My First Motorized Critter

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Ken Hamilton
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My First Motorized Critter

Postby Ken Hamilton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:11 am

MicroMark is having a sale on On30 Davenports, and I need a
Critter for an in-progress diorama, so I'm giving Gn15 a try.
The boys are trying to figure where to cut:

Image

The first task was to take the Davenport apart, get rid of that pesky
DCC stuff and indelicately narrow the frame with a cut-off wheel & bench grinder:

Image

The narrowed frame was then boxed in with styrene and is now no wider
than the original sideframes. A humble start, but keep in mind one of
the reasons I left model railroading 20+ years ago was because I
couldn't get anything to run if my life depended on it.
Wish me luck.....

Image

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Postby Gavin Sowry » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:42 am

8) Some of us take the easy way out...... :!:

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:35 am

....a fine solution, Gavin! Quick question: How do those little
Bachmann Davenports run? I haven't even powered mine up yet.
Do they run relatively smoothly?

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Postby Will Vale » Tue Jul 06, 2010 2:00 am

They're very good runners in my (limited) experience. Maybe with a bit of a waddle from the rods and counterweights, but that just adds to the effect.

Will

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Postby Gavin Sowry » Tue Jul 06, 2010 3:55 am

Ken Hamilton wrote:....a fine solution, Gavin! Quick question: How do those little
Bachmann Davenports run? I haven't even powered mine up yet.
Do they run relatively smoothly?


8) Superb. OK, maybe a little gear noise, but, those critters go to 2 day exhibitions, and they run all day, both days. The cab and beam on the nearest one is a kit from Sidelines, the other one is freelanced by Paul... he bought it at the start of a show, by the next morning that is what it looked like :D
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Postby riogruNt » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:22 pm

Will Vale wrote:They're very good runners in my (limited) experience. Maybe with a bit of a waddle from the rods and counterweights, but that just adds to the effect.

Will


Totally agree with you Will,
I think the waddle adds character + the cast frame really gives these units a low centre of gravity. I've used a total of 7 now for different projects & they've all run great - sometimes for 2 days at exhibitions

Steve
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Postby Ken Hamilton » Sun Jul 11, 2010 11:55 am

While it would be much easier to leave it enclosed, I really like the
look of an exposed motor on this type of Critter - but there will have
to be some compromises to make it work.
Here's what I'm doing:

First, I made a wood buck that followed the shape of the
Bachmann motor. Heated plastic sheet was formed over
the buck, a suitable section was removed and cut to shape
and a cap was added to one end:

Image

The completed form sits snuggly over the motor:

Image

To make this look somewhat like a motor, I built a bank of
cylinders and a cylinder head out of styrene....

Image

....and glued it to the cover:

Image

So far I've added more engine details, including an intake/exhaust
made from solder and some model car gaskets and spark plugs:

Image

I still don't know if I can sufficiently disguise the grossly misshapen
crank case, but I hope that high sides will do it. We'll see.

Image

Stay tuned for more updates. Thanks for looking.

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Postby Little Andi. » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:07 pm

Hi Ken'......

Excellent work as ever - interesting how I/we always expect something a bit special and different from you.

I picked up on your remark though - about the "grossly misshapen" crankcase!

Obviously not sure what's going on in that fecund mind of yours but if it's still open to suggestion? - When I espied that fourth pic' down I immediately thought Aha! "Aero style" You know the one where there is a crank case "COVER" and the heads and cylinder tops poke through it - I think there are several early examples of this sort of thing around on the vintage aircraft.

If you think I'm being silly please feel free to ignore me and forget everything I've said - and simply because I now quite fancy the idea and do indeed have a small critter somewhere in my future.

In Fact - Forget it - Just forget I said anything!!!

Cheers for now..............." smilin!"
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:15 pm

Hi, Andi:
(May I assume this is the same "Andi" we've been missing on
another Forum..???)
Your Aero thoughts have not fallen on deaf ears. That's one of the
alternatives I've been considering to hide some of the unrealistic bulk.
This is a "see-what-happens-as-we-go" project, so there's no telling
what the end result will be.........
Thanks for the comments!

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Postby Little Andi. » Sun Jul 11, 2010 3:39 pm

Ahhh! - it's so hard to be original isn't it. I might of suspected you'd be on the case. I really look forward to what you come up with, it's always got to be a measure of real anticipation when a mind like yours is let loose!!!!

As for being "missing"? I'm not sure. I always use the same handle [or variation thereof]. And I do tend to lurk within the shadows of the Westlake forum [could this be what you allude too]?
I do visit it every day but must admit feel a little intimidated to post regularly - never feel I have anything worthy enough to say - let alone show.
There's no angst about it, I just tend to set my stall out here and allow any cross pollination to happen naturally if though infrequently.


We have in fact crossed paths many years ago I believe on what used to be the old HH board? I did have a different handle then though - went by the name of Yad'. -


Still looking forward to see what you do with this little project though - never know- I may be able to tea-leaf something??

Cheers chap................
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:09 pm

...another direction for this un-thought-out, build-as-you-go project:
I'm can't stop thinking this in-line 4-cylinder motor is going to
look too high, no matter how I disguise it.
My new thought is to build a flathead V8 onto the styrene "dome".
That would cut down on the height considerably and make the oversized
"crankcase" much easier to hide.
Anybody want to chime in with thoughts...????? Thanks.

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Postby gfadvance » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:54 pm

This will not help in anyway, but I keep thinking of a Fordson engine when looking at that cover over the gear casing - you'll know what I mean when you look at a Fordson tractor with integrated engine/sump and gearbox casing.

Another thought could you turn the electric motor thro' 90 degrees this would possibly give you the tall narrow look of an engine block .

There , as promised no help just more forks in the road to follow to dead ends :lol:
Gordon F

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Postby Dallas_M » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:10 am

Ken Hamilton wrote:...another direction for this un-thought-out, build-as-you-go project:
I'm can't stop thinking this in-line 4-cylinder motor is going to
look too high, no matter how I disguise it.
My new thought is to build a flathead V8 onto the styrene "dome".
That would cut down on the height considerably and make the oversized
"crankcase" much easier to hide.
Anybody want to chime in with thoughts...????? Thanks.


Okay, here's a thought ... STOP trying to figure it out "forwards" and think about doing it "backwards" ...

Consider this ... the top of the Davenport motor is just about "butt height" for a seated 1/24 figure. Build the cab on that end. Make it a rear-entry cab, like those found on a 2-ton Plymouth for example ...

Build your fancy 'fake' motor over the transmission end. Cut away the half-round cast metal casing that covers the gear and build up a rectangular motor block to fit over that. Should give you plenty of room for a suitably small, neatly detailed engine.

If you're re-installing a smaller DCC chip, just change the designation as to which end is the "front" to make it consistent with your other locos ... oh, wait, if this is the first motorized critter it'll be consistent either way! :wink:

So ... if you do it backwards ... you can have the cool, attention-getter open engine compartment ... use a rear-entry cab so the bulk of the motor under a driver figure isn't obvious ... install a neatly done driver figure ... then your two main focal points are the critter itself with the neato-bofo engine and the figure ... and no one will think to look underneath him and see that big obnoxious electric motor! :idea: :?:

And, yes, just in case you're wondering who else is following you around the different forums (fora) ... I'm the same Dallas from a coupla others. :roll:
Cheers,
Dallas

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Thu Jul 15, 2010 1:51 am

Thanks for the input, guys. Your thoughts gave me a lot to think about,
especially the "backwards" approach and the "motor tilt" idea.
After much pondering, which was stalling the project to almost a
complete standstill, I decided to bite the bullet, roll up my sleeves,
knuckle down (and whatever other cliches apply) and settle on a direction...
...which is this:

Image

I dug out a Lindeberg 1/25th scale '32 Ford pickup, cut down the grill,
cut and narrowed the cowl, cut one of the kit's bucket seats and use
this as a starting point.

Image

(Somewhat) high sides should cover what I need to cover and still
give the look of an open motor. The '32 grill will set the timeline a
little later than I would've liked, but that will also justify the
severe weathering on the Lumber Stacker that this will be sitting near
on the diorama.

It's not exactly the look I was after, but it's close enough for my first
Critter...and I can tell there WILL be more! Once the first completed
model is under my belt I'll be less hesitant to jump in and play hard next time!

Thanks again.

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Postby JackBlack » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:00 am

That looks so awesome. You should make a little rig to make the motor jiggle about. That'd look awesome!!
Jack

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Postby Dallas_M » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:51 pm

Well the solution doesn't seem to be backwards at all ... and clearly you're on the way to moving forward ... so, one way or another, this should all work out! :shock:

Looks like a neat solution and cool little hot-rod critter ...

Speaking of which, check out this thread:
http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?p=78257

And scroll down nearly to the bottom to see Jim Favre's hotrod critter with wheelie bar and airfoil ... crazy fun stuff. 8)
Cheers,

Dallas



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Postby dieselwater » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:28 pm

Rat rod baby :twisted: proper cool. Yeah, some side panels and imagineering should do the trick. Great stuff Ken :wink:
Little old lines to somewhere.

David.

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:37 pm

Dallas_M wrote:Looks like a neat solution and cool little hot-rod critter ...
Speaking of which, check out this thread:
http://forum.gn15.info/viewtopic.php?p=78257

"Gnitro Gnat"? Flanged wheelie bars??? That's GREAT!!

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Postby Ken Hamilton » Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:48 pm

It's been a long time between updates, but the push is on now to
finish the Critter before the MER Convention at the end of this month.

The seat came from the same hot rod kit that provided the grill & cowl:

Image

Side panels with open louvre doors seem to do the trick in hiding
the bulging bottom of the motor:

Image

The see-thru radiator was made using two layers of thin screen with
floral wire in between, in a scratchbuilt casing:

Image

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Postby Little Andi. » Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:24 pm

Most excellent Ken'. It's starting to come together and it really "reads" well now.
Particularly impressed with the louvres and the see through Rad'.

Wouldn't mind seeing a short "How to" on the open louvres, the Rad' I understand easy enough just can't seem to get my hands on that fine mesh you have there.

Great post - enjoyed it immensely.
KBO .......................... Andi.

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Postby michael » Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:07 pm

Very gnice work there Ken, I too would like to see a how to on the grill.
Regards Michael
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Postby dieselwater » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:55 pm

Stunning details Ken! 8) The louvre works very Gnicely.
Little old lines to somewhere.

David.

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Postby Mark Goodwin » Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:23 pm

Ken,

The engine detail, radiator and grills all look stunning. I look forward to seeing the critter finished........
Kind regards and best wishes,
Mark :D

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Postby Richard Morton » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:20 am

Excellent work Ken and as I'm awaiting my first gas mech to arrive from ebay I'm reading this thread with great interest

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My First Motorized Critter

Postby Bilco » Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:38 am

Hi Ken - This is shaping up into a very distinctive and unusual critter. I echo the calls for a 'how-to' on the louvres and grill.
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