Eugene Paul, along with his wife Viola, designed the 1-inch scale 0-4-0 locomotive known as "Puffin Billy". The loco design was later acquired by Coles Power Models. Eugene was a member of the Southern California Live Steamers.
- I have had very good success with Coles 1-inch scale, 4.75 inch gauge 0-4-0 "Puffin Billy" when I started out in live steam in the early 80's. I'm not a train guy or machinist, but after buying a 9 inch lathe and machining a couple of Stuart 10 engines I decided to build this engine. The reason was that it was in the Coles catalog, which was widely distributed in the hobby, and it was very low cost (1982) to get into the castings set and blueprints. Not knowing very much about coal burners after playing around with some propane and RC tugboat experiments, I knew that a strong fire and lots of water was pretty important. The "Puffin Billy" calls for a 6 inch copper boiler and a deep firebox with 25 sq. in. of grate. The fire door is pretty big so I can successfully fire on the fly, even at our WLS highline. This engine runs and runs since 1982, and is nicknamed 'ol reliable at our track. The only repair was a snapped valve stem (metal fatigue, who knows what kind of stainless I found at the jukeyard) and a new crank pin machined to a closer press fit tolerance. I did not find any errors in the prints, but some of the valve movement arms could have been machined in 1 piece as opposed to being joined from multiple pieces. I built it to plans, even making the rings in iron. I think the castings and prints are still available. Betty helped me with my order back then. The engine took 9 months to complete. The tender came later.
- See the engine run on youtube:
- In 1983 at the old WLS track
- In 2008 in the new WLS track
Drawings for "Puffin Billy" were offered for sale on eBay 15 December 2015.
More drawings were offered at auction on 28 December 2015.
- "Coles 1 inch Four wheel switcher", Chaski.org
- "HELP! what to do about a pit in the core of my iron cylinder", Chaski.org
- "Good steamers for beginners, any advice?", Chaski.org
- "Puffin Billy" mentioned on page 22 of The Miniature Locomotive, Volume 1 Number 2, July - August 1952