Steam engine number boards                                                              scroll down and click on pictures to enlarge

Phosphor bronze etched base plate/bands with 2 styrene number board boxes ACC'ed on top, airbrushed with a primer and glossy black paint.

                          side view

Word document                                                                                          5 different sizes                             complete decal set


N-600 Steam engine number boards. 1 etching with 2 boxes, size 11,5 mm outside boxes

N-601 Steam engine number boards. 1 etching with 2 boxes, size 12,5 mm outside boxes

N-602 Steam engine number boards. 1 etching with 2 boxes, size 13,5 mm outside boxes

N-603 Steam engine number boards. 1 etching with 2 boxes, size 14,0 mm outside boxes

N-604 Steam engine number boards. 1 etching with 2 boxes, size 14,5 mm outside boxes

N-605 Decal (waterslide) numbers for number boards. 28 different numbers with 6 identical numbers in each one

These decals and number boards can be mailed in a normal envelop. No track/trace/insurance.

Contents well protected between carton.

Mailing cost 0-20 grams €1.50 (about $1.70) and 20-40 grams €3.00 (about $3.40).


There are a number of good running, existing N-scale steam engines that can be transformed into credible ATSF engines, in my opnion, using available detail parts from various suppliers. The rivetcounter will disagree of course, but everybody is entitled to his own opinion. Go to PICTURES to see how I changed quite a few current models to distinguishable ATSF models (check Iron Horses and other books).

One of the details that is not available, are steam engine number boards, which are a quite obvious part of the "ATSF looks".

So I developed my own together with the necessary decals. My goal was to make these numberboards easy to apply (also the decals), sturdy and not expensive...........

I came up with the following solution (see pictures above): a phosphor bronze etched base with 2 Evergreen styrene strip boxes ACC'ed on top.

The whole thing is cleaned, airbrushed with a primer and glossy black paint for easy decalling.

The bands between the boxes will hold them square and level and are hardly visible on the boiler, almost looking like boilerbands.

The reason for 5 different sizes is as follows: measure the outside distance between the boiler handrails at the location you are going to put them, deduct 0,5 mm: that gives the size you need for your engine. Using a round object a liitle bit smaller than your boiler diameter bend the bands between the numberboard boxes to the boiler contour.

Holding the box between pliers, bend the box back to a level plane with the other box. Again holding the box with pliers bend the ouside support about 80 degrees down. Now testfit to the boiler and adjust as necessary.

Cut off the outside supports about 1 mm below the boiler handrails and using pliers bend them around these handrails. Check if the numberboards are level with each other and are at equal distance from the engine centerline, adjusting with pliers as necessary.  Using a little- ACC on a sharp pin or tooth pick glue the supports to the handrails. It is probably not necessary to glue the "boiler bands" to the boiler but you can if you want. The whole setup is surprisingly sturdy by now.

Touch up the assembly with black glossy paint (better for decalling) as you probably wil have made some scratches. 

The decals (lettertype is STENCIL GOTHIC - as close to prototype as I could find)  are waterslide decals and should be treated just like Microscale decals. Cut as close as possible to the numerals. I use a small sharp chisel on a piece of styrene to "punch"  them out (and a magnifying glass). A printed WORD document is included, showing the actual position of the numbers on the decal sheet. Be careful with the decals: thay are printed on an ALPS printer and do not like heavy handling...... touch them as litlle as possible during installation. Once coated they are OK.

I always use Dullcote (airbrush) on the whole engine/boiler to blend everything together.

The parts I use to give steam engines an ATSF "look and feel" are:

ATSF tenders by myself, ATSF N Scale Models.

Locomotive cabs from Shapeways made/designed by MJMX Models and Golden State Locomotive Works

Elesco feedwaterheaters from Detail Associates and Miniatures by Eric.

Detail Associates pilots.

Detail Associates bells.

Tsunami sound decoders and sugar cube speakers.

Extra sand domes cast from the original ones....... (I have some spares).