|In the previous installment, I built a small steam pump car using a
Keystone Locomotive Works vertical boiler. That boiler is cast
white metal and is rather heavy, which made the car a bit
unstable. In addition, the boiler was a little too tall for my
taste. So, I've looked around for alternate boilers, especially
one not quite so heavy. Woodland Scenics includes a kinda funky
looking boiler in several of their kits, and I built one car with that
boiler scavenged from a sawmill, thinking that I could use the Keystone
boiler in its place. The Woodland Scenics boiler is definitely
lighter weight, but visually is odd. Next, I found a SS Ltd.
Vertical Boiler and Engine. This is still white metal, but much
smaller than the Keystone and lighter weight, kinda pricey, though, to
scavenge the boiler out of this kit. I also tried making a mold
and casting a boiler, but the results were totally unsatisfactory.
So, I decided to fabricate one from styrene. I found several sizes
of styrene tubing that nest within each other, glued them together,
filed a cone-shaped top, glued on styrene "boiler bands," made
a firebox door, scribed a seam and some "rivets" down one
side, and made a stack from the next smaller size of styrene tubing and
more styrene bands. Now it is just the size and weight I wanted
from the beginning. So, pictured here are two pump cars, Figure
1 with the SS Ltd. boiler and Figure 2 with my homemade
boiler. The rest of these cars is just like the previous one.
The SS Ltd. boiler did come with some cute parts, such as the gauge, whistle, pop valve, and drain valve. I need to add similar detail to my boiler, which will probably make the SS unit a very reasonable price. The SS boiler is painted Gunmetal and mine, Engine Blue. Both have Steam Power Black stacks.
This page last updated on 07/07/2007