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On30 Shay

Bachmann On30 2tr Shay conversion

The Bachmann On30 Shay is available in the US at bewilderingly varying prices. I bought two at various dates from Micro-Mark at the stunningly low price of $89.95 each. Even with transatlantic shipping costssadded to it the model is stil very affordable. Moreover it offers an excellent platform for conversion projects. As no two Shays were alike, your fantasy about how it could have looked can flow freely.

I will keep one Shay in its original state and I bought a second one for conversion. I have not decided yet in which conversion howevr. There are several options.

The original Bachmann two-cylinder, two-truck Shay in On30


A Banta Works full cab conversion in laser cut wood. Though it attractive as a whole I feel too much of the Shay's feaures are lost.


Converted with a Backwoods Miniatures dress up kit. Open cab with roof, winch and wood burner. I like this one better.

I found a one off conversion on the internet which is a compromise between the Banta Works too much enclosed version and the Backwoods Miniatures dress up kit. I like this one, although I would never consider a model like this to be depicted as an oil burner.