My first thought was to look at the Bachmann On30 Gas Mechanical I have in my possession. Based on suggestions from Desilets at the Railroad-Line.com forum I also looked at the Northwest Short Line Stanton drive. BigLars pointed me to a critter thread that provided photos with scale rulers for a number of HO and On30 locomotives. From that list I also took a look at the Bachmann HO 70 Ton Switcher. Here’s how their dimensions compare to the prototype – first the Bachmann, then the NWSL, then the Bachmann. The Bachmann estimates are from the scale ruler.
|Northwest Short Line Stanton Drive|
|Bachmann HO 70 Ton Switcher|
The drivers for all three are just about dead on. Track gauge is off by 8″ as expected. The wheelbase is a bit too long for all three relative to the prototype. I wonder how it would look. The following shots compare the Bachmann 0-4-0T to the Guinness 0-4-0T.
Well, the wheelbase is a bit long. But it is not so obvious. Sorry, I’m not a rivet counter. For my purposes, all three drives pass the test. If I went with the Bachmann, I would need to rework the counterweights (plastic) and fabricate a vertical rod to the pistons. With the Stanton and Bachmann 70 ton drive, I would need to fabricate everything. Wheels are solid in all three cases, just like in the prototype.
Both Bachmanns are DCC ready, and I wouldn’t have a major problem tucking away the electronics. With NWSL, I would need to add a decoder.
The Bachmann is sold out. It also has had problems with gears breaking. The Stanton is more expensive, but is available. I suspect performance wouldn’t be a problem. With the amount of work that will go into this model, I want to do it right.
One issue, however. The Stanton drive lacks the bearings to mount the rods.
So does the Bachmann 70 tonner. I bit the bullet and bought one on eBay for $50. There are plenty of critters in my future and the engine provides me with two trucks, so there is an extra for mistakes, parts or possibly another critter, or one with two trucks.
Of course, drilling holes in the wheels near the rim could solve the bearing problem with both drives. With the right jig, I could probably drill the holes, laying a drive on its side. A bit of brass rod in the holes would provide the bearings. Hmmmmm. Have to give it some thought.