A larger Model T Ford

The 5" raised train track at the Halswell Domain

The concept.

was calling me to build a larger version of my Model T. But because the original doesn't pull anything, a different approach was needed.

The issue was how to do it. My solution was to push it around with a ride on trolley, having sufficient separation to give the 'illusion' of it being self propelled.

The acquiring of an old 5” gauge trolley and four large steel wheels meant that construction was a possibility. One bogie was modified to provide the motive power for the trolley.

There is a chain drive around both axles. Further reduction is provided by a belt and toothed pulleys. The overall ratio is 11.25 to 1.

The permanent magnet motor is controlled by an electronic speed controller, and runs off 24volts, provided by two 25Ahr 12v Gel cell batteries.

Direction control is via a three position (centre off) double pole switch.
A key switch is organised to turn on the main power and also two multi-meters that monitor overall battery voltage and current drain. These came from Jaycar at a very modest price.

This switch also controls the engine cranking and stopping, at its extremity of rotation.

The red handle is the hand brake.

The engine sound is generated by a home built circuit using an eight pin Picaxe chip. This is based on work done by Alan Bond.

The sound generator is in the trolley, with a speaker under the rail car. I have used a double gang pot to control both the speed of the trolley and the varying pitch of the generated sound. I down loaded a klaxon horn sound, which is stored on a sound card and also played through the speaker. A relay switches between engine and horn noise.

Generally, braking is adequately provided by the electric motor, but there is a hand brake if needed.

I have achieved about 15 passenger carrying rides, equating to 10km of actual travel, on a fully charged set of batteries. There is space for two 50Ahr batteries in the front compartment.

The Model T is pushed around using a length of aluminium tube 2.4m long, painted a rusty brown. Wires running down its centre connect to a speaker and LED lights in the rail car.

Speaking of which:

The wheels as acquired were oversize. These were reduced to the correct diameter on a friend's lathe. My Unimat 3 could not handle them! The two axles are supported in ball bearing races. The bottom board is MDF which supports the timber framing.

The body covering material is 0.3mm aluminium sheet attached to the frames with PVA glue. The roof is polystyrene, cut to its basic profile with a hot wire. An old singlet was PVA glued onto the upper surface to give a fabric appearance.

The louvres in the bonnet are formed by first creating parallel cuts (0.1mm blade) using my Unimat lathe with a wooden jig attached to the cross slide. The actual louvre shapes were then pressed out with a very crude punch and die.

The cutting jig.
The aluminium sheet was double sided taped to the hinged board.

The punch and die.

The door hinges are made from aluminium, being folded into a U shape.

The cuts are made using the same 0.1mm blade and my Unimat. Dress making pin heads represent the hinge pin ends.

The mudguards are cut out of brass shim and a length of brass rod soft soldered around their perimeters to give a rounded look. Copper wire also soft soldered onto the top surface simulates the raised beading.

The front axle showing bearing housings and leaf spring.

The RM 4 plates are laser engraved into plastic sheeting.

Head Lamp

The head and tail lamps are turned from aluminium round.

Tail Lamp

Their plastic lenses also turned by double sided taping them onto a disk rotated in the head stock.

The track cleaning brushes are each made from half of an old tooth brush. Their purpose, I have been told, was to sweep away frozen rabbit droppings and other obstacles.

The finished article complete with passengers.

At present the windows are blacked out to hide the unfinished inside.

My next project? to detail the interior.

Latest comments

26.02 | 08:23

this is a beautiful model. I first saw a ststic DM model at Napiers Lillip...

29.04 | 04:09

Fantastic video Dean!

20.08 | 11:21

Thats great Dean love to see the video.