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This might seem like a silly question, but has anyone tried motorising one of the Atlas Editions locos?  I ask because I am considering a small 3mm diorama,  and I have had one of their Chapelon Nord pacifics for many years, which although not highly detailed, does seem to represent the original quite closely.    Now, I was considering the AE model of City of Truro as a possible candidate, either as a motorised loco, or possibly with tender drive.  The absence of outside valve gear makes either option a little easier. 

 

My previous efforts have centred on radio control/battery powered 4mm models, and a quick look at probable dimensions make me think this would be possible in 3mm also, although finding room for a battery that gave reasonable running time might be a challenge.

 

In a small diorama no great speed or distance are required, nor great pulling power, so I had considered using a pair of KKPMO 6mm gearmotors wired in series, each driving one of the three tender axles as a possible solution.  They are available in a wide range of ratios from 18:1 to 324:1 so getting the scale speed right is not a problem.  It may be possible to do this driving the loco axles, but space would likely be a problem.

 

I need someone to tell me that this is either completely mad, worth pursuing, or needs more thought!  I should say that I'm not a rivet counter - I am more concerned with the overall effect of the scene portrayed than with absolute accuracy of detail, but I would probably go for the 14.2mm option rather than the TT size track, simply because it seems easier on the motorising options.

 

For a shunting type model slow speed control is paramount, and battery R/C gives this in a way unparalled by DC or DCC, as well as allowing control of points, signals and lighting from a single hand held controller unconnected by cable, which is why I like it.   If I get an overwhelming "thumbs down" about the Atlas Editions, I might still think about a similar sized tender loco such as a 4F to scratch build in 3mm, because I am drawn to the idea of 3mm,  so I look forward to comments either way.

 

Mike


 

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Hi Mike,

 

Interesting idea!

 

I work mainly in 4mm narrow gauge (009) and have been using BPRC there for a number of years.  I have recently returned to 3mm and am currently modifying a Triang Class 31 to 14.2 mm gauge and BPRC, using an N20 gearmotor.  This involves building a new motor bogie for it.

 

As you are probably aware, the narrow gauge modellers do use Atlas bodies, mainly of the trams, with commercial chassis under them, and they seem pleased with those so I would say its worth a go.  

 

The N20 motor I am using is a bit different from what you are considering, but for what its worth, my setup seems to work OK but currently I am trying out motors from different sources to get the best slow running as they do seem to vary a bit.   Good slow running is one of the delights of BPRC so its worth spending time getting it right!

 

It will be interesting to see how you get on with this.

 

Frank

 

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My guess is that it depends on the model; see if you can get your hands on the one you're interested in and take a look at what's involved. I have the Corgi model of Hogwarts Castle (actually a Hall) which I thought of motorising, but decided there was a lot of work in things like hollowing out or replacing the splashers; think the Atlas models were produced by the same source. I can ask on the 3mm Society egroup; I've an idea somebody may have motorised an A4.

 

Re 4F, the 3mm Society do a complete kit for one to run on 12mm track, not cheap at £117.50, but it does include everything. 3SMR do an etched kit.

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Thank you both for your interesting comments, at least you haven't said it's a totally mad idea!   I can see that this would not be quite such a simple thing, but as I said, I've had an AE model of a Chapelon pacific for years, and I gradually came round to the idea that it could be a way into 1/100 scale. Although I live in France, nostalgia leads me towards British outline, so I have bought an AE model of City of Truro on eBay, and it's on it's way now. 

 

I have used N20 gearmotors in the past, but I thought they might be too big for 1/100, even with 14.2 track, which is why I looked at the Polish gearmotors - not sure how powerful they would be, but it would only be for a little diorama, slowly shuffling a few wagons around so not like a big layout with full rakes of coaches or wagons.

 

I quite like 4Fs, I was born and grew up in Gloucester, and I am quite at home with LMS, GWR and later BR locos, so it's another open book as to how this little project will evolve!  I have started to wade through the awesome amount of info on the 3mm Society pages, as well as 3SMR and Worsely Works, but still a way to go to get up to speed! 

 

Best, Mike

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Have asked. It appears that several have been tackled. There's an article on motorising a Baltic in Mixed Traffic 209 (the 3mm Society quarterly magazine). Someone's doing a Coronation at present. I'm sure there are others.

 

At least one person has been using radio control & battery power. Certainly think it's feasible. At least it avoids pickups. Interesting site, KKPMO. One person, Geoff Helliwell, has been using N20 based gearmotors. I normally use High Level Slimliner or Slimliner Compact gearboxes. With Mashima motors disappearing I've been looking at other possibilities, including some 12V 7x16mm coreless motors from China and an 8x16mm coreless motor from tramfabriek.nl. Only problem with the former is the torque is a bit low at low speeds; the latter seems to be better but I'm still experimenting with it. Here's a 7x16 in a GWR Metro chassis, compared to a Mashima 1020:

 

m145.jpg.3ffb19c1806d6cef251c285af564050f.jpg

 

I'm familiar with Gloucester 4F engines, standing on the lines through Eastgate station, alas no more!

 

Cheers

Nigel

Edited by NCB
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Nigel, 
ah! some real encouragement here!  Thanks for going to the trouble of asking around. I'm reasonably familiar with BPRC, having converted a number of 4mm locos, and built a small diorama completely battery operated and R/C controlled, including lights, points and signals, as well as the motive power, and for slow speed shunting it's magic!

 

I don't have room for anything but diorama type models, so pulling power, starting traction and so on are not a worry, which is why I thought about the Polish gearmotors.  They are really for driving model cars, but with a high reduction ratio they might be OK in a loco, and two in series might be even better, although only practical tests would show if there was significant difference in rotational speed between the two.

 

I have always been interested in architectural modelling, and 1/100 is the classic scale, so it seems logical to try to bring the two interests together.  Nice models of the Metros - High Level gearboxes? 

 

4F's at Gloucester  -  like this one on a Bristol-Birmingham stopper in the 1950's?1535227181_4FatGloucester.jpg.5648e09342c00b5ff8b10cbe80ae900f.jpg

 

Best, Mike

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The main 4F memory I have is of one standing on the tracks parallel to the station facing south, as if waiting to cross Barton St crossing. Very distinctive with that high boiler line.

 

The gearbox attached to the Mashima is simple a High Level Slimliner Compact+ with 54:1 gear ratio. The other is similar, but with the etching normally attached to the motor replaced by a simply one of mine designed to take a 7x16 coreless motor.

 

Nigel

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Regarding using the Atlas bodies, try looking at Triang TT technical advice thread here, and under 'Collectable/Vintage' look at the thread 'When TT3 was the next big thing'. There you'll see how Golden Fleece 30 managed with Triang chassis under Atlas bodies. If you're heading for 14.2 it may not be entirely relevant to you, but at least it shows that it can be done.

Edited by detheridge
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Many thanks for the useful link, I'm certain that it it will save me quite a lot of grief!    I am pretty sure that I will go down the 14.2 path, the Atlas models seem to be nearer to 15mm, so clearances should not be too tight, and the outside frames of City of Truro could make things easier, although I'm not under any illusions about the problems involved in any of this!  

 

I've printed out a couple of my smaller Scalescenes buildings at 76% and they seem quite do-able, so that's another step in the right direction!  Thanks again for the encouragement,

 

Best, M

On 22/04/2019 at 18:01, detheridge said:
On 22/04/2019 at 18:01, detheridge said:

Regarding using the Atlas bodies, try looking at Triang TT technical advice thread here, and under 'Collectable/Vintage' look at the thread 'When TT3 was the next big thing'.

 

 

Edited by Spotlc
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On 23/04/2019 at 18:33, Spotlc said:

 

 

I've printed out a couple of my smaller Scalescenes buildings at 76% and they seem quite do-able, so that's another step in the right direction!  Thanks again for the encouragement,

 

Best, M

 

I built the Scalescens farm and church reducing the OO kit to 75% on the printer and they came out quite well. I used them at the back of my OO layout for a bit of perspective. 

 

I am toying with trying out 3mm/ft on another project. There is always a possibility one day that Peco might make track to the 14.2mm gauge, the same as they have done for the EMGS. That would make life a little easier as I am lacking courage to hand-build points at the moment! Kit building loco's isnt a concern as I have cut my teeth on a few OO ones and the 3mm kits on offer look quite good. The 4F and a 3F Jinty would be my weopons of choice for this new venture anyway.

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If you join the 3mm Society, they sell flexitrack kits for 14.2 mm gauge that make up easily, with moulded sleeper base sections and rail to just slide onto it.  They are also working on kits for points, not sure yet  what the technology will be for those.  Hand built points can be obtained from a couple of suppliers.

 

Frank

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