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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For several years I've wondered whether the plastic static model of the Stephenson Rocket could be adapted to run on 45 mm track. I ran across a kit at a swap meet and took it home. The model is 1-26th scale and the section of plastic rail is about 3/8 inch wider than the 45 mm rails. Can I use a driver from a "G" gauge loco and position it so that it will straddle the rails without tangling with the boiler? As it turned out, it IS possible.

Someone posted pictures of a project a while back that showed a Bachmann loco wheel that had the plastic filler removed. This results in a wheel with slimmer spokes. An axle and drive wheels from a late version 10 wheeler was found in my wheel box and work began. Some filing reduced the crank pin bolster to make the spoke look like all the others. The hole was filled with putty. .This is the first picture (taken 11-15-08) which tells me when this project started in earnest.

The plastic spacer that separates the two wheels broke up (Chinese plastic) so I made a new one of square styrene tubing and some tiny brass nuts and bolts. There was need to cut away some of the frame and rebuild the journal to accept the larger axle shaft.The wheel JUST cleared the boiler.



The only place that a motor would possibly fit was in the tender. I chose the Hartland power unit from a Woody that has sat unbuilt for several years. Carbon pickups were installed above the axles. The motor stands erect and goes into a hole that was cut in the bottom of the water tank. The wheels in the tender are Hartland's. The spoked units were turned from the all plastic wheels from a Bachmann 10 wheeler (battery version from long ago) painted and glued onto the solid wheels.



A styrene tube and cap was fitted inside the tank and lead shot filled the tank. That added enough weight to provide traction.


A number of the parts that came from the original model were worked into the operation. The side rods, crosshead and guides all work after a bit of adjustment.


Just enough weight was added to the boiler above the driver axle to assure smooth operation. Notice that the drive wheel on this side was worn to the point that it shows a brass finish. I don't have a replacement. If anyone has a spare wheel from one of the latest versions Id be happy to accept it and replace the one that is on there now. I hope this inspires someone else to do this job for themselves. I'm amazed at how well it runs. If you'd like to see it run, you can find it on the Door Hollow Shortline website. The link is in my signature space. Thanks for your interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mik, Thank you for the pictures. They're in my file and if I ever finish the passenger car that I'm building to follow the loco I'll add some of the details.

What is OS? What scale is that thing?

Do you have pictures of the coach I see behind the loco? I can't seem to find any decent pictures of the car that is in the museum in York. I'm building the coach from this picture.


Dave Crocker and I agree that your "unsupervised children" notice is our favorite!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Information about the details of the Rocket is a bit sparse. I get the feeling that the loco didn't stay in the form that we see modeled for very long. It worked very well in the Raintree Trials but they apparently started making "improvements" very quickly. They changed the angle of the cylinders and stuck a modern style smokebox on the front. The final version, or what's left of it, is in the Science museum in London and it is anything but pretty.

The loco in York is a reproduction of the original. I can understand why no one has made a model of this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
It seems that when I step away from the computer for a couple of days, everything breaks loose. We have a number of people here who are well versed in digging up detailed information, something I haven't mastered yet. The control and operational details that can be added to a model, especially one in 1:26th scale are beyond my capacities. I'm happy enough that I was able to find ways to make it run down 45 mm rails. The reaction of the visitors at the train shows is quite positive and satisfying.

A special thanks goes to Pete Thornton for finding very nice pictures of the coach that the Rocket pulled. They will be very helpful. My absence from the computer is a result of a fence and gate rebuilding project that has had me either working or napping for the last two days. It's supposed to be raining a bit today so maybe some work can be done on the coach. Those pictures have me wondering whether some plastic wagon wheels can be adapted to the Hartland "Woodie" power unit rather than the solid wheels I was planning to use. Those big spoked wheels in the pictures sure look good.

I'm happy to see so many folks inspired to look into that loco as a modeling project.
 
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