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Hon30 – 10 ton Molino-Shay

Posted by Gerd on Monday, 30 March 2015 with 1 Comment

One of my favorite prototype Shays is the tiny Molino Timber Shay. This 10 ton Class A Shay is one of the smallest Shays that Lima ever build and one of the rare 30″ gauge Shays. Someday I got the idea in my mind to make my own Molino-Shay for my logging railroad using an Atlas N-scale Shay. This is the story…

The Atlas Shay is a good base to start this project. The truck wheelbase is size fits very well, only the truck style (pressed steel vs. archbar) differs, but I can live with such small issues. The width of the loco is also well, since the prototype was very narrow, just less than twice the gauge. The boiler is a bit larger, but will hide the drive and will work for me too. In the end, the over all proportions and look of the engine will count for me.

Since the original Atlas Shay is to long for the Molino-Bash, I first decided to hack&glue the frame as I did on previous Shay bashes. But this time, I tried some thing new. I drew a 3D version of the frame, which is 9mm shorter and ordered a printed version in brass.

You can clearly see the length difference between the original frame and the new one. I also redesigned some things, since the Molino Shay uses an old style I-beam frame. The new frame takes all major parts from the Atlas Shay without modification. After inserting the insulation pieces and power contacts, I added the trucks. While the new frame has cast-on couplers, I had to take the trucks apart since the frame would collide with the coupler when inserting the trucks to the frame.

Some more action is required for the motor unit, which makes this bash a bit more complicated. First I pulled of the worms and fly wheels from the motor shafts. Since the worms have no through holes, I first drilled a hole to the end. I then used my drill press to press the motor shaft our of the brass parts. Next I removed the plastic mounts from the motor to make the unit more compact. I’ll use double-sided tape to install the motor to the frame. I also reshaped the fly wheels to clear the frame as well as the inside of the shell, especially where the boiler sits on top.

At least, I found a bug in my frame design, since the motor shaft is 0.7mm to high and worms doesn’t match the gears below. I did some experiments and finally, I made 2 new worms with 5mm diameter which solved the problem very simple. I used enameled wire to connect the power pickups front and rear, hooked up the motor and did a test run. The drive runs well, but for sure, needs the ballast of the shell.

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Next I’ve to fit the side drive shaft and the rebuild steam engine to get the chassis rebuild done. Once the drive unit is finished, the most complicated part of th rebuild is done.

LVLC – rebuilding Way Car #67

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 27 March 2015 (Comments Closed)

Back to the roots and return to where I come from…

Some days ago, I reinstalled the original trucks to the crew car, and now I removed them again. I planned to use other LGB trucks for my freight cars, but finally, they didn’t fit to my other rolling stock. While the crew car is shorter than the other cars, I decided to rebuild the car into a 4-wheeled Way Car and use the trucks for the Boxcar as I’ve planed before.

I ordered Ozark journal boxes and low profile wheelsets and started the rebuild…

First I removed the two bolster bars and cut new sills to take the journal boxes. I glued the Ozark parts onto the sills and the whole assemblies to the frame while I inserted the wheel sets. The new parts will get weathered later, when the box car is finished too.

Since I had some spare time, waiting for the glue to set, I did another thing that was on my wish list for many years. I added some interior. Now the rebuild Way Car is ready for the first service on the LVLC and I’ve to say, that the 4-wheeled version looks much better than the original one with trucks.

Now it’s time to start with the box car to get the LVLC rolling stock complete…

LVLC – 3 more skeleton log cars

Posted by Gerd on Saturday, 21 March 2015 (Comments Closed)


during the last days, I finished three more skeleton log cars for my garden-logging-railroad. They are made the same way as the first set with just a few changes.

I started with the hard ware which is made from brass. For some parts, I made bars with the correct profile and cut them into pieces.

Once all parts were made, I drilled all the holes on my mill, using stop blocks. While the brass parts were burnished, I cut the timbers from scrap wood and stained them.

I use full metal wheelsets with low profile flanges in my LGB archbar trucks. Once the new cars were assembled, I weathered them with the airbrush and added the road numbers. Now I’ve 6 log cars in service on my Fn3 logging railroad.

Next I plan to build a Box Car to finish the rolling stock.

LVLC – Back to the roots

Posted by Gerd on Friday, 13 March 2015 (Comments Closed)

Hello, sometimes you realize, that good ideas you once had, turn out to be less perfect afterwards. I had this experience with some of my Fn3 rolling stock. Therefore I rebuild my crew car again and installed the original trucks again. I found some other LGB trucks on my junk box and I’ll go to […]

It’s getting spring – get out in the garden !!

Posted by Gerd on Thursday, 5 March 2015 with 1 Comment

Hello, since the spring started recently, I like to get out into the garden and fresh air… what a wonderful moment to take a break on my Hon30 railroad and spend some time with my large-scale railroad in Fn3, which was in the background for a couple of month now. I’ll go to finish the […]