I just finished keying a mail to a friend and fellow fan of the Portage Flyer regarding possible models of the Flyer’s engines. I enjoyed writing it and reflecting on what’s available. I figured I’d copy the mail to my blog to keep it for my own future reference. His original question was in regard to whether or not a conversion existed to convert Bachmann’s recently released side-tank Porter to a saddle tank. Here starts my reply:
That said, what we really need is a time machine as Bachmann has already done it – albeit some years ago. Here’s an article from Garden Railways regarding the model:
They chose a great prototype for someone looking to represent either of the Flyer’s later pair of tank engines. I’ve never had the chance to see one in person but they were from the period just after Bachmann started to get serious about large scale so they should be alright models. As I mentioned though…I’ve never seen them up close but they were in production and some should still be out there somewhere. Now that I think about it there were some pictures, if I remember correctly (big “if” there!), the engine was featured in an article RMC magazine ran in the early nineties showcasing some conversions for large scale Porter tank engines. I can’t recall the particular issue but I’m sure a search of the Model Railroad Magazine index should produce the issue number.
Of course, for the earlier pair of engines I still have a feeling that the Lehmann produced Porter’s would work quite well.
In On30 we do alright too as the Bachmann Porter’s very aptly cover the first pair of engines. Grandt Line offers both the smaller and larger Porters in their catalogue as well.
The large one from Grandt in a picture from their website:
The smaller, again from the Grandt website:
I figure I’m on a roll here with Porter talk so I’ll keep going… In HOn30 Chivers Finelines offer a kit. While sold as a Davenport engine it looks the part to me. Roger Chivers no longer produces kits but his sons are picking up parts of the line and there is talk of the kit coming back into production. Parkside Dundas list the kit still:
(scroll down to kit #RC46)
…and photographed on the excellent Cray Valley website of Peter Bartlett:
(you’ll have to scroll down. The picture is titled:”Chivers Davenport O/F chassis”)
Chivers also produced a different kit but it really lacks the compactness of the Eddy engines. Mark Rollins features the build of one on his site:
Similarly one could consider re-cabbing Tomix’s N scale Percy with this kit:
Or frankly also consider the recently re-released BCH Minitrains Porter. It’s enough wrong in the wrong places but it’s complete and runs quite nicely from what I hear.
Myself I’m the hunt for another Bachmann On30 Porter. I sold the one I had very, very foolishly – I’m still gob-smacked trying to figure out what I was thinking at the time. Man I regret that now. That said, I’m really drawn back to small scale narrow gauge modelling again having always preferred working in small scale models so that Percy conversion is really tempting for me.
Sorry for the ramble. Hope some of it helps.