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Discussion Starter #1
I am in need of a large, read old time cowcatcher, for a Bachmann 4-6-0. Bachmann doesn't have any for their 4-4-0 or 2-6-0's so I thought I would ask out here. I know that Vance Bass used to make them out of wood in kit form, but in looking at his web page, he has gone out of business, so I guess that's out. I also looked at the one on the MB project, but it looks like an awful lot of work to me, so that's out too. Anyone have any ideas?

I am also looking for head light lenses for some Trackside Details lights. The large square one and the DRGW style barrel light. I know I can make them out of clear plastic, but was hoping for something a bit more professional. Also, does anyone remember the thread on here from a few years back about using a flashlight lense as an insert? I vaguelly remember something about this, but can't recall details. Seems to me that the cone insert for the reflector was used with some minor modifications. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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A few answers: Accuraft has reasonable selection of brass pilots from c16, and other locos in their parts catalog. Since they are metal, they are very strong. They also offer headlight lenses as separate parts. These are convex and made of a poly carb type material, but are not likely to be the correct diameter. The diameter issue can be corrected carefully..., otherwise the poly carb packaging material in most heavy duty blister packs( everything from SAms club or Costco is packaged this way) will also work . This is good stuff for windows and lenses since it is not styrene or similar plastic, it is poly carbonate- that is why it is so tough to open the package.
Mag-lite in Ontario California makes a small flashlight that uses AA cells- maybe their most popular size. The reflector from this size was available from their parts dept for 1.00 each. These can be fitted after suitable grinding-( it is a plastic part) into most any Large scale train headlight housing and really makes the headlight bright. There may be others that could also work, but I bought a large number many years ago and am still living off that supply.
Jonathan/EMW
 

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Hi Greg,

I think Bronson Tate is doing the piolit kit that Vance did, check his site. Aristo and Hartland have lights and lenses, also plastic piolits.

Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I got an e-mail from Vance Bass regarding the Bronson Tate thing. I'll probably go that way as I am familiar with that pilot. Thanks. As to the lenses, I thought the mini-mag lights were a little large, but never thought about grinding them down. I'll try to get ahold of some and experiment. Again, Thanks.
 

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Greg -

I used a Mini-MagLite lens in this headlamp. To get it to the right diameter to fit inside the headlamp casting, I put a long machine screw through the bulb opening (from the front - if you've got a small rubber washer or O-ring, use it to cushion the screw head and to keep it from slipping,) snugged it up with a nut in the back and chucked it in my drill press. I turned it on at the lowest speed and used a file held securely against it as it turned to grind it down on the outside until it fit. Also had to do some trimming of the plastic supports in the back, as I recall.




It's well worth the effort - it looks great when the light's on, and even when it isn't.


Here's another one I did the same way: (You can see better in this shot how I drilled a hole up from the bottom to mount the GOW bulb vertically, rather than coming in from the back. I also had to plug the original bulb hole in the center with a bit of plastic rod and paint it silver, but it's hardly noticable.)


 

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Discussion Starter #6
Those are really cool Jack. What did you use for the clear lenses and how do you access the bulbs to change them out if necessary?
 

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Greg -

The lenses I either got from my "junk" drawer (everyone's got one of those, right?) or used a large diameter leather punch on clear plastic to make 'em. The bulbs are just pushed up from the bottom (or in from the back) and held in place with a dab of glue. They can be easily pulled out and replaced as needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys for all of your info and advise. I have a Mini Mag flashlight and checked the reflector against the headlights and it is WAY big, so I am hoping the AAA reflector will be smaller. Going to check out some prospective stores for parts tomorrow if it ever stops raining. Again, Thanks.
 
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