Article initially published by Colin Duthie (All photos by the author.) in 2008.
This project came about because of a few reasons. I had a 22 volt DC motor unit on hand, complete with worm drive and reproduction Hornby prewar style wheels of large diameter. The motor unit was made in Australia and the motor is a Canon, I suspect taken from some electrical appliance. I like occasionally to make things in my workshop, not heavy engineering but simple hand-tool work requiring cutting, filing, and soldering tinplate sheet etc. The article in Tinplate Times about the Ives 1694 gave me the inspiration to make my own version of this loco.
This type of model is much easier to make than a steam type loco. It is not an exact copy, as the wheels are oversize, giving it an appearance more like an Ives 1764. Certain things were simplified in the interest of practicality. After all I was not intending to make a `fake` 1694! Having never seen a real 1694 I studied the pictures on the internet, including the Williams and MTH replicas. The pictures give you the idea of how construction was done.
I sent to Olsens for the headlights but made the rest of the parts. For example the brake wheels are brass rings (curtain rings?) from local hardware shop, with tinplate spokes soldered in. The pantographs were made mainly from soft wire. Diodes were installed in the headlight wiring to give directional lighting.
Couplings are the old Hornby type. I have no Ives rolling stock so the loco hauls Hornby passenger cars, a combination which looks fine.
Painting was done using auto spray cans. The colours are of course not exactly as the original Ives, but the result looks good.
The loco runs okay on a 12V DC power unit made for H0 gauge, but for hauling a decent load it requires more voltage. I use an old Lionel AC unit with a rectifier plugged inbetween the transformer and track. I added a flywheel ( a lead disc) to the motor to prevent it from jerking between voltage steps on the transformer. This works well.
It was a good project. It is nice to see something homemade running on the tracks. I intend using it at our next exhibition, although I will have to confess that it is not really 76 years old! However, I doubt that any of the 7000 visitors to the exhibition have ever heard of Ives trains which are not well known in New Zealand.