Providing Traditional "Rough Castings" and Hand-Drawn Blueprints for Small-Scale, Coal-Fired Live Steam Locomotives
New Products, and Projects in Development.......
(Please check back often, and scroll down each time, to see the latest updates to the website. Content on the home page can change often, as new products are introduced).
April 29th, 2013: May I please have your attention, Live Steam & Outdoor Railroadingmagazine readers:
PRODUCT ALERT......castings for the "Improved Tom Thumb" series (now running in the magazine), are in production. Engine and tender wheels are being produced first. They are from Lester Friend's original 1941 patterns and are compatible with the newer design. Please check back soon (early May) for a photo, and, to purchase. You may sign up for Friends Models email updates below, to receive notification when the castings are ready. Thank you for your interest!
An old-fashioned "highline" steam meet:
On April 27th 2013, several live steamers in New England visited a 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" gauge "highline" track for a day of springtime live steaming "the old fashioned way". More than six 3-1/2" gauge locomotives were under steam, the oldest being a Charlie Purinton built engine from 1941, his famous "Jiminy Cricket". Second oldest was a "Yankee Shop" 4-4-2 Atlantic, built by Al Rothermel, from 1948.
The locomotive seen in the video is a 3-1/2" gauge "Atlantic" type designed by Charlie Purinton. The boiler was built many years ago by Brotherhood of Live Steamers founder Carl Purinton, and portions of the locomotive chassis were built some years back by Carl's son Charlie, and Charlie's son "Cap". In more recent times, some local live steamers assisted current owner Jay Monty with portions of it, including the cylinders; and Jay has brought it to near-completion in his own shop. There is more to do on it, but as you can see, it runs and runs well. This was its first steaming.
The track, a traditional "highline" (elevated off of the ground) that's "right out of Yesteryear", is some 300+ feet in length, and had been Charlie Purinton's personal "backyard" track at his longtime home in Byfield, Massachusetts. It was dismantled, moved to its new location, and reassembled......when Charlie was no longer able to maintain it due to health reasons. It was then repaired and restored as required, and is now preserved.....for a new generation of live steamers to enjoy.
This is traditional live steaming "at its best", and I do hope this video gives you the encouragement to enjoy "the smaller scales" as so many others used to. Thank you for watching.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad "Lafayette". Complete set of castings in 1-1/2" scale in development, 2013. Wheel castings now available (April 2013). Please click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The Frame Section for the 3/4" scale K4 "Pacific" by H.J. Coventry is now available. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The "Caterpillar Water Bottom" for the 3/4" scale Yankee Shop Challenger. Sand cast in bronze in New England USA. For information or to purchase, please click the photo.
The 3/4" scale double acting hand pump. Suitable for 3/4" and small 1" scale. Please click the photo for information, or to purchase.
The Yankee Shop/Friends Models 1" scale narrow gauge "DINKY SHIFTER" cylinder set. Available December 2012 for the first time in more than 30 years. Please click on the photo for more information on "DINKY", or to purchase.
Section One of the "Laverne Langworthy" Hudson in 3/4" scale, is now available. All other castings in development. Please click the photo for information, or to purchase.
"Live Steam of Years Gone By", by Charlie Purinton. Edited by Larry Urbanski and Richard Symmes. Now available from Friends. Please click the photo for information, or to purchase.
The tender section for the 3/4" scale K4 "Pacific" by H.J. Coventry is ready for purchase as of December 2012. Click on the photo please, for more information or to purchase.
The 3/4" scale "Yankee Shop" duplex steam-powered water pump. Crossed ports, w/rocking levers to control the valves. Cast in bronze from Lester Friend's original patterns from about 1940. Available 2012 for the 1st time in decades. Click on the photo for more information.
The cast iron cylinders for the 3/4" scale, 3-1/2" gauge "P7" class PRESIDENT WASHINGTON, Baltimore and Ohio RR, are now available "fully cored" just as Mr. Coventry designed them. Click on the photo please, for more information on the 3/4" scale P7 "President".
1-1/2" scale VanBrocklin Westinghouse-style Water or Air Pumps. THE ORIGINALS, from Bill VanBrocklin's patterns. Drawings & castings NOW AVAILABLE. Click on the photo for information.
3/4" scale Bettendorf freight trucks. Drawings, castings, and materials. Designed in the 1930s by Laverne Langworthy.
BOOKLET REPRINTS: Boston and Albany 4-6-6 tank locomotive, 2012 REPRINT of Lester Friend's original 1940s construction booklet, now available! Please click the photo for information.
Mechanical Lubricator by H.J. Coventry. Build your own, from a drawing that has not been available in decades. Materials to be included.
Injector. Machine your own.....from a drawing and a bronze casting (materials also included). Suitable for 2-1/2" and 3-1/2" gauge. Designed by H.J. Coventry in 1933.
H.J. Coventry 1/3 HP Compound Marine Engine
Tender "Hand Pumps" by Bill VanBrocklin, and H.J. Coventry
USA-made Bronze Casting, and all needed materials
in 1/2", 3/4", and 1" scales
Will provide EXCELLENT practice on machining a casting; will be a useful accessory for supplying water to your boiler.
1/2" scale, 2-1/2" gauge Pennsylvania Railroad K4 "Pacific" (4-6-2) design details. Click on the below photo for information.
Design details are sought for the 1/2" scale, 2-1/2" gauge K4 by H.J. Coventry. Please click on the photo for more information. Thank you.
Twenty One Years Ago.....
Summer, 1991: I snapped this photo of Mr. Charles A. "Carl" Purinton running a 7-1/4" gauge Pennsylvania E-6 "Atlantic" at a private track in Danvers, Massachusetts. I was about 19 years of age, and Mr. Purinton was about 93 years of age, at the time of the photo.
Mr. Charles Purinton runs an 1-1/2" scale 4-4-2 at Danvers, Mass. in 1991. Photo by John Kurdzionak.
Back in 1932, on a suggestion from "LBSC" in Britain, Mr. Purinton founded the "Brotherhood of Live Steamers". He died in 1999 at age 101.
The scene captured in the above photo is rare. Mr. Purinton did not run locomotives in 1-1/2" scale often, he most often ran 3/4" scale on a "highline". Nor did he wear his "wide brimmed" hat often. And, the date of 1991 is significant: by the 1990s, seeing Mr. Purinton run ANYTHING was a special treat not witnessed too often.
Mr. Purinton flew a primitive type of "seaplane" in the World War I era, and was based out of Pensacola, Florida. Later on, he was a fireman on the Boston and Maine Railroad, most often firing the "Atlantics" that traveled to and from his hometown of Marblehead, Mass. When promoted to "engineer", he did it for a day and quit his position at the end of that very same day. He just wanted to say that he had "done it", and once he had, he felt it was time to "quit" and to move on.
The private railroad in the above photo was abandoned some 10-15 years ago due to the health of the owner, and then removed entirely. The property was sold, the owner passed away, and today, nature is quickly reclaiming this very location. There are no more steamers running through here.
Enjoy this photo, folks, as there are not many like it. Thank you for looking.
It's June of 1987, and all is well. John Kurdzionak has just finished the 10th grade, and he is tending to his 3/4" scale "Friends Models" 4-6-6 Tanker at the Bass River Railroad in Litchfield, NH. It was John's love for THIS locomotive that began EVERYTHING you see on this website today. Thanks for visiting www.friendsmodels.com.
Individual Visitors ("unique users") since January 17th, 2008