Monthly Archives: January 2017

Skagit Speeder Model Components

This will be a scratch built locomotive.  By NMRA standards this means everything except the motor, gear assembly, and wheels needs to be scratch built although some detail parts are allowed.  Here is the starting point for the drive train.

This is a bogie kit sold by Nigel Lawton in the UK.  The kit has the following component parts.

MPD18 Components

The photo etching are combined in with the parts in a series of steps to create the bogie.


I’ve never done this before so this should be an interesting exercise.  I’ll find a home for the resulting mechanism.  But there are a number problems with this unit in the Skagit application:

  1. This is a HOn30 unit and the Skagit will run on HOn3 track.
  2. When I get done pulling dimensions I’m sure the wheel base will be too short.
  3. The motor should really go under the hood so it it needs to be ahead of the front trucks.

Assuming Nigel’s mechanism works (more dependent on me than him) I am going to need to kit bash his mechanism.  That means slightly longer wheel axels and a longer Layshaft and Layshaft bracket.

Layshaft and Bracket

In addition to using the photo etching to create a drive unit per instructions, I can use it as a template to create a bracket as well as the rest of the assembly from either brass or styrene.  I’ll need to source longer shafts but they are a common size at 1.5 mm.  The rest of the parts are available from Nigel.  I could buy them individually or buy another kit and scavenge needed parts.

In a number of posts, it appears as though at least the early engines were Fordson Tractor engines.  Wiseman distributes a Fordson Tractor kit in HO and HOn3.  Because a radiator will appear at the front of the Skagit, I picked up one of these tractors.  I’m sure I can find a use for the tractor, even with the radiator removed.  Or I may take a shot at casting a duplicate.

Wiseman Fordson Tractor

Skagit M.A.C. 4-40 Speeder

Kinsey Skagit

This photo from Darius Kinsey’s “Locomotive Portraits” inspired me to model this speeder.  This is the only ‘in service’ photo I’ve been able to locate so will serve as the basis for detailing.

Here is a photo of a 4-40 from the front.  This is a slightly newer shorter version.

Skagit Mac 4-40 Kinsey 2

Given that I have no specifications for this speeder, it also provides a known dimension for takeoffs based on the 6′ man theory.  The man in question is on the far right of the photo.  I took his height off the actual photo (2.25″) and the width of the front driver (0.75″).  Based on the 6′ man theory, the drivers scale to a 1:1 height of 24″.  That was a very common size.  The side heights scale to 9″ and the end beams appear to have been 13″ square.  Cab height at the sides would be in the range of 64″.  I based the cab height on the assumption that the two men at the back of the photo are 5’8″.  They appear to be leaning against the speeder’s hood.  This is an angled photo so perspective takeoff techniques will need to be used for other dimensions unless a side or front photo appears.

Skagit M.A.C Speeder

This photo shows the front portion of the speeder including the hood.  In this photo, stye cab appears to be taller (possibly as a result of complaints about the cramped cab.  This is not an ‘in service’ photo and may be a builders photo of a speeder that is about to be delivered.  It is also likely to be a later speeder.  Cab height scales to 89″ at the side.  Hood height scales to 34″.

I think this version of the speeder looks gawky, so I’m inclined to model the Kinsey speeder.  But this photo is very helpful in coming up with front dimensions.

Here is a photo of a derelict Skagit 4-40 speeder.  The hood is missing but you can see the outline.  Height of cab is more in line with the above photo than the first but windows are taller. Because the deck is missing, a view of the under framing shows.

Skagit MAC 4-40

This is a closeup of the frame behind the cab in the previous photo.

Skagit MAC 4-40 Frame

Finally, the shot of  the cab is from the same speeder.

Skagit MAC 4-40 Interior


This photo is of a Skagit 4-30 taken from an article by John Taubeneck in the Oct-Nov 1997 issue of Tall Timber Short Lines.

Skagit 4-30


Skagit 4-40 No 1

This photo is of a well used Skagit 4-30 showing the speeder from the front.

Skagit 4-40 No 2

This is a photo from the same speeder that is from a slightly different angle.  What is interesting is the part that protrudes from the side of the hood.  But it sets a precedent for widening the hood area which may solve the problem of how to put an electric motor in this area.


This is a rear photo of the same speeder.


This Skagit 4-30 photo is from a Timber Times article written by Phil Holden in issue 51 of Timber Times.  His article also contained the previous two photos.


Phil’s article addresses how to model a Skagit speeder.  the next two shots are of Phil’s model.


Phil’s model was (is?) a static model.  In his article he encourages readers to build one that runs.  Phil, if you are out there reading this, I’m going for it!


SMC Davenport Dinky

Here is a side shot of the SMC Davenport Dinky.  Judging from the date of this photo (about 1915) it would have been a fairly early Davenport 4-4-0.


This complete view shows a typical consist.


This is another shot of the Davenport Dinky, this with the top cut off.


Here is a similar prototype.

Davenport Dinky 0-4-0_4

Of course Davenport 0-4-0s are not found in HOn30.  So this will need to be either a kit bash or a scratch build.  If a kit bash, modifications are so major that it would approach a scratch build.  I’m not going to put this project into a slot for now.  We’ll just see how it evolves.

This is a HOn30 engine that started life as an Eggar-Bahn and most recently is currently marketed by Minitrains.  It is a German model with more of a European flair than US.



Extensive modifications would be needed to convert this to a Davenport 0-4-0T.  Because there is a better candidate available, this thine will be freelanced into an engine that looks more like an American prototype.  Check the builders log at the bottom of this page for step-by-steps.

Minitrains has also marketed a 0-4-0T that is based on a Baldwin saddle tank prototype.  While that engine is currently out of production, one comes up from time to time on eBay.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 1


The following photo is of one of these engines that has been bashed and weathered.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 3

I won one of these engines at auction on eBay.  It is on its way to me.  I’ll post a builders log as soon as this project is in the active phase.

Builders Logs