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Building Wayne Co. Narrow Gauge No 6

        I dearly love Shay locomotives, indeed probably the first steamer I was ever exposed to was a Shay at the Cass Scenic Railroad in Cass, WV. Since the tender age of three, I had a love affair with these smoking sidewinders.  When Bachmann came out with its 1:20.3 35 ton Shay I just had to have one.  Well actually I didn't scrape up enough money until the 2nd edition Pardee/Curtin Lumber Company version came out.  At the time I was heavily into Standard Gauge in 1:32 scale, therefore the Shay I had just bought was earmarked for a conversion into a 3 truck 3/8" scale model.  Things happened and the project got shifted to a back burner.

        In the winter of 2000 I became interested in the fledgling 7/8 scale or 1:13 if you prefer, darn near twice the size of 1:20.3.  This is an all scratchbuilders scale, with the only thing in common with my previous modeling efforts was the gauge of the track!  In this case however 45 mm only equals 2 feet instead of 4 ft 8.5 inches!!!  After some research, I stumbeled across Shay C/N 3118, a groovey little 2 footer still around today, built for the Good Roads Construction Company.  I just knew what I had to do.

Posterboard mock up of cab and bunker 
     I started with the basic Bachmann Shay and stripped it down to the boiler.  Some of the details I did end up reusing.  The Cab and bunker arrangement I scrapped, as well as the headlights, but I retained the stack, domes, boiler, bell generator, pop valves and whistle.  I then built a mockup of the cab and bunker from poster board to get a feel for the proportions. 

     The Bachmann circuit board in the bunker was also removed and  by trial and error I discovered the correct pairing of wires to get the trucks to run correctly in the same direction

        The locomotive was widend to 5 scale feet by removing the old pilot beams and running boards, and replacing them with new items cut from pine shelving.  The original Bachmann coupler pockets were retained and still are in service.  I used a PVC plumbing cap to extend the steam dome, and added a styrene tool box to the right hand running board.  The tool box contains the battery and switch that controls the locomotive headlights, which are made from PVC and the reflectors from a pair on Mini Maglights.
     Once the mockups gave me a pretty good idea of the proportions That I wanted, I went ahead and cut them from .040 styrene.  Pinheads simulate rivits in this instance, and the ruddy, rusty color is from Krylon spray primer.  The light rusty color on the smokebox comes from a texture paint offered by Krylon as well.  I spend a lot of time experimenting with spraycans  for different looks.  Note that the stack has recieved a priming coat as well as having styrene "patches" applied to make it look like a well used unit.  This being a really small locomotive, I decided to do away with the handrails and patched the holes in the domes where the brackets went.
Styrene cab and bunker in place

The crankcase convereted to a pre
1910 bracketed arrangement.
     With the work this far I dissassembled and lubricated the power trucks, and while I was at it, painted the sideframes with a rusty primer.  I also removed the small ball bearings in the the power pickups as this locomotive is completely battery remote controlled. 

     Right along here in the construction I came across Jeff Saxton's article in Finescale Railroader on backdating the Shay to a pre 1910 arrangement.  I took a deep breath and then took the plunge.  This conversion is not as hard as it might seem as really all you are doing is slicing the 'face' off the  crank case and replacing it with some styrene bits. 

The cylinders plated over making a
solid cylinder block.
     Another peculiar thing about this lil critter is that although it has three cylinders, they are all contained in one casting wtih a common cover.  I just had to add this little bit of detail for flavor!  After the paint was applied, I lube the assembly thourghly and re applied it to the locomotive frame, then test ran it in forwards and reverse to ensure proper motion and operation.  All that remained after this point was to put in some sparce cab details and paint and weather the whole shebang as a unit.  I installed an experimental throttle from Action RC and control the works with Futaba Radio Gear!

The 'plantation' roof is applied and
the Shay is ready for some final 

The cab features complete details although it is somewhat sparce in real life

This is what the fireman sees when 
he's standing by the water hatch