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Olton Hall MOC/MOD (Hogwarts Express)

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One of the reasons I'm excited about the 2023 Hogwarts Express is that I hope it gets people into building steam locomotive MOCs. This happened for me by modifying it's predecessor, 75955  

52880851807_0bb97756b7_c.jpg20230508_162151 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

I got two copies of 75955 cheap on eBay. My aim was to make the locmotive look more like a GWR Hall Class, whilst keeping it "LEGOish". I wanted it to be able to run on R40 tracks, with power functions. I also wanted to mainly use parts from the sets, with some from my own collection, and not have to Bricklink anything. This meant it had to be 6 wide, and use a similar boiler design. Also no custom wheels/rods/stickers.

 52881589959_c49fca3bfb_c.jpg20230508_162212 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

The original locmotive's proportions were rather tall and not long enough. I extended the boiler by 4 studs, and the firebox and the smokebox by 1 stud. I need to take a better photo, but I'm quite proud of the taper on the boiler. It extends by 1 plate, over 12 studs. The rear of the boiler is clipped to the firebox and the smokebox. The smokebox is not attached with studs to the running board, but on a Technic axle, so it can legally be a fraction of a stud off grid. I also added droid arms to create break rigging and sand pipes.

52881875773_d40064ff20_c.jpg20230508_162243 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

52881430196_cf3d6b21ee_c.jpg20230508_162447 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

52881588979_93cd869ce5_c.jpg20230508_162508 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

The biggest challenge was getting the pony truck to go around R40 curves, and not interfere with the cylinders. This was an absolute headache - a lot of MOCs I've seen in recent years, are designed for wider curves, or they have the second set of pony wheels fixed, and only have one set of flanged drivers. I didn't want to do this so I created a pony truck with a sliding front axle. The pony truck can pivot to a fixed angle, than there are stoppers under the cylinder, which stop it moving any further. As the axle is free to move axially, it will un-centre itself to go around the bend. It works, but looks a bit strange, and is something I want to improve on the next version.

52881805970_1d6bd83d76_c.jpg20230508_162221 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

Tender has all the PF components. Again for simplicity, I used the normal train motor guards (and mimicked the design around the front wheels), but I want to improve this in my next version. Also, for part reuse, I'm using the trap door from the original's tender to mount the train motor and thread the cable. :wink:

52881874898_b6771202d0_c.jpg20230508_162629 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

52881874883_8b3d365452_c.jpg20230508_162711 by Sam Szeto, on Flickr

The coach isn't meant to be a BR Mk1. I don't have any dark red parts, so I just decided to extend the official coach out to use a proper train base, whilst keeping the removable wall from the playset. I also have some older windows in my collection which were quite useful.

If interested, their are more photos on my flickr.

When I have the time, I'd like to do a full rebuild in 7 wide using custom wheels, with dark red Mk1s. But for now, I'm happy with this - I'm glad LEGO's play set was mis-proportioned as it inspired me to do this. Already working on a proper MOC now :wink:.


A lot of inspiration was taken from Phil B's incredible MOC/MOD @Phil B, particularly with the tapered boiler using the original set's design


Edited by samsz_3

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Nice modification to the Hogwart's Express. I approve of the use of the ancient red windows for the carriage.

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That is a great looking engine and consist! Hope she runs fine on switches - this is where mine struggles (still tinkering though I haven't touched her in 2 years). And glad to hear my MOC was of help!

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Great attempt to make this set (now previous HP express) look better! Nice carriage! Astounding tender! Great engine!  

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