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Hi all, after a very long time, dedicated to my retrocomputing hobby, I finally got back to Lego trains . What made me come back to drawing and studying was a very cheap copy of G-Gauge LGB trains, made in China by a company called Newquida. These trains also offer a specific track, only proposed in Radius 1 (600mm), all made by brown plastic. So I gave this track a try (for 25 Euros I got a full circle, two points and an half circle). Apart the 45mm gauge, the track is all in all very similar to Lego standard geometry. Currently my two prototypes are not G-gauge perfect, they simply are 12v Lego trains with their size multiplied by 2. They are a 7810 and a 7720 on steroids, basically. After getting the track, I widened the bogies of my Lego prototypes of "big" Lego trains from L-gauge to G-gauge and I made a test run...the result is...I'll never go back to L-gauge (only for for trains which are so big and heavy ). This track is cheap and quite solid. More than enough for the moment! So, having the opportunity to properly test my locomotives, I bought three LGB cars (the ones used on standard sets) at quite a bargain price. Immediately, I understood that some ideas I got from photos, catalogues , Eurobricks members ( @Tenderlok ) were correct, others were quite right at a first sight, but totally wrong. First thing to think about: dimensions - The scale 1:22,5 is the one commonly used by LGB for Narrow gauge trains running on 45mm tracks. It means that real trains running on tracks around metric gauge (950mm/1000mm/1067mm, but also smaller ones) are quite standardized to this scale. Standard gauge real trains are quite commonly scaled to 1:32. My Double-L trains are something between these two standards. They are taller and narrower than LGB cars. They are close, and this was quite a satisfaction for a newbie like me. So let's make a bit of reverse engineering. I got some data of real trains (for example BerninaBahn Abe 4/4 30 - 1000mm , JNR KIHA 31 railcar - 1067mm and Genova-Casella locomotives 950mm adapted to 1000mm), and I calculated the measures in studs. We're always around 13/14 studs for width, lenght may vary but buffers are quite often near 3 studs, height can slightly vary but roofs at 15,16 bricks from ground. What I would like is to have some basic reference measures to standardize a bit some parts of my future design. So i dismantled one of the LGB cars and started to take some measurements in order to see if my calculated dimensions were correct. Well,let's say three studs for a single buffer. So lenght of the body could be approximately calculated as: overall lenght over buffers translated in scale and then divided by 0,8cm, subtracted by 6 studs. It's not a general rule, but it works to at least have an idea. I went back on fixed buffer solution instead of pivoting one - it works perfectly. My train base chassis is 12 studs wide - LGB one is 11. but LGB undercarriage parts are thinner than Lego, so I will have to rework all the details (leaf springs, bogies and so on) to be a bit more narrow. Axle steering at least is correct and works fine - it should be limited a bit - LGB axles steer but not so much (I'm no more using Lego tracks for these trains so I can limit the steering a bit). The wagon's body is 14 studs (sounds nice). All doors and windows are smaller than I thought on these wagons. Second thing to think about: weight So, I always tought my locomotives were too heavy. Not at all, LGB wagons are heavy too, so a bit of weight in the locomotive is welcome to improve traction. One thing for sure: the XL motor works fine and smoothly , but bigger batteries are needed (the small battery box is not enough). So, this is what I learned from my errors and ideas so far . First trial in designing something more serious I would like to share with you my first design of a locomotive in real G-Scale, not based on double-sized Lego sets. It's the Electric locomotive number 29 (red) and 28 (blue) of the Genova-Casella railway, one of the survived narrow gauge railways in Italy. Locomotive number 28 was scrapped and parts were used to keep the 29 alive. This design still keeps the possibilty of changing from L-gauge track to 45mm track, but I am redesigning the whole thing. I do not know the real width of the locomotive and I do not have blueprints...so I used a lot of photos. Currently it is 14 wide (16 with ladders), but I'm going to make it narrower by one stud (the real locomotive is thin and tall), in order to give a more faithful look. It will loose the double gauge feature, but I think it deserves a less square design. I'm planning to use two XL motors and a standard PF battery box, but I could also think of a 7,2v high capacity (4000Mah) RC car battery. They are simple as usual, the only snot-designed part are in the front of the locomotive. I hope you like them, and I'd really like to understand if what I experienced could be correct or useful Ciao to all! Davide
Hi all, some days ago I was watching some videos of LGB G-Gauge trains running in the garden. They're big and very well done...and really out of budget for me. So I wondered if I could replicate such a big locomotive using Lego. And trying to be cheap!!! A big train like that needs: an XXL PF Motor; a simple PF battery box; a PF receiver; a PF remote control. All in all we're at about 50 Euros from Lego Shop. 4 large flanged wheels from Lego or BBB (3 Euros each - 12 Euros) - our total increases to, let's say, 65 euros. Then, it's time to think about a body - it must be as simple as possible, sturdy, and without too many special parts. Since I was not particularly inspired (in these days I'm playing a lot with the new Lego Boost set) , I used a well known Lego model. Yes, it is what is seems - a 7720 multiplied by 2 - 32 studs long, 12 studs wide. Even the Voltage is doubled . This was painted blue, otherwise the two red "lights" would disappear. Since track is now quite small - I chose to draw only one central buffer, suggesting this is a narrow gauge model. As you can see it is simple as it can be. I think I can try to stay below the 100 euros limit. Then, this weekend I began to prepare the mock-up to test how heavy it could be, if everything fits inside and so on. Here below you can see the yet unfinished 7720 on steroids . In this photo I used a 45mm track from G-gauge - it is actually a part of LGB track. This big girl will be able to travel on both tracks. Reasoning in studs, the L-gauge puts 4 studs between the wheels, while the G-gauge requires exactly 5 studs. Since wheels will be mounted internally respect to the fake suspensions, both gauges can be achieved by adding or removing two half Technic bushes between the wheels (one per side, so 4 studs + 0.5 stud + 0.5 stud =5 studs). But we want to be cheap - and LGB track are not - so we'll keep the standard Lego track. You cannot see it from the photos, but the black part is all made by 3x2 and 4x2 parts - too small - but I had only those around. Inter-axle is 15 studs - BBB wheels can handle the R40 radius, but this is an heavy locomotive, so I think I'll shorten the inter-axle to 13 studs. Now I'm studying how to transmit power to the wheels - I was tempted to use a chain-driven system based on lego 3711 parts, but it costs a lot and I'm not sure how much weight and torque it can handle. I'll end using the Lego 32702 gears - they seem right and are cheap enough. Let's see how this develops!!! I personally am very curious to see it in action! Ciao! Davide