Large Scale Central

Joe Douglass

Hi my friends,

When my wife Linda and I went to Nevada in October, she fell in love with the Joe Douglass locomotive at NSRM. It’s a 0-4-2 Porter that ran in nearby Dayton, NV, near enough to the V&T for me to pay attention to.

Well, Linda asked me for a model of Joe, and I promised I’d make her one. So this will be a build thread on this project, and hopefully it won’t bleed beyond this winter.

I’m starting with an LGB porter, which has all the tough stuff figured out (drive, electrical, DCC, etc.).

I began with stripping the LGB down to its main components, and (since I’m on a work trip this week) brought those with me, along with a digital micrometer, and cadded them up.

Joe D 11-19-21 0

Next step was to compare that with pics of the proto.

Joe-Douglas-May-2000 clipped - lr

From that, it became clear that only the chassis, and a very stripped down version of the boiler, could be reused. Most of the cab deck, and all the boiler detail, would need cutting away.

I’ll print the add-on parts (3d printed in resin) until all is dimensionally correct. If the parts seem strong enough, I’ll use those; but if not, I’ll have to use Shapeways / etc.

The tender connection needs to be really strong, so there will be a screw-on interface plate, probably acrylic (but might become brass).

The other parts will (eventually!) slide, snap or screw onto the LGB parts. And hopefully it’ll all work out.

I had to remove the LGB lead weight (hidden in their saddle tank), so I have a TBD weight replacement design effort ahead.

In fact, the cad model / overall design is a long way from being done. But when it is, the actual build should go fairly quickly. Or maybe not, we’ll see.

Thanks in advance for hanging in there with me in the mean time.

888:> Cliffy


Looks like this will be another great project, Cliff. Linda picked a fine engine for you to build and I know you will do it justice.

Thanks for the encouragement Dan, much appreciated.

And yeah, since she picked it, I gotta do it justice, haha!

Too late now but the LGB chloe would have worked for this and had the 0-4-2 and fuel bunker already.

Looks like an interesting build Cliff. Should be fun to build as well as watch!

Will you also be making a scale model of Linda? :innocent:

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Yes Dan, the Chloe was a candidate. But after comparison of silhouettes a couple weeks ago, i found it not close enough.

Will she notice if you don’t get it quite right, Cliff? I know you will, so I am guessing this will be about 10x more accurate and detailed than necessary :smiley:

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Bruce, great idea, she’d love it if I did make a model of her. Would be nice to surprise her with that. But since I’m no sculptor, and don’t have that sort of computer modeling skill, I wouldn’t have the foggiest on how to pull it off. But maybe there’s a figure that’s close enough that can be modified & repainted.

Jim, you’re absolutely right, haha! The other purpose though is to make a V&T related model for the conference next October. And since the Joe D is slated for restoration to running condition, the eyeballs on this project will have certain expectations. So I gotta give it a reasonably good whack.


Dan P., I wanted to give you a better reply (I was in the airport this morning). Here’s the rough comparison between the two choices. The Porter’s boiler and drivers are closer, and the Chloe’s cab if way off. Since I’d have to hack pretty heavily either way, I went with the Porter (which I have on hand), vs. Chloe (which is too expensive and hard to get, to use little of it).

Thanks Dan,


I think its a solid starting platform. It may not be a perfect match but I doubt the misses will break out calipers. I have a feeling by the time it’s done it will be a museum quality replica.

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Yeah, Linda will NEVER break out the calipers…but Cliff will get upset that a particular detail is off by half a millimeter! (And guess who will be doing the modeling?).


It’s a curse. While I am no where even close to the Cliff school of “perfect isn’t close enough” I do get frustrated over details no one will notice.

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Well, I’m fairly sure that sums up Cliff.
And MANY of us, paint things that will NEVER be seen.


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Thanks for the vote of confidence (?) guys in my modeling techniques… :flushed:

But I never use calipers, only digital micrometers. :crazy_face:

And I only count rivets when I can see them in the photographs. :innocent:

But seriously, don’t you see that the Joe D’s steam dome is INSIDE the cab, and has a larger boiler and tank (unlike the Chloe)? And has a completely different cab than the Porter, plus the rear deck, wheels and tank? And a completely different pilot, stack and headlight than either?

OK, maybe I’m being anal… But, it keeps me off the street, as they used to say… :grinning:

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Didn’t I just see you on the street? :crazy_face:

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Naah, I gave up on that particular pool hall, Bruce, too risky. You might consider somewheres else… :upside_down_face: :crazy_face:

Got a little more work done on the front end, starting with the headlight. It’s a little big, but I wanted to incorporate the LGB lens, reflector and lamp. Also added the front of the smokebox door.

While finalizing the pilot interface with the chassis, I noticed that the real pilot has its diagonal boards shaped to meet the lower edge (so they aren’t planar surfaces, but twisted). So I put that in. Nice careful woodwork they put into this pilot!

Some thoughts on accuracy.

It bugs me that I have no dimensions, not even a drawing to trace! Just eyeballing it all for now. But I heard from Mike Collins (who’s done all the official / recent V&T drawings of locos / stock / buildings) that he’ll be drawing up the Joe D for its proposed rebuild.

Which leaves me the choice of going ahead with the project, or waiting for those drawings and be much closer to the mark…

Yeah, this is just something I promised Linda, but on the other hand, this is also my best candidate for giving a short talk at the conference next October (I have nothing else in that pipeline). I don’t want to be too embarrassed… but I want to get the model over with, and don’t know when the drawings will be available.

So I’ll prob move forward, for the time being…

So now you know the dramatic backstory of Linda and Joe.
:sob: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

888:> Cliffy


Seems like a reality show for Lifetime to me!


Looks like a great start Cliff.
For the headlight, I searched and found flashlight reflector pieces in my distant past - they really do work to amplify the light whether it’s an incandescent or an LED. I’m not sure of the size of the reflector on your model, otherwise, I’d post a link.

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I originally used the mini mag light for their reflector and LED bulb. But printing a reflector and using a very small LED is a reasonable opfion

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