Oct. 15-19, 2010
Our first "Critter" locomotive has been working so well that we wanted to make another one.  We have found that
visitors absolutely love to operate the trains, so with another "critter" we could have three engines (and three
engineers) running at once.  By building it in the same general style as the first "critter," construction is easier and it
will make a matched pair.
CHASSIS - It starts with a Ride Trains "Mini Motor Car" chassis which includes
the frame, 350 watt motor, axles, wheels, and drive mechanism.  I ordered a
customized version with larger wheels (5.25"), longer frame (36"), and shorter
wheelbase (18").
SPRING MECHANISM - The drive wheel bearings are held to the frame
with two springs.  I found on the previous "Critter" that it leans to one side on
curves unless one axle is unsprung.  So I will insert a piece of 3/8 plywood to
keep it rigid.
SPRING SHIMS INSTALLED - The smaller bolts hold the shims in place.  
The shims are notched to clear the large bolts and springs.
DECK INSTALLED - Here's an upside down view.  The deck is 18x36
inches and is 3/4 inch above the frame rails.  There are notched 1.5x1.5
boards on the ends.
INSTALLING THE HOOD - It's 14 inches high and 10 inches wide.  You
can also see the cutout in the deck for the motor and access to the chains.
CUTTING OUT THE WINDOWS - The cuts are straight and vertical when
you use a table saw.  Next I'll finish it the corners with a jigsaw.
CAB SIDES AND SPACERS - Once the hood is installed, then it's the rear
panel and then the sides.  Here we're doing the next step, the panels between
the cab and hood.
INSIDE VIEW - Here's a view showing how the hood is built all the way
across and the cab walls are built around it.
BASIC BODY DONE - After I fit a top on the hood and cab, the basic body
structure is now complete.  Next I will add pilots and a cab roof.
SIDE VIEW - Here you can see the relationship between the wheels and the
body.  The pilots will extend the ends another 3/4 inch.