View Full Version : My crude attempt at an Nn3 Mogul, circa 1979...

13th Aug 2019, 08:16 PM
Towards the end of my first foray into N-scale, circa 1979, I got "bit" by the narrow gauge bug. Being of young and naive, I decided to try my hand at narrow gauge modeling in N scale... IOW, Nn3... using Z gauge trucks on hand-laid track and turnouts. That was a pretty crazy idea back then... As I recall, there was a "local" fellow who "pioneered" and talked up Nn3 around the local shops. I can't recall his name, but he lived out in Loma Linda, CA. I drove a couple hours out from Pasadena to meet him one Saturday, to hear his ideas and see what sort of parts/supplies he had available. I came home with a head full of ideas and a track gauge.

I hand-laid a bit of track using "home made" PC board ties (I bought some PC board from the electrical shop at my university, and had one of the guys in our shop shear it into strips) and code 40 rail. I made at least a couple turnouts, trying both standard and stub designs. I scratch built a baggage car (posted in Nn3 rolling stock) and bashed together this little 2-6-0:




Construction of the loco was described in railroad Modeler in Oct 1978 (these pics are scanned from that article). Basically, it ran on a Marklin mechanism (2-6-0, I believe). The running gear (cylinders, rods, and valves) were heavily modified or built from scratch to fit the new scale. The pilot and boiler were built from scratch, with some details from Detail Associates, some scavenged from other N scale models, and some made from scratch. I never did get around to making a new tender. It may look pretty crude by today's standards... but this was back in 1978.

The Marklin mechanism ran like a Swiss watch... when it got power. But, that was the rub... there just wasn't enough rail contact to run reliably, especially thru turnout frogs. There weren't good sources of metal wheels to try and make pickup cars to augment electrical pickup from the loco and tender.... and I finally just got frustrated. That's what led me to move up to HOn3...

...where I built and accumulated a bunch of HOn3 locos and rolling stock, and started 3 different HOn3 switching layouts. But, I never had the space for what I really enjoy.... watching steam locos run around a main line. So here I am back in N scale, forty years later! But, I think I will stick to standard gauge...

13th Aug 2019, 09:03 PM
Your a lot braver than many of us to try that back in 1978!!
Great work and your loco certainly looks good. Well done!!

13th Aug 2019, 11:50 PM
Beautiful locomotive, and inspiring! Makes me want to make something...