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807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello folks,

Having stumbled upon the Masterclass several years ago, I began  lurking here on occasion.  After a lot of thinking and dreaming and working on plenty of other projects, I decided it's time to start work on my first 1:20.3 locomotive.  Somewhere in my murky past I aquired a Bachmann iscus train with their little 0-4-0T, and I've managed to lose or discard everything except the chassis, motor, drivers, rods, cylinders, and bell.  Inspired my David Fletcher and the other impressive builders here, I'm gogint to try my hand at scratchbuilding the rest of the locomotive.  One part I'd rather not make, though- does anybody have, or know how to get, the bottom plate for the chassis? I seem to have discared it by mistake at some point, and my wheels keep falling out!

Freelancing a locomotive in large scale is certianly a change!  It's kind of nice, being able to look for whatever feels about right for a given part, rather than having to match the specific bit of a prototype locomotive.  In HO scale, my friends know me as an anal-retentive rivet counter.  I will scratchbuild an entire locomotive because what I can buy has too many spokes in the wheels and a boiler 6" too high.  Well, that and I can't afford the models that are up to my standards.  Fortunately, it seems much easier to build a high quality model in a larger scale!

One more comment, and I promise I'll shut up.  One of the things that's always bugged me about G scale is the general toylike apearance of almost everything.  I've seen G scale equipment that have coarser detail than a scaled-up N scale engine!  That's a big part of what first caught my attention when reading through the Masterclasses.  Finally, a large scale model that takes advantage of the medium to have more and finer detail than is possible in the smaller scales!  Thank you for an impressive and inspiring collection.
 

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Premium Member
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807 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the kind comments, guys! I'll definitely be posting photos as the work progresses.

Regarding rivet counting and similar A-R tendancies: There was a time when I didn't care one whit about accuracy. The I went to work for Norfolk Southern, and all of a sudden I started to see everything that was out of scale on my HO models. Funny, working around trains 24/7 gives one a sense of what the real thing looks, feels, smells, and sounds like (let's not get into taste, please).

Still, I like the freedom that large scale gives me to explore things that never existed, but could have. Even going with 1:20.3 (a choce that seems to automatically indicate a desire for some degree of perfection), there's a definite sense of "so what?" if something isn't EXACTLY perfect. At the moment, I'm thinking of focusing on 3' narrow gauge set in the 1880s, so that I can have my favorite little steam engines, and all the equipment will be small enough to look good on tighter curves.
 
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