Author Topic: What would be a good mechanism for an SW1500, S1-S4 and H-10-44 or H-12-44?  (Read 1181 times)

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If you have been following the "Printing a steam locomotive1" thread started by mmeyers05 over on Trainboard, Matthew is willing to tackle designing an RP shell for a switcher loco.  Suggestions have been made for Alco S1-S4 series, FM H-10-44 or H-12-44 or SW1500. 

The question  is, what would be a good mechanism (frame or chassis) for these locomotives?

I don't know how well the Life Life SW9/SW1200, Kato NW-2 or Atlas MP15 would work for any of these with regards to dimensions.  The trucks might be another issue.   

Comments / Suggestions???  It might be easier to reply directly to the thread on Trainboard, but I can update the thread on Trainboard as needed.


Dave Schneider

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 The Atlas VO-1000, while it has it's issues, is a perfect fit for the H10-44 and all but the latest version of the H12-44. I need five FMs at the very least.

Best wishes, Dave
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.


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I was exploring kitbashing an Alco S-4 from an Atlas RS-1 long hood and cab, and discovered the prototype NW2/SW8 truck spacing is within 6 inches of the Alco - 22'0' for the EMDs and 22'6" for the Alco S-2 and S-4 (S-1 and -3 are shorter). Trouble with the Kato NW2 is the body holds everything together, so you have to be dimensionally perfect on the inside of the shell. Didn't check the Life-Like SW for this, maybe I should.

EDIT: The S-1 and S-3 have 22'0" truck centers, so they're spot-on for using an NW2/SW8 chassis. But don't let that deter you from doing an S-4, 'cause I need S-4's, not S-3's.  :D
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 12:52:24 AM by C855B »

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The Atlas VO-1000, while it has it's issues, is a perfect fit for the H10-44 and all but the latest version of the H12-44. I need five FMs at the very least.

Best wishes, Dave

I don't need another project....B&O got their first H10-44's in 1948. Of course they had VO1000's before that but the H10 is much more interesting to look at.

  I picked up a VO1000 mechanism in a box of parts in a trainshow a few weeks ago. It was one of the older one but I fiddled around with it and made a very good runner out of it. The trick is to bend the pickup springs so they lift the frame off the trucks a little. The fit between the worm and the worm gear is too tight causing the noise. Once I tweaked the pickup springs, dead smooth and as quiet as any other Atlas loco I have.
Tony Hines


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I have two Kato NW2 engines and so far find that they run very well and smooth at slow speed.
Do not know if it is correct for an SW1500, but know it is compact and can have a decoder added for DCC.


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I put a decoder in an SW1500 for a guy.  It was a resin cast shell, not badly done, but the drive was a non traditional set up that Randy Gustavson came up with.  (The customer sent me a Kato NW2 drive, but it was way off, too wide, so I sent the whole mess to Randy)... I think he used one of those Tomix trolley drives and a 3 volt motor, stepped down with a resistor.

I can't remember what I did for weight, but by the time we were done with it, it ran pretty well and didn't look bad doing it.
I've got a picture somewhere, I'll have to dig it up.

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