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  • Topic: Challenge Accepted - Large Scale Fantasy Locomotive

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    • November 11, 2018 5:54 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Yes, that first thing looks to be a single stage air brake compressor. Yes, it would be nice to have, if the engineer wants to stop the train eventually.

       

      That last thing, looking like a torpedo, would be a turbine electric generator, for lighting the headlight, class lights (if any) and powering any other electrics on the thing.

       

      The stack should be straight, it will draft better that way.

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

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

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 11, 2018 9:25 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      David.

       

      Copy all.  I am assuming whatever I use to replace the long absent air compressor pretty much has to go where the old one used to be.  Likewise, I know to considerably more careful near the generator before filing away any "flash."

       

      Eric

    • November 12, 2018 9:23 AM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      I doubt if the cane cars had air brakes, hand brakes maybe.

      My Dad took 16mm movies of the cane cutting in 1950-52, researching brought them back to my mind.... thanks.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • November 12, 2018 3:59 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Yea, many smaller operations didn't bother with automatic brakes. So omitting the compressor and keeping the trains short, and the speeds slow, one could replicate one of those lines.

       

      Actually, many time appliances (like compressors) were hung where the shop crew felt like hanging them, and at the next overhaul the same appliance might be hung in a different location.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

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

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 12, 2018 8:46 PM EST
      • Defending the State of Exile! ,
         
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      Thinking I may possibly have and LGB air compressor.   I agree that Cane RR's would not have had most of what is listed. For that matter would they even have had a bell or a headlight ( light moving at night I can understand) but a bell for what?

       

      Only asking and learning from this thread myself!

      This post was edited by " Rooster " at November 13, 2018 8:15 AM EST
    • November 15, 2018 3:00 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      "Rooster,"

      Most of the photos I have show both bell and lights.  Bells appear universal, with some perched atop the sand domes and others perched between sand and steam domes.  Lights appear more common than not, with many on platforms bolted just forward of the stack and jutting out over the firebox door. About a third of the photos show what looks like a little generator based on comparing the photos with my models.  These seem to run perpendicular to centerline along the top of the boiler wherever they could fit (I think mine will stay put.). The air compressor issue is tougher...The Oahu Rail & Land (OR&L) was a common carrier, 3 ft gage line and is serving as my "strategic guide" as the Triple O evolves. OR&L locos, even the old ones, were kept up to date and in fighting trim until the end.  Photos clearly show they had compressors.  The plantation locos on Oahu are a bit more ambiguous.  The can cars seem to have no brakes at all, so my inclination is to go with "not needed."  Still, one saddle tanker looks like she has an air cylinder forward of her saddle on the starboard side.  Another larger plantation loco looks like it might have air hoses.  Finally, a picture of an Oahu Sugar Co. saddle tanker pulling live ammo during WWII suggests something a bit better than hand brakes!  I am guessing that larger plantations MAY have had one or two locos fitted with compressors for special loads and / or occasional runs on the OR&L's mainline as leased motive power.

      Given the above and the comments that preceded:

      1. Keep the generator.

      2. Add a bell above the sand dome or between the steam dome and the stack, whatever fits.

      3. Figure out a way to mount a light forward of the stack.

      4. Punt on the compressor.  The resurrected loco will never pull trains longer than 4x HLW minis (A buddy has a neat way to convert these into proper cane cars!). Photographic evidence of plantation locos on Oahu pulling on or two 40' cars exists, albeit in private service, and that photo showed no compressor.

           In reviewing my sources, I thought folks would be interested to know that geared locos, albeit Shays, ran out here.  The OR&L had two, but they fell out of favor with the crews and were decommissioned.  Two others came to help build a large water transfer project on Oahu, one of which ended up on a private pineapple plantation.  

          On a practical note, the X-acto knife came out tonight to attack a line of flash along the centerline.  Flash is subdued, but gouges are added.  It has been a while...I will get some 120 grit sand paper and cleat it all up. Oh, the girls deemed the "eyebrows" cute.  They stay.

          I also took a hard look at the stack.  A thick wad of glue holds it in place.  The crack runs around the base, but across about 30 degrees of arc, includes the collar that would presumably hold the real stack in place. Should I try to carefully cut this glue seal and then smooth stack and interior with sandpaper?  Or should I try to dissolve it?  I remember that glue and LGB plastic are not always friendly mixes, and I am wondering if I should find an alternate means to reaffix the stack.  Perhaps a dowel that drops through the firebox into small block of wood with hole in it?

         I have to review that thread about painting LGB, but before I put paint to loco, I have to worry through the couplers.  The after coupler is gone.  No worry there!  The forward coupler is part of the lower hull.  Part of my wants to cut it off to install a wooden bumper like most of the photos have, then mount a new coupler to that.  I have to hide an unsightly seem, anyway.  The other part says, "Don't mess with what works."  I am leaning that direction.

         Finally, should I get new wheels?  These are plastic.  They work.  I have to figure out a way to tap out the axel.   If there is no operational reason to upgrade the wheels, I'd prefer to save the money.  I would imagine after some paint they should look OK.

         OK, slow build, but I appreciate your patience and pointers.  Should go a long way to making this project not only functional but credible!

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

       

       

    • November 15, 2018 5:31 AM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Ok;

      IF your railroad is a common carrier, THEN its subject to the railroad safety appliance act (enacted 1893), THEREFORE the railroad equipment has to be outfitted with air brakes and automatic couplers.

      If the railroad's equipment is interchanged with other railroads, then its equipment has to comply with the act.

      If the railroad is not a common carrier, and the equipment isn't interchanged with another railroad, then these laws do not apply. That is why we see extraction railroads (usually logging railroads) running with link and pin couplers, no air brakes and archbar trucks in the 40's 50's and later.

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      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

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

      and King Butt Modeler

    • November 15, 2018 10:15 AM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Next time you tackle flash, try using the back edge of the #11 blade, you can scrape vs gouging. Give it a try...

      This post was edited by John Caughey at November 16, 2018 12:41 AM EST
      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • November 16, 2018 1:05 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      David,

      Thanks.  That really helps explains the variety in the photos I studied, and it informs the direction this project goes.   We have two loops.  In theory, the outer loop is the common carrier (The OR&L) and the inner loop the industrial (plantation) railroad.  In practice, at this stage of the game, no one at home here really cares besides me.  As my long term goal is to move towards a specifically Hawaii / OR&L inspired railroad, I am leaning towards the more stripped-down plantation variant, especially as I have the functional M2075, anyway, that could, in time, be the railroad safety appliance act compliant variant.  Let me mull it over.

       

      John,

      Great tip!  There will be other projects!

       

      Eric

    • November 20, 2018 2:59 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

      Flash (and gouges) sanded off as well as a few glue blobs.  I picked around the glue blob holding the stack in place, but I may try to dissolve it with MEK.  I found a hole left where a latch held the boiler to the lower hull used to be; I'll have to back this with styrene, fill it, and sand it smooth.  I'll get the supplies after I get the stack off and worry over re-mounting it.  

      In reviewing the hull, I have decided:

      1. Leave off the compressor in keeping with the plantation salvage project theme. 
      2. Add lids to the top of the saddle tanks.  I was thinking of a simple styrene ovals, some sort of simulated hinges, and small wire handles.
      3. Leave the forward coupler loop in place, rather than cut it off and try to remount it.  I played around with some wood bits, and I should be able to glue these over the loop to give the old fellow the wooden bumpers that are more or less universal on the photos without interfering with operations.

      The after coupler gave me pause.  My original plan was to build a hook-and-loop into wooden end beams, then mount that to the hull.  As I thought about, though, I doubt that glue would hold it in place, and I really doubt the efficacy of using my handheld drill to bore through everything to hold in place with bolts.  I used some brass strip and small nuts and bolts to fashion a simple loop for my kids' version of this same loco, but that, while functional, was a bearcat to shape and to mount.  I am going to see if the hardware store has a small handle from the cabinetry section might work.  Failing that, my thought is to cut a hole in the hull, stick the tongue of LGB coupler into the hole, and secure that with a screw to a chunk of wood epoxied into place.  I cannot explore that option, though, until I see how much room those motors will take up!

      Needless to say, with all this cutting, patching, and gluing likely, I held off on the paint job.

      Sorry this is an incremental thing.  "Rooster" warned this would be more than slapping on some detail parts.  I had no idea how much more it would be!

      Thanks for you patience and ideas!

      Eric

    • November 24, 2018 4:14 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      We crossed the modeling Rubicon...Little Thomas is in parts, most of which are soaking in water right now to loosen 40+ years of dirt and grime.  Oldest Daughter lent to to break him up and clean him up.  

      To be frank, I came close to pulling the plug on the project beyond repowering the old fellow; I even considered applying the yet-to-be-received motors for something else.  Kid-zilla enjoyed him as was, which seemed like a good rationale for modeling cowardice.  

      There is no turning back now with the old loco in parts...The former Triple O Little Thomas is coming back as the M&K Sugar Co.'s geared workhorse Komaka'iki.

       

      Pictorial proof to follow, hopefully Sunday.  I am also still worrying over how to mount the after coupler, and those photos might better illustrate the issue.

      Have a great weekend!

       

      Eric

    • November 26, 2018 12:59 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      OK, as promised, photographic proof of progress...

      Oldest Daughter and I turned-to with MEK, X-acto knives, and fine sand paper to clean Little Thomas.  We gave Kid-zilla a piece of sandpaper so he could feel involved:

      The MEK had to dissolve multiple repair attempts on that stack, and I was really shocked to see some of the deformations left by trying to use solvent-based cements those many years ago!  The net result was that we can now place the stack in a vertical position...

      ...and the old boy is now in parts (the loco, not me):

      Clearly, there is some work with a brush and soapy water ahead of me / us!  I will try to stack my hours, too, to get to the hobby shop for that styrene to make the water tank fill lids and putty to patch some of the holes in the "bow" and around the soon-to-be-reattached stack.  That leads me to my questions...

      First and foremost, what glue should I use?   Our forensics over the weekend suggest multiple types had been used and failed over the previous decades.

      Secondly, I am considering just abandoning the brass bus bars in place against unforeseen future need.  They sit on a plastic post with a head larger than their holes.  They would be easy to replace, but harder to reaffix should, for some reason, I need them.  Thoughts?  Go or stay on these things?

      Finally, the after coupler confounds me...When I repaired the kids' Christmas Thomas, the end result looked like this:

      Unattractive but functional.  Differences in design between 1976 and 2016, however, mean that I don't have the interior room to use this solution on the current project.  That same lack of interior space precludes boring a hold to mount an LGB hook and loop, and, as the following photo shows, some sort of exterior mount seems...awkward...

      I have scoured the stripped chassis of a busted Big Hauler for salvageable parts and answers, but no joy.  My perusal of the cabinetry section at the hardware store was equally fruitless.  I am thinking an "L" oriented downward like the coupling hook on my LGB mogul may be the best solution, even if it precludes easy coupling / uncoupling.

      The dog is giving me stink eye...Time to go!

       

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

       

    • December 5, 2018 8:08 PM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

       

      Motors, gearboxes, and charging cable are in!  I'll get them on Friday along with the glue, styrene to make filling ports and to fill holes, and plastice filler I need elsewhere on the body. I'll also get some brass paint for visible handwheels and the relief valve, some flat black for the washes, and something else for the boiler bands (just to break up the monotony).  Bill suggested a way to make a coupler, and I am going with it.  I'll use piano wire or something close and drill holes in the right spot of the hull.  To stabilize the coupler, I will also drill holes into what will become the wooden endbeam. Then I can insert the wire through the timber and hull, make an eyelet to hold it in place, bend it to shape, repeat on the other side, and, hopefully, have a functioning loop coupler.

      After that, I can prime the whole thing then dicker with the wiring to get it all moving before giving the old boy a nice coat of charcoal black.

      Progress will be a bit spotty as Christmas approaches, but the critical parts are starting to come together!

      Pictures to come as parts and pieces start to transform this hulk into a locomotive.

       

      Aloha,

      Eric

       

    • December 10, 2018 2:57 AM EST
      • Kailua, HI
         
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      Update:

      All bits are on hand.  The little motors and gear boxes will fit into the lower hull (rightmost red thing in the picture two posts up), though I will have to grind out the plastic that held the old gears ("up" in the picture) and those two little posts ("down" in the picture) as well as the tubes into which they mate in the upper part of the hull (the red thing in the center).  Also, the motor mount has holes for machine screws, but these are in "ears" that extend outward from the mount.  I will have to bend these 180 degrees to get them to fit.  I'll try to get a photo up this week.

      Progress will slow as we move closer to Christmas, but progress there will be.  I have to source wiring and / or connectors that will attach to the little tabs on the motors before I can even think about wiring anything else together.  This means I may as well prime and paint everything as time permits.

      Have a great week!

       

      Eric

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