I wanted some motive power that was a bit different from the norm, something that made a change from most narrow gauge layouts with their predominantly small steam outline locos.
I had come across some pictures of a Bedford truck running on rails in New Zealand and this set me thinking. A trip to my local model shop saw me buying a 1/35 scale Italeri military kit of an Opel Blitz truck. I took it home and studied the parts. A germ of an idea was forming in my mind, could I get the truck body to fit over an Athearn switcher chassis?
A swift check with a set of dividers suggested I could with some modifications. Consisting mainly of removing parts of the internal parts of the lorry to allow for the centrally mounted motor, fly wheels, drive shafts and gear towers to fit inside.
I started with the Opel chassis and removed all the cross members, it fitted snugly against the Athearn centrally mounted motor. It was then a case of making a sub frame of plasticard to locate the two parts together. I cut an area of the load carrying body away to allow the motor, fly wheel, drive shaft and gear tower to protrude into the truck. This was covered by a box made of plasticard so it couldn't be seen.
To get the rest of the truck body to fit meant removing part of the cab floor, the seats part of the back of the cab and the bulkhead between the engine and cab.
The whole thing is held together by self tapping screws that go through the truck chassis and push against the sides of the motor. All a bit crude I know, but it works.
This was used for testing clearances as it was going to be the largest device that would be used.