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Thread: Thoughts on smoke

  1. Default Thoughts on smoke

    I have amassed 9 steam locomotives from various brands and have converted non-smokers to smoke and updated smokers to a better smoke unit. I have tried different brands of smoke fluid. Bachmann fluids are OK but Seuthe fluid is much better and is edged out by Mega-Steam. I have also tried smoke fluid that fire departments use in training exercises. Seuthe smoke units are the best. They don't leak like the open pot Bachmann units.

    The one issue I can see is that even the lower voltage Seuthe smoke generators need more voltage than the locomotive needs to operate at a reasonable speed. If there was a way to perhaps incorporate a resistor or rheostat in the locos to run the motor at less voltage than the smoke generator, it would add realism to the model railroad. Running the train at almost wide open just to achieve satisfactory smoke effect is not desirable.
    Last edited by Nightwing; 06-18-2017 at 10:19 PM.

  2. Default

    Sounds like you have the fix figured out. Resist the voltage to the motor as you crank up the voltage that the smoke generator picks up concomitantly. However, resisting generates heat. How will you dissipate it safely?

    In DCC, simply lower the mid-range voltage in CV6.

  3. #3


    Although I am a really big fan of steam, I am not a fan of smoke on model railroads. Having grown up years ago I saw steam in service plus I have had the chance to have ridden on many tourist steam trains and the wimpy smoke in models really doesn't do it for me, BUT this BLI Yellowstone has the best model railroad smoke I have seen. The guy who owns it said that it had a pump and gives a good representation instead of smoke whisping out of the stack. Good luck figuring it out.

    ................................ Chet

    Video - Switching in Churchill -
    VIDEO Tour of the layout -
    New cab ride -

  4. #4


    That's a good smoker there Chet. I like it.

    My BLI locos that have smoke are tempermental. Sometimes they will smoke fine and then the smoke will taper off to just about nothing, then come back for a while then quit for a while. I can't figure why they do that, both steam and diesel units.
    When ya absolutely positively need model railroad fun, choose the D&J Railroad.

    Visit the progress of the construction of the D&J Railroad at:]

  5. #5


    It really is Ken. So many I have seen looks like smoke coming from a cigarette sitting in an ash tray. This one seems to be synced with the speed of the locomotive. Comes out faster as the speed increases.

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
    ................................ Chet

    Video - Switching in Churchill -
    VIDEO Tour of the layout -
    New cab ride -

  6. #6


    Just did a Google search of "steam locomotive smoke". None of those pix look anything like what's put out by model steamers. On real steam locos, there's both the steam (white) & burned fuel smoke (black) being emitted. If we did that on our models we'd probably be choking horribly. >) And there's usually a lot of both when the loco is really working. There's also steam coming out of the whistle when its blown. Maybe someday they'll be able to do it w/ holograms. >}
    Andy Jackson
    Santa Fe Springs CA
    ATSF/LAJ Fan & Modeler

  7. Default

    The last smoking engine I had was a diesel, when I smoked the DCC decoder.
    I decided no more smoking engines.

  8. Default

    If you could see what Mega-Steam in a Seuthe smoke generator looks like, it will change your mind about wimpy smoke. Mine work so well that with two locomotives running and smoking, the train area of the basement got so smokey, I had to install a power ventilator with 6 inch ducting to vent the room. Seuthe smoke fluid is also very good and superior to Bachmann or baby oil, but is pricey and somewhat hard to find.

  9. Default

    Absent the ventilation duct, what are the consequences of that smoke settling on the layout?


  10. Default

    As far as I can tell, Mega-Steam doesn't leave an oily film behind like Bachmann or baby oil.

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