Large Scale Central

Aristo mallet - final modifications to a Rio Grande version

Hi guys,

I began altering my mallet way back in 2010. I mostly finished revising the tender back then. For a bunch of reasons, it was set aside until recently. This winter I resolved to wrap it up.

I had added the front air compressors, marker lights, and the new number plate back in 2010. The bell is new too, being a 3D printed model from Shapeways. This winter I made some new pilot steps out of brass - here’s one:

Next began the painful work of the steam and air piping for the air compressors. The air compressors are from Precision Scale, as are the filters and pipe fittings:

A new whistle was added, also from Shapeways. Also a new generator and exhaust vent:

A new bell cord has been added and some air piping. Another smokebox inspection port was added, also a 3D print from Shapeways. The builder’s plates are from Robert Dustin. The air tanks were added back in 2010:

Here are the two smokebox number boards lying on a print of an example of the prototype. They are 3D prints from Shapeways. I still had to make some brass brackets for them. For the number boards I used clear plastic, painted the backs black and then added numeral decals:

From last night. The number boards have been added, along with a bunch of electrical conduit. I made an additional smokebox step from brass to match the prototype. The steam line for the air compressors has been added - its insulation is Johnson & Johnson cloth medical tape:

Other than adding an air compressor regulator (due to arrive from Shapeways on Monday), I am done with the detailing portion of this project. Today I will add an Airwire receiver and battery, and a sound system from Train Control Systems. I bought a Visiton FRS 8 speaker for the sound system - should sound Grande. :wink: With a minimal amount of muttering and swearing, I should be able to take this thing for a test drive later today.



Nice work !!

Well done, Matt. When you get her out on the layout, don’t forget to shoot a quick video for us (

Thanks guys!

The front coupler is from Burl Rice. Today I learned that low pressure cylinders buck a lot of snow:

Here’s a shot from the other end. Still missing the air compressor regulator. The mud ring valve is from Shapeways. The water lines from the tender to the locomotive are shoelaces from an old pair of my hiking boots:

Sorry Dan, no videos yet. The sound system failed miserably. Another day!




I don’t even like steam!

Nice work !!

The devil lives within the details !