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From 1919 to 1962, the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (known as the Milwaukee Road) had these five General Electric-made behemoths pulling trains under the wires from Chicago to Seattle. They were called the Bipolar's for each of the locomotive's 12 motors had only two field poles, mounted directly to the locomotive frame beside the axle. The motor armature was mounted directly on the axle, providing an entirely gear-less design. These locos were so powerful they could out-pull modern steam locos, and what used to take two steamers took just one bipolar. However, after a disastrous 1953 rebuilding by the railroad's company shops (who had no clue how to work on a electric loco) the engines were prone to failures and even fire. And so, in 1962, four of them were scrapped with the lone survivor, numbered E-2, towed to the Museum of Transportation in St. Louis Missouri, where it has sat silent even since, as seen above. The slightly stylized LEGO version of the locomotive was inspired by a 1999 version of the Bipolar electric locomotive built by user legosteveb and by a digital-only design by @Sunder. With this updated, more curvy model, the classic orange and red scheme was impossible, and so as the yellow and red of the previous model type. Thus I was forced to invert the red and yellow to the fictional scheme seen. (The black number boards in front and rear should say "E2" in printed 1 x 1 tiles.0 The loco frame is split in three sections as per the original engine. The front and rear section can pivot slightly to make the engine go around curves. Since the last uploading of this model, the wheels have been re-arranged into two groups of seven (they are joined near the end of the frame, with the exact middle section floating freely between the two ends) and the body of the engine has been extended for a total magnet-to-magnet length of 70 studs. The model should perform well on R40 curves / switches, as this picture attests to it's flexibility.... though until it's built in real life, it will remain untested. The newer model is only 1 plate higher than the previous version, with the same length and width. As you can see, it's my longest single locomotive yet designed with 14 axles total. (I'm not 100% sure my articulation attempts in all the boogies and the frame were enough to work on standard LEGO track, but I guess I'll just have to see when it's built in real bricks latter this year!) The passenger train, and the rear car in particular, were inspired by the Milwaukee Road's Olympian Hiawatha service from Tacoma, Washington to with the rearmost car being a Beaver Tail observation car, which were out of service by 1961. (you can read more about these odd-looking cars here on this Wikipedia page.) Actually, I'm not sure the Beaver-tails were ever used all the way to the West Coast on the Olympian, but since it's LEGO, who really cares! That's all I have done for now, and as usual, questions, complaints, comments and suggestions are always welcome! (real life pictures coming to this topic as soon as possible, but the LDD file for the whole train is available here at Bricksafe)
Lord Tyrus had been assigned a medium priority mission from Officer Brickdoctor along with fellow ISB officer Goatm An and Imperial pilot ace, BEAVeR, to investigate reports of Rebel activity, originating from the ice-ball world of Barab II. They had been assigned a Valor-Pattern Assault Gunboat, an experimental craft combining the air-to-ground supremacy of the LAAT gunships along with the durability of the STC003 Starcrashers and the transport ability of Lambda Class Shuttles, in order to transport the squad of Stormtroopers that was accompanying them. "We're coming in too fast! Officer VeR, what are you doing! Officer Brickdoctor said you were the best type of pilot that could be assigned to this mission." Lord Tyrus exclaimed. "Relax, I've worked with BEAVeR before, Tyrus. He's a great pilot," Goatm said, "Although maybe not the best type for a soldier," he muttered. His previous missions with BEAVeR had made it evident to him that he was unable to take a life, thus making him a poor candidate for a high-ranking Imperial pilot. He even felt sympathetic feelings towards the Rebels that he would be willing to testify against him if he was to fail him on this mission. He could sense that he was gaining the attention of the very important and influential people in the Emperor's fleet. He didn't want anyone messing up his almost certain promotion, especially this disloyal pilot. He was good at everything in his job, except the essential power to shoot someone. Simple as that. "It's not my fault! We've been hit!" BEAVeR replied. The thick, white clouds of Barab II's atmosphere wizzed by revealing a clean white blanket that was Barab II's surface. However, they were approaching at too steep an angle. Suddenly they were pulled into a tight spiral with the center a small spire poking through the surface. " Hold on, although I don't think the crash would be too bad, we've flown past the mountain, worry over, snow's fairly soft compared with rock." "Well done Sherlock..." A Stormtrooper muttered. "Silence!" Goatm yelled, "You don't want to see me when I'm angry!" Lord Tyrus turned off the live feed from the troop bay. Thud. Screech. Bang. Silence. The cockpit's viewscreen went blank. "Rear hatch it is then," Said Tyrus. As the crew in the front; Tyrus, Goatm, the Stormtrooper sergeant and VeR, opened the door to the troop bay. They were in for a shock. Only two of the nine Stormtroopers in the troop bay were still alive, one of them unconscious. The remainder were smashed up a bit. The crates and boxes had dislodged in the troop bay by the shot and were smashed into the the troops. The straps that held them into their seats were unable to be opened until the craft had landed, for safety. However, this proved a major downfall as the troopers were unable to escape as they were crushed by crates weighing nearly a ton. This was feedback that Goatm could file back to the design team. Lord Tyrus and BEAVeR helped the two remaining troops out and quickly looked away. Following that, Tyrus grabbed a rope, opened the rear hatch and, dropping the reel of rope, clambered down, closely followed by the other five. Tyrus got out his Macrobinoculars and surveyed the area. There was a spire, near to where they had been brought down. There were mountains in the distance with buildings on top in the same style as the spire He thought he could see figures on the horizon. Suddenly they were greeted as a wave of blaster bolts hit them. "Take cover!" Yelled Goatm, activating a distress beacon from his pocket, "Head to that gorge!" But they didn't know what was in for them... Oh I forgot, can I have this judged please!