The little yellow speeder

As mentioned yesterday, while building the setoff near the Lynn Valley water tank I also started work on crafting a speeder to put on it. Today, I finished the speeder and set it in place on the layout:
 photo Speeder-05_zps732d29bf.jpg

To the best of my knowledge, there are no kits currently offered in S standard gauge for a speeder. So I started with a white metal kit for an Sn3 model, Kit T-2220 offered by Wiseman Model Services. When I ordered the kit, I wondered whether it would be a simple matter to substitute longer lengths of wire for the axles – but the prototype on which the kit did not accommodate that. Therefore, I cut apart the white metal frame and substituted appropriately-sized styrene strip to widen the speeder.

This required building the kit in a different order than given in the instructions. I assembled the frame sides and fenders for each side, then added the axles and wheels – properly gauged – and then connected the two sides with styrene strip. For the top deck, I used the white metal deck casting, but glued scale 1″ x 8″ boards on top. Where the original Sn3 deck had three boards, the new S-std deck has five. I stained these boards and painted the speeder body a mix of bright yellow and warm black. Weathering powders gave it a well-used look:
 photo Speeder-01_zpsf523f680.jpg

The shovel was included with the speeder kit. The pipe wrenches are beautifully rendered in photo-etch, and part of the Hand Tool Set (Kit 102) from TractorFab. I thought they would be appropriate for a job call to the water tank.

Since this is in the middle of nowhere, relatively speaking, a speeder could not have been left here unattended so I will search through my supply to find a suitable figure to represent the CNR employee who drove it here. He can lean against the water tank to provide a roll-by inspection, or be working on something on or around the tank. A tool box would be a nice addition, too.

The speeder is a subtle detail on my layout. It’s a bright speck of yellow, mostly obscured by trees:
 photo Speeder-03_zps450cc2be.jpg

But while it’s difficult to photograph because of the trees, it will be easy for visitors to spot and appreciate – providing they’re looking for such details.
 photo Speeder-04_zps88f46de5.jpg

I like to build vignettes for people to discover – providing such vignettes are realistic (in the sense that they convey an authentic sense of life in the place and era I’m modelling). I love the idea of rewarding careful observation of my layout – and the little yellow speeder does just that in a way that (I hope) isn’t hokey or contrived.
 photo Speeder-02_zps1ea6eaf5.jpg

10 thoughts on “The little yellow speeder

  1. “…find a suitable figure to represent the CNR employee who drove it here.”

    Can one man handle getting the speeder off the main to the setoff?

    The scene looks nice. A great little piece of interest has been added.


    • Good question, Jack. No idea. It reminds me that I need to add boards between the rails to help get the speeder on and off the track.

  2. Of course, they might not have been going to the water tank per se, but just pulled off here when they needed to get out of the way of the train.

    Nice model, all the same.

  3. Looks great. Not hokey at all. It makes me wonder and look for similar vingenettes for my Central Indiana.
    Great posting. Thanks.

  4. The Pentrex video on the Railfair in Sacramento, CA in 1999 shows a single man moving a speeder from the ‘mainline’ to a setout track. While he did it alone, I would imagine a second person would make more sense!

  5. Oh, and by the way, one man can set off the motor car (have done so often myself…) as the handles slide out to give you much more leverage, somewhat similar to a wheelbarrow.


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