O Scale Trains Magazine Discussion Forums

Welcome Guest 

Show/Hide Header

Welcome Guest, posting in this forum requires registration.





Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Making This From That
Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Making This From That
on: September 14, 2019,
Quote

Anyone who is familiar with my work knows that I am at times a champion of hopeless causes.

It often involves a lot of work to get things to work as they should. The case in point here, a late 1970's imported brass Westside B&O P-7c made by Sam Hong Sa but built to a narrower than NMRA standard gauge.

It was by far not alone. In working on it I became aware of some other Westside models of that period built the same way, They often became expensive shelf queens, unable to reliably go around NMRA standard curves or pass through NMRA standard switches.
Image

The fix was to re-gauge all the wheels. The drivers proved to be the most vexing part of that. One corrected, thrust washers had to be added to the axles to take up excess lateral play. I made them from a polyethylene cap from a round Quaker oats box. They were cut to fit into place without removing the drivers. Also, the valve gear had to be re-hung to avoid I hitting the drive rods, now in a slightly wider stance.
Image

Running nicely now, more attention was given to detailing errors for this particular B&O loco, having six box spoke drivers. It would be number 5314, the former 'President Lincoln'. Corrections included lowering the feed water heater casting and stack on the smoke box, which stood slightly over 17 scale feet high - taller than UP Big Boy!

That difficulty was due to the prototype and model having a fully jacketed smoke box.
That adds almost a scale 6". I ground the bottom of the feed water heater casting much thinner to fit better. (On the prototype it was sunk into the jacketing). The smoke stack was shortened and reset it on it base.

The trailing truck on the model was misaligned, so it had to be disassembled, all parts re-bent to their correct profiles and soldered together again with the correct type of journal bearings.

Then, the 8 wheel tender had a serious flaw which would involve complete disassembly to correct. The deck over the water cistern was level with the top coaming. While it might look right, it was wrong! The deck actually was on the rivet line about a scale 2' or so lower. When B&O increased the coal bunker size by raising its sides, they ran a higher wall around the top of the water cistern as well, creating a wall. No need to increase the water cistern size, since these tenders were equipped with pickups for track pans along the Jersey City - Washington DC route these locos initially ran.

Rather than that, I bought a 12 wheel welded B&O tender from Sunset 3rd Rail, which would make this model become a P-7e. So here it is now.
Image

Rather like its prototype, it can reliably haul up to six heavy passenger cars on a 2% grade without slipping. The B&O P-7d class in streamlined form for the "Cincinnatian," was limited to five cars over mountain grades in western Maryland and West Virginia.

Ed Bommer

Charlie

Posts: 249
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 15, 2019,
Quote

The Westside SP 4-6-0s were another locomotive model that had that track gauge problem. I don't recall having much difficulty with correcting the gauge with NWSL wheel puller. I did not think to add spacer washers to the driver axles as you did, but I've not experienced any problem there.

Charlie

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 108
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 19, 2019,
Quote

Were these possibly an attempt at 1/4 inch AAR, and either way, can they be corrected to P48 without an even more intense surgery? Tom Dempsey

Charlie

Posts: 249
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 20, 2019,
Quote

One of the first P48 steam loco conversions I recall seeing was using the Westside 4-6-0. I assumed because the frame was already sufficiently narrow for the drivers to be moved inwards a bit further. Probably the "intense surgery" would be the narrowing of the cylinder assembly.

Charlie

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 22, 2019,
Quote

Here is the PSC Standards page from one of Precision Scale's catalogs.

It shows the relationship and differences between NMRA, PSC and 1/4" scale AAR (later named P:48) gauges and wheel standards.

The Westside P-7 I have has the narrower PSC driver profile and flanges but all other wheels (engine truck, trailing truck and tender trucks) have the NMRA standard wheel profile and flanges.

Oddly, when prototype locomotives built to a 5' gauge, like the 'Russian decapods', all they did to convert to the standard 4' 8 1/2" gauge was to press on wider driver tires and replace the other wheels to suit.

Doing this of course meant that such locos must never pass through a protected switch frog - the ones that have a high lip on their edges, and no guard rails opposite the frog. The wide driver tires with flanges set for standard gauge could not clear the high edges on such a frog.

Re-gauging the big, post-War double-ended and embargoed Russian electrics to standard only required replacing the driving and other wheel/axle sets, for the South Shore and the Milwaukee Road. I think units sold to Argentina (?) kept their 5' gauge which was in use there.

Some data to gnaw upon,
Ed Bommer

Image

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 108
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 23, 2019,
Quote

So...they made there own track standard which would essentially fit neither, or both poorly. I had noticed this in their catalog before and wondered about it, but it never popped for me that PSC was actually building/importing product to an internal standard. One would have to wonder what were they thinking.

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 28, 2019,
Quote

At the time, (1970's) it was thought to be a way to reach toward more prototypically spaced rails and retain reliable operation. Accurately scale sized wheels and flanges require very fine track laying skills to achieve as few derailments as possible.

How Westside came to import PSC gauged locomotives is an open question, since they also imported NMRA standard gauged power as well at the time. The other biding flaw was the overload of extraneous detail on the 'modernized' B&O P-7c, with a number of conduit lines on the boiler prototype did not have and the very tall water heater and stack on the smoke box.

I suppose the tender cistern deck error is some what forgivable because back then little was known that B&O enlarged the coal bunker by raising the sides, but left the top of the water cistern the same by encircling it with a low wall.

Ed Bommer
Image
Image
Image

Tom-
Dempsey

Posts: 108
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 28, 2019,
Quote

So these models are mostly from the 1970 to 1980 era only? And just Westside?

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 29, 2019,
Quote

Tom and all, the PSC gauge seems short lived. The issue also was largely unknown to buyers since there was nothing in the Westside ads or paper work to tell about it. No way to easily get one's money back if not satisfied at the time. I'm not sure how Precision Scale back then dealt with this, but gauge choice may have been an option when ordering a loco model from them.

Result: some very expensive 'shelf queens' for those who could not operate them on NMRA standard gauged track. This is still a largely unknown issue for current buyers of Westside models offered for sale because some were built to NMRA standard gauge and others were not.

Oh yes, the PSC gauge locos COULD run on straight track and around broad curves (mine was 72" radius on the mainline) but NMRA standard switch frogs and guard rails caused problems due to the narrowed gauge and thinner than NMRA standard driver wheel profiles.

My Westside before modifying it would have only 1/64" driver contact on the rail at one side, if the other side was fully against the opposite rail, with Code 125 Micro-engineering flex track. A few more thousandths wider and a derailment was almost certain.

I'm very happy with my modified Westside as a B&O P-7e of the early 1950's. It runs reliably. But the time is coming soon for it to find a new owner.

Ed Bommer

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 29, 2019,
Quote

OK, Let's look at something else.
Kasiner streamline cars of the late 1940's.
In particular, the smooth side cars, which were not the easiest to finish well, with prototypes having multi-color, striped liveries. The fluted side car kits were a lot easier to complete, often needing minimal, or even no paint jobs!

Here follows three Kasiner cars I got in the early 2000's from E-bay, costing about $10 each. A 'before' and some 'after' photos show the possibilities of these old kits, which can be made into very creditable models!

Of course doing so is easier with an untouched kit. (And there are out there)! Re-doing someone else's work can make things much more complicated.

First up, Kasiner kit number 2 of 1947, the 24 duplex roomette sleeper Pullman built in 1942 to test the market for replacing heavy weight sleepers having section accommodations. Kasiner advertised this kit as "the car with the staggered windows" and staggered the letters of that word to grab one's attention.

WW II intervened and it remained Pullman owned. It held various assignments on the NYC, PRR, Santa Fe, Great Northern and on the B&O from about 1954 until retired in 1965 as the L. S. Hungerford. It went on to the National of Mexico by 1967, re-named 'Paricutin,' after a volcano. It as retired by the 1980's and likely scrapped.

Santa Fe had some built with fluted siding after WW II, named the "Indian . . . " series. Canadian National had a number of them built by CC&F in the 1950's, with smooth sides and rolling on 6 wheel trucks. They were in service with VIA Rail when retired in the late 1980's.

Image
Image
Image

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 29, 2019,
Quote

Kasiner kit number 5 of 1948 is next, a smooth side diner which accurately models the "Lake . . . " series diners built by ACF in 1948 for Great Northern's "Empire Builder."
The prototype was equipped with a gas-fired broiler and range, with a steam table as well.

This reduced heat in the kitchen over the usual coal fired equipment that was kept at constant working temperature. So the kitchen had only one large vent, versus four or more on most diners.

The prototype also carried a large capacity of mechanical refrigeration in place of ice boxes that were in common dining car use at the time. These GN diners could be fully stocked for a full run to cover two to three days if need be, without having to re-stock anything along the way.

The Kasiner diner kit lacks a service door. The prototype had only one, on the right side. None on the left or kitchen side, as that space was taken up with refrigeration. Kasiner likely used a 1948 publicity photo showing only the kitchen side when setting up the punching for this kit, as well as Diner Kit number 12, which is a fluted side version.

So I cut in a service door opening and made an aluminum sheet door to fit, following the prototype's floor plan in a 1952 issue of Car Builder's Cyclopedia. Interior detail incudes modeling the four etched glass screens that set off two tables at each end of the dining room for semi-private dining. They are done with .015" clear styrene sheets with suggestive detail painted on them with MEK solvent and a very fine brush, using photos as a guide. They can be seen through the windows if one looks carefully.

Image
Image
Image

Ed Bommer

Posts: 427
Post Re: Making This From That
on: September 29, 2019,
Quote

The rebuild of Kasiner kit number 8 of 1948 was more challenging than the other two. It models the Pullman Plan 4082 2 double bedroom / 1 compartment / 1 drawing room / lounge/ round end observations built from 1939-1941. There were seven cars built. The first was displayed at the NY World's Fair, and named "American Milemaster" by vote of fair attendees. The next three were built for the New York Central "Southwestern Limited" between New York City and St. Louis, each named for a regional river - Genesee, Maumee and Wabash.

Two were built for SP "Lark" service in 1941, numbers 400 and 401. Both were destroyed in separate rear end collisions. Pullman built another in 1941 with stainless steel roof and siding, named Muskingum River.

It was first assigned to the Rock-Island - Southern Pacific 'Golden State Route' between Chicago and Los Angeles. It and American Milemaster were moved to SP "Lark" service after the loss of cars 400 and 401, replacing them with the same numbers.

The three NY Central cars were sold to B&O in 1956, using them in National Limited service between Washington DC and St. Louis, retaining their original names. One,
"Genesee River," became privately owned but was destroyed by vandals who set fire to its interior in the 1980's.

The big challenge was in making the aluminum castings for the round roof end and round end skirts fit the body correctly, as they were oversized. A lot of grinding and filing is involved. Much easier to do with powered bench tools that were not available in1948! Back then, doing this took hand files and a lot of muscle power. Also, getting the roof end casting to fit seamlessly with the body was tricky. Epoxy and modern automotive body repair resins work nicely .

Two windows were cut into the right side letter board for the compartment's upper berth and the buffet room window was made smaller per prototype by filling in the lower part with styrene sheet and Bondo automotive spot glazing compound.

Image
Image
Image

Pages: [1]