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Discussion Starter #1
I am a life member of the Colorado Railroad Museum. My favorite ng 2-8-0 is the #346 which is the Museum's operating live steamer and which was recently renovated and brought back to life after a 3 year hiatus. The engine has received a "green boiler" paint job that I am not thrilled with as the color is too bright and too Olive Green for my taste but that is not pertinent today. What is is that the CRRM had Accucraft produce a limited number of their D&RGW C-19 #346 as it appears today at the CRRM! This model differs from the post-wreck #346 in that it has fluted domes, a D&RGW green boiler (now this color I can get attached to!) and the "Flying Rio Grande" on the tender (no, for you purists out there, the tender is numbered #346 and not #318 as the #346 tender will be back some time within the year from Strassburg.)

The model is gorgeous and I first saw it three years ago. The CRRM is selling them with proceeds from the sale going toward the restoration of #346! This was perfect!! I could help contribute towards the restoration of one of my favorite ng engines, help the CRRM and get a beautiful new 1:20.3 model all in one fell swoop! I started saving my change immediately.

Fast forward to July 2008 and I finally had the financial wherewithall to make the purchase. I had to wait until the middle of August to pick it up as I was going to be in Denver at that time and figured that I didn't need to pay the freight costs. When I got to the museum I found out that the batch (the second group) which my engine came from had had an improper sand dome attached! This was unacceptable. Fortunately, the museum staff had already contacted Accucraft and received the proper fluted dome as a replacement. All I had to do was install it myself which I proceeded to do when I got it home.

This little change made all the difference in that model! It's weird but a small difference like that completely changes the engine's character! Now, I had my baby! I also had a perfectly good rounded dome (like the one from the #340 and not the cylindrical monstrosity #346 wore after the wreck.) What to do with it?

I had my Bachmann Connie out on the table setting next to my Accucraft and was comparing the detail when it hit me. I had already "Rio Grandized" my Bachmann 2-8-0 so why not go another step and get rid of that skinny sand dome? It was easier than I thought it would be and the same thing happened to the Connie! It's amazing how the character of the engine changes with just a small modification! In this case, I now have two very different but equally beloved engines that I can now run! The only thing left is to do something with the coal pile. Oh yeah, I also need to send it off to Dave Goodson to work his RCS r/c battery magic! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are some pics of the two engines. I have already changed over the sand domes and the Bachmann is somewhat dusty so the new sand dome seems darker than it actually appears.





 

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Discussion Starter #6
Joe,
The rounded sand dome was originally on the Accucraft #346. When I changed it out for the fluted dome (so it matched the steam dome) I had this really nice brass sand dome and when I looked at my Bachmann Connie, it hit me that the new Accucraft dome would look great on it!
Stan,
Thanks for the nice comments. I think so too!
 

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A Steamed Elder
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Steve,
I have a question regarding the changes you made to your Accucraft #346 loco. My engine was delivered as shown in the second photo. It looks pretty close to the old photo of #346.


Would it be correct to change the steam dome to the fluted dome? I also have a Connie that I want to change domes and reposition.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Gary,
I've got to hand it to Accucraft, they do an excellent job of modeling an engine at a particular moment in time. In this case, your #346 is exactly the way it was on the D&RGW right after it came back from being leased to the C&S (that's where it was wrecked and received that cylindrical dome.) Your shot of it shows that your model is of that era.
The one I have is of the #346 at the CRRM today. Robert W. Richardson rescued this engine and was able to get fluted domes from one of the wrecked engines that were used in that scene where they crashed two engines together in Denver & Rio Grande. The engine remained black until the required boiler inspection so when they tore it apart and rebuilt it they decided to give it a green boiler. They didn't quite get the color right but the model looks great!
Here's a recent shot of the #346 at the museum:

and a shot of the model:
 

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A Steamed Elder
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Steve,

That's a beautiful shot of #346 at the museum. I've been trying to find the booklet about #346, but they are hard to get. Great history related to that loco. Thank you for the explanation.:D
 

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Gary,
Several years back, it came up on another forum about the wreck of 346. I knew nothing of the incident at the time and contacted the CRRM to find out the details. The person I came in contact with gave me some information in an email and then mailed two copied pages from the booklet detailing the incident. Perhaps the people at the CRRM could help you with your quest.

Paul H.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update 9/18/08:
I had made a comment that I needed to do something about the tender on my Bachmann "Connie." The thread is about "minor modifications" and that low tender just looks too "south of the border" the same way that the skinny sand dome did! Something had to be done.

I decided to build a D&RG style coal bunker that would set right on top of the original. This was done with a few strips of styrene. After the glue dried I painted it flat black and set it in place. Not bad but now I needed to fill the bunker. I have some coal that I have collected and I crushed some up in a bag. I used Elmer's white glue undiluted for the bottom layer on the fake coal pile and then poured in the larger pieces of the coal. So far so good.

I then diluted some glue and dribbled it over the coal. This is where Mr. Murphy decided to make an appearance! I used about a half teaspoon of water too much which diluted the mixture to the point where it didn't set up before it found a seam to run down to. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif I was dabbing up extra leaking glue for 6 hours!! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/pinch.gif

Learning my lesson, I poured smaller pieces over the next layer and then dribbled properly diluted glue over it! The glue works it's way in and dries clear so it's invisible. Next came the final layer which used the finest bits of coal. I once again dribbled diluted glue over the entire coal pile and let dry over night (coming out at 3:00am to dab up the last of the glue spill.)

With the addition of some more decals (which I added this afternoon) I am now happy with the overall look. The only other thing I might add is an Accucraft C-19 air tank behind the coal pile. I haven't decided. Due to the fact that the glue is still drying I haven't taken pictures yet but I promise to get a couple tonight. The mods that I did are Level #1 mods. Anyone has the skills to do this one! Is it accurate? No. Then again, the D&RGW never had one of these Central American locomotives. I'd like to think that it's at least close to what the Denver shops might have come up with if they had been given one! ;)
 

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A Steamed Elder
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Steve,

I'm looking forward to seeing the photos you have of your modified Connie tender. Level 1 mods, maybe even I can do it.:D
 

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A Steamed Elder
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Steve,

Very nice!:D I lowered my tender on the frame and put Accucraft C21 trucks under my tender with Phil's Narrow Gauge bearing rework on the trucks. I really like what you've done with the coal load. I have about two pounds of West Virginia Pocahontas coal out in the garage now waiting to be glued into the tender.(NO, I'm not going to put all two pounds in this tender. This is for my 1.5 ten-wheeler.) THX for posting.
 

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Steve: The consolidation tender is really easy to lower on the stock B-man trucks and it really improves the overall appearance too. Trackside makes a nice DRGW style rear ladder, a big improvement on the B -mann version.
The c19 air tank MAY fit, but is likely to fat. The consolidation tender deck is very short between the hungry board s and water hatch. You may be able to move the hatch and install a trackside brass version in its place to make more room.I have always scratched the tanks up out of copper plumbing bits from home depot.The old C16 tanks from 268 worked but they are all long gone now.

jonathan/EMW
 

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Steve (and Jonathan and Gary)


That's exactly what I did with my freelance "Connie" bash.


I lowered (or raised - depending on which side is up) the bolsters on the tender and replaced the plastic B'mann trucks - which are notoriously weak and have a tendency to break - with Accucraft metal ones.



The air tank is actually from an Accucraft C-21 and the water trunk (hatch) is from Trackside Details. I did have to shorten the coal bin a bit to make room on the after deck for them.




The ladder is also from Trackside Details and fits exactly with no modification.





I kept the original sand dome (but switched locations with the bell) and lowered it about an eighth of an inch and added a filler cap. Looks better now, I think.





Here's the final result. For additional pics of this loco, click on my name below, go to the "Engines" drop-down and select "Super Connie C-20."
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's the tender bash I was remembering!! Thanks for posting your info. So, the C-19 tank is too big...Accucraft doesn't sell a C-21 tank so if I am going to add one it will probably have to be scratch built.
For beginners, my bash was a "level #1" whereas this one is closer to a "level #4!" That's really nice work! I will take the Accucraft trucks under advisement as I have already experienced the fragility of these Bachmann trucks!
One more thing, the coal pile added about two pounds to the tender which seems to have helped it's tracking on my pike! One problem I was having with pulling those heavy coaches on a downgrade was that the lighter tender sometimes derailed if I wasn't careful. I lose a bit in overall pulling power but it's more than offset by the tender's more equal weight to the cars! :)
The real coal looks so much better! My Annie is going to get the same treatment as it's coal pile is so toylike you'd have thought it was made by New Bright! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif
 
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