0-6-0 Porter Switcher

Now that I have the concept of a 2-6-6-2 down, what else could I do with the Roundhouse kits?  How about one of my real needs, a 0-6-0 switcher?  Here’s a Porter saddle tanker prototype.  No 65 is a working engine, toiling for the WK&S in Kempton, PA.  Photos by Jeff Z are used with Jeff’s permission.

0-6-0 Porter Saddle Tanker

Another photo of her current state shows off her switching pilot, air compressor, and headlight.

0-6-0 Porter Saddle Tanker 2

A third shows off the domes, bell, tank hatch and the generator.

0-6-0 Porter Saddle Tanker 3

Here is her builder’s photo.

0-6-0 Porter Saddle Tanker 4

OK, she’s very cool.  And Jeff is an excellent photographer.  But how do I build her in HOn3?  First of all, I wouldn’t be going for an exact rivet by rivet replica.  An engine with the same look and feel would do for my purposes.  Call it a freelance engine based on a prototype.

I could use the boiler-tank-cab-bunker shell from a Roundhouse 3 in 1 kit.  I’d need to shorten the tank a bit, reducing the distance between the two domes closest to the cab.  Some bashing of the cab would be necessary including removing the rear portion of the top and cutting off the lower portion of the front of the cab.  The 3-1 kit part is the upper portion of this photo.  The way Roundhouse designed this shell, it makes the door height look out of scale.  I might also remove the door and show an additional step inside the cab.  I’d live with the vertical bunker instead of the slanted version on the prototype. As this is the Sausalito switcher, I’d convert to oil as oil tanks are near by on the docks.  In the following photo, cuts are the area inside the red rectangles.  After doing the first boiler cut between the domes, I’d evaluate whether I need to do the second.

0-6-0 Porter Upper End

Then I would need to do some surgery on the frame.  The surgery involves three cuts, two taking out the front set of driver bearings and the third taking off the road pilot.  Because the drivers are powered at the second set, the mechanism for powering the locomotive won’t change.  The front pilot would be replaced with a switching pilot like on the prototype shown so nicely in the second photo.

0-6-0 Porter Frame

Am I troubled by the fact I’m using an outside frame kit to model an inside frame locomotive?  Not really.  This is a freelance engine based on a prototype.  And the rotating counterweights on the model will add visual interest.

I’ll need to shorten the side rods.  If I’m careful with my cuts, I may not need to modify the piston rods and associated gear much at all.  Another engine parked at the concept stage waiting for parts.

Of course, I could also consider a 0-4-0T or 0-4-2T Porter switcher.  Same concept, different cuts.  So many engines to model, so little time.


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