A New Tender Drawbar for a Marklin 4-6-2

As promised in last week’s post, this week I have a replacement part for a German steam engine to share with you.

The engine is a Class BR03 4-6-2 built for the DB (Deutsche Bahn – National Railway of Germany). The model is HO scale and made by Marklin.


As well as converting this loco to DCC it also needed a few repairs, including a replacement tender drawbar. The tender houses the motor which drives two of the four axles. The locomotive is free-rolling but has a very heavy weight in the boiler. This not only keeps it on the track at speed but also helps with power pickup as the tender wheels all have traction tires.


In order to keep the coupling between the locomotive and tender close but smooth Marklin have devised a drawbar which incorporates springs. Below you can see what is left of the original drawbar. The metal springs clip into the slots in the tails and a screw runs through the loop. This system absorbs any bounce, keeping the locomotive running smoothly, and allows great flexibility.


However, as you can see below, the drawbar has suffered a lot of damage, which is not fixable by simply gluing it back together as there are bits missing.


This is a perfect situation for a 3D printed part and that is exactly what I’m going to do. As this part needs to be strong but detailed, to get the slots on the right place, I’ll be using Shapeways’ Frosted Ultra Detail material, which has proved itself time and time again as being ideal for this sort of job. You may recall back in December of 2015 I used this material for a set of replacement gears in an O scale Rivarossi F9, which you can read about here. The gears needed to be precise and strong, as the forces passing through them had already cracked the original injection moulded gears. The FUD is a hard acrylic material which gives it its strength and as it’s printed to a 29 micron layer thickness, the detail is very precise.

As always it starts with a 3D drawing of the part. Great care was taken to capture all the lumps and bumps on the original so it’ll be a good fit.


To ensure the part is the right shape, as well as measuring it, I scanned the original on a photocopier and brought that image into my drawing package. I could then lay the new part over the top as a final check.


This drawbar is currently being printed by Shapeways, along with the steps from last week and several other new parts. They are due to arrive in the next two weeks, when they do I will share the fitting of the drawbar with you.

In the meantime next week I have another new 3D printed part to share; this time it’s for a OO scale English signal box.

A Step in the Right Direction

Over the last few weeks I’ve been working my way through several of the projects which have been on my desk for a while; and as promised I’m sharing them with you.  This week’s project is a replacement set of steps for a Hornby OO Stanier 4MT 2-6-4T as shown below.


The model to be repaired is missing one of its steps from the front, just behind the buffer beam.  The part is a separate plastic piece which is normally glued into the locomotive frame.


As there was one still on the locomotive I was able to measure it and draw it up in 3D.

hornby-lms-stanier-4mt-2-6-4t-front-stepThis part will be 3D printed in Shapeways Frosted Ultra Detail material because I wanted the steps to be thin, just like the original.  I also included the bolt detail and the locating nub on the top.  The new 3D printed step can then simply be fitted into the existing fixing.

Once I have test printed the part it will be available as a pair through my Shapeways shop.  It will also fit several other Hornby locomotives as well as being usable for scratch building.

Next week I have a replacement part for a German 4-6-2 to share with you.

A Great End to a Great Exhibition

So this weekend was another exhibition with the Gosport AMR group layout ‘Solent Summit’ and we were at the Hampton Court Model Railway Club’s exhibition ‘Tolworth Showtrain‘.

The show is a two-day exhibition, and fills three large halls with a great variety of layouts and traders. We took eighteen of our scenic modules totaling 71′ of mainline plus two staging yards, each with 116′ of trains.

And much to our surprise we won, by popular vote, the ‘Best Layout’ of the show award.


In truth we tied with another large British outline OO layout, but given there were lots of fantastic layouts at the show, we are very pleased.

So thanks should be given to our team who set up the layout, ran it for two days and packed it all away, having a great time along the way.


I had a lot of 3D printed locomotives and rolling stock on the layout which created a good deal of interest.  EMD DD35s, Baldwin DT-6-6-2000s and Alco C-855s were hauling freight trains around the layout and Yosemite Valley Railroad log cars could be seen trundling up and down behind Yosemite Valley 4-4-0 No 22.

Sadly my camera wasn’t working so well and a lot of the videos I took haven’t come out as I had hoped.  That being said I have a few to share with you even though they may be a bit fuzzy.

N Scale trains over the Warsash Wye Trestle (Tolworth Show 2016)

N Scale trains at the road crossing (Tolworth Show 2016)

UP C-855 Set with a reefer train through Watson’s Siding (Tolworth Show 2016)

Having gained experience of organizing and managing a show I have even more appreciation of the exhibitions we are invited to take part in, and this show in particular was very well run.

Next week I should be back to drawing some 3D projects and I will share the progress with you.

A New Boiler For a Steam Engine

If you’ve been following my posts for the last few weeks you will recall that this weekend was the Poole & District Model Railway Society’s annual exhibition and I have to say it was a great success.

So this week, while I’m recovering, I want to share with you what I think is a very worthy project.

For many years I’ve been involved with the Dean Forest Railway and back in July I posted about their Steam Gala which you can read about here.  The railway has several steam locomotives but one in particular; No. 3806 is named ‘Wilbert’.


This 0-6-0 Hunslet Austerity, originally built for the National Coal Board in 1953, was acquired by the DFR in 1976 and restored to working condition.

In August 1981 the loco was named “G.B. Keeling” after the first Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Severn & Wye Railway.  The S&Y was the original railway company through the forest where the DFR now runs.  The naming ceremony was carried out by the Rev. W. Awdry; following a members’ ballot for a name for the engine.

The Rev. W. Awdry, as well as being involved with the DFR, was the author of the original ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’ books.  On September 13th 1987 No. 3806 was renamed ‘Wilbert’ in honor of Rev. Wilbert Awdry and has carried the name ever since.


‘Wilbert’ has also appeared in several of the later ‘Thomas The Tank Engine’ stories as ‘Wilbert the Forest Engine’.

The locomotive has played a huge part in the history of the DFR; not just because for many years it was the only working locomotive, but also it’s a fantastic steamer, very reliable and surprising strong for its size.  Although it’s not the most glamourous or biggest of engines it’s popular with those of us who worked on and with it over the years, and this was the first steam locomotive I ever drove.


Currently ‘Wilbert’ is in need of a boiler restoration.  All steam engines go through this every ten years or so and it’s a costly operation.


So for the first time the DFR is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money to get ‘Wilbert’ steaming again.  The campaign is aiming to raise £5000 GBP to get the boiler repairs underway in the New Year.  The campaign can be found here.

For those that don’t know how these crowdfunding campaigns work I will give a brief explanation.  A target amount is set by the campaign, in this case £5000, as well as a deadline.  Then people can pledge any amount they wish to help with the campaign.  If the target is met by the deadline then the money is collected and the project goes ahead.  If not, then no money is collected and the project is stopped.

The campaign offers rewards depending on the size of the pledge.  In this case the DFR are offering membership to the society, among other things.   For a full list of the rewards please see the campaign page.

The deadline for the campaign is 6pm GMT on the 1st of January 2017 when, hopefully if successful, the work on the boiler will commence.

I can’t help by 3D printing a new boiler so I will be helping by pledging!

Interestingly a special run of OO/HO scale models have been made of ‘Wilbert’ and can be purchased from the DFR.  You can read more here.


Next weekend I will be at Hampton Court Model Railway Club’s exhibition ‘Tolworth Showtrain‘ with our large modular layout Solent Summit.