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AFR Saddle Tank

This is a story that has to be told as everyone has a first attempt at scratch building, I kept mine. We all have to start some where & at the time I wasn't even game to have ago at a NZR loco so it was a freelance tank loco. It was originally built on a MDC 4-wheeled motor block with side curtains to hide the lack of side rods, cross-heads, valve gear etc. As you can see there are a few Bachmann bits n pieces added on off an old 2-4-2 tender loco that the gears gave up on. There are alot of firsts on this loco I had never used Styrene before so had ago on the side steps into the cab. The rest of the loco was 3mm plywood with a thin cardboard stuck to it which gave a ripple effect, the tank was ribbed with plywood & covered with card then another 1st, rivets or dress making pins. Looking at it now I might have over done it for the size of the loco!! 

A cotton reel was put in use for the funnel with great effect I think, a bucket on the front side plate is an end off a plastic knitting needle. Smoke box door is a car motor frost plug & of course real coal in the bunker. The only casting on the loco is the head light which was given to me, all up the whole engine apart from the motor block was made of bits 'n' pieces. 

In 2004 the MDC motor block gave up so on to ebay I went, I got a LGB toy train 'Cow' loco cheap & repowered it, its main purpose on the railway is a Way & Works loco. On working bees it can be seen out hauling 2 Bachmann wooden side tippers, I was tempted to scrap it for the motor block but decided against it as we all need to remember where we started from. Each model I make has a new challenge & I hope that continues as that is what makes it interesting to build & at the end as long as you are happy with, that is all that matters.

I hope this shows that you can make something out of anything cheaply, you just have to start thinking outside the square!! So go on give it a go, if you haven't already!!

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