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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been anxious to see what people are doing to their new Bachmann K-27’s as I’m certain there will be numerous variations just as we have seen with their 2-8-0’s. I tried previously to show what I was doing, but the problems we’ve been having with the new forum format have prevented my posting. As it seems to be working now, I’ll post this in several small segments to not hear of any problems of overloading.

My purpose in these mods is not so much to change it into something else, as it is to simply better present what I have. I started at the front of the engine with the cow-catcher. It just looked too much like a molded plastic piece probably because it is a molded plastic piece, so I got out the brass tubing and strip and started cutting trying to make it look like the pictures I have. Here is the start:



It is not complete at this point, but gives you an idea of shape.

The Bachmann glad hands leave a lot to be desired (and that is a major understatement) so I looked over what was available and what could be improved on, then made new patterns for Ozark and sent them off (The old Ozark ones are just as bad). Dave has made the molds and hopefully they should be available very soon.



The front beam on these things is a real wood board, so what better than real wood? This material is Steamed Swiss Pearwood. It is used extensively in pattern making as it has very clear straight grain and doesn’t ‘fuzz’ like basswood. This piece was actually machined to shape on a mill, then grained first with a razor saw, then a stiff wire brush and finally with an X-Acto knife. It was lightly sanded (very little is needed with this material) and then stained with Silverwood weathering stain.



Okay, let’s post at this point and see if it works. That way I won’t have too much work in it if it fails. Incidentally, the photos are all done by the old img method
 

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John, this looks to be a great thread. I have a K-27 and my guess is Bachmann sold about a 1,000 of these. I feel they are very well detailed already but there is always room for improvement just like you said. I like what you have so far :) I'm interested in the air hose components. Will Ozark be carrying these anytime soon? Are these working air hose components? That is, they actually attach?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks like we are getting interest. Ron your engine is beautiful. I have a picture coming up that is very similar.

Here we go, I’ve been trying to learn new techniques in weathering and use of powders, MIG pigments and paints all together is one. So I practiced on the stack as they are generally a combination of heat rust and smoke. Here are the results:



As you can see on Ron’s engine, about half have a toolbox on the front. Apparently it is something they took on and off as I have pictures of 455 both ways. This one is a block of Pearwood with .005” brass over it. The brass is hammered to the shape, then soldered. The Pearwood is still inside for strength. Now you can go back and dent up the toolbox to appear lots of usage. The latch and handles are bits of brass strip and wire soldered on. With the Pearwood core, it is easy to drill holes and stick the pieces of brass wire into them. It sits on a base of Pearwood that has been weathered just like the beam was.



Now comes a picture that looks a whole lot more like Ron’s engine. Besides the cowcatcher, the steps have also been replaced with brass ones much closer to scale. Bachmann’s bent wire cut levers also need something to be desired so new stands and levers were made up from brass rod. I’ll get to the mods in the coupler in a minute. The steps below the running board are also fabricated from brass sheet and strip. Bachmann just made a molded plastic step sorta thing, which didn’t look much like any pictures I have.



Let’s now go around to the other end of the engine and pull the cab off. The backhead is really very well done so I did just a couple things. First was to go in with Vallejo metallic paint and do the pipes. I use both Steel and Gun Metal in various places. Makes them stand out more. The firebox door is a big item, as it should show heat damage to the paint, plus corrosion and coal dust. I first painted it Vallejo Gun Metal, then bits of black like smoke. Bragdon powders were stippled into wet Floquil rust, which gives that corroded effect. You can’t see it here but the floor was also replaced with .020” Pearwood boards that had again been weathered. Some bits of coal and coal dust were rubbed in. I’ll go back and try to get some photos inside the cab showing the floor as it came out pretty well.



Since we are painting, let’s go back to the front. The front braces, cowcatcher and steps were first painted Vallejo Steel. Then after it thoroughly dried, they were painted Floquil Engine Black. Then in areas of wear, I rubbed the black off enough to show the steel underneath. Weathering powders were then rubbed into cracks and corners. The front of these engines catch a lot of debris flying around. The beam is kept naturally aged and the coupler gets several different shades of rust. Oh yes! The toolbox also got painted Vallejo Steel, then Floquil black over it and in those dents we mentioned, the black was scraped away. The handles also get rubbed to the steel.



The last thing we’ll cover in this episode is the seat. I had no idea what it looked like but figured it couldn’t be those plastic boxes Bachmann put in there. So I asked myself “If I were a seat, what would I look like” and made up something. I turned the base on a lathe from brass rod and soldered two brass strip arms to it. I then made seat and back pads from Pearwood and then ‘upholstered’ them with the cloth from an old handkerchief . The seat stand was painted Vallejo Steel and the seat cushions Floquil Roof Brown. Later on, I got a picture and it turns out the seat is very similar except the upholstery is a semi-gloss black vinyl.



Next time we’ll get into the couplers and the tender.

John
 

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Awesome Job John! It looks much better with the extra details and weathering! Keep us posted.

Aaron
 

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Absolutely stunning John. Although I would never attempt such a weathering project on my own, I have always admired those who have developed the techniques to add such realism to their models.

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We’re doing good. Everything is posting just like it is suppose to. See, it wasn’t my computer.

The Bachmann coupler leaves a lot to be desired. It sorta looks like a coupler, but that ends there. It does however have a nice draft gear which mounts to this engine quite well. Accucraft on the other hand has a beautiful coupler, but for some strange reason, they made this pivot thingy about ½” back instead of a proper draft gear, where the couplers move like real couplers. So what do you do? You make an adapter! Out comes a piece of brass bar stock and in a short period of time we have this thing that uses a Bachmann draft gear and centering spring and an Accucraft coupler. Works oh so cool! You can make the adapters different lengths for different purposes. The one on the front of the engine is longer than the one on the tender. This is so the front one can clear the cowcatcher.



Time to go around back to the tender. The steps on the rear of the tender have nice metal mounts, but the steps themselves are molded plastic that if scaled up would be like 1 ½” thick. So we’ll use the mounts and make some brass steps closer to scale.

The tender also has a wood beam like the front of the engine. So we’ll get out the Pearwood and make one. Cutting the plastic one out is a bit of a job, but you just keep plugging away with a razor saw. I think I just sawed away while watching a NASCAR race. The steps are then screwed on with 00-90 brass screws. The cut levers also get the same treatment with new stands fabricated from brass and proper levers. The grab irons were also replaced with scale ones fabricated from brass wire and strip. Brass simulated square bolts hold them on.



Let’s go ahead and reassemble the tender. Note that the side steps have also been replaced with scale brass ones. The hand rails were replaced with brass wire closer to scale, plus a new ladder was built. Molded plastic ladders look like they were made from 2x4’s so a little time with a soldering iron can fix that.



Now the front of the tender should also have a wood beam completely across it. But we have to contend with those plugs. I wasn’t ready to rewire the whole engine to get rid of them so I just replaced the outboard ends with Pearwood so it looks like a beam. These were long enough that I could screw the new brass steps to them. Again the handrails were replaced. Since I make my own mounting pads, the originals need to be filed off. You can see here that the coal load was replaced with real coal. It is aquarium filter coal that I get from the pet store. It is just about the right size. The only one better is Mac’s as he has a block of coal given to him by the fireman of a real mudhen in Colorado. He beat it with a hammer to the right size.



Next time we’ll reassemble the engine and tender to see where we’re at. You always have to stop now and then to take a look and keep yourself enthused.

John
 

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Hi John
Looks very good
One thing I have done on some Connies is to lower the coal load and put in the side tanks and slope.
Dont know how much can be done on a K27 as mine I will collect nexr week.

I dont like but still have a lot of tenders where they have never used any coal

Will be fitting Phoenix sound I Emailed Jim at Phoenix and he said that they will be putting a diagram on there web site soon
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Now we can start to get serious about weathering, but first to reply to David. The coal load has been lowered in this tender. It is very easy, there are two pins underneath and I cut them down. It does have a Phoenix system in it and sounds great! I like their product and was very impressed with their help when I did the cab-forward. I will take some photos of the pick-ups maybe even this weekend. I mounted the speaker in the place Bachmann made for it. Dropped right in. Then built a sound box around it that is held in place by foam between the circuit board and sound box. The batteries and sound board both mount in the rear of the tender on mounts I machined from plastic. Very easy install other than I used a reed switch in place of Bachmann’s chuff trigger. This on the advice of people with much more sound experience than I have. I wanted to run the reed switch wiring through those two plugs already present. With those things cluttering things up, who wants more plugs? I tell you what, I spent 16 years designing and building electronic control systems and this wiring diagram is the worst I have ever encountered. That said, let’s get on with the project.

Here is a rear view with some of the weathering done. This is mostly air brush work and some Bragdon powders. I first sprayed the trucks and bottom of the tender with Floquil Roof Brown. Then back away some and do light vertical passes to tone down the black and make it look somewhat dirty. Now out come the powders. Brush several colors of rust on the wheels, in corners and maybe a streak or two down the tender. The coupler gets a heavy dose. Cut levers are the two paint method I previously mentioned where I paint them Vallejo Gun Metal, let dry then Floquil engine black. Rub through the black to let the gun metal show in wear areas. Take some white powder and work a streak down the side where water may have run off. Add a little black powder to appear as coal dust along the front where it would be shoveled.



Here we go to the front. It gets the same type of treatment as the tender. Airbrush Floquil Roof Brown around the drivers, counterweights and so on. Again light vertical passes as streaks on the boiler. Go very easy when doing this and stay back. I back off the air pressure and make many light passes. You are just trying to get it to look dirty, not paint it brown. Now get up closer and do those black streaks on the smoke box, cylinders with Engine Black or Grimy Black, your choice. Again many light passes, not one big spray. Note the white powder on the steam chests and boiler. Check any photos and you’ll see them. It’s where steam blows around them. Another area of white is the blow downs, just forward of the cab and below the walkways. Those can sometimes have the entire rear wheel area white from alkaline dust. The wheels all get Bragdon rust in several different shades. A little rust on the boiler, various pipes and fittings makes it look like an engine that works hard.



Let’s get up closer to the engine. Here you can see the new whistle and pop off valve. They were all turned from brass bar stock. Additional piping runs from the smoke box up to the sand dome and there is a lever right below and at the front of the right hand walkway. It has a rod that runs to the cab. The lever is made from brass strip, as is the clevis fitting. The rod is piano wire for added strength. A little brass tube and a simulated brass bolt and you have it. For the bell and whistle lines, Bachmann just took some string, slipped them through the actuating arms and tied a knot in them. So with a little brass strip, tubing and a tiny brass simulated bolt, little clevises were made. The string was then slipped into the tubing and glued. It looks like it belongs now. The bottom of the firebox will get very hot and corroded so we simulate that with Bragdon powders sprinkled into wet Floquil Rust. If you try to brush it on, you’ll lose that rough corroded look. So I make tiny puddles of paint and sprinkle Bragdon powder into it. Let it dry, then blow away the excess. The windows on the inside front door of the cab have big flanges around them. So I trimmed the flanges away and fitted the windows into the door openings. Now when you open the door, the window fits into the inside opening just like the outside. One of the things you cannot see here is that MIG pigments have been made into a kind of paste and smeared along any sliding areas to look like old grease.



When we go back to the tender, besides the streaking we discussed earlier, you can see the corrosion along the bottom of the frame. This is done by the sprinkling of powder into the wet paint we discussed before. One thing that does help is some Bragdon dirt powder along all the rivets. The idea is small amount and use downward strokes only to look like drainage from and protrusion. Keep at it as you don’t want much and don’t stroke up as water flows down the side, not up. Areas like springs and the corners of steps do get rusty, so work a little rust powder in there. Try to ask yourself where hands would grab the rails and feet would strike the steps and wear through the black paint into the metal paint underneath. A little superfine sandpaper (like 1500) helps.



The side of the cab shows the real Pearwood armrest that has been grained and weathered with Silverwood. A couple pieces of brass strip make the mounts. The cab paint has been very carefully scratched with a razor saw to enhance the grain. Be careful so you don’t scratch too heavily. Put some Bragdon dirt in the corners using the same technique as the rust only with Floquil Roof Brown and Bragdon dirt powder.



The last thing in this session is the little water bag. It is a piece of very fine weave white handkerchief that is soaked in thin Vallejo canvas colored paint. It is then cut out and folded over. The top portion is .005” brass strip. The lower part is made from .005” brass sheet. Two rails are cut at 90 degrees to each other and a wider portion in between at 45 degrees. It is wrapped around a small piece of 5/64” brass tube and soldered. It is then glued and riveted with small brass rivets. The cork is a piece of round toothpick weathered with Silverwood, sawed off and glued into the tube. When you fold over the cloth, a tiny piece of scrap foam was stuck in between to appear that the bag is full of water.



That does this session. Next time we’ll put curtains in the cab and install a sound system.

John
 

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Grreat job! I love to see people taking a store bought model and making it look "real". I am book marking this for when ever I get a 27. tHANKS FOR POSTING
 

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John,
Following your posts here on this loco even though it is not my scale. I like the weathering technique. Will you have this loco running on the Del Oro at the Big Train Show in June? See you then.
 

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Paul,
Looking forward to seeing you at Ontario also. Yes I plan on running this and it will be quite a change from my diesels. This is my first try in 1/20.3. Several people in Del Oro have been encouraging me to try one and I must say, I've had a lot of fun working on it. You'll have to get one and have your occasional 'trip to the woods' (a K-27 tunnel steamer). These wood stick cars are a fun change to build also. I have a Sheridan caboose I'm building and Phil is sending me two of his cars this coming week. Dave at Ozark also sent me one of his entry level kits and I've been dressing it up a lot. I'm going to try some fancy weathering on it. Shouldn't say anything 'cause if I screw it up, I'm gonna hide it.

I'm getting together with Bob Uniack this coming Sunday and we'll run it for the first time. Then hope to run it in the Fullerton Railroad Days the first part of May. I'll try to get some pictures of it running and post them.

John
 

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John,

the level of modeling and attention to detail here is just amazing -- same as all your work! It's the kind of work that makes people -- even 'civilians' who have no idea what it is they're really noticing -- sit up and say "Now THAT looks real."

Looking forward to seeing it run at the BTS!
 

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John, nice job. Post some photos of it outside in the near future. And don't use quite so much compression on the photos. At least on my monitor, I'm finding a lot of the subtle details are lost in the jpeg artifacts, making it hard to really appreciate the work and artistry you've put into the model.

Later,

K
 
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