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  • Topic: Challenge Accepted - Large Scale Fantasy Locomotive

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    • July 18, 2019 7:59 PM EDT

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      " Rooster " said:

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Eric,

       The answers will surely come. However freelancing is just as hard as modeling prototypes unless you have decided what you really want! Slapping stuff on stuff doesn't work unless you know what you want or how it works. I understand what your are thinking but you need to think more.

      What I do see consistently with the prototypes is they shave off the oval cab eyebrows . Thought for sure the west coast guys would pick up on shaving eyebrows not focusing on chickens. But things on the west coast move faster than on the east coast except for the sun.  Hell they even mistake Judy Garland for Shirley Temple anymore WTF !

      I'm still following and my parts bin is still open but I'm only shipping free once as to what you decide on!

       

      Hoping some of the more experienced guys will chime in ......Doc Tom and just Doc ?

       

      Parts bin is still open

    • July 19, 2019 1:59 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Thanks gents.  I have a little bookwork to do, the I am going to make some card stock mock ups. Photos will follow.

      I'll hit you up for those parts, Rooster, once this thing runs right.  I figure I have another round of cutting, painting, and fiddling to do.  

       

      - Eric

    • July 22, 2019 2:53 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Aloha,

       

      OK, I did my homework over the week, and found this photo of Hanamaulu, a  30" gage Baldwin 0-4-2T working the Lihue Plantation (Take from "WWII Photographs by Victor Norton, Jr., Vol 4 -- Plantation Railways on Kauai and the Remaining Islands," Gale E. Treiber, Railroad Press, 2007):

      The structure serving as a pivot point for the trailing pilot would, in my opinion, fill the space under Little Thomas' cab nicely.  I would extend it all the way under the coal bunker to let it serve as a mount for the after coupler, too.  My cardstock masterpiece shows the plan, below.  For comparison, I have a photo of what our "real" m2075 (Cleverly dubbed Big Thomas) looks like:

       

      A rear pilot would look really, really cool, but I only have 1.5" to work with from motor block to end of locomotive.  I have some vertical room to play with; the coupler height is the limiting factor there (Speaking of which, my box-o-bits had a locomotive loop coupler for the front.  Score!).  The photos are less clear, but they may help put my considerations into better visual perspective:

       

      I've really no idea if there is a stock wheel set out there that'll fit this gap.  On Bill's suggestion, I hit the Bachmann website, and I am off the TrainLi's site later.  I am sure I can buy the wheels and axle.  I am equally sure fashioning or designing the drawbar and pivot point are beyond me.  If anyone out there know if there is something I can make work, I am all ears.

       

      So, it looks like the plan is:

      1.  Make / Salvage a deck for the boiler and cab.  I could turn this into an inverted, rail mounted razee and slice off everything below the deck plates of Little Thomas' original chassis.  This has the advantage of being a known fit for the boiler and cab, but it also is a bit of Rubicon, as once it is cut, it is gone.  I could also try to fashion a new deck out of styrene.  This may be trickier to get it to fit, but I am finding styrene takes glue much better than LGB plastic, which may convey advantages later on.  I would match the styrene to the thickness of the existing deck to ensure correct strength.
      2. Fashion the extension to the chassis.  To be frank, I am not sure of the approach here.  It needs to fit flush against the motor block, not obstruct the rear drivers, mount to the deck, and take the stress of the coupler when the old boy finally heads out with a real train.  The need for security would seem to suggest that it should fasten to the deck with screws.  Is there a block plastic I should use?  Or should I build a styrene frame and secure it to the deck?  Maybe I should try to cut and shape a block of wood, then cover it with plastic prior to painting to hide the grain?

      Bill having at last got me to order off of e-Bay, I noted that thrashed and deconstructed STAINZ are in abundance, which provide options for a rudimentary interior.  I'd really like to cut the doors off and do the inside right, but I think I'll save that for a project with a stronger starting point. 

      More questions than progress this week, but I really needed to do the homework to find a guide and then mess around with the cardstock to visualize the possible.

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

       

       

    • July 22, 2019 9:40 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Eric,

      My advice to you is forget trying to put trailing wheels under the cab. It's going to be nothing but a headache. They are difficult to keep from derailing. You and the kids are much better served with an 0-4-0.

      Definitely make the area under the cab as secure as you can to pull a load. It really doesn't have to attach to the chassis. It could attach to the body, if the body will be securely attached to the chassis.

      BTW, it's looking good so far! 

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • July 22, 2019 10:37 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Eric I sent you a PM, but I have to agree with Joe, I think you are making a simple build into a monster going from kit bashing to custom build, I would just get it built as planned and spend the extra time cleaning the track better that 1 little pick up is going to help that much, Bill 

    • July 23, 2019 1:14 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Bill & Joe:

       

      Thanks for confirming what I guessed, that trailing wheels are beyond the value of this project.  I appreciate your comments on the cab / boiler, Joe.  I was pretty satisfied with the paint job which is why I kept going with this after the Tamiya motor experiment failed!

       

      I am going to get to the hardware store this week to see if that can inform the extension to the chassis.  I will bolt it under the cab as you suggested, Joe, but I have to make a new deck first.  I've decided to make that from scratch, saving the original chassis for some other to-be-determined project (and to allow for mistakes!  Much easier and cheaper to replace styrene!).  I have to figure out how I can make a deck that will have strength yet give me the access to remove the cab and boiler to let me access the new chassis to pop in a motor.  I predict more card-stock modeling this week!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

    • July 23, 2019 11:22 AM EDT
      • Ormond Beach, Fl. 32174
         
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      Hang in there Eric you'll get it

    • July 29, 2019 1:39 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

      Crummy hours at work equaled some over time and an opportunity to hit the hobby shop... Poor Bill has been subject to my verbal diarrhea of ideas as I tried to figure out how to mount the cab-boiler piece shown below to a chassis without making accessing to the motor and gears a back engineering project in and of itself:

      The plan is to make a deck out of 1/8" polyester (on hand) that runs from the coal bunker at right to the firebox door (more or less on the extreme left of the picture). I will mount the boiler-cab to the deck using a pair of small hinges, likely placed on the aft bulkhead of the coal bunker.   Then, as planned, I will fasten the deck to the chassis using longer versions of the screws that currently hold the access hatch for the motor.  I can secure the firebox side using a screw (maybe) or even Velcro.

       

      Once I get that done, it is a matter of adding a hook-and-loop coupler under the coal bunker.  I can get a commercial chassis extension, or I can fashion something.  The advantage of the former, of course, is it will work.   The advantage of the latter will be moving Little Thomas a step further from his stock origins and an inch towards Hanamaulu pictured in my previous post.  The hobby shop had a bevvy of plastic sheets and beams, but nothing that said "coupler mount," especially a coupler mount that could pull a train and survive the occasional "enthusiastic" handling.

       

      More crummy hours ahead, so progress may stall (again).  I wouldn't mind some feedback on the proposed way forward, though.

       

      And the project lumbers along...

       

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

       

       

       

    • July 29, 2019 5:55 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Eric,

      Can you use a block of wood, fastened to the sides and back of the body and still clear your motor? That should be secure enough to mount your coupler to.

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • July 30, 2019 2:11 AM EDT
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      Joe,

      There is about 1.5" from the back of the chassis to the end of the cab, so yes.  The deck material is 1/8" polyester, so it should handle the shear stress.  Part of  me wants the coupler mount to hang from the back of the cab like the little Baldwin in my earlier post, but I am betting that would look pretty funny as the cab on my model is flush with the bottom of the boiler.  My other option would be would block running in line with the chassis like the commercial extension, possibly lowered a bit with some styrene stock that could mimic iron.  

      I'll play around a bit once I am off this schedule and can get the cab-boiler secured to the new deck.

       

      Eric 

    • August 4, 2019 3:44 AM EDT
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      Update:

       

      To contrast with the amazing craftsmanship that appeared on this site over the last week, I thought I'd present today's round of desperate engineering!  To begin with, Oldest Son and I cut the 1/8" sheet plastic to shape to make the deck:

      I'd hoped to score it, but I ended up using my Dremel.  I just couldn't seem to get a deep enough score to snap it, and I didn't want to risk breaking the plastic.

       

      Oldest Son then heard the buccinas of the Lost Legion call, and he wandered off to help Rome's PLAYMOBIL descendants stave off an attack from zombie pirates.  To be honest, this was a good thing, as I had to really fidget and fuss to get those hinges to work.  I had to cut a bit of the lip on the bottom of the coal bunker to make the screws clear, and I had to shave 1/16" off the new deck to allow the hinges to swing.  Next, abiding by my new rule of "Cut LGB parts only as necessary; styrene is cheaper and available locally" I ground some holes in the deck to allow some triangular shaped doo-dads on the chassis to clear.  I also drilled the holes for the motor cover screws.  I'll need longer ones for this to work, but those should be easy to find.  The end result of this Dremel cutting and grinding is below:

      Putting it all together, Little Thomas looks like this:

       

      Clearly, there is a lot of clean up work to do, but I am confident he'll roll!

      There are two big engineering jobs to do before I get to have fun making this look right:

      1. Rear coupler mount.  This is going to have to hang pretty low to couple with my cars.  From both a visual and structural aspect, I think it'll need to run fore-and-aft from the end of the chassis to under the coal bunker.  I am leaning towards a block of wood covered with styrene.  The plastic would make it look a bit more like "metal," I would think. 
      2. Forward "hook" to hold the boiler to the deck.  I don't want this to swing open every time we take the poor fellow off the shelf!  I am thinking maybe a wood bloc, screwed to the deck somewhere up near the smokebox doors, with wood going through a vertical surface into that block.  Only the screw heads would be visible.

      Once all that is done, the visual things I have to do include, at a minimum...

      • ...adding a sheet of styrene to the deck to offset the fact the hinges make the boiler slope forward.
      • ...figuring out how to make the reversing gear look right (Probably make some cuts in the new deck).
      • ...patching sundry holes (more styrene!).
      • ...hiding the break between the downcomers and the steam chests (yet more styrene!).
      • ...detail parts (I haven't forgotten, Rooster!).
      • ...painting and weathering.

      While I am a long way from finished, I feel this is a lot closer to being a functioning locomotive again than it has been in years.  I am confident enough, in fact, I took the retired chassis off the shelf and placed it in the parts box, and I will order the motor after my next tranche of overtime when I make my annual "strategic parts purchase" from TrainLi.  

       

      A work obligation will bring things to  a halt for a couple weeks, but there will be progress.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at August 4, 2019 7:32 AM EDT
    • August 4, 2019 8:11 AM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      It's starting to come together nicely. It won't be long now. You are on "the right track"!

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • August 27, 2019 2:13 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Aloha,

      Back from my professional obligations, I took another crack at this.  The Triple O crew chief shows the rough parameters of the issue on our 45mm gauge picnic table / staging yard / locomotive shop / craft area:

      A scan of material at the hardware and hobby store came up "bagels," so I had to figure out how to make a coupler mount that would handle the stress of pulling a train...and contact with the human crew...and allow me to fiddle with the thing to mount the coupler.  In the end, I turned to my old nemesis...wood.  My sabre saw proved equal to the length of 2x4, even if the art of the straight cut still eludes me.  I got decent chunk of wood amongst the sawdust I can sand to shape, as the chief shows below:

      Of note, when I asked Oldest Son if he wanted to help me on this phase of the project, his answer was, "You're using that saw!  Oh, NO!"  So much for inspiring him with my skills...  He helped me troubleshoot the Triple O's inner loop later as I fired up the grill, so all is forgiven.

       

      I am still getting crushed at work, which is good for overtime but not for building time, but the next step is to carefully sand this block, mount it to the new deck, Dremel out a place for the coupler, then mount the coupler.  Afterwards, I will tow Little Thomas behind his functioning kinsmen as a stress test before ordering the motor.   If my coupler mount / chassis extension fails, I will order a stock one at that time.

       

      We are closing in on the on the fun part of closing up holes, hiding bolts, and adding crew-appropriate details.  When I built WWII armor 1,000 years ago, this was always my favorite part as it turned even the most basic Sherman or Tiger kit into something special and unique.  This will be my first crack at that process in decades and my first with a railroad themed item.  With Bill having introduced me to the "joy" of e-Bay and a slew of local opinions to incorporate, I really am looking forward to transitioning this project from engineering to art.

       

      Updates to follow as work allows!

       

      Eric

       

      This post was edited by Eric Mueller at August 27, 2019 12:04 PM EDT
    • August 27, 2019 5:09 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      my old nemesis...wood.

      Sorry to read that. I like wood....

       

      Shut up Rooster.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • August 27, 2019 7:47 PM EDT

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      Eric,

       You put the 1/8" plexi deck on top of the motor block but it appears that the motor block will fit inside of "Little Thomas"? So why so high ....slam it down a bit (low rider)  then you will not have to adapt for all that height. Don't forget the engineer and fireman need to get into the loco with ladders or stairs?

       

      Looking good and making progress as others have stated!

    • August 28, 2019 5:20 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      I just use the backside of an xacto or utility knife blade.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • August 28, 2019 5:54 PM EDT
      • Not one of the WannaBe's,
         
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      David Maynard said:

      I just use the backside of an xacto or utility knife blade.

      Yep I used to do that. There is a reason for some specialty tools But some will never see the light

    • August 29, 2019 3:42 AM EDT
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      @Rooster.  Thanks.  I know this project has been a slow grind.  There has been a lot of trial  and error and a couple of pauses for shipping and to complete projects that actually stood a chance of getting somewhere!  As for making Little Thomas a low rider, I did consider that.  The rods make it just too wide to pull that off.  I know at one point I considered making the old boy a geared locomotive, but no amount of strategic pauses (aka blowing off the project) provided a ready answer.  When this chassis came on the market, I abandoned that idea.  I had planned to add ladders along with any other detail parts once I go from "get it working" to "get it looking good."

       

      @David Maynard.  Part of my issue with using dead trees is simply comfort with the material and my still relatively untested saw.  Space and budget constraints make getting the tools I probably should have problematic.  Plastic, though, I am finding I can store about anywhere and score and snap it with easily stashed tools.  I am still experimenting with my preferred materials, albeit very slowly!

       

      @David Marconi.  I shall add that tool to my list!

       

      I should have time to shape and mount that chassis extension this weekend and maybe even mount that coupler.  We shall see.

       

      Thank to all for the tips and continued encouragement!

       

      Eric

    • August 29, 2019 4:09 PM EDT
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      David Marconi,FOGCH said:
      David Maynard said:

      I just use the backside of an xacto or utility knife blade.

      Yep I used to do that. There is a reason for some specialty tools But some will never see the light

      So I am myopic...that's why they make glasses.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

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