Author Archives: tfarin

Small Speeder

In a quest for a host for the Nigel Lawson MPD18 MK2 bogey I am building, I started looking at small speeders.  I found a number that appear to be an appropriate size.

Proto Speeder 1

Speeders like these were commonly used as railway inspection cars.

Proto Speeder 2

Today most are owned by individual owners who take them out on excursions.

Missouri Pacific MT-14

But these speeders are too modern for my layout.  I was hoping for a small speeder from the 1900 to 1920 era.  Then I came across this photo.

Bergen Hill Speedr030

Now we’re talking.  This speeder has open sides with roll down side curtains.   Because this will be a freelance speeder I won’t need to be concerned about differences in wheelbase and I can build it to fit the bogey.  Given this speeder’s hand-made look that is probably what happened with the prototype.

Here’s a side by side comparison.

Bergen Hill Speedr030MPD18Mk2-314x196

Wheelbase is within range.  If I position the motor at the back and extend the front a bit, I can incorporate seats for the driver, especially if I bend over a portion of the tabs sticking up in the left side of the bogey photo.  Here are takeoffs incorporating the bogey and my estimates from the photo.  I converted takeoffs to 1:1 dimensions as some of my estimates assumed a 6′ man which I converted to 1/87 then to HO in millimeters.

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 11.32.17 AM

I could build the speeder as shown in the photo with the canvas sides if I enclose the motor in an ‘engine cabinet’.  Deck length and width are for the bogey.  Cab width is the width of the cab. With a cab width of 60″ and a motor diameter of 27.4″, with the engine at the back, there is plenty of room for a bench for the driver and an assistant.  If necessary, the deck base could be higher reducing the height of the engine compartment in the cab.

I started with a 3D CAD program called TinkerCAD.  After taking a few lessons, I took a shot at modeling the cab in TinkerCAD.  Here is the result of my efforts.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 9.46.46 AM

So the pressure is on to finish the Bogey kit build so I can start work on the speeder.  Oh yes, a 3D printer is now on my wish list.

 

HOn30 0-4-4T Forney

Forney1

I’ve been watching this engine on eBay for a while.  It is a resin kit produced by a Canadian outfit called Railway Recollections.  Photos are from their web site.

Forney2

Forney3

Forney4

With the kit you get the superstructure.

Forney6

This engine uses a Bachmann N Scale USRA 0-6-0 switcher as a donor.  As part of the conversion the middle set of drivers are removed.  The tender is not used.  This is not a Spectrum but the drive train is sufficiently detailed for use under the Forney.  While this engine is not DCC ready, there is a pretty good tutorial on how to convert to DCC.

Bachmann 0-6-0

They also suggest using a truck from a Kato passenger engine as the truck has pickups on all 4 wheels.

KatoPass1

The bill for these two donors was a bit under $72.

Assuming I can find a place in the cab or attached tender for a decoder, I’ll use a the same DIGITRAX DN136D DCC decoder I am using in my other HOn30 engine projects.

This engine begs for some super detail parts.  I’ll wait until it comes to see what is included but at the minimum it needs.

  • A bell and whistle – ordered
  • A generator for the electric light in the front – ordered
  • A rear light for the tender – ordered front and rear.
  • An air compressor – ordered
  • Hand rails and stanchions – on hand.
  • Microtrains 1130 or 1023 couplers — 1130s ordered.
  • Steps on the front and rear pilots – ordered.
  • Tool boxes for the tender.

This isn’t a criticism of the model.  I super detail everything on the roster.  I’m going to dig for some prototype photos to get ideas for other ‘in use’ detail.

Bachmann 0-6-0 Modifications

I have two sets of modifications to the Bachmann 0-6-0 that need to be made.  The first prepares it for being the bogey for the Forney.  The second converts it to DCC.  I decided to hold off on the second set of modifications for now because:

  • It requires further disassembly.
  • I want to test the drive train on analog DC before converting to DCC.

Following the instructions that came with the Forney kit, I first disconnected the tender from the engine.  Doing so requires rotating the tender 90 degrees horizontally so the draw bar slips over the prongs that attach it to the engine.  In this photo the drawbar has been detached from the prongs.

0-6-0_7

 

The front tender truck needs to be detached from the tender by removing the screw that holds the trucks in place.

0-6-0_5

Once the screw has ben removed the trucks and the drawbar come off.

0-6-0_4

I tucked all of this into a parts bag.

The boiler and cab come off the locomotive by removing the screw at the top of the sand dome.

0-6-0_8

When the screw is removed, the boiler and cab slide up and off the drive train.

0-6-0_6

The screw and cab/boiler also went into the parts bag.  The cover over the gears is removed by removing the two screws at the bottom of the drive train.

0-6-0_3

Once the screws are removed the gearbox cover can be lifted off exposing the gears.  The middle set of drivers is not connected to the side rods and instead is driven by gears.  It can be lifted out leaving the front and rear drivers in place.  Congratulations.  You have converted a 0-6-0 to a 0-4-0.

0-6-0_2

Dropping the cover back in place and reinserting the two screws completes the conversion.  The front pilot can be removed by backing out the front screw.  Once the screw is out. the pilot can be pulled out.  Then, reinsert the screw.  Extra drivers and pilot go in the parts bag.

0-6-0_1

The Forney documentation suggests two additional modifications.

  • Remove a portion of the valve gear.  Because I am not modeling a specific prototype, I decided to leave the valve gear intact.
  • Cut off the top portion of the cylinders.  I’m going to see how the Forney kit components line up before I take this step.
  • The final step is to remove the front truck on the Kato passenger car.  I can’t do that as the car is in transit from Japan.

Nigel Lawton MPD18 MKII Bogey Assembly

I purchased this bogey from Nigel Lawton in the UK.  Although his web site offers a number of different products, this link points to the page for his MPD-18 MKIII bogey.  It was designed to power two products by Meridian Models.  It appears as though these products are no longer available so Nigel is selling the drive to whoever can use one.

I’m very impressed with this bogey.  It has roller bearings for the Layshaft and brass bearing for the drive wheels.  I haven’t found a host for this bogey unmodified, but I will.  It is just a matter of time.  This is an image of the parts that come in the package.  As soon as this drive is complete, assuming it runs as well as I think it will, I will order one or two more.  Those bogeys will be kit bashed to deal with issues with motor height and wheelbase in a couple of models I want to build.  But I wanted to get an ‘as issued’ drive under my belt first.

MPD18-6

I matched the parts to the parts list in the supplied instructions and they were all there.  I’ll talk about the parts as I use them.  Note that these are really small parts, even the motor which is 8mm x 16mm.

I used two sets of instructions in assembling this bogey.  The first set was Nigel’s instructions in the form of a color PDF.  The instructions that ship with the unit are black and white.  I also jumped to the Meridian Models site from Nigel MPD18 MKII page.  Once there I located the page for the drive.  The instructions for the MKIII drive were never posted.  But there are instructions for the MKI drive which is similar.  The parts are nearly identical but the photo etching is different.  These instructions are a bit more detailed than Nigel’s and they cleared up some questions I had about Nigel’s instructions.

Here is Nigel’s MPD18 V3.1 etching.

MPD18-5

The second assembly from the bottom is layshaft bracket.  I rocked a exact knife blade across the two connection points to separate this part from the etching.  Then I used a riffler file to remove the rest of the connection and smooth the edge.

MPD18-2

There are two score lines 20% and 80% into this part.  I bent along the score lines.  Then I bent along the score along the top 1/4 and bottom 1/4 of the part.  When finished, I had this.

MPD18-10

I then pulled together the rest of the parts for this assembly.

MPD18-11

At right bottom are the two roller bearings.  Above and to the left are two Tenshodo worm gears.  To the left of the worm gears is Nigel’s 5mm pulley And just above other parts is the 1.5mm diameter layshaft which is 30mm long.

Before I put together the layshaft assembly, I wanted to deal with something that was nagging me in Nigel’s instructions relating to ‘clipping the layshaft assembly in place in the chassis.  So I removes the chases from the etching and folded along the score lines, ending up with this.

MPD18-9

Note that there is a V cut 1/3 of the way in from the left.  There is also a notch in the vertical part of the chassis.  Aha!!! So I test fit the layshaft bracket in these notches.

MPD18-8

You can see the tabs sticking out at the end of the vertical part of the chassis and the V notch.  Once the layshaft assembly is complete, these will be bent over.

Assembling the Layshaft is the next step in their sequence.  A few months ago I picked up  MicroMark Press-It along with some accessories.  I decided to practice on the wheels first, removing the non-insulated wheel from the shaft.

Wheels-PressIt

So I set up the Press-it as shown above.  One wheel went on each side of the notch with the insulated wheel up.  I pressed on the axel with the tool with a 1.5 mm shaft.  The wheel popped right off the shaft.  Cool.  I repeated that step on the other wheel.  Cool again.

I still didn’t have the nerve to take on the Layshaft.  So I decided to press the 1.5mm to 2mm adapter bushing into one of the wheel gears.  I placed it on the end of a tapered modeling tweezers and pushed it into the bushing.  It went most of the way in.  I finished the job with the Press-it with a flat tool inserted in the end.  Why are there no pictures?  I thought I’d take the pictures on the second gear.  But before I could insert it, the bushing took flight on my floor.  I’m still looking.  Worse case I’ll need to order another.

Ford Rail Bus

In looking for hosts for one of my ate 11-103 drives, I came across this Jordan Miniatures HO Ford bus.

Ford Bus

On the HOn30 Home Depot web site there were a few photos from a modeler who had bashed one of these busses into a Brookville Rail car.  I followed his lead and shortened my bus.  These are the four parts that need to be shortened.

RailBus1

 

 

Here are the cut down sides.  There is some cleanup work to do.  any gaps will be filled with green squadron putty.  Removed sections are at the top.

RailBus2

 

I used the removed templates to size the cuts on the frame and roof.

Railbus3

So I’m ready for clean up, gluing and filling.

Mack 15 Ton Switcher

I came across this locomotive in searching for a host for one of my Kato 11-103 drives.  It is a cool little switcher/critter that would compliment the other HOn30 motive power.  Here are some prototype photos.

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 1

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 2

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 3

While the first three photos are of later prototypes, the next photo is of an earlier prototype.

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 4

Here is a Highway Miniatures model.  It models the later prototypes.

15 Ton Mack Switcher

I like the chunky look of this double ended locomotive.  While the model is HO, it should be relatively easy to adapt this to HOn30.  Of course, it is unpowered.  In looking for additional modeling information, I came across a Wiseman version of a similar Mack, also unpowered.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 1

This is a model of the earlier prototype.  In fact the instructions include the prototype photo I posted fourth on this page.   The Wiseman model is mostly white metal castings.  It is a bit more expensive, but higher quality with additional castings.  The front beam is consistent with the look of the other Sonoma Magnesite Company locomotives.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 2

Here’s an exploded parts diagram.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 5

It is likely I will power this locomotive is the Nigel Lawton MPD18 MK2 drive.

MPD18Mk2-314x19615 Ton Mack Switcher 1

Here are takeoffs from both the Wiseman kit and the MPD-18 drive

MPD18 and Wiseman takeoffs

The three major issues that come out of this comparison are:

  • Wheelbase – I’ll need to stretch the wheelbase of the MPD18 drive by 1/4″.
  • Motor diameter – The Midi motor is a hair too large in diameter (8mm) to fit into the cavity of the Wiseman kit and under the hood.  I have two choices.  One is to use a Dremel to rout out the walls of  the hood and cavity.  The walls are thick so this might work.  The other is to switch to the Lawson Mini motor.  Its smaller diameter (6mm) will provide plenty of room.  I have the Mini motor on order along with some smaller drive belts but Nigel can’t guarantee it will work.  Also, the smaller motor will produce less power.
  • Driver diameter – is 0.38″ in the kit and 0.20″ with the Lawson kit.  NWSL has HON30 wheels that convert to 28″, 33″ and 36″.  They convert to 0.32″, 0.37″ and 0.41″ IN HO.  The middle size will be perfect but will cause speed to be higher than in the Lawson design.  I ordered all three sizes.  Speed factors are 1.4, 1.6, and 1.8.

I’m assembling one of the MPD18 drives without modifications.  Once it is finished I’ll treat fit it to the Wiseman kit and see how clearances work out.

Kato 11-103 Drive

While doing research into HON30 engines, I came across the Kato 11-103 in a post.  This N scale drive is the underpinnings for a number of Kato N scale engines.  Of course, being N Scale, it will run on HOn30 track and has to potential to be the underpinnings for scratch built or kit bashed HOn30 scale engines.  These 4 wheel drive units are reported to be smooth runners and are quite inexpensive.  When I found they could be had for $10 apiece from Japan, I ordered two, assuming I would find an application later.  Because they were coming from Japan, I had to be patient.  Meanwhile, I acquired a Minitrains 0-4-0T and a Minitrains 0-4-0T saddle tank that will serve as the steam engines for my mining spur.  Builders logs for both are under way.

The two Kato drives showed up yesterday.  Here is a view of one from the top.

Kato 1-103 1And this is a view from the side.

Kato 1-103 2

I got out my digital calipers and took off dimensions.  The following shows raw takeoffs and then converted from 1:87 to 1:1 scale.  For those dimensions that are appropriate, I also compared to the 1:1 dimensions for the Skagit M.A.C 4-40 speeder.  Dimensions are in inches.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.21.38 PM

The dimensions were closer than I thought they would be.  Major variances were deck length (easily stretched) and deck width (also easily stretched).  The one troubling dimension is the height from the track to the top of the motor.  That could be overcome by using the drive trains as a base for an enclosed unit.  There are posts on the web on how to convert one of these to DCC.  There is certainly room inside an enclosed cab for the decoder.

Identifying the Host for the Drive

This is a bit odd.  Normally you pick up or scratch build a critter then figure how to power it.  This is coming down the other way around.

Option 1: An Enclosed Cab Skagit Speeder

I didn’t have to look very hard for a speeder.  This is an image of a Skagit MAC 4-30 speeder.  Note that some of the loggers in this photo are sitting the deck with their feet on a dropped foot rest.  The footrests along with a front and rear pilot could be used to hide the diesel underpinnings.   An enclosed cab would cover the top half of the drive.  Skagit offered enclosed cab options.

Skagit 4-30

I love critters.  To me a speeder is one variety of critter.  But variety is the spice of life

Option 2 – Rail bus

I came across a post from a model railroader that used a Highway Miniatures 1934 Ford 21 passenger bus to model a railbus.  Here is the kit.

Ford Bus

He cut the windows out of the bus containing the wheel well, rejoined the sides, shortened the top, then placed the bus body and engine compartment on the Kato drive.  I picked up one of these kits on eBay for $15 last night.  If this approach works, my powered rail bus will cost $25 plus $20 for a DCC decoder plus the cost of detail parts.  That is a cheap piece of custom powered rolling stock.

Mack 15 Ton Switcher

I came across this Highway Miniatures kit while searching eBay for the Ford Bus.

15 Ton Mack SwitcherI love the chunky look of this engine.  It is probably too short for the Kato drive, but I could get around that problem by extending the rear compartment.  In running searches, I came across a Wiseman version of the same switcher.  It is a bit more expensive but is white metal castings with more detailed parts.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 1

The hoods may be too narrow, but I could model something similar to the hoods on the Highway Miniatures locomotive in styrene and brass.  If needed, I could also extend the hood length a bit without throwing off proportions too much.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 4

I’ll start a builders log as soon as I’ve determined which two of these three options to build.

 

Minitrains 0-4-0 Cab Modifications

Once the engine is disassembled it is time to make modifications to major components.  First, the cab.  It is a one piece styrene structure.  The tail light that is moulded into this part is rather silly, placed on the back of the bunker.  It will be replaced to a proper old time kerosene lantern.  The air vent at the top will be converted to a flip up opening.

0-4-0 Cab Before2

 

The side view highlights a significant number of changes.

  • The four round windows will be converted to square windows.
  • The bunker will be replaced with a taller and deeper bunker.  It will provide inside room for the DCC decoder.  Given that one of the responsibilities of the engine will be to haul oil cars to the kiln, it makes sense to model this engine as oil fired.
  • A side door will be added adjacent to the rear of the cab.  The door will have a shade above, a window in the top portion, and an arm rest.
  • The step will need to be repositioned and a more appropriate version scratch built.
  • Rivets will be removed from the cab portion and it will be converted to a wooden cab.

These changes will make the cab more representative of an American prototype.  Given that these changes will weaken the cab if all the cuts are done at the same time, the bunker will be removed and replaced before moving on to the doors.

0-4-0 Cab Before1

Squaring the Windows

The objective here is to change the shape but not the size of the windows as they need to work with both a taller bunker on the rear and the boiler on the front.  I tried two different techniques to square these round windows.  I won’t discuss the first technique as it didn’t work. Here are the windows in their original state.

0-4-0 Cab windows2

 

The technique that worked best for me is to get out my smallest square riffler file and start filing.  Once they were reasonably square, I used a sharp Exacto knife blade to finish them off.  In my case the windows don’t need to be perfect as they will be finished by bits of styrene to represent window casings.  These styrene pieces will make the window openings slightly smaller.  The photo also shows the tools I used.

0-4-0 Cab windows1

Remove Bunker

The next step was to remove the bunker to prepare for a larger deeper bunker.  I scored lines along the rivets ascending vertically from the bottom of the engine in the bunker area.  I used a trusted technique of dragging an exact knife backward.  I used a bit of rectangular brass tube to keep my score straight.  Ince i had deepened the score, I used a razor saw from the top of the bunker down to cut the top away from the cab.  At this point the razor saw is half way through the bunker.

0-4-0 Cab Bunker1JPG

 

I then used my Exacto knife to finish the cuts along the scores.  To ,my surprise, I ended up with three pieces.  On the left is the cab, less bunker.  Top right is the frame around the bunker.  Top bottom is the bunker.  That piece includes the two holes into which the screws holding the rear pilot are inserted.

0-4-0 Cab Bunker2

This means when I build the new pilot and bunker, I’ll need to consider how the pilot will be attached.

I got out my calipers.  You might recall that I intend to place the Digitrax DN136D DCC decoder inside the new bunker.  Its dimensions are 0.55” x 0.404” x 0.2”.  I first checked the width of the new opening.

0-4-0 Cab Bunker3JPG

If I lay the decoder on its side (the longest dimension at 0.55″), it should fit nicely.  I then checked the height of the opening.

0-4-0 Cab Bunker4JPG

The second longest dimension is 0.404″.  I don’t want the bunker to be that deep.  So the height of the opening needs to be increased.  So I got out my Exacto knife and scribed a line across the back that would increase height of the opening.  Once the scribe was deep enough I used the Exacto knife to cut vertically to the line.  A bit of a work with the file resulted in an opening that is 0.484″ tall.

0-4-0 Cab Bunker5JPG

Building the New Front and Rear Pilot

The old rear pilot was 0.25″ tall by 0.25″ deep by 0.75″ wide at the top.  It was tapered a bit making it narrower at the bottom.  The old front pilot was 0.25″ tall by 0.27″ deep by o.65″ wide at the top.  Like the rear pilot it was tapered making it narrow at the bottom.  The narrower width allowed the fronts of the cylinders to be seen.

I will make the rear pilot out of a 0.25″ by 0.25″ by 0.75″ solid wood piece (like the prototype) and machine it to hold the coupler.  

Building the new Oil Bunker

The oil bunker needs to be at least .20″ deep to accommodate the decoder without protruding into the cab, although there is some room behind the motor for a protrusion.  The old bunker was about 0.1″.  We don’t want the oil bunker protruding beyond the rear pilot (unsafe in a crash), so the bunker will be built 0.20″ deep on the outside, making it slightly less than 0.20″ inside.  Cab wall thickness is 0.04″, so the bunker will be fabricated from 0.04″ styrene.  If I create cover the joint between bunker and cab using a small strip of the same material, the opening will be narrowed to 0.56″.  I’ll wait until the decoder arrives to see whether this will work.

 

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.

SonomaMineRR2

This complete view shows a typical consist.

SonomaMineRR3

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

MagnesiaSiding

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.

Minitrains 0-4-0T Kitbash

This is my starting point engine, a Minitrains 0-4-0T, commonly available for around $50.  Major kit bash targets in this photo are the domes, the round windows, the headlight, the smokestack the red wheels, and the front and rear pilot.  The motor needs to be toned down and wires tucked out of sight.  There is no obvious way for the crew to get into the engine.

Koppel1

Here is a front view.  The couplers need to be changed to knuckle couplers. While I’m at it a more representative pilot needs to be fabricated.  A bell and a more obvious whistle need to be added.  The domes need to be removed and replaced with more American units.

Koppel2

The first step in bashing this engine is disassembly.  As extensive modifications will be made to the cab, the parts inside the cab need to be separated.  The action starts at the top of the engine.  The smoke stack screws into the frame of the engine from the top and is one of the major parts holding the engine together.  It can be removed by turning in a counterclockwise direction.  In this photo the other end of the screw is shown.

Koppel 0-4-0T Bash1

The rest of disassembly occurs with the engine inverted.  The other major screw holding the engine together screws into the bottom of the steam dome at the top of the engine.  This screw can be removed by turning it counterclockwise using an appropriately sized Phillips screw driver,  Once removed, the front beam can be pulled forward and out.

Removing the two piston rod screws (Philips) and the Crosshead Screws (Phillips) is next.  The Crosshead screws screw up into the bottom of the frame.  At this point the pistons, and valve gear can be removed.  The motor should drop out of the engine.  Backing out the Rear Beam screws allows the rear beam to be removed.  The following shows the parts that you should have after these steps.  The engine shown at the top, of course, is a completely assembled engine.  Note that my engine came with two stacks.

Koppel 0-4-0T Bash 3

I intend to convert this engine to DCC.  While it is possible to remove the can motor from the drive train, I’m going to do a continuity check once the motor leads have been clipped to see whether the can motor is linked to the pickups other than through the two wires in the above photo.  I suspect the motor is electrically isolated.  If that is the case, no further disassembly will be required.

Detail Parts

In super detailing the engine I ordered a number of detail parts shown in this photo.

Koppel 0-4-0T Bash2

Parts already on hand shown in the photo include:

  • Hand rail stanchions from Cal Scale (190-604) – laying loose.
  • A Kemtron (K-830) number board (#14) – laying loose.
  • Cal Scale rope pull bell (19-261).
  • Two Kemtron (6007) Kerosene Headlamps
  • A Cal Scale (190-595) whistle.
  • A Cal Scale (6164) headlight bracket.
  • Two Micro Trains N Scale Short Shank Couplers (1015-1).

The following other products are on order.

  • A DIGITRAX {DN136D} DCC decoder.
  • 2 Pack Mr. Coffee (GTF2-1) wire mesh coffee basket.
  • A Detail Associates Fluted Steam Dome (8004)
  • A Detail Associates Fluted Sand Dome (8003)

You might be puzzled about the coffee filters.  I found a cool article on how to fabricate smoke arresters from these coffee baskets.  The Digitrax decoder is very small (.55” x .404” x .2”).  Removing the bunker at the back of the engine and replacing with a slightly deeper and taller oil bunker would create room for the decoder.  The steam and sand domes are N scale.  HO scale domes are way to big for this application.

These parts along with small pieces of wire, brass, and styrene should give me what I need to turn this engine into an Americanized model.

Skagit Speeder Takeoffs

Primary image used for the takeoffs was the Kinsey photo pf a MAC 4-40 speeder.

Kinsey Skagit

For height calculations we assumed a 6 foot man based on the measured height of the two men on the right of the photo.  For width calculations we used two measures.  The first is standard gauge track width of 4′ 8″.

This is a shot of a slightly shorter Skagit MAC 4-40 from Kinsey’s “Locomotive Portraits>”

Skagit Mac 4-40 Kinsey 2

This is another MAC 4-40 shot from the Tall Timber Short Lines magazine.

Skagit 4-40 No 1

The second is the width of the deck which is known to be 8′  from the article in Tall Timber Short Lines.  For length calculations we took the known speeder length of 20′.  The known dimensions are in red.  The rest were derived from the photos.  The hood length relative to the cab in the above photo were used to estimate the hood length.

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With the above takeoffs I thought I’d take a shot at building the cab and engine compartment using TinkerCad.  This is where I am right now.

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