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Discussion Starter #1
My wife has decided that we need to get a replica of the W&ARR General Engine ( Civil War Era and the Great Locomotive Chase). Who am I to argue.


Anyway, my first round has only turned up the HLW Locomotive ... not exactly what I was looking for. Does or did anyone make a closer replica of it? It can be electric or live steam. Has something like this been made in the past that I could watch for? The scale can be anything that runs on 1 gauge track.


I have been told they exist ... just not exactly sure where to look.

Tom Bray
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

The short answer is no. The General as it appears in the museum today (as roughly portrayed by HLW) is a later rebuild of the loco (not even remotely Civil War Era) that looks surprisingly little like the General that took part in the Great Locomotive Chase. Absolutely no one, to my limited knowledge, has ever done a remotely accurate Civil War era model of the General. Sadly. One of the most famous locomotives on the entire planet, and no one has put the least effort into getting it right. I suppose it's understandable when you stop to think that the General was broad gauge originally and would have to be underscaled to fit on most gauges. I could be wrong and maybe there's a good version out there (I'd LOVE to see it), so if anyone has any info on that, PLEASE let us know.
The rather badder part of it all is that there isn't even a good model to bash into the General. There's no remotely close 1/32 4-4-0 currently available that I know of, and the narrow gauge models are of proportions extremely incorrect for broad gauge.
The HLW is the best available choice at the moment. It's not unattractive in its way, but it's also not very accurate in its way.
Sorry.
Chris
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

But there's a quite nice 1:24 plastic model kit from AMS. It's been out of production for some time, but you still see them turn up at train shows, on eBay, etc. You'll have to motorize it, so you'll still have to either cannibalize a Hartland 4-4-0 (for example) or buy a motor block and fit it to the superstructure.

That's not as simple as you hoped, I know, and it's not the right scale. Still, how picky is your wife going to get? In fact if you just had one parked on a siding during open houses and on the mantel the rest of the time, would that satisfy her urge?
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

Wow! I wasn't aware of that O scale model. It is absolutely the closest thing to the Civil War General I've seen. Thanks for that link. The Plastic model kit is of the 1892 rebuild of the engine, which is essentially the General everyone is familiar with. But the locomotive had been rebuilt several times before that. The real change in the look happened in the 1870's when her extra steam dome, ankle rails, strap iron pilot and balloon stack all disappeared. I really love the look of the original General and I'd love to see someone produce it in G. But then I'd love to see any accurate standard gauge 4-4-0 in G!
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is not quite what I wanted to find out, but I appreciate the information.

I don't feel up to trying to make one at this stage of the game so it will just have to wait.

The O gauge version is about perfect except for the size.

Tom Bray
 

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I know the bachmann 4-4-0 is a narrow gauge model of a baldwin loco, and 20 years newer than the General, but that's about as close as it gets when you want a ready to run loco. I tried to find the photos, but at the museum in Kennesaw, they have a pair of the Bachmann 4-4-0's painted up like the modern rendering of the General and the Texas chasing each other along the wall.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
We will be going over the Georgia in the next month or so and check out the museum.

I will check out the Baldwin locomotive.

Tom Bray
 

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Tom,

I just repainted my Bachmann 4-4-0 and it was really easy to take apart for painting. I would say go for one of the new painted undecorated wood burners. In fact, the Olive and russia iron might be pretty close to the original paint on the General.

A great book on the General, the chase and the medal of honor is Russ Bonds' Stealing The General. Excellent read.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

Brian,
I think that B & O loco may be the one used by Disney in the movie. Both Texas and General locos for movie came from B & O Museum! Filmed in Georgia, athough in the North East part rather than the correct North West.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

Tom,
I was at the museum a few months ago and they had the Hartland General on sale there. Good price, too. Looks good in person. Please consider coming to Georgia May 1-2 for the Southeast Garden Railroad Show in Dalton. Also, layout tours on May 3. The General actually ran through Dalton and we are working on tours to the tunnel from the show! See www.segrs.com for complete details.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

The HLW version is quite nice actually, otherwise learning the secret sorcerers way of kitabshing alchemy to convert the AMS kit to G gauge is your best bet, the good news is that it HAS been done, a few times from what I've read in the past. I have the kit out in the garage awaiting my atempt to do it also, but as I'm slightly hobby cash poor right now, cant buy the drive parts to convert it. It would involve narrowing the wheelbase but the end results should be worth it.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

I think that B & O loco may be the one used by Disney in the movie


Indeed it was. B&O #25 'William Mason" has been re-boilered and/or re-tubed many times thanks to the film companies. After the Great Railway Chase, it starred in "Wild West" then in the TV movie "Gods and Generals". It is still in running order:




"Baltimore & Ohio 4-4-0 locomotive #25, the "William Mason" leads an early train across the platform in front of the spectator stage at the 1948 Chicago Railroad Fair."



See also 'markoles' thread: http://www.mylargescale.com/Default.aspx?tabid=66&EntryID=51
 

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Not only is it still in operation at the B&O museum in Baltimore (although it does not run very often at all, a shame really), it is driven by a team that includes Chris France, a member on this board. Chris has posted some videos on youtube of the Mason running along the historic first mile on the museum grounds.

Vic - I wonder how much of the kit could be fit on to the bachmann chasis. The working stevenson valve gear and the die cast frame and robust mechanicals would move that bash along nicely.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

I wonder how much of the kit could be fit on to the bachmann chasis


Mark,
No much, I suspect. Mine is right here over my desk, and the gauge is approx 2 3/8" as it is 1/25th scale.

Now the HLW 4-4-0 at 1/24th is a model of a NG loco and therefore is much smaller (I imagine - haven't got one handy.) With some really, really big driving wheels and axles pushed much higher, I think you might get a decent standard gauge model in 1/29th or 1/32nd scale.
 

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Pete,

What is the driver spacing? I was thinking that the frame and the drive train, along with the valve gear might be usable from the bachmann. The power pick up on the b-mann is from the tender, so that wouldn't be an issue, but plastic wheels are no good on non motive power, so something would have to be done for the drivers. The bachmann has a driver c-c of 4-7/16". Plus, the General's drive wheels have the bolt on counter weights, whereas the bachmann version (and the Hartland for that matter) have cast drivers.


Certainly not a simple bash.....

BTW, I just realized you referenced my loco building bash! Thanks! Didn't know many people read that stuff! I did finally repaint the bachmann 4-4-0 using flat paints. Brushed it all on, and have mixed results. On the smokebox, I did flat black. Did a green and silver for the rest, but didn't really follow the Baldwin paint scheme. Not enough time or money to do it that way, but overall I am happy with my efforts. Ran the loco the other day, and once again, I am very happy with this engine. I am thinking very hard about getting the painted unlettered green from Bachmann. It was an easy enough disassembly and paint process that I could pretty easily do it over in the future. I am strongly considering repainting the tender using spray paints when the weather improves and I can safely paint outiside.
 

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RE: The W&ARR General Locomotive

BTW, I was just at Caboose Hobbies this afternoon, and they've got a built-up version of the old 1:24 "General" kit on the shelf for the hullavabargain price of $15! I almost left with it myself. The construction and decaling is certainly not what one would call "expert" by any stretch of the imagination, but I would think it'd make great kitbash fodder.

Later,

K
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was looking at the Bachmann 4-4-0 but the wheels aren't the correct size and it is a 1:20.3 scale so it has a few issues.

I will try and find the plastic model, if nothing else it will be a start.

We will be going to see the General in the next month or so. If they have the HLW engine I will take a close look at it.


I am not in a huge rush to buy this, and starting another major building project is a bad idea right now ... I have a layout to build (track needs ot be layed) and I still need to add cars and another locomotive that fits into the everyday use category (I have MTH DCS system so I want to find something that goes with that).


I appreciate all the good ideas. An yes I will be making it to the train show in May, I think that is when it is, and I am trying to figure out how to make to to Colorado.

Tom Bray
 
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