today I like to share some update on Louise Valley Lumber Co. Shay #5.
During the last rework, I added 3D-printed replacements for the broken foot boards on the pilot beams. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long. Also, the steps to the cab were broken multiple times and glued back in place, until they broke off again.
Now it’s time to replace them with rigged brass parts. I used the opportunity to make the foot boards at the end beams smaller, as I don’t need the extra wide opening for the regular couplers.
The construction is very simple. I used 12x10x1mm brass L profiles and some 1.5mm thick brass strips. The parts are holt together with small rivets and got soldered as well. Before applying the paint, I spend a quick sandblast.
While I was already working on the loco, I remembered another tweak I had on my list for many years. The previous owner chopped the length of the cab roof. In my opinion the overall proportions don’t look right. At least to me. Fortunately, I got an original replacement roof.
To make the longer roof fit, I had to rearrange the firewood load. I poked a screw driver under the load and it came off very easily. So I moved the wooden create inside the tender further to the back to get more space to lift off the tender shell for access to the batteries. A new firewood load was installed to match the longer roof. Some small parts as the water valve handles are homemade from brass and styrene.
The new firewood pile isn’t “full load” as before, which looks more realistic to me.
At the end, I’m very happy with the new appearance of the loco with it’s original roof. Finally, the loco is ready for the 2021 season.
short update from my projects.
Not much done, but at least, the tiny Toma Shay got named “Gopher” inspired by Shay c/n433. I had ideas to build a small layout for this loco, but non of the plans could convince me by now or at least, were to large for my space.
So I’ve to spend some more thoughts on a layout and maybe I can use the time in between to finish some other models.
Well, some may have wondered about last weeks update, others already got an idea what I did. Here’s the 4th part of my tiny Shay loco, showing you a little untold secret ;-)
The Toma Shay is factory equipped with a small coreless motor. I meassured the current draw of this motor, which is 6-7mA in regular use, up to 12mA when the wheels are blockes with a thumb. Let’s combine this with a tiny 50mAh Lipo battery, which will be the base for an RC conversion.
As the Shay has limited room inside, the only spot to add RC would be the tender top and inside the firewood pile. I already had a Deltang reviever at home, so I searched for tiny Lipo batteries.
I made a 3D model of each component in Fusion360 as well as model of the tender shell. Next hours were spend in good old Tetris-manner, trying to puzzle all parts in place. A tiny SMD switch could be placed behind the timber railing, same would be possible for a charging socket. Its tight, but should work.
What Fusion360 did not show me is, how tiny tiny the space really is and how to use a soldering iron in litteraly no space at all. First, I converted the power truck. I removed the pick-ups to the wheels and replaced them with a tiny 2-pol socket. This plug-in connection allows easy desassembly if necessary.
A 3-pol-socket for charging was placed on the back side of the tank. I had to file one of the opening and add some shims to make it fit. I use 3-pol sockets for charging with “minus-plus-minus” to allign polarity. On the firemen side, I added the SMD switch with some shims underneath. The knob is sticking out of the grate.
The photo below shows the components used. To charge the battery, I use an external USB-charger with cable connection.
As I designed the whole rebuild in CAD, it was easy to create a woodpile which would cover up all the RC components. I added cut outs for the switch and socket and send the file to my dad for 3D-printing. The printed part got painted and fits perfectly in place, covering up all the electronics below.
Beside the wood pile, I send files for disconnect log cars to my dad as well. But that’s another story for another week.
time for a new update. I did some research on 13ton open cab Shays in the past weeks and where they were used. Doing so, I found a couple of such locos in North Carolina, running into the Carolina Sandhills to get timber, turpentine and tar from pine trees.
A very interesting detail is, that a few of such small Shay locos once ran on timber rails. I was already aware of Shays, build with wide tires and deep flanges to operate on wooden rails. Going through the Shay records, I was able to determine more than 2 dozen of Shays, which were running on timber rails by clear evidence (either photos or notes in the Shay records). This idea fascinated me. So, I made this small test track from basswood strips.
And this is how it looks with a Shay on it…
the tiny Toma Shay is finished. Beside the firewood pile and crew figures, I added obligatory tools and clutter to the runboards. I also spend a light wash-weathering. As this loco was build in 1890 and will be used in its early years, there’s no heavy weathering needed.
As a special detail, I added the chain on the firemen side, which pulls the brake levers. The brake wheel was already part of the model kit, but was not connected further on the underside of the runboard. Steam or air brakes were not common in this early era of steam logging.
I also replaced the couplers. I’ve ideas to build a special layout for this particular loco in style of the early logging railroads in the 1890’s. Stay tuned for something really special :-)
I’m so sorry, but the assembly was so joyful, I once missed again to take progress photos. I hope the few photos below can give you some ideas of the details.
I’m still amazed by the boiler back head detail. Sure, this is an open cab loco, so the back head is visible to the spectator, but the detail is astonishing. All valves and gauges are modelled, the pressure gauge even has a tiny needle. Injectors, regulator, check valves…. Even the number plate on the smokebox door is lettered with Lima Locomotive Co., but 0.35mm letters are hard to read. Anyway, with some drybrush, I could highlight them to make them visible.
Before I painted the chassis, I added Toma’s Hon30 couplings and handrails on top of the endbeams from 0.5mm brass wire.
The roof is made from a different material and features a nice tarpaper style surface. It’s screwed to the roof stands. BTW, the whole model is holes together with small screws, so it’s easy to take the loco apart for repairs or changes.
Here’s the finished loco so far. I’m very happy with the design and overall appearance. Just needs some crew figures, tools and clutter as well as a nice load of firewood.
Let’s assemble the working driveshaft for the RTR chassis. Many parts are attached on a sprue and it’s recommended to leave them in place, until they are needed. Many holes have to be drilled to final dimension, which will provide nice press fits on the silver shafts.
My hand in the back gives an idea how tiny the parts are. The UV-resin is strong, but brittle if to much force is applied. So handle all parts and tools carefully. It’S also recommended to read the full instruction first (provided as PDF in Japanese and English). The assembly steps are well organized and reasoned. Most wire shafts are used in overlength and hold in a pin vise during assembly. This way it’s easy to fiddle them into the tight press fits of the tine parts. If you cut the shafts first, you’ve no chance. Ask why I know this ;-). Some photos are hosted below when I assemble the universal joints.
The wire used in the universal joints is 0.5mm. They are pressed into 0.5mm bores in the ring, while the square shafts are drilled to 0.6mm. It’s imported to drill all holes with a pin vise and hand power. No power tools. Follow the instructions ;-) Once the pin is in place, cut off with rail nipper and file smooth.
In the last step, I assembled the new steam engine with rotating crankshaft. Unfortunately, I enjoyed assembly that much, that I missed to take photos. I’m sorry for that. The crank shaft is going straight through with cranks in place, but without drive rods. It’s hard to notice on the finished model but makes assembly much easier.
Finally, I added the tiny pits for the truss-rods, steps and pilots. The working driveshaft is powered by the front wheelset in the rear truck, while all other bevel gears are dummy. This results in very smooth running. The front truck is powered by the center driveshaft, mostly hidden by the ash pan.
The next part will show the amazing details on the boiler and the other super structure parts.
after my short “trip” to Wales, I’m now back on logging related projects. The first project will be a new tiny Shay for 9mm gauge, which I bought mostly out of curiosity.
This kit is offered by Toma Model Works in Japan and is mostly made from 3D-printed UV-resin. As I feared the assembly of the drive mechanism, I ordered a kit with RTR chassis included. This kit only features a static, non roating drive shaft, but the parts to make the drive shaft working are available as a separate kit as well. So I decided to take this combination, as the full kit with working driveshaft was sold out at that time anyway.
The first look into the small boxes was very scary. There were tons of tiny parts. NO idea how to assemble them all into a working loco model. On the other hand, the quality and details are amazing. The boiler has full back head details.
The RTR chassis runs very smooth and slow from lowest voltage onwards. Small complain might be the buzzing spur gear drive. Maybe there are ways to silence it. We’ll see later, what’s possible or not.
The following posts will show the assembly progress on this loco.
More comming soon, here on my blog.