Scratch build loco

UP_Phil Apr 19, 2017

  1. UP_Phil

    UP_Phil New Member

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    Some very nice locomotives have been marketed at some very nice princes. Well outside of my hobby budget. How difficult would it be to build a stream loco in z-scale? I'm thinking of the U.P. 844 fef-3 4-8-4. In n-scale for instance they have the very nice brass loco's and less expensive but nice plastic models. Is anyone scratch building loco's in z? Where would one start? What help is out there?
    Thanks
     
  2. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Supporter

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    First, you need the drive mechanism. So, $300 for a Marklin chassis. Where else are you going to get drive wheels?
    Then all the etchings you have to design, especially all the little support details.
    Parts like sand domes, steam cylinders, etc.

    Search for 'Berkshire' 'chris' and then cry. At the amazement and reality.
     
    Kez likes this.
  3. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    Z-scale could use a nice 4-8-4, like AZL's Mikado.(y)
     
  4. UP_Phil

    UP_Phil New Member

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  5. UP_Phil

    UP_Phil New Member

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    SJ Z-man, you bring up some very good points making me think a lot. The drive mechanism is a major consideration. Having to build the wheels & rods would take some time and Marklin is not a consideration for me. Atlas makes 8 wheel drivers (the other Atlas) at a reasonable price. The motor & miscellaneous gears I can purchase. A chassis block I can machine. All the other stuff I can make out of styrene and brass. After all, what is a scratch build all about. I'm not saying it is going to be easy & it will take time. What I need now are some drawing, what is behind the front shield.
    Thanks
     
  6. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have been developing some power trucks/ chassis to use in various N, Nn3, and Z projects. I'm finally getting close to some final units ready for public consumption. A Z scale switcher is one that I should be assembling soon, powering an existing Shapeways body. The effort has been in getting reliable operation at reasonable scale speeds and excellent low speed performance for switching. It's been a real challenge but after countless hours invested working out the endless important details I've got a very nice running package. This could be the poster child for the saying, "The devil is in the details, but so is salvation".

    This chassis is a prototype that's under 9mm in height with a 44" wheelbase running on Z scale track.

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
    Kez and minzemaennchen like this.
  7. SJ Z-man

    SJ Z-man TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK, --> I'm <-- interested :0 What is the motor voltage? So many small ones are 6V which pushes the limit with DCC.
    And, the mine cars. Don't see them on Shapeways.
    Interesting Track Gauge.
     
  8. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think you are sparking some serious interest here. What Z needs among other things, is a good running switcher. Do tell more.
     
    Kurt Moose likes this.
  9. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those cars are from Roy Stevens on Shapeways. I will not be using those particular ones for my Nn3 mine loco package as I'll have the preferred link and pin arrangement also at a lower than standard Z height which is more prototypical. I'll also have several car styles including a similar tipper but also other typical coal and hard rock mine styles. I'll have an option for a standard height coupler but as low as the typical Mancha, Jeffrey, etc, battery style locos are (under 6 scale feet high) that really puts the coupler too high and not prototypical in that application.

    For switchers and such I'll have some truck and chassis combinations that will work for various available bodies in Z, Nn3, N, or HOn3. At present I'm looking at the Shay from Showcase Miniatures in Nn3 or N as well as Randgust's Climax, both Nn3 and N options. I understand that his Climax currently has no Nn3 option, only N, so this will be a first for that application. I'll also have a chassis for N scale PCC trolley that will afford nice control but more importantly a very tight, prototypical turning radius as well as all mechanisms below window height so they can have a believable interior. I think that's a first. And any of these will be able to be DCC equipped. Currently planning on ability to run 9 to 12 volt supply. I also will recommend a PWM controller for standard DC. That's for the obvious superb low speed control but when combined with the ability to run 9 to 12 volt supply it will allow a better led lighting scheme than many of the 6 volt units or standard controllers w/o PWM.

    Thanks for your interest.
     
    Kez likes this.
  10. ZFRANK

    ZFRANK TrainBoard Member

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    Interesting chassis design! It seems to run very smoothly. But for a switcher the chassis needs to be 7 to 8 mm max. to fit under the hood. I am still hoping someone brings out a small chassis with swiveling trucks.
     
  11. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Supporter

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    Kez likes this.
  12. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've got several variations of chassis and power trucks in the works. One that I have as a sample that I will do is the Z scale Rebel Switcher from Stony Smith on Shapeways. I know that one will be doable with one of the variations. And the Nn3 Climax and Shay that I'm doing are eight wheel chassis running on Z track so I suspect there will be other Z scale things that will be doable. My main focus when this all started was an Nn3 coal mine loco and as that came together these other things were a natural progression.
     
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  13. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    You build it and we will likely come..........
     
  14. Greg Elmassian

    Greg Elmassian TrainBoard Member

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    When do you believe you will be in a position to sell your motive power units?

    Very interested.

    Greg
     
  15. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm some months (6+/-?) away from general sale of anything and then will finish and release variants as time and demand dictate. Sooner than that, in the next month or so, I will be putting together some prototype samples and test units and will be getting them in front of some folks for their testing and feedback. I'm sure there will be posts in places like this so watch for them.

    Also, don't hesitate to send a PM with specific features or desires if you have an immediate demand for a project. Especially at this point in the progression, trying to select what should be the next thing to receive attention, I am looking for that kind of specific data so I know what to build next... or at least try to build.;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
    Kez likes this.
  16. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have built several locos in Z scale, and more in N scale and Nn3 over the years. You generally have to decide first what you want to build and then consider what doaner chassis which might get you close, then what do you have to do, to it, to make it viable. In Z scale, for many years the only choice was a Marklin chassis, the motor is the weak point and many models can develop a problem if left on the shelf to long in a box, result is harden oil, lubricant changes over time from oil to wax and locks up the mechanism, so look for a junker that you can strip clean and reassemble, next you want to find a new motor and I use 8 mm can motors with a new worm and flywheel and chop frame to expose the gear wheel contacting the drivers and then mount my 8 mm can motor and worm to contact the gear wheel so now I have a new drive, for a boiler and chassis I use brass shapes including tubing to create a boiler and cab to fit over the chassis I have reclaimed and re-powered, Then you can out fit it with white metal detail castings. however at this point you could have less than 100.00 invested but finding the items you want and getting them is getting harder and harder as there are very few of us willing to build items to satisfy our desire for something different. Most people want it now and assembled and painted for a certain road. Some recent project of mine were to take static Hallmark Christmas ornaments in Lionel series that were close to Z scale in size and power them, The Veranda Turbine was one and the M10,000 was another. But I am 75 now and have been doing this first in N scale in my early 20's then to N scale narrow gauge in the 30 and 40's and then z scale in my late 50 and early 60's today you have several choices for chassis for steam, besides Marklin there is AZL, Tenshodo and Rokuhan for Steam, for diesel, there is Marklin again and Micro Trains, American Z lines and Rokuhan, but you will be hard pressed to find anything below $100.00, even used, so for cheap you need another scale or start buying broken stuff hoping after a while to accumulate enough to start swapping parts to get something moving again. in recent months I will have close to $200.00 into a project before it is finished and that does not include my time.

    Today it is much more difficult to do this as the small parts makers which were cottage industries have disappeared as less and less demand for their product, had caused many to stop production.

    regardz Garth
     

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