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Found 12 results

  1. Greetings, Train Tech! Here's a model of the BR24 steam locomotive from Germany, built at my usual 15 inches / stud scale: The BR24 (or "DRG Class 24") were a standard class of German locomotives built in the 1920s and 1930s. As was the case with most standard German designs, plans were drawn up and orders were placed from various manufacturers. They served through World War 2, and continued to serve into the 70s in West Germany, East Germany, and in Poland (as the Oi2 class) Most photos of the locomotives show them fitted with the larger Wagner smoke deflectors (the "elephant ears") -- I've chosen to model the locomotive with the smaller Witte deflectors, which were fitted on a few examples later in their life. I was motivated to build this locomotive for two reasons. First, I wanted a suitable locomotive to go with the Umbauwagen I had built. Secondly, I hadn't seen many new takes on this model since Ben Beneke's version from the early 2000s! There are many builders who have modified Ben's design, often substituting BBB medium wheels for the rare large wheels from the set 7750. However, my typical scale is larger than the scale of Ben's model, and I also wanted to leverage some new parts that have come out since. Like most of my locomotives, this model features Power Functions. A single M-motor beneath the cab powers the drivers at a 5:3 reduction ratio. The locomotive is fairly light but pulls adequately, and there's room in the boiler for additional weight if needed. In a way, this model helps to understand and demonstrate how little weight and torque you can get away with; I see a lot of builders cram extra motors into their locomotive, when the torque can't be transmitted due to a lack of weight. The tender houses the Power Functions receiver and battery box. The 3-axle tender has a rigid frame, with the center axle sliding to negotiate curves (I used a similar geometry on the TP56 locomotive). The body of the tender lifts off for access. The battery box is mounted sideways to better take advantage of the shape of the tender. Coupled together, the locomotive has decent reception from all angles except the front, where the cab blocks the receiver. Incidentally, my model of the 2MT, which exhibited similar reception characteristics, happened to fall off the table during prototyping of this model. About 60% of the 2MT's parts wound up in the BR24, which is actually a pretty good recycling rate! I took the model to Bricks By The Bay 2017, where it spent many hours pulling the Umbauwagen around BayLUG's display. It also won "Best Machine" in the "Scale Models" category: Thanks to anyone who came by to see it, and the rest of the display! Here's the full Brickshelf gallery, along with some Work-In-Progress pictures. I've also brought you some footage of the locomotive in action: Thank you for reading! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- One final note: Ben was one of the builders who had been active around the time I first started buidling Lego train MOCs -- so in a way, this model is an homage to him. A few of the design techniques used in this model are based on techniques in his models -- the hinges angling the sides of the cab, the 11-plate-diameter boiler, and the way the smoke deflectors are attached. If you're still out there in the hobby, Ben, thank you for inspiring me and a whole generation of builders.
  2. [MOC] Umbauwagen 3yg

    Greetings, Train Tech! About a year ago, I posted my Umbauwagen 4yg. Here is the 3-axle variant, the 3yg: The name Umbauwagen means "rebuilt coach" -- these coaches were built after World War 2 by modernizing prewar compartment coaches. More accurately, this is an AB3yg (first/second class) + B3yg (second class) pair -- these cars were nearly always found in close-coupled pairs. A few survive as single units in work trains, painted yellow. The body of the model is essentially constructed the same way as my 4yg model: studs-up construction for the main body (leveraging the train window and the 2x8x2 curved slope), SNOT construction for the doors, the details around the buffer, steps, and corridor bellows. Of course I designed new side frames, and there are a few minor details that are different such as the lights above the end doors of the pair. These cars were painted green in DB service, but as the train window does not come in green I elected to build the 3yg in a different color scheme. I believe that this livery corresponds to 3yg cars used as trailers for the ET 85 electric units -- someone with more knowledge of German railways may be able to shed more light on this. At the time I built the 4yg I also built some test models to research how feasible it would be to build the three-axle variant. However, I ran into difficulties designing the chassis and moved on building the 4-axle variant instead (which had none of these challenges). Earlier this year I circled back and spent some time looking into the problem. The first attempt was to articulate the chassis as 4+2, pivoting the body to reduce the overhang -- a technique I previously used on the tender for my model of the Gr670. However, the Umbauwagen 3yg not only has a long 3-axle wheelbase, but also has a long distance between the outer axles and the buffers: Articulating the chassis as 4+2 would allow the car to negotiate turns, however it would also derail any vehicle attached to it as the buffers swung out widely. Further iteration yielded the general outline of my eventual solution: The center and end axles are connected together with a 6-bar linkage, rather than a rigid frame, allowing the chassis to change shape when traveling through curves. It's important to note that the center axle is actually what actuates the system. As the car enters a curve, the center axle is pushed sideways to follow the curve, which in turn angles the outer axles to follow the curve as well. The track cannot apply rotational forces through a single pair of wheels on one axle, and so a similar design to this one without the center axle would not work. You can see the mechanism here: The outer axles are mounted on 2x2 round bricks riding in a 2-stud-wide channel, allowing them to turn and slide slightly towards the center of the car in turns. I experimented a bit to find the best places for the pivots and a construction that would be light and reliable. In the final model I removed the blue tiles shown in the screenshot, to avoid additional friction and binding in the mechanism. Thanks for following along! As usual, I've uploaded some additional images to a Brickshelf gallery, including some notes on and prototypes of the linkage mechanism. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions!
  3. Want an SD40, but can't afford one? Here's a half-off deal for you: ...literally. These little locomotives are made by cutting an SD40 in half, attaching the frame to the truck, and installing a new and efficient prime mover and cab. I kid you not: Link to the manufacturer's website. I went about building this model the same way I usually do: Gather reference images, find an engineering drawing, and overlay grid paper over the scaling drawing. Complicating the matter was that the diagram in Tractive Power's specifications brochure was very obviously wrong -- there's no way the SD40 truck is that long! Comparing the drawing to photos of the real locomotive confirmed my suspicions. I overlaid a drawing of an SD40 truck on the diagram of the body, and worked from that. As with my Standard Class 2, I selectively compressed the wheelbase to make the axle-to-axle distance a whole number. This made building the truck frames much easier: After working out the frames, I worked on designing a drive train that would power all three wheels (once again, I picked a small prototype, which didn't help). Here's what I came up with: That's the ungeared 9V motor driving a shaft with a belt, powering all three axles with worms. The center axle slides to traverse curves: As a side bonus, I get to check another motor off my list of "motors to power a locomotive with". Because of the belt drive, unlike any of my other locomotives this locomotive's pulling power is limited by torque instead of weight (because the belt will slip first). It still has plenty of pulling power for something of its size. The locomotive traverses almost all track arrangements -- strangely, it will skip switches coming out of a curve, but only in one direction. The hood hides the battery box. One section isn't held on by anything, and comes off to reveal the power button: The other sections are only connected with one stud (and some interesting panel spacing to grab the power connector), making it easy to change the batteries. The receiver sits on top of the motor in the cab and receives signals through a hole in the roof. Unlike the other locomotives I've built, this one has great reception from all angles. I really wanted to build this locomotive in Curry Rail colors, but the parts I needed weren't available in either teal (too old) or bright green (too new?). So I built it in black, but left the frames grey to show the details better. Thanks for reading! Full Brickshelf gallery, pending moderation.
  4. Greetings Train Tech, This MoC was actually built over a year ago! I originally designed and built it for use as a "demonstrator" model for a how-to post on Power Functions steam locomotives that I haven't gotten around to writing (although the precursor post is available). While we're waiting on that, I figured I might as well post this model. Prototype History British Railways built this class of 2-6-2 tank engines for a mixed traffic role. Apparently they were very similar to the LMS Ivatt Class 2 2-6-2T, from which they were derived. While none of the class survived into preservation, The Bluebell Railway is rebuilding one of the related 2-6-0 tender locomotives into an example of this class. Engineering Details Usually when I build a MoC, I start with the prototype in mind, then work towards the model. This model began with the desire to build "a small steam locomotive to demonstrate Power Functions", which then determined the choice of prototype. The Standard/Ivatt Class 2 has a number of helpful features in this regard: Small tank engine Large bunker could hide a Power Functions receiver Side tanks can cover up other Power Functions components And indeed, that's how the locomotive is laid out: Even so, the locomotive is quite cramped -- there wasn't enough room for an M-motor based transmission, so I went back to the trusty 9V gearmotor. The output shaft of the motor is very close to the driving axle: ... and it took me a couple tries before I found a good solution: The side tanks contain a channel that allows a cable to pass through, connecting the motor and receiver: The power button is on top of the smokebox and is only held in by gravity: Thank you for reading. Full Brickshelf gallery here.
  5. [MOC] Umbauwagen 4yg

    Greetings, Train Tech! I build a lot of locomotives, but I hadn't really built any models of rolling stock with the same effort as I put into my locomotives. Until now. This is a model of a German Umbauwagen, or "rebuilt coach". They were constructed in the post-WW2 period by modernizing prewar compartment coaches, as the Deutsche Bundesbahn was strapped for cash at the time. They came in two main "flavors": the three-axle 3yg, and the four-axle 4yg I've modeled here. I initially learned about Umbauwagen while doing research for this passenger car (which itself was found while doing research for the glaskasten...). Inspecting an engineering diagram convinced me that it would be possible to build the 4-axle variant at my usual scale of 15 inches / stud (~1/48) and have it go around standard Lego curves. The main compromise I made was to reduce the length of the body from 51 to 50 studs. An even length made it possible to use the 2x8 double curved slope for the roof and the 1x4x3 train window. Since the window only comes in a limited palette of colors I wound up building in blue. My understanding is that Umbauwagen ran most of their lives in green livery, but I found photos of models in a variety of colors. I'd appreciate it if someone more familiar with these cars could shed some light on this subject. Of course, it's not much of a train with only one car... ... so I built two. I'm pleased with how closely the cars couple to each other while still being able to make it around turns. While doing background research for this model I came across Duq's rendition. Duq's model features an excellent rendition of the Minden-Deutz MD 36 bogie. Rather than just steal those, I decided to model the my cars with the Schwanenhals ("swan neck") bogies. These bogies have a somewhat American appearance with their arched outside frame. The buffers and stairs are attached to the trucks and rotate with them in curves. The trucks use Big Ben Bricks wheels. This may mark the first time I've completed cars without a locomotive to go with them. Full Brickshelf gallery here (pending moderation). Thanks for reading!
  6. Greetings, Train Tech. It's been about a year since CommanderWolf and I built the GE boxcabs, so here's another "boxcab": ... "glass box", that is. These locomotives were originally built for the Royal Bavarian State Railways with the designation "PtL 2/2". The unusual design featured a semi-automatic coal feed system, which did away with the fireman and allowed single-person operation. The boiler was surrounded by a cab with many windows, leading to the nickname of Glaskasten ("glass box"). During nationalization they were lumped into class 98 ("branch line locomotives"). Some survived the war to join the Deutsche Bundesbahn, which is the livery I've chosen to model here. This is another model with a large amount of SNOT-work; there are studs pointing in all directions. The frame is built studs-forward, the body features studs facing left/right for the doors and sides, and the side windows are upside down. Did I mention it's powered? The entire thing is powered by a micromotor driving the front axle: Note that the jackshaft doesn't actually extend through the locomotive; the 2x2 round plates on either side are carried along by the connecting rod between the front and rear axle. I used this technique to try to give extra grip to the BBB medium wheels. The battery box is in the cab. The smokebox comes off for access to the power switch: Here it is with the two-axle passenger car I posted a couple months ago. This loco struggles a lot more in turns than the 23-ton boxcabs did... Brickshelf gallery here (pending moderation). Thanks for reading!
  7. After the last boxcab, Commander Wolf and I figured we had to go smaller. And slower. So we decided that both of us should build a motorized model of a GE 23-ton boxcab. We agreed to build them models independently, then meet up and compare approaches. We started with the same scaling image: Since there was some variation among the prototypes, choice of details was a matter of taste. I took most of my references from here. Here's my finished model: The original locomotive is really tiny, so I tried to keep the model about 7 studs wide. There's a lot of SNOT in this model: The main chassis is upside-down, the deckplate and frames are held against that using Technic pins, and the body attaches to some jumpers on the deckplate: The battery box is mounted sideways in the body and the power switch is reached by jabbing an antenna through the window. The roof is actually only held on by gravity: Originally I wasn't sure if I was going to put the caution-stripe tiles on the frames, but codefox421 vouched for them. You can see the full Brickshelf gallery here. So, what did Commander Wolf do? Read on...
  8. [MOC] Alco HH1000 Switcher

    I was looking at that thread about compact PF solutions, and I thought about posting this MOC. The Alco HH series is a line of very early diesel-electric switchers (made in 'Murrika of course) produced between 1931 and 1940 after which it was succeeded by the much more well-know S series. The HH1000 was the 1000HP variant of the HH series of which 34 were produced between 1939 and 1940. Because other companies' color schemes were more difficult to implement, my HH1000 carries that of Union Pacific. UP owned exactly one HH1000, numbered 1251, which it acquired from the Mount Hood Railway in the late 60s. It was probably retired not long after. The most difficult part of the prototype to implement in Lego was by far the cab. Ideally the columns at the corners of the cab would be something like 2LU x 2LU, but that is pretty much impossible in Lego. After much fiddling I was able to get 2LU gaps in the back, but the cab is too long by about a stud to accomodate 5LU columns from the side. You'll notice the PF receiver sticking out of the center window. To me the main feature of this loco is that it is the perfect shape to cram two M motors, the AA battery box, and the reciever into a body 30 studs long. The receiver is actually just floating because that's the only orientation that works. The tractive effort is a little less than what I was able to get out of the RF-16, a combination I think of less weight and shorter bogies, but for practical purposes it'll basically pull anything reasonable - just slowly. As far as I can tell having a gear ratio other than 1:1 is more or less impossible here. This model has been about 85% complete for the past month or two, mainly for testing, but I'm about to BL the remaining parts, so it should get done soon! I didn't realize dark gray/blay saber blades were so expensive; so spoiled by LDD now.
  9. [MOC/WiP] China Railways QJ with PF!

    Hi, all! After piddling around with some small projects for the past few months, I decided it was time for a challenge! I'm building a Power Functions steam locomotive where the locomotive is powered (as opposed to a tender). To make things harder, the prototype isn't some small shunter, but the 2-10-2 China Railways QJ: The QJ is a fairly large mainline engine whose roots can be traced back to the various German 2-10-0s used extensively during WWII. Its primary claim to fame is probably the longevity of the design and quantity of units built - 4700 between 1956 and 1988. The QJ was used extensively on Chinese mainlines throughout the latter half of the 20th century, and a few soldered on in revenue service toward the end of the 2000s. Three survive in the US, two owned by Iowa Interstate, and one by RJ Corman. Anyway, I've decided to do a log of the build and share some of the process. We'll see how this goes. As always, the first step for me is finding drawings. I had previously wanted to try my hand at some smaller Chinese locos like the SY or JS, but having not found any drawings, the QJ was it. Resized to my usual scale of 15" per stud, it looks like this: The next task is to decide on the layout of the chassis. The "obvious" way to do it would be Emerald Night style - 2-10-2 with a blind-flange-blind-flange-blind configuration for the 10-coupled section, but this method results in a lot of overhang on curves, especially so if the body is attached directly to the 10-coupled section, and I really don't like that. That and other issues with the 10-coupled arrangement led me to look at more fun (complicated) designs, and I eventually settled on the following: This is a 2-2-4-4-2 articulation where the cylinders are actually locked to the middle 4 wheels because that's where the drive rods will connect. This arrangement lets me have driving and connecting rods across all flanged drivers, which I really like, and this also keeps the maximum width of the chassis at 9 studs at the cylinders. Yes, the 3rd and 4th axles aren't visually connected, but I would prefer having a gap over a thick or uneven connecting rod (full/overlapped half beams). At this point I had a vague idea of how I'd connect everything together, so I dumped it into LDD to sketch out the overall shape. Here I've just thrown together my intial thoughts of how I'd build various parts of the loco just to line things up with the drawing and evaluate the overall look and feel. I start like this because to me it's much more important that the overall proportions of a locomotive are correct and less important that individual details are all modeled. Now we can start on the detailed design. The first issue I tackled was the all-important method by which I'd connect all the axles that weren't already linked with connecting rods. To that end, I had known I would probably use a mechanism I had already used multiple times in the past, but I spent a lot of time trying to make it more rigid and compact. I also discovered how much easier it is to compact various assemblies by going to an all-studless chassis. Next up, connecting motors to the now coupled drivers. This has proven to be by far the most difficult part so far. One of the things that's really important to me is minimizing the overhang of the locomotive body inside and outside when it goes around a curve. To adjust this, you can move where the body pivots on the chassis (typically two points, one toward the front and one toward the rear - on a diesel these are the points at which the body connects to the bogies) forward and backward. The catch is, now the drivetrain connecting the motors to the wheels has to flex through these points as well. I settled on an initial design like this: As you can see, the drive train comes up from the last driven axle through the point at which the trailing axle is connected. Then it goes backward and there's a univeral joint through the point at which the body is connected to the last axle. How the motors are supposed to be joined to each other and to the wheels is still unclear here. At this point, I decided to make a mockup and do a test run, because you never know if things you make in LDD are going to work in reality or not. In this case, it did not. Turns out that the joint above the last driven axle was far too flimsy, and trying to transmit any significant amount of torque through it would throw the rear drivers off the track. And so here I am at the moment: This is actually the first design that made it around my test track, and it seems to do so fairly reliably for now. You can see the (yellow) more rigid redesign of the flimsy transmission and the (orange) more detailed design of the first driven axle. The actual testbed is not quite as pretty colored: More updates to come, stay tuned!
  10. [MOC] Baldwin RF-16

    Well another month another MOC! This is actually my first non-steam loco MOC, and, as far as I know, the first Lego model of this loco as well. Produced between 1950 and 1953, the RF-16 was an early diesel electric locomotive built by the soon to be extinct Baldwin Locomotive Works. While the RF-16 is typically synonymous with Baldwin's awesome "sharknose" trim (the main reason I wanted to model this loco), the styling had already been used on the earlier DR-6-4-20 and DR 4-4-15. 160 RF-16s served on the B&O, NYC, and PRR for about 10 to 15 years, though two units were running on the D&H up into the late 70s, and I believe the pair are still stored on some shortline in the boonies today. I've ordered parts to build at least one unit in a PRR black with pinstripe livery (the pinstripe and livery will probably be a sticker) - I would have really liked to do dark red with pinstripes, but dark red doesn't come on nearly enough parts. The part I'm least happy about is the windshield; Lego just doesn't have the resolution and doesn't make anything in the right shape to capture that funny windshield shape. From the start this unit was designed to run on PF unlike my T1 tender where the PF was kind of an afterthough. I've got two M motors geared 1:1 powered by the big battery box. The grate at the rear of the loco is a ladder such that you can shoot PF signals to the receiver behind it. And finally you can see some of the shenanigans used in the sharknose. Since I didn't have to mess with a complicated articulated chassis as in a steam loco, I haven't actually built any of this in brick, so it'll be interesting to see what happens when parts come. I'm also still debating whether to build two A units or an A-B set...
  11. [MOC] PRR A6B #3907

    Shortly after jtlan's CNJ1000, I set out to make a small PF boxcab of my own! I think like many of the earliest diesel electric locomotives in the US, the A6 had its beginnings in the Kaufman Act of the 1920s, which banned steam locomotives from operating in New York City. PRR built three A6 class two-axled switchers (3905-3907), one of which was repowered and reclassified A6B (3907), all of which operated in various New York yards between the late 1920s and late 1950s. Here is a picture of the lone A6B with some B1s up for scrap in 1961: This projext actually started out as one of those B1s, but along the way we found engineering drawings for the A6/B, and I was able to cram the drivetrain I'd designed for the B1 into the smaller body of the A6B. The unit is 24 studs long between couplers and has about 400 parts. The power comes from an AAA battery pack driving the old 9v geared motor. Not surprisingly the most difficult part of this model was figuring out how to position the battery pack, the geared motor, and that darn PF receiver inside the scaled dimensions of the loco. There weren't *that* many potential combinations of fit, but I had to go through a couple. In the end it's actually pretty tight given that the face of the receiver is already at the same height as the top of the curved slopes that make up the sides of the roof. The transmission is as simple as I could possibly make it: just 8-tooth gears meshed into 24-tooth crowns. You could actually speed this up by using 12 and 20 tooth bevels, but I prefer to go slower and have more pulling power - I want to be able to use the most worn out AAAs floating around and still go somewhere. Consequently the loco is *really* slow, but I'll call that a feature. Otherwise, the build is pretty straightforward, but I did try to make the top easily removable. My only real beef with this implementation is that the L drivers are slightly too big and the 1x1 tanks slightly too small. The receiption is also not amazing due to the positioning of the receiver, but it could be worse. There's a flap in the roof to access the power button. I have no idea what the big tank in the back is for. Someone enlighten me. More pics Bonus material #1: I tried my hand at "weathering" the unit by changing some of the brick colors, but I couldn't really get a combination with which I was happy: Bonus material #2: LDD of the B1 that I didn't finish. Pantographs are a pain. Have a nice day!
  12. EDIT: See post 39 for the final pics. Hey all, I'm building some "matching" passenger cars for my PRR T1 and I wanted to get any thoughts before they're actually built. This is the first time I'm trying to build nice rolling stock! These are PRR P54 cars built in the early 20th century; they came in a variety of flavors, most commonly (I think), an MU version, many of which lasted into the 70s. I'm referencing models of variants built for the LIRR, which was owned by the PRR during the first half of the century. I had originally wanted to model corrugated lightweights, which I feel are more timeless and less distinctly American (so I can pair them with other locos), but I couldn't find any such cars that weren't 70+ feet long - too long in my opinion. While I say the cars are "matching" it's "only" in period and railroad... whether the T1s actually pulled these types of cars I'm not entirely sure. The actual cars are 65 feet long and 10 feet wide, which make the models 45 studs long and 8 wide at 16.5" per stud. There's about 700 parts per car. For now, these are purely LDD models, but I finally have parts on order for three(!) of them. One thing that really annoys me is that Lego doesn't have a good small, round window. I feel like there's been several occasions where I've wanted it and haven't gotten it. In most variants the outside windows are round. I thought these bogies did a good job of capturing the angled flanges inside the actual bogies, but my friend didn't like them too much. Currently the plan is to use BBB smalls, but I'm concerned that the rolling resistance of all three cars will be too high. I've been trying to design trucks with the stock wheelsets, but I haven't found anything I'm happy with. There are some greebles on the bottom. No interior though; interiors are overrated. No gallery yet since it's all hypothetical... peace out all!