Santa Fe 1800 Class

long ago when i posted my last brass rebuilt. This time i like to start a new thread about the rebuildung of an second hand NJ Custom Brass model of an AT&SF 1800 Class Prairie. This rebuilt was done some years earlier, but still yet not posted here.

[Image: dsc002791suy4.jpg]
Several years ago i won a ebay auction, not too expensive, but the model was in rather rough condition.

[Image: dsc00280grug7.jpg]
Some was bent.

[Image: dsc00281tau7z.jpg]

[Image: dsc00283tuufq.jpg]

[Image: dsc002982nz69.jpg]
There was heavy damage by the detoriating foam. Especially on the driver's side.

[Image: dsc00296aqxhx.jpg]
And as you can see, the finish was still pristine on those areas where the foam did not touch the surface. It would be better if the preowner has had wrapped his model into the provided plastic foil to avoid contact with the foam. Then the loco would be still in pristine condition.

@ Brass Owners:
Gentlemen please wrap your preciousities into plastic sheet when you intend to store them in their own boxes to avoid future damage by detoriating foam.

[Image: dsc00288dmuyg.jpg]
And even a bump on the tender side.

But i got what i had paid for and the damaged loco was clearly visible onto the photos connected to the auction.
Until now nothing was done, just as it was bought and unpacked.

[Image: dsc03131ouswp.jpg]
A preview when the loco was finished some years later.
Cheers Lutz
Wow!! nice results!! Beautiful!!
~~ Mikey KB3VBR (Admin)
~~ NARA Member # 75    
~~ Baldwin Eddystone Unofficial Website

~~ I wonder what that would look like in 1:20.3???
I agree with Mikey...BIG improvement!  Not all that surprising, though, as you always show us first class work!

I have a plastic loco that came in foam and the foam attacked the metal bits like wheels and handrails.

Looks like you managed to overcome it.
Moderato ma non troppo
Perth & Exeter Railway Company
Esquesing & Chinguacousy Radial Railway
In model railroading, there are between six and two hundred ways of performing a given task.
Most modellers can get two of them to work.

ngauger, Wayne and David. It was a lot of hard work to get this loco in this condition as posted on the last photo.

[Image: dsc00303fwlm8.jpg]
At first the task was to get rid of the remains of the detoriated foam. And to my luck acetone worked here. Very small rags of old cloth were soaked with acetone and the sticky remains of the foam attacked by rubbing them off. For hard to reach areas little rags were clipped on the tips of a tweezer. 

[Image: dsc003046fyam.jpg]
The corrosion spots were treated with rail cleaning rubber. But some dents were too deep to erase them. So filler primer has to do this work lateron.

[Image: dsc00305tuawt.jpg]
Several details were straigthened and partly resoldered. The moveable bell was soldered solid onto their chair due to experiences of the past.

[Image: dsc00306nhaob.jpg]
The bent pilot was straightened.

[Image: dsc00300llb32.jpg]

[Image: dsc0030139z2x.jpg]
A comparison between the 1480 Class Atlantic and the 1800 Clas Prairie. There is an earlier thread about the Atlantic in this forum.

[Image: dsc00310kepyi.jpg]
The first attempt to remotoring it quick and easy. The gears were just the same and because it worked flawless in the Atlantic why not give a try here?
Note the position of the lifting arms and expasion links to each other here. That would later cause concern in aspect of not running smooth.
Cheers Lutz

As the tender was the same as the one of the 1480 Class, the electrics, wipers and DCC installations were made just in the same manner:
Even the gearbox was the same and in the 1480 Atlantic it runs flawless, so i thought why not keep it?

[Image: dsc00316xwsjh.jpg]
The loco was reassembled, a simple decoder plugged in an let's try how she is running.

But ... Crazy
Nothing was working here like in the 1480 Atlantic. Icon_rolleyes 
- the motor has not the guts to power this loco properly
- the gearbox makes grinding sounds
- there is a bucking twice at each rotation of the driving wheels
A bad day.

Intensive trouble shooting was started the next day.
At first the too-small motor was exchanged. It's follower was an 1833 Mashima motor with 5-pole skew wound armature. More power, but gearbox more than ever the was screaming and the bucking was still there.

[Image: dsc00291vnuwd.jpg]

The first task was to eliminate the bucking. This photo shows the initial state. To ease understanding what i mean:
Have a closer look at the expansion link on the photo. In it's most rearward position it collides with the link rod between the lifting arm and the radius rod. Either it snaps over the link rod or it jams into it. Both actions caused the mechanism to run in a bucking manner. And as the same is the case on the other side of the loco, there is a twice bucking each revolution.

[Image: dsc00484oxrro.jpg]
So I removed the rivets on the lifting levers, so they can be repositioned a little away from the radius rod. That relaxed the situation and the loco began to run evenly. A piece of brass rectangular profile was soldered onto the gear supporter on each side to create new mounting points for the lifting levers.

Next was to make a little bit of more detailing.
Three of Santa Fe's 1800 class loco were saved and are still existing. Here are some photos which showing a "dangerous" level of details:
Dangerous because you will discover a lot more details which the prototype has and the model didn't.
The question is: What you can replicate to upgrade your model in a realistic manner of the given possibilities and in realistic judging of your own skills?

[Image: dsc004893urfg.jpg]

[Image: dsc00485v1ob1.jpg]
I tried this:
- the footsteps under the crossheads were made new out of brass profile and elongated till the ends of the crosshead guides.
- the upper crosshead guides were extended according to the prototype photos
- there were made connections between the crosshead guides and the valve gear supporter

[Image: dsc0048662p4x.jpg]
- there were made links between the lowest steps of the ladders an the new footboards to create a more stiff and not so delicate structure
- the link between valve gear supporter and was placed between main rod and eccentric rod as per prototype
There are some more structural complements, but in aspects of what will be really visible when the loco is painted and running on the layout, I decided not to aspire to 150% perfection. Instead app. 95% here will be still an excellent result. Otherwise you'd have to rebuild the loco from scratch onward.

The growling gearbox was replaced by an NWSL 1:28 one. Now she is running as smooth as I like.
Cheers Lutz
Very nicely-done upgrades, Lutz, both with the mechanical improvements and the additional detail work. Thumbsup Thumbsup


At least the loco gave up for cramping onto exercising of Murphy's Laws. Big Grin

[Image: dsc01556a7zyf.jpg]
Next step was demounting the whole loco as preparation for painting. Here a photo to show the filigree of the framework before painting.
Also the new Mashima can motor can be seen. I simply glued it onto the rear end of the frame.

[Image: dsc01558psytq.jpg]
The painting of the running gears was simultaneously done with the #1488 Atlantic.
In an agreement with my preferred loco painter, i paint the complete running gear (main frame, trucks, wheels, rods, tender chassis etc.) my self by hand brushing. There are a lot of labyrinthine areas where an airbrush have not real advantages over an hand brush. Besides my painter has a little balking of disassembling and later reassembling steam locomotive running gears.

[Image: dsc01560lxpte.jpg]
The painted main frame and valve gear (upside down).

[Image: dsc0156135p0g.jpg]
The loco then was complete reassembled. Wheel rims and flanges were cleaned and the valve gear was made moveable again after painting.
Here the new torque lever can be seen. It is adjustable to control the inclination of the gear box.

Afterwards both locos were thoroughly packed and forwarded to Dresden where my painter lives.
Cheers Lutz

several weeks later the painted loco came back:

[Image: dsc01916ljuw2.jpg]

As the Prairie #1825 was contigued with the Atlantic #1488, both engines got the same treatments:
[Image: dsc019174ju04.jpg]
Both tenders were just the same, also both got enhanced pick up wipers from all eight wheels.

[Image: dsc0191806uog.jpg]

Both got the double jumbo speakers mounted.

[Image: dsc01919l0us2.jpg]
Both were fitted with my favorite brand of sound decoders.

And thanks to JMRI Decoder Pro i had only once to elaborate perfect decoder adjustments. JMRI is a really great device for helping you to do so. No hassle with singular CV regulating to manage the decoder to act like you want. Instead plaintext and simply clickable settings.
And the best one of the features of JMRI, you can simply paste and copy the elaborated decoder settings to another decoder. So here in this case, i elaborated the Atlantic  #1488 first and copied it into the decoder of the Prairie #1825. At least only minor adjustments were to made like chuff rate per rpm or a slightly different whistle tone.
Cheers Lutz

[Image: dsc01920fsu28.jpg]
here too i added cab window glass. In 1:87 reality these are very thin sheets out of clear styrene. When you buy a new men's shirt, these thin styrene sheets are used to stiffen the collar in the sales packaging. Don not throw awy, recycle it Goldth , theses sheets are very useful for model railroad purposes.
How they turn into cab window glass:
- cut little pieces with a scissors in coarse contour
- refine the contour as needed
- there is no need to match exactly the contour of the window opening
- leave a generous rim
- put the "glass" sheet into the cab
- add some tiny drop of CA applied by the tip of an toothpick to one corner
- the more than thin CA will immediately spread out between "glass" and cab wall without spreading over the visible areas
- wait a few seconds
- that was it

Especially when you will glassing the front windows of the cab, there is more work to meet the contours because of the boiler contour and cab detailing fittings. But it is possible to create one sheet which covers all windows together.

[Image: dsc01927vlul8.jpg]

[Image: dsc0192931uay.jpg]
All windows glassed. Parts of the rods and valve gear were painted plain white.
The fabric of the sun visors were painted somewhat tawny.

[Image: dsc03131ouswp.jpg]
And here we are now.

[Image: dsc02154f2und.jpg]
Loco #1825 at work on a local with switching duties at the Fremo meeting 2017 in Wolfersweiler (just a few kilometers away from Ramstein AFB / Landstuhl). So some of the staff visited the meeting.
The #1825 became a movie star also. The Saarländische Rundfunk sent out a TV team to make a reportage because this was the very first fremo meeting in Saarland.

Thank you for watching.
Cheers Lutz

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)