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- “Fearless Freddie never says no to a race!”
- ―Freddie, Fearless Freddie, tenth season
"Fearless" Freddie is an old tank engine on the Skarloey Railway.
Thomas & Friends
After many years of absence, Freddie returned to the Skarloey Railway. Although the reason for his absence is not stated, one can presume that Freddie was either on loan to another railway or undergoing an extensive overhaul. He and Sir Handel were close friends when they were younger.
Upon returning home, Freddie challenged Rheneas and Skarloey to a series of races up and down the mountain. After realising that he was not as strong as he once was, Freddie used his knowledge of the mountain routes and short-cuts to secure victories. However, when his cheating placed Rheneas in danger, Freddie was forced to put his knowledge to better use.
When Mr. Percival's new bike was delivered to the Wharf without a bell on it, Freddie decided to find a bell - even though he did not know where to find one until he saw Thomas taking an old foghorn and decided that the bell from the old bike could be used for the new one.
One Christmas, Freddie tried to reorganise a party so that Colin can take part. Despite his best efforts, Freddie left telling Mr. Percival about his idea until the last minute. Luckily, Freddie's idea was sorted with the party taking place at The Wharf for Colin.
Freddie is the warhorse engine of the Skarloey Railway. In his youth, he was known as "Fearless Freddie" and was the daredevil of the hills, known for being fast, fun, and, of course, fearless. As a result of having worked on the narrow gauge line many years before, Freddie knows the route, as well as many hidden tracks, like the back of his buffers and he can use this to his advantage. Although he is now a much older engine, Freddie is still full of boyish charm, has his wits about him, and is always game for a competition. He is chucklesome, will never forget a friend, and is still very much capable of giving the other engines a run for their money.
Freddie is based on Russell, a Hunslet 2-6-2T locomotive, with added buffers. Russell is most famously associated with the original Welsh Highland Railway in North Wales. The locomotive was built in 1906 by the Hunslet Engine Company.
Unlike his basis, Freddie has loose couplings, buffers and lamp irons and the brake pipes are removed. His gauge is also 2ft 3in, as opposed to the gauge of his basis, 1 ft 11 1⁄2 in (597 mm).
Freddie is painted grey with black and red lining, and has a brass dome. He has black name and number plates with gold writing.
The Railway Series
In the Railway Series, Ivo Hugh, a young red 0-4-2 tank engine, is the No.7 engine of the Skarloey Railway. In the television series, "Fearless" Freddie replaces Ivo Hugh as the No.7 narrow gauge engine.
Behind the Scenes
Large Scale model
Freddie's model was custom built to a larger scale then the gauge 1 (Standard gauge) engines and ran on O gauge track. The model was made from brass on a custom CNC router and had custom made CNC wheels and chassis. Seven different facial expressions were worn by Freddie on screen. The faces were first sculpted in clay, and from that resin casts were made using a silicone mold. The model was track powered, so pickup contacts were attached to the metal wheels, which ran into the motor to power it. The electricity ran from the track to the wheels/pickup contacts and went into the motor to power him.
The eye mechanism had two servos, one for up and down movement and one for left and right movement. The up/down servo was attached to the body. The left/right servo had a rod attached to the arm, which connected to a bracket. The eye balls were coupled to the bracket, and locked in by the face-plate, so whenever the servos were powered, the eye balls would move however the crew member desired.
In the twelfth season, Freddie's face was animated through CGI with the aid of motion capture animation. The physical model's molded faces were replaced by white targets with triangles to fix a computer-animated face in post-production. In The Man in the Hills, Freddie was seen with a lamp, powered by a hidden battery pack.
- Tomohiro Nishimura (Japan)
- Freddie was already acquainted with the Skarloey Railway and Sir Handel when he returned, but was unfamiliar with Skarloey and Rheneas, despite the fact they had been running the railway since its beginning and Sir Handel arrived much later.
- In the British narration of the twelfth season, Freddie gains an Irish accent.
- Freddie's whistle sound, along with Peter Sam's from the ninth to twelfth seasons, is the same as Emily's from the seventh season.
- Wooden Railway
- Take Along (discontinued)
- Take-n-Play (discontinued; reintroduced 2014)
- Motor Road and Rail (discontinued)
- TrackMaster (normal and in Ding-a-Ling pack)
- My Thomas Story Library (discontinued)
- Wind-up (Japan only)