HO scale model project for a steam passenger engine of the SNCF

I acquired the incomplete die-cast metal body, of a model locomotive and tender made for the French market in the 1950s. The makers name was Antal-Bascou, but I know very little about them. The model represents a 231H type of the SNCF post 1938, I think it is a very distinctive locomotive. I have seen complete models of this engine as 231-H-141 which was a rebuild of 231-D-141, originally from the PLM Railway pre-1938. (For futher information on French steam, please see the Wikipedia entry).

Anyway, my idea was to match this body with a modern Marklin mechanism, to give me a unique model with digital running qualities. The following pictures show my first attempts to make this match. The project requires me to join the remains of the Antal-Bascou body (missing chimney and one feed-water heater tank) to a Marklin 37914 (a streamlined 03-10) 4-6-2 running gear. The Marklin wheelbase, driving wheel, bogie and trailing wheel sizes will suit the Antal body perfectly.

In this picture I have marked areas which present a problem. The running plates B on each side, will need a 1mm slot, to receive stamped metal frame A. This might be done with a razor saw. Meanwhile, the firebox casting will not easily fit over the cast Marklin motor/gear block, there is a discrepancy of about 3mm.

You can see the fire-box problem clearly in the diagram below, I am not sure how it would be easily resolved. Note also at the front of the Marklin running gear, the stamped metal valve gear frame for which I can cut suitable slots in the Antal footplate. The front headlight mounting on the Marklin should fit usefully inside the Antal boiler, to light the front light.

Some more pictures of interest.

For those of you who cannot be bothered with projects of this nature, Marklin have already produced French steam passenger locomotives in past decades. These engines were model numbers 3083, and 3317. They were models of German engines which were "acquired" by France after WW1 as reparations. They are nice models, and can be converted to digital running if required.

The Enjoyment of Maerklin trains