Lego Power Functions Vulcan Iron Works 0-4-0T

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    After spending quite some time building a Lego moc of one of the biggest steam engines in the world (the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 'Big Boy'), I thought it would be fun to see how small of a steam engine I could model in a fairly realistic, in-scale manner, and yet, still have it be completely powered by Power Functions.

    I decided that the perfect prototype to model for this project would be a Vulcan Iron Works 0-4-0T.

    The main design goal was, of course, to find the most efficient packaging solution possible for the rechargeable battery box, receiver, M sized motor, and wiring. However, the battery box had to be accessible and removable for quick changing, and as such, it could not be used as a structural component in the moc's design.

    A few of the other design goals were that it had to have functioning pistons and drive rods, good slow speed characteristics (it was going to spend a lot of it's time being used as a yard goat), and fully functional front and rear couplers. Equal weight distribution between the front and rear axles was also going to be key, as I needed to have a well balanced engine for maximum traction if it was going to have any kind of usable pulling power due to it being as small and light weight it would inevitably be.

    You might have noticed that this moc uses the small train wheels, and (although I might be wrong) I think that this is the first steam engine moc with operating pistons and drive rods that uses those sized wheels as drivers.

    The prototype that this particular engine is modeled after can be found here:
    www.rrpicturearchives.net/locoPicture.aspx?id=56945

    (BTW-the above link is a GREAT reference site for steam engine moc builders.)

    Nathan Wells, [Shunazaver], and 3 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. JamesOfJames 58 months ago | reply

      Out of curiosity, why not use the PF train motor and run axles further out rather than brick-build it? Height?

    2. Jayhurst 58 months ago | reply

      Yep, height. To use the train motor (and I did attempt it- just like you it seemed to me like the train motor would be a natural choice as the first build idea to try on this moc) it would have made the 0-4-0T's boiler about 2.5 bricks taller. Plus the pin that is fixed to the top of the train motor would have gotten in the way of the battery's placement to boot.

      That battery is very hard to hide inside a steam engine moc, and especially so in an engine of this small size. The battery is pretty much the main component that dictates the placement and part usage of everything else in the moc.

      But don't worry--- I have some ideas for that train motor that you should be seeing in the near future... ;-)

    3. JamesOfJames 58 months ago | reply

      After reading that comment, so do I - perhaps I'll build a second set of running gear for my 0-6-0 to turn it into a train-motor powered 0-4-0.

    4. Train Guy ROM 58 months ago | reply

      Money is tight for my family, So the most recent LEGO Trains item is a couple packages of 9V curve track (Amazon). It looks like I could build my own 0-4-0T using a 9V motor (I have three). If i were to do that, the side rods would be dummies.

      How did you do the couplers?

      Very nice!

    5. Jayhurst 58 months ago | reply

      Both front and rear couplers are the old style couplers.
      www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=73092
      and
      www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=2920

      The rear coupler is attached to this Lego part:
      www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=3176

      The front couple is attached to this Lego part:
      www.bricklink.com/catalogItem.asp?P=32530

      I hope that helps. :-)

    6. Train Guy ROM 58 months ago | reply

      Thank you! If your interested, you could join a new group called Train Nuts, I would like it if you post this pic too

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