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Hello-
I'm new at model building but am trying to get back into it. Never really was a scratchbuilder specifically. Just wanted to try scabbing together some interesting pieces.

Has anyone here tried building an old Porter 2-8-0? I'm trying to do the 1910 D-2-T class Porter engine plinthed in Hardeeville, SC--Argent Lumber Co. #7. There are some Argent cars & all still available as model kits, and as I'd played on the prototype a little bit as a kid I wouldn't be satisfied building a small-scale model. This one has got to be large. I didn't think O scale would work--but that was because I thought O meant Lionel trains.

Then I discovered On3 and that sealed me in the decision.

The image from the 1908 catalog-

H K Porter consolidation




No7anddriverOSCoolerNo. 7 side view


OK, so how to make this--I was thinking to use a Mehano 0-8-0 or 2-8-0 as a donor for the side rods, driving wheels, and motor/gears (may re-gear to slow her down.) The boiler is straight--I think I could almost take a piece of copper tubing and make the boiler; that'd add some weight. Guess sheet-brass will work to make the metal cab and tender--the wood parts would be fun to make with real wood.

Anybody ever tried doing one of these or something similar? I think I need to get that book "Last of the Swamp Rats" as I know people have modeled Argent stuff before. It'll be a fun railroad to model--couple different kinds of Lima, Porter, other steamers, different rolling stock, even a Model T railcar..

Anyway, that's that. Ideas? Criticism? Guesses or no? Go ahead.

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Images (3)
  • H K Porter consolidation
  • No7anddriverOSCooler
  • No. 7 side view
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Have you considered modeling in On30 instead of On3?   That would be 30 inch wide track instead of 36 inch which Argent was.   These are made by Bachmann and others and would barely be noticeable.   Wouldn't that be a difference of 1/8 inch on actual 1:48, O scale track widths?   There is a lot of Bachmann On30 equipment available to work with to do your modeling and kitbashing.   Just a thought.   Not sure what the On3 purists would think of this idea but it works for me.   

@Brian J posted:

Have you considered modeling in On30 instead of On3?   That would be 30 inch wide track instead of 36 inch which Argent was.   These are made by Bachmann and others and would barely be noticeable.   Wouldn't that be a difference of 1/8 inch on actual 1:48, O scale track widths?   There is a lot of Bachmann On30 equipment available to work with to do your modeling and kitbashing.   Just a thought.   Not sure what the On3 purists would think of this idea but it works for me.   

I did consider that! And it would let me use HO track.

But the On3 will have that larger feel. And since I can't find a 2-8-0 Consolidation that doesn't say D&RGW on it, or a Porter with more than 6 wheels, or a Lima anything, I was thinking to DIY my engines. Kinda fell in love with the "look" of the O-scale trains.

A Bachmann engine is nice & detailed--I grew up playing with their Spectrum 2-8-0, the Southern 722 one. Fun model for a kid--that thing had a great low speed setting and a big brass flywheel. Wouldn't mind having some regular HO as well just for giggles. Heck, I might set some up around the baseboards. (Can ya tell I'm single?)

Will probably have to think of it. It just would be fun to try making entire locomotive engines from scratch. The Argent engines are INCREDIBLY simple--No boiler sight glasses, no air-brakes, no knuckle couplers, no nothing. Not very safe but they were used for a long time.

After sitting in the engineer's seat on the prototype, I kinda feel like any model I make of No. 7 will have to look and feel just like the real thing. So that's got me leaning towards On3.

Just not real sure yet what to do as far as building a frame, a powertrain, etc.

So I've been looking into this. Thank you to the entire OGR Forum for having such an interesting website.

Unfortunately I have a desire now to collect model trains.

I think I have an idea for how to get my donor chassis if this is going to be in On30. Some very simple 2-8-0's available on eBay used look like great donors, and unfortunately On30 and O scale 2-rail look like great places to get lost.

It's going to be a long winter & I may start building Argent #7.

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