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Paperinik77pk posted a topic in LEGO Train TechHi all!!! Some days ago, back from holidays, I found here on EB that the new OcTRAINber contest has been started earlier!!! Well, I was expecting it in October, so I was a bit "unprepared"!!! Topic is particularly interesting , but it's difficult to immediately figure out what to prepare. I was quite lucky, since during the holidays, I had the the opportunity to spot a special hystoric train on the Ceva-Ormea line, in Piedmont. This line was literally the last one adopting the three-phases alternate current "Italian" system, and was converted to diesel-only in 1973. Therefore, being unusable on the new DC system, all the old locomotives were scrapped, or abandoned...or in one specific case...CONVERTED. Here's a specific page (in Italian - but can be translated by the browser), showing the Ceva Ormea in its electric and diesel era. As you can see,the AC system required two overhead wires. http://www.stagniweb.it/foto6.asp?File=l_aln2&Inizio=26&Righe=10&InizioI=1&RigheI=50&Col=5 Among all the AC locomotives, the FS E.550 was the smallest electric "three-phases" locomotive of the whole lot. A small wonder that allowed to pull trains on the terrible Giovi line, which was a real pain for steam locomotives. The AC system was affordable, easy to use, reliable, and smooth. The only problem was related to the fixed speeds (25,50,75, and the top limit of 100 Km/h) , which declared the end of the AC and the adoption of the still used DC system (started with the glorious E.626) The E.550 is only 9.5 meters long, has 5 axles (central one with plain wheels, the outer axles have a lateral movement of 20mm), so it's a pretty agile locomotive. I sincerely DO NOT KNOW if it has ever been used on the Ceva-Ormea line. Now that we've introduced the E.550, let's forget about it for a moment,and let's move again to the Ceva-Ormea line - to be precise to Ceva Station, which is near to my holidays house. Back in the late 80s, my dad used to travel from Genova to Ceva during summer months, staying in our house for weekends. Therefore, on fridays my mom and me used to wait him at Ceva station. This station has a backyard with some dead tracks, which at the time were full of old stuff and easily accessible, since it was near the car parking. In this yard I could see a lot of things - an old shunter, some wagons, a tender... and THAT thing ! For more info, look here - the first photo is clearly depicting what I used to see back in the days: http://www.stagniweb.it/foto6.asp?File=trifase2&Inizio=27&Righe=10&InizioI=1&RigheI=100&Col=5 At the time I tought it was an old, odd diesel snowplow, resembling me a...slug. Then a very nice man working at the station explained me that it once WAS a locomotive and then it was converted to a dummy unit, needing another locomotive to push it. It's marked as VNX 806.200, and it's basically an E.550 without motor,rods,electrical equipment...and with a big snow plow mounted frontally. It was used to clean the Ceva-Ormea line and was permanently assigned (and parked) in Ceva station. I saw a restored VNX at the Savigliano's museum, but it was another unit (VNX 806.221). The 806.200 is currently parked in another station near Turin (I hope waiting for a full restore). This is what I want to propose this year for OcTRAINber contest, and I can tell you it will be in 1:87 (4-wide) and will be a display only model. There will be also an E.550, so I can show the BEFORE and AFTER together (in a pretty limited space!) See you in the next days!!! Davide
Ciao all, you have already seen my E.656 topic last week, but after posting it, I realized both the locomotive and coaches were wrongly shaped. First of all I tried to build a mockup, and move it around some Lemax track - I had bad luck, since the radius is too tight and the locomotive is badly bent, looking unrealistic. So for the moment I decided to redesign it as a static only, more solid model. Plus, during the rebuilding the "nose" was redesigned so it's more pointy. The locomotive now is longer by one stud, due to central cover for articulation (I wonder which is the correct English term!) being now in exact 1:87 scale. Since I was already working, I prepared also the freight version, called E.655, which had a gear ratio adapted for better pulling power than speed (120km/h). Then I remade all the pictures with the coaches, since the UIC-X in Livery Red/Gray paint scheme adopted an underbody protection. The express train is now more precise than its first version and I'm more happy with it. Now it is the perfect replica of my Lima H0 train I had many many years ago! It seems very elegant with all coaches in coordinated colors...but in reality Italian trains of the era were composed by coaches in different color styles. Now, having made the famous "Caimano", I needed to go on , and design the "Tartaruga", or E.444 (yes, we have a nickname for quite everything ). Modern and elegant, the E.444 has been the fastest Italian locomotive for a long time. Having the possibility to play with colors, I tried to recreate some coaches in their various paint schemes, to recreate a typical Express train of the 80s. In the picture below you can find UIC-X coaches in "Grigio Ardesia" (a kind of dark "stone gray" well fitting the Lego Dark Bluish Gray), the already seen Livery Red/Gray UIC-X, and the colorful "Eurofima" in Orange. The "Grigio Ardesia" UIC-X are a bit older then the Red/Gray ones, but not all were converted, so it was not strange to see both in Italian consists. Older UIC-X do not have the underbody protection, as far as I could understand (please correct me if I'm wrong). Now that we've seen the E.656 and the E.444, let's go back to an older model, the great E.646 and its freight version, the E.645: This has the same base as my E.656 (in reality the chassis of the E.646 was then used as the starting point to create the "Caimano"), but has a more...boxy body and it's full of grilles of different shapes. It has some different choices for headlights due to the lack of some parts in green and Dark Tan. The first E.646 locomotives featured a body similar to the E.636 and E.424. Another step back in the family of articulated locomotives...and now we're coming to the first one of the dynasty, the E.636. In its "Castano-Isabella" paint scheme (Reddish Brown and Dark Tan), this was quite a mess for me. This model requires a slight modification (I cannot do in a better way) of the "tiles with clips" parts, holding the headlights: these parts must be sand-papered on one side to fit under the "nose". I tried it before drawing the final version. Other parts did not fit or were not available in right colors. I love this locomotive, but her cabin is a nightmare! Let's make her pull an end-of-the-70s express! The E.636 group of locomotives has a special member, nicknamed "Camilla". It seems a "Caimano" but it's not. The E.636.284 was involved in a fatal accident. Cabin was completely destroyed and the engineer lost his life. The cabins were designed in the 40s, so were not so secure. Nonetheless, the locomotive was not scrapped, since it was quite intact in all its main parts. Therefore, an experiment was performed (in order maybe to renew all the 636), and a cabin from an E.656 was fitted. A particular paint scheme was used. The nickname "Camilla" is due to the name written on the unfinished new cabin by one of the workers (after the name of his beloved grilfriend)...and became the official name of the locomotive, which remained the only 636 with this body. It still is operational and historically preserved. And now, last but not least, the smaller (but not less important, since it started the whole family of these modern shaped locomotives!) E.424. Same cabin as the E.636, so same needed modification to clips parts. This one is made in 80s "Navetta" color scheme , which was used in the last employment for this little all-purpose locomotive: Commuter reversible trains. For this reason the last (or first? ) coach was a semi-pilot one, with all remote controls for the locomotive. Here it is the Semi-Pilot MDVE type coach (all other coaches of the consist are MDVC type). It is nicknamed "MAZINGA" - which is the Italian pronunciation of "Mazinger", the famous big robot featured in the 70s Japanese cartoon. It was called this way, since it resembles a robotic head That's all (for the moment)! I hope you like these trains - I will try to go on with designs on this scale since these are really fun! Ciao! Davide
Hi all, I'd like to present you something I did two years ago, and that I continue to improve. It is a small workhorse very popular here in Italy. Probably it is known in Europe as Breuer Type IV, here in Italy it was produced under Breuer license from a workshop in Lecco, the "Antonio Badoni Lecco" or simply ABL. This apparently small company built the Ataturk bridge in Istanbul and part of the Milan Central station, plus a lot of other surprisingly complex infrastructures. Therefore the locomotive section began with this kind of licensed product. A small shunter, which was broadly used in nearly all Italian railway stations, and got the Italian nickname of "sogliola" ("sole"), due to its flattened cabin. I sincerely love this little thing (and all other ABL shunters), since I saw it in an old station, left abandoned on a dead track. FS marked these small locomotives as 207/208 and there was a bigger version too (210/211). I represented the last version of the ABL Type IV, with normal puffers and standard headlights. The real one has a chain on one side which drives the small wheels. I chose a central masked wheel (made with vintage slick tyres). A 9v red micro-motor powers the two central wheels. It is 9-wide, and scale is not particularly accurate. Maybe some suggestions can help me to correct its proportions. It is slow as it should be and not very powerful, but it can shunt properly. It cannot host batteries inside, so it needs a battery box on a pulled car, or a dummy car with an empty 9v motor to pick-up electricity from track. I hope you like this little thing!