As most of know there is no "Donkey Engines" available in 1:20 scale so if you want one it is a do-it-yourself project. I decided one winter to tackle the job as I wanted a unit to use at a log dump site on my future sawmill log pond. I decided on the American Hoist & Derrick Company engine for two reasons; it was a suitable engine for the use I wanted, also, but most importantly I had an old CHB models kit in O scale that I built years ago that I could use as a blue print.
The build photo's show the size comparison between the O scale and the 1:20 scale versions. Pretty dramatic size difference, huh. The donkey and sled are completely scratch built using mostly styrene plastic and odd pieces of wood and metal as required. A few manufactured parts were used such as NBW's, water valves, gears, etc. Some commerical parts were re-directed such as the coat buttons turned into crank disc's.
The engine was built in sections like the prototype; the base skid with the boiler, then main, trip, and straw drum assemblies bolted onto the base skid. This procedure made it much eaiser to disassemble everything for painting and re-assembly.
As can be seen in the finish photo's I mounted the engine on a full length skid and added the fairleads, water tank, and roof cover as well as a few details. The crew are all homemade figures in 1:20 scale. The theme of the diorama is that the engine is idled down for lunch break, and crew boss Sven is telling Pete and "Pop" Jenkins about the trout he caught out at the lake last evening after work. Judging by the spread of his hands, I think he is exaggerating just a bit! - RICK