Monday, February 25, 2013

Sometimes you just need to Climax

OK, OK, get out of the gutter... and climb into the cab. If anyone hasn't noticed Mike Rennie has just started his tutorial on how to make a steam locomotive. Just from the first few posts I have learned a number of new tricks, like the DO NOT DELETE ME component. I still have three diesels on the bench which I work on a little bit each month, but I really want to follow along so I can ask questions while the whole process is still hot in Mike's head.

But what locomotive should I do? I was truly stumped. I really have no favorites other than the SP GS4 and AC10 Cab forward, both of which have been done. So I turned to my super-detailing partner MadMike (there are an awful lot of Mikes in Railworks) and posed the question to him. His response was like a brick in the head.

Make a Climax.

A Climax? One of the most complex geared locomotives ever to grace our nations rails?! Now Mike really isn't mad, but he does know how to bait me. This was a true challenge. Was I up to it?

There is little on the web on scale drawings. I did find what live steam modelers rave as the best book for making a Climax. I was tempted to tell MadMike that it was too much. But I did find the book on Amazon for $50 (USD). So I promised that as soon as I get back into the workforce I would purchase it, and start work on it.

Then I slept on it.

In the morning another idea hit me like a brick. My dad is a machinist. Not only that he loves steam engines and locomotives (heck he got me started in model railroading). I knew he already had scale drawing for a small switcher he was working on, why not see what else he had. If it wasn't the Climax then I could change to something else which I could get plans for. It not like I was married to it or anything, and (for the moment) the idea was between MadMike and I. My dad and I spoke at length (we like to compare between machining and 3D modeling), and a couple hours later I have in my possession a box filled with Live Steam issues all on...

Oooooohhhhh Yes. Scale drawings and all.

I won't be machining these parts on a lathe or soldering pipes and joints, but I will be sculpting cubes adding points, and shifting lines per spec. It is a big project. I expect it will take at least a year, but what a feather in my cap when its complete. Plus I get to show my dad how cool it is.

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