How to kitbash a steam engine?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by keqwow, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    So how does one go about making a steam engine as close to a prototype as possible if you can't find the one you are looking for? I imagine you start with something as close as you can get, but from there, how do you modify a plastic model to include the details of your prototype? If you go here: Richard Leonard's Steam Locomotive Archive
    About half way down the page is Bevier & Southern 2-6-0 mogul #112.
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You've pretty much got the idea. Find one with a boiler approximately the same size and shape, and with the right wheel arrangement, and the rest is mostly cosmetic and details. Detail parts are available from precision scale, cal-scale, cary, etc. You can cut the old details off, fill and sand the holes, and mount the new details.

    The engine you chose is tough. the boiler is similar to the IHC 2-6-0 in that it narrows towart the smokebox. The rear dome on the IHC boiler would need to be removed, and plenty of details like the headlight and compressor would need to be changed. frame for the IHC 2-6-0 is way off. the wheel arrangement is the same, but it has the wrong type of valves and the wheels are too big. With a lot of work, you may be able to swap in smaller drivers and different cylinders/valves. The roundhouse 2-6-0 frame will fit under the IHC boiler with some modification (I am doing this now). the problem is that the roundhouse 2-6-0 has an unequal driver spacing.

  3. hminky

    hminky Member

    Try the Bachmann Ten-wheeler with the small drivers. It has a similar boiler shape and small drivers. Just shorten it to a two wheel front pilot truck.

  4. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    How would one shorten the BAchmann 10 wheeler? What about taking a Bachmann 2-6-0 and cutting off one of the domes? Or are there lots of other details that don't match up that I am missing?
  5. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    How would one go about cutting off details like that? Something I've noticed is that a lot of these models don't have the wheel spacing correct. I have a great blueprint of this engine that I will have to try to attach a picture of later. 30" front wheels and 51" drivers......
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    That is, for those of us whom care, a huge issue. If you can't find anything acceptably can order the 51" a new frame with the right spacing...and tack it on under an acceptable boiler.

    Building a frame would consist of a few pieces of an adequately durable material (such as brass) and using a caliper to mark where the drivers go. You'd then file out the bearings...and check it with the caliper. Another option would be to take an MDC frame/wheels...and cut the frame. You then add spacers until you have the spacing you want. I have an old 4-8-2 which was built using the same technique from an ancient Varney 4-6-2.

    Also, don't be afraid to throw away anything you aren't happy with. If you decide that the frame/boiler don't look right...alter the part that is wrong and try again. I've had to do this a few times...and I'm always glad that I got it right.
  7. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer


    Would you please post those blueprints or if not can you send them to me? Also do you have anymore info on the prototype? I plan to base the steam part of my line of the Bevier & Southern and would like to model their locos as well.

    I will be following this thread to see the suggestions and to eventually see what you do.

  8. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    I am glad to see this topic brought up as I was wondering the same things. I will be following this closely!

  9. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    I'll load the images onto my server this evening and post the photos. Therre is a line/blueprint drawing along with some great detail photos of the one mogul they used on this line. I've never kitbashed, so this may be more than I can chew, but I figured I'd try to get some tips/input/suggestions from folks and see what my options were.... :mrgreen:
  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You could also try starting with an 0-6-0 switcher mechanism - the Bachmann saddletanker has appropriately-sized drivers and the proper slide valve cylinders. You'd need to lengthen the frame at the front of the loco, a fairly easy task, then find another boiler/cab. Bachmann sells many of the parts and sub-assemblies for their locos separately, so you may be able to get a cab and boiler for one of their Ten Wheelers, too.
    Modify locos often requires a lot of research, not only for prototype info, but also for info on models no longer made, but still available from various sources.
    You'll also require tools beyond the usual modeller's toolbox, including hacksaw, vise, mill files, and soldering irons and torches. You should of course have a fairly compete set of modelling tools, too, including X-Acto knife (knives), pin vise with drills, some common-size taps, needle files, screwdrivers, calipers, scale ruler, razor saw, jewellers saw, motor tool with cutters and cut-off disks, various pliers, etc., etc. You should also acquaint yourself with the catalogues of various parts suppliers, including (but not limited to) Bowser, Precision Scale, and NothWest Short Line.
    If you've not done this kind of work before, I'd suggest that the loco you've chosen may be too ambitious a project for your first foray into loco kitbashing. Instead, how about a prototype that you like, but of which a suitable model exists as a starting point for a "detailing job"? Loco kitbashing is an enjoyable facet of our hobby, but much of the skill required is to be had by hands-on experience. There are lots of us here to answer your questions and offer advice, but it's still a "learn-as-you-go" affair.

  11. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    Yeah, doesn't sound like a very easy task either way. The only reason I was thinking about it is because I'd like to model this yard (small yard with lots of interesting outbuildings and junk to practice weathering on) and it would be nice to have one or two locos to match the yard. If anyone has links to how-tos or links to good part suppliers that I'd probably be looking at to accomplish this task I would certainly appreciate it. If if one of you veterans were looking at this project, what steps would you go through to try to accomplish it? i.e. how exactly to lengthen or shorten a frame, cutting off details, etc.
    When you go about doing something like this, are you mainly trying to work with metal parts, or are you modifying plastic boilers? Or does it depend entirely on your starting model that you are modifying?
  12. keqwow

    keqwow New Member

    Well as promised, here are photos and a blueprint/diagram of the engine I'd like to produce in HO scale....any additional suggestions would certainly be appreciated :mrgreen:
  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    keqwow, remember that just because you start the project now doesn't mean that you have to finish it now. Therefore, you don't need to know all the tricks/have all the skills to complete it when you start it. Doing what you can for now will help you better understand the next steps. And if you don't like your results on a particular part...scrap it and build another. The material isn't wasted if you learn something from it.
  14. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I looked at some of my unbuilt kits, and there wasn't much there that would be helpful. The MDC/Roundhouse 0-6-0, has the right length boiler and cab, but is a straight boiler, rather than the tapered boiler of the B&S. The stack, and dome locations are very close, the sand dome just forward of the cab would have to be removed. The drivers are close in diameter, but the spacing is too close. The frame would have to be drilled to the correct driver spacing, and new siderods would have to be made. This shows the MDC 0-6-0 being rebuilt to a 2-4-2.
    The Mantua 0-6-0 has a boiler very similar to the B&S 2-6-0, except that the smoke box is too long, and the cab would have to be replaced. the drivers, and their spacing are wrong. The combination of the Mantua boiler, with the MDC chassis would get you close, if you could not find something more exact. The MDC kits are currently out of production. Athearn has all the MDC parts, but can only locate them by part number. They did not get descriptions with the inventory. Model Power currently has all the Mantua parts. You might get lucky and find these kits available on online sales sites.
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    If you can get a chassis that has a driver size/spacing close to what you want, you can roll your own boiler from styrene tube and sheet. There have been several articles in MR, Model Railroading and Mainline Modeller about just that. If you can find the May, August, September and October 1999 issues of Mainline Modeler, there's a series of articles by Don Adams called "[SIZE=+1]Scratchbuilt HO steam Locos in Styrene[/SIZE] " and "[SIZE=+1]Scratchbuilding without brass[/SIZE]" parts I, II and III.

    It's a lot of work, relative to bashing a diesel, but you'll get a distinctive model that no one else has. And you'll find that the more you do, the better you get. Your first attempts might not turn out the way you'd like, but the beauty of this method is that styrene is cheap, and it's easy to start again.

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