Commander Wolf

MoC: ACE 3000 in 8-wide

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Hey all, first MoC in a while here, and first train MoC in a really long time. For those who don't know, the ACE 3000 is a steam locomotive designed in the late 70s, early 80s, but obviously never built. I'm a big fan of "advanced" steam, building the SR Leader and the Wardale 5AT quite a few years ago (and I'm not even from the UK).

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Previously I eyeballed all of my train MoCs, but this time I referenced brick paper at a scale of about 155mm per plate height in which most United States locomotives happen to be 8-wide (this is approximately equivalent to the scale that Ben Beneke uses in his well-known 7-wide locomotives).

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The chassis is fully articulated with flanged wheels on all axles. It goes around curves and switches and everything between. The pairs of driving rods on each side are supposed to perfectly counterbalance each other by being 180 degrees out of phase (even at this scale you can feel the difference in vibration if you push the locomotive fast!). In the "real" thing they would have been kept that way by cranks. Here I use big bevel gears in a design once again mostly stolen from Ben.

The wheels are obviously of the small and large flavor from Ben Fleskes' fantastic Big Ben Bricks product line.

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It was impossible to model every face and angle on the cab, so I took a drawing approach and tried to "sketch" it. I'm pretty happy with the result, and I think it does a good job of suggesting the right shape, but I'll let the viewer decide that. The cab was definitely the hardest part. The insides are held together with a bunch of silly business.

The color scheme is from this concept drawing, but I am planning to eventually make my own fictional railway decals, road numbers, and the like.

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The entire locomotive is about 45 studs long from magnet to magnet and weights a whopping 1lb 5oz (sorry metric guys). So far I've found running performance to be pretty good in general, but there's considerable friction just because of the size and weight. I'm planning on lubricating some parts of it once the design is locked in, but I don't know how much it will help. A tender is in the works, but I am an idiot and can't properly order from BrinkLink, so I'm still waiting on some parts.

Finally, the full Brickshelf gallery with several additional pics.

Anyway, that's enough of my rambling, any and all feedback is certainly appreciated, especially when I'm still up to making changes with the tender not done >_>

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Very nice and an excellent choice of subject matter. Your nose work is pure brute force, really hard to fit all those angles in such a small space. I took a stab at the same prototype a few years back, your mechanicals are much more impressive than mine. I still haven't uploaded a dedicated folder, but I have two pictures on line,

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Very nice and an excellent choice of subject matter. Your nose work is pure brute force, really hard to fit all those angles in such a small space. I took a stab at the same prototype a few years back, your mechanicals are much more impressive than mine. I still haven't uploaded a dedicated folder, but I have two pictures on line,

img_5038.jpg_thumb.jpg img_5039.jpg_thumb.jpg

Whoa! In green too (is it supposed to be a BN?)! You should post more pics if you still have it... I did a search for other builds before I started, but I didn't find anything.

I love what you did for the smokestacks! Normally I cringe at taking turntables apart, but I might have to steal your idea... what are you using for the vents on the top of the tender?

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Looks very nice and very complicated. I always envy people who can make trains with all these gears and get them to work. I had enough trouble powering a set of wheels straight from an M Motor, so things like this impress me a lot.

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What an excellent MOC I love it :wub:

Experimental steam locos like the ACE are fascinating and give wonderful 'what if' opportunities for building motive power that definitely isn't 'same old same old' and boring.

Great to see your own version of this loco too Zephyr.

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Thanks for the feedback, all!

Just a small update on this since the tender is still a WIP: I finally had the time to make some decals to fill that vast expanse of red. Obviously Nonsense Wars is not a real railway (that's just the name of my blog). The placement of the logo, railway, and road number is adapted from that on the 3rd generation UP GTELs, which I consider a similarly unique setup in a similar era.

Following said convention, I was planning on numbering the tender as 3001B, but I'm not sure if B-unit style numbering is appropriate... I haven't yet been able to find out much info on actual tender numbering schemes, though.

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Edited by Commander Wolf

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I was planning on taking some nice footage with Good Lighting ™ once everything was done... but ask and ye shall receive!

These are some clips I took for a friend in order to illustrate the performance difference between a "dry" and lubricated chassis: in the first clip, I'm running a dry chassis at notch 4 (because you need that much power to keep it going), and you can see the locomotive aggressively slowing and surging in and out of the turns due to the high rolling friction. In the second clip, I'm running a lubricated chassis (with smalls dabs of synthetic motor oil at every moving joint) at just notch 2 and the slowing and surging is noticeably reduced.

In both clips the motive power is provided by the venerable 10133 with two 9v motors.

Edited by Commander Wolf

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Waow - that is one muscular machine!

To make it look more robust, maybe, you could fill up the gap in between the wheels, so there is no see-through?!

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That's impressive... I love the well-engineered chassis. Pity it can't run on its own. Are you planning an upgrade in future to add motors?

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Waow - that is one muscular machine!

To make it look more robust, maybe, you could fill up the gap in between the wheels, so there is no see-through?!

I used to be really big on filling in the visual gaps in train chassis, but if you look at the actual reference drawing, there are a lot of gaps under the locomotive - so I left them there. Unfortunately the BBB wheels currently only come in the spoke variety, so there isn't really a good way to model the more solid Scullin-type wheels without losing functionality.

That's impressive... I love the well-engineered chassis. Pity it can't run on its own. Are you planning an upgrade in future to add motors?

I would have considered putting a motor in the front bogie as the wheel spacing is actually very close, but you usually want to run two motors in a train with a locomotive as big as the ACE, so I would have needed a power car anyway. If I ever buy some PF equipment I may reconsider, but as of now most of my collection is late 90s to early 00s, so it's basically all 9v with only sprinkling of 12v.

Anyway, I should have my BrickLink parts by this weekend, so stay tuned for the final product!

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It's done! Final update:

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Nothing exceptional about the tender build; I just had to buy a lot of those 1x2 grill bricks. The cab is identical to the one on the locomotive.

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The three-axle bogies have an articulation rather than a sliding axle. The former just proved easier to build and easier to fit within the required height.

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The pivots aren't exactly centered on the bogies such that the back of the locomotive and the front of the tender line up through curves.

And a couple more video clips showing the entire thing in action with a closeup of the opposed connecting rods:

Again, the entire gallery... and that's it; thanks for looking!

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Whoa! In green too (is it supposed to be a BN?)! You should post more pics if you still have it... I did a search for other builds before I started, but I didn't find anything.

I love what you did for the smokestacks! Normally I cringe at taking turntables apart, but I might have to steal your idea... what are you using for the vents on the top of the tender?

Yes, it is meant to be BN. I read that BN and Chessie were the big backers of the ACE project. So living in Ohio (Chessie country) naturally I chose BN (grin). It is on my "to post" list, I just haven't gotten to it yet. She's still together, so one of these days. There are two more photos of it in railbricks 6 with REC reveal for the nose in railbricks 7.

As for the stacks and vents, these days the 2x2 turntables come disassembled, so no dissassembly required (grin some more). The vents on the tender are also turntable bases, 4x4 this time.

Following said convention, I was planning on numbering the tender as 3001B, but I'm not sure if B-unit style numbering is appropriate... I haven't yet been able to find out much info on actual tender numbering schemes, though.

Yes, I would think the railroads would number something like this A and B.

I'm running a lubricated chassis (with smalls dabs of synthetic motor oil at every moving joint)

Brilliant!

Though seeing her run, you really should add a much larger layout and a few dozen coal cars (but shouldn't we all)

I would have considered putting a motor in the front bogie as the wheel spacing is actually very close, but you usually want to run two motors in a train with a locomotive as big as the ACE, so I would have needed a power car anyway.

Why not stash the 9v motors in the tender trucks?

It's done! Final update:

Looks fantastic (and steam in the garden to boot!)

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Though seeing her run, you really should add a much larger layout and a few dozen coal cars (but shouldn't we all)

Yes, we should. And as soon as we win the feckin' lotto we will...

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Why not stash the 9v motors in the tender trucks?

At least with the regular 9v/RC motors, either the wheel spacing or wheel count would be off... so in the interest of accurate modeling, I didn't. However, now that you mention it, it might be possible to drive the tender "unconventionally" (ie with a motor and some small BBB wheels), and there's plenty of room in that thing for a battery box and the works. Definitely something to think about in a future revision!

Yes, we should. And as soon as we win the feckin' lotto we will...

Yeah... winning the lottery would be nice :laugh:

The only rolling stock I have en masse right now is the green passenger car from a while ago... not quite sure if that is the best match :wacko:

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Hey new member, the previous post here was over 8 years ago. It's usually not appreciated to drag up old topics like that.

Besides, there's a good chance the original poster has left, the model may have been demolished...

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