How to Build a Faux Steam Locomotive Part 1.5

RoundhouseMy post today is a continuation of the series I began last month about the process for building a ridable backyard faux steam locomotive.  Here are a few select details that will help finish off the boiler assembly for the locomotive.  The Lantern is an iconic feature of any steam locomotive and requires the proper style and proportion.

LampSupportOneThe typical lantern support on a standard Baldwin Locomotive Works boiler is a bit of an odd 19th century detail.  To recreate a version of it I used steel shelf supports and cut them down to the proper size and shape.

headlampThe box of the lantern was next.  1/2 inch birch plywood, glue and nails make up the overall form.  Details like raised panels are made from solid material and the lens frame was turned on the lathe.

LampPaintThe top of the lantern was cut from a single piece of Poplar and the whole assembly was painted Fire Engine Red.  Pin Striping was later added using a specialty tape.

FinishedLampThe stack was re-designed and turned on the lathe, then faux painted bronze.

FinishedLampDetailRe-purposed hardware, in this case a casement window latch, was perfect for the side door that will allow for light bulb and electrical maintenance in the future.

SandDomePaintSince we had ONE nice day so far this year, I decided to take the Sand Dome assembly outside and paint it.   Traditional black with a Fire Engine Red center cylinder.  Graphics to come later.

SideRevSmokeStackAnd so concludes part 1.5.  I need to have a temperature of 65 degrees or warmer before I can move the boiler outside for its paint job, so no telling when that might be.  Maybe August.  The cab construction will begin soon.  If you’d like to read up on one the best known Backyard Railroads and how it inspired a Theme Park, check out this website and head to the store section where you’ll find “Walt Disney’s Railroad Story”, 3rd Edition, by Michael Broggie.  Happy Rails.  Part 2

About PhillipFreer
Draws, paints and builds stuff. Designs Theme Parks, places and family destinations.

4 Responses to How to Build a Faux Steam Locomotive Part 1.5

  1. Chris says:

    How did you build the new stack

    • PhillipFreer says:


      I used a 4 inch PVC pipe, primed and painted it a flat black using a Krylon Fusion plastic. Then I glued up several blocks of Poplar wood and when dry I turned the upper part of the stack on my lathe. Drilled a hole down the center for smoke. Sanded it, primed it and painted black then dusted gold paint on to give it an aged bronze look. Thanks for your question.

  2. Goodluck! I hope the kids will love it! Bring smile to the World!


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