Congratulations on your first passenger drag and the significant achievement in producing this model version of NPC No 21 in live steam in the first place.
Some of my favorite photos and drawings of NPC No 21 were taken while it was under construction and testing.
They are a constant reminder of the tremendous visionary skills of Bill Thomas, the legendary NPC chief engineer who brought NPC No 21 into productive use, nearly from scratch in the NPC shops: the first cab forward loco, the first loco powered by a marine boiler, and one of the first locos powered by oil. Yes, he used a wrecked Baldwin 4-4-0 as the lower end of the engine, but what he executed above the drive wheels was pure brilliance.
Those construction photos make it obvious this was not an engine produced by one of the major steam locomotive manufacturers.
Once painted in NPC colors, the fact it was hand crafted in the NPC shops by a true master of locomotive engineering wasn't nearly as obvious.
Paint and letter your No 21, it's just another interesting live steam loco, far short of what is obvious from looking at your engine in its current unpainted state. Besides, once it was painted, the prototype No 21 was a really ugly steam locomotive.
If it were my locomotive and I had executed it in brass from scratch as a live steam loco, I wouldn't ever paint it! I'm guessing that's one of the reasons why it remains unpainted today, whether you want to admit it or not.
But by all means, stick to the version of the truth stated in your previous post. As the country song says, "That's my story, and I'm stickin to it."
But regardless of what you decide to do, congratulations. By the way, if you do decide to paint your No 21, the first photo in this post would make a really neat flat car load, an alternative way of getting the point in my post across.
Howdy Tom - thanks for the very nice post. I was wondering where you were again, and I even sent you an email a month or so back to see if all was well. It's nice to see you posting again.
The truth is, I fully intend to paint her, but I have to finish her first. I am making the innards of the water bunker now, mounting the WLDS water pump, batteries, etc. I also need to figure out where to put the WLDS itself. I can put it in the water bunker as well, but doing so will reduce the amount of actual water I can carry.
The next step is to disassemble the locomotive proper, mill out the running boards I made that I subsequently figured out needs to have a bigger cutout for the boiler to clear two pipes I still need to mount, mill a slot in the cab floor to clear a sprocket for the throttle servo (I'm not happy with the amount of throttle throw I'm getting with the pushrod), install a superheater (which I just got yesterday), install a new Mike Chaney lubricator, drill the boiler for the WLDS probe and a site glass, redo the cab hinges, install a whistle, drill the headlight and install the bulb, and a myriad of other small things. I then have to reassemble her and test run all this stuff a few times to make sure I'm happy with it all and make sure it all works.
Then and only then can I disassemble her one last time for painting.
After over a year, I also am sometimes just plain sick of working on her, and things therefore don't move as quickly as they otherwise might. However, it's a hobby, and it's supposed to be fun, so I don't force myself to work on her when I don't feel like it. I have to do enough of that at my job. hehehe Things would move faster if I didn't have a day job to worry about, which not only takes a lot of my time but also saps my creative energy so that even when I am off, I sometimes just feel like vegging out.
I may soon take a little break from her and try something related to a future project just to see if I can do it.
Bottom line, she will get paint and the appropriate lettering - but only after I'm satisfied she's finished.
Again, it's nice to see you posting again. Glad you're still alive and kickin'!!!
Dwight, Great pictures, that is truely a unique loco. I totally understand your feelings about working on your project. I definately have to be in the right frame of mind to work on the Bogie. I tried it a couple of days ago and was breaking things faster than I could repair them. Today I made some progress and everything felt good. We have been traveling so much it has been hard to get working. Life is soooo tough! It is a good thing I don't have a job or I would never get anything done. I agree with Tom, it is almost a shame to paint a brass model and cover up all the work. Don't give up, it is looking great. Hope to see you and your loco some day. Are you planning to come to the convention in Denver next year?
Thanks Winn. No one wants to have this project finished more than I do. hehehe But I don't want to force it either, or rush it to conclusion at the expense of details and other stuff I'm sure I'd regret leaving off later. I want it to be the best work I can produce, even if that takes more time. I'm sure you can relate.
I don't know about Denver yet. If I do go, I'm sure I'll fly, which precludes me from bringing any locos along. Until I retire in 4 years, 8 months, and 37 days (but who's counting), driving to these things is out of the question due to time constraints. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif