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This may be a little off-subject, but I thought you’d all might like to see it anyway. It’s a half-inch scale (1:24) non-working model of George Stephenson’s locomotive of 1829, called the Rocket. The plastic kit had been sitting on my shelf for years gathering dust and finally, during a “lull in the action�, I decided to tackle it.




There’s a popular misconception that the Rocket was the first successful steam locomotive â€" which is not true. It was, however, the first successful modern locomotive in that it featured a horizontal boiler with 25 copper tubes running its length to carry the hot exhaust gases from the firebox. This made for much more efficient and effective heat transfer between the firebox gases and the water. Previous locomotive boilers had been vertically oriented and used a single flue or twin flues.

It also used a blastpipe, feeding the exhaust steam from the cylinders into the base of the smoke stack to induce a partial vacuum and pull air through the firebox, enhancing the draught and thus producing more steam (power.) These same features were still to be found in the very last steam locomotive ever built.




In 1829, the Liverpool & Manchester Railway offered a prize of 550 Pounds Sterling (a princely sum!) to the company or individual who could build a locomotive that would weigh less than six tons and could pull a load of 20 tons. Of the five engines entered in the October, 1829, Rainhill Trials, only George Stephenson’s Rocket completed the course at the (then) astonishing speed of 24 miles per hour! (At the time, some people actually thought that speed would be fatal to humans â€" that the air would be sucked out of their lungs at such velocity.)







The locomotive still exists, in somewhat altered form, and can be seen at the Science Museum in London, England.
 

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Very neat Jack! The model is very detailed. Thanks for all the information on the steam engine and extra thanks for all the nice pictures of the different angles, which show how it is set up. It sure looks great with it's base, tracks, and ballast!:)

Did you paint it? 
 

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Up to your usual standard, Jack. Beautiful! This is a nice model and you've done a great job on it. Maybe when I get a "lull in the action", I'll drag my half-painted kit down from the rafters!
Thanks for the inspiring work!
Chris
 

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Great model.... I've also got a Rocket, but in 1" scale. I built it from a machined kit by O.S.(which unfortunately? cost a BUNCH more than yours)


I noticed your kit was a bit skimpy on the valve gear detail...shouldn't be hard to scratchbuild, tho, just a bunch of rods and levers


The reverse gear is simple as well, the eccentrics shift side to side to engage pins on the outside collars. It is connected to a pedal on the footplate.


To give you an idea of size, the whistle is 5" in diameter


Another view of the valve gear and cylinder
 

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Just another quick note. Most of the Rocket type locomotives were later rebuilt with their cylinders repositioned more horizontal. Seems the inclined cylinders made the engines waddle very badly...enough to make the engine crews seasick.
 

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Jack, excellent job. I finally nailed down what it is about your painting style that appeals to me, driven home by your second photo. Your models are painted in such a style where they're 3D paintings. It's the coolest thing! When they're set in a garden setting, they look real enough, but with an ever-so-slight surreal air to them. When photographed like the Rocket, everything falls beautifully into place. Your models are always wonderful to look at, but these photos really put your artistry in an ideal light.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Kevin (and everybody else) for the nice comments. Very flattering.
I guess I do have about as much fun photographing my models as I do building and painting them. (Yes, Bob, I do paint them:rolleyes:) The real fun is in editing and tweeking the shots using iPhoto on my Mac before I upload them here.

Thanks again to all.
 

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I figured you had painted it (from seeing your past work) but had never seen the raw model, so wasn't absolutely sure. Very nice work!:)
 

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Jack, what lights are you using for photography? I'm seeing blues and oranges in the shadows, and if I were to try to replicate that, I'd use a mix of full-spectrum and incandescent bulbs and set my white balance on a card that receives both colors equally. (That, or I'd white balance for incandescent and gel the lights, but that's another level of complexity). What's your technique there?

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Posted By East Broad Top on 02/10/2008 9:22 AM
Jack, what lights are you using for photography? I'm seeing blues and oranges in the shadows, and if I were to try to replicate that, I'd use a mix of full-spectrum and incandescent bulbs and set my white balance on a card that receives both colors equally. (That, or I'd white balance for incandescent and gel the lights, but that's another level of complexity). What's your technique there?

Later,

K

Kevin,

There's an old saying that even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. Believe me, the lighting effects in my photos are the result of a happy accident rather than by any design or formula on my part.

I use a combination of portable fluorescent photo lights and the regular incandescent lamps I have mounted over my worktable. I set my Canon PowerShot A710IS 7.1MB digital camera on "Auto" and just shoot away. I usually end up deleting about two-thirds of the shots, but eventually I get down to a few worth keeping and editing. Sorry, I can't share any specific techniques or "secrets of success" with you because I don't have any. I just keep messing with it until I'm happy with the result.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Posted By Rod Hayward on 02/11/2008 3:32 AM

If you ever make it over here some time I'll take you up to the said museum.

Rod,

You're on.

Jack
 

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Nice work!

I tried coverting one of these to 45mm gauge, its very close, but at the time I couldnt figure out how to power it so I abandoned the project.
 

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I have one of those kits. The plastic molding isn't very good and it needs some attention to clean up. I'm probably not building it to such beautiful standards. I'm narrowing it for 45mm track. You need to take a couple mm off the sides of the frame, but otherwise it's not hard to do. For power, I have the motor and drive train from a RC car from Wal*Mart. The car was kindof cute itself, goes forward and backwards and steers right and left. Or at least it did before it met my trusy zona saw. It's back in the box 'cause I got interested in something else and haven't got back to it.
 
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