Hod Carrier

[OcTRAINber MOC] LMS Articulated Railcar (1938)

Recommended Posts

I guess it's time to show my hand and reveal what I shall be building for this year's edition of the OcTRAINber contest. Having been caught out last year I have decided to get an early start.

[Hubris] After just playing for laughs last year I have decided that this year I want to be in with a shout of a win, so I'm coming out swinging and I'm gunning for all you other builders. I'm really going to be pushing myself hard to build something worthy of the contest and that will put everything else in the shade. :iamded_lol: [/Hubris]

As this years theme is all about transformations I wanted to try and find a prototype that has undergone a major change. Although quite a lot of railway assets get repurposed quite a lot of it results in only modest changes to their appearances, and that really wasn't satisfying to me. I did make a quick study of the undercroft at St Pancras station in London, but I was concerned that this might turn out to be a bit simplistic. So it was back to the internet for another trawl.

I remembered having read about an experimental diesel railcar built by the LMS during the 1930s which underwent a fairly major transformation later in it's life. I had marked this down as a potential future build but had got no further than that with it. Although there were images of the train in it's original form I didn't recall ever seeing any images of it in it's second incarnation.

LMS_Diesel_Multiple_Unit_80000%E2%80%938

This would be a good option, but only if I could cross a couple of hurdles first. Firstly I had to try and find some photos of the railcar in it's rebuilt form and then I had to satisfy myself that the shape of the original railcar was not going to be beyond my abilities to build.

It took a while to tick the first of the boxes, but I managed to track down a reproduction of an article published in 1949 which includes a single grainy black and white image. It reveals very little detail, so I shall try to be faithful to what I can see and exercise judgement about everything else. I shall post this image later to show the extent of the transformation, but for now I shall be concentrating on the railcar's original condition.

So with two versions to build it was time to see if I could bend bricks to fit the shape. I decided that the "make or break" area of this train would be the cab. In keeping with 1930s ideas about streamlining, the front of the train is curved with numerous windows inset at angles. If I could crack this then the rest of the build should flow quite naturally.

52327207159_0c0dbb4fe5.jpg

And here it is. I'm actually really pleased with how it's turned out. It took a lot of faffing about adjusting angles and placement of the hinges, but by trial and error I have arrived at a shape that I am happy with. 

So now it's time to build the rest of the train to go with it.

Edited by Hod Carrier

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

nice choice and niceley done cab. one question though: do you know how the transformed version looks like and can you share pictures of it here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, @XG BC and @Darkkostas25. That's most kind. :classic:

On 9/1/2022 at 7:25 PM, Guyinaplaguemask said:

Could we see the other side of the cab. Is there an interior? I would also like to see how you pulled off the shape.

Of course. Here's a quick look inside at the mess precision engineering that makes the shape possible. It's a fairly vanilla concoction of plates and clips, but the challenge was arranging them to give this shape.

52332496450_09fe877755.jpg

On 9/1/2022 at 7:41 PM, XG BC said:

one question though: do you know how the transformed version looks like and can you share pictures of it here?

Er, sort of. I have seen a photo online as part of a document so I do have an idea what it looks like and will be coming around to that later once I've got the tricky original shape sorted out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

aah ok. i dont have a picture of the original livery of mine so i can jzst make a good estimate

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, XG BC said:

aah ok. i dont have a picture of the original livery of mine so i can jzst make a good estimate

There's going to be quite a lot of guessing going on with mine too. I think I know what colour it should be, but I have no idea about some fairly major details.

The trouble is that the source material is just a scan of an article published in 1949, a time when magazine articles carried very few photos and those that they did have were frequently very poor quality by modern standards. It also doesn't appear to have been photographed by train enthusiasts at the time as I don't think the railcar got much use and failed to attract much attention at a time when photography was a fairly expensive hobby. I don't imagine many folk at the time would have wasted a film exposure on it during the era when the railways were nationalised and steam traction was in it's final decades. That said, I'm still searching and trying to find whatever information there might still be out there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Time for an update, I think.

It's funny how words can come back and haunt you. I seem to remember saying that the cab would be the hard part and that once I'd got that sorted the rest of the build would flow naturally. Well it turns out it isn't as easy as I thought.

52332476694_cfabb6fef2.jpg

Here's the first effort. I actually quite like it because it looks very retro, but it's actually quite badly wrong. The windows are too large, the shape is too angular and I seem to have given the roof a shallow clerestory.

52331217977_96405d203f.jpg

Well that's the roof smoothed off a bit. On the downside it is perhaps a little bit too flat and this design raises the bodyside by an extra plate making it look square. For some types of train this would be fine, but this one is meant to be streamlined.

52332415908_48f706912b.jpg

OK, so the windows are now a better size and more in proportion with the prototype.

52331217912_ed8d60f57d.jpg

Lets try some curves. Oh dear, I seem to have given myself a whole new problem. Now I can't get the body profile to be consistent.

52332181301_be832c3808.jpg

That's no better. OK, so clearly trying to build this thing using conventional techniques isn't working. I need to think harder.

52331217862_335a65eb88.jpg

52331217827_a8b53bdf24.jpg

Ooo!! Hello lovely. Look at you. :wub:

This is much more like it. It's got curves which are consistent along the entire length, a smoother transition between the sides and roof, and the roof itself has been redesigned to give it a better shape. Adding a bogie and posing it on some track shows that the proportions look about right and that there's adequate clearance too. I think this might be the shape that gets built. Now I just have to get on with the unsexy task of making sure that all the different sections fit together to create a strong, stable whole.

52332232781_b3db539b1c.jpg

A slice through the body to show how it's been done. Obviously I will need to try this out with real bricks to make sure it works as advertised, but I have designed it to be built for real and the clearances seem to be OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

british trains are always a nightmare to build because they arent square in the slightliest bit. good job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This looks very nice. Feels similar to building airplanes, as the way curves are built is nearly identical. Will you be making instructions or be putting the studio file up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic choice @Hod Carrier - a British prototype I never previously knew of.  A shame it was one of a kind and scrapped, as it’s definitely noteworthy and therefore would today be considered ‘preservation material’ but oh well.  At least we have the GWR diesel railcar in the NRM at York.  There are some very difficult curves in this design as @XG BC points out, and you’ve realised them really well.  I’m looking forward to seeing this come to life over the next couple of months!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Hod Carrier said:

A slice through the body to show how it's been done.

There is only one word that comes to my mind: Fidelity. Of the finest - artwork.

This "shot" tells it all: What you can do with TLG's bricks and plates. It also tells what TLG is missing - and it will always be like that: Finest fidelity. They have to go with - how many sets can we possibly sell at the highest price possible, using the least parts count possible. Too bad for them. They came up with all the pieces - and have to watch, in awe, what can be accomplished with them. 

You seem to go with: How do I capture, realize this curvature - and when you solved it - show it to us - with utmost clarity. This is true LEGO artwork. And at the same time, it is the most accurate rendition of a wonderful train you chose.

Highest Fidelity.

Tipping hat and a slight bow.

With very best regards,
Thorsten

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heavens!! Thanks so much for the amazing feedback.

@XG BC In Britain we have a very small structure gauge which means that rail vehicles end up curvy in order to maximise the space inside. It's a bit of a pain from the modelling perspective, but it does mean that we have some lovely looking trains as a consequence. It's certainly a challenge.

@Guyinaplaguemask If you're used to building planes then I guess that these techniques are already very familiar to you. Most train models end up square (mine included) which can limit what you can accurately model, but that's not a problem as long as the train you're basing your model on is also square. I'm afraid that I don't really have enough time to work up instructions for my builds and wouldn't normally share files for something like this, but I'm more than happy to share the techniques used if that helps other builders to work out how the design fits together and maybe to apply them to their own designs. Please do ask if there's anything inside you'd like to see, but please bear in mind that the design is evolving and is still quite a long way from being ready to build.

@Vilhelm22 Being a Brit I just had to pick something British. It is an unusual and unique train and I really should get around to filling-in some of it's history. I think that there may be more than one GWR survivor, but then they built railcars in much larger numbers which meant that they had a better chance of staying in use long enough to be preserved. There was only ever one of these LMS articulated railcars and it was very much a prototype.

@Toastie @LEGO Train 12 Volts I'm speechless. Thank you for the wonderful feedback, but the high praise is really not deserved. As you observed, I just wanted to make sure that I got the design looking the best that I could and I wasn't satisfied with any of the earlier versions. I really wanted to push myself this year, get out of my comfort zone and try some new techniques, as I'm very aware that a lot of my earlier builds use only very conventional building methods. So far it looks good on a computer screen but the real test will only come when I try and fit it all together using real bricks. It could all still go to south, but at least I tried. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is an impossible prototype for which you are bending the laws of physics to prove it to be very possible. Would the curved slope corner help in this build?

76797.jpg

Impressive work so far, you must be heavily congested with all that snot (grin)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

That is an impossible prototype for which you are bending the laws of physics to prove it to be very possible.

Impressive work so far, you must be heavily congested with all that snot (grin)

Thank you for the positive feedback. Like Mr Scott, I cannae change the laws of physics but I can do my best to try and deliver.

[Sniff] No, I’m not too congested. Oh, you mean the model. Doh!! It’s actually not too bad so far. Im still exploring different options at joining it all up inside but it looks like there might still be enough space for some sort of interior. The cab is pretty solid though, as you’ll have seen.

The curved piece could maybe work for the cab roof if it was in LBG, but it’s not in very helpful colours at present. The cab appears to be a more elliptical than round, which is something I may have to revisit, so perhaps it would be less useful. It’s a good new part though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks fantastic. Very difficult to get that rounded front, but that looks a good solution

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice work so far! I loved seeing the evolution and different iterations! You haven't made things easy for yourself with the prototype, but it seems you are plenty up to the task and have plenty of tricks up your sleeve! Looking forward to seeing it completed for sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/6/2022 at 4:57 AM, Hod Carrier said:

The curved piece could maybe work for the cab roof if it was in LBG, but it’s not in very helpful colours at present. The cab appears to be a more elliptical than round, which is something I may have to revisit, so perhaps it would be less useful. It’s a good new part though. 

Ah, I thought you were only building digitally, at which point available colors does not matter. Regardless, right after posting I had to say "Doh!" because I realized that of course, the curved end is longer than it is wide. Looks great regardless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/6/2022 at 10:27 AM, MattR81 said:

Looks fantastic. Very difficult to get that rounded front, but that looks a good solution

 

On 9/6/2022 at 6:47 PM, Legownz said:

Very nice work so far! I loved seeing the evolution and different iterations! You haven't made things easy for yourself with the prototype, but it seems you are plenty up to the task and have plenty of tricks up your sleeve! Looking forward to seeing it completed for sure!

Thank you for the positive feedback. This design has certainly been giving my poor brain a good work-out. If things continue to go well there might be one or two more techniques to share.

On 9/7/2022 at 3:39 PM, zephyr1934 said:

Ah, I thought you were only building digitally, at which point available colors does not matter. Regardless, right after posting I had to say "Doh!" because I realized that of course, the curved end is longer than it is wide. Looks great regardless.

I always start my builds digitally but always design with building in bricks in mind. Therefore I always try to make sure to use existing parts in available colours and to ensure that everything fits together as strongly as possible. I fear that this particular build might be a bit fragile for handling but should be OK to run on tracks.

… or at least I hope so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I took a couple of days away from this project as it was starting to loom large in my life. Even while I was busy at work I was thinking about how to achieve the next step in the build, and I was even going to bed at night and dreaming of it. As it turns out the break did me good and I was able to come back to the build with a host of ideas to try.

At the end of the last update I had arrived at shape for the body that I was happy with and was trying to work out how to join it all together. One of the main issues was that different sections were orientated differently, with studs facing up, down and outwards as well as sections hung from clips at unusual angles. Obviously this was going to be a bit of a problem, especially as I still needed to leave enough room inside the cars for an interior, motors, batteries and so on. It took a few days and a good dose of experimentation to come up with a solution.

52345212114_4f135578b4.jpg

The solution that I went for was a spine of Technic bricks pinned together from which everything else is hung. The hope is that, with the roof, this will provide the coaches with sufficient stiffness once the body assemblies have been added. I predict that it may be a bit fragile when handled but it should be fine for running on tracks.

This car is the one without the motor, so there is enough space for interior detailing. Some of the details have had to be bent to fit around the structure of the car but luckily there was still sufficient space for an almost full complement of seats.

52343946677_0e8b061d30.jpg

52344902451_da2d2b44a0.jpg

Once you've signed-off on the first car it's a quick job to turn out the others. All the difficult decisions have been made and it's simply a case of copying them over. The original train had three coaches articulated on shared bogies. In this form it looks every inch the streamliner.

I suppose that now is as good at time as any to share a little history of this train.

During the inter-war years most of the major rail companies in Britain were experimenting with diesel railcars. Most of these were single coach trains such as the GWR diesel railcars with the option of adding a trailer coach if the need for more accommodation ever arose. However, in early 1938 the LMS unveiled this streamlined 3 car articulated railcar which was quite unlike anything before being a multi-car multi-engine fully self-contained train. Painted in bright red and cream with a silver roof, the shape put a lot of people in mind of the record-breaking German "Flying Hamburger" diesel train.

c9ffe8ea028fc949ee7017bf2b0ea139.jpg

The train was powered by six 125hp Leyland diesel engines, two per car, each powering one axle each through a hydraulic transmission. Weighing just 74 tons the train was intended to reach 75mph but actually hit 82mph on an early test run. After initial tests the train was allocated to the Oxford to Cambridge route where it ran a limited passenger service before being moved to the London St Pancras to Nottingham route. Early experience showed that the train suffered with overheating due to the lower paneling restricting the airflow to the radiators. Remedies were sought, but in the end the lower panels were simply removed.

The outbreak of the Second World War saw the operation of the railways change to address the national need and many modernisation programs were simply shelved. This railcar was no exception. It was withdrawn from service at the outbreak of war and stored for the duration of hostilities.

My own interest in this train is down to various reasons. What first drew my attention was simply due to the way it looked. Along with the original AEC railcars built for the GWR it looks outstanding, especially when compared to other railcars of the era. But as my job is to drive this train's modern descendants, it impressed me with it's modern technology. It contains features that are still familiar to me in my work, such as a door interlock circuit that prevents the train being driven away with the doors open as well as stopping them from being opened while the train is on the move, and automatic engine shutdown in the event of low oil or coolant.

As a consequence of all these factors I had bookmarked this train in my mind as a possible future build. I like to pick unusual trains that maybe people have not heard of before and to bring them to wider attention, and this was a perfect candidate. Knowing what happened to the train once it re-emerged after the war made it perfect for this year's theme and gave me the push to try and build it.

Tune in again soon to find out what happened to the railcar next.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, a lot of people underestimate the power of Teknik parts in their builds. It can provide a great solution for lots of builds.
The more I look at it the more I see where also it can be used. You have done a great base for Zephir and flying hamburger or maybe for something else (I mean rolling stock of the USA and Europe).
Astonishing work! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great DMU - the work on the "nose" is impressive - the more I look at it, the more I am amazed on how you did it!!! *huh*

Also the sides, well, are not easy at all to achieve - and again , you succeded in reproducing that shape. Great job as always!  :wub: 

Can't wait to see the "transformed" version! :thumbup:

Ciao!

Davide

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/9/2022 at 7:29 AM, Hod Carrier said:

The solution that I went for was a spine of Technic bricks pinned together from which everything else is hung. The hope is that, with the roof, this will provide the coaches with sufficient stiffness once the body assemblies have been added.

Technic bricks pinned together can still have a lot of sag. If you want stiffness, a sandwich of three plates tall will be stiffer. That is simply a "just in case" suggestion if the technic gives you problems.

 

On 9/9/2022 at 7:29 AM, Hod Carrier said:

Once you've signed-off on the first car it's a quick job to turn out the others. All the difficult decisions have been made and it's simply a case of copying them over.

How did you articulate the cars? It would be interesting to see your solution because getting sufficient clearance on curves can be tricky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

If you want stiffness, a sandwich of three plates tall will be stiffer.

That is certainly true! But when you want to take advantage of the Technic bricks "hole functionality" (other than connecting them), then bracing them (two Technic beams separated by two plates + bracing part, e.g. diverse Technic 0.5 beams or even full beams) makes the "structure" vertically really stiff. At least this is what I have experienced.

Best,
Thorsten

Edited by Toastie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.