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Scratch building a Live Steamer

4058 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Britstrains
Hey Guys,

Wanted to build a live steamer from scratch.  Wonderin if you guys had any insights,tips,ideas.  I was wonderin were I should get my matereials from.  I was also wonderin were do i get some plans to get me started.  All coments appreciated.


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try this link:


Hey thanks i think that could be a big help:D

What sort of live steamer do you want to build, do you want a North American design, a British, or do you want to make a freelance design? What scale were you thinking? Narrow Gauge or Standard Gauge? Will the size of your own track (or lack of one) have any bearing on what you build? Where do you live, as location can dictate availability of supplies and materials.
Bear in mind that there are very few things such as wheel castings available in North America, the epicentre for suppliers for such things is the UK. Can you give us more info to guide you better please?

David M-K

            I was thinking of building a standard 1/32 british locomotive.  I live  in the US in pennsylvania  I only have one loop of track that goes around my back patio but i would be able to accomodate just about any loco.  I have an aster Schools now and would like to stay with the british locos.   
In that case, I think the G1MRA Project locomotive would be a good one to have a look at.
Thanks I'll check that out

Yep! the Project will be the best bet the book is first class with pictures, diagrams and easy reading which is what you will want. There are also some engineering companys here in the UK that can supply laser cut frames, cast wheels and even ready built boilers for her , it all depends on how much you want to scratch build :)

Here is another link for Project parts http://www.justtheticket.tv/gauge%201.htm

I would highly recommend you joining G1MRA   http://www.gaugeone.org/index.htm  if you are not a member they have there own forum with many members who have already built the Project so any problems there there to help.

Thanks im gonna take a close look at that site
Hi Britt:  Henner posted a link to link to Vance Bass's "Small Scale Live Steam".  About 3/4 of the way down you will find a Byers geared loco by Ernest Glaser and Dick Summerfield named "Cricket".  This is an excellent project.  It is a Gauge 0 engine, but with some scaling you get a nice Gauge 1 loco.  Our friend "Havoc" built one of these a while back and it works great.

Further down is the BAGRS project loco.  It uses an off-the-shelf engine and boiler and you build the rest.  Lots of those around.

At the bottom is "Idris" by Dave Watkins.  Another great project.  If I remember correctly,  "deWintonDave" built 2 of these.

Have fun, Bob
Look for copies of "Live Steam & Outdoor Railroading".. and "ModelTec"... both are excellent sources of information... modeltec is no longer in print.. but back issues can be found...
I have some plans that I can email you if you like..I guess one question would be what acess to tools do you have to scratchbuild since it you said it would be your first. Many of these are from all bar stock and no castings are used which is good for a small simple loco like the Idris or Cracker....The Project and Dee are much more involved engines for a beginner. I do have both the project and dee on order from G1MRA and look foward to building one of the someday. I will start with something easier at first though..

Email me offline for what I have files I can email to ya..The rest I have are books. LBSC also had some good 3.5" gauge locos that can be cut in half.. While none a 100% prorotype they are awsome runners just ask Justin (Slippedeccentric) who had worked on an LBSC loco that is gauge 1 and coal fired. Should be photos from the steamtown 08 photos its the green tender loco.
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I'm currently building a De Winton "Idris" with the help of a friend who has been building stationary steam engines for years. He gave me the plans. But if you search on the internet you can find them. He assured me that you don't need any special tools except for a drill, files a hacksaw and a heck of alot of patience. I just registered on SA as member #1876. There are two pictures of it there. Not even close to being done! Would like to see other plans for future projects. I've never done anything like this before.
I too am building a G1MRA Project engine.

Years ago there was a group buy of laser cut frames available, also for the DEE. The US contact for the G1MRA will have more info about these. I bought my frames and drivers secondhand several years ago - these still come up for sale occasionally.

There is plenty of support if you build a G1MRA loco via the Yahoo message board, you do however need to be a G1MRA member which includes a wonderfull magazine!

There are also several sources for parts - even finish machined parts from Just The Ticket as mentioned above. You can also buy finsihed boilers for it from Mike Abbott of Maccsteam: [email protected] I bought mine from him and am VERY pleased with his work.
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