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Big Red

Here are some shots of my current pride and joy, Big Red. I'd like to think I have at least in part captured the spirit of the Alco PA1, the most beautiful prototype diesel ever built. Deleware and Hudson prototype shot of two PA-1s

I claim Big Red is the biggest single unit non articulated body engine in Legoland. Prove me wrong!!

First up is the same establishing shot used elsewhere. Big Red at speed, pulling the Big Red Caterpillar, both motors running flat out, as she roars across the lift bridge. This train is over 6 feet long, and she's bound for glory. No Disappearing Railroad Blues here!

Action shot

Big Red Struts her Stuff

Next is a shot also seen elsewhere on the site showing how Big Red gets around corners.

Big Red 3/4 view

She's a lady, but she gets around

Here's a builder's view showing the front half of Big Red. She won't fit into 640 pixels!!!

front end of Big Red

Big Front

Here's the back half. I'm rather pleased with the various vents, shrouds, portholes, etc. They are symetrical from one side to the other, but not from back to front, which is prototypical.

back end of Big Red

Big Rear

Here we see the happiest engineer of the <-O-> line. That's a lot of nose he has to look over. The nose is black to help cut glare for him. His side windows are pre 1970 vintage town windows.

close up of Big Red nose

Flat Front

Here's how some of this came together. Note the power truck. It has a 2x2 plate with ball joint socket. The third axle articulates separately via the ball that plugs into the socket. This allows the long wheelbase truck to get around those tight curves. Although the PA1 was a 6 axle, it did not have steerable trucks. Still, newer EMD units (SD 70 and above) can be ordered with steerable trucks, so this mod is not totally unprototypical.

The nose was tough, I went through several false starts. Finally, it dawned on me (after reading a site about Lego philosophy and shape awareness) that if I could turn the nose sideways, I could get the shape I wanted, as well as using two of the red awning 2x3 slopes to do the pilot, with horizontal safety stripes. I needed two of the 1x4-1x2 angle brackets to hold the nose on, one was too flimsy. From there it was just a matter of trying various combinations till I got the spacing and height right. Thank goodness that the brick is an exact ratio of height to width.

Big red truck articulation and nose job detail

Dirty little secrets

That's it for now... more later. I have some film with previous noses on it which I might scan.

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