A Dog House for my Tender

Among all the big things I have been making with 3D printing there are also the odd small parts and I had a request a little while ago for a dog house.  Now as much as I am a fan of our four-legged friends sadly this is not a building for them!  The name ‘Dog House’ in railroad terminology refers to a small shelter on top of the tender for the brakeman; this dates back to the days of roof walks and cabooses.  With freight trains getting longer the brakes on the locomotive and caboose rapidly became insufficient to stop the trains so it was the brakeman’s job to go up and down the roof walks and apply the brakes on the individual cars.  The brakemen usually traveled in the caboose but often it was necessary to station a man at the head of the train. Space on the locomotive footplate was limited.  This led to the Dog Houses being added on top of the tender, facing towards the back of the train.  From this small building the brakeman had shelter from the elements and he could see what was happening with the cars and his fellow roof walkers. As far as I know only men did this job?

Several railroads used Dog Houses made from a variety of materials; the first Dog House I am going to 3D print will be based on a steel plate structure as used by the Norfolk & Western on their huge Y6B articulated steamers.

Dog House 1

Yes, I know this is a Sierra Railroad locomotive and I know they never had a Y6B, but I like it!

I had a request for a steel Dog House to replace a damaged one from a Rowa Y6B, the same model as shown above.  As I have a model of this locomotive it was a simple case of measuring the original and reproducing it as a 3D model; the trick is to get the detail large enough to print but not too big that it looks out of scale.  As shown below the structure is hollow, not only to reduce the cost, but also to make it realistic.  The thinnest part is the center bar between the windows, but it is just on the limit of what is printable for the FUD material, so it should be okay.

N&W Dog House

Once printed the Dog House spent the night in a jar of Goo Gone followed by a wash-off in warm soapy water. This removes the residue from the print processes, please see my FAQ section for more information. After cleaning it was ready to be painted and added to a model.

Steel Dog House 1 Steel Dog House 2

As my Y6B already has a Dog House this particular one is now a spare but I always test print all my designs before I make them available to buy.

Steel Dog House 3 Steel Dog House 4

You can get the Dog Houses here.

I also plan on doing a timber Dog House and that will be in a later post.