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 refresh your browser screen, to see the latest updates to the website. Content on the home page can change often, as new products are introduced).
This page last updated: January 29th 2014 @ 4:55 PM (USA Eastern Time)
Drawings and drive wheels for the 3/4" scale, 3-1/2" gauge Boston and Albany 4-6-6T are now available. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The "Trucks" Section for the 3/4" scale K4 "Pacific" by H.J. Coventry is now available. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
October 26th, 2013:
Wheel castings for the "New Tom Thumb" locomotive (now running in LIVE STEAM & OUTDOOR RAILROADING magazine), are available. They are from Lester Friend's original 1941 pattern; they are compatible with the newer design; they elimate the need to fabricate your wheels from stock, thus saving time; and they'll allow your NEW TOM THUMB to more resemble the 1940s original than it otherwise would. Here is what one builder has said about the wheels:
From: Al Z. Sent: Saturday, October 26, 2013 07:34 AM To: john at friendsmodels.com Subject: RE: Tom Thumb
The Tom Thumb wheel castings are fantastic! Thank you for making these castings available.
Al > >
For more information on the TOM THUMB castings, or to purchase, please click the photo (below) or you may also click HERE.
Tom Thumb wheels, for the "New Tom Thumb" now running in LIVE STEAM & OUTDOOR RAILROADING magazine. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The 1" scale narrow gauge "Dinky" for 3-1/2" gauge track. Designed by Karl Friedrich, it was available from Yankee Shop decades ago. Now available again. Please click the photo for more information.
October 14, 2013:
1" scale, 3-1/2" gauge "DINKY" drive wheels, now available. Click the drawing above, or the photo below, for more information. DINKY is modeled after a 42" gauge "Porter" industrial or contractor's type locomotive.
Drive wheels for the 1" scale 3-1/2" gauge "DINKY SHIFTER". Click the photo please for information, or to purchase.
3/4" scale "Langworthy Hudson" castings update:
October 11th, 2013
Section 3, the Drive Wheel Section, for the 3/4" scale NEW YORK CENTRAL Hudson by Laverne Langworthy, is ready to be produced. For information, or, to order YOUR drive wheel section for this locomotive, please click HERE and scroll down to the description of Section 3.
Drawings for the 1" scale B-8 "Ten Wheeler" 4-6-0 by H.J. Coventry are now available independently, without a castings purchase.
Drawings for the original (1941) "Tom Thumb" by Yankee Shop, are now available for those of you who would like to compare the original design to the updated version that's currently running in LIVE STEAM & OUTDOOR RAILROADING magazine.
Please click the Paypal link at right for your original (1941) Tom Thumb drawings to be shipped to the USA. For other countries, please inquire.
September 26th, 2013:
Drive wheels and cylinders, for the 1" scale Atlantic and Pacific have been produced. All other castings for these locomotives will be available on a prepaid basis to builders/buyers of the wheels and cylinders. Click the photos below for more information, please.
The cylinder section for the 1" scale Atlantic and Pacific. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The drive wheels for the 1" scale Yankee Shop "Les Friend" Atlantic. Click the photo for information, or to purchase.
Drive wheels for the 1" scale "Les Friend" Pacific. Click the photo for more information, or to purchase.
The Yankee Shop/Friends Models 1" scale 4-4-2 Atlantic and 4-6-2 Pacific are being produced again. Please click the photo for more information.
1-1/2" scale early 4-4-0 "TIGER" by Lester Friend. Drawings now available. Castings shall be produced on a prepaid basis for anyone who has purchased the drawings. Please click the photo for more information or to purchase the drawings. Thank you for your interest.
The 1" scale "duplex" water pump by Willam "Bill" VanBrocklin. Complete castings and materials package now available. Please click the photo for information.
3/4" scale, 3-1/2" gauge "Andrews" type trucks, for tenders or freight cars, are now available. Please click the photo for information.
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 "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.
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 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 Two 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.
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