ColletArrow

[WIP] Ex-GWR Collett Goods 0-6-0

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Afternoon all!

I hope you'll bear with me here; rather than struggling with getting this model to be presentable and invetably sidelining it, I've decided to start a WIP topic to bounce some ideas around and hopefully get it tidied up.

The loco in question is a fairly humble 1930s Great Western Railway 0-6-0 freight locomotive; even the Wikipedia article doesn't have much to say about them, other than they were mainly built as replacements for the ealier 1880s "Dean Goods" and they were . I don't know what it is about this loco, but I quite enjoy the class - no fuss with pony trucks or outside valvegear, just simple GWR elegance that gets the job done. Also they may or may not be the namesake of half of my username here, so it was high time I built one!

GWR Collett Goods 3205 - Lydney

(Photo sourced from Flickr)

The MOC in question was intended as a fairly quick one, mostly envisaged as a modification of my LMS Ivatt 2MT. My plan was to crop the front off, add running boards, adjust the firebox and rebuild the tender, and boom "new" MOC. So far this is what I've got (still with plenty of holes):

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(Yes I need to get rid of those "46447" stickers, they're completely out of place here). Motive power is as per the Ivatt 2MT - a rechargeable 9V cell in the tender, which also houses the IR receiver (yet to be properly concealed) and the train motor, meaning the loco itself is entirely cosmetic.

In isolation, it doesn't look too bad. However, comparing against a OO scale model, it's apparent some things are not quite right here.

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My main two concerns are that the wheelbase is too short, and the running boards (and thus bufferbeam) are too high; together, these factors throw a lot of the proportions outm making the loco look shorter and taller than it should. However, I'm reluctant to increase the wheelbase since it already sometimes catches on the guardrail on standard points, and I can't really drop the running boards and thus boiler since the wheels are in the way. This also results in the bufferbeam being far too high compared to other rolling stock.

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So that's where I am, and here's where I ask for advice. What do you think about the wheelbase and running boards? Is there anything else I've overlooked that could improve matters? All comments and critiscisms are welcome!

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This looks like a great start. There are a few simple things, e.g., moving the (sand?) dome back 2-3 studs and adjusting the styling of the stack (use a small train wheel for the top?).

The high running boards is going to be a tough one to fix. Going 8 wide would allow you to put the fenders "in front" of the wheels but then you would need to lengthen the engine by 33% to keep it proportionate. Smaller wheels (BBB M) would be possible but the disproportionately large flanges just get worse as the wheels get smaller and they would not look right on this build. I'm stumped on any 6 wide solution.

 

 

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A couple of suggestions.

I’d perhaps move the front bogie of the tender back a stud, and maybe even consider making the centre wheels without flanges.  It could do with being a little closer to the cab too, but I think the standard Lego curve radius might make that impossible.  To get a rounder front end to the boiler, perhaps switch to SNOT somewhere along the length, and use these, Brick, round corner, for the last 2 or 3 rows.  You can then use the inverted radar dish as the boiler capping.

Have you considered going SNOT, making the running boards a long tile (1x8?) which could then stretch over the outside edge of the wheels.  It would be a tad wider, clearly, but you could then drop the running board lower.  You’d never get it as low as it should be with the connecting rod in place, even if you had a half wide technic beam. It may be a case of deciding which one matters more to you in terms of aesthetics. 

 

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If you were to give up the pistons you could adopt such a solution:

step03-bogie.jpg

...in the end it would be a 7-stud wide locomotive (with the illusion of having wheel covers), and you may finally have a lower and more proportionate locomotive.

If you widen two more plates, the custom connecting rods from @zephyr1934 could be fine too (I'm not advertising ... it's a fact :sweet: )

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Posted (edited)

That's a really nice start, and I like where you are going with this.

I agree with your assessment that the proportions seem just a bit off. Here are a few ideas that you might consider. I'll use the rearmost set of driver wheels as my stationary reference point.

1. Can the front two sets of driver wheels be moved forward by one stud (keeping everything else as-is)? Looking at the OO scale model as a prototype, it looks like the spacing is not the same between the front and rear sets. This, of course, introduces at least two more problems: negotiating R40 curves and switches and what to use for coupling rods. The former problem might be addressed by using a F-F-B arrangement for the drivers, rather than F-B-F.

2. Can the front of the cab be shortened by one stud? If you eliminated the brick/SNOT tile forward of the window, you could pull the firebox back by one stud (keeping the firebox at its current length), add one more stud of length to the boiler, and move the sand dome back over the middle set of drivers, as @zephyr1934 suggested. To my eye, this could help with the lengthwise proportions from the side.

3. The running board is tough. You could consider going 7-wide in order to get it one plate lower. Another idea would be to try building it upside down. You could use inverted 1x2 curved slopes for the splashers with a 1x2 cheese slope to get down around the flange. This might allow you to get it one plate lower while keeping it a 6-wide build. Something like this:

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Just a few ideas to help you brainstorm.

Edited by CMF-1138
Fixed image link.

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Thanks all for your input, I really appreciate it!

5 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

I'm stumped on any 6 wide solution.

I'm glad it wasn't just me then!

@jus1973 - I'm not sure I can really adjust the tender much, even with the compact 9V battery it's still pretty cramped in there. But I will look into reducing the gap if possible, it is quite excessive. I probably will invest in some round bricks too - I seem to be incredibly stingy when it comes to buying parts, but I should really just grab a handful of these since it would make such a difference.

@jus1973 and @LEGO Train 12 Volts - SNOTed sides is exactly what I need to do, thanks for spelling it out for me! Thinking about it I've even done it before myself on my GWR Pannier, not sure how I forgot about that one...

@zephyr1934 - absolutely the dome can move backwards. Also to be pedantic it's actually a safety valve bonnet; the sandboxes on British engines are most often right next to the sanders themselves, something I should probably add to this model too.

Finally, @CMF-1138 - some excellent ideas. I've been wondering about the wheelbase too, but it'd probably be defeated by the curves; I could try F-F-B, but I might just accept the shorter-than-it-should-be as a compromise. However I'll definitely look into shortening the cab - I hadn't even considered that it was off, but you're right. It will make the front-facing windows more difficult to include, but you can hardly see them anyway!

Thanks again to everyone who's helped so far. I'll see what I can build tomorrow, but in the meantime comments are still welcome!

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29 minutes ago, ColletArrow said:

I've been wondering about the wheelbase too, but it'd probably be defeated by the curves; I could try F-F-B, but I might just accept the shorter-than-it-should-be as a compromise. However I'll definitely look into shortening the cab - I hadn't even considered that it was off, but you're right. It will make the front-facing windows more difficult to include, but you can hardly see them anyway!

I think keeping the current wheel spacing is certainly a reasonable compromise. In that case, if you are able to shorten the cab, you might consider pulling the entire boiler and firebox back by one stud (rather than lengthening the boiler as I originally suggested). To my eye, shortening the overhang in front of the drivers might help deemphasize the shorter wheelbase by balancing the entire locomotive over the drivers.

For the cab windows, you could consider using a plane window (60032/2377) for the frame. Because it is a panel, this would leave you with a front-facing window (albeit a glassless one), similar to the Emerald Night's cab.

Looking forward to see what you come up with!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the further tips, @CMF-1138 - I too was thinking about using the plane windows, I just don't have any in black yet. Not to worry, I've started putting together a small bricklink order, so I should have some soon!

Today was quite a productive day in the end. Over lunch (benefits of working from home!) I started roughing out the running board modification, using headlight bricks and sideways 1x1s between each wheel to support the 1x8 tiles. I also cropped off the front of the cab and shunted the boiler back a stud as suggested.

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This evening I had another stab, and managed to polish it a bit further - the bufferbeam now sits just below the running board as it should; the boards themselves now extend all the way under the cab. There's also a stud less overhang at the front, and I managed to fill in a few holes here and there.

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My Bricklink shopping list so far includes some round parts for the smokebox, and some more gold parts for the safety valves and chimney, as well as the cab windows and 1x2 curved slopes for the half-splashers in front of the cab.

The next area I've been playing with is the cab/tender interface, especially the steps. I tried adding a set of 2-stud long steps under the cab and vertical handrail, which reduced the gap but hindered negotiation of R40 curves. Reverse curves also pose a restriction here, although they are currently possible. In fact, a brief playing testing session revealed running to be generally superior to the Ivatt 2MT, likely due to the lack of pony truck and less complicated (thus less friction-y) connecting rods, so that's a bonus.

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Finally, the comparison with the OO version. In my opinion she's better than she was, but there's still room for improvement. Once again, any thoughts are welcome!

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EDIT: So I've just been looking at my old Pannier again, and I noticed that had a 13-stud wheelbase; moreover it doesn't do as badly through points as I was expecting, so maybe I could lengthen it by a few studs after all... what do you think?

Edited by ColletArrow

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Love the progress and the comparison with the metal model. I would look into wheel placement, they are too close together on yours. Looks like you might need to add a stud gap between the front 2 axles, and a stud-and-a-half between the rear 2 axles (ifmy eyes dont deceive me the wheels on the scale model are not equally spaced).

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I like the progress you've made with your locomotive. Nice to see how you've incorporated the ideas here into reality in such a short time.

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Ey up, chap. Now there's a lovely little slice of GWRness. :wub:

Now I'll preface this with the caveat that I'm no great expert on steam locos, so my comments are based solely on the comparison with the OO gauge model you've posed your MOC with. My feeling is that the loco looks a little bit too short which is making it look out of proportion. I agree with @Phil B that the drivers are not evenly spaced, although I disagree in that the larger gap should be between the middle and rear driver. The other thing that stands out from the comparison is the shaping of the boiler. I've nothing to offer in this regard because I've never tried to build one, but I wonder if it could be made less square in section and whether you could incorporate the fairly obvious taper of the prototype.

Got to echo @Feuer Zug's comment that it's really good to see the evolution of the model and how you've incorporated so many ideas so quickly. You're doing a grand job.

With that I'll go back into my shell and play with my very square modern train models. :laugh:

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Cheers @Feuer Zug and @Hod Carrier - I'm glad you're enjoying this! I feel I'm going pretty quickly here too, but normally I sit and ponder a model for a few days between rebuilds - wheras by sharing my progress here, I can let others do the pondering for me, and just focus on the building!

As for "square" models - as I'm sure you've found from building them modern diesels are anything but square, there's all sorts of sneaky curves and you capture them masterfully. For my attempt at a GWR boiler I'm aware there are far better solutions out there, but I'm sticking to what I know and parts I have to hand. That said I have now added a truly round smokebox, which helps to deceive things a little and even suggests a slight taper. I could raise another section of the boiler, but I feel 1 plate would be too much and I don't have the stomach to try half-plate offsets!

Finally, @Phil B's comments about wheel spacing. The OO model, which may or may not be totally accurate, has axle centre-centres of 30mm at the front and 34mm at the back - roughly a 13% increase. I've extended my front spacing to 7 studs, so technically I should increase the rear to 7.9333, or 8, studs - but I haven't. Partially because I only thought about calculating this after I'd rebuilt everything, and partially because with a total wheelbase of 13 studs she's already sticky in R40 curves - and a total of 14 wouldn't line up with technic liftarms nicely either.

So, with the above all in mind, here's how she looks now. I've filled in some gaps using a handful of off-colour parts, to get a feel for things before I place my Bricklink order this evening.

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I've only just spotted that the central splashers are a stud too far forwards in all these photos - oops! Luckily that's an incredibly easy fix.

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The rear view is where the GWR open tender beats the Ivatt 2MT's enclosed cab - I can actually see the boiler backhead! And thus the illuminated firebox I've retained from the old model, keep your eyes peeled for that one when I get around to taking photos after dark.

Finally, the comparison shot:

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Well I think that's yet another improvement, and I'm at a stage where I'm happy to order the missing parts now. I think I just need to add details under the running board and some polishing on the tender and we're good to go. As usual though, further thoughts and comments are always welcome!

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Posted (edited)

That is looking really sharp!

Can the cab windows and roof be lowered by one plate? This would reduce the step-up from the firebox and make the model seem a little longer in proportion, consistent with the prototype (at least to my eye). Just a minor thought for your consideration.

I think it does look much more balanced with the longer wheelbase, as long as that runs smoothly for you.

Edited by CMF-1138

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On 8/22/2021 at 5:13 PM, ColletArrow said:

@zephyr1934 - absolutely the dome can move backwards. Also to be pedantic it's actually a safety valve bonnet; the sandboxes on British engines are most often right next to the sanders themselves, something I should probably add to this model too.

Hey, as an American at least I'm sophisticated enough to know that most British steam engines do not have steam domes (grin).

 

But getting back on topic, the improvements look great. One thought for the gap between the tender and locomotive, you can use some combination of plates, tiles, and wedge plates to create a deck between the two. Here's an example where the connecting points were close enough together to do so on the same plane

s12.jpg

But given the longer span between the connecting points in your build, the above trick might not work. Still, you can offset the decks and it should work,

np328-48.jpg

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Cheers fellas!

@CMF-1138 - I could lower the cab roof, but then I wouldn't be able to fit a figure in it! As it is there's no headroom for hair, so the poor fireman's bald...

@zephyr1934 - thanks for your excellent tips! I've managed to implement the wedgeplate option, see below.

This morning a small parcel arrived (good work Royal Mail, only dispatched yesterday morning!), containing LEGO goodies. After a short building session, the loco was finally fully kitted out!

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Black smokebox, cab windows and steps, half-splashers, and all topped off with a gold safety valve bonnet and traditional GWR copper-capped chimney!

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The tender is a little more polished now too, with the siderails extended further backwards and the "coal" piled up a little more around the receiver. I won't show you the inside, it's just the traditional compressed jumble of PF cables! And one of those cables goes to the loco...

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She's got a headlamp! Just one; this is the headlamp code for "Through Mineral or Empty Wagon Train"; I need to swap it to the other side at some point to read "Pick-up or Branch Freight". But since I'm only using one of the pair of PF LEDs, the other's in the firebox! A feature retained from the LMS Ivatt 2MT, only with the open-ended cab of this loco you can actually see it!

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And whilst we're looking at the cab, here's what I've done with the floor: 2x3 wedgeplates on the tender, and 2x2 wedgeplates on the cab. By shear fluke they fit past eachother perfectly on R40s!

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They come closest on reverse curves, but still no (or at least no noticeable) clashing!

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And finally, the side-by-side:

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I'm sure there's still room for improvement; I could entirely rebuld the boiler as a true circle for one, but I'm happy enough with her for now. The only thing I should have done is taken some photos with wagons; that will have to wait for tomorrow. Maybe I'll even put a video together, although I should probably recharge the batteries first...

Thanks to everyone who's contributed in this thread; I don't think I would have put nearly as much effort, or be as happy with the final product, if I hadn't got the feedback and tips you all provided.

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Progress is good. The modifications have resulted in a better appearing locomotive. Call me crazy, but I think it could us a little tweak. Maybe attach the sanders? I suggest a black modified plate with vertical clip (4085) to hold a black small tooth (53451) in front of the leading drivers.

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It's looking really good, it would be neat to photoshop the profile shots of the 1st draft and final draft together to show how much its evolved.

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That’s making real good progress there.  So glad some of the ideas people have shared have worked out.  Keep it up, and you’ll have a really good city scale loco there.  

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