Standard gauge real trains are quite commonly scaled to 1:32. My Double-L trains are something between these two standards.

WP_20190529_21_57_03_Pro

They are taller and narrower than LGB cars. They are close, and this was quite a satisfaction for a newbie like me.

So let's make a bit of reverse engineering. I got some data of real trains (for example BerninaBahn Abe 4/4 30 - 1000mm , JNR KIHA 31 railcar - 1067mm and Genova-Casella locomotives 950mm adapted to 1000mm), and I calculated the measures in studs. We're always around 13/14 studs for width, lenght may vary but buffers are quite often near 3 studs, height can slightly vary but roofs  at 15,16 bricks from ground.

What I would like is to have some basic reference measures to standardize a bit some parts of my future design.

So i dismantled one of the LGB cars and started to take some measurements in order to see if my calculated dimensions were correct.

WP_20190529_21_59_08_Pro

Well,let's say three studs for a single buffer. So lenght of the body could be approximately calculated as: overall lenght over buffers translated in scale and then divided by 0,8cm, subtracted by 6 studs. It's not a general rule, but it works to at least have an idea. I went back on fixed buffer solution instead of pivoting one - it works perfectly.

WP_20190529_21_59_46_ProWP_20190529_22_06_27_Pro

My train base chassis is 12 studs wide - LGB one is 11. but LGB undercarriage parts are thinner than Lego, so I will have to rework all the details (leaf springs, bogies and so on) to be a bit more narrow.

WP_20190529_22_04_53_ProWP_20190529_22_05_52_Pro

Axle steering at least is correct and works fine - it should be limited a bit - LGB axles steer but not so much (I'm no more using Lego tracks for these trains so I can limit the steering a bit).

WP_20190529_22_05_30_Pro

The wagon's body is 14 studs (sounds nice). All doors and windows are smaller than I thought on these wagons.

Second thing to think about: weight

So, I always tought my locomotives were too heavy. Not at all, LGB wagons are heavy too, so a bit of weight in the locomotive is welcome to improve traction. One thing for sure: the XL motor works fine and smoothly , but bigger batteries are needed (the small battery box is not enough).

So, this is what I learned from my errors and ideas so far :laugh:.

 

First trial in designing something more serious

I would like to share with you my first design of a locomotive in real G-Scale, not based on double-sized Lego sets.

It's the Electric locomotive number 29 (red) and 28 (blue) of the Genova-Casella railway, one of the survived narrow gauge railways in Italy. Locomotive number 28 was scrapped and parts were used to keep the 29 alive.  This design still keeps the possibilty of changing from L-gauge track to 45mm track, but I am redesigning the whole thing. I do not know the real width of the locomotive and I do not have blueprints...so I used a lot of photos.

Currently it is 14 wide (16 with ladders), but I'm going to make it narrower by one stud (the real locomotive is thin and tall), in order to give a more faithful look. It will loose the double gauge feature, but I think it deserves a less square design. I'm planning to use two XL motors and a standard PF battery box, but I could also think of a 7,2v high capacity (4000Mah) RC car battery.

They are simple as usual, the only snot-designed part are in the front of the locomotive.

 

loco2829

I hope you like them, and I'd really like to understand if what I experienced could be correct or useful :laugh:

Ciao to all!

Davide

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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Hi Davide,

Welcome to the (until now, one-man-) club! :wink:

Gorgeous locomotives! :wub: But you will need overhead wire to make them look really outstanding, I fear...

If you need any advice for adapting Lego trains to 45-mm-track, I'll be happy to answer your questions.
Your basic calculations are definitely reasonable.
Regarding the axle steering, my two-axle wagons feature a considerably smaller steering angle (almost none at all), but I'm running my trains on 1200 mm radius. So I presume that, for your R1, your solution is very well-suited.
It's a problem to couple Lego locomotives with LGB standard couplers. I therefore substituted these on my LGB rolling stock with link-and-pin couplers and developed a standard coupler design for the locomotives, which is basically a 3D-printed coupling rod (a thin liftarm works, too, but fits rather tight into the couplers) mounted 19 mm above the rail surface.
As for the motors: I only use L-motors. Their rotational speed ist perfect for the use in trains without the need for gearing up or down. Besides, they are quite powerful: Using a BuWizz in "fast" mode (9.2 v) as power supply, three of them will provide enough torque so that the wheels of a locomotive with ~1.6 kg adhesive weight will slip when you accelerate too fast.

Best regards,
Sven

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Great project! The two electric locomotives look quite promising.

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13 hours ago, Tenderlok said:

Hi Davide,

Welcome to the (until now, one-man-) club! :wink:

Gorgeous locomotives! :wub: But you will need overhead wire to make them look really outstanding, I fear...

If you need any advice for adapting Lego trains to 45-mm-track, I'll be happy to answer your questions.
Your basic calculations are definitely reasonable.
Regarding the axle steering, my two-axle wagons feature a considerably smaller steering angle (almost none at all), but I'm running my trains on 1200 mm radius. So I presume that, for your R1, your solution is very well-suited.
It's a problem to couple Lego locomotives with LGB standard couplers. I therefore substituted these on my LGB rolling stock with link-and-pin couplers and developed a standard coupler design for the locomotives, which is basically a 3D-printed coupling rod (a thin liftarm works, too, but fits rather tight into the couplers) mounted 19 mm above the rail surface.
As for the motors: I only use L-motors. Their rotational speed ist perfect for the use in trains without the need for gearing up or down. Besides, they are quite powerful: Using a BuWizz in "fast" mode (9.2 v) as power supply, three of them will provide enough torque so that the wheels of a locomotive with ~1.6 kg adhesive weight will slip when you accelerate too fast.

Best regards,
Sven

Thanks Sven for your help, always appreciated!

I do not have experience with L-motors - I just ordered two of them in order to make some tests - thanks for the suggestion. They seem to be perfectly suitable to my needs.

Regarding steering, I made some tests on normal Lego wagons, and it was a more complex solution than the one actually used by LGB. On 600mm radius teorically also a single steering axle works fine ( I tried to lock one in central position and it works as well :classic: ).

Couplers are a tough thing to prepare - I want to try a last solution with pure Lego , and then I think I'll go back to a specific 3D-Printed solution (the classic fish-hook solution with a Technic axlehole placed somewhere :sweet:) .

 

6 hours ago, Asper said:

Great project! The two electric locomotives look quite promising.

Thanks :laugh: ! I am going to redraw both of them to 13-studs width (14 with all details) - I think it will be the correct size.

I want at least create the red one, since it is one of my favourite locomotives (I was actually born in Genova :wub: so it has a special meaning to me).

 

 

CIAO!

Davide

 

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@Paperinik77pk Davide, one more thing: A while ago you wrote about trying to equip your locomotive with sound. Did it work (especially regarding volume)? And do you possibly have a video to demonstrate the effect? I'm asking because I'm experimenting with sound myself, and at the moment this thing seems to be the easiest solution, but there may be better options.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tenderlok said:

@Paperinik77pk Davide, one more thing: A while ago you wrote about trying to equip your locomotive with sound. Did it work (especially regarding volume)? And do you possibly have a video to demonstrate the effect? I'm asking because I'm experimenting with sound myself, and at the moment this thing seems to be the easiest solution, but there may be better options.

ooooh yes...total failure...I'm not able to solder properly, it seems... it sounds like a...well...it doesn't sound good at all.*huh*

I like the solution you linked...it seems nice!!!

 

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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20 hours ago, Tenderlok said:

Hi Davide,

Welcome to the (until now, one-man-) club! :wink:

Sven

LOL :laugh:

Hello Davide

your new steam engine is amazing ...the style seems simple but it is not and the results are incredible! :excited:

Great work! :classic:

Emanuele

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

LOL :laugh:

Hello Davide

your new steam engine is amazing ...the style seems simple but it is not and the results are incredible! :excited:

Great work! :classic:

Emanuele

 

 

 

Thanks Emanuele!

The 7810XXL is a big toy , my second experiment on the large scale world - all in all it's amusing to see it going around.

Now I'm concentrating on bigger things , but I will likely continue the "12V doubling" saga in the future (there's a 7740XXL somewhere in my designs folder , but it feels not proportioned at all. The main issue in "Gray Era XXL" trains  are WHEELS and (unbelievably) the DOORS!!!

Being originally 4-wide and 5-tall , once you multiply doors by 2 they become ENORMOUS and UGLY (and  not openable for the moment). Now that I see the 7720XXL after more than a year,  I do not like at all its sides.

I started designing another steam train which can run on  G-Gauge track - this is a more realistic thing, but I had to stop drawing  since I needed 6 XL-sized  Big Ben Wheels to perform some curve tests on 600mm radius track - I have to study a bit which could be the maximum feasible distance between the two outer axles and how to manage lateral play of the central one (which is not centered at all).

So for the moment I'm concentrating on Locomotor 29, which is a bit easier! :laugh:

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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Posted (edited)

 

21 hours ago, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

7740XXL ...oooooh it would be a dream ...please do it! :wub:

(for the XXL doors you have to recreate them with bricks or modern technic pieces)

7710ok

Hi there!

I have to admit, XXL doors are my problem , but I'm working on them. This is the 7710XXL , featuring a protoype of the new low-profile locomotive chassis with two L-motors (prepared after @Tenderlok suggestion). Its blue and yellow cars, plus an optional red-blue livery one, are used to experiment a bit possible solutions (also for coupling - currently not showed).

One very simple solution for XXL doors and windows is to make them smaller than the real doubled size (I'm at Lego Basic level - SNOT at minimum level) and to create a grey "metal" frame around them. But I like the windows look and not the doors one - the good side is I have all the internal space available for seats.

Sincerely it reminds me the doors of the chemical toilets!!! :laugh_hard:

The second solution (the classic one) is to move doors internally by half stud, and this is what I was trying on 7740XXL.

Sincerely I like this solution more!!! :laugh:

7740xxlpreview

But for the monent these are only drawings - I'm saving a bit of money to buy the BuWizz (also for an RC Car project I've in mind) and to build the Locomotor 29.:ugh:

Ciao!

Davide

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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Wow ...great progress! :wub:

The doors of the locomotive 7740 with the offset of an half stud are my favourite, even if the 7710 is nicely done ...now I've to wait for your new money income :wink:

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Hey Davide,

the 7740XXL is spectacular! Brings back a lot of childhood memories... :wub:
But surely it's alright to do one thing at a time, so for now I'm really looking forward to seeing the No. 29 in reality!
Btw: Which program do you use for rendering?

Sven

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On 6/1/2019 at 11:31 PM, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

Wow ...great progress! :wub:

The doors of the locomotive 7740 with the offset of an half stud are my favourite, even if the 7710 is nicely done ...now I've to wait for your new money income :wink:

Thanks Emanuele!!! I abandoned the Toilet rooms, and now the 7710 wagons were adapted aswell! :thumbup:

Now that all main parts for XXL series are completed, designing old glories in big format is a bit easier :classic:

 

 

17 hours ago, Tenderlok said:

Hey Davide,

the 7740XXL is spectacular! Brings back a lot of childhood memories... :wub:
But surely it's alright to do one thing at a time, so for now I'm really looking forward to seeing the No. 29 in reality!
Btw: Which program do you use for rendering?

Sven

Ciao Sven! Thank you!

The 7740 is nice but in my opinion is one of the gray era locomotives that won't fit well the "narrow gauge" style I'm following with the XXL series. Other locomotives I made and designed are small, and more or less adaptable to a narrow gauge railway. I don't know sincerely if I'll build it or not in the future. I'm not...convinced :sceptic:

This evening I'll post the work I did on couplers this saturday. The design of couplers affects a lot the design of chassis and bogies, so it's important to me to create the standard solution that will work for all models, included the 29 :laugh:

The tool for rendering... well I'm a total newbie on that - one is Bluerender (or something similar) and the one I'm using - If I remeber well the correct title - it's the Lego Studio rendering tool. It works fine, but it's heavy - I make all the rendering work using the graphic card (Nvidia Geforce 1050GTX 4gb) and it takes 10/15 minutes.

I'd like to understand how to put a background - and I'd like to use that "railway landscape" used on gray era instructions and boxes (first I've to find it!!!):look:

 

10 hours ago, Roadmonkeytj said:

I like this alot !

Thanks! This evening I'll post you the updated version (with a surprise) :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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38 minutes ago, Paperinik77pk said:

[...] the one I'm using - If I remeber well the correct title - it's the Lego Studio rendering tool. [...]
I'd like to understand how to put a background - and I'd like to use that "railway landscape" used on gray era instructions and boxes (first I've to find it!!!)

Ah, I see. I already thought you were using Stud.io - the renders look like it - but the purple background seemed unfamiliar.
As for your problem: Once you have found a matching background, it's easy. Render your model in png format (jpg does not support the effect!) and choose "Background: Transparent" in the Stud.io render dialog. You can then use any decent image editing software to simply place the rendered picture as a second layer over your favourite background image.
If you happen to understand German (but perhaps Google translator will do as well...), there's an extensive discussion thread about proper Stud.io render settings here.

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8 hours ago, Tenderlok said:

Ah, I see. I already thought you were using Stud.io - the renders look like it - but the purple background seemed unfamiliar.
As for your problem: Once you have found a matching background, it's easy. Render your model in png format (jpg does not support the effect!) and choose "Background: Transparent" in the Stud.io render dialog. You can then use any decent image editing software to simply place the rendered picture as a second layer over your favourite background image.
If you happen to understand German (but perhaps Google translator will do as well...), there's an extensive discussion thread about proper Stud.io render settings here.

7760XXL

Hi Sven, I spent the whole evening in playing with Gimp software. It seems I got the layer Idea but I still have to understand how to paste the image in a clean way - I am pretty satisfied by the overhead wires background (Hamburg station by dusk, then some filters on color, brightness and saturation, plus a gaussian blur). The fact I'm affected by daltonism creates me a lot of problems in choosing colors! :damn:

Green carpet is terrible, I know (but is it really green or more brown?) !!! :sick:

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Posted (edited)

Now for some serious stuff - the couplers! :classic:

After some reverse engineering on LGB couplers I came to this thing:

WP_20190602_21_26_11_Pro

 

WP_20190602_21_27_07_Pro

It allows to couple both Lego on Lego and Lego on LGB (with and without hook). The rounded technic part  works fine in pushing mode and the Lego bar is stronger than LGB fishhook. I could make smaller buffers to fit the LGB ones , but I thing bigger ones work better.

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WP_20190602_21_29_18_Pro

 

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I tried these things yesterday evening and they worked for my purposes, they are easy to create and are fully made of Lego parts. I had to heavily modify the original buffer of the 7810XXL to fit this one, but the wagon is pretty solid.

Hope you like it!!!

Ciaaaao! :laugh:

Davide

 

On 6/3/2019 at 4:28 AM, Roadmonkeytj said:

I like this alot !

77607710

Hi @Roadmonkeytj, as promised :wink: , i prepared the new render for the 7710XXL, adding 7760XXL+7818XXL, all with new doors!

Ciao,

Davide

 

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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14 hours ago, Paperinik77pk said:

Now for some serious stuff - the couplers!

Wow, that's a pretty ingenious solution! :thumbup: Might want to copy that one day...
Does it couple automatically? In my imagination, one would have to lift one coupler in order to get the "fishhook" Technic pin of the other one through.

As for your layered render: Yes, that's exactly the workflow I had in mind. There's only one thing that I forgot to mention, which I noticed when looking at your picture: It might be a good idea to activate the "floor shadow" option in the dialog, otherwise it looks a bit "ghostly"... :wink:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Tenderlok said:

Wow, that's a pretty ingenious solution! :thumbup: Might want to copy that one day...
Does it couple automatically? In my imagination, one would have to lift one coupler in order to get the "fishhook" Technic pin of the other one through.

As for your layered render: Yes, that's exactly the workflow I had in mind. There's only one thing that I forgot to mention, which I noticed when looking at your picture: It might be a good idea to activate the "floor shadow" option in the dialog, otherwise it looks a bit "ghostly"... :wink:

Thanks Sven,I will activate that feature and retry :)

Regarding couplers:

LGB FISHOOK on LEGO: the LGB fishook does auto-coupling on Lego coupler, but only on straight line - on curves, being the Lego coupler smaller than the LGB one, there are some issues in coupling. This is due to the fact that new LGB  fishhooks are less sturdy than old ones and bend easily, missing to lock into the rounded liftarm. No issues in pull mode, and for the moment it seems it's working also in push mode.

LEGO FISHOOK on LGB: Does not auto-couple, but works fine both in push and pull mode.

LEGO ON LEGO:  Does not auto-couple, working fine in both modes.

So it is confirmed, for the moment, there still is the need to lift one coupler :wink:

 

 

 

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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Posted (edited)
On 6/3/2019 at 7:14 PM, Paperinik77pk said:

Hi @Roadmonkeytj, as promised :wink: , i prepared the new render for the 7710XXL, adding 7760XXL+7818XXL, all with new doors!

Ciao,

Davide

 

Looking good! Can't wait to see it in brick!

Edited by Roadmonkeytj

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Hi all! Yesterday I had a bit of time to recreate the coupling system shown in previous posts on LDD, so I can keep it in my archive.

Having the real LGB wagon dismantled, I tried to rework my standard wagon base (28 studs for building + buffers - based on 26cm LGB wagon) and I prepared the longer version (32studs + buffers, based on 30cm LGB wagon).

Current chassis dimensions are 32 by 10 studs, so I can use it for both Lego XXL (12-wide) and correct G-Scale rolling stock (around 14-wide).

I therefore tried to recreate the standard LGB wagon, only to see if it was proportioned. This is the result, with a few, not so complex SNOT features. They're easy to build, but I fear the price could be quite high.

 

LGBWAGONCOLORS

I prepared five different color combinations - the two cars in the back are red/beige and blue/beige (like the real ones have), the blue-white one is the color of the dismantled LGB wagon (which has a gray roof instead of black). The green one is on LGB catalogue, and the yellow/white was copied from an HGE2/2. 

Now I'm currently building the chassis , which can be shortened/enlarged according to the needed lenght simply by changing the two central technic beams.

The two steering axles have now a limited swing angle, and can be locked (one or both)  if the wagon is working on large radius curves :laugh:

 

Ciao!

Davide

 

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Very, very promising!
I would love to see that train running in reality! :wub: The only issue that might arise is that I suspect the G-scale Lego wagons to be considerably heavier than the LGB ones, so trains will have to be shorter. Can you tell us some figures about the wagons' calculated weight as shown in the Stud.io "Model Info" section?

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:22 AM, Tenderlok said:

Very, very promising!
I would love to see that train running in reality! :wub: The only issue that might arise is that I suspect the G-scale Lego wagons to be considerably heavier than the LGB ones, so trains will have to be shorter. Can you tell us some figures about the wagons' calculated weight as shown in the Stud.io "Model Info" section?

Hi Sven! Sorry for delay - the simulated weight of the Lego Wagon is around 890 grams versus the 780 grams of the real LGB one - so they are pretty heavy.

I found the wagon chassis I created can be a bit reworked to be lighter, so I'm just redesigning it. A lot of weight is caused by the coupling system, which is quite sturdy.

Good thing the locomotives are heavier too! But they obviously need extra torque and power.

My concern is now...battery lasting - but we'll see! :wink:

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Paperinik77pk said:

the simulated weight of the Lego Wagon is around 890 grams versus the 780 grams of the real LGB one

Hi Davide,

thanks for the figures!
It's actually much less extra weight than I had suspected; so perhaps trains won't really have to be that short.

43 minutes ago, Paperinik77pk said:

My concern is now...battery lasting - but we'll see!

That's why my next locomotive (coming soon - sorry, couldn't miss the chance for self-promotion :wink:) will feature two BuWizzes, one for each motor...

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Posted (edited)
On 6/17/2019 at 4:49 PM, Tenderlok said:

Hi Davide,

thanks for the figures!
It's actually much less extra weight than I had suspected; so perhaps trains won't really have to be that short.

That's why my next locomotive (coming soon - sorry, couldn't miss the chance for self-promotion :wink:) will feature two BuWizzes, one for each motor...

Wooow two BuWizzes! It's a lot of power!!! For the moment I'm still stuck with the original battery boxes, and I'm doing some trials on motor types, gear ratios and pulling power.

I bought an original LGB "Stainz" Locomotive in order to understand a bit more about weight, power and dimensions of real G scale trains. It is incredibly well made and works also on 12v battery power! And it is very heavy for a little locomotive. I got also a big Newqida wagon at a real bargain price - It is decently made and it's perfect for some fun.

About self-promotion...there's a new little locomotive in town :laugh: and this time it is a 1:22,5 scale for real (no it's not the 29 - it will wait a bit more) :wink:

 

 

 

 

Edited by Paperinik77pk

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