On30 Climax Locomotive

Built by "Crazy" Gary Vejmola



Gary built this great looking Climax locomotive using the old MDC/Roundhouse HO Climax and a Bachmann On30 flatcar as a basis. He writes:

At the outset, let me begin by giving all of the credit for this bash to Jim Favre, The ON30 Modeler, without whose inspiration and detailed instructions my little backwoods steamer would not have been born.

She began her eventual birthing process as a Bachmann ON30 flatcar, and MDCsí H.O. Climax locomotive kit. In an effort so as not to paraphrase Jims procedure, Iíll concentrate a bit more on how I went about personalizing mine. For anyone interested in bashing one of these little cuties, let me refer you to Jimsí website.

On page 1 you will find directions as to how to go about obtaining the step-by-step which Jim developed to build his original model. Incidentally, I believe that Jimsí bash was the poster child for BVMsí Dunkirk conversion kit. Talk about inspiration!!!


Although not a lot of the MDC kit parts are utilized, the frame and running gear are the get-up-and-go part, solely! As long as MDCsí assembly directions are followed carefully, especially with regard to the gearbox, she will be a pretty darned good performer. She growls a bit, but that only adds to her backwoods attitude! The kitsí boiler and toolbox parts, as well as the headlight, were also used in my version.

The Bachmann flatcar will require that it be shortened and modified so as to accept the MDC frame and running gear. A very straight forward procedure. The flatcar underframe and trucks will also make a nice addition to your junkbox, as they are not required for this project. So, you end up with a really neat little lokie, and the bonus of some future bashing goodies in the process! What a great deal!!!


If you look carefully at the sideboards, youíll notice that they look quite a bit like the original flatcar deck!! What a coincidence, because thatís exactly where the spare deck material was used!! See, I told ya there were some bonuses included!! The balance of the cab is scratched from styrene strip and weathered accordingly. The roof was cut from a piece of cast resin roofing material leftover from another structure kit.


The water tank at the rear is just a box made from .020 styrene sheet with filler hatch, grab irons, hose hanger, etc., culled from the depths of my junk box. The corrugated cover hiding the flywheel is also from some of the leftover resin roofing material. I tossed a couple of PSC Climax cylinders on top of the flywheel cover to kind of depict the engine cylinders and added some wire piping. As this was my first ever ON30 project, I concentrated mainly on trying different aspects of scratchbuilding and detailing, rather than opt for some degree of reality.


The last addition to detailing is the For Fire Only toolbox located on the rear deck, and contains firefighting tools to be used for that specific purpose, only!! A few PSC goodies here and there seemed to please my eye enough to where I called her finished! One of these days Iíll add ropes and toggle handles to the whistle and bell, but for now Iím pretty content with the overall appearance.


As always, any comments or suggestions for future upgrading would be most welcome.

A very rewarding and fun first project, IĎd highly recommend this little bash to anyone just getting started and in need of a funky little backwoods lokie!!



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This page updated May 12, 2006
Webpage © Larry Rickert
Photographs © Gary Vejmola