Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Scratch-Building Rusty ~ 16mm Scale

Rusty, the little diesel of the Skarloey Railway, is finished and ready for show!


I loved working on Peter Sam and Stuart a while back, so I set to work on Rusty, and here he is.

He has always been my favorite character from the Skarloey Railway as a child, remembering when he helped Peter Sam from his accident at the quarry, and the story Britt Allcroft created of his adventure rescuing Stepney the Bluebell Engine.

I have always liked the changes made to Rusty's working models, from his charming faces on season 4, to his large scale season 5 model from "Rusty and the Boulder." Built in large 16mm scale, he was equipped with a larger radiator for a square face, a wider body, and weathered in grime and dust as he looked in season 4.

Rusty from 1959, with working brake hose and chain, and wearing his sad face.
Talyllyn Railway No.5 "Midlander," built by Ruston and Hornsby ~ talyllyn.co.uk

"Midlander," is the name of the diesel Rusty is based on, from the Talyllyn Railway, and built by Ruston and Hornsby, who manufactured many variations of the design, including some with no cab.

Looking at original illustrations of Rusty from the Railway Series books, I decided to create my scratch-built model as how I envision him in his dark gray Railway Series livery, in a style mashed from season 5 of the show with the real locomotive.


This has to be one of my favorite scratch-built projects that I've been planning on doing for the Skarloey Railway, adding to Rusty some new details that really has made him look very realistic, from the cab details, bolts, couplings, and brake-pipes!


I made the body shell with Bazzil Basics smooth card stock. This was a lot stronger than the textured card I usually use from Bazzil making my structures. Braced with Midwest Products balsa wood, the pieces are all glued together with white glue and crazy glue.


Like Peter Sam's handrails, I used Darice Craft Designer 16 and 12 gauge wire with balsa to make cab details like the handles and controls, fixed into place using Crazy glue. The rivets and facets for each control are wrapped office paper cut in strips that are glued and painted.

I use an EK Success Dual Tip Metallic Pen or a metallic Sharpie to draw the lettering of his nameplates. 


Another new detail you'll notice are the bolts! The bolts are plastic "gems" that can be pealed off and stuck on with adhesive, found in the jewelry isle from the craft store. I sprayed them with matte paint, super-glued them on the sides with Crazy-Glue, and painted and weathered the body using Plaid FolkArt and Apple Barrel acrylics. The bolts look so good and much easier to make with a slick of paint and weathered!

The leather seat is a piece of Sculpy clay, with indents on the top, baked to be mounted for the driver to sit on like a tractor, painted in a leather color.


I gave Rusty side rods, similar to Bachmann's On30 scale Davenport 0-4-0 Side Rod Gas Mechanical Locomotive (Pictured here with kit-bashed parts by Backwoods Miniatures), which work well and look rather good in motion! The rods are made from balsa, and scratch-built mounts hold the rods in place on the Lego motor wheels.

Engine Doors open for easy access to the motor.
The metal doors can open up too! This was inspired from the story "Rock N' Roll" in the book "The Little old Engine," when the manager Mr. Hugh was trying to get Rusty's engine started. Fans may remember that Rusty was upset with Duncan after treating him badly for being a diesel, and warning him from having the accident he would have coming off the old rails (!).


I used Scotch tape to make the pieces of card fold over to look inside. The Ruston and Hornsby motor is made with card and craft wire, the shell braced in wood.


When filming this scene, I can have the doors open all the way or half-opened, using tape to hold it in place. Here Rusty has his annoyed face on, carved in Sculpy clay.


Rusty also has working chains! The hook is made from craft wire bent and cut to fit in the bolted mount on the buffer-beam. The chains are spray painted black.

He also has a mounted brake-pipe made from craft wire. The hose is made with a piece of cut leather that can bend and fastened to other cars made the same way.

Rusty looks awesome! I loved making him, and seeing how he turned out, it will be great what the next project will have in store...!

Remember you can check out the measured drawings made for Rusty.

Until Next time!