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1/56n3 Scale Steampunk Railroad. I am seriously considering this.

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1/56n3 Scale Steampunk Railroad. I am seriously considering this.
Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 3:37 PM

A few weeks ago my friend Thom shared with me some trains made by Sarissa Precision for 28mm wargaming. 28mm is generally considered 1/56 scale.

These models have a most alluring charm to them. They look "narrowgaugy", and even a bit of steampunk.

If my math is right, using On30 track (same gauge as HO), works out to pretty close to 24" gauge in 1/56 scale.

Edit: My math was wrong... it will be 3 foot gauge... Thank you Dan. The thread title was corrected. -Kevin

So, I could motorize a locomotive with an HO scale mechanism and use On30 trucks and trackage to make a reasonable 2 foot gauge railroad. There is nearly anything you can image for building materials in 28mm scale.

I am obsessed with this idea. I love the look of these trains. They deserve to become mechanized and put into service.

There is too much possibility here for a railroad with personality.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by dew3896 on Sunday, April 4, 2021 4:15 PM

Interesting idea.  If you follow up on this, please post a "how-to" with photos. 

DEW

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Posted by trwroute on Sunday, April 4, 2021 6:35 PM

Dang it!  You would bring this up 4 days after I placed an order with PBL for some Sn3 stuff!

This stuff looks cool!

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by schief on Sunday, April 4, 2021 8:02 PM

That would be cool to see.  I am a big fan of railroads that branch out of reality in setting.  I checked out their website.  It looks like they have a lot of really cool looking stuff.  Thank you for posting this.

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:48 AM

Here's my math on the subject. 

  36 (as in inches) devided by 56 equals 0.643   HO track is 0.649, that being 56.5 inches devided by 87.  Thats about 0.006 wide for scale 3 foot guage. Only a negligible 0.336, about a third of a scale inch wider than 3 scale feet in 1/56. Real 3 foot gauge was probably sloppier than that in places.

So your looking at so close to 3 footer guage that it's as good as dead on. That's the math.

Now for some rhetoric. It's funny you brought this up because I recently looked at this same gauge/scale idea from a completely different angle. 

Rivarossi (Pocher earlier) model of the JW Bowker is a neat looking loco, the earlier one with the motor in the tender.  But it's obviously SO out of scale for HO, it's ridiculous. I wondered what could be done with it. Mmmm. Using it as the start of a narrow gauge engine on 3 foot track put's it at...guess what scale!!!Big SmileStick out tongue Actually 1/55+ something.  Close to dead on.

So those models you posted, how would they look on 3 foot track? probably great. And the choices to power the locomotives, or your own 'bashed ones with HO mechanisms is almost endless. I was already contemplating the idea too, not knowing there's already some potential rolling stock!  

Something to think about, huh?

There are 1/55 scale highway trucks available, but they're modern.   Dan

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 4:31 AM

I looked for those items online, couldn't find them. The question I'd have is how wide it the track they're sitting on? Obviously not operational, but if it's close to HO guage, the cars will look too proportionally small for 3 footers in the 1/56 scale. I'd want to have one in hand to actually check it out.My 2 Cents Dan

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 5:50 AM

SeeYou190

I am obsessed with this idea. I love the look of these trains. They deserve to become mechanized and put into service.

Well then Kevin, you have no choice but to go for it. When obsession reaches this level, you have to put aside all procrastinations and give it a try. Otherwise, you will never stop obsesssing. It does sound cool. Keep us posted and post photos.

Rich

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Posted by pt714 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 7:36 AM

Kevin, those Sarissa models are gorgeous, I agree-- practically begging to be motorized. Keep us updated if you choose to tackle this, I bet it would be spectactularly fun!

As Dan mentioned I think it would be very close to 3-foot scale on HO/On30 track-- Harold Minkwitz (hminky, RIP) preached 55n3 scale, his database of existing out-of-scale HO and On30 rolling stock and structures, and ways to modify/convert them to be the right scale in 55n3, might be a helpful resource adding to the models you shared, and I am unsure how much longer it will stay online with his passing last year.

Phil

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 7:46 AM

I thought steam punk was stuff like this:

Mike.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:41 AM

Southgate 2
Here's my math on the subject.    36 (as in inches) devided by 56 equals 0.643   HO track is 0.649, that being 56.5 inches devided by 87.  Thats about 0.006 wide for scale 3 foot guage. Only a negligible 0.336, about a third of a scale inch wider than 3 scale feet in 1/56. Real 3 foot gauge was probably sloppier than that in places.

Dan,

Thank you for the correction. I have updated the thread title and the opening post.

Yes

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by dknelson on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 10:01 AM

mbinsewi

I thought steam punk was stuff like this:

Mike.

 
As if the designers for the Delaware & Hudson all got jobs at the Union Pacific circa 1940 and could finally build something larger than 2-8-0s.  Neat
 
If you want to see an early version of steam punk try to track down the article in MR about the layout of Francis Lee Jacques.   May 1962 MR had an article with photos.  It was surreal, used its own scale which did not match between trains and track but that did not matter.  The locomotives were imagineered and made of balsa and looked like something you'd have a vivid dream about if you ate chocolate cake and raw onions just before bedtime.
But the real magic was his backdrop.  he was a professional artist and a very successful one.  
Dave Nelson
 
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 12:13 PM

mbinsewi
I thought steam punk was stuff like this:

There are variations on the steampunk theme.

One version is that style and technology never progressed beyond the victorian era, so everything is steam powered, and dress is very fancy.

Another version is that the internal combustion engine was never invented, but style and design became more modern.

My favorite version is that something tragic happened during the industrial revolution, so technology stagnated with steam power. This is the more dystopian version of steampunk that appeals to me.

My main exposure to steampunk has been through CosPlay, graphic novels, and custom built models. I have not read any steampunk sci-fi novels.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 2:19 PM

Re 1:55 scale:

"HO track is 16.5mm. If we divide 16.5 by 3 we get 5.5mm. That scales to 1/55 for an inch, strange scale right, 1/55? Military modeling has 1/56 or 28mm figures, there are figures, wagons, vehicles in the 28mm world. Why not make the models to 5.5mm/ft?"

http://www.55n3.info/

Also, here's some 55n3 in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xm7yRD0asz8&t=5s

Stix
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, April 6, 2021 11:08 PM

wjstix
Also, here's some 55n3 in action:

That is awesome... I knew my idea could not be original. I am glad somebody took advantage of the endless wargaming models available to build a 1/56 (or 1/55) scale narrow gauge railroad.

Thanks.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 1:07 AM

Southgate 2
The question I'd have is how wide it the track they're sitting on? Obviously not operational, but if it's close to HO guage, the cars will look too proportionally small for 3 footers in the 1/56 scale. I'd want to have one in hand to actually check it out.

My friend Thom sent me a picture of the track with a ruler. The track gauge is 1.375", which if my math is right, is just about 6 1/2 feet in 1/56 scale!

Obviously the track is not to scale!

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Thursday, April 8, 2021 1:36 PM

SeeYou190

 

 

 

My friend Thom sent me a picture of the track with a ruler. The track gauge is 1.375", which if my math is right, is just about 6 1/2 feet in 1/56 scale!

Obviously the track is not to scale!

 

That's good news. That track looks way too wide for the rolling stock. HO track should look far more proportional. Still, you'd need freightcar trucks to fit the 1/56 proportions. That sounds doable enough. Kadees woud be perfect.

I could definately see me making a small layout in this scale. Post civil war perhaps. Knowing there are figures and some wagons and stuff available helps. Such a project would have to wait until I meet the demands of the "loco ban" I placed myself under. Dan

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, April 12, 2021 8:41 AM

dew3896
If you follow up on this, please post a "how-to" with photos. 

If I do this, there will be a lot of photos!

schief
I am a big fan of railroads that branch out of reality in setting.

I am too. I see a few fantasy railroads as train shows. If I do build this, it will be able to go to train shows for display.

richhotrain
Well then Kevin, you have no choice but to go for it. When obsession reaches this level, you have to put aside all procrastinations and give it a try.

I do not think I have a choice. I can't stop thinking of this project!

pt714
Kevin, those Sarissa models are gorgeous, I agree-- practically begging to be motorized.

They get more attractive everytime I look at them. I have a cart loaded on the Sarissa site, but I have not pulled the trigger yet. I want to make a trip to Saint Petersburg and check out my friend Thom's models in person first.

Southgate 2
HO track should look far more proportional. Still, you'd need freightcar trucks to fit the 1/56 proportions.

I am thinking that On30 Bachmann trucks are the way to go. I wonder if Kadee makes On30 trucks?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, April 12, 2021 9:23 AM

That 55n3 site I linked to earlier has quite a bit of info on converting available equipment (Bachmann, Roundhouse, etc.) to 55n3. 

http://www.55n3.info/site_map/

 

Stix
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Posted by Track fiddler on Monday, April 12, 2021 9:54 AM

I like the images of the Steampunk Trains you want to model Kevin. That stuff has Character!

I have found as I'm acquiring steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock geared toward the Great Northern, Northern Pacific era.  I'm really starting to like the old western looking stuff, even some of the out of the ordinary.

I took myself by surprise really liking these out of the ordinary short western passenger cars that are almost cartoon-like.  Maybe these are considered Steampunk, I don't know?

I found out later there's a fourth one that completes this set as someone was selling the complete set of four for a high-dollar amount I might add.  Now finding that the fourth one is going to be a Tough Act to Follow but I'm looking.

I may be having to make a compromise with my structures to look a little more old school on my layout to accommodate this stuff.  I'm thinking some sort of happy medium so the GN, NP running equipment can blend with the surroundings as well but ran at separate times as the old west stuff.

I'm planning to start collecting some 4-4-0's and some other old west looking steamers and rolling stock. 

 

Just when I was getting myself under control.  Look out eBay, here I come againWhistling

 

 

 

TF

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Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 11:16 AM

Track fiddler
I may be having to make a compromise with my structures to look a little more old school on my layout to accommodate this stuff. I'm thinking some sort of happy medium so the GN, NP running equipment can blend with the surroundings as well but ran at separate times as the old west stuff. I'm planning to start collecting some 4-4-0's and some other old west looking steamers and rolling stock.

You certainly could rotate time frames, the layout I'm building is designed to cover 4 periods of time spread out over about 50 years. You have to accept some compromises, but it can be done.

Perhaps another option would be to have a free-lanced narrow gauge railroad separate from your NP/GN trackage? Narrow gauge trains ran with smaller, older-style equipment into the transition era. D&RGW ran steam powered trains well into the mid/late 1960's for example. I could see a 3' gauge line running from a small town "up in the mountains" to a connection with the NP/GN mainline, maybe set in Montana, Idaho or Washington state.

Stix
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Posted by Track fiddler on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 6:00 AM

Good morning

Nice to here someone else is thinking along the same lines when it comes to juggling eras Stix.  I don't have room for another layout as I've downsized as a step to create a much more comfortable retirement.  I would love to have a Narrow Gauge layout.  Those are really neat with all that character.  As far as incorporating it into the layout I have, I'm pretty much packed with trackage as it is almost spaghetti.

I'll make the GN, NP transitional era work with switching to the old west but the older buildings will just have to "Wing It" when I switch to the Green Machines.  I Gotta have those! 

I grew up with them only a ten minute walk from our house.  So it looks like I'm interested in 3 eras.  Perhaps the Green Machines won't quite fit into their environment but maybe they're just passing by some old buildings preserved by the Historical Society.   LOL

 

 

 

TF

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 6:56 PM

SeeYou190
My favorite version is that something tragic happened during the industrial revolution, so technology stagnated with steam power.

See the William Hurt version of 1984, complete with washed-out cheap-color-film look.  You'll find all sorts of inspiration there if you look...

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 7:12 PM

dknelson
  If you want to see an early version of steam punk try to track down the article in MR about the layout of Francis Lee Jacques.

If this is the Great North Road, I believe it survives at the Minnesota Mining Museum in Chisholm.

https://umedia.lib.umn.edu/item/p16022coll93:805

Note that his last name is spelled without a 'c' -- Jaques.

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Posted by Track fiddler on Thursday, April 15, 2021 6:43 AM

Good morning

I've been to Chisholm Minnesota many times in my younger days Overmod.  I remember we went through the Mining Museum once but it was so long ago I don't remember much about it. 

I went to high school in Orr Minnesota just 40 miles north of Chisholm.  The times we went there was usually for basketball games.  The reason for going, I suppose was to support your high school team.  Honestly I never really liked basketball, ..... Here they come down the court to throw the ball in this basket.  There they go down to the other side of the court to throw it in that basket.  Oh, here they come again to throw it in this basket.  What do you suppose is going to happen next in the game is anyone's guess?  Usually the whole game is the last 2 minutes so you might as well show up late.

If we had to be honest with ourselves back then, the only reason we went was to get out of the house to mingle outside the gymnasium to meet girls.  A date up in the Northland was an expensive treat.  It wasn't like you were taking out the "Girl Next Door". 

There was nothing around living in the wilderness.  Sometimes a date would consists of going 35 miles south to pick up your date to drive 65 miles north to see a movie in International Falls.  To return your date 65 miles south.  To return home 35 miles northIndifferent

18 miles south of Chisholm was Virginia, The Mesabi Iron Range.  A lot of cool mining railroad activity around the open pits.  Those mining pits were so Huge.  The Giant Trex dump trucks that take a 400 car engine to start the dump trucks looked like little toys down in the pit.  Virginia is home to Ore Railroading and the United States Hockey Hall of Fame.  A big town with two great Sports.

 

 

 

TF

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:55 AM

As I have been researching the possibility of this project, I am having a hard time locating Peco On30 flex track.

Is there a supply issue with this?

Note: I am still having problems with Walthers new site.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by trwroute on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:14 PM

Kevin, Micro Engineering track looks so much better.  I used their On30 code 83 once and it looked fantastic.

Chuck - Modeling in HO scale and anything narrow gauge

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, April 15, 2021 9:40 PM

trwroute
Kevin, Micro Engineering track looks so much better.  I used their On30 code 83 once and it looked fantastic.

Thanks for this tip. It seems to be readily available too!

Big Smile

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Friday, April 16, 2021 12:11 AM

I took a quick look at that M.E. track. It looks like it would be a great fit for the 1/56n3 trackage.

I'm imagining a small quarry or mine layout serving one industry. Oh, it's hard not to get carried away! I love critter locomotives and there's nothing like narrow gauge on which to let the imagination run with them.

It really does surprise me that this idea hasn't taken off, at least in a limited way. 3 feet was the dominant US narrow gauge. Tooling up models for 1/56 rolling stock would have been no harder than for On2.5, and the 1/1 world provides a wide spectrum of familiar and extremely popular prototypes to choose from. 

Would a scale right smack between S and O not appeal? If I had it to do over, I'd be all in. Dan

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 11:31 AM

Southgate 2
I took a quick look at that M.E. track. It looks like it would be a great fit for the 1/56n3 trackage.

Yes, I think that will be perfect.

I have been pondering this project. A standard wargaming table size is 4 feet by 6 feet. If I built this layout to be used as a gaming table, I could make it out of six 2' by 2' modules for easy transport. While not gaming, the train could be running in circles around a loop.

Great fun at the next convention (remember those).

If I plan it properly, the six sections could be alternately arranged as a switching layout.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by wjstix on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 12:45 PM

Overmod
 
SeeYou190
My favorite version is that something tragic happened during the industrial revolution, so technology stagnated with steam power.

 

See the William Hurt version of 1984, complete with washed-out cheap-color-film look.  You'll find all sorts of inspiration there if you look...

 

Yes I thought it was interesting in that movie that they had interactive big-screen television, but still used steam locomotives.

BTW I think you mean John Hurt, not William Hurt. Wink

Stix

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