square or vanderbuilt?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by nachoman, Aug 3, 2008.


which should I use, the vanderbuilt or the square tender?

  1. vanderbuilt

    9 vote(s)
  2. square

    22 vote(s)
  1. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    The loco is lettered AT&SF, but it is not a santa fe loco. With a few detail changes, it could be a reasonable Santa Fe engine. But I really don't want a Santa Fe engine. My fictional railroad interchanges with the Southern Pacific, so I either want to make it an SP engine or letter it for my own railroad.

    SP had atlantics with both square and vandy tenders. http://photoswest.org/cgi-bin/imager?00015567 OP-15567

    I am also aware of the MDC oil tenders, but those seem to be a little hard to come by. I am using tenders from old bachmann 2-8-0s for my MDC 2-8-0 and 4-6-0, because the vandy tenders that came with them looked too small. But the bachmann tenders are coal tenders, and I still need to make oil bunkers...

  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Kevin, the tender on loco #3000 in the pic in your link looks to be pretty close to the Vandy tender you want to use.
  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I think it depends more on the size of the loco and tender relationship. Some locos just look better with a vandy, and others with a square.
    The two narrow gauge 2-8-2 locos pictured can give a closer means of choosing. The inside frame loco has a square tender, the outside frame, a vanderbuilt. Both have the same MDC kit boiler / cab. The square tender is the MDC kit tender. The Vanderbuilt, is the coal bin from the MDC kit tender, with an MDC "old time" tank car.

    Attached Files:

  4. Don7

    Don7 Member

  5. sgtcarl

    sgtcarl Member

    m-m-m- tasty

    so you have great taste in boxcars...how do you like them, bar b qued or oven roasted?? :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Good one! :rofl::rofl::rofl:

  8. Don7

    Don7 Member

    Personally I like it, give credibility to a kitbash for my 10 wheeler. Then again I am a fan of the Vandy. You obviously are not.
  9. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Well, there's vandy's and then there's vandy's.

    That just looks, well, weird to me.

    These look more "right" to me:


  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you are modeling from the prototype, looking right is not nearly as important as being correct. The prototype may look ungainly or funny, but if you want to model the prototype you must make a model that is just as ungainly or funny looking. If you are free lancing, then you can make sure all of your locomotives look graceful. He wanted an S.P. prototype, and the pic he linked to of the S.P. prototype for what he wanted is the set up that people are making fun of.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Actually, I don't mind the looks of that one, but the model in the original post is, in my opinion, too small. What I was laughing about was the analogy to the dachshund with the box on its head.

  12. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I think that description is much more apt for the narrow-gauge 2-8-2 farther up the page.
  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Seems like the voting is overwhelming in favor of the square tender.

    I wasn't gunning for strict adherence to a specific prototype, so I was just trying to get opionions on what looks best, and you all have helped out tremendously. Interesingly, the vandy is actually larger than the square tender. Perhaps it is the camera angle or an optical illusion that akes it look smaller. I've actually got two of those vanderbuilt tenders that I don't really have a use for. I felt they looked too small behind MDCs 10 wheeler and 2-8-0, so they are spares.

    One of the railroads I am using as "inspiration" for my freelance line is the magma arizona railroad. They ran a 2-8-0 and a 2-8-2 both with vandy tenders. Both locos still survive in texas:


  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Kevin, if you're trying to capture the look of the Magma Arizona, then use what you believe would be more appropriate.

    I personally am a HUGE fan of the Vandy Tenders not just because of their looks but because they're a safer, superior design to carry liquids. The Round tank that comprises the rear portion of the tender puts MUCH less stress on the frame than a square tender. The Oil bunker is sloped so the heavy bunker C can glob down into the tubes to be atomized into the firebox. The Vandy tender is the most advanced design for a steam locomotive tender out there, and I'm rather surprised that it wasn't adopted by most railroads after the type was first developed.

    There have been some pretty poorly thought-out criticisms of this type of tender, as seen in this thread, and it's not always about looks, it's about functionality. Everything on a steam locomotive has a purpose, or else it wouldn't be there.

    As a final note, I think that that square tender would look great as an auxilary water tender or a relief tender for a steam powered crane.
  15. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I'm not anti-Vanderbilt, I'm not anti-Espee. I just think those particular tenders behind those particular locos (the Atlantic model and the 4-6-0 in the picture) look goofy. Espee had some good looking vandy's too. I can't help it if some loco's are ugly and their mother dresses them funny. :p :D
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Miles, I think the reason so many advances that were made to steam didn't get used by more roads had most to do with the "nature of the beast." It seems during the steam era, every railroad had an engineering dept designing their locomotives even if they had them built by Baldwin, Alco, or Lima. As a Santa Fe modeler, I found it interesting/humorous to read that Santa Fe never understood why their articulated locomotives never were successful, and were all converted back to 2 single units. Then during WW2 they got some USRA 2-8-8-2 from the Norfolk & Western & discovered that these locomotives had huge fire boxes. They used them in helper service on Raton Pass, and were going to design some new large steam power after the war. They changed their mind and went with diesel instead. Why did it never occur to anybody at the Santa Fe that if you double the size of the boiler to make a 2-6-6-2, 2-8-8-2, or 2-10-10-2, that you need to also double the size of the fire box to match the boiler?
  17. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    I'm wondering if aesthetics sometimes had something to do with it. Specifically, the GS series. SP liked Vanderbilts, but didn't use them on their most famous engines. I suspect it was to retain a streamlined look.
  18. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    Part of the reason the Vandy never got popular was stubbornness. I love the PRR, but I also believe the PRR was stubborn. Their designs were always superior even when they weren't. The PRR even went so far as to take arguably superior designs and modify them to PRR specs just because they believed the PRR was always right. Take for example the C&O based J class 2-10-4. Changed to meet PRR specs as much as allowable, they probably would have been Belpair-boilered if PRR could have gotten away with it. PRR did own oil fired steamers, as far as I know no PRR engine EVER had a Vandy tender.

  19. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    sign1 sign1 It does!
    But I still like it.
  20. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Definitely: their duplex experiments were proof.

    A little of a tangent, but I thought of it since this thread is about how locomotives look. I'm definitely an aesthete. I like the PRR, though their paint schemes were plain and their steam locomotives weren't attractive by my standards. Their rival NYC had much better design sense. Not that I'm one of those PRR fans who doesn't like the NYC, mind you...

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