Freelance doodle bug idea... And question

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DairyStateDad

Mumbling in the corner
Years ago the 19 year old in the living room who will be leaving for South Korea in 3 days to report to his first post as an army MP gave me for Christmas an inexpensive Bachman F-unit. Of course, it has no place in a 1930s-era short line, but I have hoped to repurpose it mostly for sentimental reasons, so I'm figuring on kit-bashing it into a freelance doodlebug. (I've got a copy of the old Art Curren story in which he does the same with, I think, an Athearn SW-7.)

I already know that I will need to replace the side frames on the F-unit trucks, but here is my one concern. I'm pretty sure that the wheels are a scale 42 inches. Pretty much all of the doodlebug I've been seeing in old pictures look like they're probably 33 or 36 inches. Of course, I'm not planning to follow a particular prototype, but I would like to think that it would be plausible.

So those of you with more historical and prototypical knowledge than I do... Can I get away with this?
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
You are CEO of your own railroad. Do as you wish. I think that going to a smaller wheel size would essentially take your F-unit out of the picture for this project. I'd consider ways to either make the wheels appear smaller or put some sort of shroud over them. Aside from that, I'd look at a different frame, which would go against your goal of using the F-unit
 

MRLdave

Member
Here's a Milwaukee Road unit that might be what you're looking for. The unit itself is a doodlebug in that it's powered by a small engine and front truck. The engine bay is now an express/freight compartment. It usually pulled a coach for passengers. http://donsdepot.donrossgroup.net/mil5900t.jpg
 
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DairyStateDad

Mumbling in the corner
I kinda suspect it's about at least 10 years later than my period, but thank you for the lead -- I'll investigate it further!
 

Milwaukee Road 113

Milwaukee Road addict...
js196.jpg

mil5936.jpg

sk57.jpg
 

DairyStateDad

Mumbling in the corner
I'm going to guess those have 33 or 36 inch wheels. I'd love to be wrong.

By the way, thanks for those -- they are very handy to use as potential prototypes...

Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
 
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DairyStateDad

Mumbling in the corner
And if you're thinking, "36 inch, 42 inch, who's gonna care at 1/87 scale?", read the last line on my signature :rolleyes::D


Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Use a bit of modelers license. It's your railroad and your shops can build anything they want.
 

DairyStateDad

Mumbling in the corner
Use a bit of modelers license. It's your railroad and your shops can build anything they want.

That is the best 'out' I guess -- I need to remember that many Doodlebugs were quite literally "freelanced" -- or, I should say, "kitbashed" -- by the roads that ran them rather than being bought "off the rack" from a manufacturer. I've also done enough nosing around on the Web the last couple of days to see that there was a period in the late 1800s when 42-inch wheels were rising in popularity for passenger cars. So I can probably let go and move forward on this now :rolleyes:
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
A lot of railroads had some really creative people in their shops and some times they built what they needed. I have posted this picture before, but it shows the creativity of the shop people. This little critter was built the the Milwaukee Roads shop people in Deer Lodge, MT to move their electric locomotives onto the turntable and into the roundhouse. It looks like it was built on an Alco truck. It was powered by an extension cord. I can remember watching this little guy when I was a kid visiting relatives who worked for the Milwaukee Road in Deer Lodge.

X3800.jpg X 3800 - 2.jpg

I am sure that a lot of other railroads also built what they needed if it wasn't readily available for sale.
 
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