Scratch building a battery powered steam loco

M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
871
14
South Australia
My garden railway needs a new battery powered steam loco. At the moment I only have one, a very tired Bachmann Lyn which must be ten years old. Recently I scratch built a South Australian Yx class loco in ON30 scale using 3D printed bodywork on a Bachmann ON30 mechanism. I would now like to build one in G scale. The prototype (see photo) runs on the Pichi Richi railway in South Australia. Cute isn't it!
My preferred method is to purchase a suitable, but reasonably priced, 2-6-0 or 4-6-0 loco and cannibalise it for frame, wheels, connecting rods, mechanism and selected parts. The driving wheels need to be as close as possible to 44mm diameter and the frame needs to allow for daylight under the boiler. Does anyone have any suggestions, please?
94177_19b52b982b3f500270145bd6d50d92b9.jpg
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
1,687
120
Ascot
If you're not bothered about metal wheels a Newqida 2-6-2 would be a cheap and cheerful starting point.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,261
558
North West Norfolk
Unfortunately, in this scale when you start scratch building, the reasonable price bit tends to fall away.

I'm not sure how many of the RTR chassis would give you the daylight under the boiler. A Piko 0-6-0 would be robust, but I'm not sure about the daylight aspect.

Moving up the cash register scale, GRS do a nice chassis which looks as if it could help, although perhaps the wheels are a tad smaller in diameter. Nah, looked at it again and the wheels are too small and it's just shy of £300.

So, what about taking a knackered PIKO and re-motoring it with the motor in a new position ?

Failing that, you can build a chassis with the minimum of tools and engineering experience - as a devout bodger, trust me.

But again, the cost soon mounts - the wheels for that loco and tender cost me £120 in 2011; the six drivers alone would now cost around £150 :eek::eek::eek:

94212_a5e79f3590cfcdf7fee2d7c346698127.jpg
 
Last edited:
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
25,261
558
North West Norfolk
Just looked at a picture of a Piko 0-6-0 - the daylight is there over the first set of drivers and a bit of the second set.

The wheels are not close enough together, and they may not be 44mm - that sounds quite large for G scale - just checking that's correct?

The Wheels on my scratchbuilt chassis are 44mm, but I haven't seen any chassis that have such large wheels on such a short wheelbase as the loco in your photo :think::think::think::think:
 
spoz

spoz

What do I do? What I'm told by SWMBO
Staff member
GSC Moderator
27 Oct 2011
2,535
18
Adelaide, South Australia
Peter,

The Bachmann industrial mogul has the clearance between frame and boiler, and is outside cylinder, but the wheelbase is probably too short. A Stephenson motion Annie, replacing the front bogie with a pony truck perhaps? I think the chassis is still available direct from Bachmann, which might make it reasonable financially.

Steve

PS If you do it, any chance of producing a second body?
 
Last edited:
tac foley

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
1,995
277
73
Near Huntingdon, UK
I have an LGB 0-6-0 chassis, intended originally for their 2-6-2 tank loco, that is available this minute, along with a pony truck. It has side-rods, but nothing else except for a few easy to remove metal frame parts that are bolted on as extensions - you might even get to use them. Wheels are 37.2mm over treads and 43.7mm overall diameter - spaced much like the loco in the image.

You pay the shipping.

PM me to exchange details if you are interested.

tac
 
Last edited:
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
871
14
South Australia
Peter,

The Bachmann industrial mogul has the clearance between frame and boiler, and is outside cylinder, but the wheelbase is probably too short. A Stephenson motion Annie, replacing the front bogie with a pony truck perhaps? I think the chassis is still available direct from Bachmann, which might make it reasonable financially.

Steve

PS If you do it, any chance of producing a second body?
Steve,

That looks like a good solution. I never realised that Bachmann sold so many spare parts. There are huge discounts on their web store (up to 67%). Looks like I can buy a complete 4-6-0 mechanism with motor, gears, wheels, motion and frame for only US$55. Does anyone know the diameter of the driving wheels of the 4-6-0 Anniversary/Annie?

It is unlikely that I will 3D print the whole body. More likely that I will use plastic tubes for the boiler/smoke box and fabricate the cab and tender in styrene. I will then 3D print all the bits and pieces plus the Belpaire firebox. But yes, you are welcome to anything I 3D print.

Regards
Peter
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
871
14
South Australia
I have an LGB 0-6-0 chassis, intended originally for their 2-6-2 tank loco, that is available this minute, along with a pony truck. It has side-rods, but nothing else except for a few easy to remove metal frame parts that are bolted on as extensions - you might even get to use them. Wheels are 37.2mm over treads and 43.7mm overall diameter - spaced much like the loco in the image.

You pay the shipping.

PM me to exchange details if you are interested.

tac
Tac, thanks but I think the Bachmann parts looks like the way to go.

Regards
Peter
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
668
66
The Bachmann Annie drivers are about 50mm or so. If you make your own chassis/frames you could make the wheel spacing better. Only the rear axle is driven directly by the motor so the rods will drive the other 2 axles but you will have to make your rods to fit also.
The drivers on the Aristocraft Rogers 2-4-2 are about 44mm but you will need 2 of them for 3 axles. Each axle has it's own motor and gearbox so easy to set-up.
Otherwise as others have already said the Piko 2-6-0 chassis (although the driver spacing is not even) or the Bachmann Industrial Mogul may work too.
There was an earlier model of the Piko saddle tank 0-6-0 that had smaller, more spaced wheels. The later models have larger wheels and a better quality motor block. I think all the Piko x-6-x locos now use the same motor block.
 
G

g-bits

Registered
24 Oct 2009
238
0
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
...
Otherwise as others have already said the Piko 2-6-0 chassis (although the driver spacing is not even) or the Bachmann Industrial Mogul may work too.
There was an earlier model of the Piko saddle tank 0-6-0 that had smaller, more spaced wheels. The later models have larger wheels and a better quality motor block. I think all the Piko x-6-x locos now use the same motor block.
There are still two different sizes of Piko 'rigid' 6 wheel steam block.

The smaller size has 37mm wheels and is used under the BR80 and US outline 0-6-0st. Wheelbase is 114mm not quite equally divided. This started out in plain bearing form and has since been updated to a ball bearing equivalent. Both are still available, ditto spare parts.

The freelance US outline Mogul and 0-6-0 tender loco use a bigger block with 45mm wheels and 119.5mm overall wheelbase. This only comes in ball bearing form.

I say 'rigid' blocks, both these types have a central motor in a hump across the top driving the end axles and the central one is a floater driven by the rods. The V60 that the mogul inherited its wheels from bends in the middle so it has the the motor above the middle and one end axle and the other end and fly crank on the other side of the hinge. That also came in plain and ball bearing forms.

The bigger Piko steamers, BR24 etc, mostly hinge, and all have bigger wheels again so I'll ignore them here.

Piko have a pretty comprehensive range of spare parts available, but their blocks are generally designed with a londitudinal motor across the top of the axles, so you've got your work cut out for you if fresh air in front of the firebox is a must.

I think the prototype is a C/CC/CCS or one of its relatives? If so, and if you can live with the oversized wheels, buying a complete bachmann block is definitely the easiest and probably cheapest way of getting a bunch of compatible bits suitable for mounting the motor in the firebox.

Jonathan
g-bits.co.uk
 
spoz

spoz

What do I do? What I'm told by SWMBO
Staff member
GSC Moderator
27 Oct 2011
2,535
18
Adelaide, South Australia
Peter,

I’ll email you about the parts....

The industrial mogul has a wheelbase of 115mm and a driver diameter of 40mm. I’m not sure if all Annies are the same but mine has a wheelbase of 145mm and the drivers are 44-45mm in diameter (measured tonight). It’s a Walschearts gear, if that makes a difference.

Steve
 
Last edited:
tac foley

tac foley

Registered
11 Apr 2017
1,995
277
73
Near Huntingdon, UK
Baker valve gear. Similar, but not identical.

tac, duty pedant.
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
668
66
spoz, did you measure the blind center driver? They have less diameter than the flanged drivers. About 48.5mm on mine.
My Bachmann Annies, the last plastic geared, metal rod, walschaerts valve gear version, flanged drivers measure up about 51mm center on the tread.
I even found my calipers this time... :nod:
 
Last edited:
spoz

spoz

What do I do? What I'm told by SWMBO
Staff member
GSC Moderator
27 Oct 2011
2,535
18
Adelaide, South Australia
spoz, did you measure the blind center driver? They have less diameter than the flanged drivers. About 48.5mm on mine.
My Bachmann Annies, the last plastic geared, metal rod, walschaerts valve gear version, flanged drivers measure up about 51mm center on the tread.
I even found my calipers this time... :nod:
Mine is a metal wheeled, metal gear, metal motion version with the new pilot which makes it about 8 years old I think. I used calipers to measure the two flanged drivers on each side and got just over 44.6mm average, rim to rim ignoring the flanges, If I included the flanges I guess they would be about 50mm. I couldn't be bothered measuring the Indy wheels that closely as I don't reckon the loco meets Peter's requirements so I measured those with a rule, as I did the wheelbase for the Annie - and that's the fixed wheelbase of course.

Mind you the calipers I used are a new set of digital ones; I really prefer the old vernier type but they seem impossible to get these days. Still, I don't think I messed up.

Baker valve gear. Similar, but not identical.

tac, duty pedant.
Tac, could've (did and has done for years!) fooled me, what's the difference?

(Edit) Just looked it up. Different jointing (pins not slides) and expansion arrangement. Your live and learn!!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Paradise
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
668
66
spoz, interesting. It seems as if the latest Bachmann Anniversary drive block with metal gears/improved pilot has smaller drivers than before.
There had to be some reason for the 6mm size discrepancies we had.
 
spoz

spoz

What do I do? What I'm told by SWMBO
Staff member
GSC Moderator
27 Oct 2011
2,535
18
Adelaide, South Australia
Nice diagram. You can see how the Baker was derived from the Walschaerts concept.

Just ordered one of Bachmann's $US 55 specials; too good an offer to knock back although shipping adds another 40 or so. But if I'm going to get aboard Peter's Yx 3 d printing effort, and I always did like that design, it would be better to acquire one before they go unavailable; and even if I don't I imagine it won't go to waste. Be interesting to see what size the wheels are.

45 mm scales out at 3 foot 6 using 1:24, of course, so they're not really all that large (real world) by the standards of most railways; 50 scales to just under 48 inches which is a bit closer to what most main lines, even in 3'6" gauge, would use. Yx however were 3'3" IIRC; that would actually scale close to what the Indy has. But the fixed wheel base was around 13 feet? Close to the Annie, way off the Indy which scales to about 9 feet! Compromises, compromises....
 
P

Paradise

Registered
28 Jan 2010
668
66
I think you will find the Annie motor block you have just ordered is not the newest one with metal gears which would probably been your closest choice regarding driver diameter. The latest ones were about $100 a chassis whereas the ones before that with plastic gears were going for around $50. Still an OK motor block though. I think it is the 6th generation of a succession of improvements.

http://www.girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/big_hauler_tips.html
 
M

Moonraker

Registered
25 Oct 2009
871
14
South Australia
Yes, I too am ordering the Bachmann 4-6-0 Anniversary chassis tomorrow. Not quite spot on but the price makes it a close enough compromise. Now just making a list of the other bits I am ordering at the same time ie. brake pump, generator, etc.
Spoz I will email you photos as I go. Am hoping to finish it by November so that I can take it to the Great Southern Steam Up.

Regards
Peter Lucas
MyLocoSound