Thanks to my friends Stephen Gardiner and Ryan Mendell, I now have the beginnings of an S scale model of CNR D-1 and its trailers.
As I wrote last summer, Stephen has been drafting the artwork to 3D Print an HO scale model of this one of a kind train set, and I’ve encouraged him to re-scale and tweak the artwork for a model in 1:64.
(Click on the image to read last summer’s post about this model. Note that the 3D Print rendering is of D-1 at a later phase in its life than the photo at the top of this post. Most noticeably, the cooling vents above the cab are taller.)
One stumbling point for us was how to power an S scale model. Stephen’s HO version is based around the frame and mechanism from the Bachmann (Spectrum) doodlebug. But there’s no mass-market equivalent for an S scale project.
The good news is, the D-1 is powered only by the front truck – and that truck has the same wheelbase as an EMD switcher. The side frame even looks like something you’d find under an SW. So, I asked around and purchased an S Helper Service SW-1 from my friend David Clubine at Ridgehill Scale Models. That donor engine provided a power truck and a motor. Now, what to mount them in?
That’s where my friend Ryan joined the project. Ryan, like Stephen, is handy with CAD programs. He also has access to some pretty incredible machinery. So he and Stephen put their heads together and last night, Ryan presented me with a frame:
As should be obvious, the frame is crafted from a solid piece of brass. Ryan drew the frame then cut it out using a water jet cutter – a machine that blasts a fine stream of water at Mach 3 (!) and makes short work of work like this. The frame took about five minutes on the machine.
Ryan added pillars to support the motor, then cut specific parts from the SW-1’s cast metal frame to complete the D-1 mechanism. These include the motor mounts and the truck mount. Machine screws hold everything together. A NWSL universal kit will provide a new drive shaft linking motor to truck.
A line of small holes along the frame will provide mounting points for the body. Stephen will be able to add blocks of material to the shell before printing it, and we can then drill these blocks for more machine screws.
The large square hole at the back of the frame gives us some flexibility to mount the unpowered truck: We’ll figure out the specifics of that mount once we have the truck in hand. (If I recall, Stephen has drawn up side frames for the rear truck, plus the trucks under the two trailers that this self-propelled baggage motor hauled. A simple truck bolster should do the trick. ) In the meantime, I propped the rear of the frame on the SW-1’s fuel tank to take the above photo.
I’ll have to scratch-build tanks, equipment boxes and other details for belowdecks, but since this streamlined train set was converted from one of the CNR’s conventional doodlebugs, I’ll base the details on those found under my CNR gas-electric, and I’ll be more than happy with the result.
Stephen is still working tweaking the D-1 body (and has not yet re-scaled the trailers, C-1 and C-2), but there’s no rush. This never ran to Port Rowan – it’s a project for use on the S Scale Workshop modular layout – and I have plenty to do while I’m waiting for the body shells. But I feel that an important hurdle has been cleared, so that this project can go ahead.
Thanks, Stephen and Ryan, for your work on this. I really appreciate it, and I know that those visiting the S Scale Workshop layout at future exhibitions will too!