Model Train as an Urn?

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#1
Greetings, all!

I am seeking some advice about purchasing a model locomotive for an unusual purpose. Straight to the point: can a single G-Scale car reasonably envelop a 4" x 6" x 8" volume of material?

Let me elaborate. My father is recently deceased and he chose to be cremated. He loved model railroading, so I have decided to honor him with a visually appealing "urn" that I would like to be a model railroad locomotive hauling his remains either in its tender or an appropriate freight car, possibly a caboose, mounted on a section of track. I definitely want something small (that is, urn-sized), namely the 4" x 6" x 8" above-mentioned volume, and something beautiful to see in the room where it will be displayed. G-Scale seemed like a good size for this, but I have been unable to see anything in person to measure or to test attempts to fill the space of candidate cars, and hobby stores in my area only carry some cheap-looking plastic G-Scale sets and cars. I am also interested in thematic consistency; that is, I don't want a wood-burning engine hauling an oil tender.

I find this Jupiter 4-4-0 American (http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=20011521) particularly appealing visually, but I am not sure about the size of the tender, or what other car I might add that would be sufficiently large and also thematically consistent and still visually appealing. I am definitely interested specifically in die-cast items with high-quality paint jobs. As you can see from my link, it costs enough that I don't just want to "buy it and see." I wondered if folks on a forum like this might have some experience and ideas to help me out. =)

So I was hoping for advice and ideas about this. Has someone already built such a thing? Is there a better scale I don't know about? The only larger scales I have found seem to be real working trains that people can ride. I know that since I am not using the locomotive as an actual working railroad, that I don't need to use a working model locomotive; I just wanted to use an already manufactured item with great workmanship and detail. Another candidate I have in mind is essentially a cookie jar in the shape of a locomotive, that is obviously well-designed to contain a volume but less aesthetically pleasing.

Thoughts?
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
#2
This is an interesting idea. The Jupiter looks very nice. Whatever you choose, it's going to have to be sealed on the inside. I'd look for a custom model builder that does brass. It'll be expensive, but it's for dad after all. And you do want it done right. Perhaps someone like that would be willing to gut the Jupiter and adapt it to suit your needs. Personally, I don't like the idea of splitting up the ashes between the locomotive and tender, but maybe that's just me.
 

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
#3
I know they have themed urns and caskets now a days. Perhaps they have something railroad themed? Or something more standard that can be embellished. I know you are well meaning and want something nice and respectful of your Dad. I'm not sure what you're planning will look that way years from now. Just my thoughts, good luck in your search.
 

Pete V

CEO Bangor and Santa Fe
#4
Having made a fair number of reliqueries for friends who have passed away out of blown glass, I would suggest that you not try to put all the ashes in a freight car. I would suggest a small amount, perhaps a few tablespoons that can be contained a bit more easily. Unless they're well sealed, they can get away from you more easily than you might expect. Then you could scatter the remaining ashes , perhaps at a place where he loved to railfan.

The ashes are not necessarily all ash. They can contain a fair number of small bones and other calcified parts that could not break down. .
 
#5
How about a nice container with an appropriate HO or O scale model on top? Say a nice wooden box, long and narrow to meet the volume requirement and a section of track on top with an appropriate model?
 





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