On30 Narrow Gauge Model Railroading

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Building an On30 GE 23-Ton Box Cab

One of the many excellent articles in the On30 Annual 2018 edition is Robb Thomas' article "Designing a Locomotive Shell to Fit an Existing Mechanism" (pp. 81-85). (If you do not already have this issue of the On30 Annual in your personal library, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy from either your local hobby shop or direct from the White River Productions' Bookstore.)

The premise of the article is to help modelers leverage 3D printing to build items of interest for their model railroad. Mr. Thomas used SketchUp and Shapeways to accomplish this task, and the article illustrates the various steps in the process. If you're interested in using 3D printing for your model train layout, you'll want to read this article.

Also if you're just interested in building a GE 23 ton Box Cab for your railroad (and not doing your own design and 3D printing work), the shell, other parts, and the instructions for building the locomotive are available from Prairie Locomotive Works' Shapeways store. The locomotive is built on top of the Bachmann On30 Closed Street Car mechanism that you provide. If you happen to prefer an electric version of this locomotive, the store also features an alternative Freight Motor version of the shell.


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An active modeler in 1:64 scale (S scale) since 1998 and a relatively new On30 modeler, Michael's primary interests are in model railroading, structure modeling and control systems for model railroading. Michael is a life member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), a member of the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG) and the Bristol S Gauge Railroaders.

Michael and his wife Deane Louise co-own Pine Canyon Scale Models, a manufacturer of S Scale and O scale structures.

Michael is a past chair of the NMRA's Digital Command Control (DCC) Working Group and was a contributor to the NMRA's DCC Standards activities. Michael continues to play an active role in the use of NMRA DCC in S Scale model railroading.

Michael previously served as the NASG National Secretary and Librarian for the NASG's Russell M. Mobley Memorial Library.


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