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Geared Steam Locomotives - 1:87 Scale
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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 02:03 am
1st Post
Alain Feypel

Joined: Wed Dec 13th, 2017
Posts: 43
I wanted to share some of my work on my geared scratchbuild/kitbashed locomotives.
I will do it in 2 posts if ever the computer thinks it is time to crash.

This 2-truck 6-axle Shay is based on a Willamette drawing found here :

Victim(s) for this kitbash were the Bachmann Shays.
This one was a little more work than just using 2 tenders to make one 2-truck tender.
This was also my most modified one until then.

Making the trucks.
The frames are simply glued together.

Getting the parts for the frame.

Frame pieces glued together.

Meanwhile the 2 boiler-halves were also glued.

Gears installed.

Some paint.

The finished and painted locomotive.

I have no side view of the Shay just painted, but a video instead:

Here the final weathered product:

My friend Paul already posted about this Shay:

Because I broke a frame of the front truck, I had to redo that one,
but instead of using glue, I used screws.
In addition to that, I reworked the coal bunker because it looked not good.
(no pictures of the truck while reworking it)

Here how she looks now.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 02:22 am
2nd Post
Alain Feypel

Joined: Wed Dec 13th, 2017
Posts: 43
Here my latest creation and also the one that took the most time.

I thought it was one year ago I began with this one,
but it is already 2 years now.

Most won't even know that this loco really existed.
Only 5 were built.

Information about this great locomotive can be found here:

When I first saw the picture, I thought I got to have one like this,
but nobody makes one in HO, in fact it does not exist as model at all.
So I had to build one myself, because you don't see one often or never.

Biggest problem was the driveline.
I didn't want to have a driveshaft running under the frame, like on the PFM Vulcan Duplex.
PFM made a nice loco, but for that price the driveshaft under the loco is unacceptable for ME.
It is not a Climax nor Heisler nor any geared steam locomotive which has a driveshaft under the frame,
so NO DRIVESHAFT under the frame.

Well, not an easy task getting adequate sized drivers, trucks to fit them in. and cylinders,
not to mention the idler crank has to spin faster than the drivers.

So I killed a few locos to build the drive.
I used 2 Meyer Idler gearboxes.
In first place I made my own out of brass but they failed horribly.
So Rivarossi offered the gearboxes.

This beauty is made out of parts of:

Bachmann Shay ... (Bunker and all the parts on the Boiler)
Bachmann Climax ... (Cab)
Rivarossi Meyer ... (Gearboxes, water hatches, cylinders, rods which were modified)
Rivarossi 3rd gen. Heisler ... (trucks, drivers and front light, coal bin 2 of them glued together)
PSC Shay ... (Air tank)

Boiler is a piece of copper piping.
Frame, parts of the trucks, some piping and grab Irons are brass.
The rest of the needed parts come from the scrap box.

I had to redo the motormount 3 times,
because one was too weak, the other too long, and the third was OK.
Oh yes, I know, measure twice cut once, that does not always work for me.

All the brass parts were painted with 2K-Urethane RAL 9005 paint (except grab rails)
the rest was done with Testors gloss black and then everything coated with Dullcoat,
followed with some weathering protected with another coat of dull clear.

The model is NOT an exact prototype copy because of technical reasons,
the locomotive would have been too long to fit everything to it.

Pictures will follow.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 02:28 am
3rd Post

Joined: Mon Dec 10th, 2012
Location: Boonville, Missouri USA
Posts: 878
That 6 axle Shay sure is something you're not going to see on every Walmart shelf!

There's so much really cool stuff on 'Geared Steam' ...

See y'all later, Forrest.
Screw the rivets, I'm building for atmosphere
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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 03:25 am
4th Post
Alain Feypel

Joined: Wed Dec 13th, 2017
Posts: 43
Here as promised the pictures of the Davenport geared duplex build.
(description in previous post)

Here the trucks I first intended to use, but with smaller drivers.

I needed to get something better.

This was the beginning of trial and error, but it began to get good.

Here you see very good, the "magic".

1 wormgear drives the counterweight crank, the other the drivers.
Basically 1 1/2 Heisler-truck.

1st and 2nd gen. Heislers had metal wormgears,
which drove the wheels twice as fast as 3rd and 4th gen models.

So I have a gearing of 2:1, exactly what I needed.
The crank sits in a Heisler truck cut in half.

You will also notice the coupler box comes from a Climax.
I made some of brass afterwards. because the couplers were way too low like this.

After I found out that my idler gearboxes had a flaw and were binding,
I modified those from Rivarossi to fit my trucks.
The counterweight from a 45-Ton switcher was dumped,
and replaced with a slice of brass.

The brass frame.

The ashpan is hollowed out to fit the decoder later.

This was to give me some motivation.

The trucks with some brass as cover for the gears.

The boiler.

I first made one out of 3 pieces of copper piping (right)
but I had to take the one on the left, to fit over the idler gearbox.
The taper on the right one was better.

... so I used the one that would fit, and filled some solder over the area where needed.

Test-fit!?  Yes it fits.
Next step please.

Drilling the holes for some domes and other parts.

Adding the bands, to be precise soldering them.

Now we are getting somewhere.

Some more motivation.
It looks like a steamer.

Comparing to the 6-axle Shay.

And here before painting.

The painted parts (except the ones in the box).

Also important to me was, that it had to be maintenance-friendly,
so 95% of the parts are held with screws.

Parts glued:
air tank, ladders, pipe to the steam dome, boiler cover, sand boxes, bell and generator.

And finally:

The windows in the cab look like painted black,
but it is just the black tape inside the cab.

Lights aren't installed yet.

I also filled the bunker with pieces of lead,
also some lead is glued inside the cab roof, and in the front portion of the boiler.

Side note:
Some things had to be adapted to make it a running Davenport.
Resulting in, that some parts are NOT like in the patent drawings,
like the steam piping, or else the trucks could not pivot enough.

The video:

It also runs as good in the other direction.


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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 04:32 am
5th Post

Joined: Wed Oct 6th, 2010
Location: Twickenham, United Kingdom
Posts: 931


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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 06:32 am
6th Post
Steven B

Joined: Thu Aug 13th, 2015
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 556

You are a true craftsman.  :pimp:

It is a joy to watch the progress on your creations.
Thanks for sharing. 

I hope to get back to work on projects soon. 
The creative juices of others really makes my fingers itch to cut, slice and dice.

Steven B.
Humboldt & Toiyabe Rwy
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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 06:53 am
7th Post
W C Greene

Joined: Fri May 4th, 2007
Location: Royse City, Texas USA
Posts: 8055
This thread is very impressive as are the locomotives.

This lets me remember the art of Mr. Bill Schopp.
That gent did the same type of "mingling and fixing" as Alain.

Schopp used available brass locos for his jobs,
remember that a brass PFM Shay or Climax, etc.
was priced around $50 to $70 then (1960's).

I am sure some of you guys remember Mr. Schopp, I know Herbie does!


It doesn't matter if you win or lose, its' how you rig the game.
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 Posted: Mon Dec 18th, 2017 09:14 am
8th Post

Joined: Wed Aug 25th, 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA
Posts: 92
Its good to see you sharing your work here.

I hope to see much more.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2017 02:06 am
9th Post

Joined: Wed Jan 25th, 2012
Posts: 108
I might note that there is, in fact, an HO model of a duplex.

PFM imported a Vulcan duplex back in the late '60s in brass.

Haven't seen one in quite a while, but they are around.

Google PFM Duplex.

But great work on bashing up this model!

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 Posted: Tue Dec 19th, 2017 04:13 am
10th Post
Alain Feypel

Joined: Wed Dec 13th, 2017
Posts: 43

Hi ebtnut,

Yes I knew about the Vulcan, but unfortunately it isn't geared.

That is what makes the Davenport so interesting,
the look of a duplex, with the fast turning crank of a Climax,
sort of a hybrid.

The trucks from the Vulcan would also have been a good choice for my build,
but too expensive and hard to get here.


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