I posted a little while ago about rear bogies, which has led me to look a bit more closely at the relationship between “scale” and “semi-scale” Hudsons, as far as I am able. 

The first conclusion is that the “selective compression” in length seems to be concentrated around the firebox, behind the rear driving axle (this becomes obvious, from the drawing someone was recently good enough to post)

The rear (trailing) bogies in Lionel “small” Hudsons, seemed to be an important part of the different appearance. Looking at my recently acquired MOC era “small Hudson” and comparing it to the “train set” Polar Express Berkshire, it is apparent that the rear bogie is quite different. The Berkshire has a different bogie, with longer wheelbase, higher sideframes and different wheel diameters (13mm and 17mm) compared to the twin 14.5mm wheelsets on the Lionel loco. 

The K Line Hudson also has this feature. I don’t have a good photo of it, but it can be seen here;

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So, one key feature is the rear bogie, which needs to match the line of the firebox skirt for best effect. The K Line also has undersized pilot wheels, but nearer “scale size” than the Lionel loco. 

This is interesting, because I saw this older Williams loco, described as a “Scale Hudson” on eBay;

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This clearly has the extra length in the firebox, but the trailing bogie (despite having different wheel diameters) seems quite wrong in overall effect. THIS later one, also currently on eBay, is clearly “semi-Scale, short firebox” configuration - but the line between the bogie and firebox seems much better executed

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So the conclusion seems to be, and I apologise to those who knew it all along, that the rear bogie is very important in the overall balance of the model; and a well-executed rear bogie goes a long way towards disguising the “missing” length in the firebox. 

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A lot of the compromise is to allow the loco to operate reliably on very sharp curves.  The smaller the curve, the more of a butcher job the model is going to be.  To my eye, below a curve of about 54" diameter, the "shorty" Hudsons actually look better than the full-sized ones.  TOO much overhang!!  The amount of add-on detail is a separate consideration.  But a skilled modeler can always add piping and lost wax castings.

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

On a modern large engine the booster engine on the trailing truck drove the design. That is why there is the large rear wheel. On the 700E there is a raised seat on the rear axle for the booster. I have never seen a model with a booster, but maybe the scale people have them. 

I thought that Bogie starred in Casablanca.

Anyway - this loco is an early brass Williams Hudson, and is, indeed "scale" - that is, it is built to 1:48 proportions. The trailing truck is properly executed (I have one of these locos on a shelf), but the photo has it awkwardly "posed", I'd say. Track would help. These locos had good detailing for the time (late 80's), but rather crude and delicate mechanicals. They were big 1:48 locos engineered to go around tiny curves; the tender has a "high-pockets" look, because those scale Commonwealth 3-axle trucks had to swing past the tender sides on the smallest curves. This, indeed, gives the entire running gear a bit of a "high-pockets" look on these engines.

Lionel did a better job in the 1930's on the 700E - essentially the same prototype, but it sat down right on it's chassis.

Crude as they were, these early brass Williams 1980's Hudsons were real eye-openers for 3RO back then. Later Williams brass was excellent, and helped lead to all sorts of die-cast (and brass) 3RO scale steamers from various sources. 

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