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Larry Green had just finished converting his Roundhouse SR&RL #24 into a generic 1:20.3 light prairie just before this year's Cabin Fever show and decided to bring it along for a test run. It ran really well (typical Roundhouse product) and attracted quite a lot of attention. You really have to see it in person to appreciate the fine work Larry does on his models. I'm posting pictures of his model and I imagine that he'll weigh in with a commentary about the process of modifying his model.
Llyn













 

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Incredible loco, thank you for posting
 

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Lynn
All of us at the steam up enjoyed the excellent detail and attention to getting the little extras/parts to make the engine look much more to scale.
 

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Hi Vance, the tread plate came from: E.M.A. Model Supplies in England, ema-models.com
It comes as a photo-etched foil, which gets veneered to a suitable backing. I ruined half a sheet before getting the technique right.
The micro-sized rivets, bolts and nuts come from Bob Breslauer of Scale Hardware in Ft. Lauderdale, scalehardware.com

Larry
 

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Hi All,
Two years ago, I decided to partake of the legendary Roundhouse performance, knowing full well that the rather basic detailing of their engines would not satisfy me for long. As expected, the SR 24 performed perfectly right out of the box, and then even after a flight to the ground at a temporary show layout. However, the resulting wrinkled sheetmetal and bent parts taunted me--time for the teardown!
I am partial to small, six-coupled engines, and now work in 1:20.3, having downsized from many years of building in 1/8 scale. The RH model of a two-foot 2-6-2 is modified to run on 45mm as well as 32mm, built to a mystery scale, possibly 1:19. Comparing it's actual dimensions to plans of similar sized prototype engines showed that the only real change necessary to make a correct 1:20.3 model was to raise the cab, stack and tender top.
Before starting with the cosmetics, the chassis needed some attention. This version of the model comes with sprung drivers. Because the engine is tail-heavy and sagged on its springs, the frame was obviously sitting lower at the rear than up front. Also, the pilot and lead trucks flopped around excessively during handling, and would rotate the frame spreaders to which they were attached, These wheels, and the tender ones, appeared too small, measuring out to around 19", with oversized flanges.
Measurement and trials showed that by blocking the rear driver axleboxes in the fully down position, the frame now sat parallel to the rails and the engine continued to track fine. All wheels except the drivers were replaced with correctly sized ones from Sunset Valley. The outside-bearing lead truck was changed to inside bearings, using castings available from Trackside Details, and the trailing truck frame was modified to move the axle forward 1/2". Both of these changes were just because I liked the looks better that way.
Since the engine has not yet been repainted, most cosmetic changes and additions are visible in Llyn's pictures. Unlike Charlie Myhnier, who delights in whittling chunks of stainless steel until all that is left is a beautiful locomotive, I am lazy enough to use available castings whenever possible, in this case from TD and Precision Scale. Many of their products are made to scales smaller than 1:20.3, but are just right for these smaller prototypes, or can be modified to suit.
The RH cab was correctly sized, but sat too low. Raising it a scale 10" did the most to change the overall appearance of the model. The original sides and front were sheathed with .020 brass; a new back was milled from .050 brass, and, yes, those are all real rivets in the back. The sides and front have a mix of real and embossed rivets. Inside the cab, the original RC and whistle were removed; I have found that I prefer manual running, and blowing the original whistle dropped the steam pressure 10 psi. A Regner whistle (no real pressure drop) and a RH J-bar were fitted, and handles added to the throttle, J-bar, gas valve and lubricator top.
If I have any gripe with Roundhouse (and I don't, really), it is their use of slotted head screws. Wherever visible, they have been replaced with hex head bolts. I have rethreaded as necessary to make the substitutions; whoever may get this engine someday will find an indiscriminate mix of threads that worked.
The badges that are barely visible on the cab sides are photo etched replicas of the New Jersey Live Steamers logo. I am a Charter Member of NJLS, from 1961, and made them over 40 years ago while setting up a new printed circuit shop at Bell Labs in Holmdel (had to"test" the new equipment). Surprising what stuff pops up in a toolbox drawer from time to time.
The tender truck sideframes, as many other parts of the engine, are nice bronze castings, but a thick layer of paint obsured much of the detail. The paint was scraped off, the castings cleaned up in the mill and with files, and new journal box lids and scale bolts added. Aside from very nice etched rows of rivets, the tender comes with minimal detail. A new toolbox lid is hinged, to give access to switches for lights and the former RC. Footboards, cut levers and railings are all new or replaced, with cast parts from TD and Ozark. The backup light was cut down from one of the originals from my 3-cylinder Shay. Wood coalboards were added, to raise the overall stance of the tender. The highly detailed factory coal load was set on a slope to make it appear than some of the coal has been used, and a hoe and poker piled on top. Custom lettering is vinyl from Del Tapporo. The new front numberplate on the engine is a lapel pin from the EBT gift shop.
My next locomotive project is based on a Porter 3' gauge plantation 0-6-4, using a Regner chassis kit and a RH boiler. Sorry Alan, but no CF's for the Belden Falls.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Larry has now completely finished his light prairie project. In the pictures below, it's fresh out of the paint shop and he's giving it time to cure before he steams up again. The results speak for themselves.

Llyn








 

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Kevin, from your comment, are you considering a live-steam project? Another project I'm tossing around is taking RH's "Sammie" 0-4-0 and detailing it, based on EBT's "Dinkey". This would be for the BF subsidiary Otter Creek Brickworks line.
Do you have any info/photos of the 0-4-0s used by Harbison-Walker in their firebrick operation? On pg 75 of Rainey & Kyper's book, one is shown with an open cab and another with a conventional one.

Larry
 

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Man, what a beautiful job he did! How do you guys work so fast. I started a simple mod on a Ruby Dec last year, and I'm still working on it /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif
 

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Fast--no way! The engine was torn down for about a year and a half. Of course, construction of the backyard steaming track and a few other projects were going on at the same time. Thank goodness for retirement.

Larry
 

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Larry,
I love the proportions of a Prairie locomotive. The details you added make it a very special model. Nice work !
 

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That's a beautiful engine. I really like the outside frame style. Small diameter drivers, long stroke, slooow speed, crazy raw power.
 

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Kevin, from your comment, are you considering a live-steam project?

I need to get to work on another live steam project, but to be honest, I'm rather bored with the Roundhouse and Ruby-based bashes. I've done two of each, and need to sink my teeth into something larger. I was very close to getting an Accucraft Mogul when they announced the EBT mikado, so that pretty much stopped all new live steam purchases for the time being. I haven't brought myself to sell my RH 0-4-0 rebuild, but if the right opportunity for a trade came along, I'd consider it... I'd love to find a C-16 or C-19 boiler and chassis and build something up from there.

Another project I'm tossing around is taking RH's "Sammie" 0-4-0 and detailing it, based on EBT's "Dinkey". This would be for the BF subsidiary Otter Creek Brickworks line.

I did something like that with a Creekside Baldwin a while back. It was almost a perfect candidate. The Sammy would be similarly well suited.

Do you have any info/photos of the 0-4-0s used by Harbison-Walker in their firebrick operation? On pg 75 of Rainey & Kyper's book, one is shown with an open cab and another with a conventional one.

I wish I did. I've got photos of some of H-W's other locos; a smart-looking 0-6-0 and a small 0-4-0 diesel, but nothing on their porter-esque locos shown in that photo. That's been another "it'd be cool if" projects, but I have to get back in the mood to work on a small steamer, and the mojo just isn't there for that.

Later,

K
 
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