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What kind/brand of steam oil do you use? What is your water source... distilled, rain, dehumidifier, etc.??? The only paint that has come off either of my Mikes is because I have inadvertantly scraped it with something.
 

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Brian, I bought the new Great Northern S2 and have experienced similar "cooking of the oil" on the stack, stack skirt and smoke box. I've changed steam oils which I hope will alleviate future oil residue problems on the S2 but I've just accepted the fact that this is simply a patina that forms over time as we steam our locomotives. I looked at my Mikado stack the other day and over the 4 years that I've been running it, the draft fan has worn the paint down to the bare brass in spots from the many hours of steaming. I remember touching up the stack with Scalecoat lacuer paint (Silver Mist with a few drops of their black), trial and error until a good match is found, to find it wearing off again. It sounds like you have built yourself a great running locomotive, I'll volunteer to repaint the stack for you if you like, but I'll be matching the smoke box of my Mikado.
 

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Brian,

I'd have to agree with Jeff here, there are some quite close matches for the paint (Duplicolor cast coat iron being one of them), or you could just paint it flat black since it is only the inside of the stack, which would get stained by the cinders and soot anyways.

I find it hard to believe that Hans wouldn't want to give you another stack, but I do not think that lashing out on aster's customer service was level-headed. They have been able to get parts for me for engines that are 20-30 years old, with no questions asked, and at a reasonable rate.
 

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If you look at historic photographs of steam locomotives in daily use, seldom will you see them in a pristine, clean condition, unless it was a locomotive specifically for passenger service usually they were left coated with soot, mineral and lime stains from the water and road grime.
 

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Hey Guys, back off, you are distorting what Brian reported ! He said;

"After running it I was cleaning the oil and water off of it and I went to do the smoke stack and paint came right off of the stack. I think that is really bad paint quallity for the price of the engine."

There is nothing there about oil staining or the inside of the stack, just wiping it off with a cloth and the paint came away!

Then another MLS member said that he had seen the same problem a couple of times.

Now you are all jumping in to defend Aster as you will not hear a word spoken against them.

One of my small Aster engines burned the paint off the stack and I just assumed this was normal with uncontrolled spirit firing. I have never had the paint burn off a gas fired loco but then I don't over fire it as it is easy to control. That however does not change the fact that Hans should listen with some sympathy to Brian's complaint.

You are all very quick to jump on the Accucraft bashing threads... but obviously have little time for anyone that registers a complaint about an Aster engine.
 

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I have not seen anyone jump on Brian. The problem, as reported, is a bafflement to some of us. As is Hans response. I just want to know about the problem and how it came about. If I can help, I will do so. Not because Aster is wonderful or lousy, but because the reported problems are confusing compared to what I have experienced. I feel like I don't know all the facts and I have requested clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
First off thanks Rod for stating what I said. Oil has not stained that stack the paint is peeling off. Ryan, what is your problem, you think I am lieing? Hans was pretty rude to me, he said that happens to every Aster because of the heat and I know that is a lie. The fact is he does not want to support his product so he can have it back! I will go to a company who will go out of there way to make you happy Accucraft. I will never buy an Aster again. I should not have to fix there paint problem they should but dont want to fix it. I think you would be stupid to fix it yourself when it is Asters quality problem.
Brian
 

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Brian

Once again, I was not bashing you at all, sorry that you have misconstrued my statement. Not knowing how your conversation went, I can only speculate that there might have been some over-reacting. Yes, the baking on of steam oil and chipping of paint will occur on the mikados, but I have never been turned down for a part that was needed. I never once stated you were lying, I was just speculating based on my on-going relations with Hans and Aster. Oil will bake on most paint surfaces, this is not only limited to aster engines. Almost all locomotives have this issue, due to excessive heat in the smokebox and very thin paint/insulation, it's a proven fact that it will happen.

Brian, for someone who works in customer service, you certainly have thin patience when it comes to minor issues. Yes, you should not have to fix the paint problem, but considering you just spent a good amount of time building that kit, maybe you should run it some more, enjoy the fruits of your labor. The engine will not stay pristine forever, if you wanted it to do that, then it should have been kept in the box. I equate this to owning your first new car. The forst ding, nick or scratch will aggravate you to no end, but in the long run, if you wanted to keep it perfect, then it should have been left in the showroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Yes I do have plenty of patience with customers at work. I talk to many a day. I do not care about steam oil stains but paint should not just flake off. Hans said all Asters do that and I know that is not true. Also I dont see how paint flaking off is a minor issue. My problem is he did not want to fix it and I am very upset about it. If Hans said no problem I will send you a new one I would have been happy, but that did not happen. I was not treated in a way I should have been. I think having to wait 10 days to 2 weeks for a part that they messed up is crazy. I am just not happy with Asters service. From now on it will be Accucraft for me. The bottom line is that Aster did not want to fix the problem, so they can have there product back. I am done posting on this thread, I stated my problem and my reasons and how I feel. I see that I can not complain about Aster with out having people going crazy. The fact is Aster made a mistake and they dont want to fix it. I just dont see why some people dont see that Aster makes mistakes.
Brian
 

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Brian,

Just a suggestion, maybe advertise your engine here and on other forums before getting a refund. You might turn a profit, even for one slightly damaged i have seen them go for 4500+ with an axlepump.

I'm sure someone would be more than willing to take it off your hands.
 

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Posted By Brian Tusin on 09/08/2008 12:27 PM
First off thanks Rod for stating what I said. Oil has not stained that stack the paint is peeling off. Ryan, what is your problem, you think I am lieing? Hans was pretty rude to me, he said that happens to every Aster because of the heat and I know that is a lie. The fact is he does not want to support his product so he can have it back! I will go to a company who will go out of there way to make you happy Accucraft. I will never buy an Aster again. I should not have to fix there paint problem they should but dont want to fix it. I think you would be stupid to fix it yourself when it is Asters quality problem.
Brian




I would still like answers to my questions! If your engine lost paint off the stack, then there is a reason. Rather than just give up, I would like to know why... maybe we would all have the problem if we were using the same steam oil as you did or the same fuel (or even the same brand of paper towel!). It is NOT necessarily your fault, nor is it all necessarily Aster's fault.

I know a fellow that decided that Acetone and Alcohol were alike and decided to use Acetone in a home made burner under a Wilesco stationary engine and it removed the paint from the molded simulated brick around the firebox area. Maybe your Alcohol has a component that contains a paint solvent... SOME DO! Some have rubber-cement solvent as part of the denaturing component.

I have read of people using something other than "Steam Cylinder Oil" for the steam oil. Some, in the past, have used chain saw oil, some have used "3-in-1" (tm) brand oil. Maybe you got ahold of some bad stuff.

If you will help US, the live steam fraternity, it would be most appreciated, many here have done their best to help you. Maybe you have stumbled upon the cause of a common problem and "we" can all avoid it in the future.
 

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Brian,
I have an extra stack I got from Jerry Hyde when I had the same problem. You are welcome to it if that helps. I agree that Hans should have taken care of this 'minor' problem for Aster. Too bad it had to turn into this mess. I'll bring it to Canterbury Saturday if you are interested.
 

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Brian, sorry that you are having problems. If the paint is flaking off on the inside of the chimney, then I have seen that on just about all alcohol fired Asters. The reason is that the suction fan sticks into the chimney and vibrates and turns while drawing draft through the boiler. Then add heat and steam oil along with this vibration and the paint on the inside of the chimney can flake off in a hurry. A friend told me recently to add a rubber O ring to the stem of the suction fan so that there is no longer metal to metal contact. Wish that I had thought of that years ago, then all my stacks would still have paint inside. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif Now if the paint on the outside of the stack simply wiped away like you have said, I would agree that this is a fault of Aster.
 

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I got an email from Hans, He has a new stack ordered for Brian. Brian has received an email from Hans informing him of this, so he can run his Mikado with the old stack till the new one arrives. He did mention in an earlier post that he still needs to fine tune his timing?
Brian, hope this gets thing "back on track" The Mikado is very good runner, as you will find out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
My problem is not with the stacks paint it is with Hans. When I talked to him on the phone he did not want to do anything, but after he saw I said something he wants to help. I am just not happy with how I was treated for the money I spent. That is the bottom line. I did not get treated the way I should have. If he would have said at the start I will replace it no problem no of this would have happened. I do not want to own an engine from a company who does not want to help you till you make your problem public!
Brian
 

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For that matter, what are you going to do with a new stack that will lose the paint the same way? How many stacks do you expect to be supplied over how many years?

I still want to know what kind of fuel and steam oil you use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I used SLX Alcohol and Quisenberry Station Steam oil. As I said I am shipping the engine back for a refund. I only got the offer of the stack after I made my post on here. I know I dont have to do that with Accucraft to get service. I do not have a lot of money like most people or have other people to buy me my trains. So I look at it in a lot different way then most people.
Brian
 

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Brian,

I don't understand your issue? Does your Mikado not perform to your expectations aside from the paint finish of the smoke stack? Aren't you receiving a new replacement stack?
Isn't this forum assisting you with your concerns?
 

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Two points that need to be clarified:

1) Wrong- "I think having to wait 10 days to 2 weeks for a part that they messed up is crazy. I am just not happy with Asters service. From now on it will be Accucraft for me." Just wait for an actual part comes from China vs. getting something off "junked" models.

2) Secondly, the Aster Mikado was made 1999-2000 so let us see how available Accucraft parts are in 8-10 years. Therefore, the Aster part is coming from Japan- Hans does not have a warehouse. All Aster owners realize the situation at hand and learn to be patient or in this case- make due.
 
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