Author Topic: Hogwarts Express  (Read 6204 times)

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Offline Tom a.k.a. eastawat

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I've delved into steam locomotives with my latest stud.io model. Always fancied giving it a go and I like the look of GWR locomotives, so I thought what could be better than the Hogwarts Express (actually GWR locomotive "Olton Hall"). Carriages are next on the agenda, but I thought I'd share the locomotive in the meantime.





I borrowed a lot from the designs of builders on flickr who have gone before me, particularly Britishbricks and Zanthera.

There's some dodgy flexible hose work in there - I haven't really got the hang of bending them in stud.io so the bar over the front end of the boiler isn't really connected properly. Also although the 4x4 dish on the front with the "Hogwarts Express" nameplate is available in stud.io, the macaroni black nameplate tile is not. The whole build was made pretty challenging by sticking to the limits of what is readily available in dark red (and pearl gold in a couple of instances). Flexible hoses in dark red may not come in the exact length I need, but I'm not opposed to cutting them - I definitely remember there was at least one Technic set in the 90s where cutting flexible hose was in the instructions so it's arguably still a purist technique!

And speaking of purist techniques... the driving wheels are not actual Lego but BigBenBricks wheels - apparently he makes very high quality injection moulded wheels in various sizes, and these ones are a bit bigger than the largest Lego train wheels. Those wheels don't actually drive the locomotive - there's a powered up train motor in the tender along with a battery box/hub/whatever they call them these days!

This should be able to navigate R40 standard Lego track, but we'll see when it eventually gets built - it might need some tweaks. I hope that'll be in 2021 but with the sizeable investment in parts it'll require that might not be a realistic goal! It has to join a build queue behind the Grattan Bridge, the Irish Rail commuter and the train station.

Offline John

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I stopped reading when you admitted to using non lego parts! You'll be needing track next

Offline Aidan

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Oh my God!

Do how much you want for this 😂

I love it. Looks perfect to me. Well done great build. Wanna see it in real life now.


Offline David

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Excellent build Tom. I have heard of Big Ben Wheels and they seem to be very popular among steam train fans. This engine looks the real thing, just needs some background build to shine.

Offline Tom a.k.a. eastawat

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Thanks everyone :)

It's still lacking a background in the image, which I agree looks horrible, but now I've made some coaches!



I might do a bit of tweaking here and there but the overall shape is there. There are 3 kinds of coaches:
  • Brake Standard Corridor (one at each end - coaches with individual compartments and room for luggage and other stuff)
  • Standard Corridor (second and fourth - coaches with individual compartments all the way along)
  • Standard Open (middle - open coaches with what we would think of as fairly ordinary train seats)
They have a little bit of interior, and not all the way along - just enough to give an impression through the larger windows:


From a bit of online research I believe this is the configuration seen in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.

The coaches have been compressed lengthways, meaning that they had to have the odd window or door removed, because they would otherwise be absurdly long - they're now at 44 studs long for the main body which I already fear is pushing it on track with a curve of radius 40 studs.

Offline Tom a.k.a. eastawat

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Quiet day at work today so I built a bit of background!






Offline John

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Impressive arches that look stress bearing. And not a big no. of diff. parts -a LUGBulk could build a few stations if you share the instructions

Offline Patrick

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That looks so much better than the lego one I have!  You’ll have to build that for real and bring it along to a meet up when things finally get back to normal!

Offline Tom a.k.a. eastawat

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I've revised this model significantly, and now I've finally started buying the parts to build it.



The boiler is now actually round, instead of an approximation of a circle using cheese slopes. It slopes down at the top slightly, a technique I borrowed from Andrew Harvey and Britishbricks.

Another big change is that the cylinders are now made using 3x2  plates with hole instead of the much rarer and more expensive black Technic cam.

The tender is now 7 wide at its widest, instead of being mostly 7 wide, with an 8-wide section around the top.

The average price per part for this is higher by a country mile than anything else I've ever built. Aside from the wheels, there are several quite rare parts including the windows at the sides of the cab, a 1x2 1x4 dark red bracket, dark red plates with door rails, dark red macaroni bricks, dark red rigid hoses, and worst of all the dark red half cylinders in the boiler. It's certainly made me think about my colour choices for future train MOCs!

Hopefully I'll be able to start building in the next couple of weeks, when my Bricklink orders have all arrived. I'll post work in progress shots when the time comes, but for now, here's a prototype of the sloped boiler:

Offline John

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Is something sitting up on the boiler? Steam is from bygone era ,if I went into this rabbit hole is stay modern. 8 wides are better than 7 and don't mention that recent creator 4wide

Offline Tom a.k.a. eastawat

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Is something sitting up on the boiler?

If you mean the funnel it's attached, one of those round 4x4 bricks has pin holes in it: https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=6222#T=S&C=11&O={%22color%22:%2211%22,%22ss%22:%22IE%22,%22rpp%22:%22100%22,%22iconly%22:0}
That was another surprisingly rare part in black! It's the grey one in the prototype photo.

8 wide looks amazing but the wider you go the longer you have to make the carriages to make them look right, and then you're into needing third party tracks for wider radius curves, and a bigger Lego room and bigger house for your wide-radius-curve city, which is where I really draw the line!