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tractionman

5.5mm 3-foot gauge 0-4-0 loco build

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Hi folks,

 

For some time I have had a Hornby Caley 0-4-0 saddle tank awaiting conversion to 5.5mm scale. Well, I finally took the plunge a few weeks ago and started slicing up the body to create a freelance 3-foot gauge loco:

 

post-10919-0-21046400-1362262233_thumb.jpg

 

The cab is made from cut down parts acquired from the Smallbrook 0-16.5 range: to be precise, two ‘Asia’ cab backs, two ‘Eros’ sides and an ‘Asia’ roof. I am really grateful to Michael Rayner for talking me through what he thought would be the best components for me to work with for the model. I also used a ‘Mars’ chimney from the Smallbrook range.

 

In the end I didn’t use the roof but instead just used a thin piece of plastic I had. The cab front and back had to be sawn vertically in half and narrowed to fit the loco body width, and even then a slight overhang was addressed by adding a length of plastic ‘girder’ along the running plate on each side. This gave the loco a better narrow gauge ‘look’, and the bits came from a Peco Modern Traction loco shed! The front buffer is made from coffee stirers.

 

post-10919-0-51150000-1362262250_thumb.jpg

 

I also extended the coal bunkers in front of the cab and added some real coal. The paints used are simply enamels and acrylics, hand-brushed. The down-side of having to half the cab front and back is a vertical line that painting did not conceal – more careful cutting and some filling on my part would have helped... but this is my first attempt at modifying a model loco in 5.5mm, so some lessons learned!

 

The driver and fireman are from the nice Malcolm Savage range of 5.5mm scale figures, in metal, painted by me (rather crudely), but which add weight to the loco. In fact, the figures were the first items I bought, to get a sense of working in 5.5mm – and I built the cab around them. The Caley body-shell was left more or less intact, including the firebox, and looks I think alright for a 3-foot gauge loco in this larger scale.

 

post-10919-0-04000200-1362262209_thumb.jpg

 

I now want to try a 2-4-0 side tank if I can find a suitable 00-gauge donor loco body and chassis. I also have a 5.5mm Talyllyn Railway Coach from Malcolm Savage that I need to build and convert to 16.5mm gauge track – ie 3-foot. I have more figures too, now painted, ready for the layout.

 

For the layout I plan a simple oval circuit with sidings, using Peco 0-16.5 track with some Peco 00 points. Based roughly on the Ravenglass & Eskdale circa 1900, I have made components for one of the line’s distinctive timber-built stations. Mine’s made out of (more) coffee stirrers!

 

Anyhow, no photos of the layout yet as it still needs to be built...

 

As for 5.5mm, I love it! It’s a nice size and with cheap track and easy to convert locos and rolling stock it’s not breaking the finances either.

 

All the best,

 

Keith

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Yes, 5.5mm is a nice size for narrow gauge modelling. I've also been building stock for a proposed 3' gauge layout but mine is set in South Devon. The loco has been rebuilt from a Joueff 0-6-0T. I have yet to add some rivets and nameplates.

Happy modelling

Howard

 

post-12623-0-02344400-1362266849_thumb.jpg

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Thanks Howard, that loco looks really nice and has much more finesse than my shabby-looking example!

 

I hadn't thought about using 'foreign' locos as donors, so I'll have a scout around for the Jouef model - the chassis and wheel arrangement of the 0-6-0 seem just right for 3 foot gauge.

 

Thanks very much too to those who have 'liked' my post!

 

all best wishes,

 

Keith

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I'am quite envious of your work-well done.

I'am very new to the idea of changing to this scale. 2 questions arise!. First: when you resize to 5.5mm scale, do you have drawings  with measurements of the original ?. Second: surrouding buildings etc. what scale.

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I've rescaled 4mm scale drawings using a drawing programme on my computer. With some printers you can increase or decrease the size by percentages but unfortunately not on mine. Buildings, of course, should be the same scale as the trains:- 5.5mm to the foot  (1:55). It should be possible to make use of some S and 1/4" scale parts.

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hi Ian,

 

I found the 5.5mm scale ruler quite useful for estimating measurements for buildings:

 

http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/55mmAssn/5andahalfrule.html

 

But when it came to the scratch-building of the loco it was having the 5.5mm scale figures to hand that really helped me get a sense of working in this scale.

 

I'd recommend joining the 5.5mm Association, and Malcolm Savage range of whitemetal parts and kits is very good:

 

http://www.blackhamtransfers.com/55/MalSavKits/Index.html

 

I bought the Talyllyn 4-wheel coach kit and converted it to 16.5mm gauge (ie. 3 foot). It's turned out pretty well for an amateur like me!

 

 

Hope this helps,

 

all the best,

 

Keith

Edited by Keith Lilley

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Here are a few photos of the loco with the afore-mentioned 4-wheel coach, a Malcolm Savage whitemetal kit.

 

post-10919-0-83165900-1371583514_thumb.jpg

 

post-10919-0-23478500-1371583562_thumb.jpg

 

To get it to 3 foot gauge (instead of 2 foot 3 inch) required a fair bit of fiddling, and widening the ends of the coach with bits of cardboard. I added Ratio coach seats and a seated figure, not that these are clear in the pictures as I got glue on the glazing and it's gone a bit hazy...

 

Still, with some couplings and a bit more paint it will I think look ok for the 0-4-0 to pull... the rather warped appearance of my coach reminds me a bit of photos I have seen of the R&E 3-foot gauge passenger stock as it was in the early 1900s.

 

cheers,

 

Keith

 

 

 

 

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