With the EMD DD35 kit being released earlier this year you may recall I designed a 3D printed chassis to be used with the spare EMD DDA40X shell. Well the kit is now finished and complete with the correct trucks, as shown below, and available on Shapeways which led to a new section in the shop as well as on the blog site.
The new section is ‘Dummy Locomotive Chassis Kits’ and can be found by clicking here or through the drop down menus at the top of the page. Currently there are two kits available, one for an EMD DD35 which fits my 3D printed shells and one for an EMD DDA40X which fits a third generation Bachmann shell.
The kits are designed to fit directly under the shells, without the need for modifications, and include the chassis, trucks and bolster pins. Wheels and couplings are the only extra things required and I also recommend some additional weight. The wheel size and make depends on the model and that information will be available on the individual kit pages along with the coupling specification.
I recommend adding weight to the dummy locomotives as this will help them track better through turnouts/points and if you are using them between powered locomotives and a long or heavy train it will prevent them from pulling off the track on tight curves. For the weights I often use old motorcycle wheel balancing weights; not only are these set weights but they are also very compact compared to car ones and fit nicely inside N scale shells. Below is a selection of used weights from my local motorcycle mechanic, the bottom three are car ones so you can see how much better the motorcycle ones are.
If you are lucky enough get new ones they have a sticky strip on the back that you just need to peel off.
Here you can see where I have used some of the weights to weigh down a Con Cor Alco PB dummy chassis which I fitted with a through wiring harness for DCC. I did a similar thing with a set of Con Cor EMD E7s which you can read about here.
As I recommend metal wheels for the trucks it is also easy to add power pickups if required. Some locomotives, like the DDA40X, have a flashing top light which will require power or, if the locomotive is going to be used at the rear of the train, red tail lights.
If, when using a power chassis for another project, your spare shell has details like a detachable fuel tank that are not required with your project, the new 3D printed chassis will have the same fixings so the details can then be attached in the same way.
The next dummy locomotive chassis kit will be for a Alco C-628 from Atlas. This is because I will be using the powered chassis form my new Baldwin DT6-6-2000 Center Cab and once again I will have a spare shell. There will also be a dummy chassis for the DT6-6-200.
I also plan to do some dummy locomotive chassis kits for the odd shells I have laying around from other scratch build projects and they will be in a later posts.