Jump to content

1951 Pullman Scratchbuild in 1/32

Recommended Posts

Hi, I'm new to the forum and must admit to being completely ignorant of almost all things "train"


My aplogies if this is in the wrong forum,,,, but it's scratch building related so I thought this should be the place - please move if this is not the case.


I am in the process of scratch building a Pullman carriage and have run into a road block as I cannot find the information I need to make the bogies. The information may well be out there but my lack of knowledge of things and terms train related may be causing me to miss them.


To the point... I am scratch building a Pullman carriage in 1/32 scale, and the bogies are proving troublesome for me. I found some good photo's on-line and some other reference material which allowed me to do the side frames in CAD and scale to 1/32





This is the particular bogie style I am attempting to make




I believe the bogies are Gresley 8'6" <= I assume the 8'6" is in reference to the wheel centers ?

The information I am looking for is:

What is the width of the bogie ? (from the outer face to outer face of the side frames)

What wheel diameters are used ? (I have seen reference to 3'6" and 3'7")


When wheel diameter is referenced I assume this is the diameter of the tire that sits on the rail, and not the flanged part - is that true ?


Any help would be appreciated and I am sure I will have a thousand other questions as my build progresses





Edited by hendie
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a 10 foot wheelbase bogie. These were used on the streamlined trains for the articulation and on a batch of pullman cars built  in 1951/2. The wheel diameters were 3' 7.5" when new, but were allowed to wear down to 3' 6" before replacement. The width over the bogie frames was 7' 3". I've attached a LNER diagram of one of these bogies as fitted to the streamlined trains. It differs from the ones fitted to the pullmans only in the arrangement of the articulated attachment to the coach frames. The diagram does, however specify the original plain axle boxes rather than the roller bearing type fitted later in these coaches life.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info - very useful.  The 7'3" is the width of the vertical side frames and doesn't include the rolled flange at the top of the bogie - correct ? (Told you I know nothing about trains!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only a GA for the 8'0" single-bolster type, but that states 7' 2" between sideframe faces, with the sideframe plate thickness 9/16". I imagine that if the 10' 0" differed, it would be in plate thickness.


The Nim.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum,


Not sure if you intend to scratchbuild everything or not but there are some usefull bits and pieces like wheels, couplings, table lamps etc on this site:-




Good luck with the build, keep us up to date with photographs, it's going to be a big beast. I have a soft spot for anything Pullman, and will be looking out with interest.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Peter, the intent is to scratch build pretty much everything. - I made the chassis out of brass C channel for strength. The majority of the structure will probably be from styrene and whatever else I can lay my hands upon - it's amazing what you can find when you look.

I had come across the tenmille site before during one of my frequent searches for information. There's a few parts which I think I could use, but I'd like to attempt to scratch build them first.


I know it's going to be big - I wanted it big enough to be able to add a good level of detail - It's also going to be a very long project but it's been a project I have wanted to do for a long time so I am going to savor it

Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought I'd add a few photo's of the build. I opted to use brass for the chassis for strength purposes - my first attempt at soldering ( a lot of firsts for me on this project)




I am trying to remain as faithful as possible to the original chassis - while allowing for scale effect.
















I am trying to be accurate in the build but there are areas where true accuracy will be impossible, and there are other areas where I have taken small liberties.

For example, the battery box. The original was very bland so I copied the style of battery box from another Pullman to add a bit of visual interest.




Gangway supports were made from a combination of brass and styrene, with rivets from Scale Hardware.  The rivets seen along the chassis were small pieces of styrene rod superglued in position.




Effluent and water tanks fitted - both scratched from styrene sheet, rod, tube and whatever came to hand





With the information gained form this forum, I can now proceed with the bogie build. I guess I now have a few hours of sanding and shaping ahead of me

  • Like 5
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Things are progressing slowly but surely. Now that I got the information I needed, I could progress with the bogies.


Initially I tried to make these in brass but several failed attempts made me reconsider styrene as a material. I know styrene will never support the weight of the carriage once complete, but I figure I can make the internal bogie structure out of brass and just use styrene as a non load bearing outer casing.


I drew up the sideframe full size, scaled it by 1/32 then printed out copies which were then taped to sheet styrene. I found a little bit of preforming of the styrene went a long way to getting a good form.




There's still a lot of shaping and sanding to do but with a bit of work, I think these will pass muster..... I never realized there were so many rivets and bolts in a bogie!




I soon had a production line going and used the same method to create the headstocks




Now all that's left is to spend a few hours sanding and sanding and sanding..... urghhhhh




I did a quick test with some 1mm rivets I had left over from a previous project and it looks like these will be just the ticket for the bogies.




It doesn't look like much now but it's amazing what a coat of primer can do.... eventually!


Now, all that's left is to source some wheels before I can build the internal structure for the bogies. I haven't been able to find anything suitable here in the US so I've emailed a few places in the UK to see how much it's going to cost.

  • Like 3
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Hendie,


I have really enjoyed looking through your posts.  This is true scratch-building!  What material are you intending to use for the construction of the internal framing of the bogies?


All the best,



  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

hi Colin, the plan at the moment is to use brass channel for the internal structure. By the time this is finished, the weight is going to be substantial so styrene just won't be strong enough. I had considered casting resin for some parts, but brass will give me the strength I need for the long term.  I'm in the process of drawing up the structure just now but I have a couple of projects on the go so it may be a little time before I get to the bogies - though I just ordered a load of materials this weekend so maybe that will give me the impetus to get moving on this again

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

just the smallest of updates, but proof that I am still in the land of the living, and progressing albeit at a snails pace (I have another build on the go which has just got to an exciting part, and kind of diverted me from this for the moment)


After what seemed like an eternity of sanding and shaping, I blasted the bogie frames with rattle can primer to see what touch ups were required - actually not too bad. I should maybe have cut out the axle box sections but I wanted to keep as much strength in there for as long as possible - plus I haven't actually figured out how everything is going to connect.




... and all the rivets and other bits and pieces turned up form Scale Hardware, which allowed me to begin the riveting process




and that's it ! - I said it was a small update didn't I ? 

I now need to spend some quality CAD time figuring out how the internal structure of the bogies is going to work, as I need to make sure this all fits together. I promise the next update will be a bit more substantial !

  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 months later...

Contrary to appearances, this thread is no dead - I've just been busy finishing off another build and haven't had a great deal of time to put towards this one in the last few months.

I bodged up a small gauge so that I could make sure that all the axle openings were the same. It doesn't have to be absolutely exact as this is going to be a static display and the carriage will never run on tracks but if I don't get the alignment right it's all going to look a bit wonky.


If you've just joined this thread (or come back after my slightly elongated hiatus) I had loads of these rivets to fit to the bogie side-frames....


After a mind numbing couple of hours spread over the last two days, I finally got all the rivets and bolts in place. Here we are ready to prime....


and with the time leaping magic of t'inerweb, here we are all primed


and here's a close up (or clos-er up) so you can see that there are actually a mixture of rivets and bolts on each side-frame. A total of 10 bolts, and 54 rivets per side-frame (so far...)
I think I can honestly say that I am very, very glad that this part of the build is over. Cutting, then fitting all those rivets made my eyes hurt!


Looks a bit heavy duty and industrial doesn't it ?

The next job on the list is to start working out how the bogie internal frame is going to work. I managed to get some wheel sets for Gauge 1 which are close enough to what I need - I think they are about a millimeter out but who's going to notice that when it's all built up? (apart from me)


The internal structure of the bogies is going to take a little bit of thought - I need it strong enough to support the entire carriage, and it also needs to fit inside the styrene bogie side-frames - hopefully without being obtrusive.

I also have to devise a method of actually attaching the wheels and then to be able to adjust the height of the bogie frame relative to the wheels - then just to make things easy, I have to be able to adjust the ride height of the carriage relative to everything else!!! Oh... and the wheels have to fit in there as well!

As is always recommended with these (or any) type of builds - dry fitting as you go prevents problems creeping up on you later (or so I am told). It really doesn't matter that I have nothing to dry fit to - but I couldn't resist seeing how the wheels would look in the bogie.


It's moments like that ^^^ that give me encouragement to keep moving on. It's just a shame that they're all going to get painted black so all the detail will be lost - makes you wonder why we do this sometimes!

I am sure I had a drawing all worked up with dimensions for the bogie structure but I'm darned if I can find it anywhere. I distinctly remember spending an hour or two working out dimensions... guess I'll just have to do it again.

  • Like 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In between multiple jaunts to far away places and waiting on supplies to arrive for the Wessex, I dragged myself back to the carriage build again.
I had to change my plans slightly as to how the bogie internal frame was constructed. I had initially planned on having the C channel upright - however when I tried some dry fitting I discovered that I would have had to cut a substantial amount of brass away to get it to fit nicely behind the bogie side-frame.  However, laying it flat so that I had an inverted "U" worked out a lot better.
It looks pretty simple but I had a lot of phaffing about to ensure that the cross frames didn't interfere with the wheels and that I had enough room for the bolster etc.
So the frame now sites nicely inside the side frames and once all painted up will hardly be visible.
I managed to find a PDF online with instructions for folding up a smaller scale PE version of this bogie - it came in very handy in trying to figure out how this is all going together.
I take a screen shot from the PDF, insert it in my CAD program, blow it up and then I can trace over the PDF. Once I'm done, I can take a reference dimension from the blown up trace and then scale it down to 1/32 for use in my build - all very handy!
This is a quick rough cut of one of the bogie components ....
... which, when folded up resembles a small spidery thing.... or is it a pushme pullyou ?
This structure will sit in the middle of the bogie. This rough cut version is mainly for messing around with to try out some ideas. I don't think styrene is going to be strong enough to support the weight of the carriage once it's completed, but the styrene will help me figure out how the geometry is all going to interface together.
Another quick dry fit shows that you can still see a small piece of the brass at the top of the axle cut outs - they'll need to go. - Thankfully, the wheels still fit in there - I have about 0.75mm clearance on each side - a close fit but I couldn't have asked for better. That will actually help me with the design later.
A few swipes with a file removes the offending material - not pretty at this point but I'll tidy that up later.
Worked out nicely. You can still see some of the brass at the back, but that will be hidden once the leaf springs are put in position... after I get around to making them!
Once again, just a small update but a critical one that I needed to get done before I can move on with this build.

  • Like 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wot !!! Two updates in two days... what's going on ????
After spending about 2 and a half hours shoveling snow today I retired to the basement and got some more of that modeling malarkey done.  I thought for a little while there that I had lost some of that mojo stuff, but then it dawned on me that I just haven't had the chance to spend any time downstairs. Once I was done there and started messing about the build it all came back to me. (phew!)
After much to-ing and fro-ing and throwing some ideas around in my head about how this thing is going to hang together, I decided to kill the styrene shape idea. There was just too much going on there and it was making things extraordinarily difficult.... when it doubt.... keep it simple!  I decided to go with a single plate in the center.
You can see in the photo above that I've marked the center and center punched it.  I got to use my pillar drill, or drill press as they call it here, in anger for the first time.
The plate was then soldered to the bogie frame
After studying as many photo's as I could find of the bogie, I decided I needed a deep "U" channel to connect to the carriage - however, I came across a slight problem in as much as I didn't have a channel deep enough.... but after looking at what I had handy, I came across some equal angle which looked promising.
I cut two lengths of the angle and soldered them together to form a channel, and whaddya know... it worked!  I now had to drill a hole in the center of the channel - that was a bit frightening but the solder held admirably.
The plan (Plan A at the moment) being that I can use brass tube to keep everything centered - and it will double as my mounting point to the carriage later.
Part B of plan A was to use these smaller channels to support the cross beam
However, a dry fit of the assembly showed me that it was now a bit tight in there and I didn't have enough room to make any adjustments later.
There should be about 0.125" between the bottom of the chassis and the top of the bogie flange.
I opted to go with some flat bar in the end. This leaves me with enough room to fit support blocks on top of the cross member and also room enough to adjust the height of the bogies relative to the chassis. It's a bit agricultural but it works - and once I have everything else on there, very little will be seen above the bogie side frame.
As reference - it should look like this when finished.   (and those decals and pin striping are going to be fun!)
I couldn't resist a quick taping up of the bogie frame work to see what it was going to look like. - A little bit of trimming and I think that will pass muster. Now I just have to attack the second bogie and get that one up to the same state of build.
It's very tempting to glue the styrene frames to the brass now but I want to make sure I have all the soldering done before I commit to gluing anything as we all know that styrene doesn't play well with big hot things.
For a while there I was very intimidated by the bogies, but now that I am getting into it, I am starting to enjoy this part. There's still a lot to be added to these - brakes, springs and all sorts of frame work, but I think I have broken the back of the bogies - Now that I have figured out my mounting method, the rest should be a lot easier. (famous last words!!!)

  • Like 2
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

So, in between travels I managed to squeeze another hour or two down in the basement and got to play with the bogies. The bogies have been bugging me for a while as I can't seem to get enough planning ahead and they're eating up more time than they should. Mostly my fault though - I really should sit down at the computer for a week or two and design the components ahead of time - but I don't... it's much more fun making it all up as I go along. Enough jibberish....

Going back to the styrene template I made a few weeks ago, I determined that I could use part of the profile to make the mounting arms. - As usual, I printed out the part I wanted 1:1 - taped it to 4 bits of brass clamped in the vise.... some hack-sawing and plenty filing later.....


I have 4 of these....


My paper template slipped towards the end and I ended up cutting the slot on the left side (as viewed here) at a slight angle to the outer edge, when it should be parallel. - Thankfully, there's enough wiggle room for me to play with when mounting the bar/beam thingy, so I can get things lined up and they still look okay.

Of course, making them was one thing - actually mounting them proved to be a bit more difficult than I first envisaged. - They have to be centered longitudinally to the bogie, but both slots on each side have to line up with the bogie rails at the same time. Anything out of whack is going to cause loads of problems later.
Loads of phaffing about trying to get things to line up then ensued....


Until I hit upon the idea of throwing in a couple of pieces of brass bar into the slots - that allowed me to visually align everything up with the minimum of fuss - I just had to figure out how to hold it all in position while I soldered it together.


Eventually I succeeded - but not without issue. Twice I soldered it to the wrong side of the channel - twice ! Wot a numpty! Eventually I got both bogies to the same state - it ain't pretty but it works and it ain't going anywhere. Clean up will be a little bit bothersome but I can put up with that.


Moving on in a rush of euphoria after getting those 4 lumps soldered on, I started on the rectangular'ish beam mentioned above. - Same process - draw full scale in CAD, scale it down to my working scale, then print out 1:1, tape it to 4 chunks of brass bar.... some filing and hacking and then once again, we have four more parts.... (still to be cleaned up )


A quick dry fit..... looks good so far.....


... and looks pretty darned good when the bogie side frame is placed in position.


If anything it's maybe a little too deep - but at this point it's close enough. I'll wait until I have the u-channels and springs made before I decided if I need to make it any shallower, or not. I think that will be the last of the brass work needed on the bogies - after that I can begin to start building up the bogies.... suspension bits, brake bits, and all that stuff.

  • Like 3
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In my last post, I had managed to make the 4 crossbar thingies... this morning I thinned them down a bit and soldered them into place. It was a bit of a palaver getting everything square and positioned securely enough for soldering but I got there in the end. Definitely starting to look a bit industrial and bogie-ish.


The next bunch of parts proved to be more troublesome. There are three crossbeams which the suspension springs sit on. The crossbeams themselves were no problem and were made from brass channel with the ends chamfered.
They had to be soldered to the crossbars I had just fitted - because of all the weird angles and stuff going on, clamps didn't want to work. I ended up rigging this bodge-job to hold everything in place and it was remarkably successful in the end.


The two outer crossbeams were soldered without much of a fight - then I realized I had a small issue with the center crossbeam - I still needed access to the bolster plate in order to be able to fit the bogies to the chassis. My solution was to create two shorter beams and fit those leaving a gap in the center which would allow the necessary access later.


Another piece of wonderful bodge rigging to hold everything in place.


Now we have the three crossbeams in place.... on one bogie at least - I ran out of channel so I can only work on one bogie until some supplies arrive from the old supply fairie shoppe. Maybe that's a good thing - one bogie is difficult enough - I'd be bound to screw up if I was doing both at the same time.


I made a spring from some stainless steel wire just to see how it looked


Typical - all that work and then when I fit the side-frames you can hardly see anything.... don't any one dare say "but you'll know it's there!"


It was at that stage I made a momentous decision - well, either a momentous decision, or a momentous mistake.... I decided to attach the side frames !
Since I was bonding styrene to brass I decided to play it safe and used epoxy glue. Crappy superglue would never have been up for the job in this instance. I did have some mild panic attacks as the glue was going off - any misalignment here and it's going to a] look like crap, and b] be impossible to rectify later. I checked from all angles making small adjustments here and there and I think I managed to pull it off in the end.


One cup of coffee later I went ahead and glued the ends on the bogie. The bogie is just resting on the wheel axles at the moment. - It will sit slightly higher (but not by much) once I build the axle boxes and get the wheels mounted.


3/4 view....


By this point I was really starting to get carried away. All the work up until now has just been to get the basic framework of the bogie in place. There are still a lot of greeblies to add before it really looks like a Gresley bogie.
Carrying on to the next phase, I began by adding these reinforcement plates - I think they're suspension related but not entirely sure.


Nuts and bolts were added - bolt heads on the left, and nuts, washers and a touch of thread on the right cos that's the way it is on the 1:1. The eagle eyed amongst you will have spoted that I used resin hardware here - I can't remember where I got them but they come in handy every now and again.


On the underside I added some more reinforcement plates and some bits of tube to represent the suspension unit - that was topped of with another resin washer and nut.


It's really starting to take shape now but it's going to be an absolute pig to paint when the time comes.


Not content to stop there, I made up these tee pieces to use as part of the suspension.


Here they are dry fitted (mainly because I still haven't figured out what I am doing yet!). These tee pieces will hold the leaf spring, or what I end up cunningly disguising to look like the ends of a leaf spring - well, that's the half baked plan so far. There's still another 4 of those tee pieces to add


and with that I decided to call it quits for this evening. Overall I am very pleased with todays work. Sadly I have to repeat it all for the second bogie but it has to be I'm afraid.
So I'll finish off tonight's post with a couple of gratuitous shots of the part completed bogie.
End on....


another 3/4 shot


finishing off with a top shot.... - it's starting to get a bit of weight to it now!


Still lots to do, but feeling encouraged by today's progress (it's been a long time coming).

  • Like 3
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As reference - it should look like this when finished.   (and those decals and pin striping are going to be fun!)




I couldn't resist a quick taping up of the bogie frame work to see what it was going to look like. - A little bit of trimming and I think that will pass muster. Now I just have to attack the second bogie and get that one up to the same state of build.



You show astonishing dedication! I don't know what era you are representing, but the above photo shows modern roller-bearing axleboxes, fitted post-preservation. Oil axleboxes would have been fitted from new. Later builds of Gresley bogies for BR EMU stock were revised, with the roller-bearings from new.


The Nim.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, you're aware. That's good then. You not in danger of having to backtrack then :)


Well, that remains to be seen.... I did a quick dry fit of the bogie to the chassis today and I think it may be sitting a bit too high due to the height of the bolster beam (not sure what the correct term is).  It's going to be painful if I have to backtrack on that one


I'll need to check some reference photo's and see if I can figure out what the gap between the top of the bogie and the underside of the chassis should be.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm loving this project - it's looking really great. Your attention to detail and the quality of your modelling are inspirational. But I'm not sure that those wheels are fully up to the standard of your modelling - those flanges are truly huge and look far more suited to G scale garden railway standards than the fine scale approach that you're taking. I wonder if they are affecting the ride height due to clearances? It might be worth looking at alternatives from Slaters or other suppliers, so that the quality and accuracy of the wheels more closely matches your own work.


I'm looking forward very much to seeing this project develop - many thanks for sharing it with us.



Link to post
Share on other sites

David - thanks for your comments.You are absolutely correct about the wheels - I don't like them at all and as you stated, those flanges are huge.  I hunted for a while before I got those... I am based in the USA and for some reason it's remarkably difficult to get parts, especially in my chosen scale (1/32). I did find a few in the UK but by the time postage was added, the parts cost a fortune.

I have been kidding myself that by the time they are mounted in the bogies, the chassis on top and some rails underneath, that they would hardly be seen - I have some track on order so I can check that out next week hopefully. 

To be honest, I'm not really sure what I should be looking for as regards wheel style - a lot of websites just gave descriptions with no photo's - and with me knowing absolutely zero about trains, I really wasn't sure what to order.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.