Scratchbuilding an AT&SF 2-8-2

(All photos copyright © Paul Washburn; used by permission)

Project Description

Paul Washburn decided to scratchbuild another steam locomotive. In particular, he is building an AT&SF 3129 class 2-8-2 Mikado. He was sending progress photos to a handful of people, including to me, the NASG webmaster. I am particularly interested in this because I want to scratchbuild a steam locomotive as well. I asked Paul if he would mind if I would share his photos with the audience of the NASG web site, and he gave me his blessing.

I think this provides a unique opportunity to see how an experienced builder goes about constructing one of the, arguably, most complex projects one can tackle in our hobby (Paul has built a number of engines and cars from scratch, some of which have photographs on this web site). This page features the construction of the locomotive itself; there is a separate article for the construction of the tender.

(early 2017 update: Paul has decided to take a break from this project, so it may be some time before we see more update photos.)

Parts Preparation

Paul started by fabricating patterns for the frame, starting with the Rushton trailing truck. He cast the truck in resin in three parts. The second photo shows the parts loosely put together.

He also fabricated the patterns for the driver spring.

The two parts in their relative position on the locomotive drawing.

To fabricate the sand domes, Paul glued two sections of 1/8"-thick styrene together and then glued them to a section of 7/8" PVC pipe.

He then put that assembly in his lathe. At slow speed, he used various tools to carefully shape the top of the dome.

He used a PVC coupling for the skirt for the front dome.

Here is a photo of the cast-resin domes, with the bottom of one formed to match the circumference of the boiler.

Next are the Baker valve gear, pilot, and side rods subassemblies.

More to come in the future. Stay tuned!


AT&SF #3158

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