More tips and scratch builds

“Hi Al.

I started work on the 6″ scale Little Samson about 4 years ago.

It took me 2000 hours to complete.

As said it is a half size model of a Little Samson steam tractor originally built at Kings Lynn, Norfolk, by Savage Brothers about 1900. No original engines survive today.

The engine has two forward and two reverse gears and has a maximum speed of about 6 MPH and is very powerful indeed.

It weighs in the region of 1300kg although I have not actually weighed it.

The boiler was professionally built by AJB Engineering in Derby.

Megan is fired by coal. The wheels were fabricated by myself and had them rubbered in England. Each rear wheel weighs 62kg.

Model engineering is my hobby, I have no engineering background. Whilst toiling in the UK I was a plumber.

Drawings and very good castings can be bought from Edward George at at reasonable prices.




“Dear Mr. Lee,

I shared with you some photographs of my latest layout “Little Wlakley” recently.

That layout had several inspirations including your engine shed kit.

Building that kit was fun and John’s (not me) video gave me some ideas on how to improve my model.

Because my engine shed faces the front and the interior is visible… Seeing the source of the cardboard was an issue…

Painting the interior brown was a help but still fell short of what I wanted to achieve. It was the video that set off a new light.

Hare are photos of my rebuilt enginehouse… I will also send you the files for my “detail kit” These are yours as a thank you for your site…









engine shed

My word, we’re getting some nice variations on the engine shed now, and it was all thanks to John who led the charge.

Dangerous Dave also got involved.

And look what Bob did with the original engine shed.

All good stuff!

That’s all this time folks. Please do keep ’em coming. And don’t forget if you’re still scratching your head over how to start, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here (still updated every single day…).

16 Responses to More tips and scratch builds

  1. Jason Hays says:

    Wow, what great craftsmanship. Where can I find the big Kahana deal on ebay?

  2. Brian Messenger says:

    Hi John, you have done a superb job on your engine shed. Looks as if it has been in use for many years. Look forward, on a positive note, to see some detail bits and pieces inside. Keep it up. Brian (hall of fame member)

  3. Rod Mackay says:

    I found the car tapes I could find rather wide for road lining in HO, so I used some Slater’s Microstrip just stuck down with Evo, then painted a thick grey Matt over for the road surface, and then it was easy to lightly scrape the dried paint off the lines with a craft knife.

  4. Roy Forbes says:

    Brilliant models. Thanks for sharing them!

  5. Mel says:

    Wonderful job on the engine house. Most modelers skip interior details because they either think they don’t matter………..or it’s just too much extra work.

  6. Vic Heffren says:

    Beautiful job they look real THANKS FOR SHARING VIC

  7. paul Otway says:

    A very nice traction engine model.

  8. Ian Mc Donald says:

    great tips and the tractor story was never what I imagined just unbelievable photo well done.

  9. Carl in Kansas says:

    Great engine house. I like your interior framing.

    Another tip. For making painted lines on roadways, etc., try your local artist supply house. As a commercial artist I have used tape in sizes as thin as 1/32 inch. It is available in numerous colors, including yellow, white, and red.

  10. john richardson says:

    Roger s Traction engine is superb .,I have seen a few at shows and marvel at the quality of the craftmanship so well done that there are still dedicated folks still around. john

  11. Ralph Berry says:

    What a wonderful traction engine.
    Great work on that engine shed, certainly adds to the 3d effect.

  12. Phil Gilson says:

    Great mechanical job on storing the layout against the ceiling of the garage. Where did you get the pulleys that were used?

    Phil, Bklyn.USA

  13. Will in NM says:

    Beautiful work Roger and John. How long can the steam tractor run on a firebox full of coal? Are you able to use it to perform actual work on your land or is it just for show? Thanks to both of you for sharing your photos and ideas. And thanks to Al for making this forum possible.

  14. Erick says:

    Looks good, Keep up the good work.

  15. Terry Sipe says:

    Roger, Thanks for the pic of the steam tractor. There is a place not far from me called Williams Grove, PA. They have an annual steam week with both stationary and traction engines. I saved you pictyre to use as a guide for my future late 1800s layout. (Way in the future) It will add a demention of realism “down on the farm” or in an indrusrial setting. Thanks again
    Terry in PA

  16. David from Massachusetts says:

    The New England Steam and Wireless Museum in Rhode Island has a large collection of working steam engines. Well worth visiting if you have any interest in steam engines or early wireless technology:

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