Brass locos

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by hoppercarmaker, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. hoppercarmaker

    hoppercarmaker Member

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    Wich brass locos are good? I see them on ebay alot and seems to be good prices. But I realy dont know anything about them.
  2. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

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    OK, the least qualified to comment gets 1st go at it ! Brass locomotives are the most detailed models, fabricated with sheet, bar and castings by skilled workers in limited numbers. The types and details can be very prototype-specific in shape, structure and equipment, so each will be a very close representation of a real loco. Because of the material, method of construction, and limited numbers, brass is expensive to build and is made more so by collectors, who treat these as investments to be left untouched, in-original-box, factory paint (or unpainted). The mechanical functions, are "less important", so perhaps less than the best in some cases (the buyer isn't going to RUN them, anyway). If you see a loco that you like, or want because of prototype or because you "like it", and the $$ is reasonable for your priorities - go for it ! All but the worst cases of bad running can be remedied (most will at least require motor/electrical isolation to apply DCC), and a little soldering amnd painting skill will repair/modify most light damage. At worst, you will need to build/buy a display case for your mantel queen. Buying "pre-owned"?- be sure you know what you are getting for your money - if your an E-bay kinda guy, good luck, and watch for those last second run-ups $$$$$$$$$$. I'm sure some others will jump in later with more/better counsel. JM$.02! Bob C. (myusername at gmail.com)
  3. hoppercarmaker

    hoppercarmaker Member

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    Thanks for the reply,I found a site that has a buyers guide. It appears that I need to learn a lot more before buying any brass.
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    You have several variables. The importer, the builder, and the case of popular locomotives that were imported several times, the run.


    My experience has been primarily with Geared locomotives, and a few small rod locomotives.


    I will trust a PFM unit built by United. Out of the box the shays , Climax and a Ma & Pa Consolidation I have had experience with had good mechanisms, which needed only extra electrical pick up, to be very good runners (with DC)

    I have several Westside locomotives, two class A climaxes and a Heisler, which have been good performers.


    I have a very old Gem 2-4-4-2, which had multiple problems with it's drive train, which it took me years to figure out and fix.


    I have a NWSL Sierra #8 2-8-0, which was an extremely good runner out of the box. I have had to rebuild the tender drawbar.


    I plan on adding extra electrical pick up to any brass locomotive (and anything else that doesn't come with pick up on most wheels)

    It pays to deal with a trusted dealer, who will put the locomotive you are interested on the track, and tell you how it does.

    If one won't run well the first thing to go is hit the commutator of an open frame motor with some tuner cleaner.



    Bill Nelson
  5. nw-fan

    nw-fan New Member

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    As an HO modeler, I can say that this particular product from Bachmann The auxilliary tender) was a Godsend. Previously, I owned 2 NWSL, and one resin version of this aux tender. Now, thanks to Bachmann, I have 10+. The Bachmann's go for $25, while the NWSL's were going for $100+ prior to this model becoming available. Recent offerings from Bachmann, Rivarossi, and Walthers/Life-Like have driven down brass prices for us N&W modelers/collectors.
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

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    The auxiliary tender looks nice. I bought one of those Paragon 2 Y6b's for use at the club, and after watching videos of them in action I think an auxiliary tender might be a good idea some time. It might be fun to try to hide a diesel mechanism under one. put a decoder in it, and monkey with the cv s until it runs at the same speed as the locomotive, and consist it to the locomotive for some extra oomfh.

    As for the Bachman consolidation, I have one in southern passenger livery that was one of my southern railway staging locomotives. the last time I tried to run it it's motor ran, but it did not go, as if it had something broken in the drive train. It is not real obvious how it comes apart. I have been taking brass apart for painting and modification for years This thing must have some hidden screws or some other trick to getting it apart.

    Bill Nelson
  7. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

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    Take a look over on the Bachmann website ,on the left side under product references they have the break down drawing of all 3 versions of the 2-8-0.
    Also on speaking of the N&W aux. tender thats a hoot cuz I posted a wrong picture,remember the subject was brass locomotives was supposed to have been a picture of my Akane DM&IR Yellowstone,instead accidently added the bachman aux. tender picture.....DOH!
    Thats another story,bought two of'em for me and a buddy to run behind our new BLI Y6s only to realise way to late they was N scale not HO. Double DOH!wall1wall1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8UJZ1SzX2Q
  8. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    * Time to resurrect another interesting HO modeling thread. It is to bad that those who posted here did not insert photos directly into these threads. They stay here for as long as the site exists and that can be a long time, outlasting computers.
    ** Well my reason for running or collecting Brass locomotives is the very many different roads and types of locos that were produced. Anyone buying brass should get ahold of a brown book or two or three. They are reference books originally written by one, R. A. Brown. Other Authors have continued the Brown book info line. I have one by John Glaab. It is a third addition. They are great when trying to identify a locomotive you have.

    * Now I'll start off with a old Gem. Gem isn't a description but a importers companies name. Many of the old Gem locomotives truly have earned the name "GEM" for they are very well detailed and finished.
    ** My model is a Gem, made by Akane in Japan of a Pennsylvania Railroad 4-4-0 type classed as a D16. It has the general classification of an American type. Does anyone want to tell everyone just where they can see one, for it still exists.
    frank

    GEM d16 prr 245 kb.jpg
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
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  9. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    Usually we want people to not resurrect "Dead" threads, it's even in the rules. I am going to cut you slack though because your posts are so damned interesting!!! :)
  10. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Zathros, I wish for you to know that the subject of Brass Locomotives and detail of which they are made, even the oldest of them have, make for good interesting photos. This was not a haphazard choice and is a better one than if I had started from scratch. Those original lead in post are interesting in themselves. I just want to add to them. It makes for some history here at the Zealot forums.
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  11. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    No problem. I have a roll of .062" Brass 18 inches wide, and 20' long. A scrap yard offered me $100 bucks for it. I laughed. It still has the cosmoline on it, and is pure Brass, and very very heavy.

    I was going to Tig weld some pieces, but the Zinc it puts out is very toxic. I may end up using a piece to make a metal Dashboard Plate for my M.G., with a wood surround, and machine Swirl Marks with a wire brush on the Brass. The clear coat the bejesus out of it. ;)
  12. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    zathros, Good luck with your MG dashboard. I had an "A" and a "B", always wanted a "TD" or a Morgan. Stumbling through life I never was able to get one.
    frank
  13. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    I have a '73, Round Rear Wheel Arch. I blueprinted the motor, it runs like a sewing machine. It has a 10 degree more duration Kent Racing Cam, and a side draft DCOE 40 mm Weber carb, forged racing pistons, bored .020" over, I even shot peened the connecting rods. Headers, and a polished cylinder head. All new bearings everywhere on the engine. It purrs like a kitten. I am designing an independent rear end suspension, to get a bit higher ratio, 3:0 is a bit too high, need some thing that can relax up there, and be able to idle at 85 mph all day. It will do 75 all day though, never overheats. I can burst to 105, but the rear end gets real loud.:)
  14. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    That is a great achivement. Plus it is transportation done way beyond what I could do. A good ride.
    frank
  15. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Ken Kidder 2-6-0 9 30 05 009 - S.jpg

    Back to HO Brass trains. Here is a old Ken Kidder release of a Mogel 2-6-0 in Brass.
    frank
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  16. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    That's a beauty. I've always wanted to make a monorail. It would be easy, jut no time. ;)
  17. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    Here is my Akane MA and PA old time 2-8-0. well 640 400 is to large and wont post
  18. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator Moderator

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    No "toptrain1", we are having picture problems again, I will let the responsible parties know. Might be a few days to a week, sorry.
  19. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

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    OK thanks for telling me. Latter on when things clear up I'll edit this message and replace it with something else.
    frank
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