Thursday, September 15, 2016

Scratch-Building Rheneas | 16mm Scale

Well, here he is! The second workhorse of the Skarloey Railway roster of narrow gauge locomotives:


The locomotive that started it all and has been the mascot of this fan blog, Rheneas certainly is one of my favorite of the Skarloey Railway characters. He is very handsome being equipped with his brass-work from the pipes and tubing and is an echo back to classic British and American locomotive design.


On the diorama, the Gallant Old Engine at the quarry yards with a loaded slate train from the old inclines of the Ulfstead Valley. 


I was inspired by looking at original illustrations of the Railway Series, and came up with a style for this scratch-build that matches features found in the classic books like his red livery and blue stripes, from his prototype, Dolgoch, and the style of his large scale season 5 television model. Here are photos of the finished model to showcase how he was constructed:


Here are measured drawing diagrams that served as the basis for Rheneas' construction, measured in centimeters and drawn with pencils.


Rheneas's cab details, on the workbench January 2016 before I added the roof to reveal how I made the interior. Controls like brakes, throttles, and gauges are linked together using craft-wire and painted balsa. Facets made with strips of paper, they are glued with Crazy Glue. All hand-made to look like the real thing.


Rheneas has his water tank in the back, so I made his special water nozzle. I rolled two strips of card stock into tubes, and after cutting away the excess to glue them together, I used my craft knife to shave away the bits needed to make it it's unique bent shape, then sanded it to paint. The cap is removable for a water spout to fill.


Here are details of the body. Rheneas sports a lot of brass valves and brass pipes, handle bars, and tubes. Something very American to me is including his lift-able cab hood on the roof. Really seems to give Rheneas a bit of character!

For the rivets and bolts, I use peel-able gems from the craft store, just spray primed and painted after gluing. The whistle is made from rolled index card strips.


Given the short wheel-base for the chassis, I converted him to be a classic 2-4-0T to accommodate the Lego 9V motor, with a leading truck compared to his long wheel-base as a 0-4-0T.

Added onto the wheels are working coupling rods made from balsa, card facets, and toothpicks that slide in motion. Rolled card strips hold them in place.


Rheneas is by far one of my favorite projects. He is pretty set for filming. The only thing I'd like to do is to make his open cab version from the drawings. He runs well and looks really good. I'm happy with him.

Until Next time!


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