Crane Locomotives

Discussion in 'S7 Group' started by spikey faz, 23 June 2020.

  1. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    My Wantage Tramway loco project has slowed down due to some parts not being available yet (understandable under the current circumstances). So I got distracted and decided to create another crane loco. A while back I heavily modified an Ixion Hudswell Clarke to resemble one that I had a picture of. I'm still not sure if it is actually still a Hudswell Clarke now! Anyway, I decided to finish it off as a crane locomotive with the addition of a Gladiator Models crane. 20200623_194822.jpg




    If anyone's interested I can post some pictures of my other two crane locomotives. There may even be a fourth crane locomotive project coming up. :eek:

  2. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Always good to see more photos, Mike. That one looks the business. I'm always sad that I never saw one in the flesh.

  3. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Next up is a Doxford Crane Tank. Based on plans the proprietor of Backwoods Miniatures kindly provided me with. The valve-gear almost defeated me and even now is a somewhat simplified version of the real thing.

  4. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    And the one that started it all. Although there was and still is a kit available for this loco, I preferred to scratchbuild my version. Think I must have built this about twenty years ago.

    It's looking a bit careworn now and could probably use some new hornblock bearings but money's a bit tight at the Findon Limeworks, so it'll have to wait! :)

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  5. Podartist79

    Podartist79 Western Thunderer

    Evening Mike,
    Never thought I'd see a Doxford Crane Tank in 7mm scale - it's absolutely brilliant! The colours, and weathering also - exquisite! (Should add I like the other two very much also)
    Unfortunately I'm not a builder (certainly not yet) but I would love one of these in model form.
    I've been trying to collate GA's and information on it, but I was aware that the Gentleman from Backwoods Miniatures was no longer operating, and hasn't been for some time, due to the health of his Wife(?) sadly.
    Very interested in anything you might have on this loco.
    Best wishes, and terrific work once more,
    PS Also interesting your working on the WT. I'm 40, but I lived not 8 miles from this line for the first 26 years of my life. I'd like to create a small part of it in a 7mm scale diorama...
  6. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Hi Neil

    Thank you for your kind words. I'm afraid the info on the Doxford loco went ages ago in a major cull of old paperwork. There wasn't however a GA drawing, but just a photocopy of the 4mm etchings which I enlarged to 7mm. Now, I'm aware that the etchings might have actual been to HO scale, so goodness knows whether my loco is correctly proportioned! :eek: The valve gear is I believe 'modified joy valve gear'. Trust me, there was nothing joyful about constructing it! :D

    You've got to start your Wantage Tramway diorama now to give me an incentive to finish No.5.

  7. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Now, this arrived in the post today back from EastsidePilot. Thanks again Col for converting this to Scale7 for me. :thumbs: It looks and runs very nice. So why am I posting this on my thread about Crane locomotives? Watch this space!!! :)
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  8. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    You wouldn't be going in the direction of New South Wales by chance?

  9. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    This might be of use - appeared recently on the Industrial Locomotive Enthusiasts FB page.
    Reputed to be from a Railway Modeller and described as a dimensioned sketch rather than a dead scale G.A.
    Also a comment that the brass kit was 3.5mm /ft.
    RM drwg.jpg
    Michael Osborne likes this.
  10. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Possibly. ;)

  11. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Possibly something like this:
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  12. Rippers

    Rippers Western Thunderer

    The Backwoods Doxford Tank was indeed etched to 3.5mm scale. Something we discovered when building a pair of them for our EM gauge shipyard layout 'Walker Marine' many moons ago. Something we discussed with the kit manufacturer later and apparently it had been done accidentally using a 7mm scale drawing that had been halved in scale (so if you doubled the etches it may indeed be nearer than you think!):D.

    We overcame the under-scale issue on ours (on the width anyway) by the less than finescale approach of fattening the tanks up a bit on either side!;)

    As you can imagine valve gear on the 4mm (sorry 3.5 m) version was mind boggling!:))

    Nice to see one in 7mm scale.


  13. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Nice. I've not seen that photo before. I'm currently working my way thought the mine field of NSWGR class D open wagons with the help of Ian Dunn's book. there are a few photos of 73xx on page 60. If you have any drawing of the tank or know were i can get my hands on a set I would be interested.

  14. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    This is my favourite crane locomotive because it was the very first I came across - in an 1876 volume of either The Engineer or Engineering. Scrapped in early 1920s when the works closed (info from IRS article).
    I have a suspicion there was a G.A. or detailed drawing or sorts in the article too - should I take a look in my file? :eek:

  15. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    I was in contact with a chap out in Australia on BRM a few years back regarding these locos. I'll see what info he referred me to. I think some of the links he sent me no longer exist though.

    That book sounds interesting. I may have to check it out. Could you let me have the full title please?

    I'm currently undecided whether to go for a full-blown conversion to Australian spec, or whether to do a UK version. An enterprising UK engineer may have been on an overseas trip to Australia, spotted a crane tank and thought ' I know where there's an abandoned Terrier back in the UK. Maybe we can do something similar'.

  16. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer

    Hi Tony

    Please post any pictures of drawings of crane tanks that you might have. I've got this weird fascination with them! :))

    There are so many different types it would be a lifetimes work to even build a fraction of them. I even came across a picture of a fireless crane tank recently.

    I suppose I should start compiling pictures of them . As far as I'm aware there is only one book on the subject: Crane Locomotives by R A S Abbott.

  17. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer


    Marc, hopefully this link works.

  18. Marc Dobson

    Marc Dobson Western Thunderer

    Hi Mike

    The Book is Goods wagons of the NSW Railways 1855-1905. by Alan A Dunn.published by Eveleigh press in Australia.

    I have been commissioned to produce some 7mm kit for a group of people associated with the Australian version of the HMRS. I have started with to D class wagons: a 2 plank with a centre door; 2 plank with a dropside; 3 plank with centre door and a 3 plank with a drop side to start with. I designing them so they can be built in FS or S7 with a simple wheel swap.
    I hoping to have to them finish and the first kits shipped by the end of September. It should have been earlier this year but germageddon got in the way.
    I'm now into the final detailed design work etched parts etc. I have attached some screen shots



  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    Greg Edwards of Datasheets provided the drawings and Ian Dunn wrote the words for Goods Wagons of NSW. The drawings in the book are available in 7mm scale from Datasheets, as linked to by Mike above. There are some oddities in the book, one being the sheep van section where Ian wonders where the design of the first sheep van came from - it was an exact copy of the LNWR double deck van down to the last detail as published in DK Clark in 1855, designed by HH Henson. The drawing in the NSW book is longer than it should be to be accurate.

    The NSW Terrier conversions were different to most crane tanks as the crane was low capacity, just enough to lift the coal tubs to coal locos as the were intended to. Presumably they were quick acting to speed the process up.
  20. spikey faz

    spikey faz Western Thunderer


    I use a computer at work but I admit to not having a clue about the kind of design work you are doing. It looks excellent! Keep us posted on your progress.