Minitrains HOn3 0-4-0T Saddle Tanker

In its later years, the Sonoma Magnesite Company’s lone engine was a Davenport Dinky Saddle Tanker.  This is an image of the SMC Davenport Dinky.


This complete view shows a typical consist.


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


Davenport Dinkys don’t exist in HOn30.  So the search was on for a credible substitute.  This is an image of a Minitrains Baldwin prototype saddle tanker.  Engine length appears to be similar to the Dinky is but the saddle tank is longer.  But for my purposes it suits the bill.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 1

Shot on the opposite side.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 2

Shot with a mining car consist.

Minitrains Hon30 0-4-0T-1

Here us a shot that is weathered and detailed.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 3

These engines are out of production.  Fortunately I found one that had never been run on eBay.    What follows are my photos of the engine.

O-4-0T Saddle 5

This was shot with the engine on its side.

O-4-0T Saddle 4

Unlike the 0-4-0T that is in current production, the drive train is riveted rather than screwed together.

O-4-0T Saddle 3

There are only two screws visible on this engine.  I have not attempted disassembly and may not need to as I anticipate making no major modifications to the boiler, drive train, or cab.

O-4-0T Saddle 1

The unlike the Dinky, saddle tank goes to the front of the engine.  The front end could be upgraded with a number board, a more appropriate pilot, and a generator.

O-4-0T Saddle 2

Note from this rear shot that the motor takes up much of the interior of the cab.  It is curious that this engine has no fuel bunker.  Of course adding a bunker would provide a place to hide the DCC decoder.  The rear pilot and coupler would need to be redone.  A portion of the rear windows might need to be filled.

O-4-0T Saddle 6

This shot shows the decoder next to the rear of the engine.  With a bit of excess shrink wrap trimming, it can be made to fit.  Wires can be routed through holes in the back of the cab below the windows.

Converting to DCC will require engine disassembly.  More on this later.

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