New member introduction, and questions

Kenneth Rickman

Hi folks,

I'm a new member of the list, but hardly new to HO modeling. I joined because I have a deep and abiding love of all things steam and would like to share that with others of like mind. I'm also a bit of a rivet counter, and a bit frugal, which lead to kitbashing and scratch building as the only viable options.

My interests at the moment are primarily Southern Ry., and in particular a semi-autonomous subsidiary, the Danville & Western. My layout is based on the D&W, ca. 1940, and will rely on small 4-6-0's and 2-8-0's for power. A few Southern 2-8-0's will likely show up as well, from time to time. In addition, I have a number of larger Southern models on the bench, which will probably end up being built and sold.

I've added a folder in the photo section, entitled "Ken's Creations", showing off my latest and most successful projects. One started out life as a Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0, and was heavily kitbashed into a Southern Ry. Ks-3 (a bit of a rare bird, but the best fit on the Southern roster for the Spectrum model). The other is an almost entirely scratch built Southern Ry. Ks. The only commercial parts are the tender trucks, an IHC 2-8-0 chassis and drivers (modified) and a few detail castings.

Now for the questions. Many of Southern's consolidations had 57" drivers. The D&W's ten wheelers also had 57" drivers. Unfortunately, HO scale 57" drivers are scarce, and what few are out there are either expensive (Greenway, Alan Gibson) or in expensive models (USRA 2-8-8-2, 2-10-2), and they have the wrong counterweights (except for the AG wheels). I have found that the old Bachmann 4-4-0 (the toy train version, before the new release) has nice 57" drivers with no counterweights, and can be adapted for a scratchbuilt chassis nicely. So, first off, does anybody know of an inexpensive source of those drivers? Most of the engines on e-bay are going for $20-30 with shipping, which is more than I'm willing to spend on a couple drivers. Second, does anybody know of another reasonably priced source for decent 57" drivers? Bowser used to have some, but they're not the prettiest things on the planet, and I'm not sure if they really are 57".

Thanks, and I'm looking forward to being a member of this list,
Kenneth Rickman
Kenneth Rickman - krickman1@...
Salisbury, NC