Building a model using some common tools is guaranteed to improve your fine motor skills. And the result can’t be beat.

Full disclosure: This project started out as a wood toy train for small kids. However Chris Fitch the project’s designer wanted to add a few more details… and then a few more. So it turned into a static locomotive model for much older “kids.” This just isn’t any steam locomotive and tender though. For you railfans out there it’s styled after the streamlined Hudson J3a built for the New York Central Railroad. Renowned designer Henry Dreyfuss created the streamlined shrouding that gave the locomotives their distinctive look. There were only ten locomotives made and they saw service on the famed “Twentieth Century Limited” run between New York and Chicago. The real challenge with a wood model of a locomotive is just how much detail to include. For this version the focus is on the parts of a steam train that make it so distinctive — the wheels. Combining mahogany and maple highlights the other details. Along the way you’ll learn some interesting terms. What you end up with recalls the glory of the steam train era. By comparison other locomotives are just choo-choos.

What you get:

  • 15 pages of step-by-step instructions
  • Over 50 full-color photos and illustrations and exploded views
  • Hardware sources and materials list

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