Sunday, 19 June 2016
The Birth of a Gantry Crane
I'm always surprised how very generic rail-related structures are almost impossible to find on the market. Looks at manufacturers catalog and you won't find a decent-sized gantry crane. None. Too small, Europeand design or the large ones on traveling on beam structure. Look for the ubiquitous model, there's nothing.
So I resorted to kitbash one using parts from a Walthers conveyor kit. I could have entirely scratchbuilt it to be 100% accurate, but I didn't want to go that route. I want a decent representation of Harlem Station gantry crane, not a prize-winning model. Everything came from the junk box, including Bachmann plastic wheel sets (yes, they do have a purpose in life other than be discarded!).
I also followed an article in Model Railroader about a similar structure which made my life easier interpreting the picture of the prototype. I'll be honest though... I made what I could to create a believeable mechanism but did go as far as the article. It has the look, but upon closer inspection, the illusion will fall apart if you know how cranes work!
After two days of intense work, I've been able to build the structure. The last thing to be done is the crane motor and hook... and some painting of course.
I'll also have to had two rails on the layout for the crane. I'm not yet decided how I'll do it, but it will probably be some code 100 scraps of flextrack.