Master Model Railroader

"An NMRA member qualifies as a Master Model Railroader when he or she has obtained at least seven of the eleven Achievement Certificates provided that he or she has earned at least one Achievement Certificate in each of the four areas of the Regulations. Earning the title of Master Model Railroader is the ultimate goal for many participants in the Achievement Program."

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Master Builder - Motive Power (Two more down) On30 0-6-0 Mine Locomotive

The second locomotive that caught my interest was built from an article I saw in the Narrow Gauge Gazette. The author built it in Gn15, based on an On30 chassis of a 2-6-0 steam locomotive.

I had an old MDC/Roundhouse kit of a 0-6-0 Tank Locomotive lying around and thought it could probably fit the bill if I build the same locomotive in On30 based on the HO chassis.

These old MDC/Roundhosue locomotive kits were state-of-the-art back in the early days although they all reminded me a bit to a coffee grinder when running. This locomotive has an open frame Pittman style motor screwed to the die-cast frame. A worm gear drives the center axle.

I imagined that I could use an PVC pipe, cut a slot out to fit over the motor and have by this a smokebox, boiler and firebox in one piece. The cab on the "prototype" model was sitting only 6 scale inches above the rails. I fabricated a platform for the cab which I could slide over the rear part of the frame and attach it with a screw. In case of motor problems I could unscrew the cab and remove the boiler tube which was held with a screw in front of the frame.

A very interesting item to build was the saddle tank that is located over the smoke box and boiler. I cut a hole, centered on the watertank for the steam dome. The two square boxes to the front are the sandboxes.

I build the firebox around the larger part or the PVC tube. The cab assembly slides over the rear tube and is attached to the frame with a screw on the bottom. I added levers and gauges from my parts box. The firebox door mechanism was built using a photo for reference.

I also included a fuel tank in the cab. Obviously the coal burner was converted to oil for its use in the mines.

The photo above shows the painted interior and part of the chipping paint effect on the outside of the cab.

I added quite a few features to the locomotive like sander pipes, pressure tanks, buffer beam and scratchbuilt draft gear boxes.

The front and rear buffer beams are balsa wood, scribed and weathered.

Unfortunately there was a big controversy about the use of commercial chassis or frames, with the result that this locomotive also did not earn a Merit Award. I insisted on a re-assessment and explained a couple of things I've done which obviously escaped to the assessors in their first evaluation. The model finally passed with 90 points and a Merit Award.

Although I put high hopes in my two builds, all the discussions around the scores nevertheless leave a bad taste. Although I'm very proud of how they turned out, I had to admit that some features were missing. But I never thought that a commercial frame had such an impact on the overall evaluation of the models.

I accepted the verdict and kept on building another model.

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