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A tribute to Bill Schopp
 Moderated by: W C Greene
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 Posted: Tue Jan 28th, 2014 02:43 pm
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W C Greene
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Here's something that most old timers may remember (or not!). In the 1950's and 60's, Mr. Bill Schopp was a regular in the pages of RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN with his layout advice, electrical tips, and my favorite-destroying brass locos and turning them into real gems. Of course, back then a nice (but probably horrid running) brass HO loco was anywhere from $9.95 for a Ken Kidder Mudhen to maybe $39.95 for a nice PFM AT&SF 2-8-0. If you had the bucks to spend then you could be in the game. Mr. Schopp would take those brass locos and reduce them to parts and then start over using his soldering iron, pliers, tin snips, and whatever he had that would spindle, fold, and mutilate brass. He created some of the coolest locos anyone had ever seen...locos that were unavailable anywhere else and would probably never interest a brass loco importer. Once, he took some HO Shays and made a large 3 trucker, a bigger 4 trucker, and a Hall Scott railcar with a Shay drive. Simply amazing.

To get to the crux of this biscuit, I will try to do something that I learned so long ago from Mr. Schopp-DON'T BE AFRAID to try "anything". And this thread will show the ups & downs of kitbashing or partsmingling, or outright desecration of a nice model.




Some years back, my late friend Muj (Bill Caldwell) gave me this little HOn3 FED 4-4-0 which he had bought and then didn't want...I get hand me downs all the time. This loco ran (sorta) and was all there. I kept it in it's box on the shelf and it became just another thing that I didn't need or really want...until yesterday. Some may know about my little Gila Tramway layout (micros/minis) here on Freerails. I decided to build an extention that would attach to the layout and give me (1) something to do indoors (2) a longer run for the GT (3) I am insane. I have parts for 3 more HOn3 Shays like I used on the On20 layout but happened to think "what the hell". I decided to use this old and forgotten FED loco as the basis for a 20" gauge (O scale) 0-4-4 lokie similar to those used in Clifton, AZ on the Coronado RR. HOn3 gauge scales out around 20" in O scale so this would work. The drivers are a nice size, better than trying to make an N scale loco into HOn3/On20 with way undersize wheels. And like I stated...I am insane (my ops buddy Mopman believes so).

I will be posting photos of the modifications, if you are squeamish about seeing brass locos torn apart then read no further...but if you remember Bill Schopp then watch what happens.

                   Woodie



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 Posted: Tue Jan 28th, 2014 03:05 pm
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Yes Woodie, you are insane ...

... but nicely so, in a good way.

Si.

RTR is not a Texan term !

Luvin' it



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 Posted: Tue Jan 28th, 2014 04:09 pm
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W C Greene
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OK here we go! I spent the morning tearing this little model apart and grinding away parts and breaking off "detail" with pliers. Once I got started, I knew that I would have to proceed or I would just have a box of screwed up parts.

And now, for your perusal, the locomotive as it is today:




And here's one with a 1:48 figure for size comparison:


The tender frame has been cut apart to form the bunker and cab support, more brass pieces will be added to make this all come out OK. The rear truck may or may not be what is shown, I have a box full of neat HOn3 trucks...I just have to find that box. As can be seen, the cylinders were moved back which caused new main rods to be built. I used the original crossheads and put new rods from some unknown HO loco on them. The rods will be attached to the rear driver. The front end has been cut off and a new pilot will be fabricated. The superstructure has the HO cab removed as well as running boards and some other things. A longer slot was cut in the bottom of the boiler so it would fit down as before but moved backward to line up the smokebox with the cylinders. I'm still thinking about the domes...maybe keep them? Onward.




Here are the main rods and an original rod shown for comparison. I am indeed lucky to have "tons" of old brass loco parts since I used to do custom work and repairs and now have plenty of "leftovers".

When I continue, the drive train will be dealt with as well as the rear platform/cab area. Now, if I can just find that box of old motors...Hmmmmm



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 Posted: Tue Jan 28th, 2014 04:39 pm
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Alwin
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Hey Woodie,

May I ask what kind of tools you use when you work with brass? I made some things of brass and like the material but I have only very basic tools. The most advanced one is a mini-drilling machine (dremel) for drilling holes. I like to know what the more experienced brass user use.

Btw, interesting project, something to follow.

Alwin

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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 12:54 am
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Ray Dunakin
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Very interesting project!



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 02:44 am
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A well done tribute to Bill - I read everything I could get my hands on from him when I was a youngster. Even led me to buy a K.K. H0n3 'Mudhen' ( was a lot o' money these days in German Deutschmarks ) directly from the states, just to try his bashing methods on.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 07:36 am
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Bernd
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Woodie,

Have been going through my old RMC's (1960's to now). He did do a lot of bashing of brass. I recall reading about those bashes you mentioned. I was always fascinated by what he accomplished and amazed to.

I have a Ken Kidder 2-6-0 standard gauge engine that is going to be up dated some day. There was an article back in MR on there railroad they were building called the Communipaw (SP?) Railroad. They showed how to up date a Ken Kidder 2-6-0.

Someday!L:

Bernd



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 09:20 am
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Helmut
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@Bernd
That was the "Portage Hill&Communipaw RR" by Don Reschenberg. He wrote about its construction by citing articles of the "Portage Hill Clarion" or the "Communipaw Gazette". A lot of humour in these. Falls in line with that RR made by the buildings wizard IIRC E.M. Moore(?)



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 11:42 am
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W C Greene
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Bernd, I had one of those also..."Porter Mogul" it was called, I believe it was one of my first brass locos. Those were/are nice little locos. FED (NWSL) imported the model I am using and a 2-6-0 both HOn3, I am not sure whether they did standard gauge versions of them. I thought long and hard about using this engine but decided that I could have something I would operate on a layout I already had and enjoy the bashing or just keep the loco in it's box on a dusty shelf for Pam to discover someday and have to worry with. Well, that's my rationale at the moment.
And E L Moore was one of my very favorite structure builders who used balsa and cardstock and thumbed his nose at the "pickers" of the time.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 11:43 am
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W C Greene
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Alwin, I will show the high tech tools I use as soon as I get government clearance...well, photos..



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 12:01 pm
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Bernd
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Helmut wrote: @Bernd
That was the "Portage Hill&Communipaw RR" by Don Reschenberg. He wrote about its construction by citing articles of the "Portage Hill Clarion" or the "Communipaw Gazette". A lot of humour in these. Falls in line with that RR made by the buildings wizard IIRC E.M. Moore(?)


Yes, that's the one. I think I have about half to three quarters of the articles. Thanks for straitening me out on that one.

Bernd



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 12:07 pm
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Bernd
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W C Greene wrote: Bernd, I had one of those also..."Porter Mogul" it was called, I believe it was one of my first brass locos. Those were/are nice little locos. FED (NWSL) imported the model I am using and a 2-6-0 both HOn3, I am not sure whether they did standard gauge versions of them.


Nope, mine was is a Ken Kidder. I almost got a narrow gauge one off of e-bay, but got out bid. This one runs pretty good with the motor is has in it, although a bit to fast. Thinking of putting a motor in the tender with some gearing to slow it down.


And E L Moore was one of my very favorite structure builders who used balsa and cardstock and thumbed his nose at the "pickers" of the time.


Built a few of his structures way back when. I'm not sure if I still have one or two of those yet. Plan on building a few once I get the layout going.

Bernd



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 12:25 pm
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W C Greene
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Bernd, yes, my mogul was a Kidder...the ones I am messing with are much later vintage...70's or so. I believe Balboa imported the same mogul which was painted. I have seen them from time to time on fleabay and at train shows. They are great locos to have and use.

Alwin wanted to see what type of tools I use for messing with brass locos (messing up brass locos), so here dey is:




Nothing special but the old guys didn't have moto tools...although I have one of Muj's which is from the 1950's and has a brown Bakelite case and still works. I had to "clean" an area to show these "tools" and there are probably more I use but that's all I could put my hands on at the time.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 03:59 pm
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Bernd
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Don't want to hi-jack your thread Woodie, but I just had to show you that my work bench is messier than yours. :bg: ;)



Ok, now lets see how you're going to do a brass-bash. :2t:

Bernd



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 04:26 pm
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Alwin
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Thanks for showing Woodie. I was wondering if you use a lathe and / or a milling machine but the picture says it all.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 05:41 pm
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Helmut
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That brings back memories of that brass loco masterbuilder of the 50's ( often featured in MR ) who used simple tools plus a hand drill clamped horizontally to turn the brass fittings he needed, freehanded.
Can't dig up his name- it was not Carl Traub, but earlier. Any recollections?
P.S. When getting older, memory becomes a bit slow - I take the liberty of answering my own question: Mel E. Thornburgh

Last edited on Wed Jan 29th, 2014 06:03 pm by Helmut



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 09:01 pm
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Herb Kephart
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I became a Schopp fan before he started loco bashing--in fact i was rather upset that he was no longer scratch building trolleys, and writing articles about them. In '48 he wrote a chronicle of his railroad modeling exploits- titled "Memoirs of a Former Model railroader" in which in four consecutive parts he told how he started with English outside third rail HO, and ended building an ever expanding traction empire. His job at the time as a Junior High School English teacher was weighing heavily on him, and one day after neglecting the latest iteration of the layout for some time, he decided to get back to work on it--only to say the h**l with it after an hour or so, and decided to quit modeling. and teaching. He went to watch repair school and used that, plus the income that Craftsman paid him for writing the long running "Layout Doctor" series to support his family. He did do at least three layouts after his "retirement"--one for Pennsylvania Scale Models to showcase their new line of diecast HO trolleys, another (non trolley) for Craftsman to use in at least one trade show, and a third--his last trolley one-- for himself, that he was just finishing up the last time i visited him. This one was inspired by a layout that he designed and was published before construction (and perhaps before even the idea of of actually building it) occurred. It was about that time that the brass bashing began. He also did layout designing for clients, before John Armstrong became famous for doing so.



Herb



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 Posted: Wed Jan 29th, 2014 09:23 pm
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John Page?. Jose.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 30th, 2014 12:34 am
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W C Greene
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Jose, in a 1950 or so MR, editor John Page had a piece about the future of model railroading...he believed that one day model trains would be run by...RADIO CONTROL! But then like the "future" of 1960 when we would all have jet packs and be living on Mars, it didn't happen. And some fellows would not like for it to happen today! Just how do I know this?

And Bernd, I just showed a small portion of my workbench...I have a whole room full of "stuff"...I will send a photo of that soon.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 30th, 2014 04:18 am
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W C Greene wrote: Jose, in a 1950 or so MR, editor John Page had a piece about the future of model railroading...he believed that one day model trains would be run by...RADIO CONTROL! But then like the "future" of 1960 when we would all have jet packs and be living on Mars, it didn't happen. Didn't happen... yet. I recall also when SSF lighting was "in" somebody complained about Model Railroad Electronics. All the James Bond gadgets are old news. Mind-controlled layouts are coming also (taking bets, just mail them to me). Jose.



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 Posted: Thu Jan 30th, 2014 09:11 am
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Bernd
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Woodie wrote:

And Bernd, I just showed a small portion of my workbench...I have a whole room full of "stuff"...I will send a photo of that soon.

 

I feel a challenge coming on. I'll do the same, but then it's on with the brass-bash. :2t:

Bernd



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 Posted: Thu Jan 30th, 2014 11:14 am
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Hello all: Helmut was looking for Mel thornborogh (SP?) who built several brass models with soldering iron and a hand operated drill held in a vice as a lathe with files as the "cutters". Did both ho and O but primarily B & O prototypes.
Talk soon
Dick w

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 Posted: Sat Feb 1st, 2014 11:46 pm
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W C Greene
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It don't look like much but here she is...so far:




The larger steam dome replaced the small sand dome and a new steam "dome" is attached. This dome will be inside the "plantation" style cab and the whistle will protrude (whatta word) through the cab roof like the real little 20" lokies. The drivers have a pickup installed and I found a great old "flat" can motor which runs the lokie nicely. I will still make pickups for the trailing truck wheels to help with contact. Next will be a new smokestack and other appliances as well as the cab & bunker & front pilot beam. Little #2 has made many trips around the Gila Tram so far and seems to run better each lap. I will be cutting brass, making rivets, and soldering for a bit...hoping that Mr. Schopp is up there watching.



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 Posted: Sun Feb 2nd, 2014 01:21 pm
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Pickups ... help with contact ... what's all this ? ( wink )

Lookin' good Woodie.

I forgot, The Gila Tram actualy has WIREING ! ...

... now there's a novelty.

All the best.

Cheers

Si.

P.S. My Pops prefered clockwork !



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 Posted: Sun Feb 2nd, 2014 01:54 pm
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Yes, Si...there is wiring! And this wiring is (to me) like working on detailing a flea. Here's what I mean:




This teeny, tiny On20 (HOn3) truck has been fitted with .008 phosper bronze pickups soldered to infintesimal (?) bits of brass along with some very tiny and flexible wire and those are mounted on bits of paper (insulation) on top of the bolster. As can be seen, the mounting hole has been elongated so the little rascal can go around a curve...any curve. And the pickups can't touch anything underneath the frame, and they have to freely swing and swivel, and I may start drinking again! The single edge razor blade is shown for a size comparison, handy for when I want to do some work on my wrists.

With all this done, the little 0-4-4 runs like a top and doesn't stall on bits of dirt or just because it wants to. Now I can concentrate on the superstructure. And you wonder why I love wireless-ness.

     Good God, Gertrude!!!



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 Posted: Sun Feb 2nd, 2014 08:59 pm
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W C Greene
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No stooper bowl for me (Dallas ain't playing) so it has been a rainy & cold Sunday filled with the smell of solder flux and brass filings.




"Rascal" is nearing completion, I have been a busy boy today without Pam or Barb to interfere with my fun. Open cab, bunker, and some other things have been fabricated. The bell comes from a Bachmann On30 Porter, the stack is an ancient Kemtron job (now PSC), and I made the little whistle myself. I know that pickers may howl at the rivets but I would like to see their work if they do. Still coming are wood running boards, more stuff on the front & rear end beams, and other odds & ends (junk). The tiny 7 ton lokie is shown behind GT's 12 ton #4 Shay and will be a useful addition to the tramway. And of course, she will be painted up...maybe a red boiler or some such craziness. I will consult the ladies on this, hopefully they won't advise a pink color. Hmmm, that might be cool anyway.....

More coming but it's time to settle down for the evening.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 12:00 am
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Ray Dunakin
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That's turning out great! Makes me want to build one.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 11:27 am
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Hi woodie

It's surprizing how a bit of tinkering with pick's can make a cr!!p running loco into one of your favourite loco's

Looking good, like the cab.



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 11:35 am
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Nice work Mr. Micro-pickup !

The locy looks to be a real peach.

Nice pic of the Tram.

All the best.

Cheers.

Si.

P.S. Why is there a cactus growing in the back of the Shay ?



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 01:38 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Woodie

You continue to amaze even old blase Herbert.

Love the rear truck treatment. Put the coupler pocket on a tab coming off the rear of the truck to keep it more central on curves?

OOps! forgot that then it would be the detested, non working, unsanitary, infidelic (is that a word?) TALGO COUPLER (thunder sounds in distance)

Herbie



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 02:09 pm
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W C Greene
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Herbie-no taglio, talgo, mf coupler thing. Just a l&p pocket and long link and she will be fine. I am really happy with how slow and well she runs. Just a bit more crap and she's in the paint shop. The ladies like this Humbrol maroon color for the boiler, so black & maroon it is. Isn't that some damn football team's colors? Well, feed em' fish!

And yes, the saguaro cactus is used as extra fuel for the Shay. Hep. Uh huh. OK, Si?



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 Posted: Mon Feb 3rd, 2014 09:33 pm
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Bernd
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That fiddley truck mounted pickem up. I did two of them for a Mantua tender.



That's an 0-80 screw laying there and .008" phosphor bronze wire. So I know your pain Woodie.

Bernd



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 06:14 pm
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W C Greene
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Bernd-that too is fiddley...much fiddleness.

Today, I have some "paint" on Rascal. And will use the "lemons into lemonade" plan. When I put SolvaSet on the boiler band decals, the blue boiler paint bubbled, toiled, and troubled...so the finish will be "clean but well-used". Some "details" are needed but will be added but I thought that ya'll might want to see this little kettle in a "proper" setting. Her crew is taking a break but the passengers in the coach are waiting to get going again.







I know, I know...the paint is blistered but I will use it to my advantage, it kinda grows on me anyway. The smokestack is just set in place but she's almost done.

The saving grace is that this loco runs very, very well and will soon be hauling ore and tourists on the Gila Tram. I will send another photo or two when I get her all "dolled up" right.
PS-the cactus is growing out of the stack. Beat ya to it!



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 10:51 pm
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Ray Dunakin
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What kind of paint did you use on that?



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 Posted: Fri Feb 7th, 2014 11:29 pm
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W C Greene
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Humbrol...but it has settled down nicely now...can't imagine what was the deal! Oh well, sometimes s#@$% happens.



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 Posted: Sat Feb 8th, 2014 08:26 am
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Bernd
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Turned out real nice Woodie.

Bernd



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 Posted: Sat Feb 8th, 2014 08:43 am
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Herb Kephart
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Oh boy--

A boiler with blisters showing--did you hydro test it?

Cool little lokie, pardener!

Herbie



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 Posted: Sun Feb 9th, 2014 04:52 pm
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Si.
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Looks great Woodie !

I thought they might be trying to make 'Tequila on the move ', with that cactus in the Shay's fuel bunk !!!

Now the cactus is growing out of the stack in the new cool little lokie !

What ever next ?

Top Texan stuff ! ... The Wood, is for good !

All the best.

Cheers.

Si.



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' Mysterious Moose Mountain ' - 1:35n2 - pt.II
http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7318&forum_id=17&page=1

' M:R:W Motor Speedway !!! ' - 1:32 Slotcar Racing Layout
http://www.slotforum.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=59295&st=0&a
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 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2014 02:52 pm
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W C Greene
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Here are probably the last photos in this here thread. #2 is just about done (I am also) just some junk & hoses to add, bell & whistle ropes, plus some mo' better weathering. She's now at work on the Gila Tram and is running quite well.




I changed the trailing truck and it's mounting bracket...she has a "swing arm" bolster now and can manage the sharp curves nicely.




The first car needs this long link because even with the new truck arrangement, her sweet behind sticks out a bit. As Pam would say-"he likes a little junk in the trunk!"

So, I hope ya'll have enjoyed this piece, I have enjoyed telling you about #2, "Rascal"...named for someone I love.



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2014 03:41 pm
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Alwin
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Looks great! Compared with the original loco in the first post, what a difference :shocked:! In a positive sense.

Alwin

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 Posted: Wed Feb 26th, 2014 10:44 pm
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Scott Maze
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/Users/scottmaze/Desktop/McKeen front left view.jpg

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 Posted: Wed Feb 26th, 2014 11:21 pm
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Scott Maze
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I was a great fan of Bill Schopp in his heyday and I'm still building one of his models, a one-off switcher by McKeen that was probably the last loco they ever built. His article "Gasolene" Switching Locomotive appeared in the April 1951 RMC, when I had just turned eleven years old. Even then, I did have some experience modeling and I tried my hand at building it. No luck--I couldn't get the drivetrain to work and stuffing even a DC-60 into that little body was nigh impossible, especially for an eleven year old.

Many years passed, along with puberty, school, career, marriage and there I was, back in the hobby and ready to try again; that little loco still had me by the short and curlies, as my British friends say. So in 1986 or so, I built another HO version of the loco, all in brass. That one came out right, won Best of Show at the PCR Convention and it's Class at the NMRA National Convention, although it never ran very well and has been retired to display status.

More years went by and I drifted into On30. Still, that loco haunted me, so back I went for more punishment, scaling the drawings up from HO scale until they looked about right for On30, building this one out of styrene, chassis and all, and basing it on a Bachmann gas-mechanical mechanism with sound from an RGS Goose.

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 Posted: Thu Feb 27th, 2014 01:18 am
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Scott Maze
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Here's a photo of that McKeen ( I have some construction photos if anyone is interested):

http://www.freerails.com/gallery/5577/5577_262256_060000000.jpg

Oh, and I'm thinking about maybe doing one more McKeen...

Cheers,

Scott

Last edited on Thu Feb 27th, 2014 01:27 am by Scott Maze

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 Posted: Thu Feb 27th, 2014 10:14 am
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Herb Kephart
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One of my favorites also, once I saw the article way back then.

Have threatened for the last 15 years to do one in Ow60, got as far as finding spoked wheels the right size--so long ago that I've forgot where. (two days qualifys for that)

Nice job!

Herb




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 Posted: Fri Feb 28th, 2014 01:19 am
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Scott Maze
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Herb,
Try Alan Gibson Workshop for spoked wheels:

http://www.alangibsonworkshop.com

Cheers,

Scott

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