*The model has been significantly modified, improvements have been made to almost all aspects of the locomotive - it is now slightly shorter and a bit taller to give a more accurate representation of the real train*
Why did I build this?
Of my many passions and interests few intersect as much as my love of LEGO and trains (or anything that runs on rails!)
I was inspired by LEGO's classic 10194 Emerald Night to look at other iconic trains worthy to be built with LEGO, and I am fascinated by streamlined steam trains of the last century. They have had a cultural impact on generations young and old and represent a bygone golden age of steam. The A4 Mallard is a locomotive I remember from my childhood, reading about it in books and learning about its speed record which remains unchallenged today.
Why should it be a LEGO Model?
I believe LEGO Ideas provides an avenue to showcase what LEGO can do! It should inspire and what better way than to do that by highlighting engineering and design achievements from a period when steam trains were the king of travel and an icon of an advanced society.
The A4 Mallard is in my opinion one of the most iconic steam trains to have ever been built (along with the Flying Scotsman and the Big Boy). It is an easily recognisable train due to its beautifully sleek design and colour and it holds a speed record to boot! It would be an excellent model to add, or start, a collection for any fan of engineering, steam trains, or modern transport history. It would also look fantastic zooming around a LEGO layout!
Rendering of initial version of LNER CLASS A4 MALLARD No. 4468 complete with stickers/prints
Rendering of revised version of LNER CLASS A4 MALLARD No. 4468 complete with stickers/prints
How did I build it?
It is a challenging train to try and capture the essential elements in LEGO, particularly the complexity of the curves. As my first serious 'own creation', I set myself a challenge of building an approximate scale model, suitable for LEGO gauge train track, and with the potential to be motorised. I built the model with LEGO bricks first and then refined in Studio. After around 100 hours of trial and error - exploring various combinations of bricks and defining what were the essential characteristics that needed to be captured - I've settled on this model.
There are definitely some complex parts to this model - the front curve, stack and curved area in front of the cabin - that I have had to rework over and over to try and get as close as possible to the real life thing - it's not perfect but as close as my ability can get! Hopefully you think so too. That said I intend to continue to look for refinements to the model as voting progresses - so am keen to hear your feedback!
I've provided studio pictures of the colour (Dark Azure) I believe closely represents one of the iconic trains still remaining in working order No 4468. There are a number of other A4 Class locomotives in colours LEGO could build this model such as Dark Blue, Dark Green, Flat Silver and I've rendered a few of those for interest. While I can't find a Dark Red livery variant I've added that as well simply because I think most things in this colour shine.
Only official LEGO pieces that are currently in production and the train is capable of traversing standard LEGO tracks. Some minor printed parts (or stickers) would need to be added (such as the LNER, No 4484, MALLARD lettering included in the rendering above) as finishing touches for this model to be truly complete. For the Dark Azure version the majority of bricks are currently in production (some minor substitutions are required). For other colours there are various bricks which would need to be substituted to build the model.
As a tribute to Sir Nigel Gresley, the designer of many British steam locomotives including the A4 class, I've included his statue (complete with the now removed mallard duck) which is located near the booking office of London's Kings Cross station. This also helps show the minifigure scale.
I am working on carriages to add to this model, of a style suitable to that pulled by the A4 Mallard and will add depending on how voting progresses.
Completed LEGO model of the A4 Mallard (without stickers or printed parts)
About the model
The model's dimensions are approximately:
- 7.5cm wide (8 studs wide)
- 50cm long
- 10cm high
Just under 1000 bricks are used to build the model (including stand and statue).