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  • Topic: Java-ish Open Cab 0-4-0T (LGB 2017)

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    • July 27, 2020 10:47 PM EDT
      • Arvada, Colorado
         
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      Java-ish Open Cab 0-4-0T (LGB 2017)

      Greetings fellow friends, hobbyists and forumgoers, hopefully all of you are as well as can be in these swiftly vanishing weeks. As of the past month or so (June-July) I have been busy with a kitbash of an LGB 2017 0-4-0 into an open cabbed industrial/sugarcane/tropical export locomotive, with varying successes and trials throughout the build.

      Beginning this adventure is the engine's original appearance, shortly after a conversion from archaic radio control back into a track-power analogue engine, and a proper servicing of the motor block. 'Tis your typical grey starter-set LG(&)B 2017 that would be stuffed in a box with a 2 axle gondola and 2 axle caboose. At this point I had already replaced the 'American' box headlamp with a European Stainz headlight, and was tinkering with the thought of mounting the roof on metal poles, being nice clean axles from Hartland plastic wheelsets. The running gear has been removed, but the wheels were still turning.

      The open cab appearance had been noticed after some browsing of images of open-cabbed locomotives, many of which were of an industrial and non-mainline nature.

      It is known that English and European railways rostered mainline motive power in earlier days of railroading with open-cabs, and in rarer cases, American railroads did as well.

      In all instances, the crew generally suffered from the lack of inclement weather protection. In my case, this engine, my model, would end up retaining the full arched roof over the cab floor space, and would live a life in a warm tropical environment, where the only weather it sees is regular imagined rainfall.

      In the process of a further teardown, curiosity brought a spare dome lid and safety valve apparatus from my pile of Stainz parts. Using the same boiler shell casting from 2010/20s means that yes, this certainly can fit in the envisioned position on the 2017. This began a dangerous series of contemplations of what else can be traded around on these models.

      A day or so later, I ripped the doors off, hinges and all. Knocked the handrails out too, pressing against the inner split nubs with a flat blade screwdriver. Those railings in particular are fragile and costly to replace, so care is advised.

      I also decided to rip the cab in half.

      Lopping off the superstructure allowed for me to place the metal support rods in, thereby synthesizing additional inspiration fuel for the idea-cooker. (Mind)

      Around this point, tinkering with the various doobies and things on the boiler came forth into the beginnings of a vertical steam pipe, reaching skyward to the future roof to deliver spare steam to a whistle. Those are chopped plastic axles sleeves, on another metal axle rod, courtesy of Hartland. Very nice that cast-off plastic wheels and their metal internals have additional uses on the work table.

      Some morning later, I took the top half of the cab to a powered wheel grinder, after committing unspeakable violence with big cutting dykes, and ground away the remaining plastic. An Xacto blade later trimmed the outer edges flush and cut new channels in the flat spots to match the rest of the roof's relief.

      Then, probably some of my finest guesstimation-ing took place, spotting cut and drilled nubs of plastic, all sourced from a spare Hartland flatcar stave.

      Seating the poles carefully onto various corners, the first glimpse of the combination-modification came forth. The height is certainly not final, don't worry.

      With cutting the cab in half, the wide open doorway in the rear was now wide open, leaving the rear walls standing alone and afraid. This was rectified by cutting apart one of the cast-off cordwood fuel-retainer things from my Hartland Dunkirk, creating a three-board insert that hangs out between those two convenient flange slots. Who's to say the locomotive's builder didn't have modular catalogue construction in mind?

      In among research of prototypes, the locomotive's color was on the mind, and a variety of Java locomotives, yellow with red trim, very much had the likeness of tropical-industrial I was after, with the same ballooney smokestacks to boot. This engine in particular below was quite a find.

      In the end, yellow was decided as the dominant color. Having a lighter yellow on hand from two yellow cabooses painted in times prior, I sprayed some on. Coinciding with this was an application of flat black sprays to that silver smokebox and all related black parts, evening out the colors.

      I'm sure your eye noticed that spot of orange peel on the bunker. Mine swiftly did too, though it only occurred on this one spot. As fate would have it, this wasn't entirely a bad thing, considering its position beneath the wet and splashy hatch of the engine's upper water tank. Evil plans were henceforth concocted after sanding and several minutes of stern staring. Additionally visible is the placement of the errant walkway-mounted generator/tank cylinder, sitting in a more suitable position behind the sandbox.

      Remember that T-shaped thingy? What you probably didn't notice is the absence of the huge single-stage cylinder/pump on the right-hand tank. Taking that off leaves two big conspicuous holes, but also allows for creative insertion of different things.

      Like a water tank overfill-air-vent overflow... Thing?

      One plastic truck washer and a mesh wire sleeve later, things are a little more convincing and interesting.

      Next to come was the installation of singular buffers, done in the same style as my blue-grey 2017. These are spare Thomas/British buffers made by Bachmann that were ripped off 2-axle rolling stock and tossed in a spare parts drawer. Roughing up the front of them with a file mimics the impact and rubbing wear experienced in service.

      Installing one on the rear required Xacto work to remove the cast rivets lining the back of the black chassis frame. The buffer sits right above the rear coupler slot, not readily visible due to the pliers.

      Around this time, a rear headlight was considered, and a flat spare grabbed from the parts bag. Although the central mount seemed optimal, the look of a heavy headlight sitting on painted wood boards seemed a little odd.

      Sitting offset on the right, was a triple-whammy. Unusual for being offset, (which I like) fitting snugly up against the framework of the rear wall, and conveniently above that long-ago drilled hole for wiring from the long-dead R/C electronics. This placement immediately won favor.

      In another instance of mad science, Stainz-style rear flange guards were fitted to the underside rear, only requiring a few chops of the Xacto blade on the backsides of two cast round things, hiding and visible among the four support lengths of the plow. This allowed the tops of the angled plow blades to sit flush beneath the motor block and chassis.

      What occured next on a later evening, was an execution of patience to be remembered, and it paid off. Cutting a small length of scrap wood (popsicle sticks) to length to act as a placement block, and using temporary slappings of tape, I positioned and glued the support rods to their various places on the rear walls and backhead plating. In a procession of matching heights in four corners, I set a pair of pliers atop the arched roof as a counterweight, and pushing up slightly with the metal rods beneath, found their stopping places against the mounts, and kept them in place as the glue cured.

      And as intended, the roof is the same height as the since-glued steam pipe, with the metal axle wonderfully in line with the cast holes for the factory whistle. Around this same point, I painted, glued and added those little wood boards between the roof's riveted metal bars, representing a different sort of roof vent, or perhaps a prefabricated hole in a prefab roof, replaced by wood planking by the manufacturer with the open-cab construction. Modular mayhem, especially reasonable considering those lifting eyes in the four corners, would mean the roof is plucked off by a shop crane.

      Once the metal support rods were confirmed to be adhered, more of that sectioned Hartland flatcar stave became mounting feet for them, glued into place and giving the setup a little more durability against possible downforce impacts. (Gravity + objects)

      Breaking the topic into two posts because I expected a 25-image limit; stay tuned!

      This post was edited by Nick at August 9, 2020 8:57 AM EDT
    • July 27, 2020 11:44 PM EDT
      • Arvada, Colorado
         
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      After most of the initial construction was done, with the yellow side tanks superglued to the backhead plate, paint splashings occurred all over, adding some nice tropical working grime, with water splashes and trickles putting dirt and dust and soot and coal dust all over the place. Also visible is the newly mounted brass whistle, with a metal rod bent into shape to fashion a control lever.

      The upper water bunker was extra fun, with crew boot-draggings on top and repeated water dousings starting to peel that coat of paint on the outer edge above the toolbox. The roof received a simple layer of sooty dust, but that whistle seems to either blast clear the gunk or get wiped down by someone in the shop.

      An LED, directionally-electrical by design, was fitted into the rear light, and its wire leads fed through that hole and glued to the floor to keep them out of the way.

      Then, atop the safety valve rod, a brass tip-finial-doobie was added, replacing the plastic nub. Of more obviousness is the coal bunker, fabbed completely out of wide and thin popsicle sticks, with shaped ones placed in the middle to give the pile a slight heap shape. The coal is real, broken apart and glued in, and suddenly makes the water-caked coal dust below look much better.

      Unfortunately, with so much progress made, a setback arose out of my own folly. Repairing the cracked front plow of the engine with high-strength adhesive also decided that the glue should migrate in a capillary manner to the metal nut holding onto the threaded bottom of the smokestack rod. Removal of said nut was met with incredible reluctance from both parties, and resulted in the destruction of the cylinder saddle to free it, as well as the unspeakable violence committed to the dag-blasted metal nut. Live and learn, and by that, I learned that superglue makes an excellent and inconvenient thread-locker.

      I also learned that where the front and rear plows for LGB 0-4-0s are readily available, the flat-topped cylinder saddles for 2015/17 0-4-0s are far from available. As it happened, Train-LI seemed to have some promise, with a replacement available. In the meantime of several days of waiting, I added a #4 numberplate in my black and machined-face style, transferred from another locomotive that has since left the roster.

      Of note, while the part was being shipped, this hard-working lady was hired on as the locomotive's crew, as a firewoman in particular. I gave her a brand new custom-length shovel for her upcoming employment.

      The new cylinders arrived, but while I was told they were for the 2015/17s, it was indeed actually a set for a Stainz locomotive, with the flatter angled tops versus the bigger bolted cylinders that originally came with the engine.

      Bluelok #11 has these, and these images were taken in the bright light of morning, which gives them a weird ethereal feeling of looking like a daydream or flashback. Dealing with reality, however, I flipped the top extensions of the old cylinders over, and glued them together to fill the space from the saddle to the frame. In effect, this also reveals that the locomotive is both side-tank and well-tank, with the chassis tank filling any visible gaps. This extra water storage also helps reason the water overflow added earlier.

      Cylinders fitted, but all is not well yet. After a simpler coating of paint weathering on the front of the locomotive to make the replacement parts match, with several touchups in places, I sealed the new paint with Krylon Matte, and proceeded to test the locomotive after the finish dried. This revealed both a clicking sound, and binding struggles, with the locomotive lurching along the track. Taking the body shell off, however, the chassis ran just fine. Wondering what on earth, and other spoken obscenities later, I decided to explode the chassis apart.

      One full teardown later, no obvious issues aside from two slightly loose rivets on the right-hand reversing linkage, squeezed tighter and worked free with flat pliers.. A closer look at the chassis on the worktable, with alligator clips later, revealed the previously unseen pushes of the thin piston rods on the reversing linkage, against the insides of the angled cylinder tops. This was a surprise considering the model's parts similarity to those of LGB's Stainzes, and is evidence of slight manufacturing differences, possibly done on purpose by the factory.

      Drilling the tube for the piston rod deeper with a cordless drill and a correctly sized bit immediately solved the issue, though care is to be taken not to drill completely through, given the low-sloped angle. This gave the piston rods clearance to slide back and forth fully, eliminating the pushing that was occurring, forcing the rods to bind and the motor to slow. With this resolved, the locomotive ran properly, and my frustrations began to vanish, as progress was resumed and completion was again on the horizon.

      Taking a cue from something I did with my Blue/Grey #11, I added 12 ounces of weight, in the form of self-adhering 1/4oz tire weights, in a pack of 48 little chunks of iron. 38 of them are beneath the side tanks, directly over the middle of the wheels, adding ballast and a faux representation of the onboard weight of fuel and water. The other ten weights were added to the back of the chassis, placed within the modular chunk that press-fits against the motor block and sitting around the various mounting points.

      After final reassembly, the other hire of the locomotive's staffing had arrived, also a hard-working lady, a little older and seasoned of the railroad than her blonde coworker, but a happy employee nonetheless. She was hired from the since-folded Aristocraft corporation, for those curious.

      With the locomotive finally, actually, seriously done with cosmetic work, it was time to unleash it upon the rails for revenue service.

      Admittedly, my ceiling line isn't quite green and lush Tropical foliage, but that's what the imagination is for.

      In the end, the locomotive seems to hold a distinct appearance of a hybrid, hosting parts from two different model types by LGB.

      And as I like to think of it, it isn't too far removed from a variety of real life examples in Java.

      This post was edited by Nick at August 1, 2020 9:03 AM EDT
    • July 28, 2020 3:37 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Nick, 

       

      I love the project and your writing style!  Both are engaging!  Should your travels bring you to the central pacific, be sure to pack this little gem in your carry-on to see how it looks in the tropics!

      Now, if that kid that wanted to sell his 2017 starter kit for $4,000 only decides its doesn't "mean so much...."

       

      Eric

       

    • July 28, 2020 10:52 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      Great job! Those little locos have always been great bashing fodder. I've done a few myself. 

      The little "american" tank loco is also great for bashing, like the Steinz.

    • July 28, 2020 7:30 PM EDT
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      i like this conversion. well done!

      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

    • July 29, 2020 11:54 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      excellent work, description and pictures

    • July 29, 2020 10:12 PM EDT
      • Mount Vernon, Missouri
         
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      Wow awesome job, great bashing, almost a totally redo. a Great job at sharing

      Dennis

    • August 1, 2020 6:54 AM EDT
      • Elizabeth City, NC
         
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      Amazing transformation and your write-up of your progress was fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

      ____________________________________

      Sophie B

      Dismal Creek Railroad

    • August 1, 2020 8:52 AM EDT
      • Fort Worth, Texas
         
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      Your rebuild is very nicely done, my only question is why did you not sand out the LGB on the cab, is they some reason for leaving it there. 

       

      trainman

    • August 1, 2020 9:03 AM EDT
      • Warwick, RI
         
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      Looks fantastic!

    • August 5, 2020 7:45 AM EDT
      • Southern Illinois
         
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      I like that!   Those starter set LGB engines are full of great ideas, you just have to dis-assemble or break apart to find what is inside.

    • August 5, 2020 8:10 AM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Not only very nicely done, but great documentation as well.   That should be a fun one to run!

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • August 5, 2020 4:32 PM EDT
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Unsure which is more interesting, the built item or the story of building it!

    • August 5, 2020 4:46 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Ric Golding said:

      I like that!   Those starter set LGB engines are full of great ideas, you just have to dis-assemble or break apart to find what is inside.

      Ric, you are so right!   That's how I found my glonkulator!

       

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

    • August 5, 2020 4:49 PM EDT
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      Bruce Chandler said:
      Ric Golding said:

      I like that!   Those starter set LGB engines are full of great ideas, you just have to dis-assemble or break apart to find what is inside.

      Ric, you are so right!   That's how I found my glonkulator!

       

      Somebody call the red box brigade. We have an admitted homicidal maniac in our midst!

    • August 5, 2020 5:14 PM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Bruce you need to start a new thread labeled Glonkulator so others can post pictures of theirs and no to mess up Nicks thread, would be so neat to see all the different things built using this little engine, Bill

    • August 5, 2020 6:38 PM EDT
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      My bad Bill

    • August 8, 2020 9:13 PM EDT
      • Arvada, Colorado
         
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      Greetings everyone, and thank you very much for the praise and taking the time to read and enjoy. This engine has a new life with a whole new identity and despite the various setbacks through the build, I am pleased to have it in the collection and am currently giving it priority runtime on the ceiling line.

      To answer one fellow, I don't mind the factory-cast LGB on the sides of the tanks. Considering it is also on my blue/grey 2017 and plated in gold on my '83 2010 Stainz, I guess it just has never bothered me as a mark of the builder, even on a kitbash.

      Finally, I like finding and fabricating funky word combinations with prefixes and suffixes and stuff, as a fiction writer, but Glonkulator is a new one to me. Is that a generator unit of some such?

    • August 9, 2020 12:34 PM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Nick, perhaps he ment 

      gonkulator

      [common; from the 1960s Hogan's Heroes TV series] A pretentious piece of equipment that actually serves no useful purpose. Usually used to describe one's least favorite piece of computer hardware. See gonk.  have used it many times in conversations to describe a piece of junk, funny, if it is spelled correctly with an L I have no ides the meaning, BB

       

    • August 9, 2020 3:30 PM EDT
      • Burke, Virginia
         
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      Bill Barnwell said:

      Nick, perhaps he ment 

      gonkulator

      [common; from the 1960s Hogan's Heroes TV series] A pretentious piece of equipment that actually serves no useful purpose. Usually used to describe one's least favorite piece of computer hardware. See gonk.  have used it many times in conversations to describe a piece of junk, funny, if it is spelled correctly with an L I have no ides the meaning, BB

       

      Wow, I guess I can't take any credit for Glonkulator then.  I DID watch Hogan's Heroes way back when there were only 3 channels, so perhaps I picked it up from that.  Whatever, it is nothing really.

      ____________________________________

      Bruce

      http://jbrr.com/

       

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