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Hello all, long time no post! This project is kind of a wash at this point, but I think it is still worth a share. Perhaps that's appropriate as the SR/Bulleid Leader is best known for being a total flop, an unconventional design with a lot of new features that of course proved too complicated and unreliable to even see regular service. Five of the 0-6-0 + 0-6-0 articulated locomotives were laid down, but only one was completed, tested, and deemed unsatisfactory before the whole lot was scrapped. I usually only build American trains, but I make exception for the Leader as I have a fondness "advanced steam" designs like the ACE 3000 and the 5AT. Also like the 5AT, I had built a mediocre model of the Leader a long time ago and wanted to revisit it... Like almost all of my train models, the Leader is built at roughly 1:48 scale, and the chassis can navigate all the normal LEGO R40 track geometries. At this scale the locomotive should really be 7-wide (as should most British engines), but I fudged it and made it 8-wide such that the body would not be wider than the trucks, which I could not narrow due to the huge greebles on their outside frames. Also due to the trucks I had to compromise on the lower line of the body: the prototype has a very long sweeping curve over the two inner drivers, but I could not get enough clearance between the wheels and the cowling to make this work on R40 curves, even with the pivots right next to the center axles. For now that line is just abbreviated, which is sad. The roof has a bit of a hodgepodge of different curves. The 2x8xN bow is a good approximation of the actual look, but I had to use other combinations of parts to model the various features on the top of the loco. I think the mix of implementations does a good job defining the shape but also giving it some texture, though there are some cracks especially around the bunker that possibly could be smaller. Moving on to the internals! This model has a pretty unique drivetrain and this was one of the main reasons I wanted to build it: when I bought a used 7722 a few years ago, I noted that the 4.5v system had a feature that has never appeared again on any subsequent train system, and that is the ability to run a train point to point** I thought it would be really cool to build a nice model that could leverage this functionality, but it would have to be a locomotive that could realistically pair with the two-axle 4.5v battery box, so revisiting the Leader seemed like a good choice. Furthermore, I wanted to try out an interesting articulation mechanism for the Leader proposed by fellow builder @jtlan, which would theoretically work well with the large outside frame greebles. Unfortunately it's this 4.5v drivetrain that really hasn't worked well. It seemed to work fine in the ample testing I did prior to finishing the model, but the shell turned out to be really heavy, and the motors have trouble moving it at a meaningful speed while pulling a meaningful train. You can see some of the test beds and the final product in this short video: Ultimately, I've tried to tweak it to no avail, so this will probably have to be converted to PF for it to work well, and I don't really have that much motivation to do that as 4.5v was the whole point. So for now, that's that; there are a few more pics once the Brickshelf folder is moderated, but otherwise have a nice day! ** What I mean by point to point is in the video at 0:10
This project started, in a wholly different form, several years ago in response to two thoughts I had: "How can I make a long train without making excessively expensive?" and "I really want some modern rolling stock". Originally the obvious answer was articulated well cars. Well cars have very little structure to build, and Jacobs bogies mean relatively few wheels and even fewer couplers per unit length (compared to a train of the same length made up of "regular" 4-axle, 2-bogie rolling stock), both of which are particularly expensive parts. I would need to build containers to "fill out" the train, but that did not seem to be a big issue. Unfortunately the articulated well car project got to something like 95 to 99 percent completion when I pulled the plug. The car looked fine, that was never a problem, but they turned out to have more operational and structural issues than I had hoped: most poignantly they couldn't clear switch handles right after turns and the bottoms would fall out after extended running. Furthermore, to make the car look "filled" enough, I would need to build something like 15 to 20 TEU worth of containers, which increased part count and weight. Double-stacking containers also decreased stability and made the bottoms more likely to fall out. So the well cars ran empty at like one BayLTC show, and then they were shelved while I tried to think of solutions that I never found.Fast forward another year and I found out about articulated spine cars. Spine cars are similar to well cars in that they are articulated and intermodal, but spine cars trade density for flexibility: they can't carry as many containers per unit length as well cars, but they can carry containers or trailers and can fit in a small loading gauge. From a modeling perspective, spines have even less structure than wells, and more importantly can be filled with half of the 15 to 20 TEU worth of container, saving more weight and more parts. So here's the model: The car itself is 214 studs long and comprises just 1018 parts, giving a part per stud length of 4.76. For comparison a relatively tame looking "regular" piece of rolling stock like my flat car is 33 studs long with 335 parts, giving a part per stud length of 9.85 - almost twice that of the spine car, so that gives an idea of how efficient the spine car actually is. Construction is very simple. Everything is studs up save for some of the trim. The center of each section is actually pretty strong since it's just stacks of plate, but there is still a bit of structural non-integrity around the bogies since the spines have to taper down to a single plate for clearance. The most difficult part was of course making sure nothing scraped or interfered with anything when the car goes through a full R40 curve: I mocked up three sections of the car before committing to the final build: And of course, the build would not be complete without containers. With the well cars, I built an ad-hoc collection of 20 and 40 foot containers, each with a slightly different design, partly because I didn't feel like it was the main part of the build, and partly because I needed so many. Since the spine cars would need much fewer containers to load up, I decided to make them good. There's essentially two kinds of containers here: a "detailed" type and an "efficient" type. The detailed type is actually what I call the "RailBricks Container", which appeared in issue 14 of the now defunct(?) publication. The efficient type is just made of panels and detailed with a sticker in order to be light, but all the containers at least have tiled roofs to clean up the lines. There is also a trailer mostly designed by @jtlan And all the bits put together: All the weight-saving seems to have paid off as the loaded car doesn't seem to be that heavy - even my EMD Model 40 can handle the whole thing just fine. Having run it at several local LUG meetings and a full-day event, I think I have run it long enough to verify that the cars don't develop structural issues after long periods of activity. There is of course video from these runs: 0:23: Test run with the Model 40 0:31: Clearing the switch handle 0:43: Running under 9v power Full gallery here, and have a nice day!
Hello All, Finally after 3 years in the making I am presenting my first MOC. I wanted to start out with something easy and something local. This is obviously based off of Shup's great E7 NYC set, and shup helped a lot with some details a few years ago including the windshield design. I had a few tweaks of my own as I was trying to model this as close to 1:48 scale as possible. I hate doing decals, so this sat on my desk for 2 years gathering dust. Now she's all polished up and all that's left to do is decal her fully built sister! Without much further ado, some background and some pics: History of the L&N Spec drawing I went off of: And here's the MOC! All the photos.