Dimesions of HO to On30 converted locos

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Dan Vincent, Mar 25, 2004.

  1. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    I'm toying with the idea of making On30 locos from some of my HO locos.

    My problem is the width. When I measure my On30 Bachman 2-6-0 Bumblebee the width is 1-15/16 while most HO locos are about 1-3/8" wide.

    Making the frame wider on a diesel or steamer should be no problem if you are making everything different.

    But....my MDC Shay has those vertical cylinders and I really don't want to move them out.

    Has anyone adopted any standards for engine width?

    I also want to make a "Duck" similar to the one Shamus made.

    Eyeballing a suitable-looking rig gives me a body width of 1-7/8 by 6" long by 1-5/8" high to the roof line. Here is a picture of a paper sample I made for test fitting to an Athearn SW1500 diesel chassis.

    My "Tipsy-Turkey" will be loosely based on the fantastic "Waddling Duck" Shamus shared with us. The Turkey will be different with the corrugated siding applied vertically and a different truck.

    Next is a trip to the model railroad store for some Evergreen "stuff."

    Attached Files:

  2. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I try to make my HOn30 stuff around 8 scale feet wide, if that helps. Yep, that's gunna be a challenge widening that shay! If you scratch build everyting, you can alter the width quite a bit and still look good. If you are going to buy rollin' stock, you probably want to follow the standard. I took 8 ft as an average of several NG plans, most of them On30 or On3. IMHO, if you go narrower, your track will look more like 3 ft gauge, or if you go wider, it will loook more like 2 ft gauge. I think a little wider looks great, but I can't say the same for narrower (t's really closest to 2 1/2 ft). But like I said, if you go too far off, the ready made stuff might look funny.
  3. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    An idea for the shay would be to model a Shay with cylinders that slant outward. This would give a wider appearence but keep the driveline in line.
  4. Catt

    Catt Guest

    On the Shay why not just leave the running gear as is and just add a wider cab and walkway.

    As for the Turkey body I would suggest going 2"x 6 " x 2" or in 0 scale 8' x 24' x 8'.
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Before I built all my HOn30 equipment, I studied other narrow gauge dimensions. I found that 2 footers tended to be 6' to 6'6" wide while 3 footers tended toward 7' to 7'6". I settled for the upper and lower of 6'6" to 7' as my happy medium and found it works quite well with lightly modified N scale mechanisms. I don't see where you would have to modify the cylinders on your Shay at all. I'm looking forward to seeing the progress on your "Tipsy-Turkey". The management of the B&MC's subsidiary, the OCRR has enjoyed the public's response to it's own "Wobblin' Woodie" 'bash http://www.the-gauge.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6482&goto=nextnewest and plans to do at least one more.
  6. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member

    Thanks for the tips guys.

    The "Waddlin' Duck" that Shamus did looks about what I would think a backwoods railroad would throw together. I like to make stuff that looks like it had to be designed a certain way for simplicity and practicability. Since I've already put in a lot of time staring at pictures Shamus posted, this style will be my first try.

    The "Wobblin' Woodie" by Shaygetz is another interesting direction with a complete vehicle towing a trailer..another concept worth pursuing. I have lots of time.

    Here is a picture of the Shamus "Waddlin' Duck" I borrowed from another thread here just in case someone may have missed it. To me, this is a gem and a classic of On30 utility vehicles.

    Shamus really nailed the type of vehicle that a stretched-budget small outfit would have cobbled together from whatever was laying about.

    Attached Files:

  7. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    On your shay, the cylinders should remain just where they are! Remember, while you're going to O scale, it's still thirty(+) inch gauge. The running gear of your MDC shay is thirty(+) inches, only the body has to be enlarged. On the Bachmann On30 shay, there's a lot more cab and walkway outside the cylinders. Eight feet sounds like an appropriate width for equipment.
  8. Dan Vincent

    Dan Vincent Member


    You're right, all I have to do on the MDC Shay is cobble-up a taller cab and widen the walk-ways.

    I have that "Shay, Titan of the Timber" book and it has many pictures of Shays. Might be able to find something close to what I want to do.

    Now If I can just remember where I put that Shay for "Safe-Keeping!"

Share This Page