Sarissa Precision Old West Steam Engine and Tender

So in the Old West one thing you need to do, is to rob a train! However in order to play this scenario on the table you will need a train!

I have been thinking for a while about getting a train for some Old West games. First thoughts were to get a toy train and repaint it, but knowing my history in buying stuff and not painting it, I decided that if I was going to go down this route then I would have to leave it until I had the time to do it justice. Also getting one which was the right scale and didn’t look too much toy like was also a challenge.

I also thought about getting the Dixon Miniatures model, which was nice. Another however was that this was a metal kit which means nice and heavy, but again experience tells me I would find the construction of such a kit a bit of a challenge.

So I was intrigued by the new Sarissa Precision railway range which includes an engine, various wagons and carriages, as well as track. All the models are made from laser cut and etched MDF. I was lucky enough to receive the engine and tender from the range as a present.

At a show last year I saw another manufacturer’s range of 3D models made from laser cut and etched MDF. There were old style trucks and cars, as well as tanks and armoured vehicles. The layered approach allowed for curved sides and bonnets. This was quite a paradigm shift in the use of the material, mainly used for flat surface models such as buildings.

The Sarissa train uses a similar construction methods for the boiler and from the pictures on the packaging and the website looks quite effective.

I am wondering if I can hide the layered effect on the boiler to make it look more like boiler plate than layers of MDF.

The first part I attempted was the tender.

This went together really easily and is a clever design, turning what is flat pieces of MDF into a three dimensional model. Laser-cut MDF models use to be mainly buildings, or thing with straight lines, however companies like Sarissa Precision have taken it to the next level, using flat MDF to create complicated curved models such as the steam engine.

It has to be said that the tender is more akin to the buildings with slab sides, though I do like the angled tender sides at the top.

It wasn’t the easiest of builds and I found the instructions slightly confusing, but I got there in the end.

Here are some shots of the finished tender prior to painting.

The locomotive is more complex.

Luckily the parts are labelled, so it makes it a little easier to put together.

It is a quite delicate model, so you need to be careful not to crush or break the wooden parts.

The model makes use of many flat circles to create the three dimensional boiler. This is a clever method and though doesn’t look quite right, does allow the creation of a great model from just flat sheets of MDF.

A work in progress shot of the locomotive.

I am intending to cut up actual sticks for the wood fuel that would have been used to power the steam locomotive.