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Under-type Wagon vs Over type

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Puffafish10/09/2018 10:27:10
15 forum posts

I have always been tempted with the idea of buying/building a miniature traction engine. Due to space and tools, I've always thought I'd either buy ready built, or build from fully machined kit (Steam Traction World or Maxitrak).>>

Looking around the various websites where one can find these, I'm always surprised at how cheap the under type wagons are compared to the over types/traction engines. Traction engines in the 3 or 4 inch range seem to be £9k upwards. But I have seen a plethora of under type waggons for £5-7k, which is still enough to stop be getting one at the moment (house renovations are apparently more important than steam engines, at least that's what Darling Wife who is Never Wrong says).>>

Is there a reason these types of engines are so cheaper? Is this a critical thing I’d notice when pootling about the rally field/my garden/on a road run? >Should I be worried about buying a 3inch under type?>

I've never seen a machined kit for an under type, so I'm guessing these tend to be build by those with the tools?

Brian H10/09/2018 13:23:07
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1108 forum posts
85 photos

I suspect that undertypes are cheaper because they are mor numerous thanks to Mr Tyler with the Clayton Undertype Waggon that appeared in one of the model engineering magazines some years ago. They are also easier to build as the boiler and engine are separate units, also the boiler on the Clayton is a vertical one that is easy for the less experienced modeller to make.

The Clayton is 2" scale and with a suitable trailer will easily pull 2 people, even on grass 'though it is better on tarmac.

By the way, tell your wife that she is quite wrong!

Brian

Paul Lousick10/09/2018 13:55:48
1078 forum posts
479 photos

Traction engines are more complex.

A 3" or 4" engine can take 1000+ hours to build which is reflected in the price.

Paul.

David Murray 110/09/2018 14:12:28
20 forum posts

Over type engines are like a traction engine meaning you need hornplates and then everything must be carefully aligned and setup while working on a round barrel/firebox. Much more tricky trying to work around a curve and get everything well aligned.

With the under type the engine is almost a standalone unit so you can build in isolation and then bolt to the frame so generally everything is working in the flat which is much less complicated.

Puffafish10/09/2018 14:21:14
15 forum posts

Thanks for the comments guys!

No doubt the over types are very different to drive than an under. Can anyone tell me how much different? Are they harder to fire or drive or anything?

Fowlers Fury10/09/2018 14:29:18
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320 forum posts
72 photos

(BTW - it was Robin Dyer who did the M.E. series on the Clayton in 1978/9).

Yes, the Clayton was a much less intimidating model to build for a 'new' model engineer with limited facilities leading to many examples being constructed. The build is relatively quick and materials cost realtively low compared to a traction engine or overtype road loco
Robin Dyer made many concessions to simplify construction. For example the prominent top of the big front, wrap-around apron should have a compound curvature but many builders just 'turned over' the top edge. Only later did Dyer describe fitting a feed water heater ~ not an easy retrofit; all of which which is probably relfected in lower sale prices.
Dyer's model was subsequently much improved by B. Lundberg's articles (M.E. vol 157). A Clayton incorporating all Lundberg's accessories such as brakes etc would command a much higher price.
The tractor unit of a Clayton can just be carried by one man (so inform your wife she needn't be involved in any heavy lifting face 1).

Brian H10/09/2018 14:36:29
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1108 forum posts
85 photos

Yes indeed it was Robin Dyer, I was never very good at names!

Brian

Fowlers Fury10/09/2018 14:42:40
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320 forum posts
72 photos

"No doubt the over types are very different to drive than an under. Can anyone tell me how much different? Are they harder to fire or drive or anything?"

Not driven a model overtype but the Clayton is fairly easy to fire with its top coal chute.
Actually driving one though presents a couple of issues:-

  • The steering wheel is difficult to access and unless the builder has cut a 2-start thread on the rod, steering the wagon is a "slow" process.
  • As designed, the gearing is too high. At least one article was written on how to introduce a reduction gear from the output sprocket to the differential drive.

Puffafish10/09/2018 14:48:14
15 forum posts
Posted by Fowlers Fury on 10/09/2018 14:42:40:

"No doubt the over types are very different to drive than an under. Can anyone tell me how much different? Are they harder to fire or drive or anything?"

Not driven a model overtype but the Clayton is fairly easy to fire with its top coal chute.
Actually driving one though presents a couple of issues:-

  • The steering wheel is difficult to access and unless the builder has cut a 2-start thread on the rod, steering the wagon is a "slow" process.
  • As designed, the gearing is too high. At least one article was written on how to introduce a reduction gear from the output sprocket to the differential drive.

When you say "too high" you mean it's too low torque/too fast?

There don't seem to be many stories about people taking the under types on longer road runs, which is something I'd love to do. Is there a reason for this, or just I don't look in the right places?

One argument for a traction engine/showmans/roller is that they tend to have names, which is always helps convince the wife. Wagons tends to just be a wagon.

Fowlers Fury10/09/2018 15:07:51
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320 forum posts
72 photos

"When you say "too high" you mean it's too low torque/too fast?"
Yes, that seems to have been the general view. Even notched back, it runs a little too fast and the throttle (regulator?), though true to scale, is hardly sensitive.

"There don't seem to be many stories about people taking the under types on longer road runs, which is something I'd love to do. Is there a reason for this, or just I don't look in the right places?"
I'll acknowledge ignorance of the law here regarding the taking such a model on the Queen's highway.

"One argument for a traction engine/showmans/roller is that they tend to have names, which is always helps convince the wife. Wagons tends to just be a wagon."
Not so surely??? Such wagons were often originally sign-written to high standards with their owner's name. The numerous photos of Claytons etc in the M.E. press over the years show personalised "companies". So you could "brush up" your sign-writing and adorn it with "Mrs PUFFAFISH ~ HOUSE RENOVATIONS LTD"

Puffafish10/09/2018 15:28:34
15 forum posts

Thanks Fowlers!

It must be possible to get them on the road in the UK, as I've seen a few being sold as registered on the road. I was worried that they might be too small to keep up pressure to run continuously. No doubt a suitable trailer can haul my noble form and a bag or two of coal and a couple of gallons of water.

The reason for the name all comes from a couple of years ago at GDSF, she kind of feel in love with a part built simplicity roller (I think three inch) which was outside a tent. It was called Teapot. From then on, all miniatures have been compared to Teapot.

The problem with the business name on the side is my lack of sign writing ability. But still a possibility (if I can find someone out there who can sign write for me).

Martin Johnson 110/09/2018 16:34:24
115 forum posts
1 photos

In the original post, you mention looking at websites for (presumably) new kit builds. I have seen both the LSM 4" Foden and the Maxitrak 4" Sentinel. I have to say they are in a totally different league in terms of build quality - The LSM being much better. The Maxitrak has very weak steering and a weird and wonderful reverser lever. The rear suspension has it's parentage from a 750 kg trailer - inventive, but when you really look at it, it's not a model but something that looks a bit like a Sentinel.

As to taking a "lorry" on the road. Register it as a "tractor powered by steam". Legally you are limited to 16 mph, otherwise IVA testings kicks in (which is what kit cars etc. have to go through). Insurance can be readily obtained through Walker Midgley (I use them) or Footman James (Think this has changed names in the past couple of years). See here for actual experience of road registering miniatures:

http://www.tractiontalkforum.com/showthread.php?t=42931

You might need to join TractionTalkForum (it's free) to look at the above. I would recommend joining anyway if your interest is road steam.

I am building a 7" scale Fowler undertype (I used Tony Webster's articles on his 3" scale model as a jumping off point.. My build is currently being covered in EIM (started in September issue) or for the full blow by blow go to:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/140734312@N06/albums/with/72157669955074511

or:

http://www.tractiontalkforum.com/showthread.php?t=20391

Speaking as a designer, I think the undertype is a bit more difficult to adapt to get a driver "in" - probably not an issue if you are working in 3" scale or less.

HTH

Martin

Nigel Bennett10/09/2018 17:02:46
287 forum posts
6 photos

Driving a 2" scale Clayton or similar on the road is not really practical unless you're in amongst a load of bigger models - you're just too low down, almost invisible, very slow-moving and so extremely vulnerable. I have driven mine on my local housing estate roads at quiet times (many years ago now) but it's too small anyway for practical use. There's no thermal capacity to it, so you're always firing it and stuffing water into it as well as trying to see where you're going and steering round even the slightest of road irregularities.

It is a simple fact that I refuse now to run it anywhere other than my back garden because of the perceived need for me to take out insurance for it. How much damage can you do with a 1 foot high vehicle weighing in at about 80lb and only capable of about 3mph? And how does that compare with a disabled person's chariot, which as far as I understand doesn't need insurance? I wouldn't mind if I had a 6" scale Foden, or something - fair enough, you can do some damage with one of those!

If you're serious about running it on the road, build something big and visible. My late friend David Beale built a steam wagon based on Ray Prime's Atkinson, but about three times the size. The trick was to read up all the Construction & Use regulations, and refer to the end of each chapter where it says "This does not apply if...." and making sure all the "Does not apply" get-outs were adhered to!

Puffafish10/09/2018 17:03:54
15 forum posts
Posted by Martin Johnson 1 on 10/09/2018 16:34:24:

In the original post, you mention looking at websites for (presumably) new kit builds. I have seen both the LSM 4" Foden and the Maxitrak 4" Sentinel.

I'm guessing you're talking about Steam Traction World, and not Live Steam Model there? STW as a 4 inch Foden, LSM appears to be all traction engines to me.

Thanks for the comments about taking it on the road, guessing I need boiler sign off along with the insurance and a V5 to get in legally on the road?

And yes, I've tried to sign up to Traction Talk a while ago, apparently my account is still going through the approval process

Your seven inch does look impressive! When you're getting to that size, what's stopping you to the 12inch to the foot scale?

Martin Johnson 111/09/2018 15:21:08
115 forum posts
1 photos

"Your seven inch does look impressive! When you're getting to that size, what's stopping you to the 12inch to the foot scale?"

Only old age, lack of fitness, the wife, somewhere to store it, equipment to build it with, something to move it with and money.

Yes I did mean STW - sorry for any confusion.

Martin

Neil Wyatt11/09/2018 16:37:37
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15982 forum posts
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73 articles
Posted by Nigel Bennett on 10/09/2018 17:02:46:

Driving a 2" scale Clayton or similar on the road is not really practical unless you're in amongst a load of bigger models - you're just too low down, almost invisible, very slow-moving and so extremely vulnerable.

A genuine risk of being run down by a Sinclair C5...

Neil

Howard Lewis15/09/2018 22:26:18
1947 forum posts
2 photos

With regard to speed, the full scale Sentinels, especially the S4 and S6 on Pneumatic tyres were FAST (despite the legal max speed being 20 mph) so a speed of 10 mph for a model might well be in keeping!

Howard

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