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gavino200

M-497 "Black Beetle" - Jet powered train

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gavino200

So, I'm not really acquiring any more American trains. But this is one I'd make an exception for. 

 

I've always thought this train was cool in a weird way. It was actually the world's fastest train for a while, but was retired because it was too expensive to run. I wen't searching for an N-scale model today and to my surprise fount that it was previously made by Kato Kobo Customs ten years ago.

 

I spoke to KatoUSA today. Apparantly the base model, the RDC didn't sell well and is unlikely to be released again. Also, he said that the guy who did the custom is a friend of the boss at Kato Japan and doesn't generally do commercial customs. So the trail is probably cold for now.

 

I thought I'd share this as it's a pretty nifty train.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-497_Black_Beetle

 

 

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Pashina12

Yeah that's a nifty one. I read that the Soviets did an experiment like that, too...

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velotrain
46 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

 

It was actually the world's fastest train for a while, but was retired because it was too expensive to run.

 

 

As the Wiki article states, it was an experimental test train, so was never in regular service and hence could not be "retired".  Expense was not the issue, but practicality - and safety.  It was tested on a long stretch of arrow-straight track, and all railroads do have curve sections.  Also, witnesses said that at times it lifted clear off of the track, and the test(s) were made without any clearance from governmental authorities.  I'd say the amazing part is that the test didn't end in disaster.

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cteno4

And just think of the noise sitting just behind a jet turbine exhaust!  Plus the heat along the roof, nice in winter, but in summer?

 

cousin of the Schienenzeppelin, another very unique and very rare kato n scale model! While no sound it's prop does spin.

 

These pop up once and a while on ebay. It was not a cheap model. There was one on the local ntrak layout at a show a few years back. It is an eye catcher and the sound is nice, one train you can get away with playing really loud (like speed n scale trains sounds usually are way above normal so you can hear over wheel/track noise and ambient noise and at scale 500+' away).

 

somewhere I have the engines for this from an old b36 model I got on ebay that was open and missing a few parts but the engines were there. It was slightly smaller than n scale I think. Is on the would be cool list...

 

jeff

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Welshbloke

I recall reading that the windscreens were actually F7 numberboard glazing, which might help with the design if you want to build one.

 

There seems to have been a determination to find an excuse to strap a jet engine to a railway vehicle from the dawn of the jet age. Here they tried jets as a snowblower in 1947. The engines removed the snow...and the ballast which essentially became large shotgun pellets!

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gavino200
1 hour ago, cteno4 said:

 

 

cousin of the Schienenzeppelin, another very unique and very rare kato n scale model! While no sound it's prop does spin.

 

 

 

Ha. Yes I learned about the Schienenzeppelin today while looking for the beetle. It's very cool. I'd also love to get my hands on one of those. I was quite struck how similar it's nose looks to the 0 Shinkansen.

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kvp
40 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

Ha. Yes I learned about the Schienenzeppelin today while looking for the beetle. It's very cool. I'd also love to get my hands on one of those. I was quite struck how similar it's nose looks to the 0 Shinkansen.

Both took after popular aircafts of their time. The german used a prototype german airliner and the japanese used the front of a popular us made airliner. With a small change of using flat windscreens instead of the curved ones seen on the prototype.

 

For jet powered trains, i think the steel wheel on steel track solution turned out to be better near sea level, where most trains run. The usable jet technology would be actually turboshaft propulsion, but straight mechanical systems turned out to be error prone and laggy, while electrical systems never matured enough until the nearest oil crisis to have good enough fuel economy. Currently the best turbine based locomotive is an electric one with the turbines safely housed in a lineside power plant.

 

If you look for the word's fastest turbine powered train, then imho the TGV prototype would be the winner. Then the oil crisis hit and the french changed to nuclear propulsion using electric locomotives fed from a transmission line network.

 

ps: Sometimes i think about what if-s, like how to make a simple modern steam locomotive, but when i realise, that the state of the art solution would be to mount the steam motor between the bogies of a B-B or C-C locomotive and use driveshafts, like on a climax locomotive and the whole thing would be a boring boxcab, then i give up and realize, that a high speed emu (like the shinkansen) is the current best solution for conventional rail vehicles.

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gavino200
22 minutes ago, kvp said:

The german used a prototype german airliner and the japanese used the front of a popular us made airliner. With a small change of using flat windscreens instead of the curved ones seen on the prototype.

 

 

Disclaimer: I bow to your superior train knowledge....but....   

 

When I was in the JR museum, I learned that the early project leader had designed the Yokosuka MXY-7 Ohka "Cherry Blossom" during the war. They said he took his inspiration from the look of that plane. I saw a MXY-7 up close in the Yasukuni museum and I can see the resemblance. I don't know if they were just blowing smoke but that's what they said in the video presentation. That's why I was surprised to see also the resemblance to the pre-war Schienenzeppelin. 

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

If you click on the "Jet Powered New York Central RDC" hyperlink on the webpage below, there's an interesting article about the making of the Karto Kobo custom model.

 

http://www.katousa.com/N/RDC/

Edited by gavino200

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gavino200

I just bought a Kato Western Pacific RDC car. I'm going to try to find a professional model builder to customize it. 

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Pashina12
4 hours ago, cteno4 said:

somewhere I have the engines for this from an old b36 model I got on ebay that was open and missing a few parts but the engines were there. It was slightly smaller than n scale I think.

 

Almost certainly 1:144 as that is a popular scale for large aircraft and I know there have been several kits of the B-36 in that scale. There's also been one in 1:72... as an aside I've never understood why modelling scales have never even tried to standardise. Seems like 1:48 is the only one that's common to rail, air, and road vehicle modelling.

 

2 hours ago, Welshbloke said:

There seems to have been a determination to find an excuse to strap a jet engine to a railway vehicle from the dawn of the jet age. Here they tried jets as a snowblower in 1947. The engines removed the snow...and the ballast which essentially became large shotgun pellets!

 

I saw a photo some years back of a snowblower of the Czechoslovak Railways, which consisted of a wingless MiG-15 strapped to a flatcar. I think the operator just sat in the cockpit of the plane and used the original throttle? That could be a fun model to build too... get a 1:144 MiG-15 and a ChiKi of some variety (or even better a British flatcar in British N scale which is even closer to 1/144)

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kvp
59 minutes ago, gavino200 said:

That's why I was surprised to see also the resemblance to the pre-war Schienenzeppelin. 

If you look at the prewar high speed sets of Germany (flying hamburger series, svt 877 and 137) and Japan (52 series), they look very similar on the outside but have different propulsion systems. The 52 series was closer to a modern emu and the diesel svt-s are still in production as the siemens desiro classic series. The series 0 shinkansen used the cutting edge technology that was available worldwide. Schlieren based bogies from Switzerland, 25kV AC traction with synchron (emu capable) tap changer control from the Siemens, Alsthom, AEG, M.F.Oerlikon, Brown-Boveri consortium (western Europe) and the classic married pair Mp-M design preferred by JNR for many cape gauge emu-s. This coupled with the higher stabiliy and larger loading gauge of standard gauge resulted in the high speed emu design we know today as the series 0. Many later high speed trains (like the TGV or the ICE1) were simple loco hauled sets with a locomotive on each end. The nose cone design is what made sense for most passenger aircraft at that time and it was copied into the series 0 design as an efficient low air resistance solution that prooved itself in both wind tunnel tests and irl. (modern designs also take the ground and tracks immediately below the train into consideration)

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gavino200

I love that plane. There's one a the SAC museum near me. I think the airmen called it the "Magnesium Monster". They even designed (IIRC) a tiny fighter that could be deployed from the bomb bay in -flight.

 

It looks like the Kobo modeler scratch-built the jets, though, rather than plucking them from a Revell model.

Edited by gavino200

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Welshbloke

Here's the snowblower. Standard flatbed wagon and a pair of early jets!

 

 

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kvp
7 minutes ago, Welshbloke said:

Here's the snowblower. Standard flatbed wagon and a pair of early jets!

Yes, that's a good demonstration of the snow and ballast blower technology.

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Pashina12
14 hours ago, gavino200 said:

They even designed (IIRC) a tiny fighter that could be deployed from the bomb bay in -flight.

 

Yep the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin.

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gavino200

Interestingly, (to me) it looks like the soviets has a go at virtually the same concept. This weird YouTube video (eerie music) was suggested to me today by the YouTube algorithm because of my recent searches.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turbojet_train

 

 

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medusa

Boys, I worked for a number of years in aerospace research. It is not a good idea to sit so close to a working turboengine.

 

Despite of being immense loud, these early turboengines had quite spectacular failure modes. If one of the compressor blades breaks at full power (several 10,000 rpms!), expect it to smash through the entire train body (and maybe even the rail). Not healthy for the engineers and passengers in its way....

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gavino200

I wont get to this project immediately. I'm planning on practicing each of the steps on old not working models until I feel I have the necessary skill to do it justice. But I just finished acquiring the main parts. I'll post as this progresses. 

 

Resin parts - Jets and front mask

 

sFUv7XJ.jpg

 

hxOd8SB.jpg

 

Decals

 

vDZ06Zu.jpg

 

Instructions for skirts and small parts

 

Z68WgK1.jpg

 

Kato RDC 

 

aQluA76.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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gavino200

I'm going to make an attempt at this quite soon. Can anyone tell me what's the best atraumatic method for getting decals of a train? I want to take the current decals off the Kato RDC.

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Kiha66

I've removed kato printing before using nail polish remover (more risky) and also thinned IPA.  Dip a qtip in a small amount and spread it over the letters, gently rubbing to remove them.  Its bets to test it on a small part first to make sure it wont damage the pain underneath.

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gavino200
21 minutes ago, Kiha66 said:

I've removed kato printing before using nail polish remover (more risky) and also thinned IPA.  Dip a qtip in a small amount and spread it over the letters, gently rubbing to remove them.  Its bets to test it on a small part first to make sure it wont damage the pain underneath.

 

Thanks Kiha. I'll test it on some of the paint inside the shell if there is any. How much do you thin the alcohol? With water?

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