And so, now, have I as well...
Pictures below. First some comments:
- overall, a beautiful model with a nice, satin finish and very subdued green for boiler jacket...much nicer than the K-27. Also great since when I ordered this loco 2-1/2 years ago, the real #346 was under restoration and they hadn't announced how it would be painted...it now runs again (for another 100 years?) at the Colorado Railroad Museum...with a green boiler jacket!
- detail equivalent to the K-28 remembering that this was a much cleaner loco with less small stuff
- solid pilot and cab rear support so this loco is easy to pick up
- transparent number "glass" on headlight wings with hole through to headlight interior so should illuminate if headlight gets wired
OK, what are the issues?
- first, unpack the loco very carefully
- foam blocks are now being used inside the tape coccoon so there was no damage
- the pop valves, whistle, cab shades and wire for mounting the cab shades were all loose
- some of the loose parts were outside the coccoon while others were inside some layers of wrapping
- I never found one cab shade mounting wire (though the easiest possible thing to replace
- small bag inside the wrap had the front number plate, stand pipe and valve for the steam dome and a small screw
- another bag had the whistle "rope" (wire)
- Cliff at Accucraft said all the small parts that were loose in my packing were supposed to be in the bag (which was sealed so they didn't fall out)
- unpack the tender carefully
- here, all the parts and tools were in zip-lock bags
- tender wobbles a lot-it needs a much stiffer truck spring at a minimum
- rear coupler is pinned like the front, but seems rather loose and has no centering springs (but it looks like they could be added easily)
Questions I raised with Cliff and he promised to research:
- tender comes with two rerailing frogs, but there are no hangers on the tender
- small screw mentioned above fits in threaded hole on side of the whistle - #346 had a large lever on the whistle that arched down over the dome - screw may have been meant to attached a missing lever or just be the anchor for the whistle wire
Question that he had an answer for:
- why put the lubricator on the RH (engineer's side)? With the steam gauge there as well, it'll be a challenge to mount an R/C servo for the Johnson bar. As I am not planning to R/C mine, it doesn't much matter, but it is hard to fathom why they changed it from there other locos. The answer BTW is that this is where it is on the prototype that has been in circulation for years so presumably you all would have complained, if needed
Question I wished I'd asked Cliff but had noticed (I will ask him when he answers the questions above): where is the water pump? In the tender interior photo below, you can see four bolts that do nothing but look suspiciously like a water pump mount. There is a hole in the forward bulkhead of the tender that can (and will on mine) take the water line
Fixable, cosmetic issue: the number plate is mounted on a long shaft and stands 5/16-3/8" off the front of the smokebox. Great as a handle, lousy for looks. Mounting shaft needs to be shortened and rethreaded for a closer mount.
Good feature: steam dome screws off at the base providing very good access to the pop valve (unlike my early run K-28)
Right-hand Front View - note stand off distance of number plate
Right-hand Tender View
Top View - note placement of stand pipe, pop valves and whistle on steam dome
Cab View - note lubricator and steam gauge on right side
Tender Interior View - note 4 mounting bolts on near side for water pump?