Tuesday 27 February 2024

Self-propelled Skip

The variety of vehicles on narrow gauge industrial railways is enormous! From huge locos to the tiniest being basically nothing but motorised skips. With two large locos on their way into service on Nystrup Gravel I looked for a quick way to balance the Fowler and Baguley-Drewry. I could hardly think of a better way than transferring a resonably sum to Loco Remote for their recently designed and produced 3D printed 'Planet' 6 hp motorised skip.

Loco Remote image of assembled 'Planet' motorised skip. A small and simple kit of a unique prototype that fits very well on a small 1/19 scale layout like Nystrup Gravel.

Several Danish industrial railways used self-propelled skips for smaller tasks. On one railway the motorised skip was the only form of mechanical traction present. On the waste processing plant in the Danish town Thisted a small 600 mm railway transported household waste on a short track. The motorised skip was probably homebuilt by adding a lawn mower engine to a standard steel skip with chain drive to one axle. Contrary to the factory made 'Planet' skip, no dedicated place for the driver was provided. When driving he simply stood next to the engine on the skip's frame.

ILO lawn mower engine mounted on a lengthened skip at the waste processing plant in Thisted. Photo: S. A. Guldvang, 1972.

Engine and transmission seen from above. The rebuild only allowed coupling at the rear of the motorised skip. Photo: S. A. Guldvang, 1972.

The kit arrived packed in a sturdy box with no damage from the transport. The kit includes everything you need to build a running model of the 'Planet' skip except for a battery. The Loco Remote website gives good advise on which battery to buy for a perfect fit in the battery mounting under the skip. Print quality varies from fine to relatively coarse. Fortunately the coarse printing is mostly appearing on parts rather hidden in the finished model or in places where the surface irregularities are easily sanded smooth. The only real challenge is on some of the frame parts, where the layers of the printing are clearly visible. I will have to deal with those in the build process. When ordering the kit I had to choose a version of a vehicle equipped either with a standard V-skip or a wooden cargo box. My model will be with a skip assembly, and as usual I will add and replace detail on the kit. Expect my model to feature metal spring for the axle boxes, rebuilt floor under the skip body, detailed driver's position as well as added bolt and rivet detail.  

What I found in the kit's box (except for 5 box parts to the left). Here in a very orderly spread-out arranged and photographed by Loco Remote.

Frame part with coarsely lined surface from the printing process and driver's 'cab' with only minimal traces of the printing.

Included in the box was a custom designed driver made by David Clavey. Named 'Ben' the figure has been made to specifically fit the skip's driver's seat and controls. Despite the figure not looking as detailed as Modelu's scanned and 3D printed figures I ordered it anyway. Having now examined the figure and the two different heads accompanying it, I'm glad I made the purchase. The quality is far better than the images circulating of it online. I will still be refining the figure a little (particularly around the pelvis and legs) but having a starting point where legs and arms actually fit the model and facial detail is quite good is an excellent opportunity I'm glad I didn't miss. You can see David's figures here.

The David Clavey figure for the 'Planet' with different heads.

Currently I'm designing and building the cab interior for the Fowler and adding ballast and ground cover on the layout. I'll be ordering a battery (or two) and possibly a charger so I'm ready for building the little vehicle once the other things are out of the way.

In the box from Loco Remote was also a complete 1/19 scale 32 mm gauge 3D printed railway for exhibition purposes. More on the steel sleepered track panels in a later post.


  1. I keep admiring this same kit and wondering if my line needs one. And that homemade version, based on the lawnmower engine, is just that much more enticing. It might be fun to make a static skip with a scale lawnmower motor attached but clearly being worked on?


  2. I like the kit as well and I had to really constrain myself from beginning to assemble it when I examined the parts upon arrival. I have many other things to do before this kit is planned. Looking forward to see if you decide to jump to the realisation of the kit.