View Full Version : Nn3 Climax A kit coming

1st Nov 2018, 04:30 PM
Well, as of last night, my 'proof of concept' idea on getting a Rokuhan critter mechanism to adapt to my existing Climax A kits actually appears to be successful. The prototype just test-ran under its own power, with a gearhead motor, on the test track, so I'll start to announce it as progress made, photos to follow. This is the same general kit I've had in production for ten years now with the following features:

18-ton horizontal boiler version: Cast metal boiler; older wood-frame version, round water tank. This will have a 25:1 gearhead reduction in it as standard design instead of the rocket motor you get with the Rokuhan chassis. This will creep like a Climax A should, and also have an open-format cab for realism.

13-ton vertical boiler version: Pretty much same deal but I haven't built one yet so stand by.

If you look at Climax A production records there were probably more narrow gauge ones than standard, so this is a pretty logical fit. Because the shorty log cars are available from Showcase Miniatures and done in pewter (same ones that WBV used to print on Shapeways in FUD) you can do a legitimate Nn3 eastern logging operation on a very minimalist basis. I'm dipping my own toe in on Nn3 with this now.

If you've been looking for a reason to get one of those chassis, this is it. Rokuhan SA001-1, I got mine from Plaza Japan, but I know there are others. This is as much fun as the Kato 11-105's has been, just a smaller version of the same idea. I've been incredibly fortunate that Kato has kept running those critter chassis for about 12 years now, I have no idea if these Z Rohukans are a flash in the pan or a staple product, but they are a game changer for sure.

Jugtown Modeler
1st Nov 2018, 07:24 PM
Looking forward to seeing these results. I had held off on your Climax because i wanted it for Nn3. In 2009 (can't believe that time has slipped by...) I exchanged emails with you regarding a possible narrow gauge Climax.

2nd Nov 2018, 02:02 PM
Anthony at Zscalemonster has the shorty's in stock here in the states
He's a good guy and ships fast

5th Nov 2018, 09:30 AM
As my tribute to Halloween..... "ITS ALIVE!!! ITS ALIVE!!!" The FrankenClimax Nn3 version passes its running tests:


I've still got to write instructions. Just to prove that I'm not messing with you, the standard gauge version on N track is in the back, this is setting on Z track and the log car behind it is a Showcase Miniatures Nn3 log car with MT trucks under it.

If you want to prepare, you'll need the following:

Kato 11-105,6 or 7 chassis
Rohokan Z shorty chassis (pretty much just for the trucks)
Solarbotics GM15A 25:1 micro gearhead

The only real change on my kit is a new frame designed to work all that stuff together.

Kato has been putting out their chassis now for almost 15 years, but I have no idea if this Rohukan is a one-shot or not, so I'd get one if I were you. The Solarbotics motor started out as the GM15 with a pulley on it, now it has a D-shaft and is the GM15A, but other than that it's identical to what I've been using for years.

6th Nov 2018, 12:07 AM
This does it, I'm going to put a Nn3 logging line in. Back in the day, I bought a Micro Trains Nn3 C&S 2-6-0 when they came out and didn't think it would do very well for a logging loco, but what you have here, Randy, is justification to put the logging line in.

10th Dec 2018, 09:44 AM
Well, it works. The Nn3 version of my Climax 18-ton kit. Got to set up some test track tonight and run it around, with the gearhead drive.



And just to prove it really is the Rohukan Z shorty trucks under there....



1st Apr 2019, 08:58 AM
Kits are shipping now. I send out the instructions first before I'll accept an order because make no mistake, this is a challenging kit. But I'm satisfied that's it's both repeatable and worth the effort to get a tiny gearhead-driven Nn3 Climax out there.

19th Jul 2019, 02:50 PM
That model was the one also featured in Tom Knapp's Nn3 column in N Scale magazine.

Since then I've built a T-trak module with an Nn3 loop on it that will be my 'test track' at the N Scale Weekend at Altoona August 3-4 2019. I will have kits and an operating, finished Climax model for sale there. It easily negotiates the 55mm Rokuhan curves with a train of log cars and flats.

I had a batch of kits move out as a result of Tom's column. And I've beat my own build mercilessly on the test track, if nothing else, I'm convinced it's worth doing. The biggest breakthrough was buying a "Blueline Snail Speed" hand-held Z throttle (uses a 9v battery) to control the 3v gearhead motor, it's an extraordinary tool on these little guys and well worth the investment. If you're running pager motor locomotives, this is part of the solution for sure.

Jugtown Modeler
19th Jul 2019, 11:06 PM
Looks great.

Do I need the Kato chassis as well? (probably have a few tucked away. Curious what for...)
Since the Rokuhan Shorty is just for the trucks, does it matter which version to get? SA001-1, SA002-1 or the trailer?

Kato 11-105,6 or 7 chassis
Rohokan Z shorty chassis (pretty much just for the trucks)
Solarbotics GM15A 25:1 micro gearhead

30th Jul 2019, 02:29 PM
Email me (see the randgust web page for contact information) and I send out the .PDF instructions in advance so you can see exactly what you need here.

You need both the Kato 11-105 for the worm, pickups, universals, and the Rokuhan for the powered and idler truck. And the gearhead motor.

I will have two of them running this weekend at the N Scale Weekend at Altoona. I have a T-trak module with a working oval of Nn3 on it, including some code 40 rail using RP-printed tie strips from Mark Graulty (narrowminded). So if you want to see one for yourself, this is a good chance.

After the show, I will be selling the running unweathered demonstrator model either at the show or on Ebay. "McCabe Lumber" is my own, that one is not for sale!