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Plarail Converted H0 Big Boy
#1
Remember when Chrisjo fitted a 00 grain hopper with Plarail wheels, couplings and axles? Last night, I happened to find a project that was similar in concept but even more fascinating.

Japanese Twitter user ithigofutae (一期二会) adapted this Revell H0 Union Pacific #4023 for use on Plarail, and I knew I wanted to show it here after seeing the result.

[Image: H0-Plarail-Big-Boy1.jpg][Image: H0-Plarail-Big-Boy2.jpg]

Better than fixing the loco and tender shells to complete TOMY/TrackMaster chassis or even repainting the Hyper Guardian Transliner, though I still think cutting two engines and joining them is the best way to build a Mallet (like I've seen on custom versions of Sam). It could've also done with significant detail reduction and correct (spoked, black) wheels on the loco itself, as well as TOMY coupling rods or the longer ones from TM2.

[Image: H0-Plarail-Big-Boy3.jpg][Image: H0-Plarail-Big-Boy4.jpg]

Contrary to my initial assumption, the model didn't even have a working headlight out of the box. The bulb was added by the modder and wired to a battery in the boiler. The TOMY drive unit installed in the tender is the "Thomas type", albeit with the on/off switch extended. It may be a downgrade because it's the opposite of conversions people have done since Leokimvideo started, but I liked the execution. I've looked up the hashtag #改造プラレール ("Modifed Plarail") and found lots more mods and customs by Japanese users like this.

I've just found the video showing how it runs. While the relatively small drive unit and C battery do help move it just fine, the loco seems a bit wobbly and awkward in some areas (as expected in a conversion to a "toy" system). For instance, the top spins around like TOMY Mighty Mac when it hits the track risers and doesn't always get back into position after clearing a curve or set of points. The coupling rods also sometimes manage to move for a few seconds when going straight.
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#2
Wow...a very cool and ambitious project. Thats quite a lot of 'pushing' the powered Tender has to deal with but it looks to manage well.  Hope that was a junk engine as aren't they quite expensive?
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#3
(07-06-2020, 05:47 AM)Super Wrote: Hope that was a junk engine as aren't they quite expensive?

[Image: 103553-c-33790-76-720.jpg]

I can't believe I couldn't even guess he meant Revell (I ‘knew’ that had to be the wrong spelling). Such a big name company I was already aware of, yet I had to look up "HO Big Boy" to find the right one. That means my assumptions were wrong because it's a kit and not a preassembled running loco with electric components. Not a "junk engine" and understandably far cheaper than ones like I thought he used ($23.05 to $37.15 according to Scalemates). Good thing I edited the original post.
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#4
Ah... a plastic model and a good one at that. Still impressive especially how he modified both large and small Plarail chassis and wheels.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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#5
very impressive.  I am concern with the overhang problem especially the inner curve.
My Trackmaster/Tomy/Plarail Photo Gallery Page (over 600+ photos and still under construction)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/183311600@N03/
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#6
There was another person who made a custom plarail big boy using the revell kit a few years back. Here’s the video if anyone’s interested. http://shinchan.biz/player.html?video_id=sm17447232
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#7
Thanks Marc. I really like what he did with the wheels and I love watching dual side rods.
[Image: super-smiley-emoticon.gif]
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  • marclovestrainz
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#8
No problem, and so do I.
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#9
(09-26-2020, 01:37 AM)marclovestrainz Wrote: There was another person who made a custom plarail big boy using the revell kit a few years back. Here’s the video if anyone’s interested. http://shinchan.biz/player.html?video_id=sm17447232

Nice! It might be even better than the ithigofutae one, especially with the fully Plarail drivers and modded coupling rods. The unique rolling stock is also a great touch and makes much more sense than the British Plarail. However, the accurate height makes it (and its train) too large for the system compared to ithigofutae's, which is roughly the size an official one could be. Nevertheless, both versions are a great way to adapt a professional kit to an affordable system.
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