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Discussion Starter #1
I'd be interested to hear whether anybody has detailed their Aristo Mikado? or failing that, whether they'd have any detailing suggestions.


Mine seems a little flat and one-dimensional at the moment - I'm sure it can be improved some. I've been toying with the idea of adding boiler bands but I'm a bit undecided.



The only other thoughts I've had are making the handrails stand out a bit more, perhaps dulling the paintwork down a little to make it look less plasticky, and maybe an oxide roof.


Apart from that 'm struggling for inspiration.



20201001_220947 by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr
 

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I always had the idea with mine to rework it into a Northern Pacific W-3 class heavy Mikado in 1:32 scale, which would have involved an all-new tender, cab, and pretty much all of the cosmetic bits. I started with the tender, with the idea that if the project stalled, at least I still have the original tender to use, and not have the locomotive all torn down in pieces. That turned out to be a wise move, as the tender project is still unfinished well over a decade later. I did strip the old lettering off the locomotive and tender and lettered it up for Northern Pacific though, and painted it up with graphite smokebox and oxide cab roof.

There have been some pretty awesome rebuilds posted here over the years, including Mike McCormack's conversion into something along the lines of an East Broad Top narrow gauge Mikado in 1:20.3 scale (all new metal tender and superstructure), and Larry Herget's conversion into an Atlantic (shortened boiler and chassis, with Aristo Pacific drive wheels). Somebody also swapped the stock tender for an Aristo Vanderbilt tender on theirs. God only knows where the photos ended up though, since the photos in the archived posts got all scrambled up a few years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks both!


Pete, I just couldn't get on with the whitewall wheels - I may change it to a #19 Sumpter Valley (in which case my experimental oxide rood will need to go!)


Richard, thats a seriously long term project! A wise move starting on the tender. Although I'm trying to detail the loco, I wanted to aboid any heavy changes to the loco for the same reason. (I'm overhauling the electronics). I'd dearly like to go the triple axle Vanderbilt tender route If I had the opportunity. Being in the UK I think my only option will be to scratchbuild that.


Steve Benko has remade the cab and smokebox for his, he's giving it a heavier Canadian look. I have to say, his brasswork is beautiful.
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I've done some very minor dabbling this weekend;
dulled down the plastic body, tried an oxide roof added a builders plate and some Trackside Detail brass pop valves which were a direct replacement for the black plastic ones;


Builders plate, pop valves and oxide roof by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr


I've also tried highlighting and weathering the rods a little bit, plus changed the colour of the bottom of the firebox, to try and add a little contrast


Weathering the rods by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've used tting a DC-DC step down voltage regulator to drop the Aristocraft 7.2v battery down to 4.8v for the RX.

Here it is soldered into the Operation switch so that the receiver is switched on along with the main circuitry


DC-DC convertor for RX by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr



General layout shot of the RC conversion in the tender. I'm using the Aristocraft motors rather than replacing them with servos in the loco. To drive them I'm using servo decoder boards which can be seen here at the top of the photo either side of the battery. I have removed the motors and gearboxes, taking the motor output which goes via the two red JST connectors into the black loom wires of the tender/loco connector. (I've used connectors to make removal/testing easier). The RX isn't installed in thie picture


Mp3 sound unit beneath one of the servo boards by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr


Here is a picture of the MP3 module with a custom Mikado whistle sound from Mike at Model Radio Workshop. This plugs into channel 3 of the RX and outputs through the Aristocraft speaker which has been disconnected from the Aristocraft loom.


Mp3 sound unit beneath one of the servo boards by Darren Elmslie, on Flickr


Video of the regulator test using this setup


Video of the new and improved Mikado whistle




Next up, some testing for an electronic water bath for the butane tank. I'm shying away from the more traditional steam line as I'm not confident to do any modifications to the steam fittings.

Instead, I'm trialling an electronic approach which I know another owner has had multiple successes with.

The plan is pretty much this:

A dedicated heating battery powers a 10w wire wound resistor inside the bath.
A normally-closed thermal switch keeps the bath at 25C
A 2A polyswitch shuts down the circuit if the current draw gets too high, ie the water bath is empty.
 

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Here is what i did to a frends Mike.,He liked the grand trunk RR,So We installed a Vandee tender add a Duel Chime Weltyls Whistle
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice work Bob, that's a beauty. I like the Vanderbilt tender. I'd really love to get one of those. Being in the UK, I think I'd need to scratch build it though :(
 

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Darrene,Look on Ebay the tender is a Aristo Tender that I Modefied to take all the Electronic,Battery and Gas tank.You Might find one
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Bpb!


I found an old tank car I had which I wasn't particularly enamoured of, so have taken the plunge to kit bash/scratch-build something now.



I plan on using some 1:29 buckeye 3-axle trucks from GAL and making the forward part from brass or styrene. Kinda like this.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2jQKY2v]IMG_2063[/URL]
 

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Darrene, that’ll be pretty sweet looking! Look forward to seeing you build it.

Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well I've had a go at testing a non-invasive version of an electronic tank warmer.

Bench-testing seems successful. I thought I'd have a go at using a peltier module to heat the water jacket, rather than drill holes and immerse an element, which was another option.

I also found a nice little programmable thermostatic control module. So for about £10 I have something that will keep the water jacket at around 30C

Current draw at 10.8v (intended battery voltage) is a whisker over 3A.

Here is a bench test of the circuit cycling. Waiting for the water to cool is a bit boring. If you watch the video, just skip towards the end.
Peltier tank heating test

Here is the actual installation on the Aristo tank, using battery power. This was shot outside so the display is a little difficult to read. You can hear the heating circuit kick in at about 30s (there's a small red LED to the right of the display which is a visible indicator that the heater is turned on)
The thermistor is a perfect fit for the fill hole so I may use that rather than obtaining an external reading from the tank skin, although either works

Battery heating of water jacket

The acid test will be whether the heating system can keep up with the cooling effect of the gas in use. That's the next test but so far it's fairly positive.
 
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