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Discussion Starter #1
A few folks have asked for pictures, so here ya' go....

This is my first large scale scratchbuilding project. I've attempted various cars and kitbashet locomotives in HO and On30, but I've never tried scratchbuilding a locomotive before.

The chassis is from an old Bachmann 0-4-0T Circus train set. Eventually she will be a 2-4-0 with a 3 axle tender, although other options include a 2-4-2T and a 2-4-4 (or 0-4-4) Forney. Scale is 1:20.3

Not counting the cost of the original locomotive, which I've had sitting around for longer than I can remember, I've spent around $12 so far on the project, including styrene, conduit, and dome tops (cleverly disgused as furniture sliders). The cylinders in the photos are from the donor, and they will be replaced with a scratchbuilt cylinder & saddle block.

Features of interest include the boiler wrapper, which is made from a latex caulk tube (previously emptied, of course), the homemade bonnet stack (still under heavy construction, but made out of a kitchen funnel), and the cab drawing in the background. The drawing started as a standard gauge 4-4-0 drawing (I think from Forney's "Catechism of the Locomotive") which I downloaded, edited so that the various parts match those on the model, and printed to scale. The idea is that I'll use it to properly scale the cab.

None of the parts are being built to any particular dimension, and there's no prototype in mind. The idea is that she'll be a dimutive, reasonably accurate model of something that could have been. Thanks, Fletch, for the inspiration to get started!





I'm particularly proud of the steam dome (sand dome to follow, smaller but of the same construction)



The brass top started life as the bottom half of a nail-on furniture slider. The cylindrical portions are cut out of a $0.67 3/4" electrical conduit bend. They're pretty handy - for under a buck, there's enough material for the body of the dome and the perfectly concentric rings top & bottom. If you're careful, there's enough material for 2 domes in each one. I plan to find some O-rings that will fit over the inner tube, to dress up the joints.
 

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Looks like a good start. I appreciate seeing what a little imagination and some creative scrounging can do. Keep 'em coming.
 

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Okay, I know it's been a long time, but modelling takes a back seat to the daily household duties.

Anyway, here's the latest progress. The stack is finished, and I'm rather proud of it. The domes are close - just need to finish the safety valves, whictle, and sand valve lever. The boiler needs a little detail work, but it's coming along nicely. On the bench at the moment are the bottom plate of the chassis (since I lost the original somewhere along the way), the wooden pilot, and the headlight. The cab shown is a Delton C-16 cab, which I plan on replacing (the walls are all bowed, and I'd rather have an older style anyway).

I have not yet started the pilot truck, cab, or the tender yet, but they're next on the list of major components to build.




While this is not based on any of the models in the Masterclasses, they have served as inspiration, and a superb reference as I build my own model. Thanks, Fletch!

Kenneth Rickman
 

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Very good start. You have really captured the essence of a steam engine.
 

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Come along very nice. Thanks for posting pics. Please keep posting your progress. One of these days I'm going to have time scratch build a loco and I'd like to bookmark this one :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the compliments, guys! I can't claim that scratchbuilding is some great secret skill, though.. It's actually quite easy, as long as you're willing to make every part at least twice (or settle for whatever you make the first time - I'm kinda picky). The masterclasses are great for ideas and tips on technique, materials, etc. Also, if you don't already have it, John H. White's "History of the American Locomotive" is a great resource if you're interested in 19th century locomotives.

For me, part of the fun is in the challenge of designing things on the fly. First I figure out what I want, then what to make it out of, then how to make it. After that, the actual construction is pretty simple. Sometimes, I don't even know where I'm going with a aprt, but I start anyway. For example, in the earlier pictures you'll see one of the domes, made up of segments of PVC conduit. (by the way, those conduit 90 degree L's are great - for less than a buck, you get enough material for a dome or cylinder, and the other end is flared out to provide perfect concentric pipe segments). I spent about an hour making both domes, then stared at them for months while I worked on othe rprojects, trying to figure out how to finish them. Finally, inspiration hit, and a few hours later, I had a pair of domes.

Above all, have fun with whatever you're doing!
 

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Hey wow, thats looking really sweet. Nice work on the domes and smokebox front too, but that stack is a winner!

Keep on it, love to see this one all painted up and running.
David.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
David, coming from you, that's praise indeed! What was it Tolkien wrote about the praise of the praiseworthy?

The stack was a pain, because I made the mistake of starting with a flimsy kitchen funnel. It was almost impossible to get cut square and straight. I think, in the end, I eyeballed the cut and sanded it to fit the other parts. It's probably not perfect, but close enough for gu'ment work.
 

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Ken, It's a great thing to see someone venturing down the path of "design as you go" model engineering. I've been whacking away on Bachmann products for almost 20 years. You are doing a great job and I'm sure the finished loco will be a delight to see. There's nothing to compare with the satisfaction of taking a pile of bits and pieces and working them into a credible locomotive. We're looking forward to seeing the finished unit.
 

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Excellent kitchen sink engineering skills.
As kids, we used to watch a program called MacGyver in which the hero could get himself out of any situation with a pocket knife, some bailing wire and a chewing gum wrapper. I suspect you model the same way, and I am therefore rewarding you with at least 2 MacGyver Points for your work!
Joel
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the comments, guys. They're inspiring me to get some more work done. Tonight I've been working on the replacement bottom plate for the chassis (complete with lowered areas for the motor frame and drive gear), and the various bits of decoration on the chassis - the lower part of the firebox, and simulating a frame in some rudimentary manner.

It's very tempting to take it out and spray paint everything now, to see how they'll look, even though I'm not finished with them. Soon....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Some more pictures, and a little more work done this morning.:cool:" border=0>

First off, a slightly better picture of the backhead. I don't think I'll be able to get a good photo until I paint the glaring white strene. And, of course, I still need to add the throttle handle.


Next, a couple overviews of the loco in her current state. I finally finished the bottom plate, so the drivers will finally stay put.



Finally, a close-up of the firebox. Once again, a coat of grey primer would make things a lot more visible. Got to finish up the frame and give everything a bath first, though. Still, not bad considering that yesterday this was just a blank expanse of black plastic.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A few more photos


 

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Discussion Starter #17
I painted the frame, firebox, and wheels. I'll probably strip and re-paint the drivers, as I'm not happy with how they turned out. I hand-painted them using glsss red acrylic, and it didn't cover the black plastic centers very well. This is after 4 or 5 coats, and you can still see black around the edges.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, work continues, and heavy, dirty work at that...

I decided to pull the plastic driver centers out. Since that destroyed them, I'll be making new ones. But, since the wheels were now completely apart, it seemed like a great time to fix something that's been bugging me. Bachmann put the rods waaaaay to far out from the wheels when they made this litle loco, and it kinda looks funny. So, I ground a bunch of metal away to bring them in closer to the wheels. Now that the stock wheel centers are gone, there's no pesky "bump" in the center to interfere with the rods. While I was at it, I made a brass bushing to take up some of the copious slop between the crank pins and rods.

So far, one wheel and set of rods is done. The rest ought to be easier, now that I've figured out how. It's kinda scary, knowing that there's no turning back once the metal is ground away. We'll see how well the engine runs once all is said and done. I figure if I can make a fiddly little HOn3 engine run, Fn3 shold be a cake walk by comparison.

Here are some before and after photos. Note how much closer both rods are to each other and to the wheel.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
I notice a few new viewers, but no comments... Is anyone interested in my continuing this thread? If not, I'll poke along on my own and show off the finished results eventually. Don't want to waste space if it's not needed, but I'm more than happy to continue if anyone wants me to.
 
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