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Atlas N Scale Shay - Bash - to HOn30
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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 04:58 am
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Bill Fornshell
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Atlas N Scale Shay - Bash - To HOn30 Shay

The Atlas N Scale Shay model had been out of stock for years, I am not sure how many years, but one day Train World listed them as a “pre-order”.  I pre-ordered 7 and the wait began, a long wait.  This was sometime in early 2015 I believe.  In Dec 2015 Atlas told me they were on the water. Another wait.  In February 2016 someone posted that they had received an Atlas N Scale Shay they had ordered from Train World.  I called right away to see why I had not received the ones I had on order.  I had order the unlettered version and it was not part of the first group shipped.  I changed that to any rail-line, I was going to dump the shell anyway.  Within a week I had the 7 models I had on pre-order.  

You may ask why 7, well if they sold out quick it might be forever before anymore were back in stock.  They did sell out and have now been out of stock for several months.

At first I had hopes that someone would do a Resin or 3D Printed conversion kit to convert in the N scale Shay to Ho30.  It never happened so I started collecting reference material about how others had convert this model to HOn30.  

Most the conversions I found used the stock 3-cylinder power plant but I wanted mine to be the 2-cylinder version.  This became my first challenge.  Over time I collected the parts I needed and started working.

It has been slow going but moving forward.  Within the last month I more or less finished all the major parts and got them put together.  Some of parts will not be glued or screwed together until the detail parts are attached.  Yesterday, I ordered a bunch of detail parts from Precision Scale Co and will get a can of Tamiya Semi Gloss Black paint from my local Train Shop today.  Like the early Ford cars you can have any color Shay you want as long as it is Black.

The digital camera I have been using is all but dead and I just got a very cheap point-n-shoot camera to try out.  It is a Nikon CoolPix A10 and for only $89.00 it is OK.  I can't say much about it yet but it seems very simple to use so maybe I will keep it.

These pictures were taken with it:





I am about to start Shay conversion #2 but with a couple improvements and will post pictures like a "how-to" as I built the new one.

I have a few pictures from the start of the first build that came out OK and will post them as I can dig them up.

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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 06:29 am
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Helmut
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Can't help it - but the background in your 2nd pic implies you might use them as cat's toys, eh?



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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 02:54 pm
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Ken C
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Bill
A good looking conversion for HOn3, looking forward to further progress photos. I do not model in HOn3 YET!, but do have a bit of HO for the future.



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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 05:22 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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Ken C wrote: Bill
A good looking conversion for HOn3, looking forward to further progress photos. I do not model in HOn3 YET!, but do have a bit of HO for the future.
Ken

This conversion is to HOn30, not HOn3.  HOn30 runs on 9mm track like N Scale track and HOn3 runs on 10.5mm track.  It is all 1/87 but HOn30 engines and rolling stock are normally about 10% smaller than regular HO or HOn3.

This picture shows the difference, the top Shay is HOn30 running on 9mm track, the middle Shay is HOn3 running on 10.5mm track and the bottom Shay is HO running on 16.5mm track.  All 3 Shay engines are built to 1/87 scale.


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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 06:23 pm
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slateworks
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Very neat Bill. More details of how you turned the 3 cylinder drive into 2 cylinder would be interesting. I model On30 these days (declining eyesight and dexterity preclude the past 009/Hon30!) but I've got a Shay that I rather roughly converted from the Atlas basics but only as far as the original drive, body and PSC parts would permit.


S73 by slateworks, on Flickr

It's always been a sweet runner and as a diversion, I might one day dismantle it and try for a 2 cylinder version so any info would be welcome.



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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 06:44 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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slateworks,

I would not mess with your Shay, it looks to nice.  I would do a second Shay if you want  2-cylinder version.

I am trying to start the second Shay conversion today.  When I get to the power plant I will show how I did the 2-cylinder version. 

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 Posted: Fri May 12th, 2017 10:21 pm
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slateworks
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Thanks Bill, I look forward to that.



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 Posted: Sat May 13th, 2017 01:29 am
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Bill Fornshell
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If you get your Atlas Shay model new run it awhile to break it in before you start working on your conversion. The model will come with a parts diagram.  The diagram is printed on a small piece of paper and you might want to enlarge it at least double.  You will need a very small blade type screw driver.  My screw drive set is steel and I have magnetized them all.  This makes controlling the small screws very easy.  The screws on the Atlas are also steel so they are easy to pickup and get them started coming out or going in. 

Study the diagram then turn the model upside down. You should see three screws on each end of the frame.  One holds the coupler and the other two hold the frame to the shell.

Look at the picture of top end of the frame below.  You can see two holes.  These help hold the coupler and will fall off when you remove the screws. 






Remove the screws from each end of the frame. the Cab and Fuel Bunker are one piece and are held to the frame by one screw. Remove this and









It is time to cut the boiler of the frame.  I have two saws, Heavy Duty and Whimpy.Heavy duty is a Tamiya Craft Tools Thin Blade Craft Saw.  My local train store got it for me from Walthers.  It works great.  If you look at the picture of th frame cut off the boiler you can see that one side has an open space on it.  You want to cut that side second.Cut the side without a break first and be careful not to stress the open space side any more then necessary.  Cut from one side across the nose and the do the side with the open area.  When you are finish doing this file or sand the top surface of the frame.  When cutting try not to cut into the frame.  If you use the space between the boiler and the walkway as a guide the saw blade should stay in that space.  Be careful.




This should keep you busy for a few minutes.








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 Posted: Sat May 13th, 2017 11:36 am
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slateworks
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Interesting process Bill. I took a different path with mine, leaving the boiler attached to the frame and extending the frame with styrene strip.


fig.4 by slateworks, on Flickr

The white areas show the additions, the green being the original Atlas part. Smokestack, headlamp, bell and generator were removed from the original.



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Updah Creek http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=7457&forum_id=4&page=1
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 Posted: Sat May 13th, 2017 12:01 pm
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Bill Fornshell
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I did something like that but used a one piece of styrene the goes all around the model execpt where the power plant sits.  This also shows two of my first ideas for a new larger boiler.  I tried several different ideas till I got to the one I decided I liked best.  The boiler is only large enough to clear the motor.  Shown with card stock Cab and Fuel Bunker.



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