Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Modelling the Skarloey Railway Engines

Skarloey, Rheneas and the rest of the Narrow Gauge roster have always been my favorite group of engines from the Thomas show. 

As a child I always wanted to have a train set with these characters, but as Bachmann Trains have so far stuck with the standard gauge trains, I wanted to try to see if I could make them myself.

They run on a Lego engine chassis. The body is all made of card stock, interchangeable with the motors, so they can run (not very smoothly or with moving coupling rods or smoke, but that will have to do!). The faces are made from baked Sculpy clay, painted with acrylic, the eyebrows drawn with ink pencil, and the eyes are painted stickers punched with a hole-puncher.

It took a lot of practice and remodeling to get the look down, but studying from original photographs of the real engines have helped me a great deal. Duke is my favorite narrow gauge engine, and in this picture, he is made as he was from the railway series. As is the face, the people are modeled in Sculpy clay. Buildings are card-stock and wood.

Let me know what you think! I really am surprised no one had tried to make super-realistic replicas of these engines. with so much detail. I hope you enjoy these photographs, and share them too.

Browse the pages on the menu and posts to see 16mm scale projects of modeling these characters!


  1. I have to say, I am so impressed!

    I've been a closet NG fanatic for a long time and I cannot believe how accurate Duke is! Truly inspirational!

  2. Thank you Michael! They are my favorite group of engines, too. I do wish the Thomas Show made duke for the Large Scale engines, so I became inspired to make him myself. It normally takes 1 - 3 or 4 days to make these engines and cars.

    Happy Modelling!

  3. wow i lost for words you are very good at what you do and you should never stop making theses do you think i could have a go at making some thing like this can i may ask do you have skype i would like to talk how long does it take to make peter sam and how are you

  4. sorry for my bad spelling i am not that good with spelling sorry

  5. Thomas the tank engine was my favourite children's television show. I have a collection of the old ertl models of Thomas and his friends and to see it performed on YouTube so very well it. Almost looks realistic to the old stories read by Michael Angeles. Congratulations I hope there is more these videos because I'm definatley hooked.

    1. That is great!

      My first Thomas toys were Ertl Diecast models, and as you can see from my photographs and my youtube channel, I use the vehicles as they are finely crafted. My favorites are the Taxi, Tom Tipper's van, and especially the Crosby Truck!

      I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you! Feel free to post more comments and check out my YouTube channel for the videos of the models I've made.