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Welcome to our newest addition to the website. We want to use this page to periodically share with you some of the fun things we do that don’t particularly fit into one of the other pages or that we want to show case for your enjoyment. Our first installment will show how we install a pair of NWSL’s new Stanton Drives in an older brass model.

This pair of Stantons have been built with 40” code 64 (Proto:87) wheels for use in an early ‘70s vintage Hallmark brass EMD GP-9. All Stantons are built to order and any wheel sizes from 33” (HO) up can be built. The company has even built Stantons for O scale Traction and large-scale critters. The tab shown cut away is for mounting a coupler.


Last summer NWSL released the first of a new generation of under floor drive systems designed for use in HO 2 axle Diesels. The design and development of the new drive was the brain-child of Neal Stanton an Electrical engineer and friend and partner of NWSL. Neal and Dave Rygmyr, owner of NWSL have been working to develop and produce the drive for well over a year. Currently a pair of basic frames covers 2-axle wheelbases from 6’6” to 10’0”. In the works are frames for shorter wheelbases and in the long-term frames for 3 axle trucks. The frames are designed to adapt to wheelbases in 6” (scale) increments and to be custom built with any of NWSLs premium solid Nickel Silver wheels from 33” and up and code 110 down to the Proto87 code 64 treads. The product was intent for HO scale diesels but the surprise has been how many units they assemble for larger scales both in traction and critters and just about anything you can imagine.

A custom designed 1220 motor with dual shafts to drive both axles powers the Stanton 2 axle drives. This motor stalls at 400ma which makes the Stanton extremely DCC friendly. The motor uses rare earth magnets and is wound to specifications intended to lower the top speed for the best running characteristics possible. Tiny motors typically wind out very fast but this one pushes the limits of slow speed so that the Stanton doesn’t act like a rocket. Finally the Stanton is very powerful for its tiny size.

Unlike previous under floor power units the Stanton frame does not “bearing” the axles. In fact, there is no structural stress on the frame so it is made out of ABS grade plastic. This allows modeling plastics to be glued directly to the frame in a normal fashion. This is a huge advantage when the original model’s side frames are plastic because they can easily be glued right to the Stanton frame.

But our focus here is Brass so we are going to share with you how we attached the side frames of an Overland Models diesel to a pair of powered Stanton drives and then installed the “Stantonized” trucks to the model’s frame. This is just one way to do it. We hope you will be inspired and encouraged to get out your old “coffee grinder” brass diesel with those nasty KMT drives and put new life into an otherwise nice model. Best of all once you’ve installed the Stanton there is nothing of the power drive in the interior of the model so, if you want, you can do a complete detail of the interior, pack it full of electronics complete with hugh-mongus speakers or just weight the heck out of it to blow those little N scale wonders that pull 400 freight cars off the track.



Photo Essay

Of course the first thing you want to do is order your Stanton Drives from NWSL. http://www.nwsl.com/motors-power-drives/stanton-drive They will want to know 3 pieces of information in order to provide you with the correct drive. First you need to know the center to center wheel base of the truck you wish to power. You can provide real inches or scale inches. The 1220 Stanton can be arranged for 9’ 9.5’ or 10’ wheel bases. The 1215 Stanton is for wheelbases 7’6” to 8’6 in 6” increments. (Their 1210 will do wheelbases of 6’6” to 7’0”.) Next you will need to provide the diameter of wheel you want to use. Thirty-three inch wheels (in HO scale) are about the smallest diameter that can be used in order to assure the bottom of the truck will not touch the railheads. Finally you can choose from the various tread codes NWSL offers.

While you are measuring your original trucks take a few notes. You will need to know the original frame height so that you can adjust the Stanton to duplicate this. A pair of Dial Calipers is useful for this. Place the frame with original wheels in place on a solid flat surface and record the reading as shown. Don’t forget to note the height of the side frames.


Take a minute to measure and record the original width of the truck. This isn’t particularly critical except to insure the truck looks the same after the Stanton has been installed.


When your new Stantons arrive be sure to review the enclosed literature. You will note that these are complete stand-alone units and, if you like, go ahead and place them on the track and see how they run… just like  that; no fussing, no wiring, no programming – have a little fun.

Once you are done playing it’s time to get to work. The tabs on the frames are for mounting couplers. This can be useful if you have extremely tight curves but most of us will want to cut them off. The plastic is ABS and a Razor blade or Xacto does the job easily.


Next mount the Stantons to your model’s frame. Here the Frame height measurement you took will come in handy. It’s important to get as close to the original height as you can both for proper appearance and proper coupler height. You may need a few washers or bushing but the nice surprise is that this is very doable with the Stantons – they are very adaptable. If your frame has a gaping void where the bolster should be it isn’t difficult to fabricate one and glue, bolt, or solder it in place.

Perhaps the more “challenging part of the job is mounting your original side frames to the Stanton frame. NWSL is all about powering your models so they will not be a likely source for such cosmetics; besides there are “bullions and bullions” of engines out there with all kinds of variable. Imagine trying to cover all of those bases. So save your side frames and prepare to mount them on the Stanton. It’s not as hard as you think.

The Stanton is actually quite narrow and it is very likely you will find that your side frames sit out away from the Stanton frame as was the case here. To take up that space and stabilize the side frames I glued .08” strip of styrene to the side of the drives with ordinary Styrene plastic welder.


Here is a little different view of how the plastic pads were attached. If the side frames were plastic you could build up the plastic and glue them right to the Stanton. But our example is brass. The old brass bolster held the side frames with two screws each. I used these screws to hold a brass bracket I fabricated out of .010” brass stock. My brackets were bent to hold the side frames apart at the correct width of the original truck. I mounted these to the side frames in place of the old bolster.


Here is a better view of how I mounted the brackets


Here comes the trickiest part of the whole project – positioning the side frames to the Stanton frame. If you crafted your brackets to the correct dimension they will naturally hold the side frames to the correct width of the truck. The other two critical points to keep in mind as you mix up some good ‘ol JB Weld or other trusted epoxy is that you want to center the axle journals on the axles which will also require that you mount the side frame to the correct height. (You did record that too… right?). I use a pair of styrene pads on a flat surface to hold the frames at the right height while the epoxy sets.

I don’t recommend ACC. It tends to come apart after a while. But maybe that’s just me.


Once the epoxy is set, voila! Isn’t it beautiful?


Finally remount the Stantons to frame of your model. If you operate straight DC leave the wires twisted together (they jump between the pick up from the rail to the leads to the motor. Simply solder the like colored pairs together and put it on the track for a test run. If you use DCC connect the wires to the decoder according to the colors (black to black, gray to gray, etc.) program the decoder and have fun.

Did I mention the Stantons were very powerful?

Simple, huh?

But if you don’t feel like going to all this “trouble” yourself NWSL will mount your Stantons for you.







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Established July 1st, 2009.