Mantua Mallet

Does anyone know anything about a HO Mantua Mallet?

The item in question is painted for the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company

Good quality? Bad? Indifferent?

Many thanks,

Jeff Law

Reply to
Jeff Law
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Mantua offered 4 different Mallets:

1) a 2-6-6-2T with a saddle tank, similar to Weyerhaeuser #9, Saginaw #4, Crown-Zellerbach #12 (although these were true Mallets with larger front compound cylinders) 2) a 2-6-6-2T with side tanks, following Booth-Kelly #2 (although the B-K loco had slide valve cylinders) 3) a 2-6-6-2 "logging Mallet" with the Mantua USRA-type tender similar to Weyerhaeuser #120 or Long-Bell #1000 (which were also both compounds) 4) a 2-6-6-2 with the Mantua 1880-style tender from the Sierra #3 style 4-6-0. All four ride on the same chassis, which is based Mantua 0-6-0 switcher mechanisms, modified with cast on gear boxes so one motor can drive both engines.

I've got the first version. In addition to the error in front cylinders, I feel the boiler is somewhat oversized and rides too high on the chassis. A lot of air is visible under the model's boiler, where the prototype photos all have a "hunkered-down," squat appearance. The cab roof is the same height as my UP Big Boy's, and seems even higher with the roof mounted headlight. That said, it has the feel and appearance of the prototype and does not look that bad parked at the engine terminal with my Shay and Heisler. It runs like a typical Mantua loco - ok, with the potential to be pretty good with some tinkering, which I have not done yet, so for now it mostly sits while the Bachmann Shay does the work. My feeling was that it was over-priced by Mantua for what it was, but that it was a good deal at the price I found mine on an NMRA meet white elephant table. GQ

Reply to
Geezer

Many thanks for the appraisal!

I have the opportunity to buy one. My layout is HOn30, but with a short interchange of dual-gauge. At this point, I have no HO locos, so thought the Mallet would look good sitting on the dual-gauge with a car or two.

I think I'll proceed with the purchase.

Jeff

Reply to
Jeff Law

Thanks Daniel - I'm trying to buy one at the moment.

Jeff Law

Reply to
Jeff Law

While my earlier post in this thread did say The Mantua logger appeared too tall. I have to disagree with your comments that it is perhaps 50% too large. It is much shorter that the C&O H-5 and H-6 2-6-6-2's on my roster. I don't have easy access to scale drawings, but I do have one of the old PFM/United Sierra #38 models, which started life as a Weyerhaeuser 2-6-6-2 by Baldwin. My understanding that all of the Baldwin 2-6-6-2 tender and tank loggers used basically the same design chassis and boiler, with differences being primarily in the add-on fittings. The Mantua logger's driving wheelbase is actually shorter than the Sierra's, and the overall loco wheelbases are very close to identical. The boiler length and diameter are also the same.

I think the appearance of bigness comes from the Mantua cab, which has an overall heavy feel and sits perhaps 18" too high relative to the saddle tank top, and the domes. Most of the Baldwin logging Mallet tank versions were not true saddle tanks, but rather omitted the top center section of the saddle tank, leaving a "canyon" in which the domes were located. The domes sat on the boiler itself, and only the top one third or so was visible above the edges of the two side sections of the saddle tank, contributing to the low, squat appearance. There was, however, at least one exception (there always is, it seems) - Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Co. #4 had a full saddle tank, and its domes rode atop the tank, just like the Mantua model. I believe this effect makes the loco appear to be much taller. So after all this research, I have a much higher (no pun intended) opinion of the Mantua model's accuracy in representing the prototype. GQ

Reply to
Geezer

Well, the Mantua 'Logging Mallet' is WAY bigger than any of the several brass logging Mallet models I have. I don't state the 50% oversize comment in exact dimensions ... just an 'impression' or relative mass and proportions. The Mantua loco DWARFS the more accurate models. The common logging Mallet was pretty diminutive. They look a lot bigger than they are. I've seen several real ones, one under steam, and I've ridden that locomotive!

Compared to a scale logging Mallet, the Mantua model's drivers are not so much the problem, they're fairly small, though the overall wheelbase is longer. The Mantua loco's boiler is considerably larger (diameter and length). The saddle water tank is proportionally larger to fit the boiler. And, yes, the Mantua model's superstructure sets considerably too high on on it's frame, even for a standard gauge mainline Mallet. And, yes, it's cab is strange indeed, and aggravates the height problem. The overall too large superstructure and the small drivers just leads to a strange 'all out of proportion' look.

I think it is likely that it is about the size of a 'Sierra" Mallet ... but I don't have one of those for direct comparison. However, the 'Sierra' loco is considerably larger than a 'typical' logging Mallet (I've seen one of those also). I similarly don't have a model USRA

2-6+6-2 for direct comparison, so I won't dispute your comments there either. But I've SEEN the new bachmann USRA 2-6+6-2, and I still contend it's closer in overall apparent size to the Mantua loco than the Mantua loco is to the scale logging Mallets.

P.S.: The cab ride in the little 2-6+6-2 is one of the highlights of my steam railfanning experiences. The 'ride' was VERY strange, with a distinct side-to-side 'waddle' unlike any other steam loco I've ever ridden in (lots ... they almost all 'waddle' some, but not like that). The crew attributed this to the reciprocating mass the large low pressure front cylinders. Every time the front cylinders would cycle, the front engine would shift from one side limit to the other. This caused the rear engine (and boiler) to shift sideways in the OPPOSITE direction. The loco sort of 'slithered' down the track, bending in the middle. You could look forward and watch the front cylinders always moving in the opposite direction to what you were moving. In the cab, out at the back of the boiler, this motion was perhaps 6" in amplitude. This made it difficult to stand in the cab at first. The motion was VERY rhythmic however, and totally predictable. Once you got used to it, you learned to rhythmically sway in the appropriate direction, and keep your footing (much like a sailor's 'sea legs'). It made for an unforgettable ride and a very pleasant memory!

And NOW, I can really relate to comments that the BIG mainline Mallets were speed limited by the reciprocating mass of those big front cylinders. In the case of the VGN 2-10+-10-2's, which had the largest cylinders of any USA loco (worlds?) at 48" diameter, they were supposedly limited to only 15 mph in service. That's very believable after my experience!

Dan Mitchell ==========

Geezer wrote:

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

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