This isn’t a new model, but it is one that has never been featured on my blog before, even though it was first built almost a decade ago. It’s the Gallery Car used by Caltrain commuter rail service on the San Francisco peninsula, to go with my Caltrain F40PH locomotive.
This is my second attempt at modeling a Caltrain diesel locmotive, as seen running commuter trains between San José and San Francisco, CA. Years ago, I built a model of the Caltrain F40PH locomotive. The trickiest part of this engine to model is the nose, which has a “V” shape and also slopes back. In the earlier version, I mounted tiles at a complex compound angle, but was never entirely happy with that. The relatively new 1×1 “cheese” slope piece offers new opportunities for ways to achieve angles like this. But in order to get a smooth slope, I had to use half-plate offsets. I’m pretty happy with the result.
It is an EMD F40PH, similar to the ones Amtrak used to use for all their long haul trains, used by VIA Rail in Canada, and widely used in commuter lines around the USA and Canada.
This model made its debut at BrickFair, but I couldn’t post about it here since I only finished building it the night before I flew to DC for the convention. I also brought it to this past weekend’s BayLUG meeting in San Leandro.
Other notable features are the windscreens, which are made from 1×2 panels mounted on jumper plates and turned at a slight angle, half-plate inset panels on the sides, and another half-plate offset on the rear door. I’m planning to give a talk on half-plate offsets at BrickCon next month in Seattle. Like the previous version I used 4×4 old style turntables for the roof fans, but in this version there is a Technic gear representing the fan blades. I thought about motorizing them, but haven’t tried it yet.
I keep building stuff and using it in BayLTC displays but not posting them online! Here’s another example. This locomotive was built a few years ago, not long after I first got the Super Chief, which sadly has long been discontinued. Like the Super Chief, the top lifts off and it has a control cab with prime mover motor modeled inside. I also added a head-end unit.
Key features I’m particularly proud of are the cockpit windows (mounted on plate hinges) and cooling fans (made from 4×4 turntables, taken apart – the base is mounted on the top of the roof, and the top of the turntable is placed underneath to represent intakes). The nose is also mounted at a difficult angle; this is achieved by a combination of hinge elements.
The color scheme is based on the Caltrain commuter trains which run between San Francisco and San Jose, CA. The exterior detailing is minimal, and not terribly accurate (for one thing, the real thing has red and white stripes on the nose, not yellow and black), but at most of our train shows people have immediately recognized it as a Caltrain so I consider it a success.
View the pictures on Flickr (or view as a slideshow)