Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Calamity's Railroad - Locomotive Project #1 - Mount Blue Model Co Conversion Parts

While many things seem to be on hold with Calamity right now I have been keeping my eyes open for appropriate pieces for the railroad. This week I managed to acquire the 4-4-0 American steam engine that I wanted to use with Calamity. The 4-4-0 refers to the arrangement of the wheels. In the case of the American it means that there are 4 wheels in the lead (or pony) truck, 2 on each side, 4 drive wheels, again 2 on each side and it does not have a trailing truck. There were 80,000+ 4-4-0 manufactured in the US from before the Civil War and into the next century. With Calamity set, more or less, in the 1870 it is definitely the steam engine that I want to use.

The engine I acquired on Ebay has a steel cab and is probably circa 1910, that's a little on the "new" side for Calamity.  I'm not going to be a terrible stickler for accuracy, it is for a game after all, but I do want it to say wild west. So I need to back date the cab to something a big older. I checked the links I have on my blog and went over to Mount Blue Model Co. to check out what they had. That was a good first choice. They have a laser cut wood cab specifically for the Bachmann 4-4-0. I ordered that on the same day I paid for my American and throw in new wood cupola kit for one of my cabooses. The kits arrived yesterday before the engine arrived (hopefully the engine will be here today, maybe tomorrow, certainly by Monday).

I opened them up last night just to check them out and make sure everything was there. These are beautiful kits and they look like they will build up pretty easy. There are three "sprues" of wood parts for the cab. One of these is obviously pine and it is ultra thin, probably not much more than a millimeter in thickness. The other two "sprues" are a bit thinner and are 1/64th inch plywood, the cab sides will be built up in three layers using these parts. There is some interior detail as well but there should still be room for a couple of gunslingers in the cab.

Here are a few pictures of the components just to give you an idea of what makes up the kit.

The contents

A "sprue" of 1/64" plywood

Another sprue of 1/64" plywood

The roof kit

These are the "metal boiler surround plates'. Essentially this is where the cab will be attached to the train's boiler.

Hard to see, but this package contains the bolt details pieces and the window glazing. I won't open this bag till I need it.


  1. I am not much of a train guy, but wouldn't a easy way to make it seem "old west" be to change the smoke stack for a wood burning one?

    1. Definitely, right now the wood burning stack that comes with the Bachmann engine is the big onion stack which I'm not fond off. If I can find a diamond stack I'll replace that too.

    2. The peaked roof would have been more appropriate for the era too. But it will still look great. Make sure there is no generator on it either.

    3. You are right about that, I just like the rounded top better so I went with that this time. I do need to look for that diamond stack though. There must be one out there.