Having been inspired by the likes of GW, Jeff, Ted,
Martin and others I decided to add a few of the tips
and tricks I have learned since returning to model
trains this past May.
Looking over my inventory of skills I seem to have
quite a few:
I don't photo etch but I do really well with the etch
I don't solder but I do glue with the best of them.
I don't photoshop but I do shop ebay a lot.
I don't type well but I do hit the copy machine button
almost always in the correct spot.
I don't have children but I do have a bunch of cats.
They eat mostly dry food but they do get a few
(aluminum) cans of Friskies each day as a treat for
not forgetting where the kitty liter box is located.
So, armed with all these skills, I embarked upon my
first scratch built Locomotive project this past week.
If you read the subject line of this email you have a
clue as to what is coming next.
Sometime back in October of this year  someone on a
yahoo train group posted some information on a new
book by a French author and model train builder named
Christian Cenac. He had written 4 other books about
the French WW I trains that supported the trench style
of warfare. One of those books was said to be full of
scale drawings. I have always been interested in the
"Trench Style of Warfare from WW I"
The books didn't seem to be sold here in the US so I
checked my "library books listing" and found one of
the 4 titles. Two copies of one of his books were
listed and were in libraries here in the US. I asked
my library if they would try an Interlibrary Loan for
that title. The request went out to the two libraries
on 31 Oct 2007. A few weeks ago I got a notice that
the request had been denied. I assumed that it was
from both libraries. Then this past Monday I got
another notice about a different book I had on request
that did come in and that I could come and pick it
up. When I got there they had two books. One was the
French book and had come from "The Library of
Congress". The book has 48 foldout pages of plans in
1/35" scale, many pictures and lots of text - in
French. One of the locomotives was this thing called
the Crochat Locomotive. It is a gas / electric
locomotive and was built to move train cars on the 60
mm gauge rail lines in support of the WW I trench
fighting for the French.
I worked on the drawings and changed the scale from
1/35" to 1/48" (On30). It looked like it might be an easy
project. I made the first one out of card stock. I
love those big copy machines.
I have been slowly working on another project, a BVM
conversion, and had a Bachmann HO - GE 44 Ton ready to
use as the donor motor / chassis. I sat the mock-up
on the 44 ton chassis and had a look. Looked close
enough for me.
As I said above that I have a number of pet cats and they generate a few empty aluminum food cans each day. I have used these aluminum cat food cans for other non-train projects in the past and thought I would try using them for this Locomotive.
This is also my first scratch built Locomotive.
As I also said I don't solder so I glued the aluminum
panels over the card stock model.
This seems to have worked OK.
As I continued to work on the Crochat Locomotive I
gave it a coat of primer and started working on the
frame. I have added the first coat of black paint and
continued to work on the frame and have the started on
the side rails.
Card Stock Side Frames.
The card stock / cat food aluminum can material worked
well enough that I am sure I will be using this method
for several more projects. Laminating the thin
aluminum to the card stock makes for a reasonably
strong body for "The Crochat Locomotive".
Anyone need an Armored Locomotive? Wire "Alamo Loco
Works" San Antonio, Texas.