Scratch Loco

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Lionelalltheway, Dec 1, 2007.

  1. Has anyone ever tried to scratchbuild a loco? What did you build it out of? It seems like a big undertaking, but it would be really fun and neat if you could do it. Any thoughts, or tips?
  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i'm working on one:


    Attached Files:

  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Brass is fun to work with, also styrene is a fun medium to work with as well, but the brass is Ideal for small and large locos alike due to the added heft of a brass locomotive. Plus, there's tons of brass detail parts out there.

    I would suggest that you base some of the drive train off an engine you already have, or use the entire drive train for a good running locomoitve you wish to sacrifice *(Frame, motor, drivers, cylinders, and siderods) to make life easier for your first scratchbuit/kitbash.
  4. Nachoman, your loco is coming along great! I don't think that I would be able to use brass, I just don't have the tools and machines for metal.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Model Railroader had a six part article done by Gordon Odegarde back in the late seventies, if I remember correctly, on building a USRA light pacific type locomotive w/ tender from brass. They did another series by a different modeller in the 1990's (after Gordon had passed away) on building a 4-6-0 Pennsy/Long Island Rwy prototype from brass. In both cases, the authors just used standard hand tools: files, hack saws, snips, etc. No expensive power tools involved, except maybe a drill. You might try the Model Railroader web page to see if the issues or articles are still available.
  6. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I started building a freelance HOn3 climax:


    But it's sat on my shelf now for 5 years.
  7. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Your loco projects are coming along nicely Guys.
    I've built a number of locos from scratch.
    Here's a few examples.
    The articles that Russ mentioned are a great starting point.
    Learning the propper use of tools and doing as much research and gathering as many photos and drawings as possible are a big help.
  8. All of your projects are very good! Ray I was very impressed with your engines, considering that one is supposed to be lionel, I am guessing that you work in O gauge like me. How did you do the rivets on your engines? What tools do you use when building your engines? Care to share any tips, you seem to be quite a master at loco scratchbuilding.
  9. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I model in O, (2 and 3 rail) HO and N scales. I used to do some 1 1/2" modeling.
    I made a few different tools to emboss rivets.
    On a few of my first projects I laid the sheet metal on a piece of wood and used a nail to emboss each rivet. (crude but effective)

    Attached Files:

  10. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    As far as what tools I use, most of the models I posted photos of in the Kitbash here and scratch-build there thread were built using basic hand tools.
    It wasn't till about 5 years ago that I bought a lathe and milling machine.
    They make some jobs easier but you can build a nice model without them.
    I used to post threads showing how I built models that have some construction tips hidden in them. I would have to do a search to find them.
  11. Ray, I think that those threads would be very useful, if you have a chance to find them, I would be very interested in reading them.
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Lionelalltheway, you can also emboss rivets free hand with just a small nail or similar. This method requires that you use thin material such as 0.010" thick styrene or 0.005" brass. You draw your pattern onto the part, place the part on a magazine (upside down), and then start embossing. With a little practice you can get good results...and then you either super glue the brass or use liquid styrene cement/lacquer thinner to glue it to the backing. If you can find a wheel like Ray has with the right is a wonderful way of making evenly spaced rivets. His press allows thicker materials to be "riveted".

    I work in O scale, but On3 which has very little in common with 3-rail...but scratch building in the two is quite closely related. I plan to start an On3 2-8-0 in the next year.
  13. nkp174, I like your idea, seems simple enough, but I will probably need to get some practice with it. Also, good luck with the On3 2-8-0, hope it turns out great!
  14. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Any riveting method benefits from a little practice...and you don't have to be perfect...real riveters didn't always make perfectly straight, evenly spaced rivets. I've found that $20 spent on scratch building supplies gives me more satisfaction than $200+ spent on other craftsman kits and $2000+ worth of RTR stuff. (maybe a slight exaggeration...but it can't be too far off...especially in 1:48 trains)

    I'm curious, what prototype are you interested in building?

    btw, the late '90's articles in MR ran from Oct '97 through May '98...It was for an NYC 4-6-0, and it was built Stephan Anderson.
  15. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    :agree1::agree1: :mrgreen:

  16. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Here are a few links, they're not as in depth as articles you would find in MR but might give you some ideas.
    This is about working with wire and jigs.

    This one shows working with brass sheet and shapes.
    There are others but they are hard to find since I posted them to other peoples threads as answers to their questions.
  17. Nkp174, I am not sure what I want to model, If I decide that I have the capability to do it, I will definately try something simple. Ray, thanks for those threads, they are very informative.

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