(FO/MGB) Tm 2/2 Schoema Locomotive (Upgrading/Bashing the LGB Model)



25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
So here we go. New year, new build!

While primarily an RhB guy, I do enjoy most things meter-gauge Swiss. More specifically, I have a wandering eye towards the FO / MGB as it has the direct interchange with the RhB.

For a while now, I've been a growing fan of the smaller Tm 2/2 traktors on the RhB and MGB. Of the two primary types on the RhB, LGB has done a decent job of offering one (in half cab and full cab versions), and KISS have offered pre-orders twice (and sadly cancelled them twice) of the other style. (Ed's Gartenbahn do a nice custom build version, though pricier than anything from LGB or KISS.)

So, still wanting a small four wheeled engine for my shelves that wasn't the LGB RhB product, I started to survey my options. I quickly purchased one of these:

And it has since sat on my shelves in disgrace. The more I researched, and the more I looked at the model, the more I realized just how bad of a "repaint" of the LGB Schoema model this was. Not to be deterred, I decided if none of the manufacturers would offer something to my liking, it was time to take matters (and my Xacto knife) into my own hands!

So, from the above, to something closer to this:

That's my goal of this build.
Before we get started, just a couple of known deficiencies of the likely outcome - so that all the rivet counters among us don't have a stroke! ;)
(Myself included!)
  • This is not to be a model of a specific prototype. While the model will take its cues from MGB 4971, 4972, and 74, it will be painted, but not lettered for any specific railway. (Think of it as a contractor's or club's loco - like the DFB)
  • While close to MGB 4971, the vents/doors placement and quantities will differ. So will axle spacing and cab door/window geometry. (This is due to this being a "bash" and not a complete ground-up build. Exact models can be done from a few nice kit suppliers - this is more a "quick and dirty" upgrade of LGB's "toy")
Right, so with that (and as fast as I can edit/post photos) let's begin!


25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
So let’s dig in, shall we?

With rain throughout the weekend, and SWMBO off shopping for the afternoons, I had time to make a pretty good (messy) start on hacking up the LGB diesel.

About two years ago, I picked up an LGB 2051 in DB colours off eBay for about 50 bucks. It had had a hard life - both motors were frozen, and it was caked in mud. My plan at the time had been to start a massive rebuild/bash into the RhB’s Gmf 4/4 241. (This model is offered by LGB, but it really is just a repaint of the DB engine, so grossly incorrect even by non-rivet counter standards!)

(Stock photo to illustrate the 2051)

Alas, the model was too far gone and so has sat as a box of parts waiting for another use. After a bit of online research and some photo comparison, I decided that for my traktor bash, the cab from the 2051 would make for a better option that the standard part that came with the LGB Schoema. So starting from this, my plan was to keep the long hood mostly intact, abut it to the donor cab and shorten the “short hood” as needed. How hard could it be? :wasntme:

To start I turned to the short hood. Doing a quick test fit, to my eye it needed to be… shorter. By about half. So this was the first incision of the project.

After this, a second test fit looked good, so I addressed the cab itself. On the 2051, its hoods recessed/keyed into the front and rear walls. As the small Schoema’s hoods are narrower than the 4/4’s this left a gap between the cab walls and the edge of the hoods. I felt the best thing I could do was fill in the recesses to bring them flush. I did this with large pieces of styrene coarsely cut to fit, and Squadron Green Putty (white) to fill in the gaps. Once dry (hopefully) a few sprays of primer and some sanding will leave a wide, smooth surface to mate with the hoods.

Now the challenge of the stack/chimney.

On the small engine, the chimney was molded into the long hood as one piece. On the 2051, it was a separate piece. The big issue was that the OEM cab of the Schoema was vertically flat, with the chimney flush against it. On the DB’s cab, the cab wall angled back, and the chimney angled along with it. This meant that placing the long hood unmodified against the 2051’s cab left an angular gap that grew as it rose between the chimney and the front cab wall. As I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to cut a “patch” piece to fit this, and even if I did, that it would blend well, I hatched a plan to use the chimney from the 2051.

To start, I cut off the long hood’s chimney, then used a bit of styrene to bridge the hole left behind. From here, I was able to glue the 2051 chimney in place and then backfilled the voids with putty.
(Here’s hoping that with the right fineness of sand paper I can blend this puppy! If not, my back up plan is to fabricate a “hatch” or hood plate to cover the garish hole surrounding the base of the chimney!)

At this point I felt a test fit would be good, just to see where we were. Bearing in mind this is just a day into the effort, and that some of the styrene still needs to have filler applied, and other areas need the filler putty sanded down, I’d say overall this has the look and feel I was hoping for.

Lot’s left to do, but so far, I’m convinced it’s headed in the right direction!


25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Continuing on this weekend, today I tackled a few more menial items, while advancing the cab’s fill and sand efforts.

The first item up was a little bit of surgery to the frame to help better the overall fit of the body parts. Now the nice thing about the Schoema’s frame is that the top of it has molded on “rails” that help align the hood and cab shells. This keeps everything true, which is great - the issue though is that if you want to move the shells inward, you can’t simply shave off some of the end rails, as directly under them is the motor block. My goal here was to shift the short hood inwards by about a 32nd of an inch - this meant I needed to shave off the very end of these rails, along with the two mounting tabs. (I plan to use the molded in screw holes on either end of the hood shells as lamps, and will secure the hoods to the body some other yet-to-be-sorted clever way!)

This took some doing, but with carful and slow sawing, I was able to remove the frame’s shell wall without damaging the motor block below.

Next up was pulling the side frame details off.

The air tanks will end up being used again, in their same location, as will the sanding boxes. The fuel tank parts needed to come off though, as did the ladders. The ladders we’ll relocate further back to align with the new cab door locations. The fuel tanks will go, and this leaves their three mounting bosses on the frame sides to deal with.

The simplest straight forward plan I could conceive was to drill out the bosses, and then (when ready) to plate over the four openings with some styrene sheet.

The ladders are affixed to the underside of the frame deck with a single screw and two locating pins. Moving the ladders is super simple. Step one was using an Xacto blade to shave off the pins, and step 2 was using a pin vise to drill a new hole in the deck. I placed the cab body on the deck for a moment, marked where the ladders now needed to be and proceeded to drill.

(Orange was the old mounting hole, flanked by locating pin holes - Blue is the newly drilled mounting hole)

Yes, the single screw minus the locating pins now allows for the ladders to rotate out of alignment if the screw backs off, but I plan to glue the ladders in place once the build is complete, so it shouldn’t be an issue.

The interior was my next focus. I salvaged the interior control stand and floor from the DB 2051. This mates to the cab so fitting it is not an issue - the issue is, once again, the guide rails and raised centre of the frame floor to allow for the motor box to nest below it. By luck, the 2051’s centre control console is just slightly wider than the Schoema’s guide rails, so what might have been an exhausting task of cut and fill turned into little more than some floor removal from the interior piece.

A test fit of both the interior nested into the frame deck, and the cab and body shells confirmed everything would sit correctly in place.

This brought me back to the cab itself. I used small strips of styrene to close the multiple railing holes in the body. Once glued, I then used body filler putty to fill each hole from the front, and then sanded down till flush. I also took this opportunity to sand down the remaining bits of filler on the cab’s front and rear walls.

At this point, until it warms up enough to spray primer and gauge where second applications of body filler will be needed, I’m about finished with the cab.

I’m waiting for a delivery of 800 and 1000 grit sandpaper this week, which should hopefully let me knock down the rough sanding on the body parts to date (a minor tragedy - I grabbed some “fine” sandpaper out of my kit to sand down the body filler, only to discover while using it that some fool - :think: - placed 220 in the “super fine” envelope… so there is now a rather large rough patch on the hood that needs to be buffed out!)

Another test fit, just to see how we’re doing.

And with that, it’s time to call it a day. One parting photo - I was able to sneak the frame and interior parts into the dishwasher this afternoon… took hours before they were noticed! After some negotiations, I’ve been cleared to give them a proper wash tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!


13 Jul 2015
Super job so far and well documented for us amateurs to learn from, thanks!


I'm a tram intusiast and have made trams Scale G
4 May 2014
Thanks for sharing.


25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Well, we got about two hours of sun this afternoon - not much above 15c, but enough for me to chance a quick spray of primer to see how the cab is coming along!

Shot my go-to, Testors Gray Primer in the back garden and left the pieces to dry.
Also got a chance to run the dishwasher and then retrieve the much-cleaner frame and 2051’s donor interior console.

After an hour or so, I brought the cab in for inspection. Right off the bat, it is clear I will need to apply a second round of putty. Many of the handrail mounting holes are still visible as is at least some level of deflection or seam most everywhere that had work done. That said, at first glance, the cab does look/feel much better… and with proper sanding, reapplication of putty, and a second shot of primer, I’m feeling optimistic that the final appearance will be able to pass for “factory” bodywork!

(Also today, Mr. Amazon delivered a pack of 800, 1000, and 1500 grit sand paper, which will help immensely in the sanding war!)

To start, I placed the cab inline with the front and rear hoods:

Then I went ahead and reassembled the frame and motor block. I also test fit the stairs, and other details, as well as placed a spare RhB Tm 2/2 Antenna I had to the roof. (A similar model is used on MGB units.)

While digging for a few detail parts in my box of greebles, I ran across the back wall from the 2051’s cab! A test fit proved that it would be a great addition to return to the cab, though minor modifications were necessary. Just like the 2051’s control stand, the center section needed to be “notched” to fit around the Schoema’s raised frame/motorbox. Having already done this to the console, I was able to simply line up the rear wall with the console floor and mark the width needed to be removed.

A few passes with the Atlas Track Saw and a bit of clean up with the Xacto blade and the rear wall fit just as it used to!

Also in the box of parts were several grab irons from the 2051. Having researched the MGB locos, I noticed that on the short hood, several traktors have a single handrail on top, along with an added step half way up the side of the hood. I’d planed to build the step from styrene, and to look for a handrail at that time to install on the hood. Stumbling upon the right sized part now made me think “what the heck?” and so I reached for my pin vise. Two holes later and the grab iron was in place!

And time for another gratuitous profile shot!

At this point, I need to let the primer on the cab cure - which will take at least overnight… if not longer. So for the next few days, I’ll be turning my attention to the frame.

To start, the list of “improvements” is not short. Items on my hit list include:
  • Center frame wall plates (to cover fuel tank boss holes)
  • Updated and relocated airlines on front and rear ends
  • Added steel “boxes” on all four frame corners, used to support ditch lights
  • Ditch lights (working if possible)
  • Additional air lines and control cabling
  • Under deck battery boxes
  • Additional patch and fill of the floor in the “cab area”
  • Sanding lines
  • Spray the whole thing flat black
That should keep me busy for a while - some due to time to fabricate, others simple due to trying to locate the right parts and order them.

For now though, I can begin with the centre frame wall plates.

Typically I use white styrene, but in areas of my models that I know will be prone to nicks and cuts, I try to use black styrene if possible. Given the proximity of these plates to the rail head, this seemed like a good time for the black styrene! I started by cutting a strip, then cutting it down further into the panels.

Then glue and clamp time!

And with that - another evening over! We’ll see how the primer is doing in the morning, and will continue on with the frame modifications as opportunities present themselves. (Tomorrow starts with replacing a busted waterline to our dishwasher… I swear it is only coincidental this happened the same time I chose to shove my toy trains in it! I swear!!)

Thanks all!


25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Well, a look outside this morning and I knew there would be no primer or paint today!

So a good day for a cuppa and some more work on the Schoema! I picked up where I left of yesterday, with some more sand and fill on the cab and trying to get the old handrail holes as masked as possible. I don’t think I'll get it to 100%, but suspect it should be pretty well filled. Also continuing to feather in the styrene patch pieces on the front and rear of the cab. Two shades of red primer were ordered yesterday, so next week when the sun finally comes back, I should be ready to give the cab a second spray.

Setting that aside, I decided today would be a good day to do some styrene work. The inside cab floor has be bugging me since I fit the 2051’s interior to it. Namely, the mix-match of faux diamond tread, the “square” to mount the LGB engine drive, and these two “nubs” sticking up from the floor. None of this made sense to still see with the new interior, so I decided to plate over the whole lot.

I started with drilling out the two “nubs” on the floor. Cleaned the flash away with a blade, and then shimmed the flat area up to the hight of the tread patterned area. Then on top of this I placed some black styrene… and using scraps covered the “square” as well. Still not anything I would think is prototypical, but at least it lessons the visual mess that was in the cab. Ultimately I’ll spray the whole area black, along with the frame, and hopefully that should help it “go away” when the model is finished.

Next I turned my attention to the long hood of the engine, and the surgery from changing chimneys. Early I had posted that my “back up” plan was to use a piece of styrene to patch the top and… that’s what we’re going to do. I’ve spent a decent amount of time sanding and filling the void nearest the chimney base, but it just doesn’t want to go smooth… so - a small “plate” should look far more realistic as a workshop addition than leaving craters in the original hood.

Step one was cutting a square of thin styrene, then I used the stack itself to trace the curve pattern onto the plastic. An Xacto blade and patience made the rough cut… and 1500 grit sandpaper wrapped around a paint brush handle cleaned up the cut until it slid snuggly around the chimney base.

Then it was glue and clamp time! A thin application of CA was brushed on to the back and the whole thing was left to dry. Later on, I will likely add a small, slightly thicker strip of styrene around the sides and back of the plate, to help “frame” the piece. I suspect this will read as an “access hatch” and blend in with the overall model. (At least that’s the hope!)

Like with almost all LGB models I tackle I find repositioning and/or replacing the air line plastic castings helps immensely in the overall look of the model. Yes, I understand that LGB self-limits their model designs based on the archaic R1 rule, but like most of us, I’m not spending hundreds of pounds on models, only to let them strain in tight circles running around the living room floor! As such, I find shifting and raising the air lines doesn’t interfere with operations, and visually is a huge help. For this model, the oversized chunky hoses that came standard have been removed, and some more appropriate styled air lines will be located higher up on the end plate per the prototype.

This means I needed to (or, I wanted to) patch the OEM mounting holes from the factory. Thankfully, given the nature of most narrow gauge switchers / tractors, cosmetics are not the most important thing on the shop crew’s mind. Even more so when looking at the front and rear areas of the loco. Given switching ops, dings, bangs, and bashes… a few added “plates” should do nothing but add character to the face of the engine. So, suitable styrene strips were sourced and out came the knife!

Should all but blend in once the frame is painted… and what bit is still noticeable will simply add some character/relief to the end plates.

I also used this point to locate the new air lines. Using my pin vise, I drilled the frame with a mounting hole for each hose. (Top Tip: LGB’s hose castings have two parallel mounting pins/tabs that press into the engine frames to mount. I find it very hard to drill two mounting holes the exact distance needed to receive the casting as is. While the two holes may look perfect, the long, narrow nature of the air line pipe and hose accentuates any slight angle once installed. Making the holes slightly larger to help with the fit will result in a “wobbly” mount, with the air lines deflecting side to side. My solution has been to trim off the lower of the two tabs from the air line casting and then drill only one mounting hole in the frame. Thanks to lady gravity, the air lines then hang plumb. A dab of CA will hold the part in place.)

Next up on the end plates, it was time to tackle the added “boxes” that are on either end of most of the FO/MGB’s Tm 2/2s. These looked to have been added by the railway after manufacture/delivery. Most likely they were added to provide mounting space for the upgraded ditch lights without intruding on the frame end steps. They add a nice bit of “chunk” to the end frames, and so of course I needed to try and replicate them.

I started with styrene square tube. Using an Xacto saw, mitre box, and some 1000 grit sand paper, I cut and cleaned up pieces.

Then with a dab of CA, the pieces were glued to the front and rear plates of the loco (time for clamps!)

Overall, I think this helps the look and feel. The location/placement is not accurate to the MGB ones, but that is mainly due to LGB’s model being overall too narrow. So, as much as I hate it - I needed to adopt the LGB practice of “selective compression” to make this piece work.

Up next will be to add the ditch light mounting plates to the top of these boxes, and then to model the MGB version of control lines (3 of them) that hang from the left side box on each end.

Finally, as usual, a test fit of the pieces on hand for motivation!



25 Oct 2009
Los Angeles, CA
Well, the weekend and bank holiday came and went… with lots of chores around the house, and precious little train time I’m afraid.

The good news is that the body spray primers have all shown up, so where there were little pauses with sunshine, I got a chance to spray some color!

Up first was the frame. Using my go to “The Army Painter” Base Matte Black, I sprayed the frame, twice, letting it sit in the sun in-between coats.

I also set up the remaining body shell parts for paint. I focused primarily on the cab, as again, I’m fighting the putty-filled handrails holes. After two coats of the red primer (“The Army Painter” Primer Dragon Red), the most offending dings/divots disappeared.

In the light, one can still tell where the railings were… and I suspect that even after the next round of sand and paint (and the clear coat) these still aren’t going to disappear. (Grumble, grumble…) One comfort I have is that once I replace the handrails, these will obstruct direct view of the patches on either side of the cab doors.

Due to focusing on this - I only got a single spray on the nose hood, and the rear hood went untouched altogether, but - I took what time I could get and then headed back in before the rains returned.

The last thing I was able to do was lay down the first coat of Testor’s Dullcote on the frame. Emptied what was left in the can and will need to swing by the LHS to pick up more, but for now its good enough to handle the frame a bit without worry.

And of course, another test fit…

Today at lunch I got a few mins, so I cut some styrene scraps to frame out the hood top panel. Hopefully later this week I can get a few hours of sun to shoot everything again with primer and we’ll see how it’s all looking.

In the meantime, I’m going to start working on the headlights/rear lights/ditch lights and look for suitable LEDs.

Once I get another layer of Dullcote on the frame I can begin installing the hoses, tanks, and battery boxes. I suspect by next week the frame should be complete (minus the wasp stripes on the frame corners).