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Tich vs. Juliet

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Stub Mandrel10/07/2012 21:25:05
4307 forum posts
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I was reading a 90's ME and there were a few pictures of really well built Tich, with the comment the maker felt "Tich isn't really a beginner's model". Looking at the plans the boiler, though small, looks a right devil to make.

On the other hand Juliet appeared under the title "Juliet - the simplest yet".

Juliet isn't much bigger and does appear to be far less complex, and I would guess it is easier to run too. Yet Tich is offered over and again as a beginner's model - and there seem to be far fewer Juliets about.

Is this heresey? Does anyone with direct experience of the two locos have any observations?


John Alexander Stewart10/07/2012 21:52:38
771 forum posts
52 photos


1) There *really* is no single ideal beginners locomotive, despite what people say. Like, there's no "best" car or aircraft, etc.

2) I built a Tich. Might build another, as I have the castings aging in my workshop.

3) Tich (at least mine) can pull 2 people on a fairly flat track, or, if you google "Waushakum Live Steamers", mine would do one lap of their elevated track with ease (fire gets plugged up). Check out their elevated track on some youtube videos.

4) Juliets - have seen and driven a couple. Not as "cute". One had a firebox about 50% bigger which helped with the steaming.

5) Oil fired Tich - the articles are in ME - 2 blokes in the UK could go around for quite a while.

My personal opinion is that Tich is a fantastic design, and a unbelievably good first locomotive. Lots of people seem to disagree, though!

Another JohnS.

The Novice Engineer27/08/2012 20:24:42
67 forum posts
29 photos

Hi Neil

Here's my thoughts following the decision to start building a Juilet .....only because after starting out on a bigger engine the crashing realisation hit home ...I needed the experience of a small/ simpler one first ...and the Juliet castings were a bargin on e-bay

From my reading of the original LSBC articles Tich was a fully featured series designed for the beginer with all aspects of construction covered the extent that they are published as a complete construction book.

The Juliet series were on the other hand constatntly refering back to previous construction projects , .and littered with phrases such as .."make these in the usual manner" .not very inspiring to a novice builder.

My current thoughts are that the Juliet is probably a better starter engine to as its bigger than Tich [read as easier for big hands] and can be built with different valve gear , coal or meths spirit fired boiler, and in different sizes !!

The down side is that there are no definitive construction books. Though I am using the Titch construction articles as well as the original Juliet and associated articles .

Good Luck

John Alexander Stewart28/08/2012 13:15:01
771 forum posts
52 photos


Juliet is a fine little locomotive; I have seen a couple of them run.

I like the little Tich, though, because it is what I built. When you go through older Model Engineers, you'll see 3 different boilers (large, small, belpare firebox) and at least 3 valve gears, and more recently, a better oil firing arrangement, letting a Tich pull two chaps around the track all day.

As you get on in this building, you'll find that there are lots of choices to make; none of them wrong.

As for "big hands, small locomotive", saw my friend Graham's coal fired gauge 1 V1 (IIRC) running last Saturday - what a treat!

Another JohnS.

Derek Drover28/08/2012 13:32:03
85 forum posts

Both designs are very small and managable, yet not simple to run. The smaller the fire grate and boiler, the harder things become. Have you considered something a little bigger, perhaps a Rob Roy? Again a small tank engine a little bigger than the Juliet, but alot easier to run.



John Alexander Stewart28/08/2012 16:52:33
771 forum posts
52 photos


Don't know if your questions pointed at me, but:

1) my wife knows that I am nuts.

2) I have a large 2-8-2, 3-1/2" gauge, Continental loading gauge.

3) I'm licensed (and, used to) drive/fire full sized stuff in North America.

I prefer the Tich. The 2-8-2 is sitting on a shelf in our dining room, and has been for 4+ years. I do renew my full size license, but have not used it in years, despite being invited to do so.

Taking 1) above to be true; I find firing the little guys fun; much more than the bigger locomotives. You are right, a Rob Roy or so would be a wonderful size. I think Nick Feast's Q1 would also be ideal; 25kg in weight is not too hard to move, and small enough to actually get it working.

It's nice to run for a bit, then sit around and chat; certainly little Tich, while powerful enough for 1 (2 on a flat track) does get clogged up fairly quickly on Welsh steam coal.

I really like the smaller 3-1/2" gauge stuff, no matter what locomotive. Actually it;s all fun, no matter what gauge.

Another JohnS.

Derek Drover29/08/2012 21:25:21
85 forum posts

I do agree with you about 3 1/2 inch stuff. I have a 3 1/2 inch NETTA. It regularly pulls passengers, is very powerful and I find it a real pleasure to drive (5 inch stuff is actually boring in comparison)... but I have tried a Juliet and found it frustrating to get a good run with. If you want a good 3 1/2 inch loco to build, there are some superb designs out there. I'm seriously considering the Jubilee once I finish my Simplex (yeh I know.. 5 inch !!!)


modeng200030/08/2012 07:10:04
223 forum posts
1 photos

John, Could you point me to the oil fired Titch articles in ME please?


Steambuff30/08/2012 10:58:18
506 forum posts
7 photos

If you want a large(ish) loco on 3 1/2" then take a look at Conway or Lilla


John Alexander Stewart30/08/2012 14:32:55
771 forum posts
52 photos

John, Dave:

Yes, a Conway is a great locomotive. A friend has one, and it's a real treat. Quite simple to construct, runs well, lighter than expected when we carried it up his basement stairs a month ago.

Family coming up for the weekend, will not be able to dig through the binders in the workshop, but, looking on-line, here is what I think it is:

year 1994, volume 172, issue 3966, page 435.

"The willful use of liquid fuel on a locomotive of a gauge larger than 2-1/2in gauge. Operation, construction, machining firing and running, future developments"

It's about the right date, so I'm pretty sure that this is the article.

If not, post back, and I'll dig it out of my files in a few days.

Another JohnS.

modeng200030/08/2012 19:53:29
223 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks John S, I'll have a look.


The Novice Engineer30/08/2012 22:21:07
67 forum posts
29 photos


From the very good index to ME I found the following re Oil Fired Boiler for Juliet


Year Volume Issue Page Author Title Notes

1947 96 2402 688 LBSC "Juliet" - The 0-4-0 side tank An Oil-Fired Boiler. Arrangement, the final development, outer shell, backhead, inside barrel, alternative arrangement of backhead, staying and assembly

Happy Reading

modeng200031/08/2012 06:59:38
223 forum posts
1 photos

The ME for 1947 might be difficult to find, my copies don't go back that far! However I'll try my library although I believe they only keep back copies for about 5 years.

Thanks for the lead The Novice Engineer I feel sure there must be a copy out there somewhere.


modeng200031/08/2012 08:35:46
223 forum posts
1 photos

I believe I have found a copy of the relevent ME for both references.

Thanks for the help and sorry for taking the postings away from the original subject.


modeng200005/09/2012 15:23:37
223 forum posts
1 photos

Jophn S, I've been in touch with the author of the 1994 article and he has been most helpful.

So many thanks again for posting the info.


stephen.12/09/2012 21:20:07
24 forum posts
12 photos


just to say that i am currently building a tich ,well technicaly a restoration but have ended up re making most of it. If its any help i am finding no problems with making the parts although i am only 18 and have relitavley small hands to cope with it, anyway when building a first model i think it is important to have a book of words to help with the proseses, i have certantly have found it (tich book) a great help although you can use these methods to build other engines as well such as the juliet. My only wory at the moment is its capability when finished, If i had the choice now i would have gone for somthing bigger as there is just as much involved whatever the size. There are many other engines which can be build with a 3 1/2 inch lathe the hardest part is what your doing, which one to go for!   PS i would recomend not using reeves as they seem expensive, however blackgates are very reasonable and are very helpfull

All the best Stephen

Edited By stephen. on 12/09/2012 21:23:50

John Alexander Stewart12/09/2012 23:25:53
771 forum posts
52 photos

Hi Stephen;

I started my Tich back before I was old enough to drive, so I kind of know "where you are". Tich is going to be #1 for you; hopefully there'll be many others.

Here's my current philosophy, for what it's worth.

I used to do a lot of sailing, and there is a saying in the sailing world - "one-foot-itis". I slowly went from a 14 foot International 14, up to a 34 footer in the Med, and was looking at a 38 footer. Worked on a 98 footer. It needed a crew of 14. Fortunately fate intercepted, and that all got unwound.

Same philosophy with model locomotives. Started with Tich, and went all the way up to firing 48 square foot grates by hand, and working on machines where a 50ton crane was useful. I'm back to Tich, and I'm enjoying every minute - no hassles! No "where's the remote for the crane?"

Enjoy your Tich. It (like everything in life) has plusses and minuses. Revel in the benefits of it, and, do not focus on it's issues.

Another JohnS.

stephen.13/09/2012 19:13:12
24 forum posts
12 photos

Hello John,

Thankyou for your kind comments i am sure i will have as much pleasure out of it as i have had building it, i have certantley learnt alot from it and if i make a mistake the parts and castings are not to expencive to have another go! And at the end i hope to have a half respectible engine which i can put on display in a display case i have made for it.

The origional engine was given to my dad by his grandad many years ago with little sucksess so it is nice for me to have a go and make somthing of it.

Out of interes how are you getting on with your tich?

Kind regards Stephen

John Alexander Stewart13/09/2012 20:49:07
771 forum posts
52 photos


Our local track has "issues" with posts coming out of the ground due to frost heave, so it needs work. My 2-8-2 also has difficulty on this track. I have taken Tich to two visiting tracks this year; Kingston Ontario, and Southwick, Mass. USA. Both times she/he has run very well; I use welsh steam coal, our club got 6-1/2 tons shipped to Canada a number of years ago. It has flown to Vancouver Island, and to Winnipeg for meets, and actually, was completed in The Netherlands, so has a dutch boiler certificate. (*) On the Winnipeg track, it pulled 2 of us; maybe 450 to 500 pounds load, but it is a flat, long track.

When I started my Tich, I knew NOTHING about machining. I, too, made mistakes; the second cylinder set certainly hurt my pocketbook. I made the slip eccentric valve gear, no brakes, large boilered version. The superheater flue plugged up first time I tried to steam it, so it has been blocked since day 1. It needs a re-paint, but it's going to stay as it is.

First few times I could not get any fire going. It takes some practice to realize that you have to have good coal, and to throw it on in teaspoon-fulls, and fill the firebox up quite full, as you want the fire to be open, but you want maximum heat via a thickish fire. I start with kerosene soaked charcoal; bits that fit through the firedoor, and stuffed as full as I can get it. Coal is thrown on well before the charcoal is burnt through. On the track, I throw on a teaspoon full once or twice per lap, depending on the track. I just literally throw it in - no placement plan like on a full sized loco.

I do know that after a few laps at a breakneck pace, I need to clean out and put in a new fire. Tich certainly moves, and I have been told to slow down more than once.

If you google "Waushakum Live Steamers" and look at their elevated track, my Tich is able to navigate this track one loop per steaming. You do need auxiliary water; my locomotive has a pipe going to a tee at the bottom of the axle pump which is connected (via plastic tube) to a larger tank on my riding car. One fill up of approximately a "coca cola can" full of water was good for one run of the PVLS track, the Waushakum Live Steamers, I had a squirt bottle (water bottle for kids sports) with me to backup the backup water supply!

The * above is because I was totally amazed at the dutch modellers. I had to return to Canada quickly, so did not get to really go around and say goodbye to a bunch of really nice people who were some of the best modellers I have ever seen, and who were appreciative and helpful with my finishing my Tich.

Stub Mandrel15/09/2012 20:09:42
4307 forum posts
291 photos
1 articles

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm rapidly being distrated by other projects at the moment. Best of luck with your Tich and let us see some pictures of progress.


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