Engine truck: two steps forward, one step back

Obviously, things were going too well. Parts were literally flying off the frets and attaching themselves to the frame. I was hopeful of actually hitting my deadline. The optimism continued as I folded up the the engine truck. Even tacking the bottom chord onto the side frames worked reasonably easily, despite being a flawed design in the first place. Sure, I etched one of the … Continue reading Engine truck: two steps forward, one step back

Bearing guides and kit design

I never know what to call these things. The Brits call them “hornblock guides,” but North American engines have no hornblocks and have no need to guide them. We unimaginative North Americans call the bearings, well, “bearings.” The parts on the engine that guide them are pedestals and their wedges. There is no room to faithfully model these parts, and so I have “bearing guides,” … Continue reading Bearing guides and kit design

Frame for 622

The framigami idea paid off, and compared to #10, the frame for 622 went together very quickly. Of course, it didn’t go perfectly according to plan. There are a few things I will change if I re-draw the etching artwork, and a few things I would remember to do differently next time. Things for next time: Remember to drill the holes for the fall plate … Continue reading Frame for 622


I felt a mild surge of anticipation as I cut the firebox free of the fret and set to embossing the stay bolts and rivets from the back. Others are able to use half-etched rivet holes to make convincing, even rivets. Beautiful, even. So far, this is not a skill I can count on. Maybe it is easier with a softer material, like brass. Next … Continue reading Firebox