Steam Engine kit or plans

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Jan 28, 2017
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I have a 1:60 scale brass destroyer hull 72" length x 8" beam x 4" depth plus about 1" available height in the superstructure probably made in the late 1940's/early 1950's, displacement will be about 45lbs.

I'm looking for plans/kit for a suitable engine/s that will fit and have the power to drive 2" x 2.5" pitch props up to a scale flank speed, which I guess would be a quick walking pace. I don't think oscillating engine would have the power and be frugal enough on steam so I guess a twin double acting vertical (or V ) slide or piston valve engine will be the way to go.

My problem is finding an engine that will fit the space I have available!
Any ideas anyone?




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Hmm nice, when I win the lottery I'll take 2, until then I'll keep looking for the plans, they must exist somewhere!
Strangely I view the boiler as being much more straight forward, just need to know how much steam I'll be using.
Yes Dave I know these sites well but most of the suitable engines are too high to fit. While I can follow and build to plans I'm afraid that I don't have the skills, or age on my side, to learn them in order to be confident of ending up with the engine I need for this build.
Hence my original post.

I was going to mention the Stuart "Sirius" but JC beat me to it. I understand that all of Edgar T. Westbury "Star" engines were designs he made for the SOE in WWII, and they were manufactured and dropped over occupied Europe to provide partisan fighters with an easy way to run their generators for radio transmissions, as gasoline was unobtainable. They are also VERY high speed engines, up to 5000 rpm. An ETW engine would be about the best you could get for this project. ETW always said his initials stood for "Engines That Work", and they certainly do. He was a master engineer when it came to steam.
Also, that is a REALLY NICE HULL!!
Do you know who built it? Or any history on it? Surely it has appeared in the pages of Model Engineer magazine?
From the point of view of authenticity these vessels were propelled by turbines not recip engines. If you were able to follow that route it would certainly solve the height problem. The problem with using a turbine, as with the full size installation, is the high output speed which would necessitate the use of a high ratio gearbox; also you can't reverse a turbine, ships have separate astern turbines.
So how about the turbine driving a 6v generator via a battery/charging circuit to a propulsion motor? This has the advantage of simple remote control of speed/rotation direct to the motor without having to control the staem throttle valve and reversing links of a recip unit.
I'm afraid my answer probably raises more problems like, for example, where to source turbine models but I'm sure somebody within this forum will provide a lead. There is also a very good book on building turbine models here
Good luck
Turbines would be a great idea but totally impractical, at model size they are not powerful enough and if I was to go down the leccy route then I might as well use brushless motors and a smoke generator ( it is my backup choice) but that would not be to the original design of the model albeit brought up to date with rc.
The attached is a pic of a 3/4 x 3/4"(19mm) 'V' steam engine (NOT an oscillator), this is the type of powerhouse I'm looking for but not as complicated, any designers out there? ;) I'm really looking for plans to suit, there has to be something out there.


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If that is what your after then 2x Stuart 10V's would be the starting point, 2 x 3/8" bore, or at least the cylinders, and connecting rods. With the valves to the sides you could use eccentrics direct from the crank shaft, would be an interesting one. Would you require reverse though or would you use something such as a kitchen rudder to reverse thrust, control direction. Whats there now as a rudder? What did you say maximum size of power plant could be excluding boiler. Also what is the distance apart for your prop tubes in the hull.

Definitely not Jon they're way too high and if I'm going to make the engine/s then I'll make them from plans, what I'm not good at is design, I really need a proven design that can be used/adapted that will give me what I want.
At 69 I'm probably not going to have time on my side to build, test, redesign, remodel, rebuild this one part of the destroyer. My skills and knowledge do not stretch that far.

Oscillators can produce the needed power if properly designed. See the Hicks Oscillator thread. They have gotten a bad image due to all of the toy engines in that configuration.


Oscillators can be good in boats, I have one in my other boat but they are steam greedy and size for size I don't think they are as maintenance free as non-oscillators.



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Would the puddleduck engine be suitable? Designed by John (Bogstandards). All built from bar stock so cheap. John describes every detail of how to make it in the notes. If the bores are polished, and the piston's a good fit it would have the required power I think plus suit the space requirement. Basically the next step up from a larger occilating engine. But you can build it all yourself.

Have a look over the plans and notes and see what you think.
Yes Jon, I have these plans and the build thread. I tried to bring the plans into Fusion but came up with invalid format. I would need to increase the bore and stroke to 19mm (3/4") to get the required power of the original design and I don't know the impact of this increase on the Paddleduck design with the crankshaft construction and beefing everything up would/might push it out of my maximum height restriction.

I built a V twin using Borderer cylinder casting on a fabricated frame . It used all the dimensions of the original engine just simply using one crank pin for both bigends .
These drawings are reasonable and the height could easily be reduced it is a doubled up version by Mr Dewaal. The original German design works very well .I used it in a 36inch Bat

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