Peter Rust Rusty Pete
I have a backscene break that was difficult to hide until a chimney was attached to the factory.
Then, it needed to smoke. No problem, a 1960s Seuthe unit was in my bitzabox.
Drill out the top, and in it went. Easy.
Ahh! Power.?
Bit of umming and aching
Then , eureka, a lightning bolt struck.
Model the copper conductor up the front of the chimney, hiding the other wire down the back.
Beats a 15" drill any day.
It could even be weathered using flux, but not DCCconcepts' as it will not turn the copper green with time 😉. The other option is to paint, or use green (frog-feed) wire. Me? I used a single strand of a heavier wire, flattened it to form a strip and formed it to fit , any old thing went down the back as it cannot be seen
Same could be done on a lighthouse, the earth-rod is always on the outside of a structure. (If the terrors have not nicked it for the scrap value)
The lighthouse would not be critical on wire-size, if powering an led, unless of course the reflector was motorised, rather than just the light blinking.
More than one way to skin a cat ðŸ˜‰
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Always interesting to see how someone tackles a problem Pete.  It is that injection of imagination backed up by the skill required to bring it to reality that really gives us a buzz as modellers.

I had a similar challenge a few years ago with a ship's mast head light, which for its day, should have been an oil lamp.  The arrangement in reality is that the lamp is lowered on two guide wires and a pulley arrangement, lit and then pulled back into position with a rope and a couple of pulleys.  I wanted it to work but I did not want wires to be visible anywhere, as is unfortunately often the case with model ships.  Some cut a groove in the mast and fill it afterwards but I wanted a varnished mast and some drill a central hole but I only had around 8mm diameter for around a 350mm length,

In the end I decided to make the two guide wires live to feed the lamp.  These were fed from below the deck and the bulb inside the lamp housing was soldered to the wires before fixing into the lamp.  Obviously careful insulation of the appropriate sides was then required to prevent shorts.  As for the oil lamp effect?  All the lamps are 12V bulbs fed from a 6V supply.  Hopefully that will also prolong the life of the bulb as it is never coming out again!



Another interesting item from the model boat world is the current frequent use of nebulisers to produce a smoke effect.  This avoids the use of heating oil to the point of very close to combustion and produces a cold water vapour.  One disadvantage is that the vapour is heavier than air but a fan to assist it can make it look very realistic.  I might have a play one day in an easily accessible area.  I'm not sure about in an enclosed space at home where the moisture may start to cause a challenge but at a show I am sure it would be very eye catching and effective.  These two are both fitted with a nebuliser unit.


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Jesus Pete...... can't wait to see the photos......and the movie showing the smoke....👍
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As an interesting comparison this model was originally fitted with an oil burning smoke unit.  Note how tight and dense the smoke is before it starts to disperse.  This one also generated an awful smell!


This was then replaced with a nebuliser unit so this is now cold water vapour as opposed to smoke.  This gives a much softer more even smoke right from the source and does not involve the energy of a heating element or a quantity of hot oil inside your pride and joy.


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Bunkerbarge wrote:

.........Another interesting item from the model boat world is the current frequent use of nebulisers to produce a smoke effect.  This avoids the use of heating oil to the point of very close to combustion and produces a cold water vapour.  

Great photos Bunkerbarge...... 

Both oil based smoke generators and water based nebulisers can sadly have their downsides if used too much and too frequently in a confined indoor area.    I used Tri-ang oil based smoke units in locos back in the.......many moons ago.     Are the Seuthe units much different?  I did end up with oil residue on the locos,  but it was scented and I quite liked it...!   

I have used nebulisers more recently for other non model railway hobby projects but they end up making everything around them, damp.  But certainly great for steam ships.   

Any other options for making a smoke "look-alike"     ?

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Ruffnut Thorston
The original Tri-ang Railways smoke units were the Seuthe type. A brass tube with the hearing element, and a small diameter "smoke tube", rather like a syringe needle down the centre.

These emit smoke as a continuous stream, when working right.

These were used from 1961 to about 1963.

Tri-ang then developed the Synchrosmoke units (various spellings, until it settled!).
These have a piston driven from the loco drive gear. This pushes air into the "box" part of the unit, containing the replaceable element on a bed of fire resistant wadding soaked in smoke oil. The air pushes smoke out of the box via a small diameter hole positioned under the loco chimney.

These were used from 1964 to about 1974.

Some locos that couldn't be fitted with the SS units had the Seuthe type units for a little longer, but soon lost the smoking function altogether.
The positioning of the drive gear axle was the main factor.
Locos like the L1, and the two "singles" are examples of locos that lost the smoke function.
Best wishes,

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Wow.... Thank you Ruff for the info.  I never knew about the Triang Synchrosmoke system. I must have left the hobby mid 60's (off chasing girls no doubt ðŸ˜†......).  Sounds very innovated and complicated. Do any current steam loco smoke system puff smoke based on wheel rotation/speed etc?
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Peter Rust Rusty Pete
JonD wrote:
 Do any current steam loco smoke system puff smoke based on wheel rotation/speed etc?

Factory-fitted units are few and far-between, but Dapol created an A4 that had synchronised smoke, sync steam jet with whistle, powered by 2 smoke generators inside the boiler casings, along with a full panoply of sounds.
Not very reliable, though.
More than one way to skin a cat ðŸ˜‰
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