Category Archives: PCN Lumber Engines

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!


Baldwin 2-6-6-2T Logging Mallet

The project is based on this locomotive, a 2-6-6-2T  Logging Mallet that once ran for the Clover Valley Lumber Company. This locomotive doesn’t exist in HOn3 space.


Then I came across this eBay listing.

Roundhouse 0-8-0

This is an old Roundhouse kit that allows the construction of a static (non-powered) steam engine.  The photo shows an 0-8-0T.  But this kit was designed for kit bashers – like me.  The kit offers another option, a 2-4-4-0T articulated shown in the bottom of the following photo.  This engine would never have existed in the real world.  But it sure fired my imagination!

2-4-4-0T Option

If you look at the parts set, it includes the components to model the above 2-4-4-0T.  If you look more closely, the frame and running components are the same as those in the Outside Frame Roundhouse 2-8-0 Consolidation kit with the exception of the connecting rods and piston rods.  But as you can see, these parts are in the kit.  If you compare the two kits in the following photos, the locomotive frame is the same as are the counterweights and under frame.  There are two sets of pistons in the bag as well as the drivers.  There are two sets of piston rods.


I happen to have two of the 2-8-0 kits. Those two kits are powered.  I also have quite a few brass detailed parts, an extra set of drivers and extra front and rear two wheel trucks that are part of the extended parts set in one of the two kits shown in the following image.  The parts set has a set of drivers in the upper left corner, a set of tender trucks, and front and rear pilots.  There is a second set of tender trucks under the tender.  There is also another complete set of drivers in the box on the right side.  There is a fairly complete set of brass detail parts.  Not shown is two brass domes (one sand and one steam) a brass air compressor, and a brass pilot I picked up in separate auctions.

2-8-0 bund

I know how to make these kits run smoothly.  The drive train parts are available from North West Short Line – gearbox, axle gear, and can motor.  You can see that the 2-8-0 parts set already has upgraded NWSL gears.  Did I mention that all three are HOn3 kits?

The 2-4-4-2T would be created by cutting the frame for a 2-8-0 Consolidation in half and inserting an additional pair of cylinders from the 3 in 1 kit.  The boiler-tank-cab-bunker from the 3 in 1 kit is almost perfect in size for this locomotive.

Logging Mallet Frame 3

The next logical step might be to use a Roundhouse 2-8-0 Outside Frame kit and a 3 in 1 kit to produce a 2-6-6-2T like the Clover Valley Mallet.  The first frame would be cut into a 2-6 block by removing the last driver pair and the remainder of the rear frame.

2-6-6-2T Frame 1

The second frame would be cut into the 6-2T block by removing the front driver pair and the rest of the front part of the frame.  The second set of cylinders would go between the two driver blocks.

2-6-6-2T Frame 2

The boiler would need to be extended to deal with the longer frame.  The boiler diameter is from the 3 in 1 kit is 3/4″.  Plastruct makes a tube in that diameter with 1/16″ walls.  Or the size of the boiler could be upgraded to 7/8″ or 1″.

2-6-6-2 Boiler ExtSide rods could be cut down to handle a six coupled driver set rather than the eight coupled sets in both kits.  Cylinder mounting would be similar to the 2-4-4-2T including piston rods, yokes, etc.

Note that this is an outside frame locomotive and the Baldwin Mallets were all inside frame engines.  But virtually all of them are standard gauge locomotives with 4′ 8″ between the rails.  Had Baldwin been asked to produce a logging Mallet for 3′ 0″ narrow gauge, they may well have recommended an outside frame.  An inside frame locomotive would be a bit tippy on curves if armed with a large boiler.  Given this is a freelance locomotive and the parts are outside frame parts hopefully the rivet counters will forgive me for deviating from the norm.

Of course there is the difference in the cylinder sizes to deal with.  Or is there?  I was poking around on Jon Davis’s web site, Mallets in the Tall Timber and came across his discussion of simple Mallet Type Articulateds like  Weyerhaeuser 111 with both sets of Cylinders the same size.  Note the double stack.


At his site Jon has a very useful discussion of the advantages of simple versus compound Mallets including this drawing of the steam routing on a Simple Mallet Type Articulated.

Simple Mallet Articulateds

Check out his discussion on this page and let Jon fill you in on the details.

Powering this unit would be less of a challenge than with the 2-4-4-2T as there would be plenty of room to mount two motors.  The 2-8-0 Consolidation powers the second driver pair from the front,  That driver pair exists on both driver blocks.

Given that this is an easier bash than the 2-4-4-2T, I think I will take it on first.  A builders log will be maintained.  Individual posts for that blog will be shown below.

Baldwin 2-4-4-2 Mallet


One of my prototype love affairs is with ‘Skookum’, the Baldwin 2-4-4-2 that initially ran on the Little River Railroad.  It was Baldwin’s first 2-4-4-2.  The image at the top of the page is her builder’s photo.

Here is a drawing showing dimensions.


And a couple of in service photos.


She still exists in parts.



Maybe some day she’ll move again under her own power.

This engine doesn’t exist in HOn3 space.  But what if I took:

  • Two Roundhouse 2-8-0 inside frame kits.
  • Detail parts.  In addition to the extended parts set with the second kit along with parts I’ve acquired separately, I’d pick up brass parts as needed.  Wiseman has just released a huge array of brass HOn3 detail parts.

Of course there is one major problem.  Skookum is a standard gauge 2-4-4-2.  Can I produce a convincing inside frame 2-4-4-2 in narrow gauge?  We’ll see.

I had to ask myself, why is the Skookum so attractive to me?

  • Is it the history?  Not so much.
  • Is it the fact it is articulated.  Yes, I want an articulated locomotive.
  • Is it the fact it was a logging locomotive.  Yes, logging is a major industry on my model railroad.